Apron Strings http://www.apronstringsblog.com Cooking: it's in our D & A Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Salted Caramel Fudge with Coconut Palm Sugar http://www.apronstringsblog.com/salted-caramel-fudge-coconut-palm-sugar/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=salted-caramel-fudge-coconut-palm-sugar http://www.apronstringsblog.com/salted-caramel-fudge-coconut-palm-sugar/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:45:13 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8020
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A decadent homemade candy for any time of year (Halloween is just the current excuse).

Salted Caramel Fudge

Salted Caramel Fudge, made with coconut palm sugar in the mix

Caramel is my kryptonite. I feel about caramel the way others describe their feelings about chocolate. I like chocolate well enough, don’t get me wrong, especially in brownie, Nutella, fudge, or chocolate chip cookie form, but I don’t love it, don’t crave it, am not overcome with a wistful thousand-year-stare at the thought of it. But caramel, oh caramel, that’s a different story. And in continuing our October family reunion anniversary theme, this particular taste appears to have been inherited from my biological dad, who wrote me in an early getting-to-know-you email, “I have a weakness for caramel.” The proverbial caramel apple didn’t fall far from that tree, did it?

Now, no one has been happier about the advent of salted caramel as a trend, and I’ll remain devoted to the form long after various food culture lists declare it Over (which may have happened already, for all I know). The best thing about salted caramel is that it tends to be offered all on its own, rather than in combination with chocolate, which, to me, completely ruins both components. Alas, many “caramel fudge” recipes I’ve encountered really mean regular chocolate fudge WITH caramel, not a fudgy version of caramel all on its pure, glorious, buttery own.

So I set about to make a caramel confection that would stand all on its own, and if I could reduce the refined sugar in the recipe a bit with the help of Wholesome Sweetener’s coconut palm sugar, all the better. (I also used their organic brown sugar and natural cane sugar.)This is still very much a decadent treat, make no mistake. Yes, I post low-sugar, paleo goods all the time, and eat that way as my baseline. Everyone needs a little bona-fide treat now and again. Do I contradict myself? Very well. I contain multitudes.

SALTED CARAMEL FUDGE

2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt for topping

Combine all ingredients except vanilla extract and final sea salt topping in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium. Stirring pretty much constantly, cook to softball stage, 235 degrees F on candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat, whisk in vanilla.

Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until the mixture thickens and loses its glossy appearance, about 5-7 minutes or so. It will still be pourable, but slowly so, and with assertive encouragement of your spatula. Pour into a parchment-lined pan. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top. Chill at least 3 hours. Cut into squares.

– posted by Anne

 

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Waffle Iron Winter Squash http://www.apronstringsblog.com/waffle-iron-winter-squash/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=waffle-iron-winter-squash http://www.apronstringsblog.com/waffle-iron-winter-squash/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 21:53:21 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8106
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Winter squash done in a waffle iron. Yes, waffle iron!
Waffle Iron Winter Squash

Winter squash cooked with a waffle iron. Who knew?

Yes, you read that right: Acorn Squash Rings and Butternut Squash Slices cooked with a waffle iron.

When the weather gets cooler and your grill is covered for the winter, you can still get that “grilled” flavor – with a waffle iron. Last summer I saw things you can cook on a waffle iron by Buzzfeed – and they were mostly things cooked with batter, but I wanted to try some veggies. I tried a bunch of things and these squash rings were my favorite.

This squash is cooked with the waffle iron in just about 5 minutes – with the perfect flavor and texture. And then I brushed them while still hot with a Maple Chipotle Glaze. The idea for the maple glaze came from Pantry Queen Lydia at Perfect Pantry.  ( I used 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper, minced, and a dash of salt. You just brush on the glaze as soon as these rings come out of the waffle iron. I sprinkled on a little chile powder as well.

This is not only easy and flavorful – this recipe is downright FUN. I promise you will be standing anxiously waiting, waiting, waiting to open up your waffle iron to see what magic has happened!

