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Archive for the tag “apples”

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

The following recipe for Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is just one of many delicious entries in a new cookbook of recipes using apples by Philip & Lauren Rubin called The Comfort of Apples: Modern Recipes for an Old-Fashioned Favorite.

This recipe was sweeter and richer-tasting than my usual butternut squash soup, while still being cream- and butter-free.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
4 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 quart chicken stock
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper
½ cup walnut halves
4 ounces goat cheese, sliced in ¼ -inch rounds

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent about 3 minutes. Add the squash, apples, carrots, stock, and cinnamon and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the vegetables are soft when pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Ladle the vegetables and half of the broth into a blender or food processor. Puree until very smooth. Return soup to the pot and stir in the remaining broth, one ladleful at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Season well with salt and pepper.

3. To serve, place a few walnuts in the center of a soup bowl. Shingle 2 slices of goat cheese on top of the walnuts and ladle the soup around the goat cheese. The idea is to have the goat cheese visible atop the soup. (Hint: it may be easier to ladle the soup into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour from there.)

Serves 6

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Peeled Snacks’ American Farms Sampler

Peeled Snacks is known for dried fruit with cute names and pretty packaging – and for its real food philosophy.

Now, Peeled Snacks is partnering with American Farmland Trust, a national organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting healthy farming practices and supporting farms and farmers.

Peeled Snacks is currently featuring an American Farms Sampler: 6 pouches of dried organic apples (Apple-2-the-core) and 6 pouches of dried cherries (Cherry-go-round) for $22.99.  Both fruits are grown in North America and 10% of sales will benefit American Farmland Trust.

Thanks to Darrah, Jennifer and Jill (team effort!) I was sent a sampler and I really enjoyed both the apples and cherries.  Both were very fresh tasting- not overly dry, hard or otherwise “over the hill” like some dried fruits can taste.

How apeeling.

Central Park Picnic: Retrospective

My nostalgia for warm weather continues.  Thankfully I’m currently in the Bay Area which is at least thirty degrees warmer than New York (though still thirty degrees shy of my ideal).

Last July, with temperatures delightfully high, I had a date one evening with my friends Adam and Jenny for a New York Philharmonic concert.  We agreed on a picnic before the music started.  Jenny brought a cold bottle of white wine and some fresh apples and plums.  I had thrown together some packages pretzels, dried fruit, etc before leaving home.

My random assortment was immediately overlooked upon seeing Adam’s contributions.  Homemade eggplant carbonata.  Heirloom tomatoes with garlic to top homemade olive oiled herbed crostini.  A cheese plate assembled by the fromage section of Whole Foods.  Something salmon, I think.  Several other things I am forgetting.

It was wonderful.  I highly recommend being friends with Adam.  (And Jenny, the wine was classic.)

Next time I will up my game!

central park nyc

Fondue in Vermont Last Autumn

Lately I’ve been missing being outside.  Scurrying among buildings and subway stations in the cold does not count.

So this photograph is a lovely escape.  I took it in September when we were in southern Vermont, visiting our good friends Emily and Ellen who had moved there from New York City two months prior.

The weekend was packed with beautiful sites, good conversation and delicious eats- including this table of appetizers one evening before dinner.  Ridiculously rich gouda fondue, homemade croutons, organic apple slices from the orchard we’d visited that morning, green olives, and a full-bodied red wine.

All this we enjoyed around a fire in their backyard as their labradoodle, Scout, begged for samples.  Aaaahh.

These days I’ve nearly forgotten what it’s like for daylight to stay past 5pm.

myECOfarmer.com Organic Apple Delivery

One day last week I was feeling kinda blah.  You know how that is.

I got back to my apartment and had a package waiting for me.  Inside that package was a bounty of organic apples shipped from independent family orchards in Washington state via myECOfarmer. My mood lifted.

The apples were of two varieties: pink lady and fuji.  Both were absolutely crisp and delicious, and tasted as though I had picked them myself moments earlier (a taste I recall from October’s apple picking adventure).

My Eco Farmer offers various memberships and giftboxes.  Seasonally, they also ship pears and cherries.

Recipe: Apple Buttermilk Bread or Muffins

With a bushel of apples from our pick-your-own adventure, I’ve been creating a few apple recipes.

I’m currently serving on a jury and I brought in this bread one morning last week to share with my fellow jurors.

It is not very sweet, the buttermilk is palatable, and there is a subtle, surprising fusion of sugar and salt. At least that was my interpretation.

The other jurors simply said, “Mmmm.”

Apple Buttermilk Bread or Muffins

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks, a great recipe/wholesome food blog

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit
1 T lemon juice
1 medium apple, cored and diced
3 tablespoons large grain raw sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle. Grease and flour muffin tins if you’re making muffins or a loaf pan if you’re making bread. (Parchment paper also works for the loaf pan.)

Combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk, whisk in the melted butter, and add the lemon juice. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined – try not to over mix. Batter will be lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing out toward the edges. Now place the apple pieces across top. It’s okay if they overlap a little, but try to cover the entire surfaces of the bread/muffins. Sprinkle with the large grain sugar and then the salt. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cake is set (or a toothpick in the center comes out clean), and a touch golden on top. Muffins may take a bit less depending on their size. My yield was one shallow loaf pan (perfect for snack-sized slices for 12 angry men 9 happy jurors) and 6 medium-to-large muffins.

In Season: Apples

There are two types of people: those for whom season dictates food choices, and the rest of us.

Until recently it didn’t occur to me to think too much about seasonality when grocery shopping, choosing a recipe out of a cookbook or ordering at a restaurant. Sure, if a particular item was bountiful I might be drawn to it, but it was more afterthought than forethought.

Reading books about food has helped make local seasonality a prime consideration in my food choices. After foregoing the supermarket’s expensive Australian apples all summer, I am very glad for a dozen apple varieties to be in their prime in New York currently. Today I went apple picking at Weeds Orchard (great name). 89 cents per pound, crisp and juicy, and a perfect complement to brisk October air.

Now if only I can do without asparagus for six more months….

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