When I think of autumn, I always think of apples. I grew up going to apple orchards and apple festivals throughout my childhood – it was our autumn tradition. Now, I work here at North Star Orchard, the “appleiest” place on Earth, and I suddenly have more apples than I know what to do with! Of course, they’re great on their own or dipped in peanut butter, but I wanted to try something new.
The first semi-odd thing I did with my surplus of apples was use them in grilled cheese. It was delicious! I have a panini press at home and make grilled cheese and tomato soup quite often. For my grilled cheese I use:
-My own sourdough bread (made with this recipe)
-Cream cheese – trust me, it makes the sandwich
-Extra sharp cheddar cheese
-1 apple, sliced thinly
-Mayonnaise, instead of butter on the outside (it gives it a really great golden brown color)
After perfecting my grilled cheese, I still had more apples than I knew what to do with, so here are the few things I did to use up all the apples I acquired this season.
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal:
One of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal and I’ve always used old fashioned rolled oats and cooked them with apples and cinnamon. Since we need to wake up so early to go to work, I struggled to have time to make oatmeal in the morning. So I made baked oatmeal and cooked it in muffin tins so all I had to do in the morning was take a “muffin” out of the fridge, heat it up in the microwave, and add some milk! Here's the recipe!
Apple Cinnamon Cookies:
I love the apple cinnamon combination and I love cookies (and all kinds of sweets) so why not make apple cookies? I followed this recipe fairly closely, but I think I doubled or tripled the amount of apples I added. The cookies were moist and almost cake-like in consistency, but the whole farmhouse loved them, and I can’t wait to make them again. If you happen to not like pie or just want some more variety in your Thanksgiving desserts, I highly recommend making apple cookies or finding an apple cake recipe. I might try to make a Gold Rush apple cake for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner.
Slow Cooker Squash Soup:
We ended up with a lot of butternut squash this year and I still have a bunch left to use before I return home this month. I’ve loved squash soup since I was a child and I thought this recipe might be a nice twist on my family’s classic because it uses apples! Again, I probably doubled the amount of apples asked for, but it still worked spectacularly. I also used almond milk instead of coconut (I thought the flavor would work better) and melted cream cheese into the soup at the end. It was delicious and I still have some left in my freezer to eat over the next week or two.
So there you go, some of the things I’ve made to take advantage of the many varieties of delicious apples I got to try while working at North Star this season. I hope that I’ve inspired you to try some new recipes with all the apples that you’ve been accumulating throughout this fall.