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Posts Tagged ‘Apples’

Man is it gorgeous outside! I don’t know what us Nor’westers did to deserve such a perfect fall (I’m ignoring the likely possibility of climate change/global warming), but I’m taking it! So here’s a quick post for you because I’m really feeling the urge to be out in the beautiful crisp autumnal sunshine.

© Dina Avila

I can’t imagine a more perfect meal to go with today’s weather. I came across this salad while flipping through this month’s issue of Sunset. Adam and I have been eating a lot of stews lately and it was starting to feel heavy and redundant. When I spied Sunset’s fall green salad with apples nuts and pain d’epice dressing, I  knew it was the perfect antidote.

For those of you in other parts of the country suffering from lesser weather, I will do my best to appeal to the weather gods to send some warmth and sunshine your way.

I’ll even do a little dance :)

Cheers!

Fall Green Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Adapted from Sunset Magazine

I served this with a spicy chicken apple sausage but you can easily keep this vegetarian. The original recipe called for orange juice and zest. I omitted those and replaced it with a splash of champagne vinegar.

What you’ll need~

3/4 cups walnuts

2 cups rustic bread torn into bite-sized pieces

4 tablespoons walnut oil© Dina Avila

1 teaspoon champagne vinegar

1/2 teaspoon each, cinnamon and ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon each, nutmeg and ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon each, kosher salt and ground black pepper

About 4 cups mixed salad greens

1 tart sweet apple, thinly sliced

~

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Toss bread crumbs with a tablespoon of walnut oil and place on one half of a baking sheet.

Place walnuts on the other half of the baking sheet.

Bake in oven for about 12 minutes, stirring breadcrumbs and walnuts halfway through, until your breadcrumbs are golden.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Coarsely chopped cooled walnuts and set aside.

Whisk remaining 3 tablespoons walnut oil with vinegar and spices.

Toss with salad greens, apple, nuts and croutons.

© Dina Avila

 

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When Adam and I have a day off together and the weather is clear, you’ll find us strolling Portland’s streets, exploring the neighborhoods and simply moseying the day away. On last weeks walk, unusually warm weather and a super bright sun led us to find some cooling tree cover in one of Portland’s oldest cemetery, Lone Pine Cemetery. Cemeteries truly are interesting places. Considering that there are hundreds of bones beneath your feet, and you are literally surrounded by death, there is a surprising bustle of life on the surface. Aside from the oldest known grave in Portland, Emmor Stephens who died in 1846, Lone Pine boasts a rose garden, an asylum, and trees as far as the eye can see. Everywhere we turned there were squirrels burying their winter nuts in the graves. Joggers, ancestry hunters, and yes, bridal portraits, the cemetery was alive with activity. I love irony.

I was more interested in leaves that day for some reason rather than headstones, but I’m intrigued by Lone Pine and think I’ll soon head over there for a little photographic exploration.

As usual, all roads eventually lead us to Powell’s for some book perusing and then to Bridgeport Ale House, it’s right across the street after all, for a happy-hour pint and a bite. The warm weather and long walk warranted a pint of Blue Heron, don’t you think?

We have a possibly unnatural love of cookies in our house. Despite my (general) dislike of desserts, cookies tend to be a weakness passion of mine (especially chocolate chip). Many of my childhood memories involve cookies. We had a drawer full of plastic cookie cutters in every holiday shape, and we’d find Mom rolling out Valentine’s Day hearts or Halloween cats on the kitchen counter and, on occasion, she’d let us decorate the cookies. The kitchen was her domain, after all.

A recipe in the current issue of Sunset Magazine inspired these thumbprint cookies. It was one of their clever ways of recycling Thanksgiving Day leftovers involving day-old cranberry sauce. I had a few baking apples rolling around and I thought I’d give these cookies a shot, with a twist, of course. I picked up some vanilla salt at Whole Foods and, itching to use it, I sprinkled a bit of it on the cookies before placing them in the oven. Truth be told, my sprinkling was a tiny bit heavy-handed on a few cookies making them more, shall we say, biscuit-like than cookie, but over all they turned out to be tasty little bite-sized apple pie (ish) treats. And Adam gobbled them up with almost as much enthusiasm as he did with my Ginger-licious cookies.

Ok, I did too.

I also want to send out a HUGE thank you to Food Press for not only featuring two of my images as Favorites, but for also choosing me as a Featured Blogger. Do check out their new site. Loads of food and blogging fun!

Cheers!

Apple Thumbprint Cookies with Roasted Hazelnuts

What you’ll need:

3 Cups diced apples

1 cup butter

1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups spelt or all-purpose flour

Splash of almond milk, or other milk, or water

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

3/4 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts

Fig jam, optional

Vanilla salt, optional

Preheat your oven to 350

In a stand mixer or food processor beat butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour, cinnamon and salt. Blend. Add almond milk as needed to maintain a smooth batter.

Stir in roasted hazelnuts.

Using your hands, roll dough into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls and place about an inch apart on parchment lined or greased baking sheet. Press a well into the center of the ball with your thumb. Spoon enough apple mixture to fill well. Top with a dollop of Fig jam and/or sprinkle with vanilla salt.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until cookies are a lovely shade of golden brown.

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