Thursday, September 13, 2012

Baked Macaroni and Cheese for one

Rather then making a big casserole and living off the same meal all week, today I mad an itty bitty casserole perfect size for 1! My mom has this Best Mac and Cheese Ever recipe, which is pretty good. It has mustard in it which freaks me out, but it isn’t that bad actually! I kind of used her recipe to influence my ratios, but totally made this up as I went along. It came out super tasty and I want you all to try it! I added in flavor with some nutmeg and a bay leaf. Topping off with Italian breadcrumbs.
Here’s the recipe:
Macaroni and Cheese for one

- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leave
- 3/4 cup gruyere
- 1 cup pasta (I used whole wheat)
- breadcrumbs, for sprinkling on top

1. Boil water for cooking pasta.
2. Cook pasta until it is al dente (about 5 minutes)
3. To start your cheese sauce, add the butter into a separate pot.
4. Once melted, stir in flour and add in the bay leaf; remember to keep stirring.
5. Add in the milk a little at a time; always stirring; as the sauce thickens add a little more.
6. Add in the spices.
7. Add in the milk a little at a time; always stirring; as the sauce thickens add a little more.
8. Once all is combined and thick remove from heat and stir in cheese.
9. Next add in pasta.
10. Transfer into a baking dish.
11. Sprinkle bread crumb over the top.
12. Bake for 40 minutes.
13. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gotta use up the cider.

So I ate all my cider bread way too fast and wanted more so 4 days later I find myself back at it baking another. I really loved the recipe I used Saturday, but felt like trying out another. I followed one from Yankee Magazine. It came out tasty as well. It is a little lighter and not quite as dense and pound cake like, which is nice. I think the first recipe still wins though. I didn’t have enough white sugar left, so I used brown sugar instead. I made it in two mini loaves, which are just adorable. 
Here’s the recipes:

Apple Cider Bread #2

- 3/8 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/3 cups apple cider
- 1 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.
3. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
4. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl
5. Add dry mixture and cider to sugar butter, alternating a little of each at a time
6. Once mixed thoroughly, shovel half the batter into a greased loaf pan.
7. Add a layer of cut apples
8. Top off with the remaining batter.
9. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
10. Enjoy!

Now I have more lovely breakfast to look forwards to. Fuel for my runs!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I know this is getting out of hand, but I picked a lot of apples. Today’s dish is an Apple Stuffing. Two Thanksgivings ago, I made a Martha Stewart stuffing recipe and was very disappointed in it. Stuffing is maybe the best part of Turkey dinner and ours was mediocre all thanks to Martha...... she really let me down. Last year I ate the best stuffing ever made by my chef friend Dan. Well, today I made a pretty awesome batch. Looks like this Thanksgiving is looking up!

Here’s the recipe:
Apple Stuffing

- 6 slices of whole wheat bread cut into 1-inch cubes (makes about 4 cupes)
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped up
- 1 cup of chopped celery
- 1 cup of chopped carrots
- 1 Grannysmith apple, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/2 cup chicken stock 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven for 7 minutes.
3. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, carrots, and apple. Also add in the spices.
4. Cook for about 10 minutes or until soft.
5. Stir together the bread cubes, cooked vegetables, and chicken stock and pour into a casserole dish
6. Bake for 45 minutes or until top is crispy.
This was loosely based on a recipe by the Barefoot Contessa.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Apple Cider Reincarnated in the form of amazing cake!

The apple fun continues. I was disappointed a little in my cider, so I decided to use some of it to make a cake! I found a recipe for Cider Pound Cake and added in an apple center! It came out AWESOME. Good happy use of apples. I get sad when a recipe comes out just ok with my apple picking apples. I don’t like these gems to go to waste!

