Monday Menu and Recipe Review

My Facebook feed was filled with photos of friends picking apples this weekend. As the lucky recipient of an entire trunk full of apples, I skipped the apple picking and moved straight on to the peeling, coring and applesauce making.

Though I peeled and chopped nearly 20 cups of apples, I barely made a dent in the apple supply in my basement. I made one small batch of Apple Almond Honey Conserve from Food in Jarswhich tastes like fall when spread on homemade bread (see my breakfast, above). I also made one batch of chunky applesauce in the slow cooker. My goal is to process a bag of apples every couple days, so that maybe I’ll be finished sometime next week.

I’m going to need more jars.

This week

Last week

  • Cheese and Chicken Quesadilla PieBig hit with the kids, and definitely a 30-minute meal (most of it is baking time).
  • Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Warm Spices, rice. I’ll be using brown lentils, and following the suggestions to streamline the recipe. My new favorite lentil soup–don’t forget the squeeze of lime. So glad there was enough to freeze for another meal!
  • Yogurt-Marinated Shrimp, pita, some kind of fruit salad. Mmm…shrimp. The marinade (Iemon-garlic), plus leaving the shells on, kept the shrimp from drying out under the broiler.
  • Black Bean Burgers, roasted potatoes, salad. In a reverse-vegan move, I replaced the flax seed with an egg. My only complaint is that these turned out a little crumbly–maybe I will make thicker patties next time.
  • Tortellini Soup. This is strictly for lunchbox thermoses. Quick enough to cook during breakfast and ladle into thermoses. Two out of three kids ate it up, and I had some for lunch, too. Homemade broth is the key, even if you have dried tortellini (I like the Trader Joe’s brand).
  • Maple-Bourbon Banana Pudding CakeThe Hub made this Saturday night, and it was superb. It only takes one overripe banana, and the rest you probably have in your pantry. Regular granulated sugar and 2% milk work just fine.

What are you eating this week?

Applesauce Bran Muffins

I love getting out of bed before the kids. It doesn’t happen very often. In fact, if I plan to get up before they do, someone inevitably hears and pops out of bed ready to start the day. So much for a quiet half hour with my coffee.

But yesterday morning I hauled myself out of bed in a desperate attempt to silence the cat, who was going door to door, loudly trying to rouse someone to fill his empty dish.

So. I was up, and my husband had already filled my coffee cup. A good time for some muffins, before the children started caterwauling, too. They came out of the oven just as the first riser stumbled down the stairs for her dose of morning television.

Applesauce Bran Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 cup wheat bran

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup olive oil (or any vegetable oil or melted butter)

1 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 eggs

Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. Grease 12 large muffin cups and set aside.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the liquid ingredients together well (I add them to a 2-cup glass measuring cup and whisk them right in the cup). Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir together no more than 20 seconds. I like to use a large spatula to make sure I scrape everything off the bottom of the bowl.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Put the tin in the oven and immediately reset the temperature to 400 degrees F. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and a skewer or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm.