Apple Cinnamon Roll Rose Tarts

If you live in a city like Boston, brunching is basically a sport.  Finding a solid go-to place w excellent selections, reasonable prices, hangover-curing coffee, AND being able to get a seat in under an hour for you and your pals is not for the weary.  It’s not just for the #basics anymore:  try to get a table at any 4-star or higher Yelp-rated eatery on a weekend, and you will see a good sampling of the city’s men and women feasting away.

I have found a few places in the Boston/Cambridge area that are my go-tos, such as The Friendly Toast, The Trophy Room, Back Bay Social Club, and Masa, but there’s is never a guarantee that we can get a table before we whither away.  So, as much as I love love love going out to eat, has it ever occurred to us to host a brunch?

With my studio apartment, I can only host my cat, and she’s a jerk.  Currently we aren’t speaking, so I don’t think I’ll be asking her how she takes her coffee or mimosa.  But when I do move to a bigger apartment (which is currently in the works, more to come!), I fully plan to rangle the weekend crew over and relax over food at my table.  No wait, no worries.  No cats.

To start preparing for these home-brunches, I have begun experimenting with some munchies.  my favorite so far is this Apple Cinnamon Roll Rose Tart.  It’s beautiful, delicious, and your guests will go ga-ga over the smell of cinnamon rolls.  Enjoy!


 

Materials:

  • medium pot
  • measuring cup
  • cutting board and knife
  • muffin tin
  • cooking spray

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cinnamon rolls
  • 1 apple
  • 1 c water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Core and cut the apple in half, then thinly slice.  Aim for uniform sizes (you can discard ends).
  3. Add water to pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook apple slices in the water until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from water and drain.  Allow to cool enough to handle.
  6. Remove cinnamon rolls from packaging.FullSizeRender_1
  7. Open one of the rolls into a long strip.
  8. Line dough with apple slices horizontally.FullSizeRender_2
  9. Carefully roll the dough and apple slices back, creating a rose-shape.  FullSizeRender_3FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_5
  10. Place rose into a lightly-greased muffin tin.
  11. Repeat with the rest of the dough.FullSizeRender_6
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until rolls are golden-brown.FullSizeRender_7
  13. Enjoy with powdered sugar, or packaged icing.

 

Apple Cinnamon Roll Rose Tarts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

  • medium pot
  • measuring cup
  • cutting board and knife
  • muffin tin
  • cooking spray

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cinnamon rolls
  • 1 apple
  • 1 c water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Core and cut the apple in half, then thinly slice.  Aim for uniform sizes (you can discard ends).
  3. Add water to pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook apple slices in the water until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from water and drain.  Allow to cool enough to handle.
  6. Remove cinnamon rolls from packaging.
  7. Open one of the rolls into a long strip.
  8. Line dough with apple slices horizontally.
  9. Carefully roll the dough and apple slices back, creating a rose-shape.
  10. Place rose into a lightly-greased muffin tin.
  11. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until rolls are golden-brown.
  13. Enjoy with powdered sugar, or packaged icing.

Cider-Glazed Carrots

FullSizeRender

Thanksgiving is this week?  How did that happen?!  I mean, I know it’s always the last Thursday of November, but it truly feels like it came out of no where.  I would like to know who was on America’s party-planning committee and decided it would be a dandy idea to squeeze all of the best holidays together in an 8-week period.

Okay, chaps!  We have trick-or-treating, feasting until we pass out, and stressing over getting the “it” toy for our little brats.  Oh, oh yes, let’s not forget ringing in the new year with 4,000 of our closest drunk comrades crying in every pub about how their lives and marriages amount to nothing.  I suggest we get them all out of the way in one fell swoop.  Then, years later, our great, great grandchildren will spend the following 6 weeks on internet dating sites frantically finding a significant other to spend Valentine’s Day with.  Sound good?

Ahh, holidays.  Gotta love them!  Unfortunately, I will be missing out on gorging myself this Thursday due to work, but fear not.  I pig out pretty much every day, so it all evens out in the end.

If you are hosting a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving meal, big or small, I hope this entry and my next couple will be of some use to you!  I came across this particular recipe last week when I had too many carrots on hand, and some amazing Wegman’s cider left over from my birthday.  Result:  my apartment smelled like apples and cinnamon for days.  Win.

Enjoy!


 

Materials:

  • pot with lid
  • spoon
  • measuring cup and spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1-lb package baby carrots
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 c apple cider
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add carrots, covering with melted butter.  Cook for about 5 minutes.FullSizeRender
  3. Add rest of ingredients and cover.  Simmer for about 10 minutes until carrots begin to soften.FullSizeRender
  4. Remove lid, and allow cider mixture to reduce to a thick, dark glaze (like syrup).  Stir occasionally.FullSizeRender
  5. Dish will be done when glaze has reduced to at least half its volume.
  6. Enjoy!FullSizeRender

 

Cider-Glazed Carrots

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

FullSizeRender

  • pot with lid
  • spoon
  • measuring cup and spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1-lb package baby carrots
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 c apple cider
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add carrots, covering with melted butter.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add rest of ingredients and cover.  Simmer for about 10 minutes until carrots begin to soften.
  4. Remove lid, and allow cider mixture to reduce to a thick, dark glaze (like syrup).  Stir occasionally.
  5. Dish will be done when glaze has reduced to at least half its volume.
  6. Enjoy!

Apple-Protein Quinoa Bowl

I’ve had a terrible reality to deal with since I started Invisalign:  I can’t eat apples.

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Okay, let me clarify, I can eat apples, very slowly, if they are sliced or diced.  I have yet to finish an entire apple, because it takes so darn long to eat one this way.  Because of the Propel procedure, my teeth aren’t gripping anything tightly… it feels like they are holding on for dear life in there, and I really don’t feel like biting into something and losing one of these guys in the process.  Plus, it hurts like whoa to try to bite into something harder than lettuce.

Yes, it’s good for me that I cannot mow down on chips and candy, but not being able to eat apple and granola, which I (used to) eat e’ry day is a big adjustment.  #firstworldproblems.  I know, not a big deal at all.  In fact, that’s what inspired me to make this dish!  I still have apples around because I can’t stop buying them, so I need to be more creative with them.  I made this dish on a cool, rainy night, and it was awesome.  For my vegetarian friends out there, feel free to sub-out the chicken sausage with walnuts or even beans!

Enjoy 🙂 Continue reading

Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread

FullSizeRender (5)

This past Friday, I was “volunteered” to help host our monthly staff meeting/birthday acknowledgement party, in which we take that time to cover a ton of important information in a short amount of time, and eat as much as we can according to a theme chosen by the two people hosting.  Lucky for me, I got a two-fer:  September and October were combined into one jam-packed meeting, which meant that I, with the incredible help of my colleague (and partner-in-crime), had to plan, shop, set up, bake, bake, and bake for our 40-person staff to recognize 8 birthdays.  Challenge accepted. Continue reading

Sautéed Apples and Caramelized Onions

photo 1

Oh Lordie I love the fall!  You will hear this a lot from me.  I never, ever, ever, get tired of the fall.  The colors, the crisp air, the chunky sweaters to hide the extra 5 lbs you put on from eating all the pies and cream-based soups.  Hey, we are just training for Thanksgiving, right?

large_wea_081015_greenlakes

Courtesy of syracuse.com

Fall is truly amazing.  It’s literally nature’s gift to us, if you think about it:  gorgeous colors, the time to harvest, football season, and APPLES GALORE!  I’m fairly certain my apple-love is completely due being raised in Syracuse.  Now, I’m not sure exactly what caused it.  Perhaps it’s the way our less-than-suave accent forces us to say the word “apple” (I’ve been told it’s a mix of New York and Fargo… it sounds like “eeaypple.”  Not hot.)

Maybe it’s the way we worship the fruit:  we actually have apple festivals at the myriad of orchards.  Seriously, if you ever get a chance to travel upstate in October, these places are mobbed.  And it’s not just a simple “pick and pay” experience.  Oh, no, my friends.  These places are the Mecca of all things apple.  Pie stands.  Cider mills.  Hard cider breweries.  General stores.  Bouncy houses. Hay rides.  Sky diving.

