Monthly Archives: March 2014

Ultimate Apple Crisp

So…what do you whip up when it’s supposed to be spring, but feels and looks like winter?

UltimateAppleCrisp

Something that tastes like fall.

Seriously. This solution makes perfect sense to me.

Mother Nature is (still) messing with us, so I might as well make the most of it.

With this post, I am officially bestowing upon myself the worst food blogger award. Everyone else online has their menu synched up to the seasons. Me? I go with my gut, which wanted apple crisp. Not just any apple crisp would do though.

I needed Ultimate Apple Crisp.

Apples

Peeled

Ironically enough, what takes this treat from ordinary to ultimate isn’t the apples. No offense to the ones pictured above. You guys were great.

These aren’t some fancy schmance apples you can only find in some specialty store.

Don’t tell anyone, but they’re not even organic.

All apples used in this dessert were regular, ol’ run of the mill granny smiths. About those everyday, ordinary apples. Peel, chop and get ready to jazz ’em up!

ApplesOomph

Seriously, guys. This is where things start to get really good.

After adding some fresh cranberries for a punch of color and pop of flavor, give everything a good a douse of lemon juice. Use fresh if you’re feeling fancy or bottled if you’re lazy like me.

Then comes a dusting of deliciousness. Pretty much the epitome of sugar, spice and everything nice.

We’re not done yet though. Here comes the crisp.

Bowl

This crisp? I can’t even. I know everything in that bowl above is awesome on its own, but see that butter sitting back there?

After some of it is browned and beautiful, it’s going to bring the booyah.

As always, you’ll have to taste this to see what I’m talking about. The only way to describe it is ultimate.

Ultimate Apple Crisp

adapted from allrecipes.com

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
Filling
5 large granny smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup fresh cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tablespoon white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
Topping
3/4 cup oats
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
3/4 dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons browned butter
pinch of salt

ice cream or fro yo (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the sliced apples – and cranberries, if using – in an 8×8 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and pinch of salt together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour lemon juice evenly over everything.

Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes – glass pans may need more time than metal. Consider yourself warned.

Serve with ice cream or fro yo of your choice. I used Edy’s Slow Churned Caramel Delight and didn’t hate it. At all.

AppleCrisp

How ’bout them apples?

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Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese

This is grown-up grilled cheese. Sure, you could share with children, but you won’t want to.

MMG

Oh, don’t give me that look. Instead, look at that sandwich and then tell me again you’re okay with sharing. Yeah, I didn’t think so.

MeatballsBreadPlant

I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of gal who could eat a few grilled cheese sandwiches in one sitting and still not be satisfied.

Sure, you can serve it with some soup. I’m still gonna want more grilled cheeses…pleases.

That’s politeness pluralized.

Bread

I’ve told you that I’m not really a spaghetti gal. Go ahead and get judgy, but I’m by no means low carbing it. I just prefer the chew of some hearty bread over a pile of pasta.

So, when I made a giant vat of meatballs and sauce to serve company Friday night and all the pasta went but there were still a bunch of meatballs, I wasn’t bummed because I happened to have a lovely loaf of bread and some super melty muenster cheese on hand.

And then the angels sang because that’s what happens when you make a sandwich this heavenly.

Nothis

That – and your dog stares at you while you’re cooking because he know mom’s making magic. By the time Eric and I polished off our sandwiches I think he finally got the hint neither one was for him.

Sorry, homie.

HisHersThe purpose of this picture is to show you that my slightly smaller sandwich is super ladylike and dainty compared to my husband’s. I do this with almost everything we eat. Give him just a little more.

Then, sneak seconds as he does dishes and I pack leftovers into Tupperware.

Griddling

I’m kidding, of course. Eric is well aware and extremely impressed by my ability to eat. What I’m not kidding about is the second sneaking. Guilty as charged on that one.

Before I get into the meat (get it?) of this recipe, I should tell you there is no real rhyme or reason to it. Like your homemade meatballs and sauce better than mine? Make ’em. Short on time and you’d rather do a store bought shortcut? Do it.

Whatever it takes to get this sandwich to your mouth is good by me.

Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese

Inspired by How Sweet It Is & The Kitchn

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
Meatballs and sauce – how many meatballs you’ll use depends on the size. Mine were a little over an inch in diameter, so I cut each in half and needed six total (three per sandwich). Also, you’ll just need enough sauce to coat the meatballs.
4 ounces muenster cheese, shredded
4 slices of good, grainy bread
a little bit of butter
extra sauce for serving, if desired

Directions:
Heat a grill pan, griddle over skillet over medium-low heat and while it’s coming up to temp, lightly (or heavily) butter one slice of bread.

