Autumn Spiced Apples

cinnamon apples

Spiced apples are absolutely one of my most favorite things in the whole world. They are warm, delicious, cozy and remind me of everything autumn which in my opinion is the best time of the year! This is one of those recipes where being accurate and measuring is completely unnecessary, I like to fly by the seat of my pants with this one. I add a “little bit of this” and a “little bit of that” until I stumble upon the perfect amount of spice and flavor. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and apples, you simply cannot go wrong here. Since this is such an easy recipe to master, try letting your kids in the kitchen with you so they can give it a whirl themselves!

My favorite apples to use when I am making this recipe is a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. The Granny Smith apples add just the right amount of tartness to balance the sweetness and they hold up well when cooking. Honeycrisp apples are the perfect blend of sweet and tart and work really well in cooking as well but are also excellent apples to grab and eat raw. When making spiced cooked apples you can slice them up in nice big wedges or dice them up as I did above. To get nice, even pieces and speed up the cooking process I used my Vidalia Chop Wizard . It’s a great little gadget to quickly chop and dice veggies and fruit and it’s worth the small investment especially for those who aren’t comfortable with their knife skills.

I love to top my pancakes with a huge scoop of warm spiced apples, drizzle them with a little Apple Butter Syrup and then top it off with a nice dusting of confectioners sugar. It is the perfect Sunday morning treat especially on those cool, crisp fall days. They are also delicious stirred into yogurt or as a topping on your vanilla ice cream. Serve alongside pork, top your chicken, spread on toast or even eat them straight! They are so delicious no matter how you eat them and they are the perfect accompaniment to many dishes. Turn on your creativity and whip up a batch today. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 apples, any combination of varieties
  • 1-2 tbs unsalted butter
  • splash of apple cider OR apple juice
  • few sprinkles of granulated sugar
  • few pinches of ground cinnamon, apple pie spice, baking spice, nutmeg OR other spice
  • dash of pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Wash, peel and core the apples then slice or dice them up. In a small saucepan set over medium heat melt the butter. Add the apples, cider or juice, sugar, spices and vanilla extract. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender but not falling apart. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve warm or store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Fresh Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

This mango salsa is deliciously light and refreshing and a cinch to make! I used it to top my pulled pork tacos but it’s also great with chips or as a topping for grilled chicken. I found the original recipe on the Cookie and Kate blog site, click here to check it out. I made just a few slight changes to the original recipe to suit my own tastes. I completely took out the cilantro as I do not like the flavor and instead I used a little bit of fresh parsley. Also, instead of using 3 mangoes I used just one but also added in a diced English cucumber for extra crunch. Feel free to follow the original recipe or be as creative as you wish with this salsa. Some other great additions are diced fresh pineapple, diced tomatoes, scallions, fresh corn, or different types of sweet and hot peppers. Play around and find a combination that you love.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe mango, diced 
  • 1 English cucumber, diced with skin on
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 large lime, juiced (about ¼ cup lime juice)
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

In a serving bowl, combine the mango, bell pepper, onion, parsley and jalapeño. Drizzle with the juice of one lime and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For best flavor, let the salsa rest for 10 minutes or longer. Serve cold.

Pulled Pork Taco.jpg

Make Your Own Hoisin Sauce

I don’t tend to make a ton of Asian inspired dishes so when I do there are times when I simply don’t have a particular ingredient on hand. Tonight I made a chicken and pineapple dish which called for hoisin sauce which, of course, I did not have in the house. I did a quick Google search for possible substitutions and learned that you can actually make your own hoisin sauce in just minutes. So I did just that!

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbs creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbs brown sugar, honey, or molasses (I used brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 20 drops of hot sauce (I used Cholula)

Instructions

Combine everything is a small bowl and whisk until well combined and smooth. Place any leftovers in a Mason Jar and store in the fridge.

Hoisin Sauce