Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple

Fall is in full bloom and my tummy is excited about it! I am loving the bounty of fall produce and the wonderful, warm recipes it lends itself to. This recipe is a perfect example. It is filling and delicious. There is a little more to it than most vegetables I cook but is fabulous. We had it on sunday night with steamed broccoli and a salad highlighting my farmer's market finds. This would be perfect for a special night or even Thanksgiving dinner.

Adapted from: Kitchen Parade
Serves: 4
4 slices bacon
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed
1 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 apples, cored and chopped into half inch pieces (I used granny smith apples and loved the tartness)
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1  Tbs natural apple juice

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Place on a paper towel covered plate to drain. Set aside.
2. Place squash in a large bowl. Toss with melted butter and spices. Place in a 9x13 pan. Cover with foil. Bake 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, toss apples with syrup, vinegar and juice.
4. When squash in done, remove from oven. Add apples on top of squash, making sure you scrape all of syrup mixture over apples. Place foil back on pan and return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil from pan and back and bake 30 additional minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and squash is tender.
5. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Black Bean Soup

The base of a delicious, potentially vegetarian black bean soup! This is a simple stove top recipe that is chop full of yummy natural goodness. There is a good bit of chopping involved, as you can see above, so set aside some time for this if you need to.

Serves: 4
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced, or 4 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper
1 bay leaf, remove at end of cooking!
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
4 cups low sodium chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
2 cans no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed (this amount makes the black beans mix in with the vegetables, but if you want the black beans to be the main ingredient or really stand out, add 3 cans)
fresh cilantro

1. Heat 1 Tbs coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add all vegetables, onion through carrots. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add garlic, stir and cook 1 minute. Add all spices through black pepper, stir and cook 1 minute.
3. Add broth, bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
3. Add beans, cook 10 minutes.
Serve topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Smokey Bear Dressing

I wish I could take credit for our dinner thursday night, but I cannot. This wonderful recipe came from Leanne at Her pictures are so amazing, I did not even bother to take some. Let me just say, please go to her blog and try this raw vegetable quinoa salad. It is delicious, refreshing and healthy. You just feel good after eating it. Also the dressing is out of this world. It makes 16 servings and Evan and I ate it in four meals! I am visiting my sister for the day, but will be back to posting tomorrow.
Have a great weekend and War Eagle!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Indian Spiced Lentils and Lamb

Last night I made Indian Spiced Lentils and Lamb from the October 2011 issue of Cooking Light magazine. I really enjoyed it. Evan did not like it as much because of the curry powder and lamb. I will probably make it again but possibly use a ground sirloin instead. This would be a great option, too, if lamb is not available where you live. I got our ground lamb at my local Whole Foods Market. I did change the recipe just a little because I used what I had on hand for some of the ingredients. I will put my changed version below but please refer to the Cooking Light website for the original if desired!

Serves: 4 1 cup servings
1 tsp olive oil
6 ounces lean ground lamb (this is where you could use ground sirloin if desired, but it will change the authenticity of the dish)
1 tsp curry powder (mine happen to be a yellow/orange powder, but you could use what you have on hand- red, yellow or green)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/4 cups diced onion
3/4 cup diced carrot
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
5 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs tomato paste
3/4 cup lentils (the recipe called for brown lentils but I put all my lentils in one big storage container, so mine contained both brown and red lentils)
2 cups fat free, organic, low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Add lamb, curry powder, cumin, salt and red pepper; saute 4 minutes, stirring to crumble lamb. Add onion, carrot and jalapeno; saute 4 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute, stirring. Stir in tomato paste; saute 30 seconds. Add lentils; saute 30 seconds.
Stir in broth, water, coconut milk and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes until lentils are tender. Serve in bowls topped with chopped cilantro.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Smoothies for Breakfast

The american breakfast has turned into a myriad of muffins, cereals, cereal bars, instant oatmeals and more. So, what is there to eat for breakfast that gives your body what it really needs? The same as for any other meal! It is just that simple! Fruits, nuts, nut butters, vegetables, eggs and lean meats. I often have vegetable scramble eggs, boiled eggs, an apple and peanut butter, raw nuts or a smoothie. This morning we had smoothies and boiled eggs. I am including both. I know it seems silly to include a recipe for boiled eggs, but some people may not know how to do them. Also most people over cook their eggs and they end of with a grey outside on their yolks.

