Posts Tagged ‘apples’


Isn’t it a pretty color?

I don’t remember when I first made this pretty side dish, but it became an instant hit. Sweet and tart, and it makes the kitchen smell so good while it is cooking. It wasn’t long before I was bringing it to Thanksgiving every year, and I make it occasionally in the off-season and have more than once made a huge batch and canned it.

It is a bit labor intensive; there’s lots of standing over the stove and stirring. I tried roasting it in the oven once (which is how I make my regular applesauce when I’m making a big batch for canning) and the results were not nearly as good.

I almost always double, and sometimes triple or quadruple this batch. Because fresh cranberries are often only available in October and/or November, I grab several bags and throw them in the freezer to have on hand all year.

Some people prefer this warm; I will eat it warm, but prefer it cold from the frig.

Cranberry Applesauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. water
  • 4 cups chopped apples
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel (I rarely have this, and often just dash in some lemon juice)

In a large saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Stir in apples, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring several times. Stir in cranberries; cook and stir for about 8 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Cover and cook 5 minutes more or until apples are tender, stirring several times.

Add cinnamon, ginger and lemon peel. Cook and stir about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; mash until texture reaches desired consistency.


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Turkey Apple Cheddar Salad

Simple and tasty – Turkey Apple Cheddar Salad

You can’t get much simpler than this. A few years ago, I was scouring cookbooks for new recipes when I found Turkey Apple Cheddar Salad. It was a hot summer, and we were often going to picnics in the park to enjoy the Thursday Night music.

This salad is like a salad you’d get from your local deli. Chunks of fruit, meat and cheese are also kid-pleasers. My youngest loves it. She’s adorable when she eats it. She takes a bite of turkey. “Turkey.” She takes a bite of apple. “Apple.” She takes a bite of cheddar. “Cheddar.” Pause. “Salad!” ย She chants this the whole time, eating it in pattern. I better have about the same amount of everything on her plate!

My oldest prefers it without the dressing, and sometimes we just cut up the ingredients into slices and eat them on crackers. ๐Ÿ™‚

The original called for green onions and some cooked pasta, but I found the pasta didn’t add anything and the onions tended to fall to the bottom of the salad and not get eaten at all, so I started leaving them out.

I’ve learned to keep the apples out of it until the last minute so they stay crisp. I suggest not making ahead more than one day, or the apples will get soggy. It doesn’t keep particularly well, so plan to eat it within a day or two. I like to cut up the turkey and cheddar, and then cut apples into it as needed.

Turkey Apple Cheddar Salad

  • Oven roasted or smoked turkey breast (not sliced)
  • Block of cheddar cheese (we prefer sharp)
  • Medium, crisp apple(s) (like gala)
  • Poppyseed dressing

I don’t have a very scientific way of making this salad. I cut the turkey, cheddar, and apple into 1/2 inch cubes, and toss them into a bowl until the proportions look right. (A little more turkey than cheese, a little more cheese than apple.) Then I stir in enough dressing to coat it.

That’s the beauty of this meal; you can make only what you need! It’s great for just one person, or make a big batch to take to a potluck. Round it out by putting it on a bed of salad greens and adding a piece of crusty bread, if you like.

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This blog has been on hiatus for a while, but I’ve recently found a new focus. The mom of a family close to my heart recently told me how hard menu planning is for her. While Menu Planning Day happens to be one of my least favorite days, I find it vital to the workings of my household, helping me avoid a zillion trips to the grocery store AND responding with a blank stare when someone asks, “What’s for dinner?” After saying as much to Planning-Impaired Mom, she says to me, “You should just send me your menu plan – and recipes, of course.”

Wish granted. But rather than do it all at once, I’ll be posting a bunch of our favorite recipes on a daily basis for a while so the next time I make a plan, it will be easy to link up. I’ll also try to incorporate tips and tricks in preparation.

Food is vital for my family, and cooking (mostly) healthy meals is important to me.

What does this have to do with Stories, Not Stuff? Probably not much. But since this blog is supposed to be about creating and cherishing memories, I will argue that there is no better place to do this than with your family, sometimes around the dinner table, and sometimes in the kitchen making a mess together. Or perhaps an Apple Racer. ๐Ÿ™‚

apple racer

Apple Racer Snacks

(adapted from a recipe originally found in Family Fun magazine)

  • 1 apple
  • uncooked spaghetti noodles*
  • a bunch of grapes or grape halves (4 per racer you plan to make)

Slice apple into 8ths, 12ths, or 16ths with a knife or apple corer/slicer, removing seeds. Break spaghetti noodles into 2-3 inch pieces. Carefully push two noodle pieces through each end of an apple slice. Push grapes onto each noodle “axle.” Enjoy!

*You can certainly use toothpicks instead of spaghetti for a sturdier axle, but I prefer spaghetti because it is edible and less likely to hurt little mouths or fingers.

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