You will need to makes the slices fit your waffle iron – both in diameter and in thickness. Then, cook them checking frequently to see if they are tender.

You can even let little ones help with tossing the squash into the waffle iron – and then just wait to see their faces when you lift up the top of the waffle iron! Their eyes will grow big when they see the steam come out and the squash covered with checker board squares.

Happy Fall, Y’all!

waffle iron squash rings

The most fun you have ever had with your waffle iron. Guaranteed.

– posted by Donna

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Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes: An Homage to a Blue Ribbon Original http://www.apronstringsblog.com/raw-raspberry-lemon-cheesecakes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=raw-raspberry-lemon-cheesecakes http://www.apronstringsblog.com/raw-raspberry-lemon-cheesecakes/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:04:49 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8029
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Raw Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes, and a moment of gratitude for the cheesecake recipe that started it all for Donna and Anne.

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes: vegan, raw and no refined sugar either.

The first page in my battered and spattered recipe binder is a printout of an email sent to me fifteen years ago, kept safe from the ravages of my cooking habits by a plastic sleeve.

“Hey, we wouldn’t be a family unless we exchanged recipes now and then, would we? So, here’s the cheesecake recipe I was telling you about. It’s pretty good, and I have the ribbon to prove it (somewhere in my attic, okay, trust me!). I have changed the recipe a lot over the years to improve it, and so I feel justified in giving it my name!”

The days are long, the years are short, as the parenting saying goes. It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since Donna and I first reunited, but the calendars don’t lie – it was in October of 1999 that I was lucky enough to have a reunion that many adopted children only daydream about. After months of anticipatory email, we met face to face in the San Diego airport, only two years before routinely meeting people at the gate would become a thing of the past. My stomach felt positively carbonated as she emerged from the runway. I watched her looking around for just a moment, searching, and then our eyes met and the moment truly arrived. The mother and child reunion really was only a motion away.

Since that first whirlwind San Diego weekend, we have had one adventure after another, slowly integrating each other into our lives, getting to know each other through out Hotmail accounts, introducing one another to our friends and families, traveling together, sharing holidays, and yes, cooking and eating and cooking some more, making up for at least a little of our lost time. Discovering that we had this passion in common was a revelation; in fact, we inspired each other to delve more deeply into culinary creativity than we ever had individually.  Our collaborations eventually moved on to cookbooks, CIA Boot Camp, and finally this very blog – yet I still look forward to the visits where we whip up a feast for our loved ones, just for the sheer joy of it.

When I made that emailed Blue Ribbon Cheesecake for the first time, I felt as though I was tapping into a tangible part of my own ancestral history, but even beyond that, it was like being able to have a hazy glimpse into an alternate universe where my mom (not my birthmom, but simply my mom) taught me to make it herself, in our kitchen, me licking the beaters, all the clichés that go with halcyon kitchen memories. What would that have been like? But despite occasionally wondering about that universe, I’m deeply grateful to have what we have now.

In honor of the recipe that started it all, I made a “daughter” version of her “mother” recipe, using raw ingredients to make an adaptation that lines up with the way I eat most of the time now, having undergone some valuable dietary changes over the last decade. I already love experimenting with raw/vegan/paleo desserts, but if you’ve never given them a shot, they’re well worth it and, as you can see, really quite simple.

Happy Reunion Anniversary to my first mom. May we spend many, MANY more hours in the kitchen together!

Love and eternal gratitude,

Anne

RAW RASPBERRY LEMON CHEESECAKES

1 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
1 squeeze lemon juice (more lemons later!)
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/2 cup Medjool dates
1/2 teaspoon salt plus 1 pinch
3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup lemon juice, plus zest of all lemons used
1/2 cup honey (or agave, if keeping vegan)
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

First let’s macerate the raspberries. Sprinkle them with the coconut palm sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice, and set aside to let it work its magic, stirring gently from time to time. Set aside for an hour or so.

