Tried and True Recipes

A warm Autumn hello to you all.  Fall has arrived and with it apples and changing leaves and pumpkins.  Not necessarily my favorite season but I'm choosing to embrace the goodness here.  Blustery days that make cuddling with my favorite people a welcome option.  Leaves blowing to and fro and spreading their fiery colors everywhere.  Late sunrises and early sunsets.  Apple picking.  Apple harvest.  The list goes on and on, or at least it could.  I'm going to stop there and share two recipes that have fast become favorites here.  And because I am such an apt blogger I do not even have photos for you.  Well, I have one.  Don't judge.  Just make these for your people and thank me later. 

First up, Granola straight from Melissa Clark's Olive Oil Granola as published in
The New York Times

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups raw pistachios, hulled
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 cup coconut chips
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.  Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. 

* As a side note here, I have never added the cardamom because I never have it on hand.  I don't know if I'm missing out on a flavor explosion or not.  I have also used coconut chips or shredded coconut, your preference matters.  I always cut the sugar in half and it is still more than enough. With that said, you must use the good maple syrup, and when I say good, I mean the pure grade A or B, no additives, no fake sugars.  The real deal people.  And if you don't like pistachios or pumpkin seeds substitute your favorite nuts.  Almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, the options are endless!  Now, go make this and be satisfied.  Oh, and pour it over some Greek yogurt, you can thank me later!

Next we have apple sauce, nothing fancy, just plain old apple sauce from The Pioneer Woman, of course.  When Thing 2 tasted this she said, "it's like spooning fried apples (of the Cracker Barrel) into my mouth".  I think that meant she liked it.  Here goes.

6 pounds apples, cored, peeled and cut into slices
1 cup of apple juice or cider
j\Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Optional additions: nutmeg, maple syrup, allspice, butter

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.  Carefully puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.  You might need to do this in two portions.  Store in the fridge. 

* Again, I always halve the sugar called for, it is still quite sweet.  For the liquid, I've only used pure apple juice, straight from the apples themselves, I would assume that you could substitute water here as well if you'd prefer.  Let me know if you try that.  I also halve the cinnamon called for, Husband Jared is not a fan of things cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg related.  The apples speak for themselves and not once has this recipe failed us. 



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