Thursday, October 21, 2010

Artichokes and apples... (not together, of course!)

I hold a strong personal belief that, in the Fall, one must include two particular ingredients in a portion of their baking: apples and pumpkin. I've got the pumpkin covered for now with the previous pumpkin pancake post. Let's move on to apples. We are dessert eaters. Dessert is a way of life in our family and we eagerly look forward to "lunch dessert" or "dinner dessert". On Monday night, there was not a single sweet morsel in this house. Dinner finished (seriously, this crock pot chicken is the way to go) and from the table, this dainty little voice said "Momma.... zert?" (translation: zert=dessert). Cheerios. Dry and plain. I served cheerios for dessert on Monday night. Epic dessert fail! 

Last night, I proved myself worthy by serving a beautifully delicious apple crisp.

Apple Crisp (recipe originally from my Mom, modified slightly by me)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease baking dish (I buttered an 8x8 pan)
  • Peel and slice apples (for the 8x8 pan, I used 3 big apples - an assortment of organic varieties, not all the same)
  • Place apple slices in pan and toss with fresh lemon juice
  • Combine with pastry cutter:
    • heaping 1/2 C. brown sugar
    • 1/2 C. oatmeal
    • 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
    • 3 T. butter
    • 1 t. cinnamon
  • Crumble mix over apples
  • Pour 1/4 C. apple cider over entire dish (we used John's fave: Louisburg, of course!)
  • Bake for 40 minutes
Tonight, thanks to the leftovers in the fridge, I spent my dinner-making time playing in the kitchen with a dip recipe I've been wanting to try. I made this White Bean and Artichoke Dip, with a few modifications:
  • I cut the recipe in half: 1 can great northern beans, drained/rinsed; 1 can artichoke hearts, drained; 1 garlic clove
  • I added extra lemon juice 
  • I added olive oil
All in all, it was a really smooth and creamy alternative to hummus. We ate it with these delicious Snyder's pretzel sticks - organic, with whole wheat flour and a very short ingredient list - always a perk! HUGE success with the gals! And when the pretzels ran out, fingers seemed to be a nice substitution. 

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