Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Apple

Nate and I went upstate last weekend with a couple of our friends to Poet’s Walk Park…where Nate and I were exactly one year ago when Nate proposed.

Nate wanted to go back to shoot a couple things for the wedding video (which is now officially done, and completely awesome!!!) and we needed the help of our friends to do this. We also wanted to take a few pics at the proposal location since we completely forgot to snap a pic of it when it was actually happening. Oops :)

The bridge where Nate proposed…one year later!

This park is fairly small but it has gorgeous views.

It was a two hour drive north of the city, so we thought we’d take advantage and stop at Fishkille Farms on the way home to do a little apple picking! Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year, was coming up and apples are traditional to eat (with honey) for a “sweet” New Year.

Nate and bridesmaid, Kim, showing their apple excitement!

We picked a ton! I wanted to make sure we got enough for eating plain and for cooking, although i didn’t have anything specific in mind yet.

We also got some hot cider for me (cold for Nate) and some fresh cider donuts. YUM!

I knew I wanted to make a recipe to use apples. On Rosh Hashannah, since all my family and jewish friends were travelling, I decided to just make a nice dinner for the two of us.

I roasted up a chicken and set off the fire alarm. The recipe had me cooking it at 450° with just the chicken in the pan, nothing under it. After it completely smoked out our apt, I looked up what to do and someone suggested putting a layer of potatoes under the chicken and roasting it at 425°. Luckily I had one lone potato sitting on the counter so i sliced it up and put it under the chicken and shoved it back in the oven.

Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Apple

Success! Well kinda. It stopped the chicken from smoking, but when I checked the temperature of the chicken after the allotted time, it was at the correct temp. I took it out of the oven and the breast was perfectly cooked, but other parts were still raw! Ugh, I’m never cooking a chicken again. I’d rather just buy a rotisserie one from the market.

Anyway, I wanted some nice side dishes to go with dinner and since I had some freshly picked apples to use, I pulled out this apple cookbook that I got last year that hasn’t ever gotten used, and found a really tasty recipe for The Best Twice-Baked Potatoes.

Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Apple

They were really good. I think I was expecting them to be more sweet with the apples and the sweet potato, but they were definitely more on the savory side, but still delicious! I highly recommend these as a side dish for your next holiday meal…or even just an every day dinner :)

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Apple

Very slightly adapted from The Comfort of Apples Cookbook

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Serves 6-8

1/4 cup olive oil
4 medium yams (about 3 pounds total)
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups light cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
3 cups peeled and diced apples (1/4 inch dice)
3/4 cup bread in small chunks
3/4 cup parmesan in 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup parsley

Preheat oven to 400.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spread with olive oil. Roll the yams in the oil to coat and season well with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 1 hour, and remove from oven. **Alternatively, pierce potatoes several times with the tip of a knife, wrap in paper towels and microwave until soft.

Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat in a small saucepan, and whisk in the butter. Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic, thyme, and apples, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until apples are tender, 8-10 min.

Slice each yam in half and scoop out the hot insides into a medium bowl. Fold in the hot cream mixture. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells.

Place the bread, parmesan, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until fine. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the potatoes, return to oven, and bake until yams are lightly browned and crisp, about 1/2 hour.

It seems like Kale is the 2012 super food. I mean I know it existed before that, obviously, but everywhere I turn, I’ve been seeing recipes for it.

Usually I’m not a fan of raw kale since it’s a lot tougher than a typical salad leaf. I like to sauté or braise it. But I found this recipe  for Kale, Apple and Pancetta Salad in one of my trusty food emails the other day and thought it sounded too good to pass up.

Most of the recipes I had seen for kale in salad called for massaging it. Yep, you read right. While you’re peeling and chopping those poor other veggies, lucky Kale is getting a rub down.

Massaging kale is actually some sort of a scientific process. You add some oil/dressing, grab bunches of it in both hands and squeeze. Then rub them together. And repeat. The tough cellulose structure breaks down and the leaves wilt. The leaves will darken and shrink to almost half their pre-massage volume.

This salad actually didn’t call for such a technique, although I think it could have used it. Nate might have gotten a bit jealous though ;)

In the end the flavors were totally delicious but I think if I made it again I would either massage it or lightly saute just the greens before mixing it with everything else. And oh my, the pancetta MADE this salad. If you don’t eat pork, you must substitute something else similar (maybe turkey bacon), as it just wouldn’t be the same without that saltiness.

I’m posting this as part of the #greenslove March bloghop hosted by:
Al Dente GourmetAstig VeganBadger Girl Learns to CookBaking and Cooking: A Tale of Two Loves,BigFatBakerBon a CroquerCafeTerraBlogCake DuchessCheap Ethnic EatsEasily Good Eats,GeorgiecakesKitchen BelleiciousMis PensamientosMy Twisted RecipesNo One Likes Crumbley Cookies,Oh CakeQueen’s NotebookRico Sin AzucarSavoring Every Bite, Simply ReemSoni’s Food for Thought,Sprint 2 the TableTeaspoon of SpiceThat Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!The Art of Cooking Real FoodThe Spicy RDThe Wimpy VegetarianVegan Yack AttackVegetarian Mamma.

I didn’t get my stuff together early enough to host with them this month, but hopefully I will in April!

Here are the rest of the entries!:

Kale Apple and Pancetta Salad

Taken from Serious Eats

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Serves 4-6

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces sliced pancetta, diced
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small head radicchio, shredded
1 8-ounce bunch kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
2 tart yet sweet apples, sliced into thick matchsticks
3/4 cup pecans, toasted if desired

Combine the olive oil and pancetta in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until pancetta is golden and crispy. Strain the pan drippings into a small bowl and leave the crispy pancetta off to the side to cool. Add the Champagne vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper and whisk well.

