Monday, October 27, 2014

Apple Spice Blondies

You all know how much I love a good blondie.  They are quick, easy, and delicious...all the things a recipe should be.  And while they aren't exactly a health food, they are rich and indulgent enough that a small serving can sooth even the most aggressive sweet cravings.

For fall, I've taken my basic blondie and appled it up a bit.  I give to you, the Apple Spice Blondie!

All the flavors of an apple pie, but in a thick, enjoyable, comforting blondie.  Here's what you do:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cider Cinnamon Nuts

Well, it turns out that my Facebook fans are nutty for nuts!  So, by popular demand, here is my quick, easy, and mouth-watering recipe for Cider Cinnamon Nuts!

First, take 2 cups or so of the nuts of your choice.  I went with almonds this time because I enjoy them, plus I have a ton of them right now...thanks, Costco.  I think this would be awesome with pecans too, or mix it up with any variety of nuts!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

No Tricks, Just Treats - Homemade Candy Corn

Do you like candy corn?  Do you hate candy corn?  It seems like there's very little middle ground here.  But I have the solution: homemade candy corn.  If you like candy corn, you will LOVE this, and if you hate candy corn, give this a try, because it's not like any candy corn you've had before.

Word of warning: this is a treat.  We make it a couple of times a year, tops.  So it does include ingredients that are not typically in my lexicon.  There is corn syrup.  There is food coloring.  Both of which you can find more natural versions of, but both of which I wouldn't make a habit out of using. Here, they make it work.  I don't live in black and white.  And hey, it's still better than that ingredient list of the bagged stuff, plus I know what's going into it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spiced Millet Puff Snacks - AKA Spicy Balls

Are you bored with the run-of-the-mill snacks?  Tired of chips and dip or a veggie platter?  Do you think that hummus is overdone these days?

Do I have the snack for you!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Baked Apple Enchiladas

So, you've made yourself some apple pie filling, or cheated and bought some pre-made stuff, and now you're looking for ideas on how to use it?

How about these here Apple Enchiladas?  Crispy outsides, warm gooey pie's delicious cousin.

When I was a kid, my mom would occasionally get apple enchiladas from Market Day.  They were frozen, and before that, I'm pretty sure they were deep fried, and all you had to do was stick them in the oven for a bit and voila - dessert.  But again, I'm a control freak, and I like to know what's in and what's been done to my food.

So I made my own.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Apple Pie Filling: The Start of Something Good

So, it might not surprise you to hear that my family, besides getting our veggies through a local farm's CSA, is also a member of an apple CSA.  Which means that every other week in the fall, I get to head over to our friend Amy's and pick up a huge 10-pound bag of organic apples, picked earlier that week at Earth First Farms, a couple of hours away in Michigan.

Thing is, 10 pounds is a lot of apples.  And even though we love apples here...well, no matter how much I pack them into lunches and use them for snacks, they tend to start taking over.  I can barely close my fridge right now!

Applesauce is a given, and some day I'll get to posting my easy method for that, but this year, I've been looking outside of that.  I'm a big fan of those apples they serve at Cracker know the ones I'm talking about...the gooey, sweet, slightly spiced apples that taste like you're eating pie filling?  But I'm pretty sure that I don't want to know what's actually in them.  Something that good is bound to have something bad, right?

I haven't even tried making those on my own yet, because every copycat recipe I came across online had some ingredient that made my food morals set off warning bells.  But I did come up with my own apple pie filling, and some delicious ways to use it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Almond 5 Spice Snickerdoodles

There's something about fall and spices that just fits together right.  Spices are like a warming blanket, making your food soul-soothing and deliciously multi-faceted.  Whenever the temps outside start to drop, I start subconsciously moving towards foods with spice.  And it's not just me.  Think about what starts selling in fall: pumpkin SPICE, SPICED apple cider...we're just craving that warm feeling!

One spice blend that I adore is a good Chinese 5 Spice.  You can get it pre-mixed, or find several recipes for making your own throughout the internet.  I suggest getting it from a good quality spice company, for the most complex flavor.  Chinese 5 Spice is a blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, and fennel. It's typically used in savory dishes, but I have found that I'm addicted to it in sweets. 5 Spice caramels?  Fageddaboutit.  Simply amazing.

So, once again, my culinary brain gets a bit twisted.  The kids and I made snickerdoodles the other week, and as we were rolling them in cinnamon and sugar, that inner kitchen alchemist in me whispered, "Chinese 5 Spice..."