Sweet Cooking

Posts Tagged ‘Apples’

Those were the days….

In Baby food, Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on October 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I took a little blog trip back in time to see what I was cooking last fall. Wow. We ate well back then. Wow.

Apple Pie

Vegetable Soup

Pumpkin Bread

Halloween Bark

Now, it’s a struggle to get dinner on the table. I must admit we’re eating pretty simple these days. Think roasted chicken, steamed broccoli and rice. Pork tenderloin, quinoa and a salad. It’s not bad food, it’s just not that interesting. Not blog worthy. I’m going to have to get organized if I want to spice things up. I need to make weekly meal plans, shop once (okay, twice), and use the weekends to make something that I can freeze. I recently made a batch of My Dad’s Turkey Chili, and it’s been lunch all week. It’s so nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer. I really need to do more of that.

I’ve also been busy cooking for the baby. She is eating pureed fruits and vegetables now, and I’ve been making some of her food.

This is butternut squash. You halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, and roast it in a pan of shallow water until it's soft.

Then you puree it and freeze it in these little trays. It's kind of fun and really easy to make her food.

Apples. They are her favorite.

Enough baby food…I do believe that butternut squash is too often overlooked. It’s such a nice side dish. I can’t remember what I had with this, but I remember loving the squash.

Peel the squash and then cut it into cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Then roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Stir occasionally. It will be tender (you can easily pierce it with a fork) when it's done.

My next post is going to be about the world’s largest veal chop and then I’ll be bringing you a super chocolate chip cookie and pumpkin swirl brownies!

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Whole Wheat Apple Zucchini Bread

In Bread, breakfast, Fruit on August 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

If you tasted this bread, you would not believe that it doesn’t contain any sugar, oil or butter. I had extremely low expectations for this very reason. How can bread be  good, edible even, without ANY sugar, butter or oil?

This bread really surprised me.

I followed this recipe from Clean Eating. I used almond flour instead of spelt flour so my bread had a slight almond flavor. I used a granny smith apple and 0% Fage yogurt.

When this bread came out of the oven it looked and smelled delicious.

I had a piece as soon as it was finished baking and a piece the next day. It’s definitely best warm or slightly toasted. I resisted the urge to spread a little butter on it (trying to save calories anywhere I can these days). I think if I were going to make this bread again, I would use vanilla yogurt. Just that slight addition of sweetness might make this bread really, really tasty. Or….wait for it….I might add some chocolate chips. Now we’re talking!!

This is the first recipe I’ve ever tried from Clean Eating. It was a solid first. I will let you know if I try anything else.

I hope you all (all dear 7 of you) have a great weekend. The babe is taking a long morning nap so I am off to fold burp cloths and swiffer the apartment. Good times!

Old Fashioned Apple Pie

In Fruit, Pie on December 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

First of all, I apologize for my recent absence. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been busy helping the homeless or finding a cure for cancer. In reality, I’ve been swept up in football season, family events and general holiday madness. Additionally, I have spent hours, maybe days, trying to find a warm maternity coat. It does not exist. I am going to be cold all winter. So, as a result, I honestly haven’t been cooking much at all. I did, however, find time to make Dan an apple pie for his birthday. He requested pie instead of cake. He doesn’t like icing. Whatever.

This is my second ever apple pie from scratch. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Old Fashioned Apple Pie. I made the dough a day in advance, and I just used my hands to make the dough mixture. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it correctly or not, but it seemed to work out okay. I didn’t photograph the dough making because it was messy and I was concentrating on trying to get the texture right.

On to the pie, chopping the apples takes some time. Just turn on some music or a TV show and get to work. I used a combination of granny smith and gala apples.

Slice the apples thinly.

Divide the dough in half and roll out to pieces in equal size (one for the bottom crust and one for the top crust).

Once the dough is done and the apples are chopped, you just mix the apples with cinnamon, flour and sugar and assemble the pie. The recipe calls for cloves, but I omitted them.

Spread the apple mixture into the bottom pie crust and dot with butter (do not skimp).

Layer on the top crust and cut holes in it to allow air to escape. In hindsight, I wish I had made my holes smaller.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and fifteen minutes. This photo is a little dark...the top crust was not burned, but it sort of looks that way here.

I let this pie rest for several hours before serving it. I served it at room temperature, but I think it would have been best warm with vanilla ice cream. Dan does not like warm desserts (isn’t he just nuts?), and since it was HIS birthday I obliged.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season. I know it’s a busy time of year. Just remember that “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts”! I hope you eat or make something delicious today!

Applesauce Cookies with Maple Syrup Glaze

In Cookies, Fruit on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

Applesauce and oatmeal cookies with maple syrup glaze. The perfect cookie for Autumn!

Remember that applesauce I made? I had an ulterior motive. I used a lot of it to make cookies. I have baked breads with applesauce before but never a cookie. You should try it. They are great!

Follow Martha’s recipe.

