Thursday, October 18, 2012

What to do with all these apples?!

COOK OF COURSE!! (Warning, long post ahead with some mouthwatering recipes...)

I'm sure my family will be DONE with having anything "apple" by the end of the month but I just can't help it! I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR. Normally I make apple pies... it's my "thing".  This year I wanted to experiment with other recipes I've tried, new recipes and altered recipes... So here's what I've made since Monday's pickin':
  1. Apple, Orange & Fennel Roasted Chicken
  2. Apple Walnut Chicken Salad (Using leftover roasted chicken from the night before)
  3. Homemade Crockpot Applesauce
  4. Apple Skin "chips"
  5. Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
What's next? Who knows... I'll be trolling Pinterest tonight to see! I still have one whole peck of apples to use up! Canning? I wish! I don't know how. Someday.... maybe.

Okay, so I don't have a formal write up for recipe #1 and #2 but here's a quick pic of one of them and rundown for each:

This is my Apple, Orange & Fennel Roasted Chicken

After setting some veggies aside to roast I still had one orange and one fennel left in my veggie box in the fridge that needed to be used. So, I chunky chopped them, along with one onion, one apple from the orchard and some of the fennel fronds. I rubbed the chicken generously with Salt & Pepper, then rubbed it down with olive oil (lucky bird!), stuffed it with the chopped veggies n' fruit, tied 'er up then lightly browned her in my dutch oven with a bit more of olive oil, added about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth to the bottom of the pan, covered and put in the oven for maybe 90 min on 325 degrees. Served with roasted veggies (Purple potatoes, multi-colored carrots and brussel sprouts tossed with a bit of Olive Oil, S&P and two sprigs of rosemary).

The four of us didn't finish the bird so when it completely cooled down I pulled off all the extra chicken, slapped a bit of mayo n' mustard on it, added some fresh ground pepper, then added one chopped apple, a handful of chopped walnuts, mixed it up and then refrigerated overnight for sandwiches the next day.

Okay, so on to #3 - the Crockpot Applesauce. I've been making this in different variations for quite some years now. This one below is my current favorite. I adapted mine from the version I found on pinterest after having tried it a few weeks back. See the original here. The biggest difference between hers and mine? I don't add the 1tsp of lemon juice but I kept the lemon peel, I added two cinnamon sticks instead of one and I add nutmeg to mine. Everyone in this house agreed it was too lemony when we made the other version... it was good, just not a fan favorite in this house.

So here goes:



About 18 medium size apples, peeled and chopped somewhat evenly
1 3in strip of lemon peel
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 Tsp fresh grated nutmeg
4 Tbs light brown sugar

Start out by getting your ingredients ready:

Optional side note: Wash your apple skins thoroughly and set aside (we'll be making something with them)

Once all the apples are peeled, chopped and in the crockpot add the remaining ingredients on the top (I try to evenly sprinkle the nutmeg across the entire top of the apples)

Set your crockpot to low, put the lid on it and set your timer for 3 hours. At the 3hour alarm, open the crockpot, stir thoroughly (this is when the neighbors can likely smell something wonderful is brewin' at your house!). Put the lid back on and wait another 3 hours.

Okay, you're almost done! Here's what mine looked like at the end of the 6 hours:

Contents are HOT. Carefully remove the cinnamon sticks and the lemon peel. IF you are lucky enough to have an emulsion blender then this is where you'd put that baby directly into the crockpot and blend until smooth! Me, well I'm not so lucky... instead I use my food processor (okay, I guess I'm lucky there!). I spoon the apples from the crockpot into the food processor and blend that way. It took about three batches to get it finished doing it this way.

This time we went with smooth applesauce instead of chunky but that is up to you. Just blend until the consistency is to your liking. This batch gave us approximately 6 cups.

You could can this, give it away or whatever you choose, but 6 cups of applesauce in this house will barely last the week so I just put a lid on the bowl and into the fridge it went.

So try both, the one from Mommy Makes it Better is truly delicious, we just wanted less lemon really.

Next Up, #4


Apple Skins (washed well!)
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tsp Granulated Sugar
1Tsp Cinnamon

(There are TONS of variations of these online)

As I peeled the washed apple skins, I placed them in a bowl, sprinkled with about 1 Tsp of lemon juice and set aside while I worked out my Crockpot Applesauce.

When I was ready to finally give the skins some attention, I sprinkled them with the cinnamon and sugar, stirred it around a bit with my fingers.

spread them out on parchment paper and place them in the oven for about 1hr 45min on 225 degrees

They're not as pretty comin' out... but dang they taste good!! Let them cool a few minutes before tasting!


Last recipe of the day... #5



Fresh Apple Cake
2 1/4 C. all purpose flour
3/4 C. whole wheat flour
2 C. sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 C. Canola Blend oil
1/2 C. apple sauce - I used the Crockpot Apple Sauce but if you use store bought, use UNSWEETENED.
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 C. finely chopped apples
1 C. coarsely chopped toasted pecans or walnuts (toasting is optional. I do this because it enhances the flavor)

Brown Sugar Glaze

1 C. tightly packed light brown sugar
1/3 C. butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp evaporated milk

This is also an adapted recipe I found on Pinterest. You can see the original here. As you will see from my list above, I pretty much copied the recipe, but I used all her "options" for like the whole wheat flour etc... I also, toasted the walnuts.

Get your ingredients ready (and washed!):

Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease two 8in cake pans or one 13x9in pan (I did the two 8in so I could save the second one for another time). In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Use a whisk to mix everything together well. In a large bowl, beat the eggs a mixer at low speed until pale yellow and foamy (as per the original instructions). Add the oil and vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour mixture and continue stirring the batter just until the flour disappears. Add the apples and nuts, stir to mix them into the batter until fairly uniform.It should look something like this: 

Then divide the batter among the two pans:

Put the pans into the oven and bake 40-50 min depending on your oven. The cake should be pulling away from the sides of your pan and nicely golden brown like this:

While your cake is baking, make the sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Then cook on low for 3-5 minutes.

Spoon the sauce over the warm cake, let cool and serve!

Now my final note is that although this cake is YUMMY, you may be tempted to just grab a fork and eat it all right then and there :) BUT try to save the other one for some lazy Saturday morning... defrosts quickly and tastes just as delicious! I am saving our second one for some company we're having in a few weeks... I'll call it coffee cake and we will eat it for breakfast.... Bwahahaha

And that's all folks! For now.


  1. You rock!! I wish we lived close so you could teach me how to cook. One day when I'm finally in a house and have all the gadgets I need, you'll be hearing from me asking for tips!! Love you girl and it makes me so happy to hear how wonderful your life is!!!

    1. You actually don't need a lot of fancy gadgets girl! I learned the hard way... I bought a TON of all these cool things to help save time, mess etc. and most of the time they're just useless and I hate the clean up so all these parts drive me nuts! haha A good knife, a few cutting boards and some good pots n' pans (which mine are OLD from Walmart so my definition of "good" is loose!). Even in an apartment you can make some damn good stuff... start with casseroles... get all your veggies, starch n' meats in one dish and bam, done. :) LOL xoxoxoxo