Next, the crusts. Pulse the walnuts, dates and a generous pinch of salt in your food processor until it forms a crumbly dough. Press firmly and evenly into 6 shallow ramekins or tart dishes, working the mixture up the sides. It helps to rub a little coconut oil onto your hands first!

And now for the filling. Drain the soaked cashews and give them a rinse. In a high-speed blender, combine cashews,  lemon juice and zest, honey (or agave), coconut oil, vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Puree until totally smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Pour filling into the ramekins. You can top with the raspberries now or chill the cheesecakes first and then top them; either way works, you just may have a little juice runoff into the filling (which I like). Either way, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. They can also be frozen if making well in advance, just allow for time to defrost in the refrigerator.

– posted by Anne

 

 

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Spiderweb Pizza with Black Olive Spiders http://www.apronstringsblog.com/spiderweb-pizza-with-black-olive-spiders/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=spiderweb-pizza-with-black-olive-spiders http://www.apronstringsblog.com/spiderweb-pizza-with-black-olive-spiders/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:41:46 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8081
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Pizza all dressed up for Halloween!
Spiderweb Pizza

Black olive spiders on a spiderweb pizza.

One easy, fun and festive way to let your food “dress up” for Halloween: Spiderweb Pizza.

With apologies to all y’all who dislike cutesy food, I share this Halloween pizza because, well, it’s just too cute not to share.

I have been making black olive spiders for 30 years – and turning my deviled eggs into spider eggs. So, why not add spider olives to pizza? I asked myself. Turns out, there’s no reason.

For each spider olive, you will need one jumbo olive and one medium olive. CUt the jumbo olive into thin lengthwise slices for use as the spider’s legs. Then, cut the medium olive into halves lengthwise to form the body of the spiders. Annnndd . . . that’s it. Just add these beauties to individual pizzas and turn your easy pizza dinner into a Halloween party!

For the spider web, there are lots of choices: sour cream, cream cheese or Greek yoghurt all work well. You could also use string cheese and use thin pieces of the cheese to form the web. Easy – peasy, I promise!

Happy Hauntings, All!

Spider Pizza

Pizza – all dressed up for Halloween

Other Halloween Pizzas:

Creepy Halloween Pizzas, Katrina’s Kitchen
Ghostly Halloween Pizzas, Foodista
Halloween Pizza, Kelly Bakes

– posted by Donna

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Pumpkin-Shaped Pumpkin Mini-Quiches http://www.apronstringsblog.com/pumpkin-shaped-pumpkin-mini-quiches/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pumpkin-shaped-pumpkin-mini-quiches http://www.apronstringsblog.com/pumpkin-shaped-pumpkin-mini-quiches/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:00:57 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8055
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More pumpkin goods! An easy, dairy-free autumn breakfast or savory snack.

Pumpkin Mini-Bundt Quiches

Pumpkin Mini-Bundt Quiches

Pumpkin in both shape and content. You could just as easily bake these mini-quiches in regular muffin tins if you don’t have one of these snazzy numbers, and they’d be just as tasty a savory fall breakfast or snack. But if you want to add a little extra seasonal flair, I loved how the quasi-pumpkin shapes turned out. Totally dairy-free, and if you omit the pretzel stick garnishes for stems, paleo as well.  

PUMPKIN MINI-QUICHES

6 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 large shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, shredded (about 2 large ones)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or black if you don’t have white)
handful of pretzel sticks, optional (I used Mary’s Gone Crackers GF ones)

Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, then stir in pumpkin. Use about 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil to prepare your 2 mini-bundt pans, adding more oil as needed; I used a pan and a half (18 total). Heat remaining 2 tablespoons the coconut oil in a skillet over medium high; add shallots and saute for a few minutes, then dd garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add carrots and cook for 6-8 minutes, until very soft. Stir in all remaining ingredients except pretzels.

