Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Caramel" Apple Bites

It's my daughters birthday, and her first year in school.  We decided these mini caramel apples would be fun to do as her birthday treat.  Now, did you notice the quotes around caramel?  These are more like a mock caramel apple, but that just doesn't sound as good.  I did try these with real caramel, but I couldn't get the caramel to set up.  The apple is just too moist, even after blotting it.  So, here's what we ended up with and they really are tasty!

You'll need:
a Melon Baller
Sucker Sticks
Butterscotch chips

Use your melon baller to scoop out 'bites' of the apple.  You should get about 8 per apple.

Place the stick in the side with skin.  All of them should have 1 side with the skin still on.  I trimmed the ends of my sucker sticks so they had a point, it just made it easier to stick in the apple.

Melt your butterscotch chips on very low heat or over a double broiler.  I add a teaspoon of vegetable oil just to make it smooth and easier to work with.

Blot each apple bite before you dip it and swirl it in the butterscotch.  This is key, otherwise the melted butterscotch will not stick.  Then dip it in your sprinkles and you're good to go!

They don't take long to set up.  I put mine in mini treat bags since they were going off to school.

Hobby Lobby and stores like that do make a decorating stand for these and cake pops.  But, because I have such a handy wonderful husband, he whipped up these little wood blocks for me.  They work great!  I have yet to paint/decorate them to make them a little more photogenic, but some day, in my spare time...yeah right!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy!  Happy Fall!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a staple in our house. We like it all different ways, it usually consists of either fresh fruit or dried fruit along with some nuts and/or seeds, topped with vanilla yogurt. The yogurt makes it creamy as well as sweetens it up a bit. I used to only like oatmeal that had brown sugar and maple syrup on it, but as you can see I've branched out alot...thanks to my husband. :-) I find that using the dried fruit along with vanilla yogurt sweetens it up plenty.

Today we went for another fall flavor...pumkin! We really enjoyed it, I hope you will too.

1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats (not quick cooking)
3 cups of water
1/4 cup pumpkin puree'
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon and sugar
1-2 tbs brown sugar (depending how sweet you like it)
Vanilla yogurt
pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Combine all ingredients except the yogurt and pepitas in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Top with a dollop of vanilla yogurt and some pepitas.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

This is from my favorite food magazine, Everyday Food.  It just says "Fall" to me.  The whole family really enjoyed it.  I was especially excited to be using butternut squash from my garden!  This was the first year we grew it.

1 large butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbs EVOO
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
salt and pepper
1 red onion, cut into wedges
2 tbs chopped fresh sage
4 tsp all purpose flour
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries

In a large dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat 1 tbs oil over medium high.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and, in 2 batches, cook, skin side down, until skin is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch.  Transfer chicken to a plate; pour off fat from pot.

Add 1 tbs oil, squash, and onion to pot and cook until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add sage, flour, coriander, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add broth and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, 1 minute.  Nestle chicken, skin side up, in squash mixture, add cranberries, and bring to a boil  Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and squash is tender, 20-25 minutes.

Sweet n Smokey Pumpkin Seeds

I  love the flavors of fall!  Apples, Pumpkins, Butternut Squash...

Here's a twist on Pumpkin Seeds.  These are actually "pepitas" from the local health food store.  We haven't carved a pumpkin yet, but I really like these and I use them in my granola.

2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 300.  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Toast until seeds are golden and crunchy, about 20 minutes, stirring half way through.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Freeze Tomatoes

Anyone have an abundance of tomatoes? I love tomatoes and I always plant way too many. Did you know you can freeze them? It's the easiest thing to freeze.

Don't wash your tomatoes, place them in a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer! How easy is that? This is a great way to preserve them for a later use, like in chili, stews, soups, or sauces such as spaghetti and pizza sauce.

When you're ready to use them, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw. Then take the skins off, they will slide right off, no boiling required. Then they're ready to use.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Connect With Me

Welcome to my blog!  Art From My Table focuses on the neighborhood of culinary arts  featuring savory foods, delectable desserts, home cooked meals, and celebrating my passion for creating and eating real food.  This is a place where I share recipes, whether I created them or someone else did.  It's all my favorites, along with other things I've tried.  Enjoy!

I love to hear from my readers, and would love to get to know you.  Please feel free to connect with me or leave me comments.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011


My husband and I went to "A Culinary Escape" at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City one year. It was a weekend with instruction, recipes, and best of all, samples! One of the things they made was Granola. I've altered the recipe some to fit our tastes a little more. This is a hit in my family. We love it on top of yogurt, with milk as cereal, even on top of pancakes or waffles. It also makes a great gift! How do you eat granola?

5 1/2 cups of Rolled Oats (not instant)
1/2 cup Sunflower seeds
1/2 cup Pepitos (pumpkin seeds--I have to find these green ones at the health food store)
1 cup Walnuts, chopped
2 tbs Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground clove
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbs Vanilla Extract
1 cup Honey
3-5 cups Dried fruit

Preheat the oven to 250. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the dried fruit into a large bowl.

Use your hands to turn the mixture over until it is thoroughly combined. Place on a large baking sheet. I find I need to use 2. Toast in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes and turning them over to be sure nothing burns. (your house is going to smell amazing!) If you use 2 baking pans, and one is above the other, rotate them each time you stir. Remove the pans from the oven and let stand for about 1 hour until it has cooled completely. Then mix in your fruit. You can use any type of dried fruits you want. Right now I have a pre-mixed medley that includes apples, peaches, apricots, raisins and dates, and I add cranberries. I really like the "anti-oxident" mix that I have found at the grocery store. You can go pre-mixed or individual, it just depends on your taste. You'll notice I put 3-5 cups of fruit, it just depends on how much fruit you want in the mixture.


Roasted Eggplant with Tomato and Mint

What do you think of eggplant? I get mixed reviews on it. I have to say that I used to not be such a fan, but I've found a few ways to prepare it that I really really like! This is one of them. I would encourage you to give it a try even if you don't think you like it. My favorite way to have it is roasted. Roasting it just really brings out the nutty flavor. Well, that's my opinion anyway. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or recipes as well. Please share!

3 tbs EVOO
2 medium eggplants (1 1/2 lbs total), cut into 1 inch rounds
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 ounces feta cheese (you can substitute ricotta if you don't like feta, it's much milder)
2 tbs finely chopped pickles
1/3 cup red onion, diced small
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tbs minced fresh mint leaves
2 tsp red-wine vinegar, plus more if desired

Preheat oven to 425. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tbs oil. Arrange eggplant rounds in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Roast until undersides are browned, 25 minutes. Flip each round and season with salt and pepper. Roast until undersides are browned and eggplant is tender, about 10-12 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mixe together 1 tbs oil, feta, pickles, onion, tomatoes, mint, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer eggplant to a serving platter and top each round with a spoonful of tomato mixture.

Refrigerator pickles


We had an abundance of cucumbers in our garden this year. So, we made pickles often. These are so simple, and full of flavor! The liquid in this recipe will fill about a quart size jar after you've put your cucumbers in. If you're making more than 1 quart that should give you a good idea for how many jars to make.


1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons white sugar sliced cucumbers
sliced onions
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 large sprig dill weed (or 2 tablespoons dried dill weed)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil. Boil until the sugar and salt completely dissolve.
Place onion, garlic cloves, and dill weed in a sterile jar or container. I used quart size jars. Add the sliced cucumbers.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers.
Store in the refrigerator.
May be eaten as soon as cold but for better flavor allow to refrigerate overnight. Flavor improves with time.