In my last post I shared some photographs of a little luncheon we gave to honor the grandparents in our family. Apples were the inspiration for our “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree” menu!
And since the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, this would explain why I like to cook and entertain so much! In fact, Joel and I both grew up in homes that often hosted church meals, family gatherings, and a number of other occasions to feed friends and loved ones. Our mothers and grandmothers have cooked, cleaned, and party-planned for decades and so it just comes very naturally for my daughters and me to do the same.
I absolutely LOVE apples in early fall and have amassed quite a collection of apple recipes that fill my menu plans through the month of September. They hold me over until *pumpkin recipe season* officially begins. Notice I didn’t say *pumpkin season* but *pumpkin recipe season*, because seasons are all about the recipes for me!
Today I’d like to start sharing the recipes from our apple menu.
This is one of only two photos I took of the meal because, honestly, it just feels a little rude to take pictures of the dishes while our guests are waiting to eat, and I don’t usually have everything perfectly ready to plate and photograph before the guests arrive. So once everyone was served and I went back into the kitchen to fix my plate, I quickly and inconspicuously snapped one before sitting down.
Grandparents’ Apple Luncheon
Apple Cheesecake Dip and Graham Crackers
Apple Yogurt Pretzels
Apple Stuffed Chicken
Apple Tossed Salad with Apple Vinaigrette
Fresh Green Beans
Apple Tea and Sweet Tea
Apple Cake with Whipped Cream and Butter Pecan Ice Cream
And now for the recipes!
Apple Cheesecake Dip
10 ounce can apple pie filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
cinnamon to taste, 1/4-1/2 tsp.
Pulse and chop the apple pie filling in a food processor. In a separate bowl, beat together all remaining ingredients. Fold in the apple pie filling. Chill. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and serve with graham cracker sticks (I did not have the cute little graham sticks, and when you live out in the country, you don’t just run back to Publix. You take whatever the local dollar store has in stock.)
Apple Yogurt Pretzels
So the secret to these little treats is Fresh Market! The kids and I discovered their yogurt pretzels a few years ago and have followed them through all their seasonal flavors. So when Abigail and I popped in Saturday afternoon for a few items and saw that the latest pretzel display included apple flavor, we snatched a bag as we headed for the checkout. They were soooo yummy and I hope to get by for another bag before apple season is over!
Apple Stuffed Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup chopped apple
4 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. Italian bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley for garnish
Combine apple, cheese, and bread crumbs. Set aside.
Slice chicken breast lengthwise and pound each to 1/4 inch thickness. Spoon 2 or 3 tablespoons of apple mixture on each chicken breasts, and roll up each breast. Secure with toothpicks or baker’s twine. Set remaining stuffing mixture aside.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the stuffed chicken. Remove chicken onto a plate while deglazing the pan with the 1/4 cup wine. Add 1/4 cup water and whisk until slightly thickened. Add chicken back to the pan, Sprinkle remaining stuffing mixture on top. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
Transfer chicken to a clean serving platter. Spoon any remaining stuffing left in the pan over the chicken and pour remaining juices over all. This recipe serves 4.
Apple Tossed Salad
Toss a mixture of salad greens (spring mix or spinach), thinly sliced apples (I used Granny Smith and Honey Crisp), toasted walnuts, crumbled blue cheese, bacon pieces, cranberries, and apple vinaigrette.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup apple juice (you may add up to 1/4 c for more apple flavor and a thinner vinaigrette)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3 fresh basil leaves
3 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
fresh ground pepper
Pour the cider vinegar and apple juice into a blender and start to process, gradually adding the olive oil in a stream until emulsified. Add remaining ingredients and process until fully blended and smooth. Makes about 1 cup.
You’re probably thinking by now that this sounds like way too much apple in one meal, but I assure you the flavors were balanced and nothing overwhelming.
Tomorrow I will post two very special apple dessert recipes. These two recipes come with stories, so be sure and check back in tomorrow!