Day 292–Bad, Bad Blogger and Apple Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I am a bad, bad blogger. Up until this point I’ve been pretty good at posting several times a week if not every day. But the last two weeks have been absolute craziness, with parts of my world taking over and wreaking havoc on everything else. I believe I have survived the worst of that and now I’m back and (hopefully) on a more sane schedule. At least, I certainly hope so because that was one wild ride!

I haven’t had much of a chance to cook anything recently, but this dish of apple stuffed sweet potatoes was a winner. It has all the great hallmarks of fall–sweet potato, pumpkin pie spice, apples and maple syrup. This would make a great side dish or a light meal in itself. We have an abundance of sweet potatoes at our farmers markets and apples are available here although not in our usual quantities.

So here is to restarts and a better work/life balance for the rest of the fall! Enjoy!

Apple Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium apples like granny smith or galas
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Poke sweet potatoes all over with a fork and roast in the oven until soft (about an hour depending on how large your potatoes are). Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350.
  3. While potatoes cool a bit, peel/core and chop the apples into 1/2″ chunks.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Add apples. Cook apples for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add brown sugar and spice to the apples and stir. Add more butter if you need it. Reduce heat to low and cook until apples are soft. Set aside.
  6. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut skins and scoop potato flesh into a medium-sized bowl. Add apple mixture and mix together until combined.
  7. Spoon mixture back into the potato skin shells. Top with chopped pecans, put on a baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and drizzle with maple syrup.
  9. Serve!
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Day 246–Starting Week 36–Budget and Menu

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Pumpkins in the front, watermelon in the back. Seems so wrong!

After all my whining about not wanting summer to leave, I am in that special limbo you feel when you see pumpkins at the farmer’s market and it is still in the mid-90s outside. Our menu this week slowly makes the transition from summer to fall and hopefully the temperatures will follow!

On a lovely, positive note, the beginning of school has meant that our tomatoes are now growing without pilfering and we have, for the first time all summer, actually been able to harvest about a dozen RED tomatoes. We still find the occasion tomato with racoon gnaw marks on them, but we have been thrilled to find we can actually harvest food from our yard now that the child poachers in my neighborhood are in juvenile detention school.

Remember that monster pumpkin plant that volunteered to grow in our front yard? I have an update for you later this week!

Our budget is just over our goal of $100.00 at $103.24. I’ve added organic breakfast burritos to our shopping list because they are a super easy, high protein breakfast and Ellie adores them, even if they are on the pricey side. Not sure we can keep that in our budget every week, so I may be looking for a homemade alternative that is less expensive. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Budget

  • The Produce Box (apples, cabbage, grapes, corn, green peppers, field tomatoes): $23.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, yogurt, taco seasoning, soy milk, shampoo, lemon): $34.04
  • Mae Farm (bone-in pork chops, ground beef): $20.00
  • Lowes Foods (Amy’s organic breakfast burritos): $16.20
  • Farmer’s market (figs, goat cheese): $10.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Melina’s pasta with fresh tomato basil sauce
  • Thursday–Taco stuffed bell peppers with quinoa
  • Friday–Leftover buffet
  • Saturday–Field peas and homemade cornbread
  • Sunday–Mae Farm pan seared pork chops, saut├ęed cabbage and apples, field peas
  • Monday–Fig, goat cheese and caramelized onion pizza
  • Tuesday–Melina’s pasta with leftover vegetables or roasted tomato sauce

Have a delicious and healthy week! And go Broncos ­čÖé

Day 212–Starting Week 31–Budget and Menu

Now that our suitcases are unpacked, the beach toys are put away and the sand is (mostly) vacuumed up from the car, we’re ready to get back on track with our locavore┬ámenu. It has been hot here, but not the insane hot we had in early July. Just our regular ol’ dog days of late summer in NC. I’ll still take this over ice storms any day! Still, the heat and the tremendous rains we have had mean that berries are almost completely gone from the farmer’s markets. We still have peaches, though, and that makes me happy!

Our menu this week represents some of what is best about late summer–plentiful seafood, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and peaches. At $120.27, our budget is over by a lot, but I ended up ordering TWO produce boxes–one a mix of veggies and fruit and one just fruit so I have enough to can and make my sweetie some blueberry muffins for work. Also, I am stocking up on some staples (frozen mango and organic beans and rice) and those will actually last several weeks. But, all-in-all, I went over budget and will try to get back on track next week. Here’s what we got:

  • The Produce Box (peaches, blueberries, sweet peppers, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon):┬á $36.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Co. (mozzarella): $6.00
  • Harvest Farm (eggs): $4.50
  • Locals Seafood (scallops and shrimp): $28.00
  • Farmhand Foods (local hangar steak): $15.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen mango, lemons, yogurt, black beans, kidney beans, Ezekiel bread, soy milk): $30.77

Here is the menu for the week!

  • Wednesday–Shrimp and pasta; fruit salad
  • Thursday–Olympic Salad Building (Saladpalooza w/a new name)
  • Friday–Scallop risotto with roasted red peppers
  • Saturday–Grilled, marinated flank steak w/rosemary roasted potatoes
  • Sunday–Leftover steak and mushroom risotto
  • Monday–Turkey tacos with salad
  • Tuesday–Make your own flatbread pizza

Have a wonderful and healthy week!