Author Archives: Stef

About Stef

Family: Husband (Tom) and little man Lincoln James. Dwelling: A 1967 Ranch home that changes every day. Homemaker tip: Don’t be afraid to fail. A bad meal can always be fixed with a frozen pizza, a dead plant can be replaced and paint can cure a room. I consider my style: Contemporary with a vintage flair. I love a sleek piece of furniture with the contrast of an old vase or a stack of old used books. I cannot live without eating: Italian Beef sandwiches. I am Chicago-bred and love a good beef with sweet peppers. Pizza is a close second. Three foods you will always find in my pantry: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Crushed Tomatoes and Chicken Broth. My cooking mantra: Even foods that were destined to be bad for you can be recreated in a healthy way.

Dijon Maple Roasted Brussel Sprout and Sweet Potato Bowl

I’ve been a vegetable roasting machine lately. I love hearty roasted vegetables thrown on top of some kind of grain (couscous, barley, quinoa, etc.), typically I toss some Sriracha on and call it a day. I recently bought some beautiful Brussel sprouts and wanted to make more of a planned meal out of them. This dish, combined with the hint of sweetness from the maple and the tang of the Dijon are a perfect pair. The runny egg on top really takes the cake (an addition I made while eating the leftovers).

Dijon Maple Roasted Brussel Sprout

Dijon Maple Roasted Brussel Sprout and Sweet Potato Bowl
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 C Brussel sprouts, stems cut and halved lengthwise
2 TBSP Dijon
1 TBSP pure maple syrup
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C dried cranberries
4 pieces thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
2 C prepared quinoa (or other hearty grain)
egg

Dijon Maple Vinaigrette
2 TBSP Dijon
1 TBSP pure maple syrup
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread sweet potato and Brussel sprouts on baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix Dijon, maple syrup and olive oil. Brush over vegetables. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, flipping half way through. With five minutes to go, sprinkle dried cranberries on baking sheet. Remove from oven. Pour contents into bowl. Add bacon.

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Drizzle over vegetable mixture (you may not use the whole thing). Mix to coat.

Place quinoa in bowl. Add vegetable mixture.

Crack egg into small, non-stick, preheated skilled. Cook until egg white becomes thick. Flip and cook for one minute. Add to top of bowl.

Dijon Maple Brussel Sprout Bowl

Enjoy!

stef

1 Comment

Filed under Cook, Healthy

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash Casserole

New year, new you? So many of us try to start out the new year with healthy eating. Whether it is a resolution or just detoxing from the holiday, it’s a great way to begin the year out right. I’m always trying to figure out ways to make clean, healthy meals that will feed my whole family. Double bonus if it is a one-pot dish.

I’ve been mildly obsessed with spaghetti squash this year. Typically I use it in place of spaghetti noodles with meat sauce and my whole family loves it. This week, I decided to take spaghetti squash tex-mex.

This dish is delicious and adaptable to what you have in the pantry or the level of heat you prefer.

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Serves 8

1 large spaghetti squash
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 can diced green chilies
1 can black beans
1 12 oz can tomato sauce
1 C salsa (whatever you have on hand – I used black bean and corn salsa)
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp chipolte powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 C low-fat shredded sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 375. In large casserole dish, cover bottom with shallow layer of water. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place upside down in dish. Heat in oven for 45 minutes.

While squash is cooking, brown turkey in a large pot on medium high heat. Drain any excess grease. Add green pepper, onion, green chili and green beans. Saute on medium heat until vegetables are softened. Add tomato sauce, salsa, and spices. Simmer on low until spaghetti squash is finished.

When spaghetti squash is done, remove from oven. Scrape insides of squash into a deep casserole dish. Spread turkey mixture over top of the dish. Sprinkle cheese on top and place in oven for 25 minutes.

tex mex spaghetti squash casserole

Feel free to add some spicy jalapeños or or kicked-up salsa to make this dish extra spicy! A little queso fresco instead of cheddar is also delicious.

It’s Comfort Food Time on the Food Network Dish. Check out these other awesome casseroles from our friends around the web!

The Cultural Dish: Mediterranean Fish Casserole
The Heritage Cook: Arroz Con Pollo Casserole (Gluten-Free)
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Baked Artichoke Radicchio Risotto with Lemon-Caper Breadcrumbs
Taste with the Eyes: Mini Shrimp and Grits Casseroles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Lasagne al Forno with Chard & Mushrooms
Red or Green: Pasta “al forno” Casserole with Mushrooms, Peppers & Vegetables
Swing Eats: Pastitsio: A Delicious Greek Pasta Casserole (gluten-free)
Virtually Homemade: Tamale Pie
Weelicious: Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
Domesticate Me: Baked Orzo with Turkey Sausage, Broccolini and Fontina
FN Dish: 5 Hearty Casseroles Ready to Warm You Up

Happy New Year to everyone from Haute Apple Pie!

stef

2 Comments

Filed under Cook, Healthy

Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Tomorrow is the big day but I’m already looking forward to the day after. And the day after that. That’s right. Thanksgiving leftovers. I can’t help myself when it comes to leftover turkey anything. Soup, sandwich, casserole, omelet, you name it! I’ve always been a sucker for the Chicken Wild Rice Soup from Panera (or as they call it here in STL, St. Louis Bread Co.) This recipe combines the juicy leftovers (dark meat too!) along with a creamy texture and savory rice to make for the perfect soothing post Thanksgiving Day meal. And if you’re like me and get sick every year around this time, it helps with that as well.

IMG_2418.JPG

Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup
Serves 6-8

1 C wild rice
2 C water
2-3 C leftover turkey
5 C chicken stock (turkey or vegetable work too)
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3 large celery stalks, chopped
1 C mushrooms (any kind), chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP flour
2 C milk

In a medium saucepan, add rice and water. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. The rice will not be fully done. Add rice and any remaining water to chicken stock mixture in large stock pot.

In large stock pot, add chicken stock, turkey, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Bring pot to a simmer and add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Keep at low simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until mixture bubbles. Slowly whisk in milk. Whisk continuously until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add to large stock pot. Mix together and stir occasionally at a low heat until soup is thickened.

Ladle and enjoy!

IMG_2419.JPG

When reheating leftovers, you may want to add a little extra milk to the mixture before reheating. The rice tends to pull in the liquid when saved.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!
stef

Leave a comment

Filed under Cook, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Bread Truffles

Sick of pumpkin yet? Seems the stores this year are filled to the brim with pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored everything. When it comes down to it, there is nothing like a good old-fashioned slice of homemade pumpkin bread. So this year, I am joining up an easy and delicious pumpkin bread recipe with some white chocolate for these fabulously fall Pumpkin Bread Truffles. Like a classic pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, these little bites are a great treat for any fall or Halloween party. Feel free to add some chopped pecans or walnuts to the bread recipe for extra salt and texture.

Pumpkin Bread Truffles via Haute Apple Pie

Pumpkin Bread Truffles

Ingredients:
Pumpkin bread
1  12 oz. can cream cheese frosting (or homemade cream cheese frosting if you prefer)
2 – 1 lb package of white almond bark
Fall sprinkles

Pumpkin Bread Recipe
Makes 2 loaves

1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
4 eggs
3/4 C vegetable oil
2/3 C water
2 tsp vanilla
1 C brown sugar
1 C sugar
3 1/2 C AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 9×5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

In mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, vanilla, brown sugar and sugar at a medium speed, until thoroughly combined. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves until combined.

Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture, with mixing speed on low, until flour is fully incorporated.

Bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes clean.

Allow to cool.

When cooled, crumbled one pumpkin loaf into large mixing bowl. Slowly add half the container (about 3/4 C) cream cheese frosting and combine with hands. On a lined baking sheet, roll mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Refrigerate and cool for one or more hours.

Melt almond bark on stove top or in microwave according to package directions. Immediately roll pumpkin balls, one at a time, into melted bark, coating evenly. Place back on lined sheet and sprinkle immediately.

Repeat with second loaf if desired. Each loaf makes about 2 dozen Pumpkin Bread Truffles. Allow to set and harden before serving.

Pumpkin Bread Truffles

Store in cool place or refrigerator for one week or freeze.

