Baked Apples!

baked apples

OK.  Yum.  Yummity-yum-yum YUM.

We like dessert after dinner at my house.  I shoot for fresh fruit most nights but lately Valentine candy (shoot me now) has been dessert.  When I can find a nice fairly healthy dessert I consider it a great accomplishment as it makes everyone smile, including me (and no shooting required.)

Bonus number two with this particular recipe: both of my daughters can make it single-handedly!  I kinda prefer when Josie makes it because she cleans up her work space without any evidence of food preparation lickity-splickity.  Rhea needs a reminder.  And then sometimes another reminder.  And then I go back and finish the clean up.  But that’s OK.  This is why kiddos have mamas, right?   We’ll get there.

Baked Apples

Ingredients: 4 apples, 2 tbsp. maple syrup, few shakes cinnamon.

Directions: slice up your apples and leave the skins on.  Pour on syrup and add the cinnamon.  Mix it all up so all the slices are coated evenly.  Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes if you like your apples cooked but a bit firm, longer if you like them softer.  Serve warm in a little bowl because then your dessert can be tasty and cute.

Unsolicited tips: There a tons of other ingredients you can use for baked apples.  Brown sugar, butter, vanilla… but I like this recipe because it’s simple and really tasty–plus way healthier without all that other stuff.  Most of the recipes I found online for baked apples directed me to peel the fruit.  This, however, is not only an added step, it also simultaneously removes one of the most nutritious parts of the food!  So, if you need to peel’m.  If not, don’t!  My guys love it with the skin on.

Final tip: most recipes called for more maple syrup, but I have found that a little bit is all you need to add some sweetness but not overpower the other flavors.

If you’re interested in health benefits of cinnamon and maple syrup consider yourself thus informed!

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Zingy Honey-brushed Chicken

 

honey chicken

Look who’s back!  Hi.

OK.  Moving on.  So this recipe is actually called Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken, but you can make it just zingy if you live with little people who don’t like spicy foods.

The trick to making this recipe work is to remove the skin from the chicken before baking so that all the yumminess doesn’t get wasted on the part that you (probably) don’t eat.  If you have skin-on chicken, try using a paper towel to better grab and pull that dang skin off.  It helps a lot.

Zingy-to-Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken

Ingredients: 2 tsp. garlic powder, 2-3 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper, 8 or so chicken thighs, 6 tbsp. raw honey, 2-4 tsp. cider vinegar

Directions: Mix up all that yummy stuff, pour it over your skinless chicken and pop it in the oven at 350 for about an hour or until done.  Wah-lah!

Tips: So, obviously if you like it spicy, go heavier-handed with the chili and red pepper.  I used a whole cut-up chicken tonight thus needing a bit more of pretty much everything so I just sorta gave a few extra shakes here and there.  My kitchen smells like heaven (ask Teri who just stopped in if you don’t believe me.)   There’s just something about the way the honey and vinegar do their voodoo that is exotic and simple at the same time.  I’m not sure why that works out, but what’s life without a little mystery?

Paired with my roasted potatoes and cole slaw tonight.   Also nice with rice.  Yum!

Additional helpful, yet unsolicited, tips: If possible, splurge for the raw honey rather than the pasteurized type.  Waaayyy healthier.  And then get outa’ here with your cider vinegar benefits!