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Snacks

With crisp edges and a moist, flavorful center, we enjoy this sweet apple cake for breakfast, snack, afternoon tea, or dessert.

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

Mom's Apple Cake

To finish up #AppleWeek, I’ve brought you a family recipe. I’m not sure where it from, but I don’t think it’s an uncommon recipe. It was pretty similar to another recipe in the cookbook my mom made me, called the Merryfield Apple Cake, but different enough that I have a strong preference towards this particular recipe. Neither my mom or I make it often, so I actually had to call her to ask which recipe I liked. Needless to say, she remembered incorrectly and the first version of this cake – that Merryfield Apple Cake – got nibbled on and then thrown out.

When Mom made this cake, I ate it cake for breakfast, snack and dessert. I remember my mom making it with chocolate chips, but I always loved it plain, so that the sweetness of the apples shone. And they will, especially if you use Rainier Fruit Honeycrisp Apples, which are one of my favorites. To entice my kiddos into eating the cake, I added a generous half a cup of toffee pieces for a bit more sweetness (but don’t worry, in no way did the toffee overpower the apples!). This cake has crisp edges but a soft, moist center.

If you haven’t already seen the giveaway from our fabulous sponsors, head over here to read about the prize packs. Then scroll to the bottom of this post – leave a comment on this post (and any other #AppleWeek post published today) to get an extra entry. Share the giveaway via Twitter for another extra entry.

Mom's Apple Cake

Recipe Notes:

  • While I made this by hand, you can certainly use a handheld or stand mixer. However, I’d recommend folding in fruit and toffee with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula so that the fruit doesn’t get bruised or squashed.
  • Be sure to wash your apples well before using. I used Veggie Wash – an all-natural spray that removes waxes, soil, and fertilizers – to ensure that the apples were well-cleaned
  • Ingredients:
    • Feel free to leave out toffee pieces all together, or swap them for chocolate chips, nuts, or even raisins.
    • I used Rodelle vanilla extract for this recipe. Rodelle vanilla extract has one of the highest percentages of vanillin (a natural flavor element found in vanilla beans) on the market. You can find Rodelle products in several large grocery stores, including Giant, Super Target, Wegmans, Costco, and Sam’s Club. And if you can’t find it there, there’s always Amazon.
    • I used Rainier Fruit organic Honeycrisp apples in this recipe. This is the second time I’ve worked with Rainier Fruit apples – last time, Rainier’s exclusive variety, Lady Alice – and I cannot understate how much we love these apples. Like last time, I had to slap away little hands from eating the apples, before and while we were baking the cake. These sweet apples are a great source of soluble fiber that strengthens the immune system, so I’m more than ok with my kids loving these apples as much as I do. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants that play a role in reducing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Mom’s Apple Cake

Yield: 9 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Rodelle vanilla extract
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced (preferably Honeycrisp apples)
  • 1/2 c. toffee pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x9 glass dish with cooking spray. Lightly flour, tapping out excess. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, oil and egg until thoroughly combined. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Fold in diced apples and toffee pieces.
  3. Pour into prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to spread evenly. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until top is starting to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool (at least a little bit) before serving.
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Store covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days.

A crispy edge and a moist center, sweet Honeycrisp apples are the star of Mom's Apple Cake. #appleweek @rainierfruit

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To finish off #AppleWeek, we’ve got apple recipes for every occasion. Check out this collection of breakfasts, beverages, appetizers, savory-sweet meals, and desserts.

Apfelstrudel Recipe (Apple Strudel from Scratch) from House of Nash Eats
Apple and Onion Cornbread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Apple Butter Cheesecake from The Redhead Baker
Apple Chicken Stew from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Apple Cider Dark & Stormy from The Crumby Kitchen
Apple Mincemeat Pie from Palatable Pastime
Apple Pie Bread from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Apple Pie Pancakes from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Apple Praline Bread from Family Around the Table
Apple Stuffing Crusted Pork Chops from Caroline’s Cooking
Battered Chocolate Caramel Apple Slices from The Freshman Cook
Caramel Apple Pull Apart Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Apple Crack Slaw Eggrolls from Dad What’s 4 Dinner
Cinnamon Apple Donuts from Daily Dish Recipes
Diminutive Caramel Apples from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Easy Caramel Apple Butter from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Fast and Easy Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip from Cooking With Carlee
Mom’s Apple Cake from Books n’ Cooks
Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples from Simple and Savory
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples from Feeding Big
Savory Apple Turkey Brie Galette from Bear & Bug Eats
Swiss Vegetarian Autumn Lasagna With Apples & Squash from All That’s Jas

