Apple Oat Crisp

When we were on our family vacation earlier this month, my husband decided he wanted to go apple picking. We crossed the WI-IL border and picked some apples in Harvard, IL at The Royal Oak Farm Orchard.

We had a great time picking a peck and a half of the three varieties that were available at the time of our visit: Jonamac, Macintosh, and Gala.

When my mom and I went apple picking last year, Firecracker was about 15 months old. He had just as much fun this year, but with a little (okay, a lot) of extra confidence on his feet for running around.

Firecracker has always struggled with eating raw apples, yet he loves the flavor of them. Unless an apple slice is covered in Nutella, he’ll simply gnaw away at the fruit and never swallow it. There’s always a pile of apple bits on the coffee table.

Treat, on the other hand, has never struggled with apples and they’re one of his absolute favorite foods. He happily ate close to an entire apple while we were picking. And with only two bottom teeth! I was surprised, though I guess I should’ve have been, that he managed to hold on to the apple the entire time!

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With our fall bounty in tow we headed to the kitchen. I put some apple in my Choco-flower Bundt Cake and into some meatballs we enjoyed on game day (recipe to come later this week). Our big apple feature dish, though, was a crisp.

My mom and I combined a few different recipes and methodologies to develop the resulting addicting dessert (/breakfast).

There aren’t a lot of pie recipes here on Sew You Think You Can Cook because I really don’t care for warm fruits. As I’m in the minority there I had no problem lending some apples to the cause of a crisp.

Um. Yeah. This crisp is one of my new all time favorites! I could have eaten the entire dish on my own. But, I had to share. A dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle of cinnamon, and drizzle of honey made this dessert a home run. Naturally, we bought some honey from the orchard and it’s beautiful apple-y floral quality was a perfect complement to the crisp.

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Of course, you could serve it with ice cream. I’m contemplating making a honey ice cream to serve alongside this Apple Oat Crisp for Thanksgiving this year.

Apple Oat Crisp

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 apples, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 C + 1 tbsp flour, divided use
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided use
  • 1 C oats
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stick butter, melted

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toss apples with cider, sugar, 1 tbsp flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Place in a small casserole dish.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together 1 C flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, the oats, brown sugar, and baking powder. Mix in the melted butter until combined and crumbly. Top the apples.
  4. Bake 30 – 35 minutes until golden, bubbly, and the apples are tender.

Apple Oat Crisp | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

#SundaySupper: Recipes for World Vegetarian Day

One weekend after church we decided to go for a relaxing walk to get brunch. After enjoying a new (to us) restaurant we explored the area some more.

We typically find ourselves in that part of town for dinner and all of the shops are closed so it was fun to pop into some cute kids boutiques and my new favorite kitchen store!

The store was having a cookbook sale and I became immersed in their table of beautiful books.

I was drawn to The Vibrant Table by Anya Kassoff. It’s a cookbook of vegetarian, vegan, and raw recipes. Not a cuisine I dabble in too often, but when the food photography displays such vibrant dishes I couldn’t put it down!

I’m excited to explore the world of vegetarian and vegan cooking more to add some diversity to our menu and cater to friends of ours.

Speaking of, when our friends welcomed their third child into the family I brought them this beautiful salad. I doubled the recipe for them and brought it over with the dressing kept in a mason jar for when they were ready to enjoy it. I was also sure to leave them with a copy of the recipe.

Naturally, I had to reserve a serving’s worth to photograph it! And then, I had to eat it! This salad is so bright and fresh, and satisfying with all of the protein packed legumes. As I’m not a huge fan of cucumber, I reserved my chunks for Treat to have for lunch the following day – they disappeared!

I will not hesitate to make this salad again.

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day and the month of October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, so the Sunday Supper crew, being led by Susan of The Wimpy Vegetarian, has many different ways to help get more veggies into your diet. Be sure to scroll past my recipe to see them all!

Strawberry Soba Noodle Salad

Ingredients for salad:

  • 1 pkg (9 oz) soba noodles
  • handful snow peas, trimmed
  • handful sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • 1 C frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 12 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Ingredients for dressing:

  • 1″ fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp agave

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook all of the peas for 2 minutes and then blanch in ice water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Rinse under cold water.
  3. In a large bowl combine noodles, peas, strawberries, carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
  4. Make dressing: whisk together the ingredients. Pour over salad, tossing to coat. Serve.

*This recipe is adapted from The Vibrant Table*

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Appetizers

Desserts

Entrees

Sides

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out ourPinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Beef and Chorizo Chili

Now that football season is well underway and the weather, in some parts of the country anyway, is cooling down, chili season is in full swing!

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one I created for a Chili Cook Off in the summer. I actually took the time to think about what I wanted to do. I even did a dry run before the event at my husband’s office! We invited a friend over to help be another set of taste buds, too.

My beef and chorizo chili was a huge hit! There weren’t even leftovers. It was determined that I didn’t need to make any changes. (And we definitely didn’t need the back up plan of “order a pizza.”)

Unfortunately round one of my chili was better than the round that went into the competition. Though, my husband takes full blame for not setting the slow cooker on high to warm the chili through before people would be digging into it. I didn’t bring home a victory like my last chili cook-off experience, but even still, there weren’t any leftovers.

I will definitely make this chili again, and happily serve it to guests. Some mini cornbread muffins are a perfect accompaniment to the subtle smokey chili.

Let me know what you think of my original creation!

An Original Recipe

Beef and Chorizo Chili

Ingredients:

  • 3 links chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 1 lb top round roast, cubed
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Santa Fe pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C beef stock
  • 2 cans (4 oz) diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • scallions, chopped for serving
  • shredded cheese, for serving

Steps:

  1.  Brown chorizo in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Season the beef with S+P. Sear on all sides in the chorizo fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on the plate with the chorizo.
  3. If needed, add a couple of teaspoons of oil to the Dutch oven. Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic until tender. Season with salt.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
  5. Return the chorizo and beef to the chili and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer uncovered 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Garnish with scallions and shredded cheese. Serve with cornbread.

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CIC: Black Beans & Mayonnaise

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Today’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge is to combine black beans and mayonnaise. To be honest, I voted for both of these ingredients, but that didn’t mean I had an idea.

And then I forgot about it. Taking two vacations back-to-back will do that to you.

When I always have black beans in my pantry and mayonnaise in my fridge it would have been a little inexcusable to skip this event.

Surprisingly, I was able to come up with an idea and make my dish on Sunday! I had game day food on my mind, and even though it was just the boys and me, I still made a perfect dip for watching football from the couch. I took inspiration from a warm spinach dip and added some black beans and southwest spices.

Firecracker was napping (gasp!) while I got the dip in the oven and he woke up just in time to take it out. Turned out the be the perfect distraction mechanism for his post-nap fussiness. He said it looked good and said he wanted to eat it. Of course, I had to take a picture first! Literally, one. I told him it was still hot and he informed me that it was cool now. So, out of the ramekin and into a different bowl to spend a few minutes in the fridge. I think he ate 2 bites; the smart kid really just wanted the chips within his reach. I loved the dip, and will definitely make it again for company. I’m looking forward to my afternoon salty snack this week, now!

This recipe will serve 2-3 people.

Black Bean and Spinach Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3/4 C shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 C packed baby spinach
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cumin

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredient until incorporated.
  3. Divide dip between two 16 oz ramekins. Bake 30-35 minutes, until dip is bubbly and the top is slightly golden.
  4. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Black Bean and Spinach Dip for Crazy Ingredient Challenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

SRC: Lime Crusted Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Peas

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned Where Is My Spoon? written by Adina. Adina has an incredibly magnificent entrance into the culinary world, at least in my opinion! When she moved to Germany with her husband she didn’t cook because she “couldn’t even boil an egg.” In all honesty though, boiling an egg isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do if you’re easily distracted… She learned to cook by reading through a cookbook in a new language! I mean, how impressive is that?!

