Pork and Apple Meatballs

It was the game day after our apple picking adventure and we were in need of something a little more substantial to munch on during the Michigan game. We had a lovely platter of cheese, crackers, and apple slices and my baked buffalo cauliflower. We actually kept a portion un-coated in the batter and I might even like them better sans-breading. (Gasp!)

It was decided that I should go ahead and make some meatballs. With an abundance of apples sitting on the table I thought it’d be a good idea to use them! Pork and apples are a classic combination that works well in meatball form, too.

We had mixed reviews on whether or not these appetizers needed a dip. While everyone enjoyed them plain-Jane, my husband couldn’t help himself from grabbing some honey. That man puts honey on just about everything.

Pork and Apple Meatballs (with honey) | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

My aunt couldn’t understand why they’d be served with anything and preferred them as is. I found that serving them with the honey we purchased at the apple orchard helped highlight the pork flavor and provided a sweetness that amplified the apple.

An Original Recipe

Pork and Apple Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 pkg (19 oz) Italian sausage
  • 1 apple, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 2-3 tbsp diced red onion
  • 1 egg
  • S+P, to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients until just incorporated. Form into ping-pong sized meatballs.
  3. Place in a lightly greased casserole dish and bake 20-30 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 160 deg F is reached.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of apple blossom honey (optional).

Pork and Apple Meatballs | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

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

#FoodieExtravaganza: Lemonade

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Happy August, everyone! August is a great month, although there aren’t any legal holidays to get you a day or two off of work. August is the final month of summer, the month when most people are taking family vacations, and the month that holds my birthday!

August also has some of the best foodie holidays. It’s National Brownies At Brunch Month (say, whaaat?!), National S’mores Day is the 10th, and the last day of the month is Eat Outdoors Day (what a fun family tradition to start!). Two years ago #FoodieExtravaganza celebrated waffles and last year potatoes.

The Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. We take turns hosting and this month, it’s my turn! I decided on Lemonade Day, which falls on the 20th. Why? Because lemonade is one of my favorite summertime treats. I make a minimum of 2 homemade lemonades once summer hits. (You can read more about my citrus juicing love here.)

I decided to take a different approach with this year’s new lemonade. No sugar! Instead, this lemonade gets its sweetness from honey. You can alter how cloyingly sweet you want your beverage to be by playing around with different honey varieties. (About.com has a great resource for describing the different flavor profiles of each type of honey.)

Honey Mint Lemonade  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Honey Mint Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 3 lb lemons)
  • 9 C water, divided use
  • 1/4 C honey (any variety of your choosing)
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint
  • sparkling water for serving (optional)

Steps:

  1. Microwave 1 C water for 1 minute, or until hot but not boiling. Stir honey into hot water until dissolved. Add mint and steep 5 minutes. Remove mint and discard.
  2. Combine honey mixture, lemon juice, and remaining 8 C water in a pitcher.
  3. Option to add a splash of sparkling water to serve.

*This recipe was inspired by SkinnyMs at http://skinnyms.com/homemade-honey-lemonade-with-fresh-mint-recipe/*

Honey Mint Lemonade for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other lemonades:

Dairy-Free Frosted Lemonade by Cookaholic Wife

Frosty Raw Strawberry Lemonade by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Lemony White Sangria by Hardly A Goddess

Papaya Lemonade (or cocktail!) by Caroline’s Cooking

Passion Tea Lemonade by Making Miracles

Peachy Lemonade by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Pineapple Pink Lemonade Shaved Ice by Food Lust People Love

Shikanji (Indian Lemonade) by Tara’s Multicultural Table

Sparkling Apple and Watermelon Lemonade Spritzers by Sneha’s Recipe

Sparkling Blue Basil Lemonade by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Sparkling Milk Lemonade by Our Good Life

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach

Would you believe me if I told you I’d never had ramen before making the recipe I’m sharing with you today? Well, it’s true! Even on a college dime I never tried it. I’ve always been a macaroni and cheese kind of girl, ever since I was a wee one. The kind in the blue box that’s 98 cents. Or if I’m feeling fancy, the liquid gold kind for 2 dollars a box. A guilty pleasure that I haven’t indulged in since we moved into our new place.

