Archive of ‘Apples’ category

Chunky Crock Pot Apples

My husband was recently given a bag filled with homegrown apples from one of his clients. Not wanting to waste any of them, I decided it was the PERFECT opportunity to make Chunky Crock Pot Apples!Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Do you ever slow cook apples?  The process is so completely easy! In about 10 minutes apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, etc. can be cooking in the crock pot. Let the apples cook on low all day, give them a light “mash”, and end up with phenomenal tasting apples, which can be eaten warm straight out of the crock pot, or can be used  as a topping for pancakes, waffles, cake, ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, or as a side dish for pork.  The ways to use them are endless, they taste fantastic… and with only a minimal amount of prep involved!

Here’s how to make them:  Peel and remove seeds from 8 large apples (any kind will taste great!).  Slice apples and cut into chunks. Place apple pieces into crock pot, then stir in fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Add cinnamon, brown sugar, water and a touch of butter, put the lid on, and slow cook the apples for 6-7 hours on LOW.

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When the apples are done cooking, they will be nice and tender and will smell (and taste amazing!). I lightly mash them with a potato masher, but leave lots of chunks!  At this point, the apples are DONE! They can be served as is, or used in a great variety of ways, cold OR hot. They are so good, I can eat them right out of the bowl! YUM!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

They taste phenomenal when added to oatmeal. No need to add additional sugar!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The topping tastes great on pancakes or waffles, too (I use a slotted spoon to let some of the juice drain off before topping the pancake).

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples are delicious as a filling for dessert crepes, and even as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, or slices of pound cake.  They are also a great side dish served with cooked pork roast or chops.  Hope you will consider making this easy, versatile recipe.  I’ve never been disappointed in all the years Ive been making them.  Once the apples are cooked, the possibilities are endless!

Have a fantastic day!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples
 
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Use your crock pot to make chunky apples, with cinnamon and brown sugar, then enjoy them on pancakes, oatmeal, pound cake, etc.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4-5 cups
Ingredients
  • 8 large apples (any variety)
  • Lemon juice (from ½ a large lemon)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon butter
Directions
  1. Peel apples, slice, remove seeds, then cut into chunks. Put apples into crock pot.
  2. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over apples and stir to combine.
  3. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, water and butter to crock pot. Stir well.
  4. Place lid on slow cooker; cook apples on LOW for 6-7 hours. Remove lid from apples. Lightly mash tender apples with a potato masher (or a fork if you don't have a potato masher), being sure to leave lots of chunks. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
IDEAS: Serve warm as a side dish with pork. Serve warm over pancakes or waffles (no need for butter or syrup!) Serve warm apples on top of cooked oatmeal (yum) Use as a filling for dessert crepes. Serve cooled chunky apples as a topping on ice cream or yogurt Serve on top of pound cake, etc.

 

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Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

The other evening I made a Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette to go with dinner. It tasted wonderful, with crunchy apple slices, creamy goat cheese, spinach, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and a fantastic dressing – amazing!Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Talk about a quick and easy salad (and homemade dressing)… wow! The entire salad and amazing vinaigrette dressing took only about 15 minutes from start to finish. My husband and I both loved it!

Here’s how you make this incredibly EASY salad:  Place baby spinach , thinly sliced apples, red onion, dried cranberries, toasted pecans (or walnuts), and goat cheese (half of total amount) into a large salad bowl.  Note: I sliced the apples right before serving. If preparing this salad ahead of time, remember to brush apple slices with lemon juice, to prevent them from darkening once exposed to air, OR slice the apples and add to salad just before serving.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Quickly whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients or place in a bottle or container with lid, and shake to fully combine.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lightly drizzle the salad with vinaigrette.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Toss the salad to mix in the salad dressing, covering all ingredients.  Once salad has been tossed, top the salad with the other half of the goat cheese, and serve!  THAT’S IT!

See how easy that was? In case you are thinking that the salad is too easy to taste good, let me assure you, the vinaigrette is absolutely fantastic on this salad, AND the salad itself is FULL of great flavors AND textures (chewy, crunchy, creamy)!

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I hope you have a wonderful day. Seek out someone you can encourage or give a helping hand to today.  We can ALL make a difference in this often hopeless world. Blessings.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/my-favorite-apple-spinach-salad/

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
 
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Quick and easy to prepare, this salad is full of flavor and textures, thanks to spinach, crisp apple slices, red onion, cranberries, creamy goat cheese, toasted pecans, and apple cider vinaigrette!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
For salad:
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 apples (cored/thinly sliced- leave peel ON)
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnut halves), lightly toasted
  • Half small red onion, peeled/thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces goat cheese, DIVIDED. (May also substitute feta or bleu cheese)
For Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (may also substitute champagne vinegar)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled/minced
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (or honey), to sweeten
  • pinch salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Place baby spinach, sliced apples, cranberries, toasted pecans (see NOTES section), red onion slices, and crumble HALF of the goat cheese into a large salad bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, jar, or container with lid, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients. Shake or whisk until all salad dressing ingredients are fully blended.
  3. Lightly drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss salad, to combine.
  4. Crumble the remaining goat cheese over the top of the salad, and serve!
Notes
To toast pecans (walnuts): Place in skillet (a dry skillet) and cook on medium-low for about 5 minutes, stirring/turning often, until nuts are lightly toasted and aromatic. Let nuts cool a minute or two, before adding to salad.

 

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Apple Butter – and how to can it!

Apples and Fall go together… like rain galoshes and buckets of rain, here in the Pacific Northwest! If you’ve never tried Apple Butter before, you’re missing out! Smearing a spoonful of it on a piece of toast is cinnamon-apple goodness, folks!Apple Butter- and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I’ve read that a lot of people use apple butter (think “jam”) as an accompaniment to roasted pork or other meat dishes, but I prefer it in it’s purest form… spread on a great piece of toast.  Apple Butter tastes like FALL, to me, with apples, sugar, cinnamon and cloves blended into this wonderful spread!

This recipe yields 8 half-pint (8 oz.) or 4 pint sized (12 oz.) jars of Apple Butter.  I canned 4 pint jars and gave a couple of the jars away to friends to enjoy, but that’s another story. If not canning for long term storage, make sure jars are refrigerated and apple butter used within a couple weeks.

Here’s how you make traditional Apple Butter (and can it):

In a mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves; set aside. (If you are using really sweet apples, decrease sugar amount to 5 cups).

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place peeled, cored and quartered apples in a large stainless steel saucepan, along with water.

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bring this mixture to a full boil on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to gently boil the apples and water for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Apples should be softened.

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Using an immersion blender (or a canister blender or food processor), puree the hot apple mixture until you have a consistent, smooth texture, but do not liquefy.

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Measure out apple puree (see recipe below) and pour it into a large, clean stainless steel saucepan. Add the sugar/cinnamon/clove mixture; stir to combine. Bring the puree to a boil (medium-high), and stir frequently while it cooks. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat again to low and boil gently until the puree has thickened and can hold it’s shape on a spoon.

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here’s an easy way to test and see if it is done. Take a small spoonful and put it onto a CHILLED plate. If the liquid does NOT separate (making a watery rim around the edge), and the puree maintains a spreadable shape, then the apple butter is ready.

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

If you are NOT canning the apple butter, ladle the hot butter into clean mason jars, wipe lids clean, secure lids on jars, and refrigerate (and/or give away). Apple Butter that is not canned must be kept refrigerated, and has a limited storage time.

If you ARE canning for long term storage, prepare jars, canner, and jar lids while making the apple butter, according to canner manufacturer and USDA canning guidelines.

Ladle the hot apple butter into hot canning jars. Leave 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by inserting plastic knife or plastic canning tool into butter several times. Adjust the head space, if necessary, to maintain 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, then put flat lid on, followed by screw lid. Tighten it just to fingertip tight.