Now for incorporating the hot stuff into the pumpkin and eggs – to avoid it pre-cooking any of the egg, I added about half a cup first, and used an immersion blender to puree it fully. Then the rest goes into the mixing bowl. No need to over do it, just blend until no large chunks remain and it’s all uniformly distributed. Pour into prepared pans, ideally to just below the top of each mini-bundt.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. Let cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cutting board or other flat surface. Before serving, break up the pretzel sticks and add stems to your little pumpkins.

– posted by Anne

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Crispy Baked Portobello Fries http://www.apronstringsblog.com/crispy-baked-portobello-fries/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=crispy-baked-portobello-fries http://www.apronstringsblog.com/crispy-baked-portobello-fries/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:02:55 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=7983
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Portobello slices make crispy baked “fries.”

Portobello Fries

Crispy Mushroom Fries – with Sriracha dipping sauce

We live in times of culinary adventurousness, my friends. I mean, when I was a youngster no one would ever have dreamed of making fries out of anything but good ole Russets. Preferably from Idaho.

But now, all bets are off and fries come from too many vegetables to count. Here at Apron Strings, one of our favorite has been Green Bean Fries. And our Sweet Potato Tater Tots were a huge hit.

I decided to try my luck with mushrooms, and chose Portobellos because the caps can be cut into long planks like home style fries. There are two tricks: One trick is that you have to remove the gills from the caps, because this is where a lot of water comes from and will make your mushroom fries soggy. Then trick two: the oven has to be very hot so that the fries cook quickly.

I loved these fries so much, The Hubs and I stood over the pans eating them fresh out of the oven and we had to make another batch to get photos. Yes, I sacrifice for my art.

– posted by Donna

CRISPY BAKED PORTOBELLO FRIES

Three large portobello mushrooms, gills and stems removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut mushrooms into slices that are a little thicker than 1/4 inch thick. Toss in oil.

Mix together the Parmesan and breadcrumbs and then toss the mushroom slices in the mixture, pressing to make sure all slices are well coated.

Place coated slices on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until crust is browned.

Serve immediately with a dipping sauce. (I used 2 parts mayo to one part Sriracha sauce.)

Other bloggers creative fries:

Lemon Coconut Vegetable Fries, The Healthy Apple

Fried Avocados, Everyday Southwest

Parsnip Fries, Averie Cooks

 

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Maple Molasses Popcorn Balls with Cinnamon-Glazed Pecans http://www.apronstringsblog.com/maple-molasses-popcorn-balls-with-cinnamon-glazed-pecans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=maple-molasses-popcorn-balls-with-cinnamon-glazed-pecans http://www.apronstringsblog.com/maple-molasses-popcorn-balls-with-cinnamon-glazed-pecans/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:00:53 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8018
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Perfect popcorn treats for Halloween parties or any other autumn occasion – using no refined sugar.

Maple Molasses Popcorn Balls

Maple Molasses Popcorn Balls with Cinnamon Honey-Glazed Pecans

What’s a better homespun Halloween treat than popcorn balls? Being a big fan of Wholesome Sweeteners’ line of non-refined, organic options, I experimented with their hearty blackstrap molasses and their lovely golden honey. Both worked fabulously for a twist on the classic sweet and salty treat, made without any refined sugar. Just a tablespoon of the rich molasses was enough to add just the right robustness to the maple syrup – a little goes a very long way! And the honey with the cinnamon and pecans, well, you may want to make a little extra just to nosh on.

Make it a fun project with the kids! Enjoy.

MAPLE MOLASSES POPCORN BALLS with CINNAMON GLAZED PECANS

1 1/2 cups pecans
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
6 cups popped popcorn
1 1/4 cups maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses

Start with the pecans, as you’ll want to give them plenty of time to cool down. Preheat oven to 350. Toss pecans together with honey, cinnamon and salt until nuts are evenly coated. Spread over a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a smooth cutting surface and  chop the heck out of them. (Try not to leave them on the parchment for too long, as they’ll start to stick to the paper. Not an unfixable situation, but saves you the additional mildly annoying task of peeling them off.) Set aside.

