Apple Cinnamon Bread

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Happy 3rd Monday of the month!  If you keep track of Not So Doughie’s schedule, you know this means my monthly contribution to A Dose of Paige.  On her blog, I decided to avoid the pumpkin obsession, but dive into another fall favorite: apples.  It was chilly and very fall-like the other evening so I decided to whip of a creation of Apple Cinnamon Bread.  I based the recipe off of a basic banana bread recipe of mine and this came out fabulously.  So deliciously fall.  Head on over to her site to get the recipe!

Apple Cinnamon Bread

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Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

{never buy again}

I finally got around to using a large amount of our apples from our trip to the Apple Orchard. Who knew apples kept so long?  Needless to say, we ate a lot of our apples plain for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so we are a bit appled out.  I couldn’t bear to waste nearly half a bushel of apples and I have wanted to make applesauce for a long time.

On Saturday, it was chilly and yet another fall day.  Dinner that night was Cincinnati chili requested by Bryan for the UofM vs. State football game.  I do have a pretty fabulous homemade Cincinnati chili recipe, but I wanted to focus on my applesauce so I went with one of the seasoning packets.  They are pretty dang good and only need a pound of beef and 6 oz of tomato paste.  I recommend the packets for sure, but when feeling ambitious make my homemade Cincinnati chili {post to come soon}.

As the chili bubbled on the stove, I started coring, peeling and cutting the apples.  I used what we had picked:  Red Delicious and Empire apples.  I researched applesauce for some time and there wasn’t a particular apple that was recommended across the board.  Feel free to use whatever is on sale at the store or if you prefer a more tart applesauce go with Granny smith.  Either way the apples release their sugars during the cooking creating the sweetness naturally.

Let me tell you.  My house smelled AH-MAY-ZING.  We had some people over and they thought an apple cinnamon candle was burning.  The applesauce tasted great right out of the crock pot warm and was even more delicious after sitting in the fridge.  I definitely have a new appreciation for homemade applesauce.  I plan to make it again with different apples and maybe a spin.  Pumpkin applesauce?

applesauce

{Click here for the recipe}

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Roasted Beet & Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

{the earthy salad}

Growing up my mom made dinner a lot and oftentimes there would be a can of beets on the table.  She would also say “Now don’t go eating all my beets!” clearly being sarcastic as I HATED beets.  The unreal color, the earthy smell, the odd liquid they sat in. BLAH. Thanks, but no thanks.  

In college, I worked at one of our upscale restaurants in Oxford called Alexander House (RIP as it no longer exists) on the menu there was a Beet Salad.  It always intrigued me – the bright colors, the arrangement of the beets around the plates and the freshness of it.  I decided to give it a try and instantly fell in love.  My taste buds had grown and I now was a big fan of those little monsters that I used to despise on the dinner table.  I even LOVE canned beets.  So Mom, now if you have beets on the dinner table, you may have to tell me with no sarcasm to not eat all the beets!  

I was cleaning out our fridge for whatever night and saw a beet in the veggie drawer.  I am not sure how old it was, but hey there wasn’t any visible moldings.  I threw it into the oven to roast and well… I forgot about it.  Bryan ended up taking it out and then next morning I saw it on the counter.  I knew I had to use it right away so I whipped by this salad to have to lunch at work.  The crunchy, sweet apple was delicious with the earthy beets and the apple cider vinaigrette gave it a nice punch of tang.  I wish I had some pecans or goat cheese to add to the salad, but I didn’t at the time.  It was a perfect amount to take to work for lunch that day.  I know beets are an acquired taste and most people cringe at the name.  However, I strongly suggest starting by adding them some roasted ones to your salad.  They are very nutritious and quite filling too.

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{Click here for the recipe}

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A Visit to Erwin’s Apple Orchard

{fall bliss}

I absolutely love the fall.  Frankly, who from the Midwest doesn’t?  Crisp air, colorful leaves, pumpkins, boots, apples.  The summer in Michigan can be pretty brutal so fall appears right when we can’t take one more sweltering days.  For the past two years, we have gone to Erwin’s Apple Orchard to pick apples, get pumpkins, drink cider and eat warm donuts.  Unfortunately, last year’s apple crops were ruined from a late frost so we only were able to get pumpkins.  So this year we were eager to get back into the orchard to climb some trees, eat some apples and brainstorm everything we can make with the 40+ apples we bring home.  My sister and her husband, Charlie, decided to come visit this weekend and go with us, which was a lot of fun.  Orchard go-ers seemed a bit crabby when we got there, but the 5 of us had a blast.  We picked Red Delicious & Empire apples this year.  I plan to continue our annual Erwin trip for many years to come.  If you have a nearby orchard, go now!  The apple crops are falling and not much time is left to snag some of those crunchy, sweet treats.  Plan to see apples appear in several of my upcoming posts!  Do you have suggestions on what you make with apples?  Leave a comment and let me know!  I am looking for some clever new ideas.

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