Apple Spice Bread

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Yum! This was my first attempt at grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free baking… that’s a lot of “free”! 😉 I am so used to baking with flour that I was slightly apprehensive about how this recipe might turn out. I was relieved when this baked up beautifully light and soft. The kids and I, (well, mostly I), ate a whole loaf today. Instead of making one large loaf, I made three minis, cooled them completely, then wrapped them and stored them in the refrigerator. I know I’ll make this again and I’ll have fun trying out new coconut flour recipes soon. My next experiment will be testing this same recipe, but swapping the apple sauce for pumpkin puree. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

1Ingredients, minus the vanilla extract.

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These popped out of the pan nicely after cooling for 15 minutes. I love my USA Pans! 🙂

Applesauce Spice Bread – adapted from Au Naturale Nutrition

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, or ghee (melted)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, natural applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend until evenly combined. Grease pan(s).  Pour batter into 3 mini loaf pans or 1 large glass loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes in mini pans.  Bake 65-70 minutes for 1 large loaf. Allow to cool completely.  Store in fridge.

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Chicken Salad Sandwich

Quick Post: This is really good – so good that I ate it twice this week. I had leftover roast chicken, and what better way to use it than for chicken salad? This is a combination of a few different recipes that inspired me. I love the crisp bite of the celery, the sweetness of the apple, the toasty walnuts…all of these ingredients work together to make one of my favorite sandwiches. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Salad Sandwich –

  • 1/2 – 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or chopped fine
  • 1 celery rib, small dice
  • 1 small apple, small dice (I used a Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2-3 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 2-3 TBSP plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp of curry powder
  • cayenne, paprika, pepper, salt – to taste

Directions –

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve in a wrap, on a sandwich or over a bed of lettuce.

Vegan Apple Crisp

(It’s still raining here, so no decent pictures – boo!)

I haven’t made an apple crisp since last year, so I decided it was time 🙂 This smells amazing while baking. My hands smelled like lemon, apple, cinnamon and nutmeg for quite sometime after making this, too 🙂 I love Fall flavors and this is a perfect example of them. I used coconut oil for this instead of canola and we didn’t miss the butter. It’s not a thick crumb topping like the typical crisp with flour and butter; but it was flavorful, slightly sweet and delightfully crunchy. We enjoyed the walnuts in this, too – and the vanilla ice cream brought it all together nicely. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Vegan Apple Crisp – adapted from What Would Cathy Eat?

  • 2 ½ pounds apples (about 7), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Small pinch cloves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick cooking)
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the apples with the next seven ingredients (through lemon juice). In a separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle the organic canola oil over the dry mixture and combine with your fingers until crumbly. Add the water and stir briefly with a fork. Put the apple mixture in an 8×8” baking dish, then sprinkle on the crumbly topping. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the apples are tender.

Big ‘ol Breakfast

What started off as an idea to make buttermilk pancakes became so much more. Once I decided to have the SIL over for breakfast, I thought fried apples would be a good addition to the pancakes, but that still might not be enough food for us all. Then I thought “what else goes well with pancakes?” That question led me to think of my favorite side dish at Cracker Barrel, (which costs a ridiculous $2.59 for a dinky serving – seriously, the plate is the size of a saucer) the super yummy-not-so-good-for-you hash brown casserole! I did a naughty thing by adding some leftover bacon to the mix of ingredients, but I did leave out lots of the butter that the recipe called for. Also instead of cheddar cheese, I added a full 8 ounces of Colby Monterey Jack cheese. I did M a favor by sautéing the onions until they were soft and translucent – he really doesn’t like the strong flavor. In addition to these tasty vittles, M requested biscuits and sausage gravy! Who does he think I am?;o) The night before I browned the breakfast sausage, made the buttermilk biscuits and readied the casserole for the oven. In the AM, all I have to do is cook the apples, make the gravy, put the casserole in the oven and cook some scrambled eggs! Whew!

