Blog This Blog That...A Short Introduction

A Little Hello
Time to get started, I suppose. First off, this probably won't be a daily blog style, more of a post as I can due to my schedule, but hopefully it'll give you a nice taste of the meals and desserts I've happily grown up with. As well as learning the ropes of how to work the blog...Be on the lookout as I'm sure formatting will continue to change.I hope to use this as a place to share some good recipes with others and learn to improve upon my own cooking skills! After all, the best way to learn is by doing, correct? As an Occupational Therapist I will say, it is important to engage in occupations that we find interesting and meaningful to help improve our everyday quality of life! It just so happens, for me, I am interested in cooking/baking, and writing (So kill two birds with one stone here!). With that all said, I welcome you here, and hope you can find a recipe or two that you throughly enjoy (and can put your own spin on). Happy food hunting :)

May 14, 2011

Two for One: Glazed Apples and Glazed Carrots

As I'd posted in my Meatballs and Spaghetti Dinner post, the picture at the beginning illustrates my dinner of meatballs and spaghetti, tomato cucumber salad, and a side of glazed apples. Growing up I always knew we were going to have a delicious side dish when I could smell the cinnamon and apples cooking in the kitchen. Listening to the sizzle of the juices as the apples became coated in the sweetness always made my mouth water. Fruit is good by itself, but add a light glaze to it and cook it in a pan until its warmed through and coated in the glaze...just something about it is amazing! My mom likes to make pan sauces for a lot of different dishes.
Their quick, simple, and often add just the right flavoring to a meal. It was a good way to mask tastes that I didn't like, such as cooked carrots. For the longest them I highly disliked cooked carrots. Something about the mushy texture, and bland taste just didn't suit my tastes. Then my mom started to jazz up the carrots with some butter and flavor, but I still wasn't having it. It was only when she started making glazed baby carrots that I really started to enjoy the sweet, crunchy treat! Back to the fruit. Everyone enjoys a good homemade apple sauce, but it can sometimes seem time consuming to go through that process. Cooking apples for flavor is nice in some dishes, but by themselves apples could make a nice side. So how to jazz them up? Why, add a glaze! This was another family favorite of ours, was mom's cinnamon glazed apples! The apples were sweet, but the glaze was the right mixture of sweet and a little sour to balance the taste and make an excellent side! So, without further adieu, I give two recipes that bring into light the pan sauce glaze!

Glazed Apples
*this is my own adaptation as I never did get the exact recipe from my mother on this glaze, but it is adapted from the same glaze that goes on the baby carrots*

brown sugar
orange juice
lime juice
cranberry juice (or any other sweet juice)

In a medium sauce pan mix about 2 - 3 tbsp of brown sugar, a splash of lime juice, splash of orange juice, squeeze of honey, and cinnamon. Simmer them together on medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly, make sure to stir frequently. You can test the sauce to make sure it's the right sweetness or sour for you. If it's too sour still add a bit more honey, and if it's too sweet add a bit more lime juice. While its simmering you can cut up your apple(s). For the sake of me cooking for myself I just cut up one apple but you can cut up more if you'd like, you would just have to adjust the sauce ingredients to make enough to coat the apples. After the apples are sliced, lay them out in the pan and continue to cook slowly stirring the apples to turn them over and get coated well. Cook for a couple more mins (you'll see the apples have a nice coating) and then serve. I always drizzle a little extra juice over the apples when serving them.

Glazed Baby Carrots
*this is straight from my mom's cook book that she made*

1 lb pkg peeled baby carrots
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tsp. butter or margarine
1/4 Tsp. cinnamon

Cook carrots in water until fork tender, and drain. Carrots can be cooked in the microwave or on top of the stove. Place brown sugar, orange juice, butter, and cinnamon in sauce pan and cook on medium 2-3 mins, stirring often, until bubbly and thickened slightly. Add carrots and cook 1 more min or so, carefully stirring to coat carrots. 

Final Thoughts
There you have it, two simple glazes one for a fruit and one for veggies. Both make delicious side dishes, and the apples taste delicious cold as well. Hope you enjoy! Happy eats! 

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