Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!!!


Be Safe! 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Apple Bread

Apple Bread
Do you have a few apples in your fridge & want to bake a yummy dessert?  Yesterday, I did & I could not stop thinking about Apple Bread.  That's probably because each time I opened our fridge door the carton of O.J. caught my attention, too.  It's an ingredient in this yummy moisty "quick" bread.  It's name is very simple, but each bite of this dessert leads to another.  The flavors of Orange Juice, Cinnamon & Nutmeg just pop out along with the small chunks of apples.  Olive Oil for baking & sauteing & Egg Whites are an added plus for the light texture.

For so many years whenever I bake this family favorite, 2 breads make their way into my oven.  It does not take much time to cut the apples into small chunks for two breads.  One "quick" bread is to enjoy for the next few days and the other is cooled/ wrapped/ placed in the freezer.  If you're baking one of these tasty breads, then cut the recipe below in half.

Yes, you can use Whole Eggs in this recipe, but I like to bake these breads using Egg Whites.  Keep in mind:
1 Whole Egg = 2 Egg Whites when substituting.

Apple Bread
     Click here for Printable Recipe Card
Oven: 350°F    Time: 65 Minutes     **Makes Two Loaves

4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 & ½ teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
2/3 Cup Olive Oil (for baking & sauteing)
2 Cups Orange Juice
4 Egg Whites
2 Cups finely chopped peeled Apples (5- 7 Apples depending on Apple size)
      Cortland or Empire Apples are my faves to use.
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2.  Add Olive Oil, Orange Juice & Egg Whites (slightly beaten) and stir.
  3.  Add chopped Apple and stir in.
  4.  Then, pour batter into greased pans.
  5.  Bake at 350°F for 65 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in middle of loaf.
  6.  Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from pans and continue cooling on wire racks.
After these breads have cooled, I place one on a serving plate to cut into slices.  A few hours after baking, we always enjoy a slice.  Just cannot wait until the next day!  The second loaf of this moist orange flavored Apple Bread is wrapped in foil/ labelled & placed in the freezer.  This is a great dessert to have "on hand" over Thanksgiving weekend.  :)


Sunday, October 18, 2015

~Frost in the Air!~

Thump, pop, boing!  That's the sound of the acorns falling off of the Oak tree branches when the wind is blowing & they hit our roof.  If the acorns hit our gutters, there's a boing before bouncing on the ground.  Sometimes a double bounce.  They do have a kick to their step!  With the large quantity of acorns on the ground it's a sign that winter is not far away.  Well, they all need to be raked along with the leaves that will be falling before we start thinking about that word snow.
Acorns with & without their caps.
Our weathermen have been warning us that a frost is in our forecast tonight & again tomorrow night.    Woah!  Today was probably the last day to enjoy my New Guinea Impatiens that have added so much color on our deck.  Yes, those are 2 deer antlers attached to the shutters of our shed.  They were found in the grass over the years. 

2 Deer antlers on our shed.
This Fall we've been enjoying the Asters that continue to pop up every year.  Soon the stalks will be cut back & mulched.  In the Spring the new green shoots will sprout & we'll have another large crop next Fall.  

Colorful Asters
The Marigold & the Zinnia seeds have been collected/ dried & stored.  This week the leaves on our trees will change even more to beautiful shades of golds, oranges, reds & maroons.  We do enjoy the 4 seasons of New England.  Tonight it will be a little more chilly.   

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Fave Fall Foliage View

Puffy white clouds floated in the blue sky last Wednesday!  We were driving north on Rt. 116 toward the center of Amherst, MA.  My passenger side window was unrolled & I was waiting- ready.  Ready to see one of my fave Fall foliage views.  Suddenly there it was, so I snapped a photo!  Oranges, maroons, reds & yellows along with shades of green.  My childhood memory revisited!  Every autumn this is a spectacular sight!


Monday, October 5, 2015

Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins

Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins
Needs a small scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream!
The month of September when we began to enjoy biting into crisp juicy locally grown apples has come & gone!  Yes, I've been cooking & baking, but not taking photos.  Two weekends ago we attended a beautiful family wedding "on the beach".  A drive east to the Cape (Cape Cod) to celebrate with family & friends.  It was a perfect day for the handsome groom & his beautiful wife.  Our young grandsons enjoyed getting their feet wet after the ceremony!  Amazing how great the sun felt on that warm Saturday afternoon.  Now, our weather has definitely gotten a bit chillier!               

Returning back home reminded me of the fresh apples & also desserts where the delicious fruit is the key ingredient.  Yum, yum, yum!  If I were to choose the 1 dessert that can be prepared quickly and my family always enjoys, it would be Apple Crisp!  Baked apple slices with a crunchy oat topping that has a hint of Nutmeg & Cinnamon- ahhhhh!  It's a dessert that is enjoyed by our family & friends, any time of year.  It can also be transported very easily when baked in a disposable baking dish.

Usually in the first Apple Crisp I bake every autumn McIntosh Apples are the star.  Now, that's because they are the first baking apple I can use.  As soon as the Cortland Apples hit the scene, those are my apples of choice.  As the seasons change, Empire Apples taste so good in this yummy dessert.

Have you baked this dessert?  While preparing it don't forget to add in a few Craisins & Raisins!

Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins

Oven Temperature: 375°F
Time: 45 - 50 Minutes   

6 - 7 peeled sliced large apples - I use McIntosh, Cortland
       &/or Empire apples
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon softened Butter or Margarine
1/4 Cup Craisins
1/4 Cup Raisins

  1.   Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2.   Spray PAM in 8" x 8" glass baking pan/ dish.
  3.   Rinse apples under cold running water & dry.
  4.   Peel & slice apples.
  5.   Place peeled/ sliced apples in pan/ dish.
  6.   Add Craisins & Raisins and mix in. 
  7.   Thoroughly mix remaining ingredients together in small bowl.
  8.   Sprinkle over apples. 
  9.   Bake 45- 50 Minutes or until apples are tender
  10.   Serve warm or chilled with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.  
  11.   When cool, cover & refrigerate any leftovers.
This apple dessert is so good served warm or chilled.  We always enjoy topping it with a small scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream!