“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.” ~ Robert H. Schuller

I have been on a quest for interesting, great tasting salads.

On Facebook I talked about needing to get more salads (with some kind of protein) into my diet.

But they had to be good!

As I have mentioned before – everything I blog about comes from something I have cooked to eat with my family. I only wish my blog was impressive enough that I actually cooked full time for it. But sadly, not yet. A girl can dream, though!  🙂

So when the thought of a serious diet started, I questioned it with – “What in the world will I be able to blog?” I can’t write about a bagged salad with grilled chicken and a bottled lite vinaigrette every week!

I received lots of great feedback from my friends on Facebook and I foraged Pinterest, because of this, I am starting to get a pretty good list going.

The following is an example.

Apple Harvest Salad

(adapted from Life Made Simple)

Salad

  • 6 cups of lightly packed spinach, torn
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 large fugi apple
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ Craisins
  • ½ feta cheese

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tsp. minced shallot
  • 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

Add greens to a large dinner plate or salad bowl. Top with the cooked (and cooled) quinoa, apple chunks, pepitas and craisins.

To make the vinaigrette, combine the shallot and vinegar in a small mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Slowly add the olive oil by pouring in a steady stream, whisking vigorously until emulsified. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.

Serve alone or with a protein.

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-abp

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“I would have been in bed an hour ago, if only I could find the bottom of this Pinterest page….” ~ unknown

I love Halloween! I think it is the most fun Holiday other than Christmas. The retail world has caught on to this as well and OH! the fun things you can find to make and to decorate!!

And Pinterest has taken it to the next level.

It makes my head spin.

But today, I am just going to do a Halloween classic. You can never go wrong with a classic. 🙂

Caramel Apples

  • 50 pieces of caramel, unwrapped
  • 4 popsicle sticks
  • 4 medium sized apples
  • 2 Tablespoons of evaporated milk

Wash and dry apples and insert popsicle stick into the core of each apple.

Place caramel and evaporated milk into a 1 quart microwavable bowl. Microwave on high, stirring frequently until smooth. (around 3 minutes)

Dip apples in caramel mixture and use a spoon to help coat.

Place on waxed paper until caramel sets.

The fun part is you can do a number of different things with your apples. You can roll them in nuts, crushed cookies, etc while the caramel is still wet or you can do like I did and decorate after the caramel has set.

So much fun and so easy!!

CA

The great thing about these are how versatile they can be. I know they are traditionally Halloween items but you can decorate them to suit any occasion.  They also bag up well and make great gifts!

bagsHappy Fall Y’all!

-abp

“Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.” ~ Hal Borland

I’m over January. It’s my least favorite month of the year.

I’m sure most would agree with me on that.

It’s cold, there is the big let down after Christmas, college football is over, etc. There’s just not a whole lot to get excited about…..

On the other hand, I’m glad the down time has gotten me back in the kitchen!

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

(adapted from Southern Living)

  • 4 (6- to 8-oz.) bone-in pork rib chops (1 to 1 1/4 inches thick)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, thinly sliced (root end intact)
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 8 small fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat oven to 450°.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Cook in hot oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet.

Add apples and onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, 8-9 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet.

Add broth to skillet, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Whisk together cream and mustard; add to skillet, and cook, stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes or until bubbly.

Remove skillet from heat, and stir in bourbon. Add pork, turning to coat, and top with apples, onions, and thyme.
Bake at 450° for 15-17 minutes. Let stand in skillet 5 minutes before serving.

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