I’m kind of in a caramel apple mindset this autumn! I recently posted a recipe for Caramel Apple Oat Squares and now I have another caramel apple recipe to share. I think I like caramel apples so much because of the gooey, buttery caramel and crisp, slightly Continue reading
Do you like breakfast pastry? Or how about coffee cake? If you do, then I think you’d really like this recipe, because it’s a combination of both. It has a thin, rich cakey layer that’s topped with apple pie filling and drizzled with a creamy glaze, which gives it that pastry touch. So it’s the best of both breakfast worlds!
This Apple Almond Coffee Cake is great if you need to make something that serves a larger group of people, too, because it’s made in a 10 x 15″ pan. If you’re not crazy about apple pie filling, you can substitute another fruit pie filling like cherry or peach–I thought apple would be good for autumn. This would be great for a special breakfast or brunch any time of year, but since the holidays are coming up, you may want to keep this in mind for a holiday weekend brunch. It could also work as a dessert too, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream on top.
APPLE ALMOND COFFEE CAKE by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home
Makes a 10 x 15″ pan, about 16-20 servings
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
- 4 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted or untoasted, for sprinkling on top of icing
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 10 x 15″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; add to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and mix just until combined. Spread 3 3/4 cups batter evenly into prepared 10 x 15″ baking pan.
Spoon pie filling into a medium-size bowl and cut apples into smaller chunks with a knife. Stir in cinnamon, blending well, then spoon and spread filling, in a thin layer, onto the batter to within 1″ of edges. Spoon remaining batter in small dollops over the filling.
Bake at 350˚F for 22 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool coffee cake in pan on a wire rack.
In small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and Half & Half (light cream). Drizzle over warm or cooled coffee cake (you don’t have to use all the glaze if you just want a light drizzle). Sprinkle glazed coffee cake with sliced almonds. Let glaze set at least 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
Did I mention this coffee cake was especially good in the morning with a nice hot cup of coffee? It helps make getting out of bed a little easier on a chilly morning! 🙂 Do you have a favorite coffee cake recipe you enjoy making this time of year?
Now that the weather is warming up, I’ve been eating more fruit–there’s something about the warmer weather that makes me crave it more! I love all kinds of fruit and that’s what I like about this Mango-Jalapeno Salsa–there’s a nice variety of fruit–mango, pineapple, and apple–mixed in with some diced tomato and red bell pepper. It’s a little on the spicy side, so use half the amount of jalapeno and ginger if you want a milder salsa. Overall, I think this is a great, healthy mix of naturally sweet and savory flavors!
Speaking of healthy, this recipe is from a new cookbook out last month, The Daniel Plan Cookbook, by Pastor Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. It’s a companion book to the New York Times Bestseller, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life and has 100 easy recipes (with full-color photos) to help you eat healthy for life. “Food truly is medicine,” says one of the authors, Dr. Hyman. Eating real, whole foods can help reverse chronic disease, aid in weight loss, and even optimize brain health. In developing the book, the authors thought about what most people like to eat, then created healthy versions of popular dishes to show that healthy eating is possible in the “real world.” So there are recipes for Blueberry French Toast, BBQ Chicken Pizza, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Classic Meatloaf, and Chocolate Coconut pudding, to name a few…that just goes to show you don’t need to feel deprived when you’re eating healthy!
I received a sampler of recipes from the book and decided to try the Mango-Jalapeno Salsa. This tropical-style salsa goes well with Mexican recipes using fish or chicken, like the Grilled Spicy Fish Tacos, another delicious-sounding recipe in the book. I really like it with those blue corn tortilla chips, too.
MANGO-JALAPENO SALSA from The Daniel Plan Cookbook
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup diced pineapple
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup seeded and diced tomato
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 4 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno (use half the amount of jalapeno and ginger for a milder salsa)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Place salsa ingredients in a bowl. Mix together well. Chill in refrigerator. (Keeps up to 1 week refrigerated).
This makes about 3 1/2 cups of salsa. It’s really easy to make and so good! Have you tried making a fruity salsa before?