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Process apple butter on rack in prepared canner, and process according to directions (see recipe below).

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then carefully remove jars from canner; let jars cool on kitchen towel on counter (not directly on counter-don’t want them to crack due to temperature extremes). Once you have made sure jars have sealed (with the famous “pinging sound”), let them cool for 24 hours, then store.  Enjoy some of this tasty spread on a good piece of toast!

Apple Butter-and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a great day. Be kind… encourage those who are experiencing pain or sorrow, and be a force for GOOD in this hurting world!

Apple Butter - and how to can it! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving, page 53, Published by Robert Rose, Inc., 2006.

Apple Butter - and how to can it!
 
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This smooth creamy spread is perfect on toast, as a topping for pound cake, or as an accompaniment for roast pork.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Jam
Serves: 4 pint jars
Ingredients
  • 6 lbs. apples (peeled, cored, and quartered)
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar (if using sweet apples, decrease to 5 cups)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
Directions
  1. Combine the apples and water in a large saucepan. Bring this to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches boiling, reduce the heat to low and boil mixture gently, for about 30 minutes, until the apples soften. Stir mixture occasionally.
  2. Puree the apple mixture using an immersion blender OR transfer the apple mixture to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, but do not liquefy.
  3. Measure out 12 cups of apple puree into a clean large saucepan. Add sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Stir this mixture up until all the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil (again over medium-high heat). Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to cook. Stir this very frequently to prevent scorching. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens and can hold its shape on a spoon. To test to see if it is ready, spoon a spoonful of the apple mixture onto a CHILLED plate. If the liquid does not separate and form a rim around the edge of the apple butter, and the mixture can hold a spreadable shape, the apple butter is ready to place into canning jars.
  4. While the apple butter is cooking, prepare your canner, jars, and lids, according to manufacturer and USDA canning guidelines.
  5. Once apple butter is done, ladle the hot apple butter into your hot canning jars. Leave ¼ inch headspace. Make sure to remove air bubbles, then re-adjust the headspace, if needed. Wipe rim well, to ensure it is clean. Place the flat lid on jar, then screw on the band until it is fingertip tight.
  6. Place jars onto rack in prepared canner. Make sure they are completely covered with water (water should be at least an inch over the top of jars). Place lid on canner. Bring water to a full rolling boil, then process jars for 10 minutes. Take off the canner lid; let jars sit in water for 5 more minutes, then remove jars to a dish towel on kitchen counter (do not place hot jars directly on kitchen counter as they could crack due to temperature variations). Let jars sit on counter undisturbed for 24 hours. After testing each jar to make sure they have sealed properly, the jars are safe to store in pantry.

 

 

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Mini Apple Crisps

Well, well, well… the OFFICIAL start to Fall 2015 will be here in a couple of days. School’s begun, the days are cooler here in the Northwest, sunsets are earlier each day, leaves are beginning their color changes… and apples are everywhere! Time to make Mini Apple Crisps and welcome in this change of season with a tasty dessert!Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fall just sort of screams “APPLES”, don’t ya think? There are so many varieties that come into season this time of year, and to me, there is something so memorable about making my first Apple Pie or Apple Crisp of the Fall. Apple desserts just seems to fit right in with wearing sweatshirts, raking leaves, football games, pumpkins, brilliant fall foliage, etc. Can you tell I enjoy this season? I especially enjoy it here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

This recipe for individual sized apple crisps is perfect for those nights when you just want to crawl up on the couch in your sweats, under a big warm blanket, and eat something decadent, like some warm apple crisp “goodness” while watching a good show or movie. Warm, cinnamon-y, and bursting with fresh apple taste… what could be better than that? Well, I guess a little scoop of vanilla ice cream could make this even better, right? This is a very easy recipe that makes 4 individual servings, so you can eat one, and save 3 for later, if you are so inclined (Ha Ha).

