After months of balancing beach time and blasting air conditioning, summer is ending. Now that you’ve scrambled to cook all the best warm-weather produce and fired up the grill a final few times, let’s give a (slightly less) warm welcome to the greatest season of all: fall.
Now, we understand that fall may not be everyone’s favorite time of year, but it does have some of the best foods and flavors (two words: pumpkin spice) plus cardigan-wearing-temperature weather. Just try to go apple picking while surrounded by colorful falling leaves without grinning from ear to ear. Here are five things we’re excited about this autumn, including finally giving that Dutch oven some lovin’.
Continue Reading Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: 5 Things We’re Falling For This Autumn
Ready yourself for impact because that magical time of year when apples manage to sneak their way into every corner of your autumnally themed life is now. Just try and look away as their dappled red and green skins flood quaint little baskets at farmers markets. Resist the smell of freshly fried cider doughnuts? Impossible. You might as well just surrender as “25 new ways to cook with apples” overtakes your Pinterest feed.
Speaking of which, here’s a delicious dinner recipe to try using apples.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Pork Chops with Pierogi and Seared Apples
If you haven’t already gone apple picking, and you live anywhere on the East Coast, it’s probably on your agenda. A day of running around in the fresh air alone makes the trip worth the effort, but the apple cider and fresh doughnuts don’t hurt either.
The best part of apple picking is ending up with so many varieties of apples. Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and McIntosh make up more than half of the apples grown in the U.S. The staples are good when you’re in a pinch, but it’s so much more exciting to try out all of the other varieties available. Large, firm crisp varieties, like Fuji, Granny Smith and Northern Spy, do well baked or cooked. Honeycrisps and Pink Ladies are sweet-tart choices and perfect for an on-the-go snack.
So after a day of fun at the apple orchard, I’m standing in front of 25 pounds of apples with no plans — except for the handful of apples that will be going into “Mom’s Muck,” as my sister and I used to lovingly call our mother’s homemade applesauce. Until I figure out what to do with the rest, I’m loving the fact that apples keep for weeks in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator or in a cool, dark basement. And now onto the much-needed 25 ways to use apples.
- When there’s only one slice of Apple Pie left, go with Apple of My Pie, or try Kelsey Nixon’s 21 and under version, Apple Pie Shake (pictured above).
- Butternut Squash and Apple Soup has deep, earthy flavors of squash, brightened up with the crisp, sweet flavor of apples.
- Single-serving Deep-Dish Tarte Tatin is an easy dinner party dessert. Have everything put together and pop the tarts in the oven when you start the main course. Don’t forget to let them rest before serving, or you may lose the shape of the tarts while plating.
- Play it safe and sweet with Kelsey’s classic Mile-High Apple Pie, or spice it up with Four and Twenty Blackbirds Salted Caramel Apple Pie.
- Bobby Flay captures the essence of autumn in one dish: Caramel Apple Cheesecake.
Continue Reading 25 Ways to Use Apples
Happy Halloween! You might be full of mini candy bars already. But since these are mainly made of crispy fruit, there’s always room for candy-coated apples. The decadent apples (pictured above) from Zoe Francois are dipped in easy-to-make caramel that’s rich, creamy, gooey and not over-the-top sweet. For a bit of contrast to the caramel, you can dip the bottoms in salted peanuts.
Continue Reading Fall Fest: Caramel Apples for Halloween
From September through May, apples are the staple fruit that I eat. They’re in season now and then are stored throughout the winter, making them one of the only local fresh fruits I can get in the Northeast.
While they may not seem like nutritional superstars compared to flashier fruits like blueberries and oranges, apples actually deliver a lot of health benefits, making them a fruit that should be in your regular diet too.
1) They’re a good source of fiber: Fiber is great for your overall health — it helps keep your blood sugar steady, your colon healthy and your cholesterol levels low. You need 25 grams a day of the stuff if you’re a woman, 38 if you’re a man. A single medium (3 inch) apple delivers 4 grams, half of which comes from the peel, so keep it on!
Continue Reading Health Benefits of Apples
The apple harvest inspired our apple-themed playlist. Enjoy!
Caramel Apples – “Lost” – Coldplay & Jay-Z
Only Coldplay’s Chris Martin & foodie wife Gwyneth Paltrow could get away with naming their daughter Apple. Is it because they are crazy for Caramel Apples? I think so. Take a listen to this great track with a guest appearance by Jay-Z, and try your best not to get your hands sticky with this great recipe.
Get the Recipe: Caramel Apples
Hear the Track on Spotify: “Lost” – Coldplay & Jay-Z
Continue Reading Get Our Apple-Themed Playlist
Our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2012 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Fresh this week: apples.
Here are seven ways to cook apples into a delicious dessert:
1. Apple Crumble Bars (pictured above)
Turn a traditional apple crumble into a hand-held bar treat. Spread an apple butter and dried apple filling into an oat and flour base before scattering with streusel topping.
Continue Reading Summer Fest: 7 Apple Desserts Beyond Pie
Apple lovers get ready: Our favorite fall fruit is now coming into season sooner than expected. From the apple-growing regions of New York, Michigan, and Washington, we can expect to get a jump-start on everything apple, from pick-your-own apple orchards to frosty mugs of apple cider. Though a simple caramel-dipped apple is our favorite, there are plenty of delicious ways to take advantage of autumn’s early bounty. Bake apples into sweet pies and crumbles, or roast them for a savory companion to meat.
Here are five standout apple recipes:
Continue Reading 5 Recipes to Take Advantage of an Early Apple Season
Apple-Studded Brown Butter Streusel Coffee Cake is an easy apple dessert, great for using sweet apples.
Apple season is in full swing, and that means apples are crisper, sweeter and riper than ever, with dozens of varieties available at pick-your-own orchards and farmers’ markets. And if you find yourself trying to decide between Mutsu, Empire, Cortland, Pink Lady and other unfamiliar apple varieties, wondering which is good for cooking, baking and eating out-of-hand, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso is the perfect book to have by your side.
Amy includes a reference section that describes 59 great apple varieties in-depth (with pictures!), but for ease of use, she also divides all apples into four general categories: firm-tart, firm-sweet, tender-tart and tender-sweet. There’s even an “apple varieties cheat sheet,” dividing the apples into these categories, that I may Xerox before heading to the farmers’ market.
The recipes, which span from savory meat pies to apple tarts and breakfast through dinner dishes, all include a general apple category suggestion (and occasionally a specific variety suggestion), so you’ll know you’re using the best type of apple for each recipe. It’s amazing and sure to get you out of the familiar Granny-Smith-for-baking rut.
A rustic Free-Form Apple-Pear-Cranberry Tart makes an impressive dessert for any get-together.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: The Apple Lover’s Cookbook
We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.
It’s almost over, kids. Garden season, that is. At least in many parts of the country. The big spike in hard squashes, the return of spinach, and the appearance of apples and pears in farmer’s markets means the end is near. But don’t despair, this week of fall fest is all about the ways you can make your produce last a teeny bit longer.
Continue Reading Fall Fest: Save ’Em While You Can