Cinnamon Apple Baked Oatmeal

Welcome, October! While autumn arrived a few weeks ago, the cooler weather has just recently arrived. We’ve had temps down around 50 each morning while the afternoon temps are making it to the mid-70s. With low humidity, the days are just glorious! I can easily say that this is my favorite time of year! The leaves are slowly beginning their change to gorgeous yellows and oranges.

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I have been enjoying some recipes found in the new THM cookbook, Trim Healthy Table. I was looking through it the other day wanting something new for breakfast. I found one for baked oatmeal, but realized that I could personalize it by making a few changes. I love anything apple and pumpkin this time of year, and since we still have some apples from an orchard we went to a few weeks ago, I decided to make an apple baked oatmeal dish. I was totally amazed at how moist it was! Absolutely delicious!

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 c. low-carb flour blend (I use my own mix of oat flour; almond flour; and ground flax)
  • 1-1/2 c. almond milk
  • 3 tbsp. pyure
  • 2 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. caramel flavoring
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and grated
  • plain Greek yogurt

Lightly coat a 9×9 baking pan with coconut oil. Whisk the eggs well in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients except for the apple and mix well. Add the grated apple and stir until just mixed. Pour into greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cut into 6 pieces. Serve each with Greek yogurt or a squirt of canned whipped topping!

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Cranberry Apple Pie

Hello, and welcome to the Christmas season! I can’t believe that it has been a month since I wrote my last blog post! These last few weeks have just flown by, and now Christmas is just a week away.

This post is #400! It has taken almost 6 years to get this far, but I have persevered and have  had 22,760 views to the blog in that time. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get to 23,000 by the end of 2016!

I love Christmas, but I am also often a sentimental puddle of mush during the season. My fondest memories of my dad are from Christmas. I miss him the most during this season. Actually, I miss my mom, dad, and brother the most during Christmas.

Christmas will be a little strange since there will be only 3 of us together. Our family of 10 going on 11 will be spread out from Chicago to Philadelphia to Orlando this year. However, I am very thankful that I had 9 of our 10-almost-11 here at Thanksgiving! This is what life is all about! We spend years training our kids to become independent adults, capable of surviving life without us! It is such a blessing to see our kids marry and become parents and begin new traditions with their own little families! I have two favorite passages of Scripture concerning children. One has also been my mother-in-law’s favorite…Isaiah 54:13–“All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.”  The other is verse 4 of the little 3rd epistle of John–“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”  If these are true of my children, then I feel that I was a successful mom, for this is what matters most!

Here are a few pictures that we had taken at Thanksgiving.

Now to this amazing pie recipe! Tomorrow evening we are having our special Lessons and Carols service at church. We always have a fellowship time after this service, and this year we are all supposed to bring side dishes and desserts. I had an extra bag of fresh cranberries that I needed to use, so I did a little searching for a cranberry pie. I found one on the Food Network web page that sounded really good! As usual, I made some changes by adding apples and using pecans instead of walnuts.  It is not THM-friendly, but could easily be adapted. Delicious!!

  • 2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/3 cup Truvia baking blend)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Topping:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Spray a 10-inch pie pan to prevent sticking. Spread the cranberries in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and sugar. Let sit while mixing the topping.

Cream the butter with the eggs and sugar. Add the flour and almond extract to the mixture until blended. This mixture will be thick. Spread the topping over the cranberries and nuts. Be sure to seal the edges. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream!

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Gloria’s Apple Cake

I think that the week of October 28, 2012, will forever be etched in the memories of most Americans.  It is just unbelievable the devastation that occurred in the north eastern part of our country.  Hurricane Sandy was a powerful storm that showed no mercy when she struck our shores.  I am thankful that my family and friends who live in the affected areas are safe and that most of them have their electricity restored.

My family here at home had a little excitement last Sunday when our Sheltie, Rose, gave birth to just 2 puppies. Unfortunately, one didn’t make it. We were hoping for at least 4 or 5, but we are thankful that the one little guy is healthy and strong! Isn’t he cute?

I finally got back into a baking mood today and made this recipe from my friend Gloria.  Of course, in keeping with the season, it is chock full of my favorite fall flavors…apples and cinnamon!  What’s the best is that it is really easy!

4 c. apples (I used 4 medium apples), peeled and thinly sliced

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. oil

1/2 c. applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 c. chopped pecans

1 tsp. baking soda

2 c. flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine apple slices, sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla, eggs and pecans together in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda, flour, and cinnamon.  Pour flour mixture over the apple mixture and stir well.  Spray a 13×9 baking pan, and pour apple mixture into it.  Bake at 300 degrees for an hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Apple-Cinnamon Banana Bread

Here is another recipe that has that wonderful autumn aroma of cinnamon and apples!  And it is oh, so yummy!  I must give credit to the creator of the initial recipe. You can find it over at http://www.beantownbaker.com/2011/04/cinnamon-banana-bread.html.  I took her recipe and just tweaked it a little since I didn’t have any cinnamon chips or enough bananas to do the trick.

1-1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I used 1-1/2 tsp)

1 c. uncooked old fashioned oats

1/2 c. cinnamon chips

1 tbsp. oil

2 eggs, beaten

3 large ripe bananas (I used 1-1/2 bananas and about 3/4 c. chunky cinnamon applesauce)

1 tbsp. sugar + 1/2 tsp. cinnamon mixed together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Stir together the first 8 ingredients.  Mash the bananas then add the oil and eggs (and applesauce) and mix thoroughly.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the cinnamon chips.  Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until the top of the loaf is firm to touch and a toothpick comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Turn out on wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Harvest Apple Challah

Autumn has finally arrived, and I am just loving the cooler air and lower humidity!  Having the windows open and the A/C off is wonderful!  Apples and cinnamon are two of my absolute favorites when autumn comes.  This recipe uses both and is delicious!  I can take no credit for this recipe…none at all!  I got it from Lisa over at http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/.  She got it from the King Arthur Flour website.  For the most part, I followed Lisa’s adaptation, but made just a few changes of my own.  Since it is low on sugar, it makes a great breakfast bread…served warm with butter and a drizzle of honey.