First thing I did was peel, core and slice the apples. Then I placed the apple slices, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon into a large skillet. I mixed the ingredients well, to combine, then cooked the apples on medium-low for about 10 minutes, or until the apple slices had slightly softened.

Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
While the apples were cooking, I used a pastry blender to blend the crumb topping ingredients in a small bowl.

Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I sprayed 4 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.

Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Once the apples were done cooking, I divided them between the 4 ramekins.

Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I divided the crumb topping between the 4 ramekins, sprinkling it all over the top of the apples, all the way to the edges.

Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I baked the apple crisps in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until the mixture was bubbly, and the top crumble mixture was lightly browned.

Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I let them cool on a wire rack for a bit, then served the Mini Apple Crisps while they were still warm. They were delicious!

Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Doesn’t that look delicious? It’s especially good with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream served on top! This is so easy to make, too! You’re gonna LOVE it!

Welcome, FALL! Sure hope you will give this delicious recipe a try! Have a great week.

Mini Apple Crisps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Slightly Adapted From: The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook, page 131, published 1973 by The Pillsbury Company,

Mini Apple Crisps
 
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Ring in the Fall season with these individual sized, delicious apple crisps!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
For apples:
  • 5 cups Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons water
For crumble mixture:
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour (unsifted)
  • ½ cup rolled oats (old fashioned or quick cook)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup cold butter
Directions
  1. Place sliced apples, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, lemon juice and water into a large skillet. Stir to combine. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes, or until apples have softened slightly. Remove from heat.
  2. While apples are cooking, prepare the crumb topping. Place the brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, 1 tsp. and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl. Cut the butter into chunks and add to bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly and butter is about the size of peas. Set aside.
  3. Spray 4 ramekins with non-stick spray. Once apples are done, divide and spoon them equally into the 4 ramekins.
  4. Divide the crumb topping equally between the 4 apple-filled ramekins.Spoon the crumb topping over the entire surface of the apples, all the way to the edges.
  5. Bake apple crisps at 375 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and the crumb topping is a light, golden brown. Remove hot ramekins to a wire rack to cool a bit.
  6. Serve warm, with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

 

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Apple Crumb Muffins

This past weekend we have had quite lot of wind and heavy rain hit us here in Portland. The temperature has dropped quite a bit from the consistent HOT temps we’ve been experiencing all summer long. To celebrate what FEELS like Fall, I made these Apple Crumb Muffins! Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Apples and cool, rainy weather just seem to go together well! So does a hungry tummy and these yummy muffins!  I found the recipe for these delicious, easy-to-prepare muffins on a blog site that I enjoy, called “Heather’s French Press”, and decided to give ’em a try. They were SO EASY to make… really! Here’s how you make them:

First you whisk together flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, salt and cinnamon (gotta have the cinnamon to make any good apple recipe a hit, right?!!!!)

Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Next, whisk together one egg, some milk and a bit of melted butter. Whisk it up good, then pour it into the flour mixture.

Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Stir to combine the ingredients (just until blended in), then fold in the chopped apples.

Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fill paper-lined muffin cups with the apple mixture. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full. PLEASE IGNORE my totally ancient/much-abused, horrible-looking muffin pans that have seen a LOT of use over the years!  Now, tell me the truth… did you ignore how gross they are, really? Uh huh. I didn’t think so. I have the same reaction every time I haul this muffin tin out of the cabinet. A little worse for the wear, but “works” just fine, so I can live with that.

Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Now it’s time to make up the crumb/streusel topping. Easy. Just mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, then distribute (crumble) them over the tops of each muffin.

Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once they are all covered (use up all the crumb topping), bake the muffins at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, then remove pan to a wire rack to cool. Once they have cooled down, you are ready to serve these delicious muffins.

Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

These muffins also freeze well! Sure hope you will find some time to give this recipe a try! Have a great week!

