Making apple sauce at home is way easier than you think

apple sauce

Here’s my own version of quick and easy apple sauce!

My daughter is home sick today. Stomach bug. Fun! So we are currently limited to what our family doctor calls the BART diet. Bananas, apple sauce, rice and toast.

Ada hates bananas. And for some reason she isn’t feeling toast today. (though she has eaten 100 saltines…) which leaves us with apple sauce and rice. And of course, I am out of apple sauce. But I have apples… so I figured, why not? I’ll just make my own. Now in the interest of full disclosure, my father makes the best apple sauce in the world. He picks the apples from the tree in the yard, cooks them down forever, has a whole ricer setup… My version is nowhere near that much of a production. But it was still good. And easier than trying to figure out how to run out to the store and get a commercial version when your kid is home alone sick. Plus I like to think I have apple sauce making in my blood.

Here’s how I did it:

Cut up 4 apples (or less… whatever you have on hand)
Add 3/4 cup apple juice or cider
½ cup coconut sugar (you can use regular— we just had this on had and I figured why not?)
1 tsp of cinnamon

Cook everything down for about 15 minutes till the apples are nice and soft. Then smash them with a potato masher till they reach the desired consistency. You can get a smoother version in a food processor, but I wanted chunks since this is going to be my daughter’s dinner tonight.

Soup to nuts this takes about 30 minutes and is So. Much. Better. than sauce from a store… You may never go back to store-bought again!

Monday, Monday or a few links about getting back on the proverbial horse

Over a million people marched in Washington DC for the Women's March on Washington. My family was there along with lots of our friends. It was a day I won't forget.

Over a million people marched in Washington DC for the Women’s March on Washington. My family was there along with lots of our friends. It was a day I won’t forget.


There is so much going on right now… my head is literally spinning! But a person has to start somewhere, and I have finally decided to stop piddling around and just write a little bit about the crazy world we are living in these days… I’ve been living it, organizing with the brave and amazing women who organized the Women’s March on Washington and just trying to stay active rather than put my head in the sand.

Which is what I recommend for all of you, too.

Here are a few related links… somewhat scattered in order, but all somehow dealing with what is going on in the US politically and how to make sense of it all. Oh and don’t worry– this isn’t becoming a hard nosed political blog, but I do find it next to impossible to skip over all of the insanity. Wouldn’t be authentic, now would it?

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is my hero and she should be yours too. Here’s what she wrote about why she refused to defend Trump’s Muslim ban.

Here’s a piece I wrote for New York Magazine’s The Cut about teaching my daughter how to be an activist.

And while we’re on the topic of kids, At Once always has thoughtful things to say about raising thoughtful aware but healthy and safe kids. If you’re anything like me, you can’t read enough stuff like this.

The Women’s March on Washington wasn’t just a one day thing. The objective is to take all of that positive energy to the next level and really affect change. Every 10 days they are leading an action on behalf of a cause they care about. Be a part of the movement and join the 10 Actions in 100 Days campaign.

Movement to Oppose Trump is an email newsletter that goes out once a week with a few short specific actions you can take to help stem the tide.

MLK on drawing up a blueprint for our lives

I’ve been sitting here, with loads of work to do, a mountain of unread emails, an apartment to clean (or at least make semi-presentable for people coming over) all kinds of self-care resolutions to wish I had time to fulfill… and my MLK post to write.

So what do I do? In classic procrastination style, I open up my email newsletter from NY Times Cooking, which my friend Sam Sifton writes, and which I almost always make time to read no matter what else is on my plate. The first line after ‘Good Morning’? “Here is Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, Oct. 26, 1967.” I clicked on the link, watched the speech, cried as I always do when I hear Dr King speak, and then realized that my search for a blog post was over.

So thanks, Sam, for hooking us all up with today’s content. And thank you, Dr. King, for continuing to be a beacon of light and an inspiration to us all… especially as we enter these murky and unstable times. And for speaking so eloquently to kids about what their potential can be if they take themselves seriously.

Parents, if you have kids old enough to listen, you should all sit down and watch this video today. And then let us all pay a little attention to our blueprints, make adjustments if necessary, and head out into the bright world full of determination to change what needs to be changed, to protect what needs to be protected and to treat everyone with the love and respect that we would like to have shown to us.

Amen.

And Happy Birthday, Dr. King.

Sometimes hanging out with dogs is just what the doctor ordered…

find shadow

This is Rasha and his great dane puppy Tigran. Who is going to be HUGE, by the way…

For the past 6 months, I have been managing the Instagram for a posse of dog lovers called Find Shadow whose current purpose is to help people in Brooklyn and Queens to find their lost dogs. I would never have defined myself as a dog person, but I have to say that hanging out in parks and dog runs and just talking to folks with their awesome four legged partners is starting to make a convert out of me. Plus with all of the hectic stuff that’s going on in our geo-political universe as of late, sometimes you just want to feel good. And nothing feels better than helping somebody find their lost dog.

So in the interest of spreading some of that good feeling around, and also just to let you know that this crew exists and can help you if you’ve lost your dog, I’ve posted some of my favorite shots below. Please enjoy them. And if you or anyone you know has lost their pup… send them to findshadow.com for some help.

