Apples and Honey Gets an Upgrade

Apple Honey 300dpi

If fall is in the air, it must be just about time to celebrate the New Year….not that New Year; the one with apples and honey.

This tasty union is a Rosh Hashanah tradition, symbolizing the hopes for a “sweet” New Year. Of course, at ES we like to do that with more than just a kids lunchbox-esque pack of sliced apples drizzled in goo. For this year”s updated Rosh Hashanah take, we”re looking at this honey-glazed Apple Financier Tart — an elevated, Francophile variation on an apple pie.

Pâtissier extraordinaire Francois Payard provided this recipe, in which the moisture of the mix and texture of the apples with the flavor of the browned butter take A&H to a new level.

Apple and Honey Financier Tart

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My One-Item Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas is coming, which means that it’s time for many of my favorite blogs, especially the food ones, to give me their annual list of suggestions for the foodies in my life (see here and here, for example).  Now, I enjoy reading what other people like as much as the next guy, but the problem with lists like these, for me,  is twofold.  Uno, the things are often super-specific. I can already tell you that my mom will not like tea that tastes like pine trees, or even sounds like it might taste like pine trees.  Two, the gifts on these lists tend to offend my delicately frugal sensibilities ($24 for 12 oz. of olive oil?  Seriously? In my dreams.)

And so, ESers, I bring you the only food gift you need this holiday season: the classic cast iron skillet.  Here are five reasons why it makes the perfect gift:

1. Everyone needs one, whether they know it or not, and if they already have one, they probably need it in another size.  (Come on, so cute!)

2. It’s perfect for a tight budget.  They are a good value to begin with, and I find them often at thrift stores where, after simple re-seasoning, they are at least as good as new.

3. Not only functional, if you hang it on the wall, it makes you look like you know what you are doing in the kitchen.  Just be sure to use wall anchors.

4. It offers endless cooking adventures.  My new fav: cake baking (see photo above and recipe below).

5.  Even for the non-cook,  cast iron skillets always come in handy:

Skillet Apple Cake

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Trash to Treasure: Apple Peel Roses

It’s the season of apples. Pies, tarts, oatmeal, cider, cake. Magazine and food blogs are chock-full of apple recipes. But what about the peels?

These simple apple peel roses can be brushed with lemon juice (to keep them from browning) and used as a centerpiece at dinner.

Or they can be brushed with butter, sprinkled with brown sugar, and baked to top a cake or cheesecake:

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Top 10 Worst Things to Give Trick-or-Treaters

I miss trick-or-treating. Don”t tell me you don”t. If so, then you hate all things good in the world. You hide in your house with the lights off as kids fashion their prized costumes anxiously awaiting a sweet treat. You people suck, and probably have no perspective on the meaning of “It”s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” You”re a Halloween scrooge. Poo poo on you.

For the rest of us, the Holiday is upon is. Get ready to scare the bajesis out of the kiddo”s, hoping to make one of them pee or crap their pants. Then, you win them back with a sweet treat and you”re suddenly known around the block for it. I”m hoping to scare some kids, and I”ll be honest—I”ve eyed up the candies that are anxiously awaiting Halloween in the house, and I”m psyched for left-overs.

Last year we brought you a list of the top 10 trick or treat candy fails, but the truth is, it actually gets a lot worse than Tootsie Rolls and Mounds (shudder!) Here are your top ten tricks that you shouldn”t be handing out this Halloween:

10. Pretzels

Yeah, I like my fair share of salty goodies—but not on Halloween. Just because the pretzels are shaped like bats and pumpkins doesn”t mean they are meant for Halloween. Especially not to give out. At a party? Sure. To give out at your doorstep? Hellz no.


9. Chips

Chips…Cheez-Its…doesn”t matter. Are they sweet? No. Do they leave a residue on your teeth that requires extra-long tooth brushing? No. So what”s the point? If kids want chips then they can go to the closet of their house. I”m willing to bet there isn”t a wide variety of candy to choose from. Only chips and cereal.


8. Peanuts

Yes, this actually happened to me. Need I say more?

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Apple Cider Gone Wild! Top 10 Cider Recipes

I had my first real fall moment of the year this morning: drinking apple cider. The crisp, cool, thirst-quenching drink is the perfect inauguration for autumn.  You can have it with any meal, for a snack, or warm it up and froth it if you want to go frou-frou. But did you know it can be enjoyed in more than just a glass?

10. Apple Cider Gravy

Though a bold choice for Thanksgiving, a little sweetness may go a long way with your savory turkey. Not convinced? Have you ever put apples or cranberries in your stuffing? Or enjoy spreading some sweet cranberry sauce on your turkey sandwich? Well now your gravy can do you a personal, sweet, favor.

Recipe: Nourish Network

9. Apple Cider Upside-Down Cake

Summer is over. Pineapple is no longer the seasonal fruit, and apples are in. So what do you do with that huge bag of apples sitting in your garage? Make cake…apple cider upside-down cake.

Recipe: Mid-Century Menu

8. Apple Cider Caramel Cake

More cake. This time, adding some creamy icing and caramel will make this a true dessert. Think of it as an alternative to carrot cake. No chunks of orange…just smooth, sweet and creamy cake. Does it feel like fall for you yet?

Recipe: Simply Fine Living

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Eating Down the Fridge: Condiment Club

I am about to make a confession that I am pretty sure makes me un-American:  I don’t like really like condiments.  Specifically, I am not a fan of ketchup or mayonnaise.  Yep.  Just exile me now.  So, if you are reading this post looking for ways to use that four-year-old bottle of mustard lurking in the fridge door, I’m sorry. I have nothing for you today.

Here’s the thing, though.  I think that mayo, ketchup, Miracle Whip, and especially green ketchup give condiments a bad name.  After all, a quick search at reveals that a condiment is “something used to give special flavor to food.”  Okay, that I can get behind.

Here at my house, we are 90% vegetarian.  Also, we are very cheap frugal.  Often, particularly toward the end of the month, we eat a lot of beans and rice/tortillas/polenta/etc… That’s all nice and nutritious, but it can get a little…well, tedious.  Enter my favorite condiment: homemade coleslaw.  Contracy to popular belief, it can be made from all kinds of vegetables; not just cabbage. Throw some atop a big ol’ pile of rice and beans (or a baked bean sandwich, pictured above), and voila: instant dinner elevation.  It’s the perfect EDtF recipe, because the permutations are endless.

“Recipe” for homemade coleslaw:

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