I never thought I would say this, but after spending a weekend "in the country" with Cate and her kids...I almost didn't want to leave New Jersey. I seriously considered pretending to get on the train but actually stowing myself into the back of her SUV when I went to get my bag out of the trunk.
Personally, I think I would have been a fun surprise to wake up to on Monday morning. A little creepy...but in a fun way. I swear it.
Instead, I had to settle for taking a little bit of New Jersey back to NYC with me.
Tragically, Cate wouldn't let me kidnap her children, beg as though I might. (See above. Adorable. They made my ovaries ache. Inconsolably.)
...so...I had to make do with apples.
Apples are kind of like children, right? Except...they don't scream when you won't let them have brownies for breakfast. Or ask you 500 questions in rapid succession while you're trying to parallel park your car.
Or...hold your hand in the most adorable possible way while crossing the street (and...there go those ovaries again. Ouch.)
And they can be cut as thinly as possible and then sandwiched in-between two layers of cinnamony delicious oatmeal cake. So that...you kinda sorta get apple pie and cake in every bite. And you can kinda sorta eat it for breakfast because, well...oatmeal + apples = breakfast food.
(Bet you can't do that with your children.)
Also...the faster you eat those apples, the faster you'll have an excuse to head back up to NJ for some more "apple picking"/torture-your-biological-clock time.
Maida Heatter is this week's Gourmet Live Women Game Changers in Food icon. And let me tell you, I had a hard time choosing which recipe of hers to make.
Having pounds upon pounds of apples on my table kind of sealed the deal though. I brought these into lab meeting on Wednesday and they were a HUGE hit. If you make any apple dessert this fall, I highly recommend that this is it.
For more Maida Heatter recipes, check out these blogs:
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
April - Abby Sweets
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A - There and Back Again
Martha - Lines from Linderhof
Nancy - Picadillo
Johnny Appleseed Bars
Makes 1 9x13-inch baking pan, adapted from Maida Heatter's Book of Great American Desserts
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- scant 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 3 cups quick cooking rolled oats
- 1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 to 5 firm cooking apples
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, making sure the edges extend over the edges of the pan for easy removal. Place prepared pan in the freezer.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the oats and sugar. In a separate small bowl, stir together the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix liquid mixture into the oat mixture.
- Press half of the dough into the prepared pan. Set aside.
- Place the remaining dough between two 15-inch lengths of wax paper. Roll out into a 9x13-inch rectangle. Slide a flat cookie sheet under the dough and wax paper and transfer it to the freezer for a few minutes.
- Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter lengthwise into five or six slices. Place the apple slices in rows, each slice slightly overlapping the last, on top of the bottom layer of dough.
- Remove the rolled-out rectangle from the freezer. Peel off the top piece of paper and turn the dough over the apples. Remove the remaining paper and press down on the edges of the dough to seal it.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan. Lift cake out using the edges of the foil and cut into squares or bars. Maida says that chilling makes the bars easier to cut and also that they freeze well!
I am submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by Astrid from Paulchen's Foodblog.
Review of Brendan Brazier's Thrive Foods
Back in August, I was sent a copy of Brendan Brazier's Thrive foods to review (which you can order on Amazon!) Brendan is a professional Ironman triathlete who began to seriously analyze exactly what he was putting into his body when he realized just how much it was affecting his health and performance. Essentially, he realized that the key to increasing his training capacity was not to train more, but to eat so that his body had the nutrients it needed to recover faster. As a means of doing this, he created a nutrient-to-resource ratio to use a means of determining which foods are most nutrient dense while using the least natural resource expenditure in the food production process, and then basing his diet around those with the highest ratios. Of course, such foods are typically plant based and things that we consider to be healthy - nuts, legumes, vegetables, fruits.
Being an endurance athlete myself, I think a lot about what I put into my body and how it will effect my performance. I know that when I eat more sugar or more dessert, I feel sluggish and my muscles hurt more and are more prone to injury, yet when I fuel myself with nutrient-dense food I have more energy and my body just feels better. While I am not willing to completely give up on things like pasta or or treats like these apple bars like Brendan is, I think there is definitely something to the message that he putting out there and that the recipes and ideas he puts forth in his book are worth incorporating into my life.
For more information about this and to receive a free PDF with info about Brendan's book and three free recipes, check out his facebook page! Also, thanks so much to Vega for sending me the book to review. For more information about Vega products, check out their facebook page and follow them on twitter here!
Disclaimer: though I was sent this book for free, my thoughts and opinions on it are my own and I received no monetary compensation for this post.