1/2 c. very warm water

1 tbsp. yeast

1/8 tsp. sugar

6 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used melted butter)

1/4 c. honey (can substitute  5 tbsp. brown sugar + 1 tbsp. water)

2 large eggs

4 c. all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. salt (I used 1 tsp.)

2 medium to large apples, NOT peeled, but cored and chunked

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I used 1 tsp.)

1/4 c. sugar

1 large egg + 1 tbsp. water for egg wash

In a large mixing bowl  combine the water, yeast and 1/8 tsp. sugar. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Add the oil, honey, and eggs and mix thoroughly.  Add the flour and continue to mix until dough doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. I used my standing mixer and the bread hook for this!  Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn to coat the dough. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours or nearly double in bulk.  Since I placed it in a warm oven to rise, it took only about an hour.

Lightly grease a 9″ springform pan.  Toss the apple chunks with the sugar and cinnamon.  *I cooked my apples for about 15-20 minutes to make them tender.*

Gently punch dough down and turn it out onto a lightly greased work surface.  Flatten it into a rectangle, about 8×10 inches. *I made mine a little bit bigger than that.*  Spread half the apple chunks in the center of the dough and fold the short side of the dough over the apples to cover it, patting firmly to seal the apples and spread the dough a bit.

Spread remaining apples on top of the folded-over dough. Cover the apples with the other side of the dough, again patting firmly and sealing the apples inside.

Using a sharp knife, cut the apple-filled dough into 16 pieces.  This is a very messy step in the process of making this bread, but just keep on cutting, tucking the apples back inside.  Lay the chunks of dough in the pan, crowding them in and keeping them all in just one single layer.  Keep tucking the apples back inside the dough.  Let rise for about an hour or until about 2″ high.  Mine rose to almost 3 inches!!

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk the egg and water together and brush it on top of the dough very gently.  Bake for about 55 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown.  Let cool for about 5 minutes before loosening the side of the pan.  Carefully transfer bread to a cooling rack.

I served mine warm with a dab of butter and a drizzle of honey.

 

Cranberry Applesauce

Ever have “one of those weeks?”  Well, for me, this past week was “one of those weeks!”  I am so thankful that it is finally Saturday!  I honestly don’t know what the problem was, but it just seems like something went wrong nearly every day.

Today I wanted to do something with most of the remaining apples that my hubs brought back from PA a few weeks ago.  I’ve been keeping them in our spare fridge, but knew that I had to do something soon before they spoiled!  All the recipes that I looked at in my cookbooks called for cinnamon. This is usually not a problem, but I had run out of cinnamon!  I have not yet had an opportunity to visit my favorite bargain food store where I purchase cinnamon.  And believe me…I refuse to pay twice the price at a traditional grocery store.

Since most of the apples were getting a little soft, I decided to peel, core, and slice them and cook them in my crock pot for applesauce.  I didn’t follow any particular recipe at all!

Peel, core, and slice enough apples to fill up your crock pot.

Layer about 1 cup of fresh cranberries in between the apples.

Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours or until the apples and cranberries are tender.

If you like your applesauce chunky, just stir in a little sugar to taste. I used about 1/3 cup.  You can add cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg if you desire.

My peeler/corer/slicer tool wasn’t working too well today, so I decided to run my cooked apples through a sieve.  I used the one my mom always used when she cooked fruits.

When I was a little girl, I would use this to help my mom make grape jelly! It was fun to squish all those cooked grapes through the sieve and see the juice in the bowl beneath!

This particular batch of applesauce came out very smooth and thick!  I think the key is letting the apples cook in their own juices!  I added just a touch of sugar to cut down on the tartness of the cranberries.  One crock pot full of apples cooked down to 1 quart of apple sauce.

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Ever have one of those weeks? Or maybe one of those days?  This week has definitely been one of those weeks for me, and Monday was one of those days!  I am so thankful that the week is almost over…but the weekend is going to be super busy, too.  Barbi’s job is transferring her to a new store and Saturday is moving day! We’re planning to make the trip to help drive her truck and unload in her new apartment. She is saying good-bye to Savannah and hello to Atlanta!

Part of what made this week a little rough is that my hubby was out of town visiting his parents.  Of course, when hubby is away, things happen!  Yup! That’s what it was!  Anyway, when he visits with his folks, he always stops by a charming little market run by Mennonite families in the area. They usually have great prices on fresh produce.  This time he was able to get me almost a bushel of apples for just $5.50!

No, they were not all perfectly shaped, but they have been great for baking.  Today I made 2 apple pies (one for dinner and one for the freezer) and a crock pot full of apple sauce.  I still have apples left, but I’ll get to them another time.

Last night I was wanting a different recipe for chicken and remembered seeing a mandarin orange recipe a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember which cookbook had the recipe!  I’m so thankful for the internet!  I just did a search and found this recipe from Taste of Home. I know it is in one of my Taste of Home Cookbooks, but I found it super fast on the computer!  I’ll not write out the entire recipe, but will give you the link here:     http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Mandarin-Orange-Chicken

The only changes I made were with the rosemary.  I didn’t have dried, but I do have a rosemary plant outside my back door.  So I just cut off a sprig and cut some fresh rosemary leaves!  I also baked my chicken in the oven, then thickened the sauce to pour over the chicken and rice.  I was short on time to stand at the stove and brown the chicken!   Served over rice and with a side of broccoli, this makes a great dinner!  Enjoy!