Apple Fritters

The best way to enjoy these warm, chewy, crisp on the edge full of delicious flavor Apple Fritters is with a big cup of coffee and your loved ones!  Perfect for a cold fall Saturday!

Apple Fritters  |

I have loved Apple Fritters me entire life.  When I was a child, every Sunday my parents would take my family to church and most times we’d stop after for “coffee & doughnuts” in the church hall.  If they were out of my favorite maple bars, my #2 was always an apple fritter.

Apple Fritters  |

There’s just something about the crisp pointy edges, sweet glaze on top and the juicy apples in the center of the chewy dough that I couldn’t get enough of.   And in the town I grew up in there were several local bakeries that whipped up these fritters every day so I was never without one! Unfortunately, most of those bakeries have closed and a hot, fresh fritter is hard to find now a days.

Apple Fritters  |

Until I came to Germany.  Apple Fritters are easily found during apple season here and I’ve fallen in love with them again!  So much that I decided it was time to try making them myself at home!  When I scored a big bag of local German apples for only 2 Euro, I knew it was a sign to make me some Apple Fritters!

Now, the process was long and there were a lot of steps, but let me tell you… it WAS WORTH THE EFFORT!  I’m already planning the next time I’m going to make these.  Seriously, they are so good.

Apple Fritters  |

Soft in the middle and slightly chewy.  Juicy apples.  Crisp edges.  Sweet glaze.  You can’t ask for anything more in an apple fritter.

Well, except maybe MORE FRITTERS please!


5.0 from 2 reviews
Apple Fritters
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: doughnut, breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast (2¼tsp)
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 small/medium apples
  • 3Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Thermometer
  • Spider spatula (Asian style wire spoon)
  1. Whisk together the yeast, sugar, 3 cups of the flour, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Fit the dough hook onto the mixer.
  2. With the mixer on low, pour in the room temperature milk until combined. Add the eggs and continue mixing until incorporated. Do your best to get as much of the dough mixed together to form a ball. It's okay if it's not all together, you can knead it in the next step.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of flour on your work surface and roll out the dough ball. Knead the dough a few times until the ball is smooth and everything has been incorporated.
  4. Add one tablespoon of butter to the dough and knead until incorporated. Repeat until all the butter has been added.
  5. Lightly butter a glass bowl and turn the dough out into it. Flip the dough a few times in the bowl to coat with butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubles in size This should take an hour or two.
  1. Peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks. Place the prepared apples in a bowl and toss in the lemon juice.
  2. In a medium pan over medium high heat, melt and cook the butter until it browns and smells nutty. Add the apples and toss to coat. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the apples and stir. Cook on medium high until just tender. Add the vingear and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Assemble the Dough
  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto the flour. Roll the dough out into a long rectangle about ½in thick.
  3. Spread ¾ of the apple over the dough. Beginning with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough away from you in a tight spiral to create a log. Turn the dough 90 degrees and press to flatten. Spread the remaining apples over the dough. Beginning with the edge closest to you, roll the dough away from you in a tight spiral. NOTE: Don't worry if the apples squeeze out, just shove them back in where you can!
  4. Roll the dough out into another rectangle about ½in thick. Cut the dough into 12 even pieces.
  5. Place a piece in your hand and pull each corner up into the center creating a rough ball. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and allow the dough to almost double in size. Make sure the dough rises in a warm place.
  1. Just before you're ready to begin frying the fritters, prepare the glaze.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. You'll want a slightly thick and spreadable consistency. Stir often to prevent a crust forming on the top of the glaze.
Fry the Fritters
  1. In a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven, heat 6 inches of vegetable oil to 360F degrees.
  2. While the oil is heating, prepare a cooling rack by lining it with paper towels.
  3. Once the heat is to temperature, gently lay 2 dough balls into the hot oil. The fritters sink at first but will float to the top. Cook about 60-90 seconds on each side. You want them to cook all the way through and have a dark brown color. Use the metal spider spatula to flip and remove the fritters. Place the cooked fritter on the paper towels to drain and cool. Allow the oil to come back to 360F degrees before frying another batch of fritters. Continue until all the dough has been fried. NOTE: After the first batch has been fried, cut into a fritter to check that the dough has been cooked through, if not then adjust the time you fry on each side accordingly.
Glaze the Fritters
  1. Once the fritters have cooled to the touch, brush the glaze generously over the top and side of each fritter. No need to flip them over, just make sure to get the sides that you can reach.
  2. Allow the glaze to harden before serving.
  3. Store in a non-airtight container for up to 3 days. They are best if eaten immediately.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.


