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Spiced Apple Sangria

Spiced Apple Sangria

Posted on Thursday, November 7, 2013 in Beverages

I’ve decided to try a slightly different angle this year when it comes to winter: I’m going to fully, enthusiastically embrace each phase of the season as it comes.

Rainy but mild? We’re donning raincoats and wellies and heading out to splash in puddles. Dark and dreary? Time to haul out the big blanket and cuddle in front of the fire. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day … there will be crafts to make, books to read, events to attend. A snowman will happen, and hot chocolate afterwards. And, of course, recipes to make for every season. Lots and lots of recipes.

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Cinnamon Rhubarb Applesauce

Cinnamon Rhubarb Applesauce

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

I am such a freakin’ dork sometimes. I seriously thought rhubarb applesauce was a groundbreaking idea I came up with all on my own.

It started with a couple of ragged red delicious apples sitting on the kitchen counter alongside a pile of rhubarb my mom sent home with me. I thought to myself, gee, huh, applesauce made with rhubarb would be all pink and pretty! Rhubarb! In applesauce! I’m brilliant. So I threw the apple, some hunks of rhubarb, a sprinkle of sugar, a cinnamon stick and some water in a saucepan and let it simmer awhile.

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White Autumn Spice Sangria

White Autumn Spice Sangria

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2012 in Beverages

Apples. Pears. Cinnamon sticks. Clove-studded oranges. Wine. Rum. It’s White Autumn Spice Sangria. Yes?

I’ll answer for you – and I hope that’s okay: YES. An enthusiastic yes. Imagine Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally.” That sort of yes.

This sangria is seriously that good.

I’ve had delicious red sangria with hints of fall spices here and there (oh, so good), but never white. So I decided to give it a try, and man oh man, am I glad I did?

That would a be a “yes.”

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Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider

Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider

Posted on Thursday, October 4, 2012 in Beverages

It’s fall, you say? Wait. Wait just a second.

Grab an orange. Stick some cloves in it. Throw it in your Crock Pot along with a few cinnamon sticks and a bottle of apple cider. Turn it on. Wait four hours.

Okay. NOW it can be fall.

Not only is this recipe seriously that easy, it’s also quintessentially autumn. It looks like fall. It tastes like fall. It makes the entire house smell like fall.

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Easy Caramel Apple Dip

Easy Caramel Apple Dip

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2011 in Happy Endings

There seems to come a time in many bloggers’ careers where they have a lapse between posts, then a bigger lapse, then a huge lapse… and then comes The Post. The Post, drenched in guilt, apologizes for the absence. It explains what the heck is going on. It promises to do better.

This is kind of The Post. Though I don’t think an apology is in order, because I’m not delusional enough to think that any of you wonderful readers have been on pins and needles waiting for my next post … but if that happens to be the case, my gosh, I love you – and indeed, I am sorry.

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Christmas Muffins

Christmas Muffins

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

These muffins are perfect for Christmas. They’re chockful of festive ingredients and flavors:  Fresh cranberries, zucchini, apples, orange zest … top with a little orange-vanilla glaze and add red and green sprinkles and you’ve got just the thing for Christmas morning.

I love the idea of a special dish that’s served only on Christmas morning. Growing up, it was “egg souffle” – an overnight strata-type casserole made with eggs, bread, cheese, mushrooms and chopped-up little link sausages. It was one of the best things about Christmas morning. So good.

I’ve carried on the tradition, usually whipping up a sausage-less version for me and another meat-full dish for others; though it never ever tastes as good as my mom’s. Maybe it suffers from the Sandwich Complex – sandwiches are always better when someone else makes ‘em.

Anyway, this year I’ve decided to add muffins to the mix. Full of festive colors thanks to emerald-green shredded zucchini, granny smith apples, and vibrant cranberries, they’re plenty Christmas-y all on their own, without the added over-the-top touches.

But Christmas is all about going over-the-top – so these muffins are topped with a sweet orange-vanilla glaze and then sprinkled in red and green. And then devoured.

