Apple-Raisin-Walnut Crisp

Caramel Apple CrispI love fruit crisps. They are quick and easy to make and with all the good ingredients I feel less guilty about the sweet treat. This one kicks up traditional apple crisp a notch.

Apple-Raisin-Walnut Crisp

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, cored & sliced (peeling opt)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup flour

8×8 glass baking dish, lightly greased, small mixing bowl

Place apples, cinnamon, raisins, nuts and ¼ cup sugar in baking dish, mix well.

In mixing bowl, cream butter and remaining sugar, add flour and oats, mix until crumbly.  Crumble over the apple mixture.

Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown.  Let cool.

Alternately you can use this cast iron skillet method for making the crisp.

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Bourbon Baked Apple Crisp

Final Baked Bourbon Apple

Wandering around the web today, someone posted a recipe for Bourbon Baked Apples. Hmmm, I have bourbon. I have apples. Guess I need to bake some Bourbon Apples, stuffed with oatmeal crumble.

Bourbon Baked Apple Crisp

  • 4 large favorite apple
  • 1/2  cup oats
  • 1/2  cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup softened  butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon (depending on taste – you can substitute more cider if you prefer)
  • vanilla ice cream

In a bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Add softened butter and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. You want it to be crumbly.

apples stuffed2

Cut the top off the apple, enough to use as a lid. Scoop out core and seeds, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the apple. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired  and then stuff with the oats mixture, packing it in and covering out to the edges of the apple. Place the top of the apple back on and press down.

Place apples in a large baking dish. Pour apple cider and bourbon in the bottom of the pan. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until skin is soft and wrinkled and flesh is soft. During the baking period, baste every 10 minutes with the cider/bourbon mix.

Serve immediately with ice cream.

 

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Holiday Cookies

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Photo of Mrs. J’s great cookies by JeffreyW

A friend asked me if I would like to spend the afternoon baking holiday cookies with her for a charity exchange. I was happy to, the colder it gets, the more I enjoy baking. She asked me if I had any good cookie recipes. I tried not to laugh. I picked out three of my favorites and realized it would be a great idea for this week’s recipe exchange.

My very favorite this time of year are Citrus Drops, because with all the sweets, the buttery tartness is welcome. Click here for the recipe.

Next up are my Fruit Pie Cookies, an idea that came to me when I had leftover pie filling and a mini-muffin tin. They are delicious, pretty, but a bit time consuming to make. Recipe is here.

And the always fun, M & M Cookies, a hit with kids of all ages. Click here.

That just scratches the surface, for all the cookie recipes on the blog (there are 78 of them), you’ll find them here, there are some gluten free options, too.

What’s on the weekend menu? What’s your favorite cookie for the holidays? Do you make cookie trays to give as gifts? Share your favorite recipes in the comments.

Tonight’s featured recipe is one that I loved when I was a kid. My best friend and I would make them when we had sleepovers. Perfect for cold New England days. It took me a while to find the recipe again.  Easy and elegant.

Lace Cookies2b

Looking for another cookie to add to the cookie tray you give as gifts? These are very pretty. You can add chocolate drizzle to really make them look festive (I’d melt semi-sweet or cacao chocolate chips for the drizzle).

Easy to make, pretty to look at.

Coconut Lace Cookies

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup

baking sheet, bowl

Combine flour, oats, sugar, coconut, & baking soda in bowl, mix well. Add water, butter & syrup and stir well. Drop by teaspoon onto baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 12 minutes until almost set, remove to rack to completely cool. Makes 2 dozen.

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Coconut Lace Cookies

Lace Cookies_Snapseed

Photo updated using snapseed application.

Looking for another cookie to add to the cookie tray you give as gifts? These are very pretty. You can add chocolate drizzle to really make them look festive (I’d melt semi-sweet or cacao chocolate chips for the drizzle).

Easy to make, pretty to look at.

Coconut Lace Cookies

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup

baking sheet, bowl

Combine flour, oats, sugar, coconut, & baking soda in bowl, mix well. Add water, margarine & syrup and stir well. Drop by teaspoon onto baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 12 minutes until almost set, remove to rack to completely cool. Makes 2 dozen.

Blueberry Crisp Parfait

This is a fun way to liven up a blueberry crisp.  Layer it with ice cream to make a beautiful parfait.   Serves 4.

Blueberry Crisp Parfaits

  • 10 oz blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream

8×8 glass baking dish, well buttered, small mixing bowl & 4 parfait style glasses

Set aside 12 blueberries. Place remaining blueberries, lemon juice and ¼ cup sugar in baking dish, mix well.

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, add flour and oats, mix until crumbly. Crumble over the blueberry mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool slightly, so the blueberry mixture can jell.

In parfait glass, layer ¼ cup ice cream, ¼ cup blueberry crisp, until you make 4 layers. Repeat for each glass. Top each with 3 blueberries for that decorative, ‘it looks like I fussed’ appearance.

Thursday Night Menu: Steak and Potatoes Edition

Not my most original recipe, but a summer classic, for sure. LFern and her husband think collard greens are great, which is why I even grew them in my garden one year. I know some people like them, but if you don’t, you can easily substitute spinach in the recipe. I love fruit crisps, and I’ve featured this crisp before, but thought it was worth repeating in this menu. As far as the steaks go, a good ribeye needs very little in the way of seasoning before grilling, but if you want to take it up a notch, the coffee rub from February was very popular. You can use any good cut of steak for this menu.