Apple Crumb Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://www.heathersfrenchpress.com/2015/08/apple-streusel-coffee-cake-muffins.html

Apple Crumb Muffins
 
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Moist and delicious apple muffins, with a crumb topping make these a "must" for a quick breakfast treat!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
For The Muffins:
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups apples, peeled, and diced
For The Crumb Topping:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, milk and melted butter (cooled) together.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir this until is is just barely combined.
  5. Add the diced apples; fold them into the batter.
  6. Spoon the mixture into paper-lined or spayed standard sized muffin cups.
  7. In separate small bowl, mix together the crumb topping ingredients. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top of each of the muffins. Use all the topping mixture.
  8. Bake the muffins at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool before serving.
  9. Enjoy!

 

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Apple, Cranberries & Oats Skillet Breakfast

A few mornings ago, I was trying to decide what to eat for breakfast. I decided to eat a LARGE apple, but then thought it sounded rather boring. I wanted to eat a fairly healthy breakfast, but wanted it to taste fantastic and help fill me up.  So I made an Apple, Cranberries & Oats Skillet Breakfast and it was wonderful, delicious, and filling!Apple, Cranberries & Oats Skillet Breakfast / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I decided to cook the apple slices in my trusty skillet, then added in additional flavor with some extra goodies (like cinnamon, dried cranberries, a smidge of brown sugar, etc.) and some “good for you” old-fashioned oats. What I ended up with was a healthy, satisfying meal… with a huge apple as the main ingredient!

I love to cook oatmeal with fresh apples in it, but this time I reversed the process. I cooked an entire large apple, and added in only 1 Tablespoon of raw oats and dried cranberries while cooking (for extra texture and fiber). I liberally sprinkled the mixture with cinnamon, lemon juice, a tiny pinch of brown sugar, and cooked the apples down until they were softened, but NOT mushy.

Apple, Cranberries & Oats Breakfast Skillet / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I added a bit of water to my skillet while cooking to help the oats and apple soften up. That’s it!  Once the apples had softened (about 5 minutes later), I spooned the entire mixture into a bowl, let it cool just a bit, and ate the whole thing! I felt like I was eating apple crisp (kinda) for breakfast. It was delicious, and was a totally EASY and very satisfying start to my day! Another breakfast recipe (one of my faves) you might want to check out is my post for Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats With Pecans! Yum.

Hope you will give this quick breakfast a try! Have a great day; my hope is that God blesses you with moments where you see evidence of HIS beauty, kindness, and love as you go through this day!

Apple, Cranberries & Oats Skillet Breakfast / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe source: My brain (and 2 cups of coffee)

Apple, Cranberries & Oats Skillet Breakfast
 
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Comforting and delicious, this healthy breakfast cooked in a skillet will make you think you're eating apple pie for breakfast!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 LARGE apple, peeled, cored and sliced into thin slices
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • cinnamon (to suit your taste- I used about ¾ teaspoon
  • ¾ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon old-fashioned oats (dry)
  • ¼ cup water
Directions
  1. Peel, core, and slice the apple into thin slices. Place in skillet.
  2. Stir in lemon juice. Cook apple slices on medium-low heat until apples begin to soften (2-3 minutes).
  3. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, dried cranberries, and oats. Stir together.
  4. Add water, stir to combine and continue cooking until apple mixture is hot, most of the water has cooked away, and the apples have softened (approx. 5 minutes).
  5. That's it! Serve while warm. Enjoy.

 

 

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Dutch Crumb Apple Pie

I made a Dutch Crumb Apple Pie this past week for my hubby (because I love him).  It’s one of his favorite pies!Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
He owns a real estate appraisal business, and has been working LONG, crazy hours for the past couple months to keep up with demand. He mentioned to me a few weeks ago on an incredibly busy, stressful day, how good a piece of Dutch Crumb Apple Pie pie sounded. So I made him a pie this week as a “thank you” for how hard he works for our family. THIS pie. It’s delicious!

