Quick Spiced Apples

I’ve always been a huge fan of Cracker Barrels spice apples. I decided to make some at home and was pleasantly surprised with how so very easy they are! We eat them with and on everything! They are the perfect compliment to pork chops and roast for dinners. They pair well with yogurt for breakfast and they are heavenly warmed and spooned over ice cream. My apples are different from Cracker Barrel in two ways: I peel my apples before cooking and I don’t pan fry them in butter. These are, however, equally as good! final apples

I’m not picky about the type of apple I use. They all seem to work well for this recipe! 

apples

 I peel, core, and slice my apples. You could definitely leave the skin on and they would still be yummy. I only used six apples this time, but this recipe freezes well, so often I’ll make an entire bag of apples and serve half and freeze the rest for the following week! Yes, we eat them that quickly!

cut apples

  After you have all of your apples sliced. Put them in a medium saucepan, add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and about a tablespoon or so of water. At this point you can add whatever spices you’d like or lemon if you want to change it up. 

add sugar and cinnamon

Cook the apples on medium heat until apples are fork tender, but not too mushy. It took about 15-20 minutes to cook these down. 

final apples

The final result is this gorgeous, sweetly spiced apple side dish. These would be good put directly into pastry to make hand pies or some yummy apple fritters! Enjoy! 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian Steak Stir-Fry with Glass Noodles

        I had the amazing opportunity to attend a cooking class in D.C. at Culinaerie! It was amazing…. I learned so much. The first class I took was all about Beef! This dish was one of the first we made. It was so good that I decided to make it at home and of course added a few Sweets and Whimsy twists! Yum! I can’t wait to be apart of more classes! I’m trying to work out some pastry classes soon!   asian stir fry with glass noodles First, I wanted to marinate my beef. Marinating beef that is generally tough such as the top round…. you break down some of those tough fibers and it helps make the meat tender. You don’t need to marinate this more more than 20 minutes or so. My beef marinade consists of oyster sauce, beef stock, sugar, and pepper. Oyster sauce is a type of Korean BBQ sauce. Very thick and Very yummy. Go ahead and put your thinly sliced steak in the marinade and set aside for 5-15 minutes. I went ahead and marinated for the entire 15- and it may have been more like 20! marinade While your steak is marinating, go ahead and prepare your veggies. I went grocery shopping on an “off” day in the produce department. They didn’t have lemongrass stalks, they had only very small red peppers and only baby carrots. The hot pepper selection was out of stock all together…. so i used a Serrano- mild and nice color contrast!  The recipe still turned out really nice using these changes. Very kid friendly! veggies  I looked for lemongrass at several stores and settled for lemongrass paste. I was not at all disappointed. The paste is full of flavor and very easy to work with.  lemongrass  First, I sauteed the garlic, lemongrass, and serrano pepper in hot canola oil. Sautee until aromatic, but not dark and crispy. taek out and set aside saute lemongrass,peppers,garlic  Add marinated beef along with any marinade that is left over, cook for a few minutes, but not all the way through. make sure your pan needs to be hot! hot meat  Take meat out and add veggies, cook until veggies are slightly softened but still have a crunch. Add back in meat and garlic mixture. Heat to combine.  saute veggies  Prepare the glass noodles, a.k.a  cellophane noodles, a.k.a bean threads according to  package instructions.  glass noodles  these are so unique and are a nice combination to the beef and veggies. The kids are in love with these noodles!  glass noodles and boiling water  Serve your stir-fry creation over glass noodles. Monkey man dove right in with his kid- friendly chop sticks!  luke and chopsticks  If you are looking for something new to serve your family, Stir-fry is a great choice! asian stir fry with glass noodles  Can’t wait for you to try this! And.. can’t wait to share more cooking school experiences with you!

Asian Steak Stir-Fry with Glass Noodles
Flavorful, tender meat, crisp colorful veggies served over glass noodles.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb top sirloin steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  2. 1 red pepper, julienned
  3. 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  4. 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  5. 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  6. 1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced (or 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste)
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
Beef Marinade
  1. 6 tbsp oyster sauce
  2. 4 tbsp beef stock
  3. 1 tsp sugar
  4. 1 tsp black pepper
  5. 2 packages glass noodles, cooked according to package instructions
Instructions
  1. 1. Prepare marinade by combining all ingredients in a large bowl. Add sliced beef and marinade for 5-15 minutes.
  2. 2. Heat a pan over medium- high heat. Add canola oil and heat.
  3. 3. Add garlic, lemongrass, and serrano. Stir-fry until fragrant but not browned or crispy.
  4. 4. Add beef and stir-fry for several minutes (do not cook all the way through)
  5. 5. Add onion, carrot, and red pepper. Stir fry until slightly softened but still with a slight crunch.
  6. 6. Serve tossed with glass noodles tossed with Garlic Oil.
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