Monday, September 26, 2011

something old, something new.

Apple season is nice in that it goes on a long while. Some things are in season for such an instant that it feels like I must run run run to save it all while I can. Having a few months for apples means we can not only preserve and save, but also enjoy now. So, for apple season, here is a new recipe, as well as several from the archives that I make every year. An apple a day?

::baked cinnamon apples::

This recipe is my tweaked version of the one found in Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros.
3 Tbsp butter
4 baking apples, cored & halved
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
grated fresh nutmeg
pinch allspice
2 Tbsp ruby port
1/2 cup fresh apple cider
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter an oven proof dish, just large enough to fit 8 apple halves quite compactly (a pie dish worked perfectly). Place your apples in a baking dish cut side up.

Put a bit of butter on each apple center. Mix the sugar, cinnamon and allspice and sprinkle over the apples. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top, and drizzle with port. Pour the apple cider in the pan around/under the apples.

Bake for 30 minutes, then dribble the pan juices over the apples and add some more (hot) cider to the dish if needed. Bake for another 20-30 minutes until the apples are creamy on the inside and brown on the top. (time may vary a little based on the type of apple you are using)

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a spoon full of freshly whipped cream. Or, if you like take the juices from the bottom of the baking dish after the apples come out of the oven. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and heat on high to boil. Reduce heat, simmer a bit, and reduce slightly. Drizzle this thickened essence of apple over the top. SO GOOD!

+ + + + +

Some of my favorite recipes that I go back to often. I may tweak and poke around with different spices or types of apples, but the basic recipes always stay the same.

::carmelized apple tart::

::baked apples::

::apple butter::


What are your favorite apple recipes?

an apple a day:: "Apple polyphenols are standout nutrients in this widely loved fruit. These polyphenols include flavonols (especially quercetin, but also kaempferol and myricetin), catechins (especially epicatechin), anthocyanins (if the apples are red-skinned), chlorogenic acid, phloridizin, and several dozen more health-supportive polyphenol nutrients. Apple is a good source of fiber, including the soluble fiber pectin, and it's also a good source of vitamin C."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

csa box:: week 14

Week 14! We have settled into the groove of picking our CSA up at the farm and then stopping by the apple orchard on our way home (apple season!). We are lucky to live just a few miles from both.

in the box:: butternut squash, sorrel, mixed greens (swiss chard, brussel sprout greens), peppers, sage, an onion, a head of garlic, purple potatoes, carrots, and a lot of tomatoes!

I buy as many extras as I can this time of year! I dry the herbs, and can/pickle/freeze everything else.

extras:: carrots, broccoli, chives, thyme, cilantro, parsley, beets, potatoes

orchard:: We get a gallon or two of freshly pressed cider every week (raw!). We are still sampling apples. This week we have Chenango Strawberry and Jonamac.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

csa box:: week 13

week 13. in the box:: beets, sage, thyme, onion, garlic, purple potatotes, peppers, kale, and a mix of tomatoes!

extras:: beets, carrots, sage

orchard:: cider, and two new varieties - Viking, and Pink (is pink inside!)

pickled cabbage.

I love cabbage. During the summer I make slaws, and as the days get cooler we make sauerkraut and other pickled goodies. This is a very crunchy vinegar pickled cabbage - not sauerkraut (here is my purple kraut recipe ... yum). This is really great with anything salty and savory, or on a burger instead of lettuce and pickle. So crunchy! And the color is totally over the top.


1 lb. chopped red cabbage

2 Tbsp sea salt

4 cups good white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp pickling spice


Peel the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle each layer with salt.

Leave for 24 hours. Pour off liquid and stir a few times throughout. After 24 hours, drain off any liquid and rinse off any surplus salt. Drain the cabbage well.

Put the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices into a pan, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and allow to cool for at least 2 hours.

Strain the vinegar if you want, I like leaving in the spices.

Pack the cabbage loosely into jars and cover with the spiced vinegar.

Cover label and store in a cool place. Can begin to eat after 1 week.