Patriot Day Apple Pie Cupcakes

September 11, 2001 is a day that changed the face of America forever.  Today, on the 13th anniversary of the attack on America at the World Trade Center in New York City, let’s take a moment to remember those lives lost and to thank the First Responders who selflessly put themselves into harms way to save those they could.  Let’s not also forget the military men and women who, since 9/11, have put their countries safety first and have fought vigilantly to bring the terrorists who attached us to justice.

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Patriot Day Apple Pie Cupcakes |

There is no way that a cupcake can ever be enough to thank the first responders for what that did on 9/11 and in the weeks following.  There is no way a cupcake could should ever be used to celebrate 9/11.  But, maybe this cupcake could serve as a reminder of all the great things that America is, was and is still to become.

Because really… what’s greater in American than apple pie?

Let these Patriot Day Apple Pie Cupcakes serve as a beacon of light, love and joy on a solemn day and remind us of what is great in America.

My Patriot Day Apple Pie Cupcakes are a light cinnamon cupcake filled with apple pie filling and topped with a light whipped cream.  Simple, easy and so delicious.

Patriot Day Apple Pie Cupcakes |

Thank you to all those First Responders on 9/11.  Thank you to the men and women in the military who fight to keep us free.  And to those who lost their lives…. You will NEVER be forgotten.

Greaseproof cupcake liners are from Sweets & Treats Boutique.

Apple Pie Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Serves: 18 cupcakes
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ sour cream
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted 3 times
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1⅛ cup sugar
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft & at room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable shortening
Apple Pie Filling
  • 3 large tart apples, cored and diced small
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ¼ -1/2 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness you want)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Whipped Cream Topping
  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a small bowl , whisk together the egg whites, egg, vanilla extract, ¼ cup of the milk and sour cream. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the cake flour three times. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves,baking powder, salt and sugar and sift two additional times.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour mixture with the butter and shortening on medium speed for about 30 seconds or until it looks finely clumped.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the remaining ½ cup milk and mix until just combined. It will be thick. Scrape the sides of the bowl again.
  6. Add the egg mixture in three parts, mixing for 20 seconds on medium speed and scraping the sides of the bowl between each addition. NOTE: DO NOT OVER MIX the batter. You want it to be smooth with all the ingredients incorporated.
  7. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake for 17-19 minutes, rotating pan after 12 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when they are done.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Apple Pie Filling
  1. In a frying pan on medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the diced apples and stir until coated with butter.
  2. Sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon and stir until coated.
  3. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Cook over medium-high heat until the apples begin to soften and their juices begin to come out, stirring often. NOTE: You want the apples to still be slightly firm, so try not to cook them too long. The sauce around the apples will also need to thicken during this time. This will take about 15 minutes, give or take 5-10 minutes.
  5. Once you've reached your desired tenderness in the apples and the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Whipped Cream Topping
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on high speed for about 1 minute.
  2. With the mixer still running, slowly add the sugar and vanilla.
  3. Continue beating until the whipped cream is stiff.
  1. Core the center of each cupcake out.
  2. Fill generously with the apple pie filling.
  3. Top with a swirl or dollop of whipped cream.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013:
Apple Snickerdoodles

A twist on a traditional cookie, these Apple Snickerdoodles are full of shredded apples, spices and loaded with flavor! They are the perfect cookie for your next cookie swap!

Apple Snickerdoodles - freshly shredded apples add another layer of deliciousness to these classic cookies! |

Today’s post is a special one.  Yes, it includes pretty pictures.  Yes, it includes a recipe.   Yes, there’s a story.  But, here’s where it gets good… this post and hundreds of others were involved in the 3rd annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!


The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap pairs 4 amazing bloggers together to swap cookies with each other.  Each person makes 1 dozen of their favorite cookie, packages it up and ships it off to the other 3 bloggers! And then the yummy part… three different types of cookies!

Apple Snickerdoodles - freshly shredded apples add another layer of deliciousness to these classic cookies! |

Last year I made Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms and the year before it was Grinch Cookies!   This year, I’ve made a super delicious twist on a classic cookie… the Apple Snickerdoodle!

