According to the Farmers’ Almanac, September 22 marks the beginning of autumn. We most certainly enjoyed a bit of coolness in the evenings and mornings for the past several days and are hoping for some of the same crisp, cool weather in the days ahead. Wanting the “atmosphere” in my home to reflect the gradual change of seasons, I decided to bake some apple slices lightly coated with cinnamon and sugar. They delicious.
The following day I stirred up a bowl of “loaded oatmeal” with peeled apple pieces, white raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon. Later that day, I set out on a mission and bought the ripest selection of apples with which to create one of my two favorite apple-containing slaws and a few of my favorite apple entrée recipes. I hope you will try them, and that they will become favorites in your recipe file.
Apple-spinach fruity salad
2 small Red Delicious apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 large bag pre-made spinach salad, washed or 8 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed
In a large bowl, put in the slices of onion, apples, oranges, onion and celery. Add the chopped dates or raisins and nuts. Whether you use pre-made spinach salad or fresh spinach leaves, wash them well and cut off the bottom part of the stems. You may choose to tear the leaves into small pieces or leave them whole. Pat the leaves dry with clean paper towels. Put the spinach into the bowl and toss all ingredients until they are evenly combined. Salad is best topped with a vinaigrette dressing, but this salad goes well with any dressing.
Apple, cabbage and grape slaw
1 package slaw mix
1 Red Delicious apple, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in halves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 packages Splenda artificial sweetener
In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the slaw mixture and toss these ingredients until they are well coated. Refrigerate the slaw until it is time to serve it. This recipe makes six to eight servings.
Sausage-stuffed baked apples
1/2 pound sweet or mild or medium Italian sausage, removed from casing and crumbled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup diced Vidalia onion
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
4 large apples (your favorite variety)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 cinnamon sticks, about 4 inches long
3/4 cup chicken stock (or canned low-salt)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crumbled sausage and cook, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes or until browned. Scrape the meat into a medium bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet and melt it over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chopped sage and continue to cook 1 more minute. Combine the cooked onion/pepper mixture with the sausage, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
Peel the top 1/3 of each apple and generously core them, leaving about 1/2-inch at the bottom. The opening should be about 2 inches in diameter. Brush the peeled portion of each apple with the melted butter and roll in the Parmesan cheese, pressing lightly on the cheese. Reserve any extra butter and cheese.
Lightly pack filling into each apple and insert a cinnamon stick into each. Sprinkle with remaining butter and cheese. Pour chicken stock into your baking pan. Bake at 350 until apples are just tender and browned, 45 to 50 minutes. This recipe makes 4 servings.
Pork tenderloin with apples ‘n carrots
1 Reynolds Oven Bag (large size)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed, strained
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons seasoned salt
2 large apples, cored, cut in eighths
4 medium carrots, sliced
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Shake the flour into the Reynolds Oven Bag. Twist the bag to close and shake the flour until the bag is evenly coated. Place the bag into a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with the opening towards the wide side of the pan. Add the orange juice, honey and mustard to the oven bag. Squeeze the bag to blend in the flour. Sprinkle the tenderloins with the seasoned salt to suit your taste. Place the tenderloins in the oven bag. Place the carrot and apple slices in the bag around the tenderloins.
Close the oven bag with the nylon tie. Cut three small slits in the top of the bag, and tuck the ends of the bag into the pan. Bake on 350 degrees for one hour. This recipe makes six servings.
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