On the board tonight:

  1. Grilled Ribeyes
  2. Grilled Baked Potatoes
  3. Collard Greens w/Bacon
  4. Apple & Blackberry Crisp

Grilled Ribeyes

  • 4 Ribeye steaks
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • pepper to taste

Rub garlic and pepper on both sides of the steak and grill. 5 minutes on each side will be rare, cook longer if desired.

Collard Greens w/ Bacon

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or spinach)
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt & pepper to taste

skillet, saucepan and steamer

Wash collard greens. In skillet, cook bacon till crisp, remove, cool and crumble. In bacon drippings, sauté onions, remove. In saucepan, place steamer and enough water to come to the bottom of the steamer, add greens and steam until tender. Mix honey & vinegar, and a little of the bacon drippings if you like. Toss all ingredients together and serve.

Grilled Baked Potatoes

  • 4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt

Rub each half with olive oil and salt. Place on the grill, cut-side down, away from the direct flame and they’ll bake quicker, with a nice crisp crust.

Apple & Blackberry Crisp

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3 apples, cored & sliced (peeling opt)
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

8×8 baking dish and bowl

In bowl, cut together sugar, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, cinnamon & butter until crumbly. In baking dish, toss apple slices & blackberries with sugar & lemon juice. Crumble butter mixture over the top evenly. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes before serving to let fruit set.

Shopping List:

  • 4 Ribeye steaks (or other)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or spinach)
  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 apples
  • 1 cup blackberries

Also: crushed garlic, pepper, balsamic vinegar, honey, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice, coarse salt

Thursday Night Menu: Pasta Salad and Cookies Edition

I don’t know about you, but my plan for the weekend is to be outdoors as much as possible and to cook as little as possible. With that in mind, tonight’s menu can be made ahead of time and served at the end of a busy day. The salad is sort of a Greek take on a macaroni salad and the apples add a nice flavor to a favorite cookie. What are your plans for the weekend? Anything adventurous?

On the board tonight:

  1. Tangy Pasta Salad
  2. Artisan Bread
  3. Oatmeal-Apple Cookies

Tangy Pasta Salad

  • 10 oz dry rotini pasta, cooked, drained, chilled
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or stone-ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 oz fresh basil
  • 4 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 oz Kalamata (Greek green) olives
  • 4 oz shredded parmesan
  • 2 oz crumbled Feta
  • 8 oz diced cooked chicken, ham, or smoked turkey (opt)

serving bowl, bowl and saucepan

In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, garlic & dried basil. Slowly whisk in oil. To serving bowl, add pasta, fresh basil, spinach, tomatoes, olives, parmesan, opt. ham and toss with dressing. Garnish with crumbled feta.

Oatmeal-Apple Cookies

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats (long cooking)
  • 1 apple, finely chopped or shredded (peeling optional – I never peel it)

baking sheet & bowl

In bowl, cream together butter & sugar, add egg, water and mix well. Add cinnamon, vanilla, soda and flour. Slowly mix in oats until well blended. Stir in apple pieces. Drop onto cookie sheet.  EDIT: Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until golden.  Makes 24 cookies.

Shopping List:

  • Artisan Bread
  • 10 oz dry rotini pasta
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 oz fresh basil
  • 4 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 4 oz Kalamata (Greek green) olives
  • 4 oz shredded parmesan
  • 2 oz crumbled Feta
  • 8 oz diced cooked chicken, ham, or smoked turkey (opt)
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats (long cooking)
  • 1 apple (sweet)

Also: red wine vinegar, Dijon or stone-ground mustard, pepper, crushed garlic, dried basil, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda

Men Who Cook: Todd Daily, Granola

Our Men Who Cook series continues with Todd Daily’s Granola recipe.  If you’d like to contribute a recipe, please email me.   I’ll let Todd take if from here:

My mom wanted her three boys to cook so that they wouldn’t have to get married, just to survive. We learned a lot and all three of us cook a lot. I do almost all the cooking at our house, but not usually anything fancy and not usually following a recipe. I usually get ideas from cookbooks and then adjust them to the ingredients at hand, or what I know our family will like, or what will save time.

We’ve lived in Germany since 1993 and don’t have a lot of the quick things that are in church cookbooks (i.e. condensed soup, instant soup mixes, cool whip, Oreos…), but have learned to make them from scratch. Well, okay, we still ask people to smuggle in Oreos when they come to visit! Usually the Betty Crocker cookbook gets pulled off the shelf more often, because it has recipes without the convenience ingredients. When we’re back in the US, we have to readjust our cooking to match what we can get there.

Here are two family favorites that I know by heart because I make them all the time:

Granola

(I always make a double batch, because we have a Tupperware container that a double batch fits in!)

  • 5 c. Old fashioned (big flakes) Oatmeal
  • 1 c. honey
  • 1 c. oil
  • 1 c. coconut
  • ½ c. Wheat Germ
  • ¼ c. linseeds
  • ½ c. sunflower seeds
  • 1 T. Cinnamon
  • 1 T. Vanilla
  • ½ t. Salt
  • May also add other kinds of nuts and seeds.

Mix everything together and spread out on a cookie sheet. I usually use baking parchment and just mix the recipe up on the cookie sheet.

Bake 25 minutes at 300 until it’s browned. Stir after 15 minutes.

After baking, add raisins and other dried fruit as desired. If you put them in before baking, they get hard. Stir to break up any clumps.

Allow to cool and then store.