[Recipe] Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

YEP. You read that correctly…Cheddar crust.
As if having a delicious pie wasn’t enough, you had to make it more tasty by adding cheese. haha 

apple pie with cheddar crust | sunshine & the bear

One of my coworkers recently hosted a ‘friendsgiving’/housewarming party and I wanted to bring something tasty, besides the obligatory bottle of wine. Since finding the amazing salted caramel chocolate chip cookies on Spoon Fork Bacon, I’ve been obsessed with their recipes! I looked and found this tasty looking fall recipe and thought I’d take a stab…

I haven’t made many pie crusts from scratch, so this was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone. BUT it was super easy! Instructions are below – keep in mind, the crust mix and the filling mix need to sit for at least an hour before you start working them together, so just prepare your timing! :)

And yes, my pie plate has my name on it. Because my mother-in-law is awesome and got me this super cute gift for Christmas last year! You can get one too from Red Envelope – totally a perfect gift for a foodie, chef or just someone who really loves pie.

Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

Courtesy of: Spoon Fork Bacon 
Needs: Mixer, pie plate(s)
Ingredients (crust):

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon pure cane sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen and grated
    3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
    2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients (apple filling):

  • 4 granny smith apples, peeled cored and thinly sliced
    4 golden delicious apples, peeled cored and thinly sliced
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    2/3 cup light brown sugar
    1/3 cup pure cane sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons of tapioca starch or cornstarch
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted browned butter, cooled

Ingredients (additional):

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons water

Directions: 

  1. For the crust, first place flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  2. Add butter and gently incorporate into the flour mixture until a fine mealy texture forms.
  3. Fold in cheese until just combined and stir in water.
  4. Turn mixture onto a clean, lightly floured surface and gently knead the mixture into a disc. Cover dough disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. For the filling, place all ingredients, except for the butter into a large mixing bowl and fold together until well combined. Set aside and allow mixture to sit for about 1 hour.
  6. Once crust has sat in the refrigerator, divide in 1/2. Cover 1/2 and set aside.
  7. Sprinkle a little flour onto a clean surface and roll dough until about 1/8 inch thick.
  8. Gently lace the dough in your pie dish. Press dough into shell, cutting off any excess around the perimeter. Crimp the edge using your fingers and knuckles.
  9. Add melted/cooled butter to your pie filling and mix well.
  10. Pour filling into pie crust, forming an even layer.
  11. Roll other half of dough until about 1/8” thick and cut into 10 strips of 3/4″x 11”.
  12. Gently lay 5 strips of dough across one direction of the pie, spacing them each even from one another. Form a lattice by arranging the remaining strips through the first strips. Trim the edges and gently press the ends into the crust of the pie.
  13. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water then brush the egg wash over pie.
  14. Refrigerate pie for 30 minutes.
  15. While your pie is setting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  16. When you’re ready, place the pie onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  17. Reduce temperature to 375˚F and continue to bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
  18. Remove pie from oven and cool for at least 1 hour. Serve warm if you can!
  19. Enjoy! :)

[Recipe] Caramelized Fennel & Kale Pasta

I love fennel.
I love kale.

Sooo when Blue Apron combined the two in a recipe this week, one could say I was excited. :)

They put together a pasta recipe with the chopped vegetables and some interesting flavors, like dried honey and breadcrumbs. I made the recipe, minus the breadcrumbs, and it was DELICIOUS!

The recipe was pretty easy too – something you could make at any time! You even need all of the ingredients. It’s great with everything of course but if you just want a simple, tasty meal, the version below is great!

Caramelized Fennel & Kale Pasta | sunshine & the bear Caramelized Fennel & Kale Pasta
Courtesy of: Blue Apron
Needs: Pasta pot; deep pan
Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta of your choice (we used bucatini)
  • 1 large fennel bulb (divide bulb and stems and chop, save fronds for garnish)
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale (remove stems and rip into small pieces)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/3 C pecorino cheese
  • 1/8 t red pepper flakes
  • S&P

Directions:

  1. Fill pot with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. When draining pasta, SAVE 1 C of the water.
  2. Wash and chop vegetables.
  3. Heat oil in a deep pan on medium until hot. Add onion, fennel and red pepper then cook until browned/caramelized.
  4. Add kale to vegetable mix and cook until wilted.
  5. Add pasta and 1/2 – 3/4 C water and cook until water is mostly absorbed.
  6. Mix in butter and cheese until melted.
  7. Season with S&P.
  8. Enjoy!

