Tag Archives: apple

Blue Cheese and Roasted Apple Mashed Potatoes.

I’m participating again this month in the Crazy Cooking Challenge!  This month’s challenge was to find the ultimate mashed potato recipe.  I’m really excited to see what everyone has come up with since mashed potatoes are such a staple item in many households.

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I was excited to find this recipe from Baked Bree, a blog with drool-inducing recipes and photos that I read fairly regularly.  As soon as I stumbled upon this one, I knew that it would be the winner.  While it may seem like an unusual mix of flavors, they complemented each other perfectly.  I loved the slight sweetness of the roasted apples and honey, and the sharp bite of the blue cheese.  I served it alongside porkchops, and it was a wonderful, hearty meal.

So don’t be afraid to try something different next time mashed potatoes end up on your menu.  You won’t be disappointed.  And make sure to check out the other entries at the end of this post for even more mashed potato goodness!

Blue Cheese and Roasted Apple Mashed Potatoes – slightly adapted from Baked Bree

  • 3 Lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 Golden Delicious Apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • Generous drizzle of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 1 8 oz. Package Cream Cheese
  • 5 oz. Blue Cheese
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Chives, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the chopped apples in a piece of foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap the foil around the apples, creating a packet.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until apples are soft.  When apples are done baking, leave the oven on.

While the apples are baking, boil the potatoes in a large pot of water.  Cook until a fork inserted into a potato comes out easily.  Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the apples to the bowl.

Add the butter and milk and mash well until the butter has melted.  Doing this step first will help to prevent your potatoes from becoming gummy.

Add the cream cheese, blue cheese (reserving a small handful for topping) and honey and mash until combined.  Stir in the chives.

Transfer potatoes to an oven safe dish.  Sprinkle with reserved blue cheese.  Bake until the potatoes get bubbly and the the top becomes golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional chives before serving.


Crockpot Chinese Five Spice Applesauce.

Remember last year when I posted this recipe for crockpot applesauce?  Well, this is just an update to that recipe.  I changed up the flavors just a bit with a delicious result.

We finally made it to the apple orchard, and even though we went really late in the season and the trees were mostly bare, we still came away with 18 pounds of apples!  The Fruitaholic had a great time running through row after row of trees, sampling the goods along the way.  And since we were leaving town shortly thereafter, most of those apples went into making this applesauce.  The rest?  Well, we ate those as they were.  :)

I really liked the unexpected flavor that the Five Spice added.  So if you’re looking for something different to do with your applesauce, give this one a try!

Crockpot Chinese Five Spice Applesauce – base recipe originally seen on Prevention RD

  • 16 Apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • Juice of 2 Oranges, plus Zest from 1 Orange
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water

Combine ingredients and put into crockpot.  Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.  Mash with a potato masher or fork to your desired consistency.

Caramel Appledoodles.

The theme for October’s What’s Baking was “Fall Flavors.”  Of course, pumpkin and apple are the first things that come to mind but our lovely host, Ange, challenged us to think outside the box.  I spent some time in the blogosphere looking at different ideas and had even picked one out.  But then, on one of my at-least-twice-weekly Target trips, I found a bag of caramel bits: tiny balls of unwrapped caramel that I knew would be perfect to bake with (ok, let’s be real, eat straight out of the bag).  And thus, the caramel appledoodle came to be.

They had all the Fall flavors you could hope for and as an added bonus, filled the house with a delicious cinnamony scent as they baked.  It would probably be best to keep these in an airtight container, as after a few hours sitting out on the counter, the caramel bits were kind of hard to chew.

Caramel Appledoodles – adapted from Gimme Some Oven

  • 1 Stick (8 Tbsp.) Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 Golden Delicious Apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1 Cup Kraft Caramel Bits (If you can’t find the bits, use 1 Cup chopped Caramel)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Cinnamon

Using a mixer, cream the butter and the sugars together.  Add the eggs and beat until fully incorporated.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, sat and nutmeg.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl and stir until combined.  Fold in apples and caramel bits.  Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp. cinnamon in a small bowl.  Form the cookie dough into balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, turning the pan once to ensure even baking.

Ginger Pumpkin (or Apple Cinnamon) Truffles.

Just when I was getting used to Fall, we’ve found ourselves in the middle of an Indian Summer.  It hit 82 degrees today!!  I was incredibly unprepared wearing jeans and a t-shirt at the park this morning and ended up a big sweaty mess.

But despite the warmer temps, I’ve completely crossed over into Fall mode:  We’ve switched out our Summer candles to Autumn scents, my sweaters and sweatshirts have found their home again in the closet, and the necessity for all things pumpkin and apple has set in.

In years past I’d heard of there being a pumpkin shortage, where the shelves of all grocery stores were devoid of pumpkin and everyone freaked out, hoarding cans if they happened upon them.  Living in Chicago, I laughe since cans of pumpkin were always readily available whenever I needed them.  That was, until last week as I stood in the baking aisle staring at the empty shelf in front of me.  I was dumbfounded, but had better luck at another store nearby.  I may have hoarded a few cans myself…  You know, just in case.

Seemed only fitting that this week’s recipe swap theme was Pumpkin/Apple recipes.  These truffles were little balls of goodness, the essence of Fall in two or three bites.  Because of my little pumpkin scare, I picked up a can of apple pie filling, which I also used to make a few Apple Cinnamon Truffles.  They were equally delicious, so feel free to substitute to your heart’s content if all of the pumpkin in your area has been hoarded by freaks like me.  :o )

Ginger Pumpkin (or Apple Cinnamon) Truffles – slightly adapted from Cooking with Christen

  • 1 Package Golden Oreos
  • 6 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Pure Pumpkin Puree (or Apple Pie Filling that has been pureed)
  • 1 tsp. Ginger, divided
  • 2 Packages White Chocolate Baking Bars
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • Crushed Pecans, for garnish

Add the Oreos to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form.  Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) and mix together with the pumpkin (or pureed apple pie filling), cream cheese and 1/2 tsp. ginger.  Once combined, use a cookie scoop to form into small balls and place on a plate.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm.

Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.  Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time, until fully melted.  Stir in the cinnamon and remaining 1/2 tsp. ginger.

Remove the balls from the fridge and dip into the chocolate, making sure they are coated evenly.  Place on the wax paper and repeat until all balls are covered in chocolate.  Sprinkle pecans on top and refrigerate until hardened.