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

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This week, the #SundaySupper tastemakers are all about preserving summer harvest. My main method of preserving summer bounty is freezing (fresh herbs, pesto, blackberry chia seed jam) but over the past couple of years, I’ve begun to get into canning. Making strawberry jam with my daughter and mom is a favorite for early summer while I turn to homemade apple butter in late summer or early fall.

Apple season is just starting near me and will continue for the next couple of months and I’m super excited about going apple picking again. While apple butter is definitely on the list to make, so is homemade apple sauce, which the little ones and I eat in huge quantities and I then freezer for winter months.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Sauce

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Sauce

by Books n’ Cooks

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. apples (~12 apples), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon

Combine apple pieces, orange juice, orange zest, sugar, and cinnamon in a slow cooker. Set on high and cook for 4 hours,  stirring every hour or so to ensure that all of the apples cook completely.

Allow to cool slightly before mashing or pureeing to desired consistency.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

For long term storage, freeze in airtight containers.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Sauce_Pint

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For more ideas on preserving your summer produce,
check out the recipes below.

Condiments

Main dishes

Sides

Snacks

Dessert

Beverage

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Summer is upon us – finally! Beautiful, sunny weather. Vacation just a few days away. I’m excited about taking my daughter swimming again. As a kid, we had a pool in our backyard. My brothers and I would be in and out of the pool, all day, every day. I learned to swim from my grandfather, and I loved watching my daughter get accustomed to the pool last year with my own father.

Today’s recipe – a throwback to my childhood days at the pool – was something we had almost every day of summer. Today I’m sharing a super easy dip for fresh fruit, so easy that I almost hesitate to call it a recipe. But to me, easy, light and fresh is what summer dishes are all about.

Do you have a recipe or dish that reminds you of summer?

Strawberry Fruit Dip

Strawberry Fruit Dip

By Books n’ Cooks

Ingredients:

  • 1-12.oz tub of Cool Whip
  • 2 c. strawberry ice cream, softened

Fold strawberry ice cream into Cool Whip until combined.

Refrigerate until serving. Dip is best served cold.

Strawberry Fruit Dip

Check out the following dishes – sweet and savory – that conjures up childhood memories for the Sunday Supper tastemakers.

Beverages

Breakfast

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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BW Logo 2016Since having kids a couple of years ago, brunch has become one of my favorite times to host friends. It’s not just that it doesn’t get in the way of early afternoon nap time. It’s that brunch is (for me and my family) one of the easiest, most stress-free times to entertain. I find it’s easy to put together an impressive menu with very little effort. I’ve got it down to a science. Literally. With this formula, I can’t go wrong:

Egg dish + grain/carby side side + fruit dish

With this formula, I’ve got an easy, filling, balanced meal. Frittatas and quiches are my favorite egg dishes. I’ll frequently pair that with a fresh scone or muffin, or even homemade granola (served with yogurt) and then round off the meal with a serving of fresh fruit.

Today, I created two varieties of fruit salad, both of which are tossed with a light poppy seed vinaigrette. In the first, I jazz up some berries, grapes, and kiwi with a little fresh mint and in the other, I let the brightness of sweet Breeze apples (a new variety that originated in New Zealand, but is currently being grown in Washington State and introduced to US markets by Sage Fruit) and grapes shine through. Both were wonderful, but feel free to use your favorite in season fruit.

Do you have a standard menu or formula for brunch entertaining?

As a reminder, our amazing sponsors have generously donated some wonderful prizes. Visit here to learn more about our sponsors and enter to win one of the the awesome prizes they so generously provided.

Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Make Ahead: Vinaigrette and fruit salad may be made ahead of time, but don’t mix until just before serving, so that the fruit doesn’t get soggy.

Fruit Salad (Two Ways) with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 5-6

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 5-6 c. fruit, sliced into roughly 1-inch pieces (I used a mix of strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, and grapes)
  • 3 Tbs. fresh mint, coarsely chopped

or

  • 2 Breeze apples, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-2 c. red seedless grapes
  • 1 c. mixed berries (I used raspberries and blackberries)

or

  • Your favorite mix of fresh fruit

Ingredients for the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. poppy seeds

Apple Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Gently toss fruit and mint to mix. Set aside, or refrigerate until just before serving.

To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well (or, combine in a bowl or measuring cup and whisk well). Refrigerate until just before serving.

Add half of the vinaigrette to the fruit salad and toss to coat. Add more as desired. (I used only half of the vinaigrette for the 5-6 cups of fruit.)

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette for Brunch Week

Don’t forget to check out today’s other #BrunchWeek recipes, listed below.

BrunchWeek Beverages:

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

BrunchWeek Desserts:

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Like so many people out there, I consider January a time of renewal, of new beginnings. The hustle and excitement of the holiday season is over, and I try to return to what I consider a less-stress, healthier lifestyle. For me, that means finding a little bit of quiet time each week to do something I enjoy (knitting, blogging, reading), getting organized so that my to-do list doesn’t become out of control, walking outside (when it’s nice out), and cooking more.

With a baby and a toddler, it’s difficult for me to find the time to work out as consistently as I’d like (although I had been walking every weekend until the past week’s cold weather and Snowzilla), so instead, I’ve been focusing on healthier eating. I’ve been trying to menu plan and cook more often than not, and have made sure to have lots of healthy snacks on hand to deter me from the unhealthy snacks at work. Fresh fruit and veggies to into my lunchbox while I stock protein-packed nuts and dried fruit in my desk at work. And since we host friends for board games, knit nights, and assorted other activities almost once a week, I’ve been looking for easy, more health-conscious recipes to make for easy entertaining.

Peanut Butter Toffee Dip

Some of my go-t0, easy snacks for entertaining are dips. They take just minutes to throw together and can be paired with just about anything – from super healthy fruits and veggies to more indulgent crackers, cookies, and chips. Some of our favorites are homemade salsa, guacamole and chips; Mediterranean layer dip with pitas, a savory spinach or onion dip with bread and/or veggies; or a sweet dip (like this coconut cream dip) with fresh fruit. And I’ve been eyeing some other great, easy options Nuts.com to try on on some of our next game nights – vegetarian BBQ skewers and no-bake granola bars, just to name a few.

Anyway, this week, I have made for you a peanut butter toffee dip. It’s a little bit savory and a little bit sweet. Packed with protein from the cream cheese and peanut butter, I paired it was apple slices for a healthy(ish) snack. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the adults and children alike. 🙂

Peanut Butter Toffee Dip

Adapted from Oh, Sweet Basil

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. light brown brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. toffee pieces

Using a hand mixer or a rubber spatula, mix cream cheese, brown sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Fold in most of the toffee pieces, reserving a few to sprinkle on top. Transfer to a serving dish and top with remaining toffee.

Serve with apple slices, graham crackers, or munchie of your choice.

Recipe Note: Our daycare is nut-free, but I’d love to try this with sunflower seed butter in place of the peanut butter. I bet it would be great!

Disclaimer: This post was created on behalf of Nuts.com. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.

Peanut Butter Toffee Dip

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These nuts are easy to make and crazy addictive. Try them for an easy holiday munchie.

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes ~3 cups of candied pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 c. pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.Candied Pecans 1

In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until bubbly and starting to foam, 2-3 minutes. Whisk in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cayenne. Fold in pecans, ensuring they’re completely coated.

Spread pecans in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 30-35 minutes until toasted and golden brown.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool on baking sheet, before breaking into pieces.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Nuts will keep for at least a week.

Candied Pecans
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'Nut Butter' Crispy Balls

This week, Sunday Supper is looking at recipes for getting kids Back to School. While my kids are too young (they’re in daycare year round), I’m always on the look out for easy, healthy snacks and meals for my picky toddler. It’s especially difficult for me because daycare is nut-free – and my little one loves peanut butter, raw nuts, trail mix, etc.