When I received my assignment in my email I forced myself to decide on a savory dish. I felt like I was drowning in a wonderful world of sugar and needed to grab a life vest. I was beginning to regret my decision when I found Carrot Cupcakes with Blueberry Frosting and White Chocolate Apricot Cheesecake. If I hadn’t done Nectarine Caprese Salad last month for SRC I would have definitely gone with her Strawberry, Nectarine, and Quinoa Salad.

Ultimately, I decided to pick a dish that was fresh and light, Lime Crusted Salmon. Adina served it with sweet potatoes and peas. I decided to go with it! I hadn’t had peas in a long time and it reminded me of how much I enjoy the sweet veggie. Turns out I learned that my husband and 10 month old like them, too! Growing up, my favorite way to eat them were atop mashed potatoes. Turns out they complement sweet potatoes, too. A big thank you for introducing me to a new weeknight favorite!

Lime Crusted Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 lb salmon filet
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp panko
  • 1 lime, zested and sliced into wedges

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking dish.
  2. Combine butter, panko, lime zest, and S+P. Spread over fish.
  3. Place salmon in the baking dish and surround with lime wedges. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the fish is flaked easily with a fork.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp butter

Steps:

  1. Place potatoes in a medium pot. Cover with water and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
  2. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with the butter. Season to taste with S+P.

Peas with Mint

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 10 oz bag frozen peas
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • chopped mint, to taste

Steps:

  1. Cook peas according to package directions, or as desired.
  2. Toss with butter, mint, and S+P to taste.

*These recipes are modified from Adina at http://www.whereismyspoon.co/salmon-with-lime-crust/*

Easy Weeknight Salmon Dinner for #SecretRecipeClub from Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

To see the other bloggers who participated in The Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

#SundaySupper: Recipes with Coffee

Over Labor Day weekend we traveled to Northern California, Santa Cruz to be exact, to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.

The wedding was one we will never forget. They got married standing underneath exquisite Redwoods with the sun peaking through the massive trees.

To reach the ceremony site, we hopped aboard a narrow gauge train and traveled uphill for about 25 minutes. Following the beautiful exchange of vows we climbed back on the train to return to the reception location. The entire experience was simply breathtaking.

To say my train obsessed toddler was in heaven is an understatement!

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We spent the long weekend in Santa Cruz with my parents and uncle at a vacation rental home on the water. We enjoyed exploring the area and discovering the differences between that beach city and the one we’re living in now.

Chocolate Chip Mocha Smoothie for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)Because we staying in a “hotel house,” as we described it to my toddler, I had the luxury of being able to cook! I made Chicken Chorizo Meatballs (a variation of this recipe) for the rehearsal party at my aunt’s “hotel house,” a beautiful cheese platter for dinner one night, and coffee smoothies to accompany some local pastries for breakfast one morning!

I was counting on making my recipe for this week’s Sunday Supper over the wedding weekend so I packed my chocolate chips and chocolate sauce. Doesn’t everyone travel with chocolate chips in tow?!

Thankfully the vacation home had a blender! I hadn’t considered that I may not have one before hitting the grocery store to pick up yogurt and whipped cream.

This smoothie was met with mixed reviews. My dad was not a fan, but sweet coffee drinks are not his thing. My uncle and I enjoyed our glasses, though. That being said, I have some suggestions for changes I’d make next time:

  • The tang from Greek yogurt was a little too much to pair with the coffee, so I’d switch to regular yogurt (or you know, ice cream but then we can’t call it breakfast can we?)
  • To balance out the sweetness level, I’d add a touch of vanilla extract

Chocolate Chip Mocha Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C ice
  • 3/4 C vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 C cooled coffee
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C chocolate syrup

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish, if desired, with whipped cream and extra chocolate syrup.

