TGIF! On this Friday before Thanksgiving, I have a quick post for you. If you are lucky to have leftover turkey after the big meal, I suggest you throw together this quick salad. This salad is bright, crunchy and fresh. Perfect for the day after that heavy meal that puts us all into a tryptophan coma. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to throw together!
“The woman that was helping me showed me the craziest apple!” This was my husband, Ben, around this time last year. I had asked him to stop by Specialty Produce, a local produce warehouse that I adore, to pick up some apples for pies. He’s often the one running my SP errands. He works near downtown San Diego and we live north of the city so it’s easy for him to go on his way into work. Anyway, I will never forget him calling me after this trip, “It was totally red, on the inside! I bought you some, you won’t believe it! They taste like tart green apples.” Both Ben and I get excited about food but, and I think he’d agree here, it was unusual for him to be this excited about an APPLE. I knew this was a big deal.
The apples he brought home were so beautiful on the inside, I had never seen anything like them. I went to high school and college in Washington state. I lived in Chelan, part of the apple valley of the state. Dear friends of mine are generations deep in the apple business. I jump for joy when I see Chelan apples in local markets. And yet, the Hidden Rose apple had remained a mystery to me. I did what any baker would do, I put them in a pie (click here for that pie).
A glimpse of my life in Chelan…
My family moved to Chelan, from La Jolla, when I was 12 (heading into 8th grade). My grandparents had lived there (and had recently bought a home on the lake), my mom was born there, there was history. It is a gorgeous lake town in north central Washington. When I lived there, the surrounding hills were filled with apple orchards. Since then, the land has proved to be a boon for vineyards. Either way, the valley is absolutely beautiful. The lake itself is 50.5 miles long, fed by the Cascade and Chelan Mountains and is the third deepest lake in the country. In the summer, the people come. Towing boats, jet skiis, bbqs, beers, teenagers, and toddlers. At 14, I worked at Lakeview Drive-In, a burger joint open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The summer I was 16 (and until I was 21), I worked at the local waterslide park, Slidewaters, also open for summers only. After I graduated from Chelan High School and went off to Washington State University, I went home for the summers to lifeguard at the “Slides”. We all did.
I remember someone once saying, “Chelan has a population of 3,000 but in the summer it bumps up to 30,000.” I’m sure even when I lived there those numbers were grossly inaccurate, but I think you can picture what I’m describing. We had “summer friends”, those people who showed up every summer, year after year, and just kind of came back into our lives as if we’d seen them yesterday. They just kind of fit. Summers there were amazing and went by so quickly, like a glorious, sparkling blur.
It snowed in the winter. We’d sled at the golf course, meet up at the local pizza place. The entire town would show up for the high school basketball games (at least, it felt like it), even when they were on the road. It was that kind of town. I loved living there, I’m so happy my parents decided to give us that experience.
While Chelan will always be a home, and so dear to me, southern California is where I’m supposed to be. My heart and soul belong right where I am now. You can try to take the girl out of California, but she’ll always come back;).
So this year, when Specialty Produce tweeted that the Hidden Rose were back in stock, Ben headed there on a mission. I already knew what I wanted to make, I had seen the recipe in my newest Bon Appetit, an apple galette. This dessert showcases the fruit beautifully.
For this post, I am going to link you to the Bon Appetit recipe here. I followed the recipe perfectly, omitting the Maple Whipped Cream (I don’t feel like it was necessary, but if you love whipped cream, you should definitely include it) and, obviously, replacing the Pink Lady apples with Hidden Rose.
Below are my step by step pictures.
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My kids LOVE the pumpkin bread made from the Trader Joe’s mix. They ask for it all year so I try to keep a few boxes on hand out of season. It is the only boxed mix I use for anything. I don’t love it, though, it is just a little too sweet for me. I tend to crave more savory items (crazy, I know, I have so much fun baking sweets). So, when I saw the recipe for Pumpkin Scones in November’s Bon Appetit Magazine, I knew I had to try them. I feel like most scones are a little less sweet than muffins or breads. Less sugar, more butter, sounds good to me;).
I woke up a little earlier this morning to whip these up for the family before we sent the boys off to school. I am so glad I did, they are amazing. And while the boys may still prefer the box mix pumpkin bread, this scone recipe has won Ben and me over. It is the perfect fall baked treat with your morning coffee or afternoon tea.
Pumpkin Scones adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2014. Makes 8 scones.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
2 tbsp. raw sugar
Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, cloves, baking soda, and flour in a large bowl.
Grate the butter, using the large holes on a box grater, tossing to coat in dry ingredients as you go.
Mix in egg, pumpkin and 1/4 cup buttermilk.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a thick disk.
Cut into 8 wedges. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, about 25-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Serve with butter.
Loved enjoying mine with my morning coffee!
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Fall in Southern California is a strange phenomenon. It can be 90 degrees on the coast one day and 66 the next. We’ve run the gamut this year. Humid, yep. Dry, totally. Chilly, not enough for my liking but, sure. Hot, definitely. I love living here, there is nothing like a fall sunset in Encinitas, it is a gorgeous sight to behold. We don’t, however, get that chill in the air that most associate with the beginning of this beautiful season. Therefore, we need to create a sense of it ourselves, in our homes, in our kitchens.
I get really excited about soups, like ridiculously so. I think homemade soup is such a wonderful thing to have in the refrigerator. My husband works odd hours, so he loves when there is something easy for him to reheat and enjoy when he gets home. Soups are also one of those heavenly dishes that are usually better the day after you make them.
I’ve decided that, over the next year, I am going to cook my way through one of my favorite soup cookbooks. It is a tiny little thing, but everything I’ve made from it so far has huge flavor. Zuppe is collection of recipes from the kitchen of The American Academy in Rome. The author, Mona Talbott, has broken the book down by season with about 11-15 recipes per season. I’m going to start with the first recipe and make one a week, in order, over the next year. While I am planning to blog some of my favorites, including this first one, I won’t be blogging all of them. I encourage you to buy the little book (proceeds support the Rome Sustainable Food Project) and follow along with me on social media, sharing your stories and pictures. Of course, I’ll still blog other recipes. With the holidays coming up, I have a ton to share!
For now, join me on my first of the Zuppe Challenge…
Fava Bean & Proscuitto Soup adapted from Zuppe by Mona Talbott. Serves 4 to 6.
10 1/2 oz. dried peeled fava beans
2 medium yellow onions
3 celery stalks
2 medium carrots
2 garlic cloves
5-6 oz. proscuitto shank (I bought a boneless, trimmed hock from the butcher)
2 oz. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. dried chili pepper flakes (or less, to taste)
8 oz. crushed tomatoes
2-3 bay leaves
Peel and cut the onions, celery and carrots into a small dice. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut the prosciutto shank in half.
Over low heat, in a 6-qt. stockpot, cook the onion, celery and carrots in olive oil until the vegetables are coated in oil and glistening. Add a pinch of salt and cook until tender, about 5 more minutes.
Add the garlic and dried pepper flakes to the pan, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, stir and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Add the fava beans and proscuitto to the vegetables.
Cover with 3 quarts of cold water.
Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the fava beans have softened and the soup has a creamy texture.
Remove bay leaves and discard. Remove the tender proscuitto and cut into small pieces (it will really just fall apart), return it to the soup.
Taste and re-season with salt if necessary (be sure to taste it first, the prosciutto adds quite a bit of saltiness). The soup will thicken as it cools, you may need to thin with water when reheating.
A delicious, hearty fall soup!
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