Serves: 2
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup natural apple juice
4 cups dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, bok choy)
1 cup frozen mixed berries, partially thawed

We have a Blend Tec blender. It was an investment in our health and worth every penny! We had a regular kitchenaid blender and it was great, but we found it would not grind everything up like we wanted.
This smoothie is great but play with the "recipe." We often throw whatever vegetables we have in the refrigerator in the blender (carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumber, avocado, tomato, eggplant, bell pepper). We try to do mostly vegetables and a little fruit as in the example above. Most fruits work well too. We often used berries, apples, bananas. Have fun blending!

Serves: any many as you want!

Place eggs in a sauce pan. Cover with water. Bring water to boil over high heat. Once the water start to boil, cook 6 minutes for small eggs and 8 minutes for large eggs. Remove from heat. Drain. Run eggs under cold water. You can peel them all now and then they are ready to grab and eat or you can peel them when you want!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Broccoli Medley and Kale Salad

Tonight we were lucky enough that my parents were coming through town and took us out to dinner! We went to our favorite restaurant in Atlanta, R. Thomas Deluxe Grill. It has awesome, fresh food and I think they liked it. So, tonight I will post last nights dinner. It is a dinner that shows off how simple food can taste absolutely fabulous. I hope you make it!

Serves: 6
3 large split chicken breast with skin on and bone in
Olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place chicken breasts, skin side up, on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over skin and rub into breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. Remove breasts to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve. We just cut the breast off the bone and eat only the meat, no skin.

Serves: 5
3 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced

Bring a small amount of water to boil in a saucepan. Place steamer basket in pan and add broccoli to steamer basket. Place lid on saucepan and boil 5-10 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers to skillet and cook until slightly tender, approximately 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add cooked broccoli to pan. Stir. Top with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired

Serves: 5
2 cups washed, rinsed, torn kale leaves
3 cups spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups sliced red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 small cucumber, diced

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss. Serve with desired dressing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wrapping up How To week.... What to eat?

With this blog, I want to teach people what our bodies need to function optimally. To end "How To" week, I will start with some easy, basic tips. I heard a "guideline" recently that I liked. If 80% of what you eat is from the outer wall of the grocery store, you will be eating healthier. Think about what is on the outside wall of your grocer: fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy products. It is best not to eat dairy products, but occasionally you will see cheese in my recipes. I try to stick to fruits, vegetables, raw unsalted nuts, beans, lean meats, fish, eggs and raw nut butters. These are the foods our cells require. If you can picture a food in it's raw form, then it is real food. It still have some work to do. Ideally you would be using no canned or boxed food because manufacturers only have to list an ingredient if it has a certain amount of that ingredient. So, you cannot know for sure what is in food with labels. Below are some pictures of my pantry, refrigerator and fruit bowl after my weekly grocery trip. What does yours look like?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have been wanting to try a stuffed acorn squash and now I know why... it was amazing! Such a mix of many delicious flavors! I basically took what was in my refrigerator that sounded good and it was! I would have liked more stuffing, so in the future I will double the stuffing amount. 

Serves: 4
2 large acorn squash, washed, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
1/2 lb organic pork sausage, make sure the sausage is fresh ground from your meat counter
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced, I an orange one
2 celery sticks, diced
6 large mushrooms, stalk removed and discarded, diced
2 Tbs minced garlic
2 cups chopped kale
2 eggs, whisked
parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Place acorn squash, cut side down, in a 9x13 glass baking pan. Add water to equal 1/2 inch. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. 
While squash bakes, heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a large skillet. Add onion, celery and pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook through. Add mushrooms and garlic. Saute 5 minutes. Add kale and wilt, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside until squash is done cooking. 
Once squash is done cooking, add the eggs to the large saute pan of vegetables and sausage. Stir. Take squash out of pan. Empty water from pan. Add squash back to pan, cut side up. Fill squash with sausage mixture. Bake 15 minutes. Top with parmesan cheese. Bake 10 minutes. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spinach Pie

My brother in law Brad came to visit Monday night and was excited to eat "your food." He was excited to see we were having roasted salmon drizzled with honey, roasted asparagus and spinach pie. He was afraid he was not going to get any meat :) What people often miss out on with "meat and potatoes" centered meals is that vegetables are delicious! This spinach pie is a perfect example! As you can see from the photo of what was left, it was a hit! I buy our spinach from Sam's Club. Our local Sam's Club has a 1 lb container of organic spinach for less than four dollars. That is an amazing deal!

