Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dinner Night and Farm Fresh Apple Crisp

My friends Lauren and Kelly were over for dinner night (potluck for the twenty-something crowd), and Kelly brought a fabulous apple crisp which has inspired me to share my favorite apple crisp recipe. With apple season just around the corner, this is an easy weeknight fall splurge. Kelly put together the dish after work and then baked it in the oven at my house while we were eating dinner. The recipe is at the end of the post.

In case you’re interested, the rest of our bring-what-you-have-in-the-fridge dinner night menu included grilled barbeque chicken breasts with oven-baked herbed fries, mixed green salad with raspberry vinaigrette and a 2007 bottle of Liguiria-region Pinot Grigio from the bargain wine shelf at Bin 604 - - - couldn’t have planned it better if we tried! We topped the night off with a cup of Roobois Bourbon Tea, a red loose leaf tea that I had picked up from Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter 2 while my husband and I were in Manhattan over the weekend. Another fabulous find and favorite! We're currently scoping out tea houses because we're creating new herbal tea blends on the farm - - so we'd love to have suggestions for places to visit.

Oh - - and creating ambiance for dinner night? It involved doing nothing. Simply moved a vase of flowers that had been sitting on my kitchen counter all week to the table and plugged in an iPod with all our favorite mixes. :)

All of us at Petticoat’s Advance are pretty intrigued by Bin 604’s “Girls on Grapes” - - a ladies-only wine club and online community. Membership starts at $25, which gives you a 15% discount on wine, exclusive invitations to tastings, an official “Girls who Swirl” t-shirt AND (the best part) a portion of your membership goes to support The Caroline Center. The Caroline Center is dedicated to helping unemployed and underemployed women find work in a career with potential for growth and advancement, thus creating a better future for themselves and their families. What a fabulous cause! Regardless of whether or not you sign up for the membership, a different grape is featured each month with notes on the grape and suggested selections. September features wines from Spain - - and the price is right! Selected wines range from $12.99 to $27.00. There’s a great archive of wine notes from other months (which dates back to 2004), too. A GREAT reference.

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Farm Fresh Apple Crisp
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8” square pan with shortening, butter or cooking spray. In a large bowl, peel and slice 4 firm sweet and tart apples (I like granny smith or pink lady). Toss apples in 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Spread evenly in bottom of prepared pan.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup of quick cooking oats, 1/3 cup of butter, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 3/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Mix well and sprinkle evenly over apples.

Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

** Notes, images from this post from and

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