I got the main pound cake recipe from but altered the amount of some ingredients and added in APPLES! Here it is:
 Apple Cider Pound Cake
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 apple, cut in 1/2" cubes

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
3. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
4. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients; set aside.
5. In a pyrex cup combine cider and vanilla.
6. Alternate mixing in some of the dry ingredients and some of the cider to the sugary butter. Continue until all is combined.
7. Spoon half the mixture into a bread pan.
8. Add in a layer of the cut up apples.
9. Cover with the remaining batter
10. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the middle is cooked through. (I thought it would be done at an hour, but it took a lot longer for the center to not be goopy.
11. Try to let it cool before eating it. I’m telling you to try, but I did not :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Homemade Apple Cider

 I decided I wanted to try making some homemade apple cider. Cider is hands down my favorite warm beverage. I’m actually really not into warm beverages. I wish I liked them. Nothing sounds better on a cold winter’s night then crawling up by a fire with blankets and a mug of something warm. But such is life; I hate coffee and tea and hot chocolate (unless is it dunks and super milky and sugary.) I more recently discovered I do like Chai tea, but other then that we just have cider.

So tonight I made a batch. It is a lengthy 3 hour process of cooking. It smelt amazing as it simmered. I was so excited to try it with all the anticipation of waiting that long. It came out ok. I think I might have used too much water. The directions called for covering the apples by 2” which I just eye-balled. So my recommendation is to not be generous with the water. I think it would be better to have it be too concentrated because you can always water it down later!
Here is the recipe which was found here:

Homemade Apple Cider

- 5 apples, quartered
- 3/8 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice

1. In a large stockpot and add enough water cover by at least 2 inches. 
2. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, and allspice.
3. Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 1 hour. 
4. Cover and reduce heat; let simmer for 2 hours.
5. Strain apple mixture, first through a fine mesh sieve then through a cheesecloth lined sieve. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Apple, Onion, and Gruyere Pizza

 The apple fun continues. I’ve been eating apples daily, but whenever I go apple picking I love to try all new ways of using apples. Tonight I made an Apple Onion Gruyere Pizza.  I thought it sounded like a good combo. Cheese and apples have this weird way of being a good match.
Here’s my recipe:

Apple,  Onion, and Gruyere Pizza

- pizza dough
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 apple sliced thin (I used a grannysmith)
- 1 cup gruyere cheese shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for cooking onion

1. If you want to make a homemade dough, please check out my recipe here. If not take your store bought dough out of the refrigerator.
2. Preheat over to 425 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven to preheat it as well
3. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until onion is tender.
4. Stretch dough out and place on preheated stone
5. Layer on apple slices, onion, and cheese then top off with some salt and pepper
6. Cook for 15 minutes
7. Enjoy!

I was quite pleased with this pizza and highly recommend you trying it!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Apple Season comes early this year.

During the fall, one of my favorite things to do is go apple picking. The thing is that, you usually don't think about apple picking until the crisp, cool air rolls in and the leaves start changing. BUT, apple season actually starts at the end of August. The past two years, I almost missed picking because they had a short season. SO, this year I went early!

I also went back to the first place I ever picked, Highland Orchard in West Chester, PA. I discovered this gem in college. It was great to go back. I also got to go with my sister and mom, so it was a lovely girl bonding day. 


Apple picking always starts with donuts. This cider donut was THE BEST one I have ever had. It had just came out of the oven and litereally melted in my mouth! Totally put the numerous ones I bought last year at the farmer's market in NYC to shame.

The main apples that were ready for pick were McIntoch, Jonathan, Smokehouse, and Gala. I was most excited for McIntosh; they are usually one of my favorites, but these lacks that taste they usually had. I took none home with me. Not a problem though because Jonathan and Smokehouse were to die for. Jonathan were a lovely red color and Smokehouse were basically Grannysmith, so it made for a beautiful contrast color story in our box! Gala never wow me so those were left on the trees as well.

It was a fun-filled day of picking as always. Weird being super sweaty while doing it, but I'll take it. There were perks to it being early in the season. We beat the crowds and got to park right up to the trees. Mini got to practice some off-roading :)

Later a delectable apple goodie was made. Here the recipe I used for:

Apple Crisp

(This serves 8)

- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar 
- 1/2 teaspoon salt 
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
  3. Next add in the butter until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. 
  4. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form.
  5. Put the mixture in the freezer to chill while you prepare apples.
  6. In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
  7. Peel apples and cut them into 1/2" chunks and toss them in the liquid.
  8. Transfer to a baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. 
  9. Bake for about 55 minutes. 
  10. Enjoy!  

Martha helped me with this one!