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All posts tagged apple

Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup

Published March 7, 2016 by jenmatteson

It’s March in Minnesota, and as someone who has lived here my entire life, I know the weather can be completely unpredictable. It was 60 degrees over the weekend, and currently 61 as I write this, but that doesn’t mean we are out of the clear and into spring…yet. So despite the warmer weather, everyone could still use a simple soup recipe, just in case we have another cold snap again! Or, if you’re like me, you like soup year round ūüėČ

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While the ingredients scream fall, squash is readily available year round, and it can stay fresh at room temperature for several weeks (Sometimes I tend to over-vegetable-shop, so I can always leave my gourds for last!)

This soup is awesome! Not only is it rich and filling, but it’s¬†incredibly healthy! Plus, you will definitely get your daily dose of veggies. I like to add a bit more broth because it can get a thick, but that will depend on the size of squash you use. The apple brings a subtle sweetness without being overpowering, and the nutmeg adds a depth of flavor that brings all the flavors together! I¬†know it’s early to start thinking of Thanksgiving, but this is a fantastic first course/appetizer for the big meal. I drizzled with a bit of lemon olive oil before serving for an added freshness.

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Butternut Acorn Squash Soup

 

Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup

Source:
Servings:

Ingredients:

1 medium acorn squash
1 medium butternut squash
1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth (chicken broth is fine if you’re not going for a vegetarian soup)
pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut each squash in half (through the stem) and remove seeds and stringy insides. Place face down in baking dish or baking pan with a small amount of water on the bottom. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. Once squash is cool enough to handle, scrape insides into a large bowl. Heat butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and apple and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add squash and broth. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender (or transfer to blender or food processor – make sure the mix is then cool, otherwise you’ll have a mess on your hands). Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arugula and Apple Salad with Serrano Ham and Manchego Cheese

Published January 3, 2014 by jenmatteson

Last week I posted a roasted beet salad recipe, something I was trying out for a dinner party I was leading.¬† While I really liked that salad, I thought it might be too “beety” for people who weren’t really sure if they liked beets or not.¬† Using many of the same ingredients, I managed to make a completely different salad, which was even better!

Arugula and Apple Salad with Serrano Ham and Manchego Cheese

I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to make, but I still searched the internet for a little direction.¬†¬†I’m always weary of salad with fruit in it, but if it’s paired with a tart vinaigrette, I’m usually sold.¬† It’s the salad with fruit and a sweet dressing that just doesn’t work for my taste buds.¬† This salad pairs the sweetness of apples, with the saltiness of the Serrano ham and Manchego cheese, evened out with the spicy arugula and cider vinaigrette.

I had leftover salad ingredients and was going out of town for the evening.¬† My hubs was having a boys night with his bestie, and smoking some pork.¬† I asked what else they were having with the pork, to which he responded, ” I don’t know, potatoes?”¬† Classic.¬† I put together the salad for them to have alongside their meat and potatoes, thinking they’d maybe have a little bit.¬† Much to my surprise, they ate it all!¬† Not only is this a great salad, but a salad men will eat when their wives aren’t even around!

Arugula, Apple and Serrano Ham Salad with Cidar Vinaigrette

Arugula and Apple Salad with Serrano Ham and Cider Vinaigrette

Source: Adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 4-6      

Ingredients:

For the Salad:
5 ounces arugula or baby arugula
1 crisp apple, such as Fuji
3 oz Serrano ham, thinly sliced (Prosciutto would work)
3 oz Manchego, thinly sliced

For the Vinaigrette:
2 tbsp cider vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons (real) maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Make the vinaigrette by whisking together vinegar, oil, syrup, Dijon and shallots in a small bowl.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

2. Place arugula in serving bowl. Whisk the vinaigrette again until well combined, then and to the salad, little by little, until greens are well dressed. You may have a little left over. Right before serving, cut apple into thin slices and toss into salad along with Manchego and Serrano ham. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve immediately.

Stuffin’ Muffins

Published November 18, 2013 by jenmatteson

Do you ever get your hopes up for some kind of leftovers, only to find out your sig other (or kids) have finished it off without your knowledge?  More on this in a minute.

