Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Apples, Continued...

Well, our apple stash certainly is dwindling. And after this weekend's first snowfall of the season, we probably are down for the count...that and the fact that I have been eating them nonstop :)

Thanks to all your apple ideas, I have had tons of tasty recipes to experiment with, and this was one of my favorite suggestions. It was suggested by a sweet gal named Nina, but I don't think she has a blog of her own to link back to, so a big heaping thanks to her for this supremely seasonal Sweet Potato Apple Hash.

Based on Nina's suggestions, here's what I used:
  • half a small-ish baked sweet potato
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • an embarrassing amount of onion
  • ~1/3 c. black beans
  • chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and garlic
I sauteed up the onion, then added the apple and let it cook until it became a tantalizing golden brown. Mixed in the chunks of sweet potato and then added the spices. When everything started to darken a little on the edges, I stirred in my black beans and then dumped the mix over a bed of mixed greens. Topped of with a creamy cool dollop of Fage.
It was almost like a mock taco salad, and it was very delicious. I loved the crisp, juicy burst of flavor the apples offered to the dish and I thought it mellowed so well with the smoky spices and soft sweet potatoes.

More apple deliciousness, this time in the form of the world's best way to use up a $#@!load of apples. Applesauce. It's amazing. I filled up two HUGE pots to the brim with so many chopped apples that it made my head spin, and...well, you'll see how many jars I got out of all that slicing and dicing...

Because we had so many, I actually decided to try my hand at honest-to-goodness canning. It's an art-form and I'm bringin it back peeps :) Just call me Grandma Emily.

It's important to heat the jars first, and then scoop the applesauce into them while the sauce is still hot, too. That is a true adventure in not giving yourself tragic burns, so watch out.

According to my little canning guide, it's also important to get all the air bubbles out of the jar by pressing against the mush with a spatula. I had no idea if this was working because it still looked kind of bubbly. But I figured if it didn't work out and caused the jars not to seal properly, I would just have to eat it faster. Oh the horror.

the hardest thing is trying to work quickly so everything stays warm before you put it into it's big boiling bath. That way the glass kind of tempers itself and you don't end up with applesauce shrapnel all over your kitchen.
Boil for 20 minutes and voila!
Count em, baby. Seven jars. Seven. Over two hours of work and three huge grocery sacks full of apples equals seven jars. Not that I'm complaining. That is seven jars of sweet autumn bliss that I get to dig into until next year. Okay, well two, because I gave most of them away. Sigh....I am nice like that ;)

I mentioned up there that my apple hash reminded me of a taco salad. Ever since eating it, I don't know what my deal is , but I have been CRAVING taco salad in the worst possible fashion. Weird. Is there anything you have been craving recently?

Also, have any of you ever canned or done any preserving?

My mother-in-law lives in an area that is very bounteous in terms of it's local produce, and I first became interested in it when I was up there last summer and saw her and her neighbors bottling everything from peaches to asian pears to plums, grape juice, and yes, applesauce. I thought it was the coolest thing that they actually had that much of a surplus and were putting it to good use. I think I made a few comments to that effect, and sure enough, I got the whole kit n caboodle of canning supplies for my birthday last year (nevermind that I didn't have anything to actually can at that point). Thanks MIL!! Very useful :)

Speaking of being useful, don't forget to click here to send Holly some "well wishes" and over here to help Katie's cause.

Have a great day everyone! xoxo


  1. Wow your canning set up looks so professional - that applesauce looks fabulous. I've tried pickling green beans and onions - they're great added into bloody marys!

  2. That sweet potato dish sounds fantastic! I'm glad I'm not the only blogger who doesn't shun onions but rather welcomes them with arms WIDE open!! Holy applesauce ;)

  3. I have always wanted to do canning! I heard an interview with an author of a preserving cookbook once and have been obsessed with it ever since. The only thing that's holding be back, is, well, it sounds so long and complicated. Not to mention I'm scared I may not seal the jars properly and poison myself or something :P

    I am drooling over that applesauce though. My stores have run out and I need to get on that asap!

  4. i am so impressed by your jarring abilities! and i dont call it canning.. haha.. i call it jarring :P

  5. I am NOT JOKING I have almost this exact same dinner on my menu tomorrow. Haha, I plan on adding a Tj's Organic Apple Chicken sausage to my hash. I'll let you know how it comes out, but I hope its as good as yours looks.

    Kudos on your jarring ability. I'm scared to death to try this task.

    Love the apple inspirations! ;)

  6. I love homemade apple sauce and preserves! I've never made my own but my grandma makes some good ones! and my dad makes apple sauce in the pressure cooker.. mmm!

  7. thanks for the linkback ms. emily! you are so generous and kind - LOVE you. and i love apples. this post made me happy. have a good day!

  8. Hey-
    I have been terribly busy and just saw this, but I am glad you featured it! And, yeah, I don't have a blog.