Oh… and this year we raised a butt-load of money for a great cause!  $13,778.40 this year was raised and it’s all going to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer!  This organization raises money for pediatric cancer research.  Such a great cause!  How sweet is that?

Apple Snickerdoodles - freshly shredded apples add another layer of deliciousness to these classic cookies! |

The bloggers I swapped with this year are some pretty sweet ladies!

I had never heard of any of these bloggers before, so I was thrilled to be able to get to know them and their recipes!  Each blogger is unique in style and type of recipes they like to post on their blog.  Make sure you visit them to see what cookies they made for the swap!

Apple Snickerdoodles - freshly shredded apples add another layer of deliciousness to these classic cookies! |

The cookies I made are a twist on a traditional cookie.  To make these Apple Snickerdoodles, I took a classic recipe and added shredded apple to the batter!  The apple flavor was subtle, but really changed the entire dynamic of the cookie!  They were deeeeelicious!

To decorate them for shipping, I packaged them in plastic bags and tied yellow curling ribbon at the top to close the bag.   Then, I attached some cute tags that the Swap provided for us! Aren’t they cute?

So, if you need a cookie for a cookie swap, a teacher girl… or just a Tuesday afternoon, try these Apple Snickerdooles!  You’ll really love them!


Apple Snickerdoodles
Prep time
Cook time
Serves: 3+ dozen cookies
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded apple (about 1 large apple)
  • ½ cup sugar + 2 Tbsp cinnamon, for rolling
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes.
  2. One at a time, add the eggs and mix until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla. Mix again.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, corn starch, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  4. In two parts, add the flour to the wet mixture and mix on low until just combined.
  5. Place the shredded apples on top of 3 paper towels and roll up. Squeeze out the juice of the apples as if you were wringing out a towel. (NOTE: You want the flavor of the apples, but not the juice from the apples in these cookies.) Fold in the apples.
  6. Cover and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the ½ cup sugar and 3 Tbsp cinnamon.
  9. Roll 1" balls of dough in your hands and drop into the cinnamon/sugar. Toss the balls until they are covered in cinnamon/sugar. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet 1" apart.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden, the tops are set and no more wet dough can be seen in the center/top.
  11. Allow to cool on the pan for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Chunky Apple Sugar Cookie Sheet Cake Bars

Chunks of sweet honey crisp apples surrounded by cinnamon sugar cookie dough topped with whipped cinnamon buttercream make these Chunky Apple Sugar Cookie Sheet Cake Bars a must-bake dessert for your family!

Chunky Apple Sugar Cookie Sheet Cake Bars - Chunks of apples fill this sugar cookie sheet cake that's covered in a creamy cinnamon buttercream |

My daughter has been eating apples a lot lately… almost one everyday.  She slices them, puts them in a bowl with a spoonful of peanut butter or sometimes with a couple slices of cheese.  Emily loves apples.

Her love of this crispy fruit got me to thinking about baking with them.   How could I incorporate the crunch and sweet flavor of a Honey Crisp apple into a dessert??  Hmm… a cupcake? Naw.  I’ve done that before.  Pie?  Yup, done that too.

Cookies?  YES! Winner! I haven’t made an apple cookie yet!

But wait… how about a cookie cake?


This chunky apple sugar cookie sheet cake bars, have a sugar cookie flavor with a cake-like texture but are loaded with chucks of sweet and crisp apples and tons of delicious cinnamon flavor.  I’ve topped them with a thin layer of whipped cinnamon frosting.

They get their name from the way they are baked… in a sheet cake pan and from their texture.  These bars definitely have the sugar cookie texture and flavor, yet they are thicker and have a crumb like a cake.

Chunky Apple Sugar Cookie Sheet Cake Bars - Chunks of apples fill this sugar cookie sheet cake that's covered in a creamy cinnamon buttercream |

It’s a cookie. It’s a cake.  It’s a bar.  It’s a Cookie Sheet Cake Bar!

This would make a great treat for a pot-luck or party.  It can be sliced in any size and would be delicious with a scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream on the side!  Ooohh!  Why didn’t I think of that before I took the pictures and ate 3 pieces?   ha ha ha

Yum.  Seriously.  These sugar cookie sheet cake bars are like a slice of apple pie, but better.  You need to try them!!!


