Apple Cranberry Cobbler

Cranberry Apple Cobbler

As I was growing up, my Dad was fond of saying something to the effect that he wished he knew at my age what he knew at his age. I think most of us can identify with that sentiment as, “If only I knew then what I know now.” I never really quite grasped Dad’s version until the most recent of years. I look back on the past decade and think if I had the knowledge I had now but the youth I had a decade ago, I could really rock a few things.

On a much smaller scale, if the person I was at 8 a.m. could have given my 5 p.m. self some advice, it probably would have gone something like this:

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything, today. Just pick something and run with it. Even though you are pretending to decide between what you should do and what you want to do, you know what the day will bring so go ahead and charge your camera battery. You haven’t received a “battery low” message as of late, but trust me, it’s dead as a door nail. That way, when you set up to take a picture as daylight is fading fast, the camera will turn on.

Accordingly, you will want to make sure the charger is fully plugged into the outlet. This will save you a lot of frustration. Repeat, a lot of frustration. And since we are on that topic now, the gorgeous photo you see accompanying the recipe write-up will look nothing like what you will actually get. The tip to tent the dish with aluminum foil in the event the topping gets too brown should really be the first thing you do because 25 minutes into 60 minutes of baking the top will be DARK.

Resist the urge to throw in the towel and take a nap because you will eventually be able to get a decent picture of your ugly apple-cranberry cobbler before it gets too dark.

Cranberry Apple Cobbler

Those things I did today, at the expense of Christmas shopping and reading a great book, were yoga and baking. The frustration I felt in yoga class today was the perfect foreshadowing to the baking I attempted. I practiced with a teacher who was new to me, and I had a difficult time following her cues. Instead of flowing through poses, it was very start-and-stop. I was pretty much over the whole experience when I happened to see a girl in front of me do this crazy arm balance. Oh, come freaking on.

As the class was drawing to a close, I noticed a few girls behind me were pretty much just sitting on their mats and taking it all in. I knew one of those girls was new only because she had stopped me in the hall earlier to ask where she could find a mat. When I saw them sitting there looking utterly defeated, it hit home that they might be thinking, “Oh, come freaking on” towards me when I was in one of the arm balances I can manage. They couldn’t have possibly known it took me a good 10 months of practice to get to the point they witnessed today.

Cranberry Apple Cobbler

This led me to think about something I have been considering quite a bit as of late: beginnings. It is so easy, at least as adults, to quit something new before we give it a chance to bloom. So many around us have achieved a level of proficiency that intimidates or frustrates to the point that, when we compare ourselves to where they are, makes it easy to quit. For me, yoga is a great example. I tried Ashtanga in April, and I haven’t practiced it since May simply because I couldn’t get my butt off the ground. (That will make zero sense to anyone who has never heard of this style of yoga – and just eight months ago I would have been in that group – but to those who have, it will make perfect sense.)

Thank the heavens above a yoga teacher who makes her living teaching Ashtanga recently posted a YouTube video in which she said it took her three months to get her butt off the ground. Perspective can be everything, and hearing her say that reminded me of the way I used to think. Ironically, this shift in my thinking occurred in a yoga class. I saw a girl get up into a bird of paradise and instead of thinking, “I will never be able to do that,” I thought, “Wow, I could do that if I stick with this.”

So, the next time you are doing something new – whether it be trying a recipe or contorting your body in a yoga class – and things aren’t going so well, remember what you  have to look forward to if you keep going. Just because things did not go smoothly this one time, failure is not necessarily a given. When cobbled together, the eventual outcome can be a delight, or in this case, delicious. My path today looked much more like a wild zig-zag than a straight line, but I got to where I wanted to go: writing a blog post and sharing a recipe. Enjoy!

“You give up on what you need to be doing because you forget that you’re worth it. This is why most people aren’t leading exemplary lives. You have to believe in yourself so much that you’re willing to do what’s uncomfortable, time-consuming, inconvenient, and on occasion seemingly impossible. When you don’t believe in yourself this much, pretend.” ― Victoria Moran

Apple-Cranberry Cobbler
  • For the Filling
  • 5 Granny Smith apples, chopped
  • 1½ cups cranberries
  • ¼ granulated sugar
  • ¼ brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • ½ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • For the Topping
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Place all of the filling ingredients except the butter in a large bowl and toss to coat.
  2. Put the butter in a 9 X 13 baking dish, and then put the dish in the oven and start heating it to 350 F. Keep an eye on the dish and remove when the butter is melted.
  3. Meanwhile, make the topping by whisking the five topping ingredients together.
  4. When the dish with melted butter comes out of the oven, pour the fruit and spice filing in the dish, then layer the topping over the fruit.
  5. Bake for one hour or until the juices are bubbling and the topping is golden. Cover the dish with aluminum foil at any time it the topping gets too brown.
Feel free to peel your apples before chopping.

I ended up making an additional ½ batch of the topping as the yield did not appear to offer much coverage in a 9 x 13 baking dish.


Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread

When the calendar moved to December this past weekend, my first thought was to leave sweet potatoes firmly planted in the past. In my mind, these root vegetables have a place at the Thanksgiving table, and that is about it.

The problem was, I had a stack of sweet potato recipes that I fully intended to enjoy in November but simply did not get around to. Shelve them for next year, or get to baking? Get to baking.

This bread sunk a bit along the middle, and it was so moist I was initially concerned I failed to bake it until fully done. Turns out all was well, and I have been enjoying a slice for breakfast ever since.

Though I opted to sweeten my bread up with mini chocolate chips, incorporating nuts will make for a more savory option. Consider enjoying a savory slice with a bowl of soup or salad. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the sweet potato puree, brown sugar, applesauce, milk, and vegetable oil until well combined.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F for 60 minutes until the bread is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 45 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If needed, run a knife along the edges of the pan to fully loosen the loaf.
Like pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree is available in canned form. I made my own by roasting four small sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes. When they were cool enough to handle, I simply popped them out of their skins and mashed them with a fork.

For a savory twist, add chopped pecans or other nuts in place of the mini chocolate chips.

Spiced Baked Apples

Stuffed Apples

Though it is now well past Thanksgiving, I can’t help but leave November with one final Stuffed! recipe. It seems appropriate considering stuffed is how I, and I suspect many of you, felt about a week ago.

These stuffed apples are good for ridding the kitchen of a few lingering cranberries. They also make for a sweet and filling dessert that, aside from the brown sugar, is not all that unhealthy. Plus, you can bake these apples in your slow cooker.

Stuffed Apples

The cranberries themselves add a nice tart pop to the sweet baked apple and spiced brown sugar. Though I did not garnish my stuffed apples, allowing a dollop of ice cream or cool whip to melt over their tops seems like a great idea. With just a few simple steps and a little bit of time, you too can enjoy sweet stuffed apples.

Another way to use up fresh cranberries is to sugar them. This creates a fun snack as well as a simple syrup good for flavoring sparkling water. And if cranberry sauce remains in your kitchen, a recipe for warm cranberry dip might solve your problems leftover problems.

Stuffed Apples

So long, November. Hello, holiday baking…

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Spiced Apples
Serves: 5
  • 5 medium apples
  • ⅓ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional
  1. Core or hollow out the centers of apples. Be sure to leave the bottoms fully intact.
  2. If desired, peel the top third of each apple.
  3. Combine the cranberries, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the apples.
  5. Place in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until tender.
  6. Garnish with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.