Now pop your corn, if you’re going DIY! I found this great method from Simply Recipes and plan to make it this way from now on. I used coconut oil and it worked perfectly well.  Salt to desired saltiness, then set the popped corn aside in a very large bowl.

Finally, the maple and molasses. Combine them in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-high to between 240 and 250 on your candy thermometer. Stir frequently at first, and then pretty much continuously once the temperature rises to over 200. Make sure the pan has plenty of room to bubble!

Once it’s reached 240 + change, remove from heat and, while still stirring, slowly pour over the popcorn. Add the chopped pecans and toss everything together,  until nuts and corn and maple-molasses are pretty evenly distributed.

Finally, take a tiny bit of coconut oil and grease your hands up, then press handfuls of the popcorn mixture firmly together into balls. Let cool completely on some wax paper, then serve or store in an airtight container until you need them/can’t control yourself anymore.

 

- posted by Anne

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Frittatatouille Breakfast Skillet http://www.apronstringsblog.com/frittatatouille-breakfast-skillet/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=frittatatouille-breakfast-skillet http://www.apronstringsblog.com/frittatatouille-breakfast-skillet/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 15:00:32 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=7921
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Turn leftover ratatouille into Provencal-inspired breakfast magic.

Frittatatouille

Frittata + Ratatouille. What else could you possibly call it?

 

A late-late summer discovery: Leftover ratatouille is the perfect content for a ridiculously easy frittata the next morning for breakfast – especially it it’s also a Meatless Monday Morning. Practically effortless, delicious, low-carb, and happens to be dairy-free if you swing that way. The first step, a night or two beforehand, is making Francis Lam’s Weapons-Grade Ratatouille. It’s seriously spoiled me for all other ratatouilles, and I make it at least 3 or 4 times in late summer now. So, do that, ENJOY, and make sure to reserve about a cup to a cup and a half for the frittata. Then proceed accordingly: 

FRITTATATOUILLE

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
6-8 eggs (depending on the size of your pan, how much you want to serve, etc.)
1-1 1/2 cups leftover ratatouille
2 scallions (greens only), finely chopped (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil, then add the shallots and saute for several minutes. Whisk the eggs, then stir the ratatouille and the scallions (if using) into them. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then pour mixture into the hot skillet. Transfer to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool slightly in pan, then serve.

Other fun frittata ideas:

Sausage Cheddar and Grits Frittata from Joy the Baker (Love her translation of ‘frittata. Check it out.)
Leftover Pasta Frittata
from Vintage Kitchen Notes
Asian Fusion Omelette/Frittata from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Leftover Turkey  and Super Greens Frittata from Clean Eating Recipes
Curried Beef, Broccoli Slaw and Mushroom Frittata from Nom Nom Paleo

– posted by Anne

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Pumpkin Deviled Eggs http://www.apronstringsblog.com/pumpkin-deviled-eggs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pumpkin-deviled-eggs http://www.apronstringsblog.com/pumpkin-deviled-eggs/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:20:33 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=7991
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Pumpkin – in shape and flavor – deviled eggs.
Pumpkin Deviled eggs

Deviled Eggs with a splash of pumpkin!

October begins today, and you can tell by all the pumpkin recipes on food blogs everywhere. I love fall flavors, and especially pumpkin, so I decided to try pumpkin puree in deviled eggs.

Turns out, pumpkin and eggs are heavenly together!

You just decrease the amount of mayonnaise in your usual deviled eggs and swap it with pumpkin puree. And, we had some season’s end okra in our garden, so the tips made perfect handles for the pumpkins. You could use any green veggie – string beans or green onions or even a piece of bell pepper.