Will begin to loose its crispness within 2 to 3 months. I keep it in the fridge and have a pint in the freezer!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

granola bars!

I love finding recipes that my boys like (no surprise). We usually tweak recipes the boys want to try -- to get the right textures for my sensory boy who has a hard time chewing things with chunks or varying textures (chewy/crunchy at the same time). Once we hit the right combo we stick pretty close to our main recipe from there. This granola bar recipe originated from here...we have changed it a bit. Healthy, texture friendly, not too sweet, really really yummy. These are nice and chewy, which is a must for my boys. They don't like the rock hard crumbly things. These are perfect. My husband and I find ourselves nibbling away at them too, so there is an excuse to make more. And my 6 year old loves helping (who doesn't love squishing it all into the pan). And these are SO MUCH BETTER than any store bought granola bars.

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sunflower seeds (roasted/salted OK too)
1 cup organic shredded coconut
1/2 cup golden flaxseed, freshly ground
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup raw honey (a little less if you use sweetened coconut)
1/2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
2-3 Tbsp organic unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter
3 Tbsp organic light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
Up to 1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit
(soft/chewy such as apricots, cranberries, raisins)
This time I used 1/2 cup finely chopped peaches we dehydrated

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
Wipe a little butter in a 9x13 baking dish and line it with parchment or foil.
Toss the oats, sunflower seeds and coconut together on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 or so minutes.
Stir it half way through.
Remove from the oven and pour into a big bowl.
Add the ground flax.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
Heat the butter, honey, peanut butter, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil and remove from heat - stir.
Stir it into the dry mix - keep stirring until all fully coated.
Stir in the dried chopped fruit.

Spread it in the prepared baking dish, pushing down to make a nice compact even layer. Wet your fingers - it will be easier to push it down without getting all sticky.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes.
Cool for an hour more before gently flipping the slab out of the baking dish - peel off the foil/parchment.

Cut into squares.
Store in an air-tight container.


Some good variations include cinnamon, almonds, or sunflower nut butter...find your favorite!

goodness:: You know granola bars...they are packed with vitamins and fiber and all kinds of good stuff. Sunflower seeds - packed with vitamin E, B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate. Blackstrap molasses - iron, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and magnesium. And that is just two of the ingredients!

If you prefer to soak and dehydrate your oats before baking with them, here is how you can do it...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

csa box:: week 12

This blog was acting up a bit, saying posts were published when they were not, so after messing around with the widgets, I am happy to say it is publishing again. I'm now playing catch up!

We have entered the time of year when we still have more tomatoes in the box than anything else, so I am caught up fully in the kitchen and dipping into the storage for meals. I can't wait to move on past tomatoes and get into the fall goodies!

week 12!
in the box (above) :: a variety of tomatoes including cherry, slicing and paste, onion, brussel sprout greens (my rabbit loved these), carrots, cabbage, cilantro and peppers

extras:: carrots, beets, cilantro, dill

And this week marked the opening of apple season. We don't pick this early usually, but we do visit the orchard which we pass on our way home from the CSA each week to try different varieties and see what our favorites are. We probably still have a few weeks before our favorite applesauce apples are ready, but we are trying new types of general eating apples, and this week we picked up an heirloom crabapple (whitney) - and made a batch of crab apple compote. Yum! We usually select apples for many specific uses - juicing, eating fresh, baking, sauces, drying, and then shelf life for storage! We also get freshly pressed cider all fall, to make boiled cider, sauces, and of course for drinking and freezing.

To see what was in the box this week in previous years click::
| 2007 | 2008 | hurt my back sept '09 didn't post | 2010 |

What is in your box/in season where you live?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

csa box:: week 11

in the box:: a variety of cherry, slicing and paste tomatoes, peppers, pears, dill, zucchini, beets, an onion, a watermelon, lettuce, and a head of garlic.

extras:: carrots, parsley, thyme, dill, chives

And of course, more tomatoes for sauce!

To see what was in the box this week in previous years click::
2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 |

What is in your box/in season where you live?