Tag Archive | Apple

Thanksgiving Recipes

This year I’m lucky to be celebrating two Thanksgivings; one with my family in New York and one in Oregon with my love’s family. We all feel so very thankful to have this opportunity this year! As we’ve all grown up and moved away, getting together to celebrate the holidays has proven very difficult with all of our schedules, so for it to work out this time, well, let’s just say we are “gobbling up” every second together!

With my new-found hobby of cooking, my mom didn’t hesitate for a list of what I’m contributing for Thanksgiving dinner. And she’s right to ask because I had a list that could have fed a party of 50! I’ve gathered recipes all over the place; libraries, internet, magazines, and cookbooks. Everything looks so delicious and I actually feel confident that I could pull off something successful. Just one hint for you while gathering recipes: don’t do it when you’re hungry. I swear my list would’ve been done faster if I wasn’t searching on an empty stomach. 🙂

So here’s a list of recipes I’m contributing for Thanksgiving #1:

Appetizers

Carmelized Onion & Apple Tarts with Gruyère

Apple Cranberry Sage Bites

Baked Stuffed Shrimp (from America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Recipe Magazine)

Sides

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Desserts

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

As I write this, I’m staring at my very first cheesecake, the Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe from my sister-in-law, and it looks delish! It’s sitting in the fridge until tomorrow, so the final results won’t be until I try to slice & serve it for dessert. I have a feeling that no matter how it looks, it will taste divine!

 

Recipes I’m contributing for Thanksgiving #2:

Appetizers

Choice of Roquefort or Goat Cheese, Dry Salami and Arugula on Milton’s Multi-Grain crackers

Shrimp Cocktail

Sides

Mashed Potatoes with Gruyère

Roasted Root Vegetables with Maple Syrup

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Buttermilk biscuits

Dessert

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

 

What are you making for Thanksgiving dinner?

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Apple Cider Muffin Tops

Some of you might have stopped in to hear the results on my Apple Cider Muffins. Or perhaps you wondered if I traveled by foot to pick up fresh apple cider from New York, since my last post did leave you with, “be back with the details shortly!”

My only reason for it taking 2 weeks to get back on here is being just plain busy. Life! Ha! Interviews, redecorating (assembling furniture & sewing), haircut, day trips, and then the sun came out for a few days!! I figure I have all winter when it’s gloomy & rainy to stay inside cooking & blogging. But don’t you think for one moment I forgot about making the Apple Cider Muffins (muffin tops in the end)!

Take a look at the finished product! After trying a few different batches, I couldn’t stop eating these. They are perfect 4-bite wonders that can put a smile on any face. Guaranteed!

 

To keep up with my goal of using local ingredients, the apples and apple cider are all from Hood River, Oregon, and were picked/processed fresh the week before use. The egg was organic and from Oregon. I used King Arthur Flour and made the apple puree, however, I would have used my homemade applesauce too! That’s right, folks – buy a dozen apples this week and make a couple quarts of applesauce. You can keep it in the fridge and eat all week, or go big and can it for winter storage. Support your local farmer, either way. Think of them of like their your neighbors, even if they are a few hours away!

 

Apple Cider Muffin Tops

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup  white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce or apple puree (below)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil

Apple Puree (for instant applesauce):

  • 1 small-medium sized cooking apple
  • 1/4 cup apple cider

Topping:

  • cinnamon
  • sugar

Directions

If you decide to make the apple puree, prepare it by simmering the diced apple and 1/4 cup cider over medium-low heat until broken down, about 10-15 min. Puree with immersion blender if you have one, or you can mash it up with a potato masher or fork. You should have 1/4 cup puree. If you have more than this, return to heat and simmer until reduced. Let cool. This can also be made ahead!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Combine the dry ingredients and whisk/stir well together in a small bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. Add the mixture by the tablespoon-full to the baking sheet leaving about an inch between the cookies. Flatten the mounds so they can spread out and hold the topping. Mix together enough cinnamon and sugar (to your liking) and generously sprinkle it over the tops of the dough mounds.

Bake 10 minutes or until cooked through and golden color on the bottoms. Remove from the oven and turn onto cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve warm and with a glass of leftover apple cider! It will be a blissful experience!!

Fall Foods recipe #2: Apple, Carrot, Sweet Potato & Ginger soup

Today is the first day of rain we’ve seen for a couple of months. That’s a pretty big deal in Oregon!

What better way to celebrate a day inside than with homemade soup?

I stocked up on apples and carrots at the farm last week, and found a sweet potato hanging around my onions in the pantry. Then as I went through my fridge, I couldn’t miss the 3 leeks I bought at the farm as well. They had other uses before this soup came to mind; for a leek and cauliflower soup. But they could work in this recipe, too.

The results of all these fresh pieces of fall produce came together, with a little help from chicken stock (my substitute for veggie stock), ginger and nutmeg, to  produce a sweet & spicy lunch treat. I really liked it!

It has a consistency of baby food, which is a new texture for me, but I think it would have to puree in the blender. Otherwise, the apples would turn to mush against all the other nice chunks of veggies.


Apple, Carrot, Sweet potato and Ginger soup

Serves 4

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated    (I didn’t have fresh ginger, so I used 1/8 tsp of dried ginger spice)
  • 3 small apples, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups sliced, peeled carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, leek, dash of salt, and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant.  Add apples, sweet potato and carrots and cook for 3 minutes more.

Turn flame to medium-high and add in broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce flame to low and simmer, uncovered,  until apples, sweet potato, and carrots are softened, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.

Blend the soup in batches in a blender.  Be sure not to fill the blender more than halfway full or hot soup will explode everywhere.  Also, when blending hot liquids in a blender, leave the blender lid slightly ajar to let some of the steam escape.

Once all the soup is blended, return to the pot.  You can add more vegetable broth if you prefer a thinner consistency.  Taste, and add a dash of fresh ground nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper to taste.  Remember a lot of heat will come from the ginger, so you probably won’t need to add pepper.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and another dash of nutmeg to taste for a creamy, sweet & spicy treat. I bet a nice piece of garlic bread would be great to scrape the bowl with. Yum-o.

Adapted from this recipe.