Tag Archives: apple

Red Sangria – Simple & Delicious

So does anyone even remember what we did before we could google everything we needed to know? I know in my family if any of us have a discussion and happen disagree wink wink; someone immediately pulls out there phone and googles whatever we were discussing. I guess we must have been SO isolated with our knowledge back then? My husband has gone as far to dub the passenger seat in his truck the “google seat” basically meaning if he needs to know something the person sitting next to him needs to “google it”. 99% of the time it’s our son and I swear he is the fastest googler I know.
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I am fairly certain that I have mentioned in the past how I google myself for my recipes all the time.  The other day I wanted to make a batch of Sangria and recall writing a blog about it.  So I type cookingatclarktowers/sangria and it popped up but the recipe, story and pictures were all gone – sad face! I then had to try to recreate it because I KNOW its good; I have had and have also made some that I just didn’t care for. Not all Sangria is created equal. Thankfully this is a recipe that is a super easy and the best one I have ever had. Bonus is you can drink it right away ever come across one that wanted you to wait 24 hours “to meld” umm no thank you!
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Red Sangria

1 bottle of inexpensive red wine – you still want it to taste good
1 bottle of Lemonade (equal size of the wine bottle plus another cup or so)
Plum Brandy – 1 shot or use one of your favorites
Grand Mariner – 1 shot – no need to buy a large bottle – buy a nip?
Apple – peeled and diced
Orange – peeled and sliced
Lemon – sliced
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In a large enough container combine all the ingredients – I fill to the top of my pitcher with more lemonade add some ice and serve

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I had some leftover blueberries – so I added those too!

Apple Butter Bars

Woke this morning to the ground covered in beautiful snow! I know it’s April and I know it won’t be sticking around so that is why I can say it is beautiful.Snow April 3rd

For the last 3 weeks I have been buying less groceries and using up what I have and I swear I have barely made a dent; at least in the freezers. I am even going as far as trying to find uses for those jars of “specialty” items that end up in the back of the fridge. If you are reading this I can bet you also have some of these same types of jars! I haven’t made it yet but there is a kimchi fried rice meal in my future.

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This morning I focused on the largest of the fridge jars; apple butter while I have nothing against apple butter it just isn’t in my repertoire; yet.

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Looking around the internet this morning I came across a sweet and spicy apple butter chipotle chicken thighs recipe that sounds promising; Well actually it sounds more than just promising, it has 10 cloves of garlic um yeah I am all over this and I will use up the chicken thighs from the freezer and I have a small jar of Chipotle peppers in adobo in the back of the fridge – perfect!

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It is a thick batter – spread it out with a knife or whatever you are using

I did have to remind myself it was 7am and we would not be eating dinner this early. Then I found an apple butter bars recipe; now we are talking! It looked simple enough and I had almost everything except for the apple pie spice but I figured that was just a combination of other spices and I am sure I must have them or most of them in my cupboard.

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The bars were delicious according to my husband and myself; kids weren’t home. I wanted to share them with you all just in case you have some apple butter taking up real estate in your fridge.

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I actually took 2 pieces out before I took my finished photo!

Apple Pie Spice which I doubt I will ever buy can easily be made with 4 spices you might already have sitting in your pantry. ½ teaspoon Cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon Ginger, ⅛ teaspoon All Spice and ⅛ teaspoon Nutmeg. You will only need a ½ teaspoon but it makes such a small amount I didn’t mind chucking the rest of it; remember I am cleaning out not creating more containers of stuff I use occasionally.

Apple Butter Bar

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup apple butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 cup chopped apples peeled

Icing for drizzling over (optional)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350’ F. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Cream butter and sugar then beat in egg and apple butter. Mix in half of the flour with the baking soda and apple pie spice. Beat in remaining flour, then stir in apples.  Spread into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or till toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool in pan and cut into bars.

To Make Icing: Mix 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1 – 2 tablespoons milk. Mix to drizzling consistency and drizzle over cooled bars – I didn’t use all of this, it’s pretty sweet so use your discretion.

 
recipe adapted from sidehill farm

Pork the Other White Meat

This past year or so we have definitely explored pork more often and in a varied of ways; and thoroughly enjoyed the journey.  I am not sure when or who said pork apples and mustard sounds delicious let’s put them together; but damn were they right.  Some of the recipes I have tried and loved are in my monthly and sometimes weekly meal plans.  BBQ Pulled Pork with Homemade Coleslaw on a bun is outstanding and simple – I had no idea.

Growing up I knew that we had applesauce with our pork chops but I was pretty sure that was to add some liquid to the chewy dry overcooked piece of meat we were served.  Thankfully we are now able to have a juicy cooked to perfection chop, loin, bone-in, boneless vehicle to add so many different combinations of flavors – I am hooked!

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Pork Chops with Cider-Dijon sauce

4 center-cut-bone-in chop
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 apple – Fuji, Gala or Granny Smith halved, cored, and cut into small diced pieces
1 medium shallot, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
½ cup apple cider
½ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (coarse-grain if you have it)

Position rack in the center of the oven – pre heat at 425’F Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Season the chop with 1tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp pepper. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  If needed working in batches, sear the chops on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast until no longer pink near the bone. About 8-10 min.

Lower heat to medium and add the apples, shallots and thyme to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown and soften, about 2 minutes.  Add the cider, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan, cook until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and mustard and continue cooking until slightly reduced, about 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the sauce over the chops.

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Roast Pork Loin with Apples

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (2-pound) boneless center cut pork loin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, thickly, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme and/or
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 apples, Fuji, Gala, or Granny Smith, cored and cut into slices
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large ovenproof skillet heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Season the pork loin all over generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat until golden brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and set it aside. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herb, and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet. Stir until the vegetables are browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sliced apples, then push the mixture to the sides and set the pork loin in the middle of the skillet along with any collected juices on the plate. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the loin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 140 to 150 degrees F, about 30 to 35 minutes.  Pork cooked this way will be slightly pink. If desired, cook the pork to 160 degrees F, but note that this lean cut will not be as moist at the higher temperature.

Transfer the pork a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil while you make the sauce. Arrange the apples and vegetables on a serving platter and set aside. Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Return the skillet to a high heat and add the vinegar scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up any browned bits. Reduce by half then add the cider and reduce by about half again. Pull the skillet from the heat and whisk in the mustard, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
Slice into 1/2-inch thick pieces and arrange over the apple mixture. Drizzle some sauce over meat and serve the rest on the side.