This post is dedicated to Sarah Bricault, for many a thanksgiving and a discussion about how good applesauce is.
T’is the season! The cold weather is coming, tofurkeys are cooking, and some people (like me!) are gleefully listening to Christmas music and wondering if they should also listed to Hanukkah music to be more politically correct (and because their boyfriend is Jewish).
Question to the boyfriend: Is there Hanukkah music? Is it good? Please post a link!
The only bad thing is that the produce is getting… well not as good. It is apple season and pear season, but if you’re like me sometimes the best apples you can afford are the bags of bruised up seconds. And without a bunch of fresh vegetables to spice up the table, food can start to seem a little monochromatic and bland. Yellow, white, yellow, white, cabbage…. Bleh. That’s why a little love and a hot oven can take a few simple ingredients and make them magical.
It’s time to bake your fruit.
It doesn’t need to be fancy. Baking fruit is the simplest thing there is, and takes almost no effort. As long as you have an hour to let it bake and make the house smell yummy/magical/like the holidays, you are good! It is amazing how this one simple step can turn a piece of fruit into an amazing dessert or snack. Furthermore, it is okay if the fruit is banged up or a little on the ugly side. When you cut it up and bake it, you (and everyone else) won’t notice.
Did I mention that you can bake it in multiple ways too? First off, there is the very basic baking of apples or pears (the methods are interchangeable). Just chop up, cover in coconut oil or butter, and bake at 350 degrees F until soft and delicious (top with pumpkin pie spice for more yumminess!). You can use these baked bits of goodness to top pancakes or yogurt!
Mastered that? Try the Hasselback.
Is it a really cold day? Do you want something warm and gooey? What about a stew?
Finally, for Sarah (and by a Sarah) there is fresh, warm applesauce. Canned applesauce bows before the mightiness of your cooking ability!
On of my favorites? Baked apple cake. Which, coincidentally (though not really) is this week’s recipe.
This week in updates: Sunrises in leather jackets
Do you see that grocery bill? Can you say hey-0! Under $40, and that, my friends is skill. It is funny, but I actually have been having extra food lately. I believe it is because of my coffee saving strategies and not buying Splenda anymore. Organic sugar is far cheaper than Splenda. Who knew that by doing my health a favor, I would be doing my budget a good turn too? I even got some more apples, so I can continue making the apartment smell like apple pie. The avocado I think will become a pesto sauce for post run pasta tomorrow.
In other news, I finally got my coast guard issued leather jacket, and just in time. Veterans day turned into 30 hours with no sleep, due to a late night case. And it is cold in the back of the plane! If you happened to ever wonder what a sunrise looks like from a C-130, wonder no more! Here it is!
The Recipe: Simple Squash Apple Cake
So this is really one of the simplest cakes you can make. The real accent is the baked apple. All of these ingredients you should have laying around your house this time of year, and they are all cheap. This is a fine example of how a little bit of effort can go a long way to making simple ingredients taste awesome. Also works wonderfully in a parfait! Hmmmm, this would also go really good with peanut butter. Why didn’t I think of that while I had some left!?
1 cup cooked squash
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Cut up the apples and toss in the coconut oil (you can also use butter or olive oil) and one teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Bake in your oven at 350 until tender. Takes about 30 minutes. Mix 1/2 of the baked apples in with the squash, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda, milk, and leftover pumpkin pie spice. Grease a pan (I like a 9 by 9 to make the cake thin) and bake at 350 until a fork comes out clean. This takes about 30 minutes. Reheat the leftover baked apples in the microwave. Cut the cake into slices, top with the baked apples and a spoonful of honey. Enjoy!