I’ve been making apple pies for as long as I can remember, from the same old recipe I found in a cookbook when I was a newlywed, almost 40 years ago. Last Fall I made several pies and enjoyed surprising a few friends and neighbors with a pie of their own!  I used to make apple pies with a top crust, but discovered a couple of years ago that we really enjoyed a “crumb” topping on apple pie.The brown sugar and pecans in the topping really give this pie a wonderful taste.  I found the recipe for the topping in the same cookbook, added it to the pie recipe…and we LOVED it!

I used Gravenstein apples I picked last summer (they were frozen, but I thawed them before making this pie), but Granny Smith apples are a perfect substitute (firm and tart).

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Here’s how you make this absolutely delicious pie:   Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Make a single pie crust. Use your own recipe, buy one, or make my recipe (DIY Mom’s Pie Crust!). Prick the dough on bottom and sides with tines of a fork, so the dough doesn’t “puff up” while baking.

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Prepare the apple filling per recipe instructions. Set aside.

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Prepare crumb topping, using a pastry blender to cut butter into mixture. Mix until all butter is worked in, and is about the size of peas.

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The topping mixture should look something like this when done:

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add the apple filling to the prepared pie crust.

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Carefully distribute the crumb topping mixture on top of the apples. I cup my hand around the sides as I go, to keep most of the crumbs ON the pie and OFF the kitchen counter.

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Spread crumb topping over entire surface of pie and mound it up toward the center of pie.

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This is what it should look like from the side. See how high it is in the middle?

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Bake the pie at  425 degrees, for  40-45 minutes. I put a piece of aluminum foil on the rack below the rack the pie is baked on, to catch any wayward drips (easy to clean up), Pie should be a wonderful, golden brown color when done.

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Let cool for a bit, then dig in! Here’s what the inside of the pie looks like: (Same pie… but used my phone’s camera for this one…)

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
And here’s what a slice of the pie looks like with a scoop of my homemade vanilla ice cream, (gotta have the pie a la mode, of course). So incredibly good!

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Hope you will give this recipe a try! We love it, and think you will, too!

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: “The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook”, copyright 1973 by The Pillsbury Company. [Apple Pie recipe: page 149]. [Crumb topping recipe: page 147].

Dutch Crumb Apple Pie
 
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Here's an absolutely delicious old-fashioned apple pie, piled high with a Crumb/Streusel topping.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
For Pie:
  • 1 9" pie crust, at room temperature
  • 6 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For Crumb Topping:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While oven is preheating, put pie crust into 9" pie pan. Form crust. Prick the bottom and sides of dough with tines of a fork, so the dough won't puff up while pie is baking. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the crumb topping: In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and chunks of the the butter. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two forks. Cut the butter in until the mixture is crumbly and the butter has been reduced to the size of peas.
  3. Stir in the chopped pecans (or walnuts). Set aside.
  4. Make the pie filling: Place the peeled apple slices in a large mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Pour the apple filling into a prepared (*unbaked) pie crust lined pie pan.
  6. Cover the entire surface of the pie with the crumb topping, and forming a mound which rises in the middle of the pie. Use all the crumbs (the topping will flatten out a bit while baking).
  7. Place a large piece of aluminum foil directly under the pie but on the rack below the rack the pie is on (this will catch any drips, and help with easy clean-up)
  8. Bake pie at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Pie should be bubbly and golden brown when done. Remove hot pie to a wire rack to cool a bit before serving.
  9. Slice a piece, top it with some vanilla ice cream... and ENJOY!

 

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Rise n’ Shine Juice

The other day I wanted a healthy, filling, and BIG blended juice for my breakfast. I ended up juicing a ruby red grapefruit, mandarin oranges, valencia oranges, half a lemon, and then… if that wasn’t enough, I added apples, carrots, fresh ginger, half a frozen banana, and a handful of crushed ice into the mix. I called it “Rise n’ Shine Juice”! YUM!Rise n' Shine Juice / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I juiced the citrus fruits, strained out the pulp, then added the juice, along with sliced raw carrots, a small knob of fresh ginger, 2 sliced apples, and half a frozen banana into my food processor (we don’t own a juicing machine).