Want more pumpkin? You got it! Follow these links for some sweet and savory pumpkin recipes!
Feed Me Phoebe: 7 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes for Fall
The Lemon Bowl: Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (Gluten-Free)
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Oat Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Bacon and Souffle: Easy Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Weelicious: Quick Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Virtually Homemade: Gluten-Free Dark Brownies with Pumpkin Frosting
Devour: Eat As Much Pumpkin As Possible
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Cake
Red or Green: Spiced Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Syrup Glazed Bacon
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
The Cultural Dish: Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
The Mom 100: Pumpkin Gingerbread with Crystallized Ginger
Domesticate Me: No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites with Dark Chocolate Chunks (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Swing Eats: Pumpkin Almond Spice Waffles (Gluten-Free)
FN Dish: Pumpkin Spice (and Everything Nice)
I Am Baker: Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow
Taste With The Eyes: Savory Little Pumpkins with Labneh, Zaatar and Pumpkin Seed Oil

stef

10 Comments

Filed under Fall, Treats

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops

My heart gets happy this time of year when I start to switch over to my fall meal menu. This doesn’t have to mean all stews and chili (we can save some of that for winter, people) but the incorporation of some great fall produce. This Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chop recipe is a go-to in my house in the cooler months. It incorporates sweet potatoes, apples, onions and sauerkraut for a deliciously hearty yet healthy fall meal. Just a little peeling and cutting in the morning will give you an earthy evening dinner.

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops
Serves 4-6
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced into rounds
4 large apples, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1-2 lbs boneless pork chops
1 2 lb bag sauerkraut, drained
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

In slow cooker, layer sweet potatoes on bottom, followed by apples and onions. Place pork chops on top. Lay sauerkraut over the top. Pour apple cider vinegar. Mix all spices together in a both and sprinkle over the top. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

So simple. So delicious. So fall!
stef

1 Comment

Filed under Budget Friendly, Cook, Healthy, Main Dish, Make Ahead Meal, Uncategorized

Back to School Party

And just like that…school is back! I believe back to school time is cause for celebration (both kids and parents alike). This year, we invited our nieces over for a little soiree to get in the back to school spirit. The kids chanted “back to school is cool” while they indulged in book worms and ruler cake. And what is a party without a favor! We made homemade red play dough and created little apple play dough favors using mason jars. Stay tuned to Haute Apple Pie for a great homemade play dough recipe!

Back to School Party

Lincoln helped me put together name tags for everyone (even the littles who aren’t going to school, because they get to celebrate too right?) with foam letter stickers from Joann Fabrics.

back to school party table

homemade playdough apples

book worms

We placed green grapes on plastics skewers and affixed candy eyes with leftover frosting from the cake to make book worms. These were a big hit!

ruler cake

I didn’t want to make too much work for myself, so I created this ruler cake simply by frosting two pound cakes.

back to school name tag

back to school table

This happy guy is all ready for his first day at his new school! Wishing all the kids and parents out there the happiest of back-to-school as well!

stef

 

1 Comment

Filed under Entertain

Chipolte Peach Salsa

Chipolte Peach Salsa

Salsa is this great nation’s number one condiment. I’m a dedicated contributor to keeping that statistic alive. I’ve dabbled in many a fresh salsa recipe but never took the plunge to make the cooked and jarred type. Thanks to the lovely folks at Washington State Stone Fruit Growers, I was able to create this sweet and smokey Chipolte Peach Salsa that has been getting rave reviews across the area.

washington peaches

I want to make a special note that making this salsa is not hard! I’ve always thought this to be a daunting task, but it was pretty painless. This salsa can be jarred and kept for a long time or refrigerated and kept for 3-4 weeks. To get all the tips on canning and preserving, visit www.sweetpreservation.com.

Chipolte Peach Salsa
Makes approx. 10 cups
12 fresh, ripe peaches
8 large tomatoes
2 green peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP paprika
2 TBSP chipolte powder
1 TBSP salt

To peel the peaches and tomatoes, start with a large stock pot of boiling water. Place tomatoes in the water for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin starts to split. Immediately place tomatoes in ice bath to cool. Once cool to touch, the skins will slide right off. Cut into large chunks.

Using the same pot of water, do the same with the peaches. These will likely only need about 1 minute until the skin starts to peel away. Place in ice water bath, peel and cut into chunks.

In a large stock pot, add tomatoes, peaches, green pepper, onion, garlic and apple cider vinegar. Heat on medium-high heat and stir. Add paprika, chipolte powder and salt. Stir and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion blend, blend ingredients together to your preferred texture. (I like it a little chunky). Spoon into jars and following preserving instructions.

Chipolte Peach Salsa recipe

This salsa is great as the standard chip dip or taco topper, but it is also a delicious sauce for a sweet, savory and spicy dinner. I’ve used it in the crock pot for pulled pork, pork loin and beef roast. Just pour a few cups over the top of your meat and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Happy canning!

stef

Leave a comment

Filed under Cook, Healthy, Sides