Chunky Apple Sugar Cookie Sheet Cake Bars
  • 2½ cups Honey Crisp apples, peeled and diced (about 1½ large apples)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray with Pillsbury Baking Spray with flour a jelly roll pan or large, tall sided cookie sheet. Line with parchment paper and spray again.
  2. Prepare the apples by peeling, coring and dicing them into ¼-1/2" chunks.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. While the butter and sugar are creaming, in another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  5. Add the eggs to the butter/sugar one at a time mixing well after each. Scrape the sides of the bowl several times to make sure all the egg has been incorporated.
  6. Mix in the vanilla.
  7. Slowly add the flour to the creamed mixture and mix on high until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything has been incorporated.
  8. Add the apples and mix until they have been evenly distributed through the batter. N
  9. NOTE: The batter will be thick. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  10. Bake 18-25 minutes or until the edges have browned and a toothpick comes out without any wet batter. You should see a few cookie crumbs stuck to the toothpick.
  11. Cool cookie bars in the pan on a wire rack until they are completely cool.
  12. Using the parchment paper, carefully lift the cookie out and place on a cutting board.
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and mix on high until incorporated.
  3. Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon and the salt.
  4. Add the heavy cream and mix on high for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Assembly & Storage
  1. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cooled sheet of cookie.
  2. Cut into squares.
  3. Sprinkle each square with a dusting of ground cinnamon.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Original recipe from The Seaside Baker

{Guest Post} Paleo Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Just in time for Fall, these Paleo Apple Cinnamon Muffins are the perfect, health & heart friendly treat for your entire family!

Paleo Apple Cinnamon Muffins by Perry's Plate for

And we have Natalie of Perry’s Plate to thank for these amazing looking muffins.   I swear, I can smell them baking in my kitchen just by looking at her pictures! YUM!

If you aren’t familiar with the Paleo Diet… don’t worry, because I wasn’t either until I did some research learning about the types of food that Natalie prepares on her blog.  According to the Paleo Diet’s webpage… The Paleo Diet “… is based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era, or Stone Age.”

Wow! Super interesting to think about how we can bake using such limited foods… and if you think even more about it… man once lived like this so it’s so completely do-able!  If you’re interested in learning more, check out Natalie’s “Baby Steps to Paleo“… lots of great info!

Before we get to the recipe for these amazing muffins, let’s look at some of the other yummy stuff Natalie has made over at Perry’s Plate!  In her bio, she says she cooks about 75% Paleo … so she’s got some recipes on there that any diet can enjoy!  Here are a few of my favorites…

Chocolate Malt Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Bacon Cupcakes

A big THANK YOU to Natalie for providing my readers with such an amazing, healthy, but super delicious recipe!  I really appreciate you helping me out during this deployment transition!

Now, make sure you click on all the links to find Natalie all over the web… send her lots of JavaCupcake love!

Natalie-of-Perrys-PlateNat Noonday - squared edited-1

Hello Java Cupcake readers! I’m Natalie. I’m a mom of three little girls (my poor husband), and I blog over at Perry’s Plate. We live in the Reno-Tahoe, NV area… exactly where the smoke from the Yosemite fires is blowing. What color is the sky supposed to be again? *cough*

I’m excited to be here today and to support Betsy and her husband during their deployment. Yes, their. Deployments are a family effort! Betsy’s situation has a special place my heart as my husband also served over a year in Afghanistan several years ago. It’s not an easy thing to send your husband to a war-torn country (in fact, it’s pretty damn hard), and I give my wholehearted thank you and lots of virtual hugs to both Betsy and her soldier for their sacrifice.

So yes. Let’s get talking about these muffins. Over at Perry’s Plate I post a lot of paleo recipes. As a family we eat mostly paleo, and sometimes that puts a kink in my baking endeavors. Muffins are fairly easy to pull off, though, when trying to avoid grains, dairy, and refined sugar. I love these particular muffins because they have a great texture, they’re super moist, and the apples add a nice sweetness so you can use less sweetener.

Plus I love apple-cinnamon baked things, and I’m super excited that it’s September! Time to bust out the apple recipes!

Paleo Apple Cinnamon Muffins by Perry's Plate for


One thing to remember when using almond flour is to not have too much moisture in the batter. Almond flour doesn’t absorb moisture like wheat flour does. A little coconut flour is great for absorption, but if you use too much you’ll end up with a funky texture.

Paleo Apple Cinnamon Muffins by Perry's Plate for

I adore Erin over at Texanerin Baking and used her recipe fore Grain-/Gluten-Free Lemon Muffins as a jump off point since her muffins turned out so well.

