I am working on making Fall and much cozier time in my home and with that comes fantastic (I hope) food. Normally I kick start the season with something pumpkin as that is my favorite but this year I decided on something with the almighty apple. My grandmother has a Fall Birthday and her favorite two cakes are apple spice and carrot so I figured I would work on the first in that list so when the whole family gets together for her day, I can bring something that we ALL can eat and enjoy. With my house eating and living Paleo, this sometimes creates baking challenges. I have certain expectations for texture vs. flavor and some of my daughters are not big on cooked fruit such as the “apple pie” affect. I wanted a nice simple treat that was healthy enough to serve for breakfasts on the go that even my daycare children with their over developed addiction to sweets that could also be made at least a month out and frozen for a “convenience” food without creating way to much work for the end result. I think I have it although I will have to see how long I can freeze then thaw and heat before an undesirable level in quality takes place. Keeping in mind that Paleo baking tends to be a little heavier than “traditional” baked goods I found the crumb to be nice and moist while not sweet at all. To turn this into a treat rather than a breakfast item I will probably make a frosting of some sort…
* This will make about 24 cupcakes or 1 double layer cake
- 4 C apples – peeled and sliced
- 2 TBSP fat (I used home rendered leaf lard)
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1 C coconut sugar (any sweetener will work but try to stay dry here)
- 1 C Almond Flour
- 1 C coconut Flour
- 1/4 tsp salt (this helps in the browning)
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1-1/2 TBSP cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 12 large eggs
- 1 can coconut milk – full fat
- 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract
- In a preheated skillet melt oil then cook apples till slightly soft. Add honey and caramelize.
- place dry ingredients in a mixing bowl then blend.
3. Add all the wet stuff and the apples to the bowl and whirl around till well mixed.
4. Scoop batter into liners (I like the silicon cups as they make clean up and storage easier)
5. Place in a pre-heated oven (350` F) and bake till a toothpick inserted into these comes out clean (about 30 minutes)
6. Cool then enjoy and/or freeze in a sealed container to than thaw and re-heat at a later time…
This summer had been very warm and dry for this part of Oregon. I am used to having some rain smattered through the summer months with some “nice” weather. I have not really minded the heat but did find that I did a lot less active cooking. We had a LOT of fast grilled meat with vegetable sticks and the like. This week marked the start of fall and it was like a light switch had been flipped by Mother Nature. The leaves on the tree in my front yard instantly went from crisp green to subtle fall colors as if Nature had changed her gown. and the rain came in a loud heavy deluge kind of way (not nearly as bad as many areas of the Country but still…).
Last night seems to have been one of the kick off yummy hunker in suppers. My 19 year old daughter was on shift to make the meal for the family and she did an outstanding job. We had a beef roast that had a mild kick and smoky undertones, bakes spuds (we do alright with potatoes although I try to limit my own consumption as they raise my sugar levels if I have not done a good hard workout), and then a crazy good salad on the side.
Smoky Chipotle Beef Roast
1 Beef Roast (2# to 5#)
2 onions – diced
Garlic to taste – minced
1 TBSP fat of choice (we used bacon)
1 Can fire roasted tomatoes
1) Rub as much of the chipotle powder as you want on the roast. 2) Melt fat in Dutch oven over medium heat then cook onions till translucent. 3) Add meat and brown on both sides. 4) Add remainder of ingredients and bring to a boil. 5) Cover the pot and turn head down to a simmer. 6) Cook covered for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
The week has been challenging and I had found myself thinking it was a “grrrr” kind of week. I realized that although there was a lot of yuck I had a choice to make. I could let life kick me and have negative emotions with that or I could create my own happiness and smile my way through. I thought about the things that I love about this time of year and decided I would take this coming weekend to really reacquaint myself with my kitchen as well as put some food in the freezers to make my October mornings flow a little easier. I have a household of 6 as well as run an in-home child daycare that start arriving as early as 4:30 am and continue to arrive till as late as 8:30 am. My husband leaves for work normally at 5:30 am and my children are out the door for high school and college classes by 8:30am, so that is a lot of coming and going at the start of the day. I like having my family well fed and armed with healthy nutrition through the day. I am looking at recipes through Friday and doing my planning to make shopping and cooking run smoothly. The biggest thing that I have done to get ready for all the fun and festivities is clean my oven.
Like many people, I detest the need to clean my oven, let alone the actual work of doing so. My oven had gotten so bad that we noticed this last week a mild amount of smoky burn-off when the oven has been in use. Not enough to trigger the smoke alarm that is right there but enough to get our attention. We do not have one of the nicer ovens that allows you to just put it on the “clean” setting and walk away for how ever long while it cooks everything off in a nice convenient way, so last night I broke out the can of oven cleaner spray and let it foam till I got up this morning. I kicked myself out of bed before the first little one arrived on my doorstep and scrubbed and wiped till the first layers were nice but it was not enough. I ended up spraying another coat on and let it sit for the fast 2 hour clean. That helped a LOT but it really is not PERFECT. I have decided I am done cleaning that darn thing for now as I am about to make it really bad again and I will take a long weekend to make it just right. It really is food enough for my needs at this time and it is back to being safe.
Free play is over and it is time for me to get back to work but never fear, I will be back with a post detailing this weekends adventures as soon as I can. Please take a few moments more to comment on how your fall is starting and/or your experience with freezer meal prep…