Cider Braised Country Style Pork Ribs & Cannellini Beans

Cider Braised Pork Ribs and BeansThere’s been an awful lot of apples and cider, sage and rosemary, molasses and brown sugar thrown around in my kitchen this fall.  And plenty of pork.  I feel like I’m heading into a flavor rut, yet I can’t help myself; these ingredients just sing fall and it’s exactly what I’m craving this time of year.

So even though I’d been planning to shake things up a bit last weekend, I was dying to try a recipe for slow-cooked cider beans I’d seen a few days before.  They looked like an autumnal take on baked beans, one of my favorite guilty pleasures of summer.  In the recipe, beans are simmered in apple cider with molasses and mustard.  I decided to make it my own and braise country style pork ribs along with the beans.  

And I’m glad did!  I’m glad I didn’t try too hard to reroute my food rut because it ended up being totally delicious and exactly right for a fall weekend.  

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Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Chorizo Soup with Greens

Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Chorizo Soup with Greens

You turn the radio on and they’re hyping a winter storm that’s moving in.  Your reflexes kick in and you immediately grab your Dutch oven.  It’s instinctual.  It’s time for a hearty cold-weather soup.

Here’s a good one to get you through the first or thirtieth storm this winter.  It’s a stick-to-your-ribs combination of chickpeas, sweet potatoes, chorizo sausage, spinach, and kale simmered with smoked paprika and cumin.  It’ll warm you to your core.  It might even leave you hoping for more cold, miserable days.  Umm…maybe not, but it’s a good soup and you should give it a go.

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Pear & Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts & Cheese Croutons

Pear and Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts and Cheese CroutonsIt may look like a salad but really it’s my thinly veiled attempt at dressing a grilled cheese sandwich in healthy attire.  And what could be wrong with that?  Make it, taste it, and agree with me: absolutely nothing.

This salad began as a late-night, got-to-use-up-this-and-that kind of dinner.  This and that that night was a handful of lettuce, a nub of cheese, and a stump of baguette that added up to a really good dinner that I was more than happy have an excuse to grocery shop for a few days later and share with you.

And I’ve got to say, this salad has got it going on!  We have greens and pears for our health, candied walnuts for crunch and pizzazz, and melted cheese for creamy decadence.

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Sour Cream Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Crumble

Sour Cream Apple Cake with Brown Sugar CrumbleRemember a few weeks ago when I told you I was on the prowl for a go-to apple cake recipe?  I made a French apple cake with caramel sauce and was fairly convinced that I’d found The One.  It was simple and full of apple-y goodness, embellished with a ridiculously good caramel sauce.  Perfect…

…until my mind started wandering.  It wandered off into dangerous territory with thoughts of crumble and streusel.  Thoughts of a cake you might get away with serving as breakfast.  Rings, tubes, bundts.  Buttermilk, sour cream, oh my…I had to bake another cake!

This time around, I went for a cinnamon-spiced sour cream apple cake, loaded with fruit, and topped with an addictive brown sugar crumble.  It’s perfect, warm from the oven with a cup of coffee or your afternoon tea.  Go for decadence and top it with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream and you’re looking at a very worthy fall dessert.  I think it’s safe to say there will never be just 1 apple cake in my life; this is a field I’ve got to keep playing.

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