Tag Archives: apple

Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup

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This isn’t a dish I would have made a few years ago.

That’s one of the things I love about cooking. There’s always something new to taste and try.

I sometimes joke about how particular ingredients are “trendy” in the food world. Garlic scapes were all the rage a few years ago. This past spring, I heard more about pea shoots than I have in my entire life. And, then there’s the hype over the cupcake, wait, no the doughnut… Have you tried making macarons?

The thing is, all joking aside, I love food trends. I love to try new things and expand my culinary horizons. I may not like everything, but I will try anything at least once.Continue Reading

Spiced Cranberry Apple Preserves

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When we moved into our house over eight years ago, my husband and I planted a small apple tree. We were new homeowners and knew very little about gardening. We did, however, love  the idea of having fresh apples in our back yard.  So, when we were at the local hardware store and spotted the cute little dwarf macintosh apple trees all lined up, we had to have one.

Fast forward to the present. Our tiny sapling of a tree is now a full fledged apple tree full of apples. (Granted, it is a dwarf apple tree, so it’s not huge.) They always say that the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago, right? There may be some truth to that saying.

In years past, the apples were very small and rotted or fell to the ground before we ever had a chance to pick them. This year, though, the tree was full of apples. So, on a sunny Saturday morning a few weeks ago, we headed out to the back yard to pick some apples.

I was just hoping for a handful of apples to make a pie, or perhaps an apple crisp.  We got to picking and having a good time (the kiddo LOVES to pick apples), and pretty soon we had two giant baskets full of apples. I didn’t weigh them, but I think there were 30 pounds of apples.Continue Reading

Beyond the Detox… and Apple Mango Spinach Smoothies

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Last week, I shared a little bit about my “detox” diet experience a few weeks ago. I went 10 days without any gluten, dairy, sugar, or caffeine. And, I even lived to tell about it!

Sure, I joke about how tough it was, and I had my days, but it really wasn’t all that bad. In fact, I’d even recommend giving it a try! (Of course, you should talk to your doctor and all that stuff. I’m not a medical professional!)

I had my ups and downs over the 10 days. I cut sugar out a few days before officially getting started. I knew sugar was going to be tough for me, and I didn’t want to have to tackle everything else while dealing with sugar cravings (and some pretty bad headaches). Around day 3 or 4, I felt great… I’m not sure if it was a mental thing (knowing that I hadn’t had sugar in a whole week!) or not. I was optimistic, had more energy than I usually did, and just felt pretty good.  A few days later, after a busy weekend, I started to feel less than stellar. I wasn’t sick, but I also just didn’t feel like myself and had very little energy. For most of the 10 days, I fluctuated between feeling fantastic and having no energy at all.

The surprising thing to me was that, while I didn’t always have energy, I also didn’t have a lot of cravings for sugar. I honestly think that is what kept me going. Knowing that I was overcoming my sugar cravings was a huge for me.

My 10 Days Are Up… Now What??Continue Reading

Blueberry Apple Crumble (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free)

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If you follow me on Instagram, or if we’re friends on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed something different about me.  I’ve gone gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free! It’s (probably) not a permanent change, but I do plan to permanently change the way I eat. It’s kind of a long story, but stick with me on this one…

Along with a group of friends from church, I’ve set out to try to clean up my act when it comes to food… We’re following a book called The Daniel Plan (which covers much more than food, but I’ll talk about the food part here) that emphasizes eating whole foods, especially lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and cutting back on the not-so-good stuff like wheat, sugar, and all forms of processed foods. It seems rather simple. And, frankly, it is.

Honestly, nothing about the food portion of The Daniel Plan was news to me. I read a lot about food, we belong to a CSA, I cook from scratch, and we generally eat healthy meals. But, I also love to bake. And, as a result, we have been eating a lot of sweets.

It hasn’t always been that way, though.  I think the sweets have crept up on me over the years. When I started writing my blog over 5 years ago, I was writing about the food that we were eating. Gradually, as I tried to constantly share new recipes and worked my way into the baking scene, we started eating whatever I was writing about. I distinctly remember one night when I made avocado-stuffed, bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers for a blog post, and we ended up just eating them for dinner because I didn’t have time to make anything else. They were from scratch, made with unprocessed ingredients. But, I think we can all agree that bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers aren’t exactly a balanced dinner. And, when I was baking batch upon batch of sticky buns or cookies, trying to come up with a perfect recipe, we would end up eating a lot of those, too.Continue Reading

Cranberry Salsa

I’m not going to be making Thanksgiving dinner this year. I thought about attempting it, but my mother offered to cook and I decided to take her up on it. I’m not so sure that everything would have gotten done in between snuggle time with the baby.  She likes to snuggle.  She also likes to scream when she is not snuggling.

Of course, the fact that I won’t be hosting Thanksgiving dinner didn’t stop me from stockpiling bags of cranberries on one of my trips to the grocery store. I adore cranberries, and I always stock up the freezer this time of year so that I have them all year round… Or, until about April, which is usually when I run out.

I couldn’t resist throwing together a few Thanksgiving-inspired dishes this week, though, and yesterday I decided to put a few of the cranberries to good use.  I had a bag of chocolate tortilla chips from Food Should Taste Good (from a 2012 Holidays’ Simple Survival Kit that was sent to me!) that were just begging to be eaten. Of course, regular salsa just wouldn’t do. The idea of a cranberry salsa had been marinating in my mind for a few days, so I decided to give it a shot.

The salsa turned out even better than I had expected.  It was so good that I sent my husband (who was working in his office upstairs) a message on Skype (yes, I regularly IM my husband when he is upstairs) to tell him to come down and taste the salsa. We both agreed that it was a winner. It’s nice and fresh with a hint of sweetness (from just a bit of honey) and a little bit of a kick. It would be great with regular tortilla chips, but if you can find chocolate tortilla chips, pick up a bag.  The pairing is just perfect.  I think the salsa would be pretty fabulous with the sweet potato tortilla chips, as well.

So, if you need a simple last minute snack for Thanksgiving (whether you are hosting hungry guests or want to have something to take along with you for your family and friends), I’d recommend picking up a bag of tortilla chips and whipping up a batch of this salsa. It’s a fun twist on the usual cranberry relish that is sure to please.  And, did I mention you can make it in about 5 minutes?Continue Reading