Super Simple Baked Apples

 

Baked Apple

 

The best kind of baking is the kind that fits easily into every day life.  While everyone’s day is different and each household has its own rhythm, this super simple and easy baked apple recipe is something that fits really seamlessly into our routine as a reasonably healthy dessert that can cook while we’re having dinner and cleaning up the dishes afterwards.  Here it is!

 

Ingredients:

Apples, as many as you plan on serving (my preference for baked apples is Cortland)

Butter

Brown Sugar

Cinnamon

 

While dinner is cooking I preheat the oven to 350 degrees, core the apples and put them in a deep pan.  First I sprinkle on cinnamon, then I fill the center of the apple with brown sugar and a put a pat of butter (maybe 1 tsp) on top of the brown sugar in the middle of the apple.

Bake in the center of the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  These apples were in for an hour, because we like them on the really soft side.

 

Baked Apples

 

Remove from pan (may want to use a soup ladle!), drizzle some of the syrup that came from the apple and sugar over the apple, spoon some ice cream on top and add just a dash of cinnamon on top.  And while these apples were cooking, we ate dinner, cleared the table and at the end of evening cleaning up we had a really simple, not time intensive and not completely unhealthy dessert.

What fast and easy desserts do you all enjoy making for your families?

Apple Cider Muffins!

 

Apple Cider Muffins

 

Up here in the Northeast, we really like our apple cider donuts.  I’m not quite brave enough to attempt donuts, but I was up for modifying my regular muffin recipe to make a healthier (ok, a *slightly* healthier) version of one of our favorite desserts.

 

So, here’s the recipe!  Makes 12 muffins.

 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease muffin tin.

2. In a bowl, add:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup of melted butter (just grab the whole stick, we’ll be using the other third later)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

3. Break up the egg so that it will spread evenly in the batter, then mix until everything is moist.  This won’t take long, and don’t overmix!

4. Spoon in 1/3 cup of batter into each segment of the muffin tin.  Bake for 15-20 minutes (keep an eye on them!)

5. Remove from oven and let them cool.  While they’re cooling, melt the rest of that stick of butter in a bowl, and in a different bowl mix mix together sugar and cinnamon.  When the muffins are still warm but not hot, you’re going to dip the top of the muffins in the butter, then dip them right into the cinnamon sugar and then set them on a plate to dry.  (Or not.)

 

Cider Muffins Ready for Dipping

 

6. Enjoy!

I figure that the oats and the honey have to make it at least slightly healthy… right?  Maybe?  A little bit?  Well, regardless, it can’t be as bad as a bunch of apple cider donuts, and they’re simple enough and there are enough good deals on cider right now for this to be our favorite Fall breakfast treat.

 

The Muffin Man

The Muffin Man agrees.

Just what we all needed: More Facebook Changes!

It almost seems like just as I’m finally getting fully accustomed to the latest round of Facebook changes, Facebook goes and changes things all over again.  Most of us woke up this morning and opened up Facebook, and were caught by surprise by yet another Facebook update impacting what content we read and how we access it.

Here’s the bottom line:

Pros: Better ability to filter information, decide what is most important for you to read, prioritize and organize your feed.

Cons: It’s really easy for things to get lost in the shuffle, particularly if you have a larger list, because there is no straightforward and simple way for everything on your feed to be readily accessible the way it had been before.  And, more importantly, it looks like almost everything you do on Facebook gets posted to your feed, down to things as simple as liking someone’s status.

Let’s try working with those pros first.

Because you can filter things easily, organizing information is easier.  For example, I love the new “family” list because it lets me make sure that I don’t miss anything from those closest to me.  The “close friends” list lets me prioritize and make sure that if I only have a little bit of time, I am not going to miss anything terribly important.  Acquaintances lets me pretty easily find a place to put all of those folks from high school and college whom I know well enough to have friended but don’t have close relationships with enough to need to know what they had for lunch that day.  All of those options do make it easier for me to be able to fit Facebook into a reasonable space in my life.

What I’m most excited about is being able to put all of the “Savings” pages that I like together into one section.  Doing that helps me make sure that I’m not going to miss any deals, even though Facebook switched things around on me, and it helps me keep track of all of the sites I like best.

To make a “Savings” or “Couponing” list:

  1. Click on “Lists”, and then the “Create a List” plus sign in the upper right corner.
  2. Go to “Manage Lists” and then to “Add/Remove Friends.”
  3. Select “Pages” instead of “Friends” in the upper left, and then click on Time2$ave and any other pages you would like to come up on that list.
  4. When you’re done, click “Done” and then your brand new list should pop up in the left hand margin, and will have a number shaded whenever there are updates on that list, making it really easy to keep track of when new deals arrive.

And now for the cons…

You’ve probably noticed the live update feed in the upper right corner.  This updates pretty much every single thing that any friend or page you have on Facebook has posted, commented on or even “liked.”  We’re still working out how well this is going to play with filtering you may have in place, but there are some risks for inadvertent oversharing with this system in place because (for example) your Uncle Bob will be able to see now if you comment to your best friend about where the Monistat is tucked away in the local CVS.  I can’t say I’m thrilled about that.

Also, if you accidentally forget to add someone to a list and Facebook “guesses” that they are less important for you to read, it could be a while before you figure out that you’re missing someone.  So, make sure to double check your settings and make sure that all of your important bases are covered so that no one and nothing gets missed.

As always with Facebook updates, there are positives and negatives, and a lot of little bugs that will get worked out with time.  In the meanwhile, the best we can do is to maximize the good features and try to keep the downsides to a minimum.  And don’t worry, we’re sure that all of this will get ironed out just about in time for the next major Facebook update.