A fall snack – I think this one will be sticking around

One of the very nice things about our particular CSA is the apple cider included every week. This farm really has an orchard (you may have seen the entire bushel of extra apples we bought?) and the cider changes a bit every week as the apples change with the season before getting picked. So between the apples and apple cider in the box and the old-fashioned rolled oats rattling around the pantry, we pretty much had everything to hand. I think next time I should let it go a bit longer for more crunch but I do like this snack as is.

If you’re looking for a thick granola where things stick together, this is not the one for you. This is more crumbly and individual.

Apple Cider Granola

Original found LastIngredient
Makes 3 cups
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 15; Snacks: 1 recipe left

  • 1 largish apple, preferably tart
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, or other nut you like
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 225°F and line a couple of sheet pans with parchment.
  2. Slice the apple as thin as you can, preferably to 1/8 inch with a mandolin. Lay them out as a single layer on the sheet pans and bake until dried and brown, about 1.5 hours. Set aside to cool before roughly chopping.
  3. Increase the oven to 300°F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, salt, walnuts, honey, cider, and vanilla. If the apples are not completely dry, chopped them up and mix into the granola. Spread onto the mixture onto the sheet pants.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss and return to the oven. Continue baking until golden brown – check every 5 minutes to make sure the granola does not burn. Allow to cool, then add the apples if not already mixed in.
  5. Eat and store the excess in an air tight container.

Not stuffed enough apples

Apparently farro is not a standard thing to find. I mean, I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to find some in a regular grocery store. But surely, SURELY, our local hippy food co-op would have some in their bulk section. I mean the bulk section is like the main attraction (to me anyway). Who else sells 12 different types of rice in bins. Between the rice, and the lentils, and the flours, and the dried chickpeas, and the quinoa, I was SURE that there’d be farro around somewhere.

Nope.

Well… not exactly gonna completely ditch my plans and come up with something new on the spot… Just not how my brain works. Also, didn’t have internet access and the list of recipes I’m working on trying out with me. Nor my binders of power (recipes). So, I did what I’ve finally learned to do in those situations. Ask a grocery store person for their recommendation on what to substitute in. Which is how I ended up cooking wheat berries for the first time.

Also learned that 2 inches to be hollowed out from the middle of an apple is bigger than I think it is. And if you don’t make a big enough cavity in apples to stuff filling in, you end up cooking a lot filling in the bottom of your pan. Tasty that way, but definitely not the driving idea behind the recipe.

As you may have noticed from the ‘bounty!’ photos that have popped up on Saturdays, Adam and I have joined a CSA for the fall season. And boy do they have a lot of apple trees on the farm (I assume) – 5 to 6 Honey Crisp apples every week. In a half-share! I’m totally not complaining, given a) how many apples we eat around here and b) since I rather like the Honey Crisp variety. It was also nice for this recipe since the original called for honey crisps. Also for the contrast between apple, wheat berry, and chicken sausage. I’m not much of a pork sausage fan – happens when you grow up without any type of pig product in the house (yes that included bacon, yes I’m actually not a fan of bacon, yes I do speak that particular food heresy). Which makes chicken sausage my go-to substitute for ‘sausage’ in recipes. Substitute back as you choose 😀

End result for these particular stuffed apples? Too much work for the end result. Did you know you need to cook wheat berries for 50-55 minutes before mixing them in with the rest of the filling ingredients and then cook everything? Too long.

Good contrast in textures though.

Wheat berry, nuts, and sausage-stuffed baked apples

Original from OhMyVeggies
Makes 4 apples
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 22; Dinners: 4 recipes left

  • 4 Honey crisp apples, at least medium sized
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 oz sausage of your choice, crumbled or sliced
  • 1/3 cup wheat berries, soft or hard, cooked
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and almonds (what can I say, it’s what we had lying around)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray or grease it with oil or butter.
  2. Core each apple and then widen the hole in the center to 1.5″ to 2″. If you think it’s big enough, make it bigger.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the onion and sausage to a medium bowl. Stir in the wheat berries, chopped nuts, and nutmeg. Salt to taste.
  5. Stuff this mixture into the apple cavities with a spoon, packing as full as you can. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the baking dish (with the apples in it!), spray side down. Cook covered for 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, until apples are tender.

That was easier than I expected

I’ve never (to my memory) made sugared nuts before and, given how much work I’ve done before toasting nuts thought it was gonna take around half and hour in the oven. Yeah, I’ve got issues with toasting nuts – it always feels like it takes longer than it actually does – probably ’cause I’m standing there the entire time. These sugared pecans are some of the fastest things I’ve ever made.

3 minutes to melt butter in the microwave, assembling the other ingredients meanwhile.
1-3 minutes mixing things.
10 minutes (total) in the oven.

And they are utterly addictive. Do not bring into the home of anyone on a diet. These wreck self-control. Assuming you like pecans.

Sugared Pecans

We’ve finally used the ‘candy crusher’ feature on our ice cream maker (thank you cousins!) to chop these into pieces going into some very vanilla ice cream. Adam got the good stuff – real cream.

I think they are a tiny bit too spicy and Adam loves them as is – so, again, please figure out how much cayenne pepper you want to use. I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot recently…

Oh and I am totally filing these under Desserts, not Snacks, whenever I get them copied out.

Sugared Pecans

Original from FoodFanatic.com
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 33; Snacks: 3 recipes left

  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in the microwave on low. Line a baking sheet, jelly roll pan, or other baking pan with sides (no half sheets please) with parchment paper or aluminum foil; you’ll have crispier pecans using foil.
  2. Stir together the pecans and melted butter in a medium bowl until completely coated. Add the brown sugar and stir again until you get an even coating.
  3. Transfer the pecans to the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, stir together the white sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in the same medium bowl.
  5. Remove the pecans from the oven and return to the medium bowl. Stir until the pecans are well coated with the sugar mixture. Return to the baking pan and bake for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Enjoy!