Desserts, Other, Recipes

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Happy Halloween! I love candy as much as the next girl, but if I was being really honest I would tell you that I prefer fruit-based dessert more than chocolate-based desserts. Hence sharing a fruity dessert on the day ‘o candy, right? 🙂 But this isn’t just ANY fruity recipe. It’s a versatile sweet treat that’s healthy enough for breakfast and indulgent enough for dessert. Say whattt? Yup! Breakfast or dessert, it don’t matter. Originally I set out to make an apple crisp–using apples from a recent trip to the apple orchard, natch. But then I spied some pears in the fridge (from my brother-in-law’s parents’ house!) and added those bad boys in. Extra yum!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Since I was making this recipe as part of a recipe contest for Steviva, I wanted to make the crisp topping a little healthier than usual. (If you want, you can find Steviva on FacebookTwitterGoogle +,  Pinterest, and Instagram.) Instead of loads of butter and sugar in the crisp topping, I decided to toss in additional crunchy elements… chia seeds and sliced almonds, to be exact. And let me say… what a great idea! The crisp topping turned into this fanastic crunchy, granola-y layer. It actually stayed crisp in the fridge for a few days until we polished off the leftovers. Amazing! I used just enough Steviva Blend (erythritol and pure stevia) to sweeten up the topping a little bit. Plenty of warm fall spices and apple and pear flavor come through. This might be one of my new favorite recipes! It’s delicious served with vanilla yogurt or ice cream, and I think it would be perfect with a bit of whipped cream too! Enjoy!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

one year ago: Apple Cider Pancakes
three years ago: Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin
four years ago: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote
five years ago: Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew
six years ago: Individual Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
seven years ago: Aunt Charlotte’s Tex Mex Corn

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

Ingredients:

for fruit

  • 8-10 cups chopped pears and apples, unpeeled in 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

for topping

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Steviva Blend
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2-4 tablespoons sliced almonds, optional
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • vanilla yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream, etc. for serving, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10 inch round baking dish with cooking spray. (A square baking dish or pie pan would also work.)

In a large bowl, toss together pears, apples, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Spread in prepared pan.

In the same bowl, stir together oats, Steviva Blend, chia, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If desired, stir in almonds. Cut butter into small chunks, then use a pastry blender or two knives to cut butter into the oat mixture until it is evenly distributed in tiny pieces. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until topping is golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve with some vanilla yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream, if desired.

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Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad
Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake #Choctoberfest

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Imperial Sugar. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar… this fall favorite is sure to please!  

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Yayyy it’s #Choctoberfest, aka a week-long celebration of all things CHOCOLATE! If you haven’t already, please check out the giveaway posted earlier today here. You don’t wanna miss it! #promise 🙂 I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the world’s biggest chocolate fan or anything like that, but I do like a chocolate treat every now and again. Chocolate is my jam when it’s combined with other deliciousness, such as peanut butter, pumpkin, or in this case… apples!

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

This cake is a riff on one of my favorite fall treats (and one of the most popular recipes on my blog!): Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake. The original cake is a delight… I never can decide what part is best: the cake full of sweet bites of apples or the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping. But guess what guys?? This chocolate-y version might be even better! I made a few changes to the original recipe in order to add cocoa powder to make this incredible cake (using water instead of buttermilk and then adjusting the amount of baking soda and flour) but otherwise this is just a fun twist on the original.

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Since this yummy cake has the word “sugar” in the name and uses two types of sugar in the recipe, it’s only fitting that Imperial Sugar has sponsored this post as part of #Choctoberfest. They’re our gold sponsor for the event and are honestly SO great. I’ve been using their sugar exclusively since this event last year. I am not brand-loyal to very many things at ALL and I often buy generic, but when baking, I can tell that the quality of Imperial Sugar far outweighs any other brand I’ve tried. I’m not just saying that because they’re a sponsor… but it is 100% true. Imperial Sugar products are pure cane sugar, not beet sugar, and are GMO-free. I also love the family-friendly focus of their company.

Sweet things happen when families are together in the kitchen. Since 1843, Imperial Sugar has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations. This holiday season, create some lifelong memories when you bake with love and Imperial Sugar.

I know it might sound a bit cheesy, I was thinking about family as I made this cake. I actually made it over the course of a few hours on Saturday morning. Early that morning, I went running with a friend. My toddler stayed home with my husband, and after I got home, Ben went out for a run. He’s training for a half marathon so I knew he’d be gone for awhile. My son played and ate second breakfast while I ate my breakfast and enjoyed some coffee. We read books for a bit and then I thought it was safe to head to the kitchen to bake. I got about halfway through mixing together this cake when my son’s head collided with a kitchen drawer. Baby tears, commence! He just couldn’t be calmed down with any of the normal methods… so we curled up in an armchair and cuddled. Soon he was out like a light. It’s been awhile since he’s napped in my arms (or taken a morning nap!) so this was a treat. Even though my half finished cake batter was hanging out on the kitchen counter and my plan for the day was thrown off. After he woke up, I was able to return to the kitchen and finish mixing up my cake. When it came out of the oven and I took that first bite, I knew I had a winner. And I’ll always remember the first time I made the chocolate version of cinnamon sugar apple cake with my son playing at my feet. ❤ He won’t remember it, but he loved every bite I shared with him. I know I’ll make it for him again in the future. I hope you and YOUR family/loved ones enjoy this cake!