Merry Christmas to all…

xmas tree 2016

Put everything else aside just for a minute and hold your loved ones close. Tell your parents you love them. Smile at a stranger. Go out of your way for someone before they ask you for a favor. And remember that the more joy you can hold in your heart, the stronger a warrior for good you will become.

And we’re going to need all the warriors we can get.

For unto us was born this day a savior. And that savior is all of us.

Only 5 days till Christmas…

christmas cookies

My mother and daughter got together over the weekend and made some holiday cookies… This was one of my favorites.

It’s been a hell of a fall.

And now, suddenly, it’s practically the 25th and, if you are anything like me, there are still all sorts of folks that you need to buy things for. Here are a few ideas that may just save you.

screwdriver key
Who doesn’t need a keychain screwdriver? (You have to order this today to get free expedited shipping, but at $9 what’s stopping you?)

stylus
Pretending that your iPad is a piece of paper is evidently all the rage these days. I’ll bet there are at least a few people on your list who would love to get their hands on one of these stylus pencils by Digital Gold.

red flower wellness kit
It’s cold and dark these days… for all sorts of reasons. A reviving wellness ritual set from Red Flower is just the thing to set anyone back on the path to sanity. Plus they are on sale right now for $50, so maybe you should get one for yourself while you’re at it!

alessi teapot
Everybody drinks tea once in a while, if not obsessively. So a teapot never fails. Especially when it looks like this Alessi “Cha” Kettle/Teapot.

globe puzzle
This is technically a toy for kids, but I can think of plenty of grownups who would be into the challenge of putting together this 3D Earth Puzzle.

Monday, Monday (on a Wednesday!) or more links about what to do with all of those damned apples…

apples

Ok so now it’s mid October, and we spent a recent weekend really living the following locavore dream:

Head down the road to a local farm with close friends and a gaggle of kids, pick waaaay too many apples, grab some produce at the farmstand, stop by the fish market on the way home for the main course, and a delicious dinner (all sourced from within 30 miles or so) is had by all.

But now it’s a week later and we still have So. Many. Apples. Every year I somehow forget that I don’t need 75 apples on my kitchen shelf, so I go crazy picking tons of apples, and then I get home and reality sets in. Because while it is totally delicious, one can only make so much curried apple soup in a fortnight.

So the next two weeks are gonna be all about apples in this house. How shall I cook them? Let me count the ways, whilst you click on the links for the recipes:

Clearly, there will be glazed apple cider donuts.

I am also thinking we should make some magic apple plum cobbler. Because any dish that has the word “magic” in it is alright by me.

For cocktail hour this time of year, one should always consider serving up a nice apple smash.

Mark Bittman helps us get healthy with this lovely apple slaw.

Ummm… did I hear you say caramel apple upside down cake?

And while we’re on the topic of bittersweet candied apples

Last but not least, before you roll into bed stuffed to the gills with deliciousness, I give you braised and bruleéd apples with ice cream. You can thank me later.

Here are some links about getting it together, posted on a Friday rather than the usual Monday. Because late is better than never.

It has been a long time since my last post. All sorts of crazy things are happening in the world (shootings, bombs in Chelsea, Donald Trump for president…) plus summer is really over and school is in full swing. It is time for my autumnal press of the restart button, when I make all kinds of resolutions about how I will be finishing the year strong. Maybe you’d like to join me…?

Here are a few of my plans:

I’m going to keep eating at home most nights with my family. And feeling really good about it after watching the video above.

I’m putting down my phone and reading more books, like The Underground Railroad by Colson Whittehead.

This year I swear to God we’re going to make the whole school/homework/activities thing less haphazard.

I’m going to keep things clean– naturally– with apple cider vinegar.

I’m going to cook more profound food from The Moon Juice Cookbook. Anything that calls itself cosmic alchemy sounds good to me!

I’m going to go see more art: like the Alma Thomas show at The Studio Museum.

I am going to start to learn how to more effectively use all of these digital tools I have lying around the house. And then I’m going to actually organize the unruly jungle that is my desktop.

#stillsummer

summer corn soup

The most delicious, and simple, corn soup you will ever make. Make some quickly before the corn goes out of season…

Just looking at this photograph makes me a bit wistful for the lazy summer days in Maine… But to be honest, the corn is better down on Long Island. So the post-Labor Day version of this soup promises to be even better than the bowl pictured above.

We had a few extra ears of corn from dinner one night, so my husband, who is extremely adept in the kitchen, invented this chowder for the next day’s lunch. I constantly thank my lucky stars that I had the good fortune to marry a man who loves to cook. And now you all can share in my good fortune.

Corn chowder á la Josh

4 ears of corn
2 Tbs butter
large spoonful of sour cream
2/3 cup milk
pinch salt
a bit of chopped dill and bacon for garnish (if you’re feeling it)

Boil the corn for 4 minutes, then cut the kernels off and toss them into a pan with all of the rest of the ingredients. Cook till the butter melts. Throw the whole thing into the blender and blend till smooth. Top with a bit of dill and some broken bits of bacon and enjoy. Makes 3 good sized bowls of soup.