Aren’t they pretty? I love the flecks of apple and almond flour peeking out of the tops.

Without gluten, eggs are often used as a primary source of binding. I love that these muffins held together so well without being “eggy”!

I hope you love these as much as we do!


You can find more of my recipes over at Perry’s Plate! I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Paleo Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
  • 2 cups of almond flour (about 192 grams)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour (about 32 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 6 eggs
  • ⅓ cup raw honey
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 small apples, cored and diced
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line (or grease) your muffin pans (enough for 20 muffins).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, honey, applesauce, and vanilla. The coconut oil might harden, but don't worry if the batter has coconut oil chunks. It'll all work out nicely in the end.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, just until combined. Fold in the diced apple. The mixture should be about the consistency of a loose cookie dough.
  5. Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until they begin to turn golden on top and are firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  6. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. They hold up best to unwrapping and cutting if you let them cool for about 15-20 minutes. I understand if you can't wait that long. We usually can't! You can store these in an air-tight container for 2-3 days.
  8. Recipe adapted from



Apple Salsa

{Recipe} Apple Salsa by

Tonight I’m making a chili and cinnamon rubbed port tenderloin for dinner… and I’m topping it off with apple salsa. Yup… that’s right. Salsa! But… not just any salsa… this salsa is borderline dessert like. It’s sweet, spicy and FULL of damn good flavor! (OMG did JC just swear? Yeah dude, this salsa is THAT good!)

Not only is this apple salsa excellent with a spoon straight from the bowl, but you could use it on top of so many things.  Pork, chicken, homemade tortilla chips.  The possibilities are endless.  The picture below is the apple salsa over a pork tenderloin… which is what we had for dinner tonight! YUM! My hubby even topped his brown rice with it.

Pork Tenderloin topped with Apple Salsa by

And… the best thing about this recipe… it’s fool proof.  Making salsa isn’t an “exact” kinda thing.  Half of this, a pinch of that.  Ya know, whatever works.  If it tastes good to you… then go with it!


UPDATE:  After I posted this I had several people ask me about the chili & cinnamon rub for the tenderloin.  It’s so super simple and easy that I thought I’d add it to the post!

Pork Tenderloin with Chili & Cinnamon Rub:

  • Whisk together in a rectangle baking dish 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic thru the press, salt/pepper to taste, chili powder and cinnamon (start with 1/2 a tsp and go from there… if you want more/less of each then go for it!).
  • Place the tenderloin in the mixture and roll it around until completely coated. Use your hands to rub and press the mixture onto the tenderloin. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
  • In a hot pan, sere tenderloin on each side. Place back in the baking dish and bake 18-22 minutes at 350 F degrees until done.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes covered with foil before slicing.
  • Drizzle the remaining pan juices over the sliced tenderloin then top with Apple Salsa!
Apple Salsa
Prep time
Total time
Serves: About 4 cups of Apple Salsa
  • 2 large Honeycrisp apples, diced or finely chopped
  • ½ large red bell pepper, diced or finely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced or finely chopped
  • 40g cilantro, diced or finely chopped (about ½ cup after cut)
  • the juice of two limes, freshly squeezed
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • light dusting of chili powder (more if you like spicy!)
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  1. Combine the apples, bell pepper, onion and lime zest in a large bowl.
  2. Pour freshly squeezed lime juice & squeeze the honey over the mixture and mix until coated.
  3. Add alt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add a light dusting of chili powder to taste. Fold to incorporate into salsa.
  5. Fold in the chopped cilantro.
  6. Cover and chill for 30-60 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.
I used my Pampered Chef food chopper to dice/chop everything. I like the uneven look it creates.

Recipe adapted from: Multiply Delicious

Fall Leaves Toffee Apple Pie

Just like the pumpkin pie… apple pie is another family staple in my home at Thanksgiving.  A few years back, I found a recipe that included toffee chips and chocolate and I fell in love.  Since then, I’ve made dozens of other pies, but I keep coming back to this recipe. It’s simple amazing.

Since I’ll be bringing this pie to my neighbors house for Thanksgiving, I wanted to kick it up a notch and make it, not only taste, but look extra special.  I was inspired by this pie on the Family Feedbag blog and decided I could make my pie look just as cute!


I love how the toffee topping under the crust makes the tree look like it’s brown and covered with bark!! Love it!


