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Apple Braised Turkey Thighs

>> October 25, 2011

Cider Braised Turkey Thighs

We've been on apple overload lately. I keep finding ways to throw them into sweet and savory dishes because they're delicious and I have an entire bushel of them. A few weekends ago we did our annual trip to North Georgia to pick pumpkins and apples. We've been making this trip for the past several years and it's I look forward to it all year!

Cider Braised Turkey Thighs

The weather this time of the year is gorgeous, which doesn't even compare to the colors of the fall leaves in the mountains. Not to mention we have the coolest pumpkin farm on the face of the planet. The apple farm is pretty fun too, the apple season is almost over at this point so instead of picking apples off the trees we generally buy them from their store. We also buy their apple butter and the best dang candy apple I've ever tasted. For realz.

Cider Braised Turkey Thighs

Anyway - on to more important matters. This was one of those recipes that I found knew that I had to make this immediately. It's a good thing I did, this recipe is the epitome of Fall. It's super delish, crazy easy to make, and makes you want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a book. There's nothing better!

Apple Braised Turkey Thighs
Adapted from: Martha Stewart

1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Turkey Thighs or 2 lbs (Boneless, Skin-on)
2 Large Shallots, thinly sliced
4 Apples peeled, quartered, & cored (I used a mixture of granny smith and gala)
2 Cups Apple Cider
14.5 oz Chicken Broth
3 tsp Cider Vinegar 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Season the turkey thighs with S&P and place skin side down and cook until skin is crisp and golden and then transfer to a plate to rest (yes, just cook one side). Add shallots and cook until soft. Add apples and cook until slightly soft (about 5 minutes).

Return the turkey to the pot (skin side up) and add the cider, chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once the liquid starts to boil, cover the pot and place in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hour. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes.

Take the pot out of the oven and move the turkey to a plate to rest. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid or use a fat separator, and stir in the vinegar to the remaining gravy. Serve turkey with apples and gravy! Enjoy!


Meatballs. Oh, and that pasta stuff.

>> October 14, 2011


I recognize that the title of this post is disturbing. In fact, I deleted three times. But let me hit you with some truth.

The truth is...meatballs are amazing. So amazing that pasta can (sometimes) pale in comparison. I mean really, I feel so blasphemous for even saying that but that's what real friends do...they're honest with each other. Right?

The thing is, I didn't grow up eating a lot of meatballs. It just wasn't really my thing. In fact I still don't eat meat with the "holy mother" 8+ hour sauce because, well who does? But meatballs really elevate my everyday sauce that I make during the work week. 


It turns out that beef, pork, and veal are pretty awesome when they're held precariously together by a little egg, breadcrumb, and cheese. Then you can amp things up to a little bit of awesome when you pan fry them, and finish cooking them in a tomato and wine sauce. Yes.


I have no other words other than, make. this. immediately.

Meatballs & Linguine*
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

1/2 lb Beef
1/2 lb Veal
1/2 lb Pork
1 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs
1.5 Tbs Flat Leaf Parsley
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan**
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Egg, beaten
Vegetable Oil

1 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 tps Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Cup Red Wine
28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes

1 lb Linguine
Freshly Grated Parmesan

Make the Meatballs: 
Combine all the meatball ingredients plus 1/4 cup  of warm water and mix with your hands until just combined. Make sure not to over mix. With your hand or the (the cookie scoop you've been eyeing) form the mixture into 1.5 inch meatballs.

Pour vegetable oil into a 12-inch skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat the oil on medium heat and carefully brown the meatballs (in batches) on all sides. Once the meatballs are browned on all sides, remove them and set aside on a plate. Once all the meatballs have been browned, discard the oil except for 1 Tbs but do not clean the pan.

Make the Sauce: 
Heat the oil on medium heat, and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Add the wine and scrape up any yummy bits that have clung to the bottom of the pan until half of the liquid evaporates (2 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer over very low heat for 30 - 60 minutes. Stir occasionally and watch the sauce so that it doesn't burn.

Cook the linguine to al dente. Drain the pasta, and toss with a bit of sauce to coat the pasta. Serve with a helping serving of more sauce, meatballs, and freshly grated Parmesan.

*I can't stand spaghetti, so I sub Linguine for everything
**Please, for the love of our dear Lord don't use pre-grated parm. It's really unnecessary.


Chunky Apple Muffins

>> October 9, 2011

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. The cooler temperatures and the beautiful colors of the leaves always seem to put an extra pep in my step! Another one of my favorite things about Fall are the flavors... cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, and apples. Warm flavors that make you feel all comfy and cozy on the inside. I love being comfy and cozy on the inside. 

Last week was high time that officially kick off my fall recipes, so I started with breakfast!  Every Sunday afternoon I make my breakfast for the rest of the week because I sleep too late to do it before work every morning. What better way to start of your day, than with super awesome apple muffins that are chock full of apple chunks and cinnamon? I mean right?

Chunky Apple Muffins

Speaking of super awesome things like muffins full of apple chunks, my husband and I took a trip to Colorado during the second most amazing time of the year (second to ski season) and really got in the fall spirit. The Aspen's had begun to change colors and it was my first time being in Colorado during the Fall. It was absolutely. Freaking. Gorgeous.


This was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park as we were waiting for the shuttle bus to take us to the trailhead for our hike. The orange and red colors were so beautiful up close, but it was really amazing to see the patches of orange amongst the evergreens on the mountains.

It was truly an amazing trip - we saw some of the most beautiful views on our hike through Rockies.


I just love this place


   Alrighty. back to the muffins. These were super yummy and I health-a-fied them a little by swapping half of the AP (all-purpose) flour for whole wheat. The greatest surprise was the apple slice on top, while baking the apple sort of dehydrates and adds this lovely chewiness to the muffins' overall texture.
Chunky Apple Muffins

Oh, and did I mention that it was chock full of apple? Delish.

Chunky Apple Muffins

Adapted From: Martha Stewart

Cooking Spray
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, and quartered
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon plus 2 pinches Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts, toasted
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup standard muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Cut 2 apple quarters into a 1/4-inch dice and cut the remaining quarter into 12 thin slices.

Whisk together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add diced apple and walnuts and toss to coat. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and butter in a separate bowl. Fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Don't over mix, but make sure the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. The batter will be very thick. Spoon the batter among the muffin cups, and fill each cup about three-quarters of the way full. Top each cup with an apple slice.

Bake until the muffins are brown around the edges and spring back when touched 16 - 18 minutes (mine took 16). Let muffins cool slightly for about 5 minutes, and then completely cool on a wire rack.

The muffins last about a week when kept in an airtight container.


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