When we moved we decided that we’d go ahead and alter our diet a little bit. I don’t care much for a strict diet – there isn’t any gluten-free, paleo, or vegan-style eating in my house. What we discussed doing to eat a more healthy and balanced diet is to start cutting out processed foods. It’s a slow transition that’s taking place in my grocery shopping and until I feel completely settled in, it won’t be in full force. But, I haven’t bought those childhood favorites of mine. And I’m not buying those canned cinnamon rolls that we require every Sunday morning, either!

I feel like there are a lot of changes taking place and definitely a lot of “firsts.”

img_1624I just spent my first week “home alone” with the two boys while my husband was in Denver for work. To say I was scared would be an understatement. I’m happy to report that the three of us did survive, and with very minimal scarring. Treat decided it was high time to learn to stand the day Stuart left. At six months old! I expected the second child to do things more quickly to be able to keep up with the older sibling, but I was not prepared for things to happen this fast! He seems to only half master a skill before careening head first into the next milestone. At the age of 6 months he started to sit, started to army crawl, started to hands-and-knees crawl, mastered the army crawl, mastered sitting, pulled himself up, and started to scoot along the couch. If you ask me, that’s way too many things to discover in 4 short weeks. He needs to stop trying to be a toddler and just be a baby!

Among the “firsts” is my first taste of ramen noodles (not including the flavoring packet, just the noodles) and my first usage of miso in my own kitchen. Due to the enormous size container of miso, you’ll be seeing a bit more of the Japanese product on the blog in the future.Pork Ramen (components)

I loved the flavors of the roast pork tenderloin, sweet from the honey with the warm spiciness (not heat) from the Chinese 5 spice powder. It paired nicely with the subtly salty broth. I even actually ate the mushrooms in the soup – gasp! As for the ramen, I don’t think I’ve met a noodle I don’t like. For 12 cents and a 3 minute cook time, I’ll be looking to the Chinese noodle more often.

Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce, divided use
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 portabella mushroom cap, thinly sliced
  • 7 C chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 6 C baby spinach
  • 3 pkgs (3 oz) ramen noodles, soup mix discarded
  • sliced scallions, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Put the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt. Pour 2 tbsp of the soy sauce and the sherry over the pork as well. Let marinate at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Place pork on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Flip and roast another 15 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 145 degrees F is reached. Brush the pork with the honey and roast about 5 minutes, until pork is 155 degrees F. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the onions until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce, and the miso. Bring soup to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach to the soup until wilted.
  5. Cook ramen according to package instructions.
  6. Assemble: Divide the ramen among 4 shallow bowls, ladle soup over the noodles, and top with sliced pork. Garnish with scallions.

*This recipe is adapted from CookFresh Spring 2016*

Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach  Sew You Think You Can Cook

SRC: Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad

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Good morning and welcome to another edition of The Secret Recipe Club. For a little “behind the scenes” information, The Secret Recipe Club (SRC) is divided into three groups. Each group posts on a different Monday of the month. I am in Group C and always post on the 3rd Monday of the month. Which meant that during those special months with five Mondays there’d be two weeks without any fun reveal day! So now, on the 5th Monday of the month there is a themed reveal and it’s a “free for all,” which means that there aren’t any group restrictions. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other bloggers in the club.

The end of May unofficially marks the beginning of barbecue season and so today, the Secret Recipe Club is sharing recipes that would be perfect for your upcoming summer picnics and barbecues.

I was assigned the blog An Affair from the Heart written by Michaela. Michaela and I sound like we could be great friends! She describes herself as a “party thrower, gift giver, wish I were craftier, liver & lover of life” kind of gal. It’s that “wish I were craftier” bit that made me smile as I can relate completely. She is a stay-at-home mom to four children and has been married for 25 years this year!

I searched for great side dishes to accompany any summer picnic barbecue or family reunion. I always love a good pasta salad to eat alongside my grilled burger or dog and her Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is definitely on my radar. Any family reunion isn’t complete without my Aunt’s 7 Layer Dip and Michaela’s Not Your Average Mexican Layered Bean Dip looks like it could compete (because it’s avocado free, an allergy I developed while pregnant with Firecracker that I won’t try again until I’m done breastfeeding Treat). Ultimately I went with a fruit salad, after being distracted by a Shirley Temple Float, because how could I not be?!

I altered her recipe to use fruits that were available to me and that met my family’s taste preferences. That’s the beauty of fruit salad – make it however you want! Because of my overall volume of fruit, I only ended up using one carton of yogurt instead of two. I didn’t adjust the honey accordingly and my local variety of Eucalyptus honey was quite over powering. I would of course make this fruit salad again (and use a sweeter honey). My husband loved having it as his mid morning snack in his lunches all week. Truth be told, this fruit salad was part of the very first meal we cooked in our new home!

P.S. I know I said in my SRC Reveal Post two weeks ago that I was supposed to get internet that day, well, it didn’t happen and now today’s the day! Theoretically. I’m not holding my breath on it though, that’s for sure. So, once again, I’m sorry to my fellow club members, but I promise I’ll be stopping by all your picnic worthy posts soon!

Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 C grapes, halved (I used red)
  • 2 C cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1 ½ C chopped strawberries
  • 2 tangerines, segmented
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cubed
  • 1 container (6 oz) lemon yogurt
  • ¼ C honey
  • Juice ½ large lemon

Steps:

*This recipe is adapted from Michaela at http://www.anaffairfromtheheart.com/2015/08/honey-lemon-fruit-salad/*

Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad for Secret Recipe Club from Sew You Think You Can Cook

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

CIC: Chickpeas & Honey

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This month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge was to combine chickpeas aka garbanzo beans and honey. Two ingredients that were already in my pantry. How was I to turn down the challenge!?

I kept it really simple this month and added only a few more ingredients, cinnamon sugar and olive oil. The result was a snack that we devoured within the hour! Roasted chickpeas will become a new snack staple and I can’t wait to play around with some other flavor combinations.

These chickpeas would be beautiful atop a salad, too. Much like the one I shared yesterday!

Cinnamon and Honey Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon sugar

Steps:

  1. Lay chickpeas out on a clean towel and pat dry. Remove any lose skins. Leave chickpeas out until completely dried, about 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Lay chickpeas out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 40 minutes, or until crunchy.
  4. Toss roasted chickpeas in oil. Add the honey and cinnamon sugar. Place chickpeas back on the baking sheet and roast another 5 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Debbie at http://www.madefrompinterest.net/roasted-chickpeas-recipe/*

Cinnamon and Honey Roasted Chickepeas for Crazy Ingredient Challenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

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

Blogger CLUE: Honey Sriracha Sweet Potatoes

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Today Blogger CLUE is continuing with our Fall celebrations with a wide open theme of “Autumn” for October’s reveal day.

This month I was assigned the blog Eliot’s Eats. I actually had Debra’s blog for the berries reveal day. Her blog is named after her cat (and favorite poet). I had fun searching through Debra’s blog this time with another season in mind. And I was ecstatic to find a plethora of sweet potato recipes!

When it comes to Autumn recipes the blogosphere becomes filled with pumpkin this and pumpkin that. Thanks to a pumpkin allergy (which I developed at the ripe old age of 21) Fall cooking has become quite disheartening. Luckily there’s the lovely sweet potato to make me pretend I’m in on the craze. 🙂

I made two dishes from Eliot’s Eats this month – one I made a fair number of changes to and will be sharing with you at a later date and this simple side dish. These sweet potatoes are doused in a honey sriracha sauce before being baked until tender. This sauce would be fantastic for any number of vegetables and even chicken. Actually, while I was mixing up the concoction I couldn’t get wings off the brain – probably because of the melted butter and the smell of vinegary heat. Yum!

I used half of the amount of sriracha Debra used on the off chance my little man would give them a try. (And because I’m a wimp.) I’m happy to report my 15 month old showed a little interest and worked on fork stabbing practice with these potatoes. He even licked a couple, but wouldn’t actually eat it. (…I’m trying to remain calm and patient while he goes through this stage of eating…)

Honey Sriracha Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 small or 1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size cubes
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl.
  3. Whisk together butter, honey, sriracha, and olive oil. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Season with salt.
  4. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes until tender, flip the potatoes halfway through the cooking process.

*This recipe is adapted from Debra at http://eliotseats.com/2015/04/12/roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-honey-and-sriracha/*

Honey Sriracha Sweet Potatoes for #BloggerCLUE from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month: