Simple Baked Apples

Inside-Out Apple Crisp- Baked Granny Smith Apples stuffed with oats, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. A simple, quick dessert for a cozy fall evening.

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These Simple Baked Apples use just a handful of ingredients to make a delicious fall dessert. Serve with caramel sauce for a more elegant twist on an apple crisp! 

Overhead view of baked apples in a white baking dish

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been staring down a very large bag of apples we picked up at the orchard.

It was definitely a case of being in the moment and buying all the festive things at the little orchard store. From apples and handmade caramels to gallons of cider and cute pumpkins, we went all in.

These simple baked apples were the perfect way to use up some of those apples for a quick and delicious mid-week treat!

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Simple Syrup Recipe

Have you ever made simple syrup at home? With this easy simple syrup recipe, you’ll never bother buying it at the store again! There are a lot of things that I’ll go to the store to buy. Not necessarily because I can’t make my own version at home, but because I have limited time to […]

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Have you ever made simple syrup at home? With this easy simple syrup recipe, you’ll never bother buying it at the store again!

A large and small bottle of simple syrup with a measuring cup of sugar in the background

There are a lot of things that I’ll go to the store to buy. Not necessarily because I can’t make my own version at home, but because I have limited time to spend on certain things.

Puff pastry? I could totally make it but I’d rather buy it.

Graham crackers? Sure, homemade ones are delicious but when I’m making graham cracker crust or eclair cake, store-bought is the way to go.

Other things are worth making at home, mostly stuff I can make in batches and store in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer.

I’m talking about pumpkin pie spice, taco seasoning, salted caramel sauce, and simple syrup. 

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Instant Pot Apple Butter

Making apple butter at home is so much easier than you think! This Instant Pot Apple Butter takes just a few hours to make, but will taste like it simmered on the stove all day long. Enjoy it on toast or package it up for a fall gift! Every year right around this time, we […]

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Making apple butter at home is so much easier than you think! This Instant Pot Apple Butter takes just a few hours to make, but will taste like it simmered on the stove all day long. Enjoy it on toast or package it up for a fall gift!

Glass jar filled with apple butter, with apples and more jars of apple butter in the background

Every year right around this time, we usually venture to a local apple orchard with E’s school for a fall field trip.

However, given the current circumstances, field trips aren’t exactly happening right now, but we’re still yearning for a little fall fun.

Instead of a field trip, we’re going to take a family trip and head to our favorite orchard to pick up pumpkins, cornstalks and loads of apples for all kinds of recipes like our favorite Crockpot applesauce, caramel apple crisp and this super simple homemade apple butter conveniently made in an Instant Pot.

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Butternut Squash Puree

Did you know that it’s easy to make your own Butternut Squash Puree at home? This puree is simple and delicious, and as delicious on its own as it is mixed into other recipes!  Well, it’s still hot here in Ohio, so it doesn’t exactly feel like fall yet. But I am choosing to ignore […]

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Did you know that it’s easy to make your own Butternut Squash Puree at home? This puree is simple and delicious, and as delicious on its own as it is mixed into other recipes! 

Butternut squash puree in a white bowl with whole spices and a spoon in the background

Well, it’s still hot here in Ohio, so it doesn’t exactly feel like fall yet.

But I am choosing to ignore that and continue living my best fall life until it’s cool enough for boots and sweaters.

First step? Decorating my front porch. I may not be getting a ton of visitors right now, but that doesn’t mean that anyone walking through the neighborhood can’t enjoy some fall decor!

Second step? All the fall baked goods. I started with Apple Pie Bread and Apple Cinnamon Muffins, and now I’m on to butternut squash.

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Easy Peach Cobbler

Easy Peach Cobbler requires almost no prep time and only uses 4 ingredients! Using canned peaches and cake mix, this is one of the easiest cobblers you can make. Every once in a while, I come across a recipe that I’m almost embarrassed to share with you because it’s just too simple. My step-mom called […]

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Easy Peach Cobbler requires almost no prep time and only uses 4 ingredients! Using canned peaches and cake mix, this is one of the easiest cobblers you can make.

Two white plates each with a serving of easy peach cobbler topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Every once in a while, I come across a recipe that I’m almost embarrassed to share with you because it’s just too simple.

My step-mom called me a couple of weeks ago asking if I had a recipe for peach cobbler made with Bisquick.

If you follow along here pretty regularly, you might know that I have a recipe for Homemade Bisquick, Bisquick Pancakes and even Bisquick Biscuits, but no Bisquick Peach Cobbler.

She was making Peach Cobbler for a friend and ended up trying a bunch of recipes before she called me with this one. And when I say it’s easy, I mean it – the assembly might take you three minutes!

When she raved about how good it was, I had to test it for myself and ended up making 2 times in less than a week.

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No-Bake Energy Bites

This No-Bake Energy Bites recipe is easy to make, full of feel-good ingredients, and irresistibly delicious! Friends, have you tried this no bake energy bites recipe? ♡ It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes here on the blog, and one that I’ve personally made about a zillion times since I first published it here eight […]

This No-Bake Energy Bites recipe is easy to make, full of feel-good ingredients, and irresistibly delicious!

Easy No Bake Energy Bites Recipe

Friends, have you tried this no bake energy bites recipe? ♡

It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes here on the blog, and one that I’ve personally made about a zillion times since I first published it here eight years ago.

I love these little energy bites because they are easy to make with simply pantry ingredients that I almost always have on hand.  They are super easy to mix up and roll into cute little energy balls.  (Or if you would like to save time, you can press the mixture into a parchment-covered baking dish, and then cut them into energy bars.)  They are the perfect make-ahead recipe to keep on hand for healthy snacking or breakfasts.  And most importantly, they are just irresistibly good.

Over the years, thousands of our readers have made and loved this classic energy bites recipe too.  So I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try!

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Holiday Gift Guide 2019

Gabe and I are back with our annual gift guide. It’s full of things that brighten our everyday, things we have on our own lists and things that make the world a little brighter. We think there is something for everyone 1. Portland Apron Co. Pinafore Apron  – I love this apron so much that… Read more »

Gabe and I are back with our annual gift guide. It’s full of things that brighten our everyday, things we have on our own lists and things that make the world a little brighter. We think there is something for everyone

1. Portland Apron Co. Pinafore Apron  – I love this apron so much that I have two. There are no strings to mess with, there is full coverage for us messy cooks and it washes like a dream. Now I have my eye on the Japanese Smock.

2. Breville Espresso Machine – (We have model BES870XL) Okay, so yes this is a doozy of a gift (check out the refurbished models!) but after using this machine for eight months I still look forward to my coffee every morning. I can count on one hand the number of times I have spent money on a latte since owning this machine. Why buy it when I can make it better at home. Gabe got this for me/us for Mother’s Day and we’ve not regretted it for one minute. Also, our latte art skills are quite impressive. Well, we’re impressed anyway.

3. Braiding Sweetgrass If we have had a conversation for longer than five minutes in the past year or if you have been keeping up on the blog you have already heard me wax poetic about this book. It’s perfect for the outdoor lover, or the nature romantic in your life.

4. A tree!! Earlier this year I read an article about the power of trees to fight climate change. With such a huge and daunting issue facing our world today it’s hard to know what we can do to help. Plant a tree! We have given the gift of trees as wedding gifts and to friends who understand the impact. It’s perfect for the friend or family member who is not looking to add more things but wants to make a difference.

5. Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club Give the aspiring chef in your family the gift of weekly thoughtful and delicious recipes. Every week Sara will send a meal plan to your inbox complete with a shopping list. For those with young kids also check out their new ebook, Little Sprouts.

6. Incienso de Santa Fe – Piñon Incense Gabe and I recently spent a week camping in New Mexico and while we were there I picked up this piñon incense. Every morning I start my day with some quiet music, coffee and the scent of piñon.

7. Wanderlust Candle  Speaking of lovely smelling things this candle is my favorite for this season. For when you want to be in the woods but are cozied up at home instead this candle gives you the scent of a hike without the cold.

8. Kitchen Unnecessary Gift Guide (coming soon!) If you’ve enjoyed following our outdoor adventures and have outdoor loving friends in your life be sure to check out our Kitchen Unnecessary gift guide (we also have an amazing giveaway happening!)

9. Cookies! For a very limited time our cookie mix is back. This is the last of them though. We’re closing down our shop and focusing on other things. So if you want to give the gift of cookies this holiday season do it quickly. As always our books are signed and in stock. If you want a personalized message just send me a note!

10. YesPlz Coffee Speaking of coffee we love these beans. Gabe loves the ‘zine that comes with the beans. The perfect accompaniment for the perfect brew. Great beans, good words, delivered right to your door.

11. Drifters Fish Smoked Salmon Canned Salmon has become and staple in our pantry. On those instances when dinner hour sneaks up on you and the kids are asking,  “What’s for dinner?” I’m happy to pull out a tin (or jar) of Salmon that I know was sustainably harvested by our friends Nelly and Michael in Alaska. What a treat to be able to enjoy this bounty and share it with the kids.
12. Sperry Slip-Ons  As we’ve gotten into spending more and more time on the water and at the beach, these slip-ons have come in handy. In addition to being great on the boat, I used them in the rivers as we fly fished our way through Idaho, Utah and Montana this past summer. They dry quickly and don’t take up nearly as much space in the car as my wading boot when the water isn’t too cold.

13. Miir Canister Who knew a canister could be sexy? Whether you’re a miniamlist or not, this canister will store your precious city roast beans with the utmost care. It boasts an accordian-style airtight seal that can be a little tricky when your stock is low, but is fun to fold down in an ASMR sort of way. It’s got some complexity yet smooth.

14. Basil Hayden Bourbon Do you love a whiskey lover? (Who doesn’t?) In a world where there are dozens of whiskeys to choose from on the shelf, Basil Hayden’s is one I like to pick up when camping and I know I’m going to be drinking it straight up (normally out of a flask, likely my Stanley or Filson flasks). If you’re into the whole flavor profile sort of thing, I get vanilla and some cinnamon. (We don’t have a link to online liquor sales, visit your favorite local spirits shop.)

15. Handkerchief  Pro-tip for Dads: always carry a handkerchief. I usually keep one tucked away in my back pocket and it comes in clutch all the time. Some recent uses include: running nose, sweaty hikes, snapping bees / mosquitos away, wiping dog barf, drying a seat, a pouch for carrying trail mix, cleaning up a wound, and as a flag for 2×4’s hanging over the tailgate. You never know when you might need it.

16. Lamy Tipo Ballpoint Pen If you’re in Seattle stop by Peter Miller Books. If you’re like me you’ll be drawn in to his well curated collection of pens and notebooks not to mention the shelves of design books. On a recent visit I picked up this beautiful Lamy Ballpoint Pen and it quickly became my daily writer. German design and craftsmanship make for smooth and precise penmanship. Takes Lamy rollerball refills.

17. Traveler’s Company Journal  I received this beautiful notebook as a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. It was in the category of ‘too beautiful to use’ for a little while. Once I got the courage to put it to use, I learned that I could customize it in a million different ways. Pro Tip: I found many great paper and pen insert options at Tortoise General Store in Los Angeles. Love that place.

18. Nips (coffee flavour) great for fishing. You don’t have to be an old man to act like one. Grab your favorite grandpa sweater and fill the pockets with toffee’s. They help keep me warm when it’s cold outside and give a little boost of energy when needed (usually on the steep part of a hike).

19. Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit (we like the 5wt, 9’0″, 4pc) This rod was recommended by guides both young and old out of Utah. Affordable, yet fishable. This rod and reel combo is a really great place to start if you’re considering getting into fly fishing. It’s also a respectable option if you’re looking to add a 5wt to your arsenal.