*This recipe is adapted from Jacqui at http://www.dishingdelish.com/chocolate-chip-mocha-breakfast-smoothie/*

Chocolate Chip Mocha Smoothie for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Beverages

Breakfast

Main

Sides

Dessert

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out ourPinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

#BundtBakers: Healthy Sneak, Cheat, or Substitute

4ae7b-bundtbakerspostThis month’s bundt theme is quite fun! Andrea of  Adventures in All Things Food challenged us to “healthify” our cakes in a sneaky way. She inspired us to stealthily add in some veggies, find a healthy way to eliminate oils or sugars, or even experiment with an arguably more wholesome flour option.

#BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

I wasn’t sure I’d get a chance to participate this month. We’ve had a lot of travel recently, going to Northern California for a wedding followed almost immediately by a trip to Lake Geneva.

I’ve mentioned the lake house before, but in case you’re new to Sew You Think You Can Cook, I spent my childhood summers at my grandparents’ summer home at the lake. When my parents purchased the home before my grandma passed away, I looked forward to getting to continue the tradition with my children. We even had Firecracker’s first birthday there! I didn’t think we’d get a chance to go this year having to travel from California, but we made it happen. And I’m so glad we did. Firecracker is old enough to truly enjoy the lake and just as I did, jumped off the pier into his grandfather’s arms.

I hadn’t baked my bundt before these vacations and was going to have to simply sit this event out. Fortunately there was a bundt pan tucked away in a cupboard, here! A beautiful, old Nordic Ware original.

With plans to make my buffalo cauliflower for game day, we had the vegetable on the mind. Off to Pinterest I went to uncover a chocolate cake. We added some freshly picked (a story for a future post!) apples to the cake, too.

The resulting cake is a dense, almost fudgy, cake. Funnily enough, the presence of cauliflower was apparent only if eaten cold. It wasn’t abrassive enough to say, “Hey, there’s cauliflower in here.” but just enough to know there’s “something different” about this cake. 15 seconds in the microwave and no one would be any the wiser. Not even a 2 year old.

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You might wonder why we even ate the cake cold in the first place.

The answer is one that every food blogger can relate to. Needing to take a picture! The cake was completed and frosted after sunset. My dad told me I had to include this part of the story in my blog post. The fact that he couldn’t dig in to chocolate cake the day it was made! Yes, I received a lot of heat for having to wait until morning.

It’s okay though, the boys had me up way before anyone else so I snapped some photos in the early morning sunlight.

Choco-flower and Apple Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 C cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 C vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 1-2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced

Steps:

  1. Boil cauliflower until fork tender. Puree in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the yogurt, sugar, and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add in the vanilla and pureed cauliflower.
  5. Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Add 1/4 C of buttermilk, stir until combined. Repeat with remaining dry ingredints and buttermilk. Fold in the chopped apple.
  6. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool before turning out of the pan.

Cinnamon Caramel Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 C powdered sugar

Steps:

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Pour over cooled cake.

*These recipes are adapted from Kate at http://veggiedesserts.co.uk/chocolate-cauliflower-cake-with-salted-cinnamon-caramel-icing-the-blogs-2nd-birthday/*

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You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Almond Bundtlettes by Bea and Mara at I Love Bundt Cakes

Avocado Mini Bundts by Kelly at Passion Kneaded

Black Forest Tomato Bundt Cake by Shilpi at Simplyveggies

Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm

Easy Orange Bundt Cake by Nichole at Cookaholic Wife

Fall Fruits Bundt Cake by Rebekah at Making Miracles

Flourless Chocolate Bundt Cake by Colleen at Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Secret Spice Yoghurt Cake by Jane at Jane’s Adventure in Dinner

Tunnel of Fudge Cake by Bee at The Queen of Scones

Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake by Felice at All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Whole Wheat Banana Bundt Cake byAnshie>at Spiceroots