Rise n' Shine Juice / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s a lot of citrus pulp strained out of the juice…

I blended all the ingredients up, then added a small handful of ice to get it really cold, and mixed that in, as well. The beauty of it is that it actually tasted good, after completely pulverizing it! The result was a delicious, slightly thicker than normal juice (thanks to the apple and carrots).  I liked it, certainly got my fruit requirement for the day in, it filled me up, and I froze the leftovers (recipe makes enough for 2!) for another day! Hope you enjoy it!

Rise n' Shine Juice / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Rise n' Shine Juice
 
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This delicious, citrus-based juice will really help you to "Rise n' Shine"!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 Ruby red grapefruit
  • 3 oranges
  • 2 mandarin oranges
  • 2 small apples, peeled, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 6-7 mini-carrots, sliced
  • ½ banana (frozen)
  • 1" knob of fresh ginger
  • handful of ice
Directions
  1. Juice the grapefruit, oranges, and mandarin oranges. Pour juice through a strainer to remove pulp. Pour juice into food processor (or heavy duty blender).
  2. Add apple slices, sliced carrots, frozen banana and ginger to processor. Process for several minutes until almost all of the apples and carrots have broken down.
  3. Add a handful of crushed ice to the processor. Process again, until ice is fully incorporated into liquid.
  4. Pour into serving glasses. Garnish with an orange slice, if desired.
  5. Enjoy your fruit fix for the day!

 

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Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce

This recipe for Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce has FALL written all over it! It’s surprising how well pork and apples go together!Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
My husband and I had dinner recently at a friend’s home. Our friend Shari prepared a wonderful meal for us and it was FANTASTIC! It was absolutely delicious, and a wonderful recipe that was perfect for a cool, Fall evening.

This week we have a friend (a friend for 40 years) staying with us in our home. Her first night here, I decided to try making this recipe for our own dinner. I found the original recipe online at Epicurious, and prepared it for us. Miracle of miracles, it turned out GREAT (guess even little old me can’t hurt a good recipe, right?)

The original recipe from Bon Appétit, calls for Calvados, which is an apple brandy from France. I didn’t have any, and didn’t want to go buy an entire bottle for the small amount needed, so I substituted dry white wine (which I did have), and it turned out fine, as well. I followed the rest of the instructions as written, and was very pleased with the results (as was our guest).

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pounding pork slices out with a meat mallet… great stress reliever, yes???

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sliced Golden Delicious Apples, ready to cook…

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Apples are cooking in butter…

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Apples are cooked until light golden brown, then removed from skillet.

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pork tenderloin cutlets are cooked in butter for a few minutes on each side…

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pork tenderloin cutlets are cooked in butter… a few minutes on each side…

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After removing pork cutlets, Apple Cider Sauce is made in the same skillet. Wine or Calvados is used to deglaze the skillet, then shallots and thyme are added.

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Apple cider and whipping cream are added to the sauce… looking  and smelling delicious!

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pork Tenderloin Cutlets are surrounded by cooked apples and covered with the apple cider sauce… ready to serve them up!

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

A couple of slices per person, with sauce on top, accompanied by apples on the side and mashed potatoes with some of the sauce on top. Dig In!!!!

Sure hope you will give this wonderful meal a try. I know I will definitely make this again and again. It’s really very simple to make, and is full of flavor!

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Slightly Adapted From: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pork-with-Apples-Calvados-and-Apple-Cider-1797

Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Apple Cider Sauce
 
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Tender pork cutlets, with cooked apples, draped with a lovely apple cider sauce. Delicious!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
For the pork and apples:
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • Salt & pepper (to season pork)
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 medium Golden Delicious apples, (peeled, cored, sliced into ⅓ inch thick slices)
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
For the Apple Cider Sauce:
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or use 1 teaspoon dried)
  • ¼ cup Calvados or other apple brandy (I substituted ¼ cup dry white wine)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup apple cider (not apple juice)
Directions
  1. Put the pork slices between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound them out, one at a time, until they are about ¼ inch thick. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add the apple slices, then sprinkle the slices with the sugar. Saute the apple slices until they are golden brown, on both sides (approximately 5-6 minutes). Remove apples from skillet and set aside. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons butter back into the large skillet. Melt butter over high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add pork slices to the hot skillet. Cook the slices until they are lightly browned and cooked through (about 3 minutes per side). Cook pork in batches, if necessary. Once pork has cooked through on both sides, remove to a platter, cover and keep warm. DO NOT CLEAN SKILLET OUT!
  4. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter over medium heat in the same skillet you cooked the pork in. Add the chopped shallots and thyme; saute these for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the Calvados (if using) or the white wine to the shallots, butter and thyme. Boil until the liquid is reduced to a glaze like consistency, scraping up the browned bits into the sauce as you go.
  6. Stir in the apple cider and whipping cream. Cook until the mixture thickens to sauce consistency (about 2-3 minutes). Lightly season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Reheat the apples in another skillet or microwave, if necessary.
  8. Place pork slices on platter. Spoon the sauce over the top of the pork slices. Top with the apple slices, or place the apple slices around the pork.
  9. Serve and enjoy. This dish is perfect with mashed potatoes on the side. Use some of the apple cider sauce on top (like gravy) of the mashed potatoes for a perfect entree!

 

 

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Mom’s Apple Cake

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret….shhh… don’t tell… my Mom’s Apple Cake is amazing!Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!  This moist and absolutely delicious cake is PERFECT for Fall!
Seriously. It’s packed with fresh apples and cinnamon, and is so moist, you don’t need to “fancy it up” with any extra frosting… it’s absolutely perfect just the way it is!

My mom used to make this cake for our family as I was growing up, and this simple recipe has been in my collection for over 35 years. I don’t know where she got the original recipe, but I DO KNOW that it is absolutely delicious, and is perfect anytime, but especially in the Fall! The recipe is super simple to make, and you probably already have the ingredients in your home. My mom always makes this cake in a 13×9 inch cake pan, but I tried making it this time in a springform pan and 2 miniature spring form pans (just as an experiment). Result…ALWAYS fantastic, no matter WHAT you bake it in. This is a great dessert cake, but is equally good in the morning with a cup of good coffee (well, someone had to try it for breakfast…*cough, cough*…I don’t mind “taking one for the team”)

Sure hope you’ll try it… I know you’re gonna LOVE it! Thanks, Mom, for another great childhood recipe!

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mixing the eggs, oil and sugar together…

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Adding in the sifted dry ingredients…

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This is a stiff dough. Mix it up well…

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add the vanilla, apples and nuts… mix them into dough.

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread batter into prepared pan(s)… bake until done.

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Look how cute the miniature cakes turned out! (I’m giving these to friends!)

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Yum… all I need now is some coffee to go with a nice slice of Mom’s Apple Cake!

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Looks good enough to eat!!!!

Mom's Apple Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Apple Cake
 
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Simple, moist and delicious, this apple cake is perfect anytime, but especially in the Fall!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 cake
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups chopped apple (approximately 4-5 I usually use Granny Smith, but any apples will do)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil and sugar together by hand until well blended.
  3. Add sifted dry ingredients. Stir until well blended. Dough will be stiff... just keep on blending!
  4. Add vanilla, chopped apples and nuts. Stir well until thoroughly combined. Dough will be stiff.
  5. Grease and flour a Springform pan, plus two miniature springform pans (or use a greased and floured 13x9 inch baking pan).
  6. Spread batter evenly in baking pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes (for regular sized springform pan) *SEE NOTES SECTION FOR BAKING TIMES, IF USING OTHER TYPES OF BAKING PANS*
Notes
*BAKING TIMES:
1 regular-sized Springform pan = 55 minutes
Miniature Springform pans = 40 minutes
13 x 9 inch cake pan = 1 hour

 

 

 

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