Serves: 4 large portions or six small portions

1 lb organic baby spinach
1 Tbs garlic
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/8 cup sliced almonds
2 eggs, whisked
freshly grated parmesan cheese, enough to top pie, approximately 1/8-1/4 cup

Wilt spinach in a large skillet over low heat, it takes approximately 5 minutes. Remove spinach from pan.  
Add garlic and almonds to the pan. Saute 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from heat. Place spinach in a food processor. Pulse until chopped. Place all ingredients except cheese in a bowl. Combine. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Top with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cabbage, Salad, Green Beans and Potatoes... A Farmers Market Dinner

Our local farmer's market runs until mid november and I could not be more excited about it. Buying local means fresher vegetables and supporting your local economy. What is not to love! I mean how beautiful is this pepper! I also love the interaction with the growers and learning about where my food is coming from and how it was grown. Find out about your local farmer's market and get there to eat fresher and save money before the season ends. Also you can always check online to see if you have a local CSA (community supported agriculture) group that you can be involved in year round! This whole meal serves four people generously. First off: sauteed cabbage.

1 large head cabbage
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp organic unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice cabbage in half. Cut out core. Slice cabbage into thin strips.
Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add cabbage and saute 20 minutes.
Season with sea salt and pepper. Serve

2 lbs organic golden potatoes
1 tbs olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs seasoning salt

Wash and dry potatoes. Cut into eighths/ medium dice.
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Add potatoes. Add oil, pepper and salt. Toss.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Toss. Bake 20 minutes more.

2 lb fresh green beans
1 tbs organic unsalted butter
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/8 cup honey

Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Add green beans. Bring back to boil and cook 6 minutes. Drain.
Add rest of ingredients to pan. Stir. Bring to a simmer. Add green beans back to pan. Saute, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed, approximately 10 minutes.

It is possible never to get sick of salad. You can constantly change the lettuce used and the toppings. I usually do an all vegetable salad but occasionally add berries. The great thing is, just add whatever fresh ingredients you have in your refrigerator! This salad contained fresh, local red oak leaf lettuce, avocado, yellow tomato, carrot, red pepper,  and cucumber, all from my local market!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How To week and Simple Salmon

This week is How To week. I am going to share simple recipes with you on how to cook basic food. I want my blog to be for home cooks of all levels. So this week is geared towards newbies but an old cook can learn something too hopefully; maybe a new food or new way of cooking an old food. I hope you learn something and have fun along the way!

Simple Salmon
Serves: 4
1 lb skinless salmon
1/2 tsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

Place salmon on a cookie sheet lightly greased with olive oil. Drizzle salmon with 1/2 tsp olive oil. Rub into flesh. Sprinkle salmon with pepper and sea salt. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

Brussel sprouts are good a lot of ways, but i most commonly saute or roast them. Below is a recipe for sauteed brussel sprouts that I made using ingredients from my pantry. They were delicious. Enjoy!

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts
Serves: 4
1 lb brussel sprouts, rinsed, stem end removed and cut sprout in half vertically
olive oil
1/4 cup organic, 1/3 less sodium vegetable broth
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup pecans
1 tsp blue cheese crumbles

Add 1 tsp olive oil to a large saute pan. Heat pan over medium heat. Add brussel sprouts and cook 5 minutes or until outside of sprouts start to brown. Add vegetable broth and cook 10 minutes until sprouts are tender. If pan starts to dry up, add a little more broth or reduce heat. Once sprouts are tender, add cranberries and pecans. Cook 1 minute. Stir in freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. 
Serve topped with blue cheese. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chickpea Salad and Roasted Broccoli and Red Peppers

This dinner was AMAZING!! In case you have not figured this out yet, I love vegetables and this dinner was a perfect example of why. It is made up of yummy, natural, basic ingredients and the end product is full of flavor! I got the idea for the chickpea salad from the AJC today. It had a recipe from Leon's Full Service restaurant that sounded yummy. I knew it could be easily altered to have more flavor and vegetable and less calories and fat. I will post the way i cooked the recipe on the blog and if you want their original recipe you can get it from AJC. All I needed to make this a complete meal was a side; in steps roasted vegetables that I already had in my refrigerator! Enjoy!!

