Apples & cinnamon oatmeal gets a grown up makeover

April 17, 2014

Grown up apples-n-cinnamon oatmeal

I’m sure you all remember the little Quaker oatmeal packets we’d have for breakfast back in the day (or, maybe you still stock your pantry with these guys). Undoubtedly you’d be somewhere, and instead of just having a box of your favorite flavor, they’d have the dreaded flavor variety box. And you were left hoping your favorite flavor was there. Or at least, there would be a flavor you could at least stomach. My favorite flavor was Apples & Cinnamon, and everything else was just a huge disappointment or downright inedible. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had Apples & Cinnamon oatmeal, but a couple of weeks ago I happened to have a plethora of apples and decided that was exactly what I was going to make.

I call this version grown up, because not only does it have huge chunks of apples and nuts in it, but I came up with this recipe while my husband and I were doing an elimination diet. That seems like something only a crazy grown up would do (more…)

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Brussels sprouts, two ways

November 19, 2013

Salt Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Salt-roasted brussels sprouts

I remember the first time I tried a brussels sprout; I actually didn’t know what it was. I happened to be in Sonoma county, and my husband and I had settled in at the bar of a crowded restaurant for dinner. The bartender was telling us the specials, but he couldn’t remember what vegetables were served with one of the dishes. I’ve forgotten what the dish was, but it sounded so divine I didn’t care what the vegetable was that came alongside, so I ordered it. When the dish was served, the brussels sprouts were covered with the dish’s sauce, and I still wasn’t sure what they were. They looked like some small, alien life form to me, and while I wasn’t put off by them, I also wasn’t thrilled by them. I never did ask the bar tender what they were. I ate a few, and that was that.

Fast forward a couple of years and I stumbled across the recipe that morphed into my spuds and sprouts. Upon prepping the sprouts, I realized that this was what I had at the restaurant bar in Sonoma. Luckily, this time I was in love with their flavor, as a huge dose of salt really helps tame any bitterness, and a little sweetness never hurt anything (this recipe contained bacon and golden raisins). So with that in mind, I give you two very easy recipes to make brussels sprouts that most any person will love, even if they’re not a proclaimed fan. Not to mention, for a Thanksgiving side dish, you’ll love that these are fairly hands-off recipes. (more…)

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Fall is in the air!

September 30, 2013

Pork Loin with Apples and Onions

On September 22, the first day of fall, that autumn feeling was in the air, and I completely switched into fall food mode. Even though here in the Bay area we keep swinging between crisper, breezier days and sunny, summer days, when my husband suggested we have something with pork for dinner, I jumped at the chance to make this whole pork loin atop apples. It is so simple I’m not sure why I haven’t made it in a few years, but I’m so happy I made a quick stop by the store for the ingredients this weekend. Pork + apples, it’s been too long! (more…)

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Savoring Apple Season

October 26, 2012

Tarte Tatin

Quite a few years ago, when my husband and I were on our honeymoon in France, I first heard of tarte tatin. And that’s all – I heard about it. Every time I tried to order it, I was told it had “expired”. The first time I was told this, I was very confused, but by the end of the trip I realized “expired” meant 86’d, or they’d run out.

Disappointment faded away, and I had long forgotten about the tarte tatin, until I had a bunch of gravenstein apples in my kitchen, just begging to be turned into a dessert. In trying to decide what to make, I stumbled upon the idea of a tarte tatin, as they seem to be having a bit of a renaissance here at the moment. The dessert couldn’t be simpler… except for flipping the darn thing. (more…)

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Fall Cocktails: An Appletini 1 year in the making

October 24, 2012

Appletini

Actually, a couple of years in the making. Two years ago, while peeling a bunch of apples for this meal, I decided I certainly couldn’t waste all of the peel. I happened to have a full bottle of Stoli vodka, so I decided to drop the peels into an empty bottle, cover them with vodka, and let it sit for a couple of months.

A couple of months came and went (more…)

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