Showing posts with label apple salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apple salad. Show all posts

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

Apples are a nostalgic food for me.  When I was young, we lived on a farm with apple trees.  I had a penchant for climbing those trees (sometimes getting myself stuck), and whenever possible I snagged an apple right off the tree and ate it amid the branches.

When I was older, we didn't have trees of our own, but we lived close to a fantastic orchard called Robinette's (you West Michiganders know what I'm talking about).  We made the 20 minute trek to Robinette's at least twice every fall, enjoying fresh apple cider and warm pumpkin doughnuts dusted in cinnamon and sugar, and then toting home bushels of fresh, crisp apples.

Bottom line, I love apples.

I grew up eating apples on their own and eating them in sweets.  With the exception of the occasional bit of warm applesauce (with pork chops, of course), we rarely at apples at dinner.  Then one year (2001, to be exact), I was looking for a salad to complement our usual Thanksgiving shepherd's pie, and I stumbled across a recipe for apple/pecan/romaine salad in Bon Appetit.  I was intrigued, and then delighted by how yummy it was.  Over the years, I've tweaked the vinaigrette a bit and switched from romaine to more peppery baby greens (this time a 50/50 blend of spring mix and baby spinach).


Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

Cider Vinaigrette

3/4 c. canola oil
3 Tbs.  apple cider vinegar
1 c. apple cider
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


2 gala apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4 inch dice
5.5 oz. of baby greens
3/4 c. pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped

Place the apple cider in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Cook until reduced to about 1/3 of a cup.  Allow to cool.

Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Dressing can be (and really should be) made 1 day ahead . . . refrigerate until using.  Bring back to room temp before using and whisk to combine the vinaigrette one more time.

Toss apples with 1/3 c. dressing.

Place baby greens in a large salad bowl.  Drizzle with dressing and toss.  Top with apples and pecans.  Serve with any remaining dressing on the side.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple Salad from Riley Adams

MLK pics 004It’s apple season! And my family couldn’t be happier. We love going to the store or the farmers’ market and seeing so many varieties of apples.

For a while I can get away with just putting an apple in my kids’ lunchboxes, but it doesn’t take long for them to want something a little different. The recipe below keeps well for days and is good in a lunchbox next to some blue ice or a frozen juice box.

RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb[3]I’m sharing a recipe for what the old Southern cookbooks call “apple salad,” which is very similar to Waldorf, but uses vanilla yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

This variety is super-easy, but you could play with it a variety of different ways. Many of the cookbooks I’ve got from the 1970s would add miniature marshmallows and vanilla pudding to it. You could use walnuts instead of pecans, use different types of apples, use dried cranberries instead of raisins, etc.

If you’ve got little ones eating this salad, I’d probably cut up the grapes and apples pretty well to keep the risk of choking down (says a mom who knows!)

MLK pics 002

Apple Salad

6 medium Granny Smith apples, diced
Small bunch of seedless grapes, halved
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 8-oz. carton of vanilla yogurt

Mix all the ingredients together, being sure to coat the fruit with the yogurt. Keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge.

hickorysmokedhomicidehighresEnjoy apple season! And just a quick note—the third book in the Memphis Barbeque series releases November 1! Hope you’ll pick up a copy if you enjoy mysteries. :)

Finger Lickin’ Dead (Riley Adams)
Hickory Smoked Homicide (preorder book 3!)

Progressive Dinner Deadly

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Downfall of Crock Pot Woman

I bounded out of bed in spite of the brisk morning air that made me shiver.  A recipe for crock pot chicken and dumplings had been making the rounds on the Internet.  My mom was coming to dinner and it would be the perfect comfort food for a lovely fall day.  I was eager to check on Mochie, who hadn't been feeling well but would surely be better.  Best of all, there was a new baby in the house!  So exciting!

Meet twelve-week-old Chloe, the newest addition to my family.  The big dogs were outside, so I let Chloe explore while I sliced carrots.  Chicken and thyme went into the crock pot while I kept an eye on Mochie, who still looked miserable. 

Suddenly there were thumping sounds and a sad little mew.  I ran for Chloe.  While walking through a little cat passage, she had managed to, yes, it's true, fall inside a wall.  Ack!

I'm not supposed to sleep on my face?
Crock Pot Woman to the rescue!  While cat extraction wasn't on the schedule for the day, Crock Pot Woman can rescue innocent kittens while cooking dinner.  I managed to free a purring Chloe.  She was absolutely fine.

But Mochie wasn't.  He looked worse.  I called the vet, who graciously agreed to see him.  I was much relieved!  The appointment wouldn't interfere with dinner because -- I was Crock Pot Woman, and dinner was cooking itself.

So Mom came to dinner and everything was ready.  Even a salad that I threw together with some unlikely ingredients.  Crock Pot Woman had battled crises all day, yet she had everything under control -- until Mom took one bite of the crock pot chicken and dumplings.  "Did you make much of this?" she asked.

Of course!  Because I am Crock Pot Woman, and I know we will freeze portions to enjoy on cold winter days.

And then I tasted it.  Crock Pot Woman fizzled like a drop of water in a hot skillet.

"Hmm, I'll put some in a pot tomorrow and see if we can improve it," said my mom.

It was awful.  Not just bland or uninspired.  Truly awful.  From the broth to the dumplings, there was simply nothing to commend it.

I'm happy to report that while Mochie has a bug, he will be quite fine.  Chloe weathered her little ordeal like a trooper.  My mom will be trying to doctor the dreadful chicken and dumplings, and I, the defrocked superhero, have wisely chosen to spare you the dreadful chicken and dumpling recipe, and offer an unusual, but surprisingly tasty salad instead.

Fizzled SuperHero Salad

2 apples
handful walnuts (1/3 cup, eyeball it)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 diced prunes
2 stalks celery
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon horseradish mustard

Peel, core, and dice apples.  Chop walnuts. Slice celery.  Mix everything together.

Serves four.