An apple a day over and over again

Did you know October is National Apple Month?

Apples are wonderful. You can cook with them, bake with them, sauté ’em, use them a garnish, eat straight off the tree and make yummy drinks with them.

I am all about the apples. They are my favorite fruit, so to celebrate them, I will one apple dish for every day of National Apple Month.

Here’s what I’ve made so far:

Day 1 — PEANUT BUTTER, APPLE AND GRANOLA WRAP

  • 2 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large apple, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup granola

Spread peanut butter on tortillas.

Add apples and sprinkle granola.

Tightly roll tortilla and attach toothpick (optional).

Recipe courtesy of “What Are You Doing For Lunch?” by Mona Meighan (This is a very cool cookbook. It breaks down the nutritional value of each recipe, plus estimates what you save making one of these recipes instead of going out for lunch.)

Day 2 — SAUSAGE AND APPLE STUFFING

  • 2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 (14 to 16-ounce) bags of your favorite dried cornbread stuffing mix
  • 1 pound pork sausage (not links)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 medium apples, cored,  sliced
  • 2 to 3 cups homemade giblet      stock or low sodium canned chicken broth

In a large pot melt 2 sticks butter in water. When melted add dry cornbread stuffing stirring to incorporate liquid, set aside.

In a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat melt 1 tablespoon butter and add sausage. With a wooden spoon break up sausage and sauté until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. In the same pan melt remaining butter and sauté onions with the garlic, celery, thyme, and sage until onions are translucent and celery is crisp tender. Add walnuts and sauté for 1 minute. Add apples and sauté for one minute more. Remove from heat.

Combine cornbread stuffing with sautéed ingredients and stuff turkey. Roast turkey as usual, or fill a 10 by 15 by 2 inch pan with the stuffing, moisten with the giblet stock, and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven, covered with foil for 1/2 hour. Remove foil and bake until top is lightly browned, about 15 minutes more.

Source: Food Network Kitchens (www.foodnetwork.com)

Day 3 — INSTANT ENERGY FRUIT CUP

  • ½ apple
  • ½ pear
  • ½ cup red, seedless grapes (I used green grapes)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Sliced kiwi
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Cut apple and pear into bite-sized chunks and place in a bowl. Add grapes, along with honey and lemon juice. Throw in sliced kiwi or pomegranate seeds, if you have them.

Toss, and voila: a 5-minute fruit cup, loaded with juiciness and fiber.

Source: 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Fabulous Dishes to Get Everything You Want in Life by Cindi Leive and the Editors of Glamour (Hyperion; April 5, 2011)

So far in this challenge, I have:

  • Used six apples
  • Burned one arm (I look like I have one of those barbed-wire tattoos on my forearm)
  • Used the honey sent to be my by July Foodie Pen Pal
  • Learned how to navigate my kitchen when it is filled with two bookshelves, one entertainment center and a couch. (We had our carpets cleaned, so we had to clear the living room, but I still needed to make an apple recipe, hence the easy fruit cup. I have my kitchen back, though, so tonight I am tackling apple butter and applesauce!)
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