Place the bread – buttered side down – on the hot surface and pile a little cheese onto each piece. Then, layer on the meatballs and sauce. After you add another small mountain of cheese, top both sandwiches off with another buttered bread slice. Be sure the buttered slice is facing up.

After about four minutes, carefully flip your masterpiece over and patiently wait as the other side gets good and golden.

Wait another few minutes and take the sandwiches off the griddle or out of the pan. Bask in the glory of the beautiful sandwiches you just made.

Serve with extra sauce if that gets you goin’.

Stacked

These were good with an O and an M in front. That, for those of you spelling along with me would make Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese Sandwiches OMGood.

They’re Lady Gaga good. Gaga ooh lala.

Please excuse my poor attempt at remaining relevant by incorporating dumb pop culture references into this post. I’m just a person who stays home on the weekend so I can take pictures of the meals I make.

In no way shape or form, am I cool. I sure can make a sandwich though.

BigBite

My secret to mastering the grilled cheese sandwich? Meatballs.

Mediterranean Burgers

Here I go again, adding hummus to everything. #can’tstopwon’tstop

MediterraneanBugersFirst, it was my infamous Garden Vegetable Hummus Pizza. By infamous, I mean it wasn’t even a blip on the food blogosphere’s radar, but that’s neither here nor there. It rocked my world and that’s really all that matters.

Hummus is a staple in my house and when I got bored of burgers – yes, even the Best Ever Turkey Burgers can get tired – I decided to let two worlds collide. Move over ketchup and mustard, here comes hummus!

The result? A breakthrough in burger-making.

Okay, okay. This wasn’t really a result of a kitchen stroke of genius. If I’m going to be honest here with myself and my readers, I must tell you what really happened was that I had some hummus on hand that was in a use or lose situation.

As serendipity would have it, Mediterranean Burgers were born.

Meat

On the left in the picture above, you’ll see my standard burger mixture. We’ve got a pound or so of lean ground beef, a couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce and a tablespoon of hamburger seasoning. I buy the McCormick brand, but if you don’t see it in your local supermarket or you don’t feel like stocking your spice cabinet, don’t sweat it! Just throw in some salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder and your burgers will be just fine.

Mix all that business up and you’ll be well on your way. If you have any picky eaters joining you, this is the point where you’ll wanna pull enough meat to make a patty or two.

Why? Well, we’re about to get freaky deaky with some Greek(y) ingredients.

Crumbled feta cheese and dried oregano get added on in for Mediterranean flavor that runs right through your burger. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks.

Burgers

If Mother Nature wasn’t so mean, I’d be sending Eric outside to grill these suckers up, but right now the griddle’s the way to go. Now that I’m thinking about it – good weather or otherwise – I’m a griddle girl.

Call me crazy, but there’s something about the combo of cast iron and the flat cooking surface that creates burger bliss.

Sear some up and see for yourself!

AnatomyofaMediterraneanBurgerBy now, your burgers are grilled up and I bet you’re hungry. I get it. Take a sec though to top these things off right before shoving your burger between a bun and stuffing your face.

How? How about thick slices of tomato, tangy pepperoncini and – of course – a good schmear of hummus.

You got that?

Top, then stuff. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Only not with the lathering and rinsing…with the topping and stuffing.

Duh.

Mediterranean Burgers

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:
1-1 1/4 pound ground beef (I use a 93/7% blend)
a couple splashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hamburger seasoning
4 ounces feta (domestic or imported), crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup hummus (prepared or homemade – in my humble opinion, my Heavenly Hummus can’t be beat)
pepperoncini, mild or hot
4 whole wheat burger buns

Directions:
Butter and toast up your buns, if that’s how you roll (get it?!). Set aside until you’re ready to assemble your burgers.

Mix first five ingredients in a medium bowl only until combined and then form four equal-sized patties. I always make an indentation in each patty’s center because I read somewhere that it helps them not bulk up in the middle when cooking. I believe this is a theory of the great grill master himself, Bobby Flay.

Griddle (or grill) on medium/medium high for four minutes per side. If you like your burger a bit more on the pink side, cook a little less. Like ’em well done? Leave ’em on a little longer.

Grab those buns (get your minds out of the gutter) and top ’em with your burgers, a couple thick slices of tomato, some pepperoncini and a couple tablespoons of hummus.

Eat, enjoy and then immediately thank me for this recipe.

BurgahBiteMake a better burger…and when you do, be sure to take a ladylike bite…like so. Super classy.

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