Fall Leaves Toffee Apple Pie
Apple Pie Filling
  • 6-7 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 pre-made pie crusts
  • red, green, yellow and orange Wilton food coloring gel
Toffee Topping
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold & cubed
  • ⅓ cup Hershey's toffee & chocolate chips (you could use Heath bar if you can't find the bag of toffee/choc.)
Toffee Apple Pie
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F degrees.
  2. Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and spices in a small bowl.
  3. In a very large bowl bowl, toss apples with the zest and juice of the lemon.
  4. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and fold together until all the apples are coated.
  5. Line pie pan with one pre-made crust. Poke a few holes in the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork.
  6. Mound the apple mixture into the pie pan and spread evenly. I used the back of my spatula to gently press the apples into the corners of the pan.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and toffee/chocolate chips together.
  8. Spread the cubed butter over the top of the apples. Sprinkle the toffee mixture evenly over the entire pie.
  9. Place second pie crust with the tree cutout over the top of the apples. Trim the edges and crimp the sides together using your finger and thumb. Reserve the excess dough for the leaves. (see below)
  10. Brush the entire crust with milk.
  11. Place the prepared leaves around the tree.
  12. Sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar.
  13. Bake at 450 F degrees for 10 minutes then reduce to 350 F degrees and bake another 35-45 minutes or until center is bubbly.
Fall Leaves & Tree
  1. Using a sharp paring knife, cut out the shape of a tree in the second pie crust.
  2. After you place this crust on top of the pie and trim the edges, use these scraps to make the leaves.
  3. Separate the dough into 4 equal parts and color them with red, yellow, green and orange food coloring gel. Roll out the dough and cut into leaves. You can even mix a few colors and create multi-colored leaves.
  4. Use the sharp paring knife to score the leaves (veins).


Thank You Bread & And a Story About Cora

Although this post has a recipe at the end… it’s not the usual  post you’ll see here on my blog.  This is a very personal story of my life in November 2102.  A story that has changed me forever… 

The last three weeks have been the hardest weeks of my life.  I’ve been through a lot of stuff as an adult, but nothing really can compare to the devastation I have faced.

Three weeks ago on a Thursday, I went in for what my German doctor called a “special ultrasound.”  I was about 12 weeks pregnant and super excited to see my growing baby!  Typically, this screening & ultrasound isn’t done until 16-20 weeks in the States, but here in Germany, the doctors like to do it sooner.

For 30 minutes, I laid on the table, watching my little nugget swim around in my belly.  It had fingers and toes and was jumping around like crazy.  I watched in awe as I saw this precious life, my baby, alive in front of me! I was so excited!  But… sadly, that excitement was put to a stop when my doctor had asked me to wait in the lobby while he was called away for an emergency.  As he left he told me we’d have to “discuss the situation and how to proceed.”  My heart dropped.  Shit.  Something was wrong with my baby.

Those 15 minutes were probably the longest of my life up to then.  I called my husband and began sobbing, worrying, speculating what in the world could be wrong with my baby.  Finally, the doctor returned and began to explain what he saw in the ultrasound.

There are some things I really appreciate about having a German doctor.  This day, I was grateful for his inability to know how to “sugar coat” things in English.  He knew only enough English to tell me the facts and nothing more.  The doctor explained to me that my baby had a layer of fluid built up under the skin, surrounding the entire body and that the intestines were growing into the umbilical cord.  Both of these key indicators that the baby had a genetic disorder.  Which disorder, he was unsure of but needed to have further testing done to give a proper diagnosis.

The Chorionic Villis Sampling was scheduled for Tuesday.  Similar to an amniocentesis  this sampling tests the genetic make up of the tissue around the baby, which is the same as the baby.   It would tell us which genetic disorder the baby had.

I’ve had surgery before, I’ve broken bones, I’ve been in car accidents… but the pain this test caused me was like nothing I’d ever felt.  The needle into my uterus felt like it was just prodding into my soul, ripping my heart out at the same time.  This test was going to tell us the fate of our child… and I was scared and sad.  So very sad.

The results of the test came in on Friday.  The doctor confirmed what he suspected, our child had a genetic disorder called Trisomy 18. What this meant is that on the babies 18th chromosome, instead of two pairs of DNA, there were three.  This disorder causes all kinds of physical disabilities including a shortened life span.  Most don’t make it to birth and those that do die with in days.

