We brought home a bucket full of red delicious apple from our trip to the orchard last week and they are super juicy and great for snacking but I wanted to make a few dishes while they were still fresh from the trees. I'm not craving sweets with this pregnancy so I wasn't quick to search for sugary deserts and apple pie recipes and instead made something that will actually get eaten in our house!
I always grew up eating apple butter in the fall but have never tried to make it myself (why would I when you can pick in a nice little jar from the grocery store?!) Apple butter is most commonly spread on biscuits and toast for breakfast, but you can also use it in savory dishes such as pizzas and quesadillas! My batch actually turned out really good and made our apartment smell awesome while it was cooking! We are using up our jar at breakfast but plan on making a pizzas this week!
The second dish I made with our fresh apples was a sweeter take on chicken salad! I make chicken salad from leftover chicken quite often because it is a quick and easy lunch but I always add or take away ingredients depending on what is in the fridge that day. This particular time I used the following ingredients : grilled chicken, celery, onion, mayo, olive oil, salt & pepper, pecans, dried cranberries, and apples. My husband and I both agreed that this was the best one yet!
Since I'm not much of a recipe follower, I'm not much of a recipe giver either - I think the best dishes alway turn out to be ones that you add your own personal touch to!
Ingredients - 5 apples (peeled and chopped), 2 cups of water, 1 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, 1 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt.
Instructions - I used a ceramic pot on the stove top and first brought the apples and water to a boil. I let them boil for about 20 minutes on a high heat to let the apples soften faster. I then added the other ingredients and turned the heat on medium or another 20 minutes. After the apples were easily smashed with a fork, I poured the entire pot into a blender and blended until I achieved a smooth texture (basically I had apple sauce at this point.) I then poured the mixture back into the pot and put the heat on the lowest setting and let it simmer for a good 2 hours stirring about every 1/2 hour until the mixture darkened and thickened! When i achieved my desired texture, I took it off the heat and transferred to a jar and let it cool at room temperature for a bit before putting it in the refrigerator. I got about 1 & 1/2 cups of apple butter out of this recipe!
Ingredients: 3 grilled chicken breasts, 2 celery stalks, 1/4 of an onion, tbsp mayo, olive oil, salt & pepper, 1/2 cup pecans, 1/4 dried cranberries and 1 apple.
Instructions: I used a ninja blender to shred the meat, veggies, fruit and nuts before combining in a large bowl. You then add the mayo, olive oil (eyeball based on how dry the chicken is, you want the mixture to stick together) and salt & pepper.
** You can cube the chicken and keep all of the other ingredients "chunky" for a thicker salad but I usually find that shredding the ingredients in a food processor helps blend the flavors really well so that you don't get a big bite of onion or celery!