Not Without Salt » apple “Where would we be without salt?” - James Beard Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:26:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fennel and Apple Salad with Toasted Fennel Seed Vinaigrette Fri, 11 Jan 2013 20:49:02 +0000 Read more »]]>



Friday, you’re good.
Snuggled up on the couch with two of the kidlets, with coffee in hand and Curious George in the background, I had just had the urge for an indulgent pastry when Gabe walks through the door with donuts. After all these years maybe he is finally learning to read my mind?!
Then I look out the window to see frosting covering the grass and glittering in the sun – yes, SUN! You see it’s such a rare gift to see the sun and feel a bit of its warmth this time of year. So rare in fact that when it’s here we take advantage; windows open, playtime outside and a moment to just bask in its light.
Friends, you’re going to laugh at this one – tonight we are going to see Barry Manilow and ice skaters. This life of mine is so odd at times, I love it. Earlier in the week I styled a shoot for a commercial that will air when the skating show is on tv (later this month). One of the perks was tickets to the show and who can say no to a little Manilow and ice (well, Gabe could of but I’m insisting)?
And then there’s this salad. I created this recipe for Wisconsin Cheese and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It’s a simple salad, as I like to have quite often, but the toasted fennel seed in the dressing and the nutty gruyere really makes it something special. My husband shot the video (he’s so good, right?!) and the folks at Wisconsin Cheese put it together.
Your Friday might not include Manilow but I still hope it’s a good one none-the-less.
Happy weekend!
Oh, one more thing: I’m hosting a little giveaway from a*pour toi on my Facebook page. If you’re not a “liker” of the page I’d “like” you to be if you’d “like”. (Is that subtle enough?)

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

Fennel and Apple Salad with Toasted Fennel Vinaigrette

As much as I love the cozy warmth that braises, roasts and long simmered stews provide, I grow tired of them. A few years ago I realized that much of what is in season during the winter tastes great simple sliced and eaten raw. It offers a fresh bite and crisp crunch that is often lacking in my cold month diet. This salad features raw fennel and it’s toasted seeds that scent the tangy vinaigrette. Pleasant Ridge Reserve adds the perfect bit of nuttiness and heft that this light salad needs. A very welcomed, fresh meal this time of year.


1 teaspoon fennel (use whole seed that you’ve toasted and ground, if possible)
1 teaspoon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

In a bowl combine the fennel, mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine. While whisking those ingredients drizzle in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle the dressing onto fresh greens (I used arugula and butter lettuce). Top that with thinly sliced apple, fennel and toasted walnuts. Finish it all off with shavings of Pleasant Ridge Reserve.

*I was paid by Wisconsin Cheese to create this content but I’m so happy with how it turned out I wanted to share it with you here as well.

]]> 33
Chopped Apple Cake Sun, 21 Oct 2012 21:59:37 +0000 Read more »]]>

Happiness is a Sunday with no plans. An early morning where the first few steps are taken towards the oven in order to pre-heat. And even though Ivy manages to put an entire tub of expensive face product in her hair and the boys spend all afternoon doing everything but cleaning their room, Sunday still delights.

I linger in the kitchen, make plans to read a new book, and mix together a few ingredients to make a simple apple “bread” from a recipe card tucked inside my great-grandmother’s recipe box.

Soon we’ll gather around the table for an early dinner which, unlike weekday dinners, took longer than 20 minutes to prepare. We’ll then head to church then come home to do more of the same. All these things help to ease us into the weekdays. Today we linger. Today we’ll move a bit more slowly and grasp the fading moments of the weekend. Monday brings routine, early mornings and work but we won’t think about that yet. For now Sunday is here, dinner is almost ready and there are a few more slices of grandma’s apple bread. I do so hope your Sunday was as restful as ours.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Chopped Apple Cake

My great grandmother referred to this as apple bread. I love that about her. I also love that nearly ninety percent of her recipes in her box are for baked goods. This cake is wonderfully simple and takes no more time to make than it does your oven to pre-heat. In the future I plan to experiment with some other flours and sugar but this morning I wanted this cake just as grandma enjoyed it.

1 ½ cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup oil (I used canola and walnut)
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups peeled and chopped apples (about 2 medium)

Pre-heat your oven to 350*F. Butter a loaf pan and set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Fold in the apples. Scrape batter into the prepared loaf pan and baked until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean, about 60 - 70 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes before unmolding on to a wire rack. Let cool until just warm then slice.

]]> 76
Cardamom Honey Caramel Pears Mon, 12 Sep 2011 23:03:24 +0000 Read more »]]> or apples.

6140708133_1c773f20cd_b (1)

Apparently it hit me. Last week I was urging Summer to stay and for the cool days of Fall to be a distant reality.  Then I started to see Gravensteins pop up along country roads in farm stands that are only attended by a black box with the words, “honor system” painted on the front.

Shortly after that there was pie. The best I’ve made. The warmth of the oven still offensive as the Summer heat lingers.

Then this morning I woke up to a comforting gray sky (as well as a cold which definitely marks the new season) and I finally admitted that I am ready and eager for the changing season.


It could have also been these caramel covered pears and apples that brought me into the Fall mood. The scent of sweet honey bubbling on the stove wafting through the kitchen carrying with it an exotic, floral smell as freshly ground cardamom was tossed in. The kids were eager to get involved in the dipping process and even more eager to help with the eating of our freshly dipped fruit. Such helpful little kidlets.


We did manage to save a few and if you are lucky enough to be in Seattle area you can get your hands on these caramel covered beauties by going to SAVOUR in Ballard. My dear friend, Julie, has started a great program where each week in September a local blogger features a homemade treat that can be purchased at the store. I adore this idea as it is so much fun to provide an opportunity for some of you to actually eat the food you are seeing and reading about.


For those of you who are not in Seattle, I apologize for being a tease. Hopefully, someday we will meet and I will happen to have one of these caramel pears in my purse. Until then I urge you to make these yourself, then open your arms widely and embrace the coming season.

You will also need a thermometer and popscicle or lollipop sticks.


Fill your sink or a large bowl with a couple inches of ice water. This will be used to quickly stop the caramel from cooking once it’s reached the desired temperature.

In a large sauce pan (the caramel bubbles up so make sure the pot is much larger than the quantity of the ingredients) heat the cream and salt to a simmer. Once small bubbles appear stir in the honey and ground cardamom. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching on the sides or bottoms of the pan.

Continue to cook until the temperature reaches 255-260*F. If not cooked enough the caramel will be too soft and run off the fruit. If cooked too long the caramel will be difficult to chew.

*Tips for Success*

After making these several times now I’ve learned a few things that I want to reiterate so you will have success.

- Boil caramel until it reaches 260*. This will produce a firmer caramel that will better adhere to the apples or pears.

– Use firm pears. If they are too ripe the stick will slide right out.

– Wait to dip the fruit until the caramel is nearly cool. It will be quite thick and sticky but it helps to prevent the caramel from sliding right off.

– Use fruit that is not waxed.

– Chill the fruit before dipping. This sets the caramel immediately. You could also dip then refrigerate.

– Let the excess caramel drip off for at least one minute before dipping into the nuts.

6140705213_113a253012_b 6141263096_663fafbea3_b
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Honey Cardamom Caramel for apples or pears


enough for 8-10 small/medium apples or pears.

Choose apples/pears that are unwaxed as that will help the caramel to adhere.


1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon mild honey, such as clover

¾ teaspoon salt, kosher

3 cardamom pods, cracked and seeds ground or ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

1 cup toasted, roughly ground hazelnuts

]]> 59