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I took a glorious trip to North Georgia last weekend solely to pick apples! Tom & I drove to Blue Ridge and visited Mercier Orchards for a perfect fall day.

If you know how much I love apples, you will know how excited I was to go pick my own! We picked bags of Fuji, Cameo, Golden Delicious, and Ambriosa, Mercier’s own apple breed.

I decided to get crafty with my apple loot by making sweet, savory and warm baked apples. This recipe is killer, easy and perfect for a fall dessert.

Pick a large, crisp apple. Honeycrisp, pink lady or fuji work great- they retain some of their crispness, whereas a gala or golden delicious would get far too mushy after it’s baked. Core the apple but leave 1/4″ at the bottom- you don’t want to push the bottom out. Place apple in microwave safe dish.

Sprinkle the center of the apple with a “fall-like” spice- I used pumpkin pie spice, but cinnamon would also be tasty.

easy-baked-apple-spice

Add frozen blueberries into the center. They will bake up and taste like raisins!

 easy-baked-apple-blueberries

        easy-baked-apple-sweet

Top the filled up apple with your favorite sweetener. I used Stevia In The Raw, a zero calorie sugar. You can use agave sweetener, regular sugar or even honey?!

easy-baked-apple

Place a lid on the top of the dish and microwave 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on it, mine finished around 5 minutes, but time may vary based on microwave. And that’s it!

easy-baked-apple

There was a nice warm syrupy glaze at the bottom of the dish from the cooked blueberries! I warn you it will be hard not to eat it all as soon as it’s done, but it will be VERY hot, slice a piece and wait patinetly 🙂

Oh, and here are some fun pictures from Mercier and the trees we picked from!

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easy-baked-apple-apple

easy-baked-apple-orchard

A perfect appetizer that takes no more than 10 minutes

Slice a zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 in thick slices. Lightly brush with oil, salt & pepper. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.

Scoop ricotta, goat cheese, or crumpled feta about an inch from an end. Lay basil leaves and lettuce or spinach on top. Add additional seasonings if you like.

Roll one end over cheese, leaves and the rest of the zucchini slice. Use toothpick or something like it to hold roll together.

Aaand you’re done! (Tip: serve quickly so the zucchini doesn’t get soggy- taking the slices off the heat quickly will help avoid sogginess too)

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