Scrumptious Apple Pie

My husband and I compliment each other perfectly in every way! Just one of the many examples is that I cook and he bakes, which means we can pull off one hell of a dinner feast. For this year’s Teacher. Foodie. Athlete. Does Thanksgiving, he is obviously in charge of the desserts. This is his awesome twist on an American classic!
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Ingredients:

Filling –
3 lbs. Macintosh apples, peeled, cored. sliced
1/3 cup orange juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash of salt
2 Tablespoons butter

Crust –
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
7 to 10 Tablespoons very cold water

1. Make filling by tossing apples, orange juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt in a large bowl until apples are well coated.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Make the crust by Mixing flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and add to flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir half of the water into flour mixture with a fork. Keep adding water until dough sticks together. Divide dough in half. Roll one half of dough into an 18″ circle. Place into a pie dish. Roll second half of dough into a 16″ circle.
3. Add apple filling to pie dish. Cut the 2 tablespoons of butter into several pieces and distribute on top of apples. Place top crust on top of apples in pie dish. Trim excess crust with a knife. Using thumb and forefinger press top and bottom crust together in a fluted pattern. Pierce top crust with a fork in about 10 random places. Bake pie on middle rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes.
4. If crust begins to brown early lay a sheet of foil loosely over pie.

*Tip: place a cookie sheet covered with foil on rack below pie. This prevents smoke and makes clean up easier if pie overflows while baking

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Creamy Mashed Potatoes

When you do Thanksgiving for 14 people, you need to be sure to have more than enough mashed potatoes! No one wants to get gypped on their doggy bag! This recipe is so incredibly easy, and so worth it! Peel the potatoes whenever you have extra time and store them in a pot of water until ready to cook! Check what else I am up to on my Teacher. Foodie. Athlete. Does Thanksgiving post!

Ingredients:
5 pounds red potatoes – peeled and halved
1 stick butter – cut into chunks
1 cup whole milk (feeling decadent, go for cream!)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow to cook for approximately 20 minutes or until tender.
2. Strain water from potatoes, and return to stove over medium-low heat. Add butter and milk to the potatoes and mash using a potato masher. I like to leave mine a bit lumpy. Stir occasionally until butter and milk are incorporated and hot.
3. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and serve while still piping hot!

Sausage Turkey Stuffing

Growing up, depending on who was the one to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, the stuffing differed greatly. I have taken my favorite bread-y stuffing and mixed it with my favorite sausage-y stuffing and viola, you have this recipe! Check out what else I am up to on my Teacher. Foodie. Athlete. Does Thanksgiving page.

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Ingredients:
2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage
1 stick butter
4 celery stalks – chopped
2 medium onions – chopped
1 1/2 loaves white bread – broken into 1 inch chunks
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1. Brown sausage in a large skillet over high heat and set aside (do not drain).
2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, and herbs and cook until tender – about 5 minutes.
3. Stir sausage and remaining ingredients into stuffing mixture, and then stuff your 20 pound pre- brined turkey.
4. You will probably have more stuffing than will fit comfortably in the bird. You are going to need it to send your happy guests home with leftovers. Place any remaining stuffing in a shallow roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and cook for 30 minutes at 325 (turkey cooking temperature).

Oven Roasted Beef Stew

With temperatures not reaching above freezing today and our heat being on the fritz, it’s time to use the oven! The house is now warmed and smelling incredible! This dish is super easy to put together without sacrificing any flavor!

WARNING: This is so good, you will want to eat it directly out of the oven. Wait for it to cool a bit!
– Advice from someone with a burnt tongue

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Ingredients:
3 pounds cubed beef stew meat
2 Tbsp. almond flour (or regular flour if you are not here for the paleo)
2 onions – chopped
6 cloves garlic – minced
3 oz. tomato paste
2 parsnips – cut into 2 inch segments
10 carrots – cut into 2 inch segments
5 sprigs thyme – leaves only
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups beef broth
Salt & Pepper
*1 Tbsp. corn starch (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large Dutch oven pot, heat olive oil. In a large bowl, toss beef with flour and season generously with salt and pepper. Brown beef on all sides over medium high heat. Do two batches if there is not enough room in the pot the first time around. Transfer to a separate bowl.
3. Add onions to the pot and sauté for 2 minutes while stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
4. Stir in tomato paste and lower heat to medium. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add parsnips, carrots, thyme, and beef. Pour beef broth over mixture until it is totally covered.
5. Cover and transfer into oven. Allow to cook for at least 3 hours while occasionally stirring.

*If you desire a thicker stew, add 2 ladles of gravy to a bowl about halfway through cooking in oven. Whisk in 1 Tbsp. corn starch and stir back into pot.

Apple Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

I have been seeing images lately on Pinterest of apple slices wedged into pork tenderloin. Well, the full on pork loin roast was on sale, so I went for that instead. I also realized that cutting slits in the pork would dry it out, and the apple slice version is intended for a crockpot. I still had it in my mind that I would make an apple roast, so I experimented a bit! I decided to butterfly the hunk of meat, but I had never tackled such a feat. Luckily, I found this very helpful site. It was so simple to prepare the meat, and it allowed me to easily roll the stuffing into it!

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Ingredients:
2.5 to 3 pound boneless pork loin roast
1 small apple – peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Butterfly roast and pound both sides with a meat tenderizer.
3. In a medium bowl, mix apples, cranberries, walnuts, honey, and cinnamon.
4. Place apple mixture on flattened roast, and tightly roll. Secure with kitchen twine and place in a roasting dish.
5. Splash the roast with apple cider vinegar, and generously season with salt and pepper.
6. Roast for approximately 90 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
7. Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes, remove twine, and then carve into generous portions. Enjoy!

Paleo Herbed Turkey Meatloaf

I am still feeling the need for comfort food and I am looking to unload the end of season garden veggies and herbs at the same time. This meal did the trick!

This meatloaf recipe is not only incredibly moist and delicious, but it also has hidden veggies in it to trick your pickiest of eaters! It’s so good, you may want to make a double batch to have leftovers for tomorrow!

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Ingredients:
1.5 lbs. ground turkey
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 onion – minced
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 egg
1/2 cup almond flour (not here for paleo, use bread crumbs)
2 Tbsp. Worcester sauce
3 large springs of fresh herbs (I went with rosemary, thyme, and oregano) – minced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup ketchup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the ketchup. Use your hands, it works best! Shape into a log and place in a baking pan. Coat top with ketchup.
3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until done. Remember, ground turkey must be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 degrees.
4. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.