I love the tart-sweet cranberries and apples and how the sweetness of the glaze balances the tartness perfectly. I love how fancy and festive and slightly silly they look on a petite white cake stand.

I love Christmas. It makes me smile. I wish a very merry, merry one to you and yours. Enjoy it all!

Christmas Muffins
 
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These muffins are perfect for Christmas. They’re chockful of festive ingredients and flavors: Fresh cranberries, zucchini, apples, orange zest … top with a little orange-vanilla glaze and add red and green sprinkles and you’ve got just the thing for Christmas morning.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Yield: About 15 muffins
Ingredients
Muffins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or sub 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the white)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • ⅔ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup canola 0r vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (and then thawed) cranberries, cut in half
  • 1 cup diced tart apple, like Granny Smith
  • 1½ cups grated zucchini
Vanilla-Orange Glaze
  • 1¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Sprinkles, if desired
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line 15 standard muffin cups with cupcake liners, or grease them.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour(s), oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, applesauce, sugar, brown sugar, canola or vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the cranberries, apple, and zucchini.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk together just until incorporated.
  6. Divide between 15 or so muffin cups – approximately a scant ½ cup each.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched.
  8. Line the counter with a couple of paper towels, and place a wire rack on top. Once the muffins are cool enough to touch, move them to a wire rack.
  9. Allow the muffins to cool to room temperature, or close – about 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, mix together the glaze. Simply whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla, orange zest, milk and orange juice together until it’s glaze consistency.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the muffins. If desired, top with sprinkles while the glaze is still wet (c’mon! It’s Christmas! Go for it!)

Originally posted on The Hazel Bloom December 22, 2010. Updated and posted on Kitchen Treaty December 10, 2012. More about this

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Apple Cranberry Sauce

Apple Cranberry Sauce

Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

Yet another thing that’s deceptively simple to whip up on your own: homemade cranberry sauce. So much better than a can-shaped blob, this cranberry sauce recipe unites cranberries with a natural counterpart, apples. Add ground cinnamon and cloves, and not only will your turkey and stuffing have a delicious companion, but your house’ll smell divine, too.

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Cute Crabapple Place Cards

Cute Crabapple Place Cards

Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 in Beyond the Kitchen, Crafts, Entertaining, Food, Home

If you’re looking for an easy and budget-friendly place card idea for Thanksgiving, look no further. All you need are crabapples with their perfectly long stems, some paper, tape, scissors, a pen, and about 15 minutes. (And they’re totally cute, too.)

I love these simple place cards for Thanksgiving. Little paper flags fly from long crabapple stems – perfect for the casual Turkey Day table.

Best of all, they’re so simple to make.

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Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

Posted on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 in Dessert, Happy Endings, Holidays

I’ve been baking this apple cranberry pie for family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for years. I love that it’s an apple pie, so traditional for the holidays, but the cranberries and crumb topping give it a special – and festive – vibe.

Oh, yes, the crumb topping. The liberal buttery-crisp top blankets the perfectly tender apples and tart cranberries. Served warm with a little vanilla ice cream? Pie nirvana.

Here’s the recipe!

Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie
 
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Looking for a twist on your typical apple pie recipe? Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie is just different enough to be special – and it may just be the perfect holiday dessert. It’s certainly one of our faves.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Yield: 8
Ingredients
Crumb topping
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup (packed) brown sugar (I prefer dark but light works too)
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Pie filling
  • 4-5 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 5 cups) (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Gala are all great)
  • 2 cups of your favorite homemade cranberry sauce or 1 16-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Also
  • 1 pie crust for the bottom. I (hiding my face) use refrigerated crust sometimes, because I’m often short on time and have yet to master pie crust.
  • Vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Make the crumb topping. Mix the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and cut in with your fingers until the mixture resembles large coarse crumbs.
  3. Make the filling. In a large bowl, mix the apples, cranberry sauce, sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch until well mixed.
  4. Place the pie crust in a pie dish, and pour the apple filling into the shell. Mound it a little in the middle.
  5. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples. There will be a lot. Pack it down a bit, if necessary.
  6. Place the pie on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust and top are golden brown.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Notes
Adapted Bon Appétit