It’s always fun trying out different ways to make salads–it makes salad-eating a little more interesting! In the summer months, I like adding strawberries and blueberries to my salads. So I thought I’d try making a more “wintry” salad with apples and pears, inspired by this recipe. There’s also creamy crumbles of feta cheese mixed in, along with some healthy pecans that give this salad a nice flavor and crunch! I learned recently that pecans are rich in antioxidants and contain heart-healthy mono and ployunsaturated fats. They’re also rich in fiber–a handful of pecans contain the same amount of fiber as a medium-sized apple! I had received a complimentary sample of Bergeron Pecans through the National Pecan Shellers Association, and they were a perfect addition to this salad!
APPLE PEAR PECAN SALAD by NancyCreative, adapted from Kraft Foods
Makes 6-8 servings
- 8 cups of packaged salad mix (about a 5.5-ounce package) or coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries, divided
- 1 medium or large apple, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium or large pear, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 1 cup pecan halves or coarsely chopped pecans, toasted or untoasted, divided (I used Bergeron Pecans)
- 1 bottle of your favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (regular or lite)
In a large salad bowl, toss together the lettuce, half of the dried cranberries (1/3 cup), and all of the chopped apple and pear. Then add in half of the crumbled feta cheese and half of the pecans (1/2 cup) and toss all ingredients together. Sprinkle the remaining dried cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese on top. Serve on individual plates and drizzle each serving with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.
Toasting Pecans: For more crunchiness and flavor, you can toast your pecans in the oven by spreading in a single layer in a shallow baking pan; bake at 350˚ for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. To toast pecans on the stove top, place them in an ungreased skillet and cook on medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. To toast pecans in the microwave, place up to 1 cup pecans in a microwaveable shallow dish; microwave on high until crisp, stirring every 30 seconds.
This salad is great with a meal–a larger serving of it can even be a meal in itself! What types of recipes do you like to use pecans in?
Linked to Tidy Mom–I’m Loving It.
I like making my own flavored water, and now that it’s autumn, I thought I’d try a water recipe with the flavors of fall. I was inspired by a recipe for apple-cinnamon water at Sarah’s Cool Stuff–apples and cinnamon are such a classic fall flavor combination. There are sliced apples and cinnamon sticks in this, and I added some slices of fresh ginger root for a little extra mild spice. It’s really refreshing!
You can also add some ground cinnamon if you like, for a stronger cinnamon flavor, but it will color the water more brownish and it tends to clump up in the water when refrigerated. I recommend just adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to your water if you decide to try that, and mix it in before you add the apple slices and other ingredients.
Make this in the evening, refrigerate overnight, and it will be ready to drink the next day. The water does get a little cloudy as it refrigerates. The apples will start to brown a little the next day, but the water is still good to drink for a day or two after you make it. To help prevent the apples from turning brown, you can squeeze fresh lemon juice on the slices as you’re slicing the apples.
I sliced up 2 different kinds of apples for my water to add extra color–a Gala apple and a Granny Smith apple–use whatever types of apples you like best! Although I used a tart Granny Smith apple in this batch of water, I recommend using sweeter apples–I really liked the slightly sweet flavor of the water when I made it another time with 2 Gala apples.
APPLE CINNAMON GINGER WATER by NancyCreative, adapted from Sarah’s Cool Stuff
Makes a large pitcher (half-gallon) of flavored water
- 8 cups of water
- 2 medium organic apples (sweet apples work best–Fuji apples are a good choice), cut into thin slices (if you don’t use organic, peel your apples so you don’t get the pesticides from the skins in your water)
- 4 to 6 cinnamon sticks
- 6 thin slices of peeled fresh ginger root
Fill pitcher with 8 cups of water. Slice apples, putting the slices in the water right away (this helps prevent the slices from browning too soon). Add cinnamon sticks and ginger root, and stir all ingredients together in the pitcher. Refrigerate overnight before serving. When ready to serve, add ice cubes to pitcher and stir right before serving or add ice to individual serving glasses and pour your flavored water over the ice.
If you prefer a fizzy water drink, you can use Seltzer water instead of regular water (Club Soda is high in sodium and Tonic Water is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, so Seltzer water is best).
Note: This water has a very light, mild flavor–if you want a stronger apple flavor, you could also mix in some unsweetened apple juice to taste.
If you’re wondering what you can do with the fruit when you’re done drinking the water, here are some ideas: If the apple slices are still crunchy and just slightly brown, I eat them-or I eat them as I’m drinking up the water. You can also put the apple slices, ginger root slices, and cinnamon sticks in your compost pile.
What fruits do you like to use to flavor your water?