20. Adopt a dog We may have said it last year, but we feel it deserves another mention. Open your home to a new dog and your family will love you forever. If that sounds like too much responsibility, consider fostering a dog (or cat). Shelters and the humane society are often looking for loving homes to care for their animals in the interim before they’re adopted. It’s a win-win when these animals receive all the more lovin’ right up until they find their forever homes. Just beware, you may end up being that forever home.

I also have some of my favorite things on my Amazon Influencer Page. Please note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you.

Thinking of you

  Hello friends.    I’ve been thinking about you all. I think about you when I bite into a cake so perfectly tender and dense with spice. I think of you when I artfully draw a salmon on my puff pastry with a paring knife and I think of you when I fry fresh caught… Read more »

 

Hello friends. 

 

I’ve been thinking about you all. I think about you when I bite into a cake so perfectly tender and dense with spice. I think of you when I artfully draw a salmon on my puff pastry with a paring knife and I think of you when I fry fresh caught squid to a delicate crisp then not so delicately submerge it into a pepperoncini aioli. 

I also think of you when my heart flutters while reading about Tom Hanks and watching the trailer with him as Mr. Rogers for the 1,249th time. I’m thinking of you while doing a deep dive into mindfulness and thinking about how we all could benefit from the continuous reminder to put everything into perspective. 

All of that to say, I think of you all so often. More often than I share here or even on my Instagram. Just as I’m trying to work on actually expressing the thoughts and words of affirmation to the people in my life as I think of them I thought I would like to do the same of you. Because I think of you often and appreciate you so very much.

 

  • This is the pumpkin cake of my dreams. I know I just shared a pumpkin cake. One can never have too many recipes for such a classic cake. Just after I shared mine I read about Tartine’s version which uses 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I was skeptical but the glowing reviews calmed my fears and now it’s my go-to. Heavy with brown sugar and pepitas on top.

 

  • Last night I made salmon pot pie for the first time using this recipe from Food & Wine as my starting point. We have a pescatarian in the family so I skipped the bacon and added miso and Worcestershire to add depth. 

 

  • This is that lovely Tom Hanks article in the New York Times that I loved so very much. I’m so moved by his gentle kindness that seems to accompany everything he does. I aspire to be so thoughtful. 

 

  • Speaking of puff pastry (it’s on my mind from that pot pie I mentioned) this simple pear tart (from my latest book) is my absolute favorite dessert this time of year (maybe even more so than pumpkin pie) and the recipe can be found over at Woman’s Day. 

 

  • Things in my kitchen have taken a more practical spin as of late. I’ve been busy working on a project and have also felt more and more inclined to do more with what we have. We can easily waste a good bit of food when I’m deep in the swing of recipe development and right now I’m trying to cook down our fridge and pantry before doing more shopping. This often means we’re cooking pantry heavy meals like curried lentils or simple pastas. 

 

  • This summer we spent so much time outside and we’re trying to do the same while we still have a bit of sunshine this fall. We’re working on putting together some more adventures with Kitchen Unnecessary and having adventures on our own like squid fishing in downtown Seattle. Seriously, it’s a thing

 

 

More soon because I’m thinking of you. But not in a creepy way.

The BEST Apple Crisp!

This easy apple crisp (apple crumble) recipe is made with a warm cinnamon apple filling and an irresistible buttery crunchy crumble topping.  Plus this no-fuss version takes less than 20 minutes to prep — no apple peeling required! Oh friends.  This is one of those moments where I wish I could just gather you all […]

This easy apple crisp (apple crumble) recipe is made with a warm cinnamon apple filling and an irresistible buttery crunchy crumble topping.  Plus this no-fuss version takes less than 20 minutes to prep — no apple peeling required!

Apple Crisp Recipe

Oh friends.  This is one of those moments where I wish I could just gather you all around my table, dish you up a generous serving of this homemade apple crisp while it’s all hot and bubbly and extra-cozy fresh outta the oven, top it off with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream (plus a drizzle of my favorite bourbon caramel sauce, if you’re feeling extra), and then savor and enjoy every last bite of this fall favorite together.