Originally published on The Hazel Bloom November 10, 2010. Updated and posted on Kitchen Treaty November 6, 2012. More about this

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Applesauce Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Applesauce Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2010 in Fruit, Gruntworthy for Guys, Kid Friendly, Sauces, Jams, and Condiments, Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

Other than my most recent pumpkin seeds recipe, it’s been a little while since my guy’s given any of my kitchen creations a grunt, let alone two. I know he tends to be a bit stingy with his grunts – they’re reserved for only what his dude-ly palate finds the best of the best. Still, I was starting to get a little pouty – give something a grunt already, man!

So when he gave Applesauce Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup not just one, but two grunts up, I felt like I’d won a little prize.

Hey, it’s the little things.

These surprisingly fluffy little pancakes have a nice subtle apple flavor enhanced by cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. The syrup, on the other hand, packs a serious apple wallop with caramel-like overtones. Together: Apple breakfast nirvana, worth a coveted Two Grunts Up. Victory is mine, and I didn’t even have to put bacon in it!

Applesauce Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup
 
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Applesauce Pancakes? Oh yeah. Apple Cider Syrup? Oooooooh yeah. Kid-friendly and gruntworthy, this Applesauce Pancake recipe is easy to whip up, and is absolutely delicious, especially topped with the also-easy Apple Cider Syrup.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Yield: 15 4-inch pancakes
Ingredients
  • Syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Pancakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (substitute another cup of all-purpose flour if you want)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon (or a hefty pinch) ground nutmeg
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Make the syrup. Over medium heat in a medium saucepan, combine the cider and brown sugar, then add the cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until the mixture is reduced by about ⅔. Remove from heat and let cool (it will thicken as it cools).
  2. Make the pancakes. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir in the melted butter.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, just until well-incorporated. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour batter by ¼ cupfuls onto a griddle heated to 350 degrees (or a pan on the stove on medium to medium-high heat). The batter will be somewhat thick – you may have to spread it around a bit with the measuring cup after you pour it. Don’t fret if they’re not perfect circles – rustic is always good! Cook until browned by both sides, and pancake is cooked through.
  6. Serve with Apple Cider Syrup.

Originally published on The Hazel Bloom November 7, 2010. Updated and posted on Kitchen Treaty November 5, 2012. More about this

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Sweet Spiced Crock Pot Apple Butter

Sweet Spiced Crock Pot Apple Butter

Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2010 in Food, Fruit, Sauces, Jams, and Condiments, Vegetarian, Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

Apple butter is essentially applesauce cooked (and cooked and cooked) until it’s a beautiful spreading consistency. This apple butter recipe, Sweet Spiced Crock Pot Apple Butter, starts with whole spices, orange juice, and fresh Washington apples. It makes a phenomenal spread for toast, muffins, pancakes, and even this savory sweet dip.

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Apple, Butternut Squash, and Leek Gratin

Apple, Butternut Squash, and Leek Gratin

Posted on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

As delicious as apple desserts can be, it is somewhat of a shame to drench all of those naturally-nutrition-packed bad boys in butter and sugar. So I found myself over on the Whole Living website (even while thinking about apple pie), and suddenly drooling over this recipe. And I put it on my list.

Butternut squash is hugely rich in beta carotene (Vitamin A) – and it tastes pretty great, too. The tart-sweet apples provide a perfect counter to the vitamin-rich squash, and the duo is joined deliciously by leeks, sage, and Parmesan. I love the simplicity of this recipe – with relatively few ingredients, each flavor shines, yet comes together perfectly.

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Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Posted on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 in Happy Endings

This wonderful little skillet cake has quickly become one of my favorite apple recipes. Easy enough to whip up for an everyday treat – yet still pretty enough to serve as an impressive Thanksgiving dessert – Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake boasts delicious caramelized brown-sugar-coated apples atop a buttery, moist cake. When plopped with a bit of Cinnamon Whipped Cream, we’re talking apple dessert perfection.

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