19 Oct

Oh Man!  Fall is here and its beautiful!  When we are steaming through summer in the South, we long for the cool mornings of fall, the changing of the leaves, and even the raking that goes along with it.  Getting out into the yard with the sun glinting and moving through the crisp rustling leaves is a joy to the senses.  One can get lost gazing at the magnificent flaming oranges of the leaves still clinging to the earthy brown branches juxtaposed with the Carolina blue sky.  The sound of children running through the crunchy leaves makes everyone want to race through the yard and giggle.  The joys of the perfect succulent fall fruit also comes to mind…apples.  I love biting into a big fresh fall apple.  It is pure sweetness with a good firm bite!  Sometimes I put a swath of peanut butter on my apple slice to get that salty sweet treat.  Apples can even fall into the comfort food category when baked, cinnamon wafting through the air, sugar bubbling on top.  Yum!  There are so many ways to enjoy apples, its hard to pick a favorite.  So I spend fall going through my endless repertoire of apple recipes.  Some of my favorite are:

Apple Dip

8 ounces cream cheese (any kind…I use low fat), softened

1 Jar of Caramel ice cream topping

Whip these 2 simple ingredients together, quarter an apple, and dip away!  Some folks substitute the cream cheese with marshmallow fluff.  Enjoy!

Baked Apples

6 large green apples, or other favorite apple

3/4 cup Oatmeal (not instant)

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 C. Butter or margarine, melted

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. allspice

Spray a baking dish with non stick cooking spray.  Thinly slice the apples and place in the baking dish.  Mix the other ingredients together and drizzle over the top like a crumb topping.  Put into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Warm comforting aromas hang in the air.  Sit back and enjoy!  The topping can even be played with a bit, like using brown sugar and white sugar together or adjusting the spices to appeal to different moods or palates. I have served baked apples with pork, and also used it as a dessert.  Any way it is served up it is a celebration of the season!


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