Okay, maybe not, but you get my point.  Apples are a huge deal, and somehow ended up as one of my favorite foods.  I wanted to make my first apple dish of the year as something more, savory and wholesome, rather than a baked good.  Because we all know, those are coming 🙂  This week, I bring you a healthy-ish, perfectly balanced side dish:  Sautéed Apples and Caramelized Onions.  This would go amazing with a pork tenderloin, which is on the grocery list! Enjoy!


Materials:

  • cutting board and knife (an apple corer and slicer would be great if you have one, but not necessary)
  • a bowl
  • a skillet
  • measuring cup
  • measuring spoons
  • wooden spoon or spatula

Ingredients:

  • 3 T butter, divided (I used Smart Balance for this)
  • 1/2 red onion, or 1 sweet yellow onion
  • 1/2 c cider for deglazing (water, white wine, or stock can be used too)
  • 4 apples of your choosing (I used Gala for this dish)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sage (optional)
  • 2 T brown sugar ( I used Splenda brown sugar for this)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2T butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Thinly slice onion.  Gently separate pieces, and place them into the melted butter.
  3. Cook onion over medium heat (covered), checking and stirring every 5-7 minutes or so.  photo 2
  4. While your onion is cooking, cut your apples into finger-width slices.  I personally like to leave the skin on, for texture.  Feel free to peel, if you’d like.  photo 1
  5. When your onion is caramelized, they will be translucent, sweet, and have dark crusts begin to form  (that’s caramelization, not burn, hopefully).  photo 3
  6. Remove the onions from the pan and set them aside in a bowl.  Do not turn off your stove!
  7. (Optional but awesome step:) Time to deglaze:  pour your liquid (cider, wine, beer, stock, water…anything light color within this list will do) gently into the pan, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.  This gives you a delicious fond to work with!  photo 3
  8. Place your apple slices into your skillet (try to have them in an even layer best you can).  Add lemon juice and sage, and cook for about two minutes.  photo 4
  9. Add 1 T butter and brown sugar to apples and mix well.  photo 5
  10. Cook until apples are fairly translucent, and to the desired softness. photo 2
  11. Serve with caramelized onions on the top of your apples.  Enjoy!photo 1

Sautéed Apples and Caramelized Onions

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

  • cutting board and knife (an apple corer and slicer would be great if you have one, but not necessary)
  • a bowl
  • a skillet
  • measuring cup
  • measuring spoons
  • wooden spoon or spatula

Ingredients:

  • 3 T butter, divided (I used Smart Balance for this)
  • 1/2 red onion, or 1 sweet yellow onion
  • 1/2 c cider for deglazing (water, white wine, or stock can be used too)
  • 4 apples of your choosing (I used Gala for this dish)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sage (optional)
  • 2 T brown sugar ( I used Splenda brown sugar for this)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2T butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Thinly slice onion.  Gently separate pieces, and place them into the melted butter.
  3. Cook onion over medium heat (covered), checking and stirring every 5-7 minutes or so.
  4. While your onion is cooking, cut your apples into finger-width slices.  I personally like to leave the skin on, for texture.  Feel free to peel, if you’d like.
  5. When your onion is caramelized, they will be translucent, sweet, and have dark crusts begin to form  (that’s caramelization, not burn, hopefully).
  6. Remove the onions from the pan and set them aside in a bowl.  Do not turn off your stove!
  7. (Optional but awesome step:) Time to deglaze:  pour your liquid (cider, wine, beer, stock, water…anything light color within this list will do) gently into the pan, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.  This gives you a delicious fond to work with!
  8. Place your apple slices into your skillet (try to have them in an even layer best you can).  Add lemon juice and sage, and cook for about two minutes.
  9. Add 1 T butter and brown sugar to apples and mix well.  Cook until apples are fairly translucent, and to the desired softness.
  10. Serve with caramelized onions on the top of your apples.  Enjoy!