Sweet, Cinnamony Apple Sauce

I find it very hard sometimes to get enough servings of fruits into my body each day. That’s why I’ve started turning fruit into OTHER delcious creations! Like Smoothies, Fruit Salads and most recently:

APPLE SAUCE

Fresh, homemade Apple Sauce is one of the EASIEST things you can make at home and stores in the fridge for up to a month! If it even lasts that long!

The hardest part of the process will be picking out the type of apple you wish to use. I had a bag of Macintosh apples that I really wanted to do something with and finally remembered how much I loved Mum’s homemade Apple Sauce and my choice was made 🙂 You can really use which ever type of Apple you like but I would suggest sticking with something sweet and inexpensive! Also, don’t add any sugar until you have simmered for about an hour. Most apples are already SO SWEET that you do no need to add ANY sugar at all. Best of all you can pick all the apples you need locally in the early fall and make enough Apple Sauce to last through the winter! Enjoy local apples ALL YEAR LONG!

I’ve found that Golden Delicious, Gala, Macintosh and Red Delicious are a few good choices, but again pick whatever type of apple you and your family prefer 🙂

Homemade Cinnamon Apple Sauce

A Beautiful Bowl of Macintosh Apples Ready to Become something NEW :)

A Beautiful Bowl of Macintosh Apples Ready to Become something NEW 🙂

At least  12 Apples of your choice, Washed, Cored and Peeled.

How to Peel and Core an Apple: http://www.ehow.com/how_4596898_peel-core-apples.html

  • Cut Apples into smaller portions and place in large pot over low heat, sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.

  • Cook uncovered for at least one hour stirring often to break down apple pieces.

  • After an hour or so of simmering taste Sauce to check for sweetness. If you’d like it a little sweeter add a little brown sugar or more cinnamon.

  • If you like a smoother Apple Sauce mash until desired consistency reached, if you like it a bit chunkier, remove from heat and let cool slightly before enjoying or putting in jars.

  • Store refrigerated in air tight containers up to one month! Or Freeze for up to SIX MONTHS! Amazing for our Long Canadian Winters!

  • [12 Apples makes Approximately 2, 350 ml containers]

Apples after about 40 minutes of simmering, YUMMY!

Apples after about 40 minutes of simmering, YUMMY!

A great way to spice up this recipe is to try two more different Apples in one Sauce. Or better yet, prepare Pear Sauce in the same fashion as Apple Sauce but reduce simmering time as they are naturally soft!

ENJOY!!!

My delicious bowl of Macs in Sauce Form ready to enjoy :)

My delicious bowl of Macs in Sauce Form ready to enjoy 🙂

Michael Smith on Recipes <3

I enjoy sitting down to watch cooking shows every now and again to gain a new perspective on food.

It’s a simple and easy way to learn new ideas from world renowned chefs in the comfort of your own home.

One of my most favorite shows is by Chef Michael Smith, who taught me that recipes are just guidelines to be interpreted as you wish.

This knowledge has totally inspired me to walk into my kitchen, smell a certain spice or herb, and be able to create a whole meal based on that on smell alone.

It’s a wonderful feeling to be inspired by food. AND INVARIABLY INSPIRING OTHERS 😉

Sharing is caring, and in the words of Michael Smith from his amazing website: http://www.chefmichaelsmith.ca/en/home/Recipes/default.aspx

“Recipes are how one cook shares ideas with another cook!  They’re just words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise so they don’t pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook.”

And this is so incredibly true. Recipes are meant to be interpreted on your own terms and tailored to the tastes of you and your family. You could follow the “recipe directions” perfectly and still end up with a dish that just doesn’t do it for you. And that is why I suggest that you add the herbs, spices and flavorings of your choice when preparing the recipes that I provide here for you. Make them your own! Customize and tailor until YOU are happy with the finished product.

On his show “Chef at Home”, when providing the audience with a “recipe”, Michael never insists on exact measurements. Instead he states the ingredients used and shows you what happens as they cook. This is extremely advantageous for the audience as you see how the ingredients used look, when properly cooked and incorporated together. Again, from his website, here is MORE MICHAEL SMITH on recipes!

“For that reason, my recipes also describe what happens as you make them, so you’ll understand each step of the way. Of course the first time you cook one, it becomes yours, so feel free to personalize it a bit.  Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!”

This accurately describes my feelings on the topic as well. I really try and describe what is happening in my recipes so that you have an idea if you are on the right track. Words certainly do not have any flavor, so I take it upon myself to spice up every recipe I am providing with my own flair ❤ This is also why I only suggest to you recipes that I have tried and tested!!! It is much more useful for you, for me to provide you with helpful suggestions that I found along the way. I also only want to pass along the BEST of the BEST and that is why I don’t just post RANDOM recipes that may not have the best flavor, texture or consistency!!!!!!!!

Life gets so hectic sometimes that we really do forget to sit back and enjoy the simple things, like food…and family. Michael Smith is a chef, but a father and family man first and has this great outlook on enjoying food and creating in the kitchen with your family!!

“Family First: Sharing a meal with your family is one of the most powerful things you can do for each other. A strong family starts with individuals but grows with time together. Sit down and eat. Laugh, cry, share. Together you’re stronger than you are apart. Let your love for each other guide you to be your best in the kitchen.”

And I absolutely LOVE being in the kitchen with my family and hunny these days. The more you talk, the more you learn, and the more you learn, the more you grow ❤ It is so wonderful to prepare a lovely meal with family and friends and then to be able to sit down and enjoy it together. It is also so satisfying and gratifying to create something in the kitchen that pleases that taste buds and fill up the tummies of those you love ❤

So next time you think of heading out to a restaurant with your family, step into the kitchen instead and create something with your family. You’ll be glad you did ❤

Steak, Grilled Peppers, Mushrooms and Onions

I LOVE TO BBQ.

The way the food tastes cooked over a fire makes me long for this time of  year even more.

And whats even better than a bbq, is a camp fire with two pieces of wood holding up a metal grate to cook on. Now THAT’S real cooking!

Unfortunately for us we are not the proud owners of a pretty, glistening, stainless steel grill. We wouldn’t even have a place to stick the darn thing if we were [and I believe that it is frowned upon to start fires in your backyard at home, no?] So when the opportunity arises to bust out some skills on the outdoor grill, you can be sure I am there seizing it.

Since I am currently visitng my family in London and have no idea what supplies they have in the fridge, I immediately buried my nose and began rifling for some veggies [as my Dad had already pulled out steaks earlier in the day, I just had to deal with the veggies].

I managed to pull out a whole bunch of delicious mushrooms, a couple mighty fine looking peppers and an onion! [They also had some delicious looking corn on the cob I would have liked to try again bbq style, but there’s always next time].

I’ve never been the person responsible for any outdoor grilling so I just followed my gut instincts and went for it with fantastic results!

  1. I carefully washed and removed any stickers from the delicious produce.

  2. I started first with the mushrooms and cut them into slices [3-4 slices per shroom]. If you don’t have a grilling dish that comes with most bbqs you can always grab some tinfoil to do the job just as well! Lay your tinfoil down on the counter and spread mushrooms.

  3. Next take your onion and cut off both ends and remove the outer shell. Cut onion into very thick slices [4 slices or so should be good] and separate onion slices with your hands over your mushrooms. Now takes a scoop of butter [tablespoon or so] and distribute it throughout your veggies so that the mushrooms on the bottom don’t dry out! This is where you can add a little salt and pepper or whatever spices your  heart desires. This is the tricky part. You need to close up the tinfoil so it envelopes the veggies and so that the butter when melted, doesn’t drip out onto the grill! This may take some practice,  CHEF’S TIP – but luckily there are many companies out there that sell larger rolls of tinfoil for the exact purpose of grilling. So if you haven’t quite yet mastered turning your tinfoil into a little boat, don’t fret, just pick up some industrial tinfoil and voila! You will want to toss this package of yumminess on the grill around the same time as your meat, and cook on low-med heat [until meat is done, or 10-12 minutes if cooking on their own].

  4. I then took the peppers and chopped the tops off and cleaned out all the guts [or seeds] and gave them a second rinse to ensure no seeds are stuck to the sides! I then cut each pepper into 4-6 hunks.  The peppers went straight on the grill on low heat for about 5-6 minutes before the rest of the meal was ready. [Cook the peppers to taste, if you like more of the black char marks, cook longer and on a slightly higher temperature, if you like them a bit firmer, reduce heat and cooking time].

Mushrooms and onions almost ready for grilling

Mushrooms and onions almost ready for grilling

Steaks for the whole block, veggies and taters!

Steaks for the whole block, veggies and taters!

When cooking vegetables and meat together on the grill it is important to remember that each  item has an extremely different cooking temperature and time. For example, if you were to want a baked potato, medium rare steak and veggies you would want to begin cooking your baked potato well in advance. If you forget to start cooking your taters in advance and still wish to include them in your meal –

CHEF’S TIP – Simply take a fork and stab your potato a bunch of times and pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes and THEN wrap it in tinfoil and put it on the grill. You will reduce your cook time by 50% without affecting the taste!

Generally poatatos take the longest to cook on the grill, followed by meat and ending with vegetables. Be sure to check the internal temperature of chicken cooked on the grill and be certain that no pink areas remain. Chicken, unlike beef, is unsafe to consume when ANY pink remains in the meat and CAN NOT be served rare!!!!!!!!!!

BBQ dinner a la TOZER's <3

BBQ dinner a la TOZER's ❤