Because I’m telling you, this apple crisp is simply the best. ♡

I decided to go all-in on the crispy, crunchy, crumbly, buttery oat topping with this recipe, which combines the best of both the apple crumble (made with a streusel topping) and apple crisp (made with an oat topping) worlds and tastes downright irresistible.  It’s also easy to whip up in just a few minutes, and complements the soft apple filling below perfectly.  Also, speaking of said filling, I’ve made the executive decision to save us that time-consuming step of peeling all of those apples for this crisp because (a) I have zero space in my kitchen for an apple peeler, nor the patience to peel all of those puppies by hand (b) the peels look so pretty and autumn-ish when dished up into your serving bowls, plus (c) hey, the peels are good for us anyway!

As a result, I’m happy to report that this easy apple crisp recipe requires only about 20 minutes of prep time.  Then once it has baked up in the oven — during which time, I should note, your home will start to smell absolutely amazing — I highly recommend dishing it up warm with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream and digging in with a spoon right away.  Because on a chilly autumn or winter night, there’s no sweeter way to warm up.

Who’s ready for some apple crisp?!
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Melon Salad with Candied Walnuts and Lime

*This post was created in partnership with California Walnuts. I have loved working with them this year to bring you some season-inspired recipes with walnuts as the star. As always, the words, images and recipes are mine.    There’s always a moment at the end of summer when I see the slightest shift of color… Read more »

*This post was created in partnership with California Walnuts. I have loved working with them this year to bring you some season-inspired recipes with walnuts as the star. As always, the words, images and recipes are mine. 

 

There’s always a moment at the end of summer when I see the slightest shift of color on the leaves, or feel a brief chill in the air and then that’s it, I’m ready for fall. That moment hasn’t happened yet. 

We’re still squeezing every last drop of sunshine out of summer. In fact, we’re currently on a road trip right now that will bring us the home mere hours before the first day of school. We’re dipping our toes into rivers so cold our feet instantly numb. We’re eating the sort of food that one does when on a road trip and making memories all along the way. We’re making the absolute most of summer and it feels exactly right.

I know that moment will come, as it always does. In that instant I’ll be ready to braise, roast and sip on long simmered soups once again. For now I’m still craving the tart, sweet pop of cherry tomatoes and the candy-like juices that dribble down my chin and arms while biting into a pillow soft peach. And melon salads that tips towards the savory with the help of a pungent red onion and peppery olive oil. Candied walnuts add crunch and depth of flavor while fresh lime juice brings an addictive zip. 

The walnuts here are deeply toasted then coated in a simple caramel. If you feel a bit adventurous add a few chili flakes or smoked paprika to the caramel to teeter the line of sweet and savory. Either way this salad is a simple reminder that summer still lingers on.

 

Melon Salad with Candied Walnuts and Lime

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves

Flake salt

1 small honeydew melon

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 lime

Olive oil

Instructions

Toast the walnuts in a 350°F oven until fragrant and deepened in color. Put the walnuts in a large heatproof bowl but keep a parchment lined sheet pan nearby. 

Add the sugar to a small saucepan set over high heat. Melt the sugar until deeply caramelized, it will start smoking lightly. Swirl the pan or stir to caramelize evenly. 

Working quickly pour the caramel over the walnuts then stir to evenly coat. Once coated immediately dump the walnuts to the sheet pan and separate with a fork. The caramel hardens very quickly. Add a hefty pinch of flake salt then let cool.

Once cool, transfer the walnuts to a cutting board then roughly chop.

Remove the seeds and peel from the melon then shave into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler. You can also cut into cubes if you prefer. 

Transfer the melon to a platter then add the sliced red onion. Squeeze the lime all over the top, drizzle with olive oil then add the walnuts. Finish with flake salt. 

For a more substantial salad add arugula, sliced endive or treviso.