Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

Better Place

Apple Crisp

 apple filling

Hello August!!!  Hello Monday!!! Hello Secret Recipe Club reveal day!!!!  This month I was partnered with the incredible Andrea of Adventures in all things Food – which has got to be one of the best blog names EVER.   Andrea’s blog has a bit of everything, from vegetarian goodies to desserts to crafts fit for the entire family.  I’ve been a sweet kick lately so I went straight to her dessert section, trying to avoid eye contact with her peanut butter icing because OMGoodness chocolate donuts with PEANUT BUTTER – nom nom nom.  However, in the end I was won over by her fall ready Apple Crisp.  I’m normally a summer girl but I’m ready for cooler temperatures!   Didn’t even make any changes to the recipe – it’s perfect already!  While Andrea didn’t specify what type of apple, I went with Pink Ladies since they offer a great combination of sweet and tart.  Plus they hold up well when it comes to baking.

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I also went with old fashioned oats, tho quick oats would also work well.  I just prefer a crisper crisp!  For a vegan option, switch out the butter for earth balance or a similar spread – easy peasy.   Since there are 5 Mondays in August – there will be another secret recipe club post at the end of the month so hope to see everyone then (if not sooner).

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Baking · Breakfast · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

Just like a Fire

Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumpling

Welcome to JUNE’s edition of the secret recipe club!  I know that lately my blog has been very neglected but it’s been for a very, very, very good reason.  I mentioned a stomach bug last month but that wasn’t exactly the truth – the actual issue is something called hyperemsis gravidium.  Many of you might already be familiar with this, either through personal experience or in following HRH Duchess of Cambridge.  Basically,  I’m (finally) pregnant!!!! Our last round of fertility treatment was successful and I’m now just over 14wks pregnant.  The first 7 weeks were fantastic, free of symptoms and all of that, but then it hit will a force that I never could have expected and with that the diagnosis of HG and two trips to L&D for rehydration.  This all resulted in a very neglected blog as I was living off of broth and rice but I’m now on some awesome medication and starting to get the energy to get back in the kitchen.  Perfect timing for the SRC!!!  This month I was partnered with Lisa of Cook Lisa Cook – a blog I’m familiar with thanks to previous SRC events.  I picked out sooooo many incredible recipes from her blog including Mashed Cauliflower, Peach Cake, and Corn Souffle but in the end her simple and delicious sounding Apple Dumplings won the day.  I couldn’t resist a recipe that featured apples AND croissant dough and I knew my husband and co-workers would have similar feelings.

I had to make one small change to the recipe, swapping out the nuts for some granola that way there would still be a bit of a crunch.   As a bonus, if you use Pillsbury crescent rolls and sub the unsalted butter with Smart Balance the recipe is vegan 😀

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I’ll be taking July off from the SRC, due to craziness with life right now I don’t want to risk not being able to give the right amount of attention to whatever blog I get. However, I will be participating in an awesome blog link-up over the next week so lots of delicious summer time recipes are on the way!!!

Appetizer · Home Cooking · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Side Dish · Vegan

On the Shore

Waldorf Salad

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Welcome to Part 2 of my #partylikeamadman – again with a huge thanks to my in-laws for allowing me to use their kitchen since ours is still in construction mode!   In going through the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, one of my favorite parts was how each recipe included not only information about the episode the dish was featured in but also facts about the origin of the recipe.  In the case of the Waldorf Salad, the cookbook also included information about the evolution of the salad – as well as two versions of the dish.  I went with the classic dish, adding some grapes for an extra POP of color.     I served this for a large group of people but due to taste preference not all ingredients were increased the same way.  The first recipe is how I served it, while the second one is the original recipe plus grapes.

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I wound up making this dish twice – the first version wound up with a technical problem in that I was the one taking the picture.  The second time around I served this up as part of our Seder dinner and it was the perfect fit (and quite the hit!).   I am so glad I was able to participate in this Mad Men Party,  and look forward to having a finished kitchen so that I can try out some of the more elaborate dishes in the book!

52Weeks · Breakfast · Dessert · Gluten Free · Home Cooking · Vegan

Been Waiting

Poached Cinnamon Caramel Apples

Poached Apples

Poaching is nothing to new to me, at least not anymore.  Which is why when I first saw poaching as the theme for /52weeksofcooking I really wasn’t that worried.  Until I tried to figure out something to poach that: 1) was vegetarian and 2) I hadn’t poached before.  This eliminated a fair amount of things, so I started checking out my cook books to see if any of them could offer insight.  In doing so I found more than a few recipes for poached pears, which I’m not a fan of, but realized I could use that same concept on apples.  Unsure of how they would turn out I grabbed three varieties at the store: granny smith, honeycrisps, and pink ladies – figuring I would test them all and see what worked the best.