In an effort to introduce some variety into her school snacks, I dug into my copy of Weelicious Lunches and picked out this healthy variation on the classic rice crispy treats. Much to my dismay, Little Miss. Picky wouldn’t even taste them, but my husband and I enjoyed these treats for a couple of weeks.

“Nut Butter” Rice Crispy Balls

Adapted from Weelicious Lunches (p. 298)

Makes 25-30 balls

Ingredients:'Nut Butter' Crispy Balls

  • 2/3 c. sunflower seed butter
  • 3/4 of 2/3 c. honey
  • scant 4 c. gluten-free brown rice crispy cereal

Combine sunflower seed butter and honey in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the two are combined. Remove from heat and let cool slight.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Fold in cereal until cereal is completely coated.

Lay wax or parchment paper on the counter. Use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to portion out rice crispy balls. Roll each ball between wet palms. If desired, individually wrap rice crispy balls in wax or parchment paper.

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Check out these other great back to school recipes from the Sunday Supper tastemakers.

Getting Started On School Days

Ideas for the Lunchbox

After School Snacks and Beverages

School Night Suppers

Sweets to End the Day

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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I was really bummed to have to cancel our annual party last month due to heating issues and sickness. More than half of the food was prepped or prepared. We’ve gradually been eating through the cookies and appetizers that I stashed in the freezer, but these almonds got forgotten about in the pantry. It’s a good thing they have a long shelf life.

I love to have some sort of roasted nut as a munchie for the holiday party, and these would have really stood out from other recipes I’ve tried. Sweet, savory, and slightly spicy, I have a hard time staying away from them… which is why the container got put in a corner of the pantry and forgotten about. They’re a little messy to eat, but try them. You won’t regret it.

Espresso Dark Chocolate Almonds

Spicy Espresso Dark Chocolate Almonds

Adapted from Bell’alimento

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. ground espresso (I like Starbucks Via)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lb. whole raw almonds
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 250F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together egg white and sugar until combined. Whisk in espresso and cayenne. Stir in almonds until evenly coated. Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 1 hour. Flip almonds and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Toss in cocoa powder.

Store in an airtight container. (Mine kept for a month.)

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I don’t remember pumpkin picking with my family as a kid- I’m sure I did because I have memories of my dad carving pumpkins. At least one year, some grew in the compost ditch in our backyard from the previous year’s discarded pumpkins.

Anyway, last year, I decided that I wanted to make pumpkin picking with our children a family tradition. While my hubby initially rolled his eyes and went just to humor me, he enjoyed carving the pumpkin as much as I enjoyed the process of choosing a pumpkin (or more accurately, photographing the baby in the pumpkin field).

Roasting the pumpkin seeds was super easy and provided a great snack. I couldn’t walk by the counter without grabbing a few. My only regret is that the giant pumpkin had so few seeds in it!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Adapted from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, toss all ingredients until pumpkin seeds are evenly coated.

Bake 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until pumpkin seeds are golden brown.

Remove from oven.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Pumpkin seeds will keep stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

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Coconut Cream Dip

I know a lot of people aren’t fans of coconut, but I absolutely love it. The minute I saw this recipe, I started looking for an excuse to make it.

Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. This coconut cream fruit dip was a fabulous. The dip came together in about 5 minutes and was made completely in advance of our party. I’m still eating it, 3 days later, and it tastes as good as it did on day one. I upped the coconut flavor and added a bit of texture and garnish with some toasted coconut but you could leave it out if you prefer a smoother dip. Serve with your favorite fresh fruit (I used grapes, strawberries, mango and watermelon) for a healthy snack, light appetizer, or when the weather gets warmer, addition to a BBQ.

Note: Cream of coconut can be found in your regular grocery store, near the drinks and mixers.

Coconut Cream Fruit Dip

Adapted from My Baking Heart

Ingredients:

  • 1-8oz. package Neufchatel cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 12 oz. cream of coconut
  • 6 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 c. shredded coconut, lightly toasted

Whip cream cheese using a handheld mixer or stand mixer until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and add cream of coconut, mixing until completely combined. Fold in cool whip and almost all of the toasted coconut (reserve a couple tablespoons). Store in the fridge, and garnish with remaining toasted coconut right before serving.

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