Serves: 4
1 large delicata squash (a hard squash that is easy to find in any grocery store this time of year- if you cannot find it, you can substitute acorn squash)
2 14oz cans no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 cup provolone cheese, diced into small cubes
green onions
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Peel squash and remove seeds with a spoon. Dice squash into small cubes about the same size as chickpeas. Place a small amount of water in a pan. Bring to a boil. Place steamer basket in pan. Place squash in pan and top with pan lid. Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Heat a large skillet over medium, high heat. Add drained chickpeas and cook five minutes until chickpeas look dried. Add oil and cook until chickpeas begin to brown, approximately five minutes.
Add cranberries, cook 1 minute. Add vinegar and cook until the vinegar is evaporated/ the pan is dry, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add cheese and drained squash. Remove from heat. Toss. Garnish with green onions (I use about 2 Tbs), salt and pepper. Toss. Serve!!!

Serves: 4
2 crowns/bunches broccoli, chop florets off of stems and separate into small heads
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients on a foil lined baking sheet. Toss. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken Rice Salad

Evan and I love this meal! It is fresh and easy. I first had it had my friend Kathryn Herring's house and she got it from an issue of Southern Living. I am not sure of what they called it in the magazine. After making it a few times, I altered the recipe to using no dressing. We find that you just do not need it. The salad is flavorful enough without!

Chicken Rice Salad
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbs gluten free soy sauce
1 box wild rice with seasoning packet (make sure you read the ingredient list if you have a wheat allergy. The seasoning packet can have wheat! Find a brand that doesn't or leave the packet out)
Organic Spinach
Organic Spring Mix Greens
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
pecans, toasted
blue cheese
green onions, sliced

Cook rice according to package directions.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add chicken breasts. Boil 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Remove breasts from water and shred chicken. Pour water out of pan if you did not already. Place shredded chicken back in pan and add soy sauce. Heat through.
Place spinach and greens in a large bowl/plate. Top with cooked rice and shredded chicken. Add desired amounts of vegetables, pecans, cheese and onions.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Crockpot strikes again!... Brunswick Stew

I do not know about you, but I get so excited when my monthly Southern Living comes in the mail! I am a Southerner at heart and love to read about the area, the decorating and the food. I do not usually make many of the recipes just because they are not normally my style of cooking. But this month (October 2011) had a few recipes that sounded healthy and yummy. This brunswick stew is one of them. I adapted it to work for me and I will include what I did below. It was absolutely delicious!!! Thanks Southern Living!

Serves: 6 (serving size: 2 cups)

1 1/2 large onions, diced
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large cubes/pieces
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
12 oz bottle chili sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
12 oz package frozen corn
10 oz package frozen cream-style corn, thawed (I could only find a 20oz frozen roll that i had to half)
9 oz package frozen baby lima beans
1 Tbs light brown sugar
1 Tbs yellow mustard
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper- at least 1 tsp

Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook 10 hours on low heat. Once done cooking, I used a large fork to shred some of the chicken. Serve! This is even better left over than fresh. The stew also freezes well in plastic or glass containers. Just thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator the night before you want to eat it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Loving my greens... Sauteed Kale

Last night was vegetable night! I try to make all vegetable dinners at least twice a week. It increases our vegetable intake and is often cheaper... plus I just love veggies! Some of my favorite vegetables are root vegetables and greens. Last night I made the beet and turnip recipes in this month's issue of Southern Living. They were good. I will probably not make the turnip recipe again just because it did not have tons of flavor. To accompany them I made my favorite kale recipe. As always, it was delicious. I will share it below!