Wow – this breakfast was delish! The casserole was the bomb – sorry to use such a stupid word to describe it but I couldn’t think of a better one!;o) I will make this again and everyone will love me for it! The biscuits and sausage gravy came out really well – so much better than Cracker Barrel’s salty mess they call gravy…and the baked scrambled eggs weren’t bad either. Baking them created a light and fluffy finished product and it was so much easier than cooking 10 eggs on the stove. This is the largest breakfast I have ever taken on, but it was so much easier because I planned ahead and didn’t have to make all these in the morning. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

*Cracker Barrel’s Hashbrown Casserole – adapted from Tablespoon

  • 2 pounds frozen hash browns, thawed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (*I used around a TBSP total, maybe two)
  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 pint sour cream (I used about 1/3 cup less)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped (I softened these in a couple tsp of butter)
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (*I used Colby Monterey Jack)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions –

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then grease one 13×9 inch baking dish.

2. Combine all the ingredients together and pour into prepared pan. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

*Sausage Gravy – adapted from Taste and Tell

  • 1 – 16 oz. tube of pork sausage
  • Additional fat if needed: bacon grease or butter
  • 4 TBSP flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste – don’t skimp!


Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to a cast iron skillet or large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the sausage and break it up into bite size chunks, but don’t break it up too much, you want nice cocoa puff sized chunks. Brown the sausage and get some fond on your pan.

Turn the heat down to medium. Remove the sausage and drain, reserving the fat. Return about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the rendered sausage fat into the pan. If you don’t have enough fat, add a little bacon grease or butter to bring it up. Add the flour and cook while whisking until the roux is golden brown. Keep stirring and slowly pour in your milk, making sure to whisk out all the lumps. If it looks too thin, don’t worry, it’ll thicken once it simmers. If you like your gravy super thick, use less milk (2 or 2 1/2 cups). Once you added all the milk, return the sausage back to the skillet, add herbs if you want to get fancy, and season with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Simmer the gravy until it’s thickened and serve it over your split biscuits.

*Oven Baked Scrambled Eggs – adapted from One Perfect Bite

Ingredients for 6 or 12:

  • 3 to 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 12 to 24 large eggs
  • 1 to 2-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 to 2 cups milk

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 11-inch glass pan with cooking spray if using 12 eggs. Spray a 9 x 13-inch glass pan if using 24 eggs. Pour butter into baking dish.
2) Beat eggs, salt sour cream and milk in a large bowl. When completely blended, pour egg mixture into pan.
3) Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir well, folding sides and bottom toward center and top of pan. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until eggs are set but still soft. Fluff with fork to form curds. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 to 12 servings.

*Fried Apples – adapted from La Fuji Mama

  • 2 medium apples ( I used three small Fuji apples)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (I used a little less)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (I used about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

1. Peel and core the apples and then slice them into 1/4-inch wedges.

2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat.  When the butter has fully melted, sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and then quickly place the apple slices in a single layer on top of the brown sugar.  With a wooden spoon, stir the apples to coat them in the butter and brown sugar.  Continue to stir the apples.  When the butter and brown sugar have formed a syrup, sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt over the ingredients in the pan and stir to incorporate.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir the apples until they are fork tender and the syrup has reduced and thickened slightly.  Remove the skillet from the heat and let the apples cool for several minutes.  Serve alone, or as a topping for ice cream.


Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Is this cheesecake ever good! I made it for the first time last year while visiting family in California. My dad requested this cheesecake specifically and I was apprehensive at first because at that time I had only made a cheesecake once. I am usually nervous about cooking for other people, but I wanted to impress him and everyone else who tried it. To my delight, my dad said it was the best cheesecake he ever had and even my Grandma said it was good…huge compliment in my book! Anyway, this cheesecake isn’t exactly a quick dessert and it is really important that you let it sit in the refrigerator overnight for the best flavor…your patience will be rewarded! Note to self – more apples next time. I ended up only using three of the four apples pictured because I thought three looked like enough when they were all cut up. M is requesting some type of chocolate infused cheesecake for Thanksgiving, so if that ends up happening I will be sure to post that one for you all. Also, if any of you out there has a tested cheesecake recipe recommendation, please leave me a comment! It’s always hard to choose new recipes – especially a chocolate cheesecake…there are so many to look through! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake Ingredients – adapted from Dorie Greenspan via Culinary Concoctions

(Everything minus the graham crackers)

For the Crust

  • 30 gingersnaps (* I used one sleeve of graham crackers)
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

For the Apples

  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 3 large Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
  • 2 tbsp (packed) light brown sugar

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp apple cider
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

* Caramel Sauce for Drizzling

Directions –

To Make the Crust: Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs; you should have a scant 2 cups.  (If you are using graham cracker crumbs, just put them in the food processor.)  Pulse in the sugar and cinnamon, if you’re using it, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.  Turn the crumbs into the springform pan and, using your fingertips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan as far as they’ll  go.  Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.  (The crust can be covered and frozen for up to 2 months.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, going up the sides.  Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned.  Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the apples and the filling.  Leave the oven at 350 degrees F.

To Make the Apples: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  When the foam subsides, toss in half of the apple slices and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Sprinkle the apples with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and cook them, turning, just until coated, another minute or so.  Scrape the apples onto a plate, wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining apples.  Let the apples cool while you make the filling.

Getting Ready to Bake:  Have a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan at hand.  Put a kettle of water on to boil.

To Make the Filling: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the bowl often, for about 4 minutes, or until it is velvety smooth.  Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes.  Beat in the cider, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in.  Finally, beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.

Pour about one-third of the batter into the baked crust. Drain the apples by lifting them off the plate with a slotted spoon or spatula, and spoon them into the pan.  Cover with the remaining batter and, if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top.  Place the springform pan in the roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 to 45 minutes, covering the cake loosely with a foil tent at the 45-minute mark.  The cake will rise evenly and crack around the edges, and it should be fully set except, possibly, in the very center if the center shimmies, that’s just fine.  Gently transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours; overnight would be better.

Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the crust, open the pan’s latch and release and remove the sides.

Source: Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin Company, November 2006

Overnight Apple Pie Steel Oats

I bought a container of steel cut oats last week at Publix after seeing a Good Eats episode that featured oats. I have never eaten steel cut oats, so I hope these turn out to be worth the $4.99 I paid for them! I forget how I found this recipe at goodLife eats, maybe via blogger’s Facebook page. I love the warm flavor of cinnamon, brown sugar and apples and I needed to find a recipe that sounded tasty to use these new steel cut oats, so this recipe certainly sound perfect to me! Thankfully I had all the ingredients on hand, except for the cardamom – but I don’t even know what that tastes like, so I don’t think I’ll miss it. Also, I omitted the pecans, because I don’t have any of those either – I’m not much of an “add- nuts-to-my-breakfast” kinda gal! Also, these require an overnight soak or up to 24 hours, so plan accordingly.

This turned out really good – it’s definitely a keeper. I love the crunch of the fresh apple and the spices are just right. I did add a little more brown sugar to mine and then a touch more of cinnamon before I scarfed it down. If you have never tried steel cut oats, this is an excellent recipe to try! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Overnight Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats – adapted from goodLife Eats

 

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used two TBSP)
  • 6 ounces all-natural applesauce (my little cup only had 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom (I didn’t have any)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large apple, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped (I didn’t have any)

Directions –

In a nonmetal bowl combine oats, brown sugar, applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. Stir in milk; cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

To serve, transfer oatmeal mixture to a medium saucepan. Stir in 1 cup of apples, reserving the remaining 1/2 cup for garnish. Heat just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until oatmeal is done, adding additional milk if desired and stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Spoon into 4 bowls; sprinkle with apples and pecans. Serve with additional milk, if desired.