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In the end the pink ladies won for me – the skin stayed crisp while the flesh was moist and delicious.  Plus it still had the same tart/sweet contrast as the granny smiths, which become all soft.  The honeycrisps were just a disaster, falling apart in the pan and having to be skimmed out…which was a total pain. I served the pink ladies over oatmeal (pictured), while the granny smiths topped a mini-dutch baby.

Baking · Home Cooking · Random Recipes

New World

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Farm

Please excuse the lack of a photo with this post, Joey just got a new camera so still testing that out!  However a lack of a photo won’t keep me from joining this month’s Random Recipes, hosted by the always incredible Dom of Belleau Kitchen.  This month the Random Recipes theme was Christmas Gifts, which required me to narrow my cookbooks down in to those that I received as gifts over the past year.  This left me with four books: Plenty, World Vegetarian, Morning Glory Farm, and Chocolate Cakes.  I was hoping Chocolate Cakes was going to win out, but fortunately for my waist line the winning book was Morning Glory Farm – and the family that feeds an island.  My in-laws got me this book as a birthday present after they visited Martha’s Vineyard.  It’s been many a year since I have been to Martha’s Vineyard, or Cape Cod, but seeing the recipes in this book brought back many happy memories.  The random recipe selected were delicious Carrot Muffins that the book called Morning Glory muffins after the farm.  The book tester for this recipe suggested walnuts but we decided to skip that step since walnuts seem to be one of the few tree nuts that do bother my hubby.

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These were a little oily for my taste, but that might be because we had to half the original recipe though the above recipe is as written in the book.  I think in the future I might also tweak this recipe with some nutmeg, maybe 1tsp, just to add a little bit more pop.  Another future tweak would be switching out the raisins for some dried cranberries!

Thanks Dom for another amazing year of Random Recipes!  Can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013 🙂

52Weeks · Breakfast · Home Cooking

To Positive

Cinnamon Waffles with Cinnamon Vanilla Apples

Disclaimer: Nothing about this recipe is healthy, but sometimes indulgence is a good thing.  This week the challenge for /52weeks was an ingredient challenge featuring cinnamon.  I debated doing a savory dish for a while, such as a curry, but then decided I wanted to do more of a special breakfast recipe.  In the end it came down to a cinnamon sugar bread pudding or waffles, but that was before checking the bread supply.  However cinnamon waffles isn’t enough for a cinnamon challenge, so I decided to make up a some cinnamon vanilla apples to go on top.  After all, if I’m going to go down the unhealthy road I might as well go all the way.  The end result was a cinnamony treat perfect for a special brunch or making a breakfast special.

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Sometimes it feels good to veer from the normal diet and indulge in something delicious and not so nutritious.  This certainly isn’t an every day breakfast but as a sweet treat, why not?!?

Baking · Secret Recipe Club

Out of Sight

Sweet Potatoes & Apples

I was doubly blessed this month by the Secret Recipe Club in that I got two (2!!!) amazing blogs to talk about.  Needless to say having two blogs caused twice as much agony when it came time to pick THE recipe to feature.  When I was sent Kate’s blog I was blown away by everything that she has got going on.   She cooks, she bakes, she takes care of her three adorable kids AND she’s a part-time paramedic.  As someone looking to go back to school to become a PA, I’m in awe of this blogger and hope I’m able to rock it all as well as she does.  Once I stopped staring at, and drooling over, her foodporn entries I got down to business picking the perfect recipe to showcase.  I originally set out to recreate her Salted Browned Butter Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies but then I got distracted by her recipe for Udon Noodles which then resulted in me finding THE recipe.  Essentially I followed the tags at the bottom of the udon noodles recipe which eventually led me to the ultimate fall side dish: Sweet Potatoes & Apples.  I LOVE sweet potatoes and apples and idea of them together…yum!  The fact that both of these items are in peak season right now just made this recipe all the better.  For my apples I went with Pink Ladies, which are a sweet-tart medium sized apple.  They aren’t always the easiest to locate at the Farmer’s Market but fortunately I was able to find the two needed for this recipe.  I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, outside of soy butter, so be sure to check out Kate’s blog for all the delicious details on this can’t miss recipe.

As an added bonus, the aroma that comes from this baked creation is insane! I could still smell the cinnamon and nutmeg the next morning when I was getting ready for work, which had me looking forward to lunch since I had been able to stash some leftovers.

For my other entry please go here for an outstanding Thai Green Bean and Tofu recipe, and be sure to check out the other Secret Recipe Club entries for more can’t miss recipes!


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