Monday, October 12, 2009
apples to apples.
My parents have been off enjoying themselves in Europe for the past two weeks, first stopping in Ireland to visit with family and then entertaining and being entertained at our little cottage in the Loire Valley in France. While my sisters and I have been missing them-- especially when we realize all the things they take care of for us-- we've really been enjoying our independence since they've been gone. And no, I'm not talking about raging parties and staying up way past our bedtimes.
We've spent a lot of time in the kitchen together. Before Niamh came home from college for her fall break, Meg and I planned our breakfasts and dinners every day-- banana chocolate chip pancakes, veggie bacon & eggs, spicy black bean burgers with homemade guacamole, and homemade pesto pizza were just a few of our efforts. Now that Niamh's home, our culinary endeavors have only continued just as successfully, with a bit of added silliness and a lot more rap music.
Tonight, after a day of hardcore cleaning in preparation for the return of our parents tomorrow, we decided to make a hearty, warm meal to fend off the chilly autumn temperatures. Niamh took it upon herself to lead the way on this one, and messed with a few vegetarian spaghetti bolognese recipes from the internet. She eventually came up with a concoction incorporating elements of a few different ones. We also cooked with tempeh for the first time, and it added the consistency of a turkey-type meat to the dish. It was delicious!
Since I'd spent a perfect Saturday afternoon picking apples from an orchard here in Bucks County this weekend (an activity I highly recommend!), I wanted to make something with the fruit (har har) of my labors. So, I scoured some of my favorite food blogs to find a suitable recipe, and came up with this apple crostada from Bread & Honey.
And it was delicious. We ate it with vanilla bean ice-cream as we caught up on Season 3 of 30 Rock.
I didn't have high hopes because I used different apples than the recipe called for, and I was nervous making pastry as I've never really made my own pie crust before, but this turned out really really well. I also substituted grapefruit zest for the orange zest in the recipe, and I loved the sweet tang it added to the crostada. I can't wait for mum and dad to try my creation when they arrive home tomorrow afternoon!
With warm apple cider, this was the perfect way to end a really lovely long autumn weekend. And I've still got six apples to use up; anyone got any suggestions? I might try apple turnovers, but with work starting up again tomorrow, I may not have time to attempt those until next weekend. Hurry up, Friday!!