Combine the radicchio, kale, apples and pecans in a large bowl. Toss while adding the dressing, little by little, until salad is well dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with crispy pancetta.

The weekend that Nate and I went up to beautiful Mohonk Mountain to rock scramble, we also attempted to pick some apples.

Unfortunately neither of us realized that apple season is September til early October and that the apples are pretty much gone by late October (at least in NY). Although it wasn’t quite as fun, they had barrels of apples for purchase. Since I already had my heart set on making some tasty apple treats, we grabbed a huge bag that probably had 2-3 dozen apples.

We also grabbed some hot cider and cider donuts while we were there, so it wasn’t a total bust.

Anyway, I’m not exactly sure what I thought I’d be making with all those apples, but this recipe is one that I made last year and it was so good I knew I wanted to make it again.

The cake is super moist and not too sweet. It could seriously be one of my favorite desserts. So if you still have some apples left from your apple picking, or you just want to make this since it’s so good, head on over to Smitten Kitchen’s website where I got the recipe.

Even without a reason to cook squash (like the #squashlove! bloghop I partook in over the weekend!), I can’t help but put one of those beautiful winter vegetables in my shopping cart every time I go food shopping in the fall. I honestly think I could eat them for the next two seasons without getting sick of them.

I think this is partially because there are so many things you can do with with them. Since my last recipe was a savory squash dish, I thought this next one could be a little sweeter.

Squashes have a natural sweetness that makes them pair really well with fruits. I keep seeing mashed sweet potato recipes coming up all over the food blogs lately (with Thanksgiving on the way), but I wanted a way to lighten up the typical dish.

While squash is a starchy vegetable, it has less calories than sweet potatoes, so I decided to mash it up and add sweetness with some apples too. Roasted squash and apples pair together really well.

In addition to the natural sweetness from the fruit and vegetables, I added some maple syrup (during the roasting) and orange juice, along with fresh ginger for a little spice and orange zest for flavor.

While this dish may not be very pretty, I hope that you’ll look past it’s disgusting exterior and trust me when I say that this may be one of my favorite side-dishes I’ve ever made.

Chunky Orange Maple Ginger Squash and Apples

Recipe by Me

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Serves 6 


2 medium acorn squash, cut in half and then into 1/2″ thick slices (keep peel on)
3 small apples, cored and then cut into 1/8ths
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
zest and juice of 1 orange


Spread squash and apples on a large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Drizzle them with the olive oil thru salt and pepper.

Roast squash and apples at 425 for 25-30 min or until squash is soft.

Remove from oven. After cooling slightly, scoop squash meat from skin and put into a medium bowl. Add apples (I left skin on). Add ginger and orange zest/juice.

Mash squash mixture until it reaches desired consistency.  Add additional syrup if desired. Serve warm.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Well, that’s what they say. I’m not sure how true it is, though, because I eat an apple almost every single day and I get sick way more than Nate. Although, come to think of it, Nate eats an apple with his lunch (I told he he’s a creature of habit!). So maybe the old saying IS true :)

Regardless, I think apples are pretty tasty. As soon as fall comes and the air starts gettin chilly, I do a lot of apple-eating. So when October’s #lovebloghop got announced with the ingredient-of-the-month as apple, I was pretty pleased.

Since I’ve been on a flatbread kick, I decided to do a little experimenting. I don’t how this zany little idea got in my head, but I wanted to make a dough out of sweet potato that wouldn’t require yeast.

Because the dough would hopefully have a nice sweetness to it, I wanted a topping that would complement it. I settled on sauteed onions and apples with rosemary. I just felt that those flavors would all meld so well together.

And then, I added cheese. Cheese? Yes, please.

You know what else they say about apples? An apple pie without the cheese is like a hug without the squeeze.

Ok, so I’ve never actually had apple pie with cheese, but I’m told that putting a little cheddar in the crust or on top is just delightful.

I’m not usually a recipe-creator, but I thought I did a pretty good time this time around.

October is #applelove month!  Hosted by:

Baker Street
Bloc de recetas
Bon a croquer
Cake Duchess
Elephant Eats
Hobby And More
Mike’s Baking
Mis Pensamientos
My Twisted Recipes
Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives
Queen’s Notebook
Skip to Malou
Teaspoon of Spice
The Daily Palette
The Spicy RD
Vegan Miam
Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen

Please join in on the #applelove fun by linking up any apple recipe from the month of October 2011.  Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #applelove event. The twitter hashtag is #applelove :). 

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Yeast-Free Sweet Potato Flatbread with Apples, Carmelized Onions, Cheddar and Rosemary

Recipe by Me

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Serves 6 as an appetizer

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
s+p to taste
1 cup mashed sweet potato (about 1-2 small potatoes)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup shredded cheddar (or more if you like things cheesy)

Heat oil in saucepan over med-hi heat.

Add onion and cook 10 min or until soft.

Add 1 tsp vinegar to deglaze, scraping up all stuck bits, and add apples and rosemary.

Cook 5 min or until soft. Add rest of vinegar and sugar and cook 5-10 min more.

Bake (or microwave) sweet potato until soft. Remove skin and mash. Combine sweet potato, flour and baking soda in a small bowl and combine well. Add more flour as needed. Knead until dough forms into a ball. Dough will be slightly sticky.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle (or desired shape) until 1/4 inch thick. It should fit on 1/2 of a baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes at 375.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle with more olive oild and spread apple mixture and cheese on top. Bake 5 more minutes at 350 or until cheese melts.

Cut into squares and serve immediately.