Apples and bananas have been fruits that my pregnant belly has been wanting. Over the summer in the earlier part of my pregnancy I wanted berries (specifically blackberries and raspberries). Now that we are easing into fall and berries are no longer local, I have wanted apples. Over the holiday weekend we decided to try this Apple Fries recipe. They were definitely delicious, but in my opinion have two flaws. They take too much time to make than they are worth AND they made the house smell for days. That does not mean it will happen to you, but currently our range does not actually ventilate outside and thus the smell permeated throughout our house. We had to open windows and light candles for a few days to get rid of the apple fry smell.
2 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced into wedges
¼ cup Cornstarch
Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
¼ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of your pan on high heat.
Toss apple wedges in cornstarch, coating both sides.
Place just enough of the coated apple wedges into the hot oil to make a single layer and fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. They should be just golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the apple wedges.
Transfer the cooked apples onto a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and drain for a few minutes.
Toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture and serve.
Whip the heavy cream and vanilla to use as a dip. Yum!
Some people are chocolate fiends. I am not one of those people. However, I do like chocolate. I am of the variety that likes chocolate with something: berries, vanilla ice cream, that sort of thing. I especially like it when it is warm and there is vanilla ice cream on top and it melts with the warmth and congeals (I know, great visual word) to form a sort of gooey result. Mmm…so when we found this Chocolate Molten Cakes recipe I knew Chris would be game right away. He was. We’ve made it our own (using dark chocolate), and the best part is that you can make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you want to bake them. A wonderful idea because it means you can have them warm and right from the oven each night.
2 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 tablespoons of dark chocolate cocoa powder
3/4 cup of butter
12 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup of flour
Prepare ramekins by coating the inside of each with melted butter by swirling it around. Then sprinkle the insides with cocoa powder, completely coating the bottom and sides.
To make the batter, put dark chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth. When chocolate has cooled slightly, stir in eggs, sugar and flour. Pour into prepared ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to a few days).
When ready to eat them, bake them at 450 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or just until the outsides and most of the top have set, but the centers are still a little runny. Let them cool for a few minutes, then flip them over onto a plate or bowl. We topped ours with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled some cinnamon on top. Yum!
Over the summer, there are specific food dishes that especially hit the spot. All the fresh fruit and berries you can imagine, yummy and cooling beverages, and any refreshing dishes that beat the heat. One of those in our house is Caprese Salad. There is something about mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes that just screams summer. So when I found this recipe from Love and Olive Oil for a Caprese Salad that includes blueberries, I thought – YUM! We made it on the Fourth of July. We were not intending to be patriotic, that was all luck.
I’ve changed it to our liking, but the gist is similar. I spooned a bit on crackers and Chris ate it straight from a bowl with a spoon.
Summer. While in some ways it is still in full force — warm weather and sunny days — it is also on its way out. My company has half day Fridays during the summer and we only have 3 left for this year. Somehow that makes me want to slow down the clock and enjoy every moment of every half day Friday. Once Labor Day hits, we return to a full five-day work week, and it just makes life different. Those extra daytime hours you get back during the summer makes things that much brighter, shinier, and it feels like a longer weekend.
Our summer has been mellow and yet full of change and growth. In my opinion, it’s just how it should be. We have completed a ton of projects around our house and yard, strategized for which upcoming projects have a higher priority or what we should shell out some green in order to proactively fix or repair certain things. We have sat in the sun, done our fair share of grilling, eating seasonal berries and tomatoes, exploring artisan fairs and farmers markets, oh I could go on.
Summer is my favorite time of year. The days are long, the sun is out, it is warm, if not just downright HOT. Freckles begin to populate on my arms, face, and back. There is just a healthy glow that surrounds everyone, not to mention the happiness that exudes almost everyone (especially in Oregon where sunshine is in shortage for nine months out of the year). During the winter I burrow inside and read a book. In the summer I bask in the sun while I read and take cat naps between chapters. What is not to love about that? As with any season of the year, summer is a time of transformation, and I appreciate all the precious moments I have had this summer with Chris, at work, with family (even if it is via text or Facetime). Life is good. I have no complaints.