Sausage and Apple Stuffing bites

Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner.¬† I generally prefer a vegetable stuffing, but I don’t mind stepping outside the box a little and adding a little sausage.¬† It’s Nate’s favorite…just ask Momma Marsha ūüėȬ† Unfortunately (and fortunately for my waistline) the only time of year that I eat stuffing is on (or near) Thanksgiving – and plus leftovers, if there are any!¬† I came across this stuffing appetizer recipe in Food and Wine and had to try it.¬† It’s basically stuffing in a muffin, hence “stuffin’ muffins”!¬† Lame, I know.

Sausage and Apple Stuffing Bites

I made these for my girlfriend and¬†myself on Halloween to snack on before we enjoyed our spaghetti squash soup with mushrooms.¬† I loved them, and lucky for me, they didn’t all come out of the muffin pan in one piece.¬† Seeing as though I couldn’t possible serve non whole muffins, I got to have a small snack before she got there ūüėõ¬† Between the two of us, we ate about 6 of these suckers, meaning there were ample amounts of leftovers.¬† I ate two.¬† Nate polished the rest of them off as a lunch over the weekend ūüė¶¬† I was sorely disappointed as I¬†counted¬†on one or two on Sunday night, only to have my hopes and dreams dashed when he told me there were no more left.

Sausage and Apple Stuffing Bites

Long story short (too late), I loved these stuffing bites.  I thought the hot turkey sausage was a perfect complement to the sweet-tart apple.  Certainly any kind of sausage would work, pork, turkey, chicken Рsweet or spicy.  These would be an excellent appetizer at any party over the holidays.  Everyone loves stuffing!!

Sausage and Apple Stuffing Bites

Sausage-and-Apple Stuffing Bites

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: Makes 24 mini muffins

Ingredients:

cooking spray
4 oz white country bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil salt and pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup finely
chopped onion
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 pound hot Italian turkey sausage (use your favorite sweet or hot sausage, turkey or pork will be fine)
6 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp sage
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. On a baking sheet, toss the bread with 2 tbsp of olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 10  minutes, until bread is toasted.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tbsp of oil.  Add onions and celery and cook over moderately  high heat, until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add sausage, garlic and sage, stirring and breaking up the meat, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add sausage mixture, apple, eggs and broth to croutons and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed; season with salt and pepper.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

4. Pack the stuffing into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and slightly crisp on the top.  Set pan on wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.  Loosen the muffins with a sharp paring knife and left them out.  Serve warm.

Sausage and Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Published November 4, 2013 by jenmatteson

Last week was sweet potatoes, this week is squash!  Squash is a quintessential fall vegetable, and makes an appearance on our table quite frequently this time of year.

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

I’ve mentioned Prevention RD several times in the past, and I hadn’t made one of Nicole’s recipes in a while.¬† I saved this stuffed acorn recipe quite some time ago, and every time I came back to it, it just didn’t feel like the right time of year to make it.¬† Being fall, I decided it’s about time.¬† I made this as a late lunch/early dinner on a Saturday before we headed to our friends’ party (the one I made the “ham pie bars” for (aka Lemon-Cranberry Pie Bars)).

Sausage-Stuffed Turkey Sausage

It was the perfect day for it, as it had just started to cool down, and Nate had been working in the yard all day.¬† Being that it was freezing rain, I’m pretty sure he was happy to come into a warm fall meal.¬† I was slightly worried about the apple because I didn’t want the stuffing to be too sweet, but I think it turned out great.¬† I did forget the mushrooms at the store, so I can imagine how much better this would have been than it already was.¬† This was easy to throw together, and while it takes a while to roast the squash, it’s well worth the wait.

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sausage and Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: 4 large

Ingredients:

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground sage
3/4 lb Italian seasoned turkey sausage (I used spicy, but sweet would work just fine)
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 cup panko
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil evenly over the squash halves and sprinkle with garlic powder and sage.  Place on a prepared baking sheet, cut side up, and roast for about 1 hour, until squash is fork tender.

2. Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through.  Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate.  Add onion, celery and mushrooms to pan and sauté for 3 minutes.  Add apple and cook for another 2 minutes.  remove from heat.

3. Return sausage to the pan, and add panko and parmesan.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add egg and combine.

4. Divide stuffing evenly between the squash halves, and bake for another 20 minutes.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oats and Flaxseed

Published June 10, 2013 by jenmatteson

I was picking up ingredients for my no-bake energy bites, and thought I’d take a peek to see if my store had ground flaxseed.¬† In the past, I’ve purchased the whole flaxseed from the bulk section at the store.¬† Unfortunately, it was too fine already for me to process in a food processor, so I just used it as is.¬† In the baking section, there is a large section of Bob’s Red Mill brand items, different types of specialty flours, mixes, grains and more.¬† Of course they did have it, and I never even looked.¬† Oh well.¬† Now I have a whole bag.¬† As I grabbed the bag, I noticed the bran muffin recipe on the back.¬† I already had all the other ingredients besides bran, so I thought I’d try them out and use rolled oats instead of bran. I know it’s not the same thing, but no sense in buying something I can easily sub with something I already have, right?

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oats and Flaxseed

I now have the opportunity to work until 8 PM every Wednesday and every third Thursday.¬† Did you watch the last season of The Office?¬† You know when Jim and Pam start marriage counseling and they are supposed to use the word “opportunity” for things they’d rather not do.¬† Please note the use of the word “opportunity” in that first sentence of this paragraph.¬† However, working until 8 means I don’t have to be in the office until 11 AM.¬† Seeing as though I was up and at the gym by 5:30 Thursday morning, I decided to use the rest of my¬†time to get some grocery shopping done and make us a healthy snack.¬† The snack was going to be the energy bites I mentioned earlier, but I was excited to try something new and went with the recipe I just discovered from Bob’s Red Mill.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oats and Flaxseed

My decision was a pretty good choice.¬† I really enjoyed the muffins.¬† I altered the recipe on the bag slightly by using¬†some whole wheat flour, of course adding oats in place of bran, and omitting the nuts.¬† The only reason for this is because I forgot.¬† Next time.¬† The batter was pretty thick and I was afraid they’d be dry, but they were super moist and quite filling.¬† Even better, they are only 155 calories and 2.5 grams of fat¬†per muffin.¬† Not bad!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Flaxseed and Oats

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oats and Flaxseed

Source: Bob’s Red Mill
Servings: Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots (3-5 carrots, depending on size)
3 small apples or 2 large, peeled, seeded and shredded
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, flaxseed, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Stir in shredded carrots, apples and raisins.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla.  Add to other mixture and stir until well combined.  Mixture will appear dry, but just keep folding it until the entire mixture is moistened.

3. Spoon mixture into muffin pan, filling cups about 3/4 of the way.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes in muffin pan, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Apple Crisp

Published October 14, 2012 by jenmatteson

It’s apple season!¬† I feel like I am learning about new apple varieties every fall.¬† Apples I’ve never heard of before: Sweetango, Lady Slipper, Jazz.¬† There are over 7,500 different kind of apples out there; I doubt I’ll even try .5% of them.¬† I’m very particular about the type of apple I will eat raw, but¬†baking and cooking¬†with apples is a different story.

I’m pretty versatile when it comes to using apples in recipes, but apparently, there are some that are really good for baking, and some that are the worst.¬† According to Eating Well, McIntosh and Granny Smith are the best for baking.¬† A combination of the two makes the “perfect” apple pie.¬† Red Delicious on the other hand are the worst for baking.¬† They say it’s the worst for eating too, so what are they good for?¬† To finish up, Honeycrip is the best apple for eating.¬† I do not agree – which is why I find it hard to believe that one apple can be better for eating or baking over another.¬† Isn’t just personal preference?

Regardless of what is “best”, I tend to use what I have on hand or what is on sale for baking.¬† For Hezzi-D’s apple crisp I used Haralson apples, and I thought they were perfect!¬† Even my neighbor, who proclaimed he doesn’t like apple crisp, said that this was awesome.¬† I’m really getting the hang of this baking thing!¬† I doubled the topping because after making a single portion, I didn’t think it was enough and I’m pretty sure the “crisp” is the best part of the apple crisp¬†– at least in my opinion.¬† Serve this warm with some vanilla ice cream and you’ll be in heaven.¬† Promise.

Apple Crisp

Source: Adapted from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Servings: 10-12

Ingredients:

For the filling:
8-10 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin (about 1/8-inch)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.¬† In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.¬† In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and water, then pour over apple mixture.¬† Stir to ensure all apples are coated.¬† Transfer to a greased 8×8 baking dish.

2. In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and melted butter.  Using the back of a spoon, incorporate well until mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle over the top of the apples.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until apple filling is bubbly and top is golden brown and crisp.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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