My Favorite Meal of the Week – Spinach Salad

I’m all for the easy salad. Lately, we’ve been eating a lot of them (still making up for our trip to Charleston and in preparation of a vacation where we’ll be spending a lot of time in suits). My newest favorite salad involves spinach, bacon, caramelized onions, apple, blue cheese, candied pecans, and a balsamic dressing. I love the combination of flavors!

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Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

Most of the time, I pick cakes based on the aesthetics.  It’s one of the reasons I love cakes. You can make them so beautiful, and they make such a great statement when presented at a dinner party. I recently tried this one out and I loved how the flavors of caramel and apple complemented each other perfectly! This is definitely not a fast dessert to make, but if you’re in the mood for cake, I highly recommend it.

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Pies and Crumbles

I am a big proponent of baking things from scratch in almost every case. Home baked goods taste better and are so much more satisfying than anything store bought.  That being said, I do think there are a few exceptions to this rule. One of these is pie crust. My mom taught me how to make Julia Child’s pie crust. And while yes, I do think it is delicious, I really can’t tell the difference between hers and the store bought ones. The focus of a pie is always the filling, and so as long as you have a crust that supports the pie with flaky buttery layers, I don’t think you can go wrong.

That being said, fruit pies and crisps have to be one of the easiest desserts ever.  People love them, they are less sinful than a cake or cookie, and can be prepped ahead of time and baked while eating dinner.

With all of these apples I have right now, I’ve been baking pies and crisps like crazy. Dave and I have almost single handedly put away 3 pies/crumble in the last couple of weeks. It has to be one of the best all around meals.

So now on to the important part of how to make these lovely pies and crisps.

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My Favorite Meal of The Week – Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I was introduced to a farm out in Maryland a few years back where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables, and ever since then I have been making the trip up there regularly. In the spring and summer, it’s to pick boxes and boxes of my own berries and peaches. In the fall, it’s to stock up on apples, pumpkins, gourds, and other amazing fall vegetables.

We made our annual October trip up there recently and spent way too much money on apples. Now that I have all of these apples, I have been trying to get creative with how to use them.  On a recent perfect fall Saturday, I decided to use them in one of my all time favorite, all-American meals—tomato soup with grilled cheese.  It was perfect on a day when it was just a bit chilly outside, but not so cold that you had to be stuck inside.  I used the creamy tomato soup from Trader Joe’s and then for the grilled cheese, I did white cheddar with sliced fuji apple on whole wheat bread.  Oh my god.  So simple, so easy, and yet so delicious. Dave opted for bacon instead of apple, which also made for a delicious sandwich.