Make the batter as instructed. This batter is more wet than a typical cookie dough.

Bake the cookies for 13 minutes and then let them cool completely. Do not even consider icing them before they are totally cool to the touch.

While the cookies are cooking and cooling, make the icing. The icing is made of powdered sugar, maple syrup and water. I recommend adding the water 1 tablespoon at a time. I found that after one tablespoon of water, my icing was good. I think that it would have been too runny if I had used all 3 tablespoons of water.

Aren't they cute? I love the addition of the icing. They taste great too. Enjoy!

Homemade Applesauce

In breakfast, Fruit, Just Good Food on September 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm

It's apple season!

As promised, I made applesauce. It’s so easy! I followed this Cooking Light recipe. The ingredients are freshly chopped apples, sugar, lemon juice, a cinnamon stick, salt and a little almond extract. I used Macintosh apples because they were inexpensive. This recipe yields a moderate amount of applesauce. If you’re cooking for a family or want leftovers, I would double it.

I chopped my apples pretty small, but if you prefer a chunkier applesauce, by all means, go large.

Once you have everything in the pot, bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover and reduce the heat to medium low.

And there you go....homemade applesauce in 35 minutes.

I think I maybe stirred the pot once while it was cooking. This is one of those few recipes that you can really just forget about and come back to it 30 minutes later. The recipe says to mash it with a potato masher at the end. I didn’t need to since I diced my apples pretty small to begin with.

If you have kids, I’m sure they will love it. But applesauce isn’t just for kids. One of my favorite meals is a pork tenderloin with wild rice and applesauce. In general, apples go great with pork, so give it a shot.

I spooned a few tablespoons of applesauce over some yogurt and topped it with toasted walnuts and flax. Delicious!

Applesauce Muffins

In breakfast, Muffins on June 3, 2010 at 2:35 am

There is a great restaurant one block from our apartment called “Five Points“. We eat there quite a bit because it’s consistently delicious and convenient. Five Points is especially known for brunch. It’s jam packed every Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 3pm. If you don’t call way in advance for a reservation…well, good luck.

I bought their cookbook a while ago that features 100 brunch recipes. Today I made “Applesauce Muffins”. They are fantastic tasting muffins – and easy to make too!

Five Points Applesauce Muffins

¾ cup light brown sugar
8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, preferably at room temp
2 eggs
½ t. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves (I did not have this, so I left it out)
1 t. ground allspice
1 cup natural (or homemade) applesauce
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts (I used pecans because that’s what I had)
1 cup golden raisins (I only had about 1/2 a cup – not a big deal)

Preheat oven to 350°. On high speed, cream the sugar with the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer; give the machine 3 to 4 minutes to incorporate the sugar into room temperature butter, and 5 to 8 minutes for colder-than-room temperature butter. Grease the muffin tins with cooking spray.

Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter-sugar mixture and beat for 30 seconds to incorporate them. Mix in the flour. Stir in the baking soda and spices last (the batter will be thick and stiff), then gently fold in the applesauce, walnuts, and raisins.

Fill the muffin tin with batter and put it in the oven.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are light golden brown and firm to the touch.

Remove muffins from tin and serve warm or at room temperature. Best the day they’re made, these muffins will keep overnight or up to 24 hours, stored in an airtight container. This recipe makes 12 full-size muffins.

I think these would be awesome in the fall before a mid-day football game!

The Opposite of a Healthy Muffin

In breakfast, Muffins on April 29, 2010 at 6:00 pm

As I’ve posted previously, I would like to find a healthy muffin that is really delicious. This muffin, is very delicious, but healthy? Not so much. I had a granny smith apple that needed to be baked. It just stared at me from the kitchen counter and begged to be put into a muffin.

I've seen this look before.

I researched some apple muffin recipes and found something interesting on another food blog: Sugar Plum. Sugar Plum is written by a young woman (seriously young – like 20) who also loves to bake. Her photos and recipes all look amazing. This is the first one I’ve tried: Cinnamon-Apple-Butterscotch Muffins.

I followed the recipe with a few exceptions. I did not have any butterscotch handy, so I substituted white chocolate. I love white chocolate and always have it around. I do not think the muffins minded. Also, I didn’t add the topping that the recipe mentions. If you really want to make a crazy, decadent muffin…sprinkle the tops with cinnamon-sugar, drizzle a little maple syrup over each muffin and add a slice of dried apple. Oh my god, that sounds so good! I restrained myself – mostly because I was out of syrup.

Ready for the oven (sans topping).

I feel like I need to go to the gym.

These are serious muffins – big, moist, decadent, definitely a treat – not something you can eat everyday (unless you are seriously young – like 20). I took them from New York to Florida to enjoy with family. Unfortunately, the muffins did not travel so well. They were in a zip-lock in a back pack that I carried on, and the travel was rough on the poor guys. They crumbled a lot. We ate them anyway, and they still tasted great.

Maybe one will accidentally fall onto the floor.