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Check out all the other recipes shared for #Choctoberfest at the linky below!
An InLinkz Link-up

P.S. Looking for some sweet treats for Halloween? Imperial Sugar has you covered! Find out more about Imperial Sugar by following them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube.

one year ago: Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler
two years ago: Beef Stroganoff 

three years ago: Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
four years ago: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting
five years ago: Apple Peanut Butter Muffins
six years ago: Pumpkin, Sausage, and Spinach Lasagna
seven years ago: Southwestern Pepperjack Baked Penne

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

  • Servings: 20
  • Print

adapted from my Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed (I used Imperial Sugar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
  • 2 cups chopped apples, unpeeled – I like Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Crispin, Jonagold, Winesap, etc.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, water, oil, and egg. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Mix in flour and cocoa powder. Beat until smooth, then fold in apples.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon, then drizzle melted butter over top. Mix gently with a fork to combine, then sprinkle over batter. It will not fully cover the batter, but it will bake up fine.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake begins pulling away from the edge of the pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pairs well with ice cream!

Disclosure:  Though I received products for free as part of my participation in #Choctoberfest, I was not compensated in any other way and was not asked to provide positive feedback.

Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

Apple Cheddar Bacon Soup with Cheesy Croutons

Cheesy soup gets dressed up with sweet apples, salty bacon, and ooey gooey cheesy croutons!

Cheesy soup gets dressed up with sweet apples, salty bacon, and ooey gooey cheesy croutons!

At first glance, this is an unlikely soup. Apples, cheddar, and bacon? “Pass!” you might be thinking. But hold up just a minute… cheddar and bacon is a classic combo, right? And you’ve heard of the whole cheddar cheese with apple pie thing, right? And applewood smoked bacon is totally a thing. So let’s put it all together–apples, cheddar, bacon. Not so unlikely after all! (And pssttt… I made a fabulous Maple Apple Pie Crisp with Cheddar Crust and Bacon Crumb Topping a couple years back!) And if you need further convincing, just think of it this way: this soup has the sweet and salty thing down pat.

Cheesy soup gets dressed up with sweet apples, salty bacon, and ooey gooey cheesy croutons!

And it’s utterly delicious. Next time you’re in the mood for an interesting new soup recipe, check out this one! I’m sure you’ll love it. 🙂

one year ago: Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet
two years ago: Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake
three years ago: Strawberry Yogurt
four years ago: Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad
five years ago: Extraordinary Grilled Cheese
six years ago: Best Egg Salad

Apple Cheddar Bacon Soup with Cheesy Croutons

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

from What Megan’s Making

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups apples, peeled and chopped (about 2 medium)
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups no-sugar-added apple juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices sourdough or rye bread, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain dijon mustard

Directions:

Cook bacon in a large stockpot set over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towel to drain. Meanwhile, remove most of grease from pot, leaving about 2 tablespoons.

When bacon is cool, chop into small pieces and set aside.

Combine the onion, apples, and potato in the stockpot and saute over medium high heat until onion and apples are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and apple juice, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with pepper, then stir in almost all the cheese, reserving 3 tablespoons. When cheese is melted, use an immersion blender to puree soup until smooth.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Spread the toasted bread with dijon and evenly divide reserved cheese between slices. Broil–watching carefully!–until cheese is bubbly and melted. Remove from oven, cool for a couple minutes, then slice into bite-sized squares. Serve soup with bacon, cheese croutons, and lots of black pepper. Enjoy!

Breakfast, Pancakes, Recipes

Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples #FreshTastyValentines

Sweet and nutty, these Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples are a great way to start your day! 

Sweet and nutty, these Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples are a great way to start your day! #FreshTastyValentines

Apples and peanut butter go SO well together. I started typing just a minute ago about how they were a great childhood snack, blah blah blah–then erased it because I realized I eat apples and peanut butter as a snack or add on to a meal several times per week. And I am most certainly not a child! 🙂 When I found out that Envy Apples was one of our sponsors for #FreshTastyValentines, my first thought was: I don’t want to BAKE with a new variety of apples. I want to eat them by themselves, dipped in peanut butter. But a blog post about that would be pretty boring. So I went with the next best option: pancakes.

Sweet and nutty, these Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples are a great way to start your day! #FreshTastyValentines

If you  know me, you know I’m a breakfast girl. And pancakes are my breakfast food of choice. Homemade or at a restaurant–it doesn’t matter… and I must say, sharing a pancake recipe today is especially fitting because February 5, 2016 is the eight year anniversary of our first date: breakfast at Bob Evans, where we both ordered cinnamon pancakes [Ben copied me because he was too nervous to figure anything else out to order! What a guy! :)]. I’ve already made several versions of apple pancakes before–but then, yesterday, I had the genius idea to play up the apple PEANUT BUTTER element. And voilà–these pancakes were born.

Sweet and nutty, these Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples are a great way to start your day! #FreshTastyValentines

They’re not just your average pancakes–these babies are thick, hearty, and filling. Adding peanut butter to whole wheat pancakes will do that to ya, and stirring in some protein-rich Bob’s Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts [also another fabulous #FreshTastyValentines sponsor] makes them even better! These pancakes have the perfect blend of sweetness and nuttiness. I topped mine with some easy sautéed cinnamon apples and maple syrup, and oh man… what a breakfast! I used a combination of Envy apples and Gala apples in my apple topping [since Envy apples are a Gala-Braeburn hybrid, and I wanted to save one to try on its own]. If you can find Envy apples in your grocery store, snap them up quickly because they’re great–so crisp and sweet. And don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win great prizes–including Envy Apples and Bob’s Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts! 🙂 Happy Friday! And make these pancakes part of your weekend!

one year ago: Potato Rosemary Knots
two years ago: Lindsay’s Chicken Noodle Soup
three years ago: 60 Minute Sandwich Buns

four years ago: Loaded Sweet Potato Fries 
five years ago: Tomato Tortellini Soup

Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Print

pancakes adapted from my Go-To Pancakes

Ingredients:

for pancakes

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups skim milk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter [I used a honey roasted peanut butter], melted in the microwave for 15 seconds if too thick to stir
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup finely diced apple [I used Envy Apples] – peeled or unpeeled depending on preference
  • butter or canola oil, for cooking
  • maple syrup, for serving

for Sautéed Cinnamon Apples  

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 medium apples, thinly sliced [I used Envy Apples and Gala Apples] – peeled or unpeeled depending on preference
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir together flours, hemp seeds, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over the dry and fold together gently to incorporate. Stir in apples until just combined. Batter may be lumpy. Let batter rest for 10 minutes.

While batter is resting, heat griddle over medium heat for cooking pancakes.

In a separate 10 inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. When melted, add apples and top with cinnamon, vanilla, and water. Stir to combine, then cook over medium heat, uncovered, until liquid starts to bubble. Reduce heat to medium low and cover, stirring occasionally, until apples soften and get slightly caramelized and juices thicken. Then reduce heat to low to keep warm while pancakes cook.

Pour batter onto hot skillet in 1/4 cup increments. Cook for two to three minutes on the first side until bubbles form, then flip and cook on other side until golden brown. Batter makes about 14 pancakes.

Serve pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples and maple syrup.

Notes:

You can use all-purpose flour in place of the whole wheat and white whole wheat flours, or use all white whole wheat flour too.

If you don’t have the hulled hemp seed hearts, you could substitute in flax or chia seeds, or some chopped nuts, or just leave them out.

Check out the other awesome recipes that our #FreshTastyValentines blogging crew have come up with at the link below. 🙂

Find Bob’s Red Mill

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here

Find Envy Apples

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
Disclosure: I received complimentary products from Bob’s Red Mill and Envy Apples for my participation in #FreshTastyValentines. However, I was not required to write a positive review and I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill and Envy Apples for their sponsorship of this event!
Fruit, Recipes, Sides

Apple Cranberry Relish Salad

A fun, flavorful, refreshing salad combining seasonal favorites: cranberries, apples, and jello! Mmm! 

Apple Cranberry Relish Salad... A fun, flavorful, refreshing salad combining seasonal favorites: cranberries, apples, and jello! Mmm!

Happy New Year! 2016–woo! It’s fitting that my first recipe of the new year is a festive dish like this. My mom made this salad for our early family Christmas dinner and we devoured it… so naturally, I had to make it for Ben and I to enjoy at home… and for you too! 🙂 I highly suggest making it before the holiday season ends because it’s just so good it can’t wait til next year.

Apple Cranberry Relish Salad... A fun, flavorful, refreshing salad combining seasonal favorites: cranberries, apples, and jello! Mmm!

Dishes like this aren’t fancy by any means, but they are one of my favorite parts of a good holiday meal. There’s something so refreshing about the sweetness, simplicity [no cooking required!], and tartness of a side dish like this combining fruit and jello in one marvelous dish! Growing up, we always had some sort of jello dish for every big occasion, but cranberries usually weren’t part of that. But this time… they are. It’s like cranberry relish + jello in one!

Apple Cranberry Relish Salad... A fun, flavorful, refreshing salad combining seasonal favorites: cranberries, apples, and jello! Mmm!

Enjoy!

one year ago: Chewy Ginger Cookies
two years ago: Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac
three years ago: Chicken Tinga Tacos
four years ago: Crock Pot Cran-Apple Sauce
five years ago: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Apple Cranberry Relish Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

from Taste of Home Magazine, by Edna Means of Iola, Kansas

Ingredients:

  • 1 small package strawberry gelatin [3 ounces]
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 package fresh/frozen cranberries, chopped [I used a food processor]
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped [I used a Granny Smith apple and didn’t peel]
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together strawberry gelatin, boiling water, and orange juice concentrate. When gelatin is dissolved and orange juice is melted, fold in cranberries, apple, and sugar. Stir to combine, then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight to set.