[Recipe] Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies GF/DF/V

Hooray! I finally got around to putting together this post. I’m sure you’re happy too. I’ll give you a minute to drool…

gluten free dairy free chocolate chip caramel cookies | sunshine & the bear

Go ahead, take your time… 

I did the same exact thing when I first heard the name of these tasty morsels! I had just found the adorable blog Fork and Beans and I was instantly enamored with all of her recipes – but this one called out to me. They were perfect for my office team because some of us have gluten tummy issues and/or are vegan, etc. BUT we still want to have tasty treats! haha These worked out really well and were a crowd pleaser!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
From the kitchen of: Fork and Beans
Needs: Electric mixer; small pan; cookie sheets
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 T flaxseed meal + 3 T warm water (mix and set for 5 minutes to be your “egg”)
  • 1 T nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 C gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t xanthan gum
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 c nondairy chocolate chips (if you don’t care about these being dairy-free, you can use regular chocolate chips!)
  • 9 pieces of Sea Salt Cocomel’s Caramels, each cut into 4s (or if you don’t care about these being vegan, you can just use any caramels!)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whip up the shortening and sugars together until well-blended. It’s best to use an electric mixer. 
  3. Add the flax “egg” and blend in.
  4. Add the vanilla and nondairy milk and mix until blended.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the other dry ingredients.
  6. Add half into the shortening mix and blend in well. Add the remainder of the dough and repeat. If your dough does not roll up into a ball and you find it crumbly, add another tablespoon of nondairy milk.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Roll 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball. Place 1 piece of the caramel into the middle of the ball and smooth over to ensure that it cannot be seen. Repeat for the remainder of the dough.
  9. Place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for approximately 10 minutes (mine took about 12 minutes to get slightly brown because I was using a newer cookie sheet – so do what works for you but stay around 10 minutes!)
  10. Allow to cool down on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
  11. Some of your cookies will drool out caramel and that is completely okay! If that happens all you have to do is take a spatula and gently bring the caramel and cookie together and intact.
  12. Enjoy!

[Recipe] Brussel Sprouts with Rosemary & Pistachios

Sigh, it’s fall. Like actually fall. The perfect 75 degree days have faded…But it’s not all downhill!

Besides being excited to wear my new puffy vest, fall brings around some of my favorite seasonal foods and flavors! One of which being Brussel sprouts! While you see them a lot all year (at least on my table), they’re often regulars on fall and winter menus.

And let’s not forget about how versatile they are – I love this list of 50 Ways to Eat Brussel Sprouts All Day, Every Day from Huff Post! I often use them raw in salads or roasted as a tasty side or chopped up in a light pasta!

We had a team potluck lunch at work today and I wanted to find a healthy side dish. I found this recipe that used brussel sprouts with pistachios and it seemed perfect for the fall weather! The original recipe came from Refinery 29, but I really love to roast them so I changed it up a bit! :)

roasted brussel sprout ingredients Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary and Pistachios
Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts (bottoms removed, halved)
  • 3/4 C pistachios (chopped)
  • 2 1/2 t sugar
  • 2 1/2 t sherry vinegar
  • 6 t olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • S+P

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place your pistachios in a baking pan and put in the over for approximately 10 minutes. Remove to cool, chop coarsely and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar and 1 tablespoon water over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar caramelizes to a mahogany brown color. Remove from heat and immediately add the vinegar, standing back to avoid splatters (it will splatter!). Whisk briefly, pour into a small heatproof container and set aside.
  4. In your baking pan, add your chopped sprouts, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix.
  5. Roast in your oven for 30 minutes (or until your desired brown).
  6. Add pistachios, mix and put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the sugar-vinegar gastrique to your mix and toss to coat and serve.
  8. Enjoy!

roasted brussel sprouts

 

[Recipe] Chia seed pudding

Let me preface this post by confirming that I was NOT into chia seeds when the craze first started. I mean, they are the same chia seeds you got with a chia pet, right?! Awkward… haha

BUT I’ll try anything. When I was challenged to add them to my weekly menu, I bought them…and now I’ve totally bought in. They are delicious and unbelievably nutritious!

My Tone It Up trainers had all the facts on why chia is so awesome:

  • A rich source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, chia seeds give you the necessary nutrients for gorgeous hair, healthy nails, and smooth, glowing skin! Beauty starts on the inside ;)
  • With 5 grams of protein per ounce, chia seeds are an amazing source of plant-based protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient needed for almost every function in your body. It even aids in weight control, and is a must for building lean muscle.
  • They’re a great source of fiber, which helps keep you feeling full, controlling hunger and balancing your appetite. It also means less sneaky snack attacks. Fiber helps regulate your system, which will contribute to detoxing!
  • High in magnesium, potassium and calcium! These essential nutrients keep your body healthy and energized!
  • They have the ability to absorb 10 times their weight in liquid, creating a unique gel that is incredibly hydrating and satisfying! Use chia seeds to make a vegan pudding or add some thickness to your smoothies…

Perfect segue…

chia seed pudding Simple Chia Seed Pudding ♥ 

  • 1 C coconut milk (get the can – for some reason it just tastes better!)
  • 1/4 C chia seeds
  • 1-2 T maple syrup
  • Toppings of your choice! 

Directions:

  1. In a glass container, add chia seeds and maple syrup to coconut milk.
  2. Whisk whisk whisk (Make sure you get all the little seeds in the corner of the bowl – if you don’t, those seeds might not absorb the liquid and will form a hard section in the corner!)
  3. Let the mixture sit for approximately 3 minutes then whisk again.
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour (it’s best to do it overnight or in the morning to prep for an afternoon treat!)
  5. Eat alone or add healthy toppings like unsweetened coconut or raisins or fresh fruit!
  6. Enjoy!

There are so many possibilities – what would you put on your chia pudding?