2 large bunches kale, you can use any variety of kale, torn off stem and washed
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 large tomato, diced
1 tbs minced garlic

In large skillet or pot, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions until tender. Add tomatoes and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add kale in handfuls, allowing each handful of kale to wilt before you add the next handful. Once all the kale is in the pot, add 1/8 cup water to pan, stir and cook for 10 minutes. Sea Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Football Saturdays

It is another saturday here in the South, which means Auburn football and food. I am excited to be at home.  I was able to plan our meals for the week, go to the market, cook lunch and workout by 1:00 pm. Now it is time to hunker down for some college football! Lunch was good, Winter Vegetable Soup. I found this recipe in the Atlanta Journal Constitution last year and loved it the first time I tried it. This soup is easy to make and FULL of flavor. Thanks AJC!

Winter Vegetable Soup
Serves: 4
1 Tbs olive oil
4 carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced, approximately 1 tsp garlic
4 cups organic, low sodium vegetable broth
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups butternut squash, diced
freshly cracked pepper
1 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp allspice
dash of red ground pepper
3 cups kale, chopped

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots and onions. Cook 5 minutes. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add broth, tomato sauce, squash and spices. Cook 25 minutes or until squash is tender. Add kale and cook 5 minutes until kale is tender. Serve!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Maple Syrup Salmon

I am working a lot this week. This is the kind of week where planning ahead, the crock pot and simple meals comes in handy. Monday I put a roast, onions, potatoes and carrots in the crock pot with some spices. 10 hours later, a fresh meal was waiting for me when I got home from work. Evan steamed a little broccoli and we were good to go. Last night I whipped up one of our staples before I went to teach. I have made this salmon recipe more times than I can count, and I am still not sick of it. I originally got the recipe from my mother in law and I am not sure where she got it from. Either way, it is delicious every time! I served it with a yummy salad topped with lots of chopped raw vegetables and raspberries.

Serves: 4
1 lb boneless, skinless salmon
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced (if you use the preminced garlic in the jar this is about 1/2 tsp)

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Grease foil with spray or olive oil. Place salmon on foil.
Combine syrup, soy sauce and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over salmon.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Coconut Curry

My in-laws flew in from Las Vegas last night and decided to come up and watch the end of the auburn game with us. It was wonderful! We got to visit and eat delicious homemade curry. This is Evan's favorite dish lately and I am okay with that because it is easy, healthy and tastes awesome! Bill and Dorenda liked it too. This curry recipe is so versatile. You can easily change out the meat and vegetables to mix things up. You can also try green and yellow curry in place of the red. I have tried all three and red curry is my favorite. Enjoy!

Serves: 4-5
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size strips
1 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small head broccoli, chop florets into small pieces, discard stalk
8 baby portabello mushrooms, remove stems, dice heads
2 14 oz cans coconut milk, used full fat
4 tsp red curry paste
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 avocado, diced

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp coconut oil to pan. Add chicken to pan and cook chicken 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan to a plate.
Add additional 1 tsp coconut oil to large skillet. Add all vegetables to pan. Cook 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and curry. Stir. Bring to a low boil. Cook 10 minutes.
Serve top with cut avocado.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

It is fall!! and time for some fall treats! Today is beautiful, auburn football is on and there is a wonderful fall breeze. The perfect day for apples. This is what inspired the apple cake with caramel glaze that i whipped up this afternoon. I think Evan's words when he tasted the cake says it all, "This is my new favorite cake!"

Serves: 12
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup apple butter (can be found in the jelly section of special stores- it is usually a mixture of apples, apple juice, apple cider and spices)
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups gluten free all purpose baking and biscuit mix (I used bob's red mill. You could easily substitute a non gluten free mix)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Place first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a mixer. Mix. Place rest of ingredients in mixer (flour through salt). Mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir all ingredients together by hand with a spatula, making sure to scrape bottom and sides of bowl to incorporate. 
Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. Spoon cake batter evenly into pan.
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then turn cake out onto cake stand. Top with caramel glaze. Wonderful warm or at room temperature!

2 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbs evaporated milk or whatever milk you have in your refrigerator (i used skim this time)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Combine butter and brown sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter melts and sauce is smooth, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add milk and let icing come to a gentle boil. Stir well and remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk until glaze thickens and loses a little shine, approximately 1-2 minutes. Use a spoon to immediately drizzle over cake.