I won’t say how many the Hubs and I ate, but let’s just say this became our dinner after the photo shoot. Just a sprinkle of chili powder on top and these babies are perfect for a fall appetizer, snack, or == ahemmmm  == dinner.

Happy Fall, Y’all!

— posted by Donna

PUMPKIN DEVILED EGGS

6 chilled hard boiled eggs, peeled
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Salt and pepper taste
Tip of green beans, okra or green onion pieces for stems

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and place yolks in a small bowl. Add puree, mayonnaise and stir until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop filling into hole in egg halves, mounding on top. With a fork, create lines to look like a pumpkin.

Add stem and sprinkle with chili powder.

More deviled egg goodness:

Sriracha Deviled Eggs, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Four ways with Deviled Eggs,
Not Without Salt
Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs, Closet Cooking
Spicy Southwest Deviled Eggs, Taste and Tell
Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs, Closet Cooking
The Best Deviled Eggs, Curvy Carrot

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Low Sugar Baked Apples with Coconut Walnut Stuffing http://www.apronstringsblog.com/low-sugar-baked-apples-coconut-walnut-stuffing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=low-sugar-baked-apples-coconut-walnut-stuffing http://www.apronstringsblog.com/low-sugar-baked-apples-coconut-walnut-stuffing/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:12:46 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=7981
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Baked Apples just scream out “Fall is here!”
Baked Apples

Low Sugar Baked Apples

I make baked apples every fall for two reasons: (1) they are soft and velvety and comforting and (2) they make my whole house smell delicious!

This version of Baked Apples (and, Yes, I do make a different version every time I make them, depending on my mood) has no added sugar except what is in the sweetened coconut. The sweetness level was just perfect in them, and so I plan on making these again and again this fall. Especially when my neighbors drop off excess apples on our doorstep.

When the air turns crisp and cool, I become a bit nostalgic. I grew up in southern Arizona, so fall leaves were a rarity for us kids. But, there was one place we could always find them: my great grandma’s house! We would load up in the station wagon and drive the 3 hours to her house. There was, of course some unpleasantness, as is expected when you load six siblings into a station wagon. ((Mom, she’s touching me! Mom, he’s looking at me! )) But, it was always worth the trip. You see, my grandma had about a dozen huge pecan trees in her back yard that made a crispy brown leaf ocean from fence to fence. We would rake them up into piles and then the fun would begin. We would jump into them over and over again, howling with laughter. Sort of an Old School ball pool, for you youngsters who can’t envision this scene. And then we would gather up all the leaves and hunt for the pecans. If there were pecans left on the trees, we would shake the trees until they fell off.

I used Braeburn apples for this recipe, which have the perfect sweetness and hold together well while cooking. If you want sweet baking apples, you could also use Jonagold or McIntosh.

Fall is here, y’all – so let’s embrace it! Find a pile of brown crispy leaves to fall over backwards into! Bust out the cardigans! Cook some stews and bake some apples!

– posted by Donna

BAKED APPLES WITH COCONUT WALNUT STUFFING

Serves 6

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup diced walnuts
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 sweet baking apples (such as Braeburn, Jonagold or McIntosh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place apples on a flat surface with the stem up. Cut a significant amount of the apple out, centered on the core, in a cone shape, with the wide end up. Mix the coconut, walnuts, coconut oil and cinnamon together and then fill the cored apples generously.

Place in a casserole and bake for about 60 minutes, until apples are soft but still hold their shape. ((NOTE: cooking time varies according to size of apples, and to how much you cut out of the centers.)) Keep checking donness after 60 minutes time, every 5 minutes.

Serve while warm, drizzled with a little caramel sauce if desired.

Other baked apples:

Walnut Stuffed Baked Apples, Foxes Love Lemons
Baked Apples with Apricot Glaze, Just a Taste
Baked Apples a la Mode, Fuji Mama
Waffle Iron Baked Apples, the Cupcake Project

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