Wow.  This was a lot to take it.  I mean, we’d researched the possibilities of what genetic disorder it could have been… but Trisomy 18 was just about the worst one possible.  Our baby was going to die.  Die sooner than any baby should die.  How in the world was I going to deal with this?

Our first decision was an easy one.  When the doctor asked how we wanted to proceed… either abortion or let the baby live as long as possible… we knew right away we wanted to give our baby a chance at life.  However short or long that would be… she deserved a chance to live.  So, we began planning what steps we’d need to take to get the best medical care possible for our child and a move back to the USA was starting to take place.

Doctors appointments were made for 5 hours away at Landstuhl Medical Center… the closest American doctor and actually the only place in Europe, Asia and Africa that had a genetic specialist, a visit to the Chaplain and we gathered the necessary paperwork for a move back home.  The puzzle pieces were moving and things were looking hopeful that we’d get our baby the best care possible.

We were holding on to the hope that our baby would make it to birth.  That we’d be able to hold her, touch her, tell her how much we loved her.  Oh…. did I mention that the genetic test also told us she was a girl?  So yes!! A girl! And we named her Cora Marie!   Through all the sadness, my husband and I truly believed Cora would beat all the odds and she’d be in that small percentage of babies who make it to birth and we’d be able to meet her! It really was the only way we kept our sanity, day to day…. the only way we could remain happy.

And we held on to that hope until Thursday of this past week.  Thursday, everything changed.  I woke up early in the morning and found blood after going to the bathroom.  I wanted to ignore it, but I couldn’t.  I started to worry.   I hoped that maybe it was just nothing… that’d it would go away.  But… it didn’t.  By early evening there was more blood… enough not to ignore.  So, my husband took me to the Emergency Room.

We were seen by a doctor who actually helped deliver Matthew back in March.  It was nice to see a familiar face.  She did an ultrasound to see how things were with the baby.  Immediately, I could tell something was wrong.  Cora wasn’t moving, she laid there in my belly so still, no movement at all.  And then, when the doctor moved the image to her chest area… there it was… no heartbeat.  And I knew… she was gone.   The doctor confirmed with a few more tests and measurements on the screen and then told us what we were seeing… no heartbeat and no bloodflow… our baby had died.

Wow… this was not what I wanted, expected or ever dreamed of happening.  It had already been such a stressful and emotionally charged 2 weeks… I just thought I’d have more time before I had to deal with this part.  I really just thought I’d have more time.

Now what? I asked the doctor.  Another shock came… I had to deliver my baby.  HUH? WHAT?  Yes… she was too big for the doctors to remove with a D&C and too small for a C-section removal.  I had to let my body deliver her naturally.  I was to stay overnight, see if my body would start the process on my own and if not, they’d give me some medication to help things along.

The next morning, nothing had happened so the doctors gave me that medicine.  It wasn’t until the second dose later that afternoon that I really felt things happening, changing, progressing.  My uterus was contracting and I was in so much pain… none of the pain killers the doctors had me on all day were working anymore.  We called the nurse in to let her know of the pain I was in and she said ok, left the room and wasn’t to be seen again.

As I was trying to get myself comfortable to help ease the pain, I got on my knees with my head on my pillow on my bed.  This seemed to be the only position I could get any relief.  And then… it happened.  My water broke.  With my first two kids, I had never experienced this sensation.  It was like a balloon burst between my legs and water spilled out everywhere.  I rushed to the bathroom to sit on the wheelchair toilet they had put in my room to collect fluids in situations just like this.  The remaining fluid rushed out and my contractions began to ease.   We called the nurse again, told her my water broke… and again she disappeared.

With no clue for what I should do next, I laid down on my bed and tried to rest.  My husband stroked my forehead and I fell asleep.  The first sleep I had gotten since I’d been at the hospital.

What happens next… it maybe be hard for you to read.  It’s graphic and upsetting.  So please, skip ahead as it may be difficult to get through.

As I lay in bed, trying to sleep, I am awakened by more fluid coming out of me.  I head back to the bathroom wheelchair toilet and sit there.  Still, no nurse or doctor had come to check on me or help me.  By this point, it had been about 20 minutes since my water broke.

Without warning from my body, I feel something warm slip out of me.  Not certain of what it was… I thought maybe a blood clot, I asked my husband to look.  I sat forward and he looked behind me.  His words still haunt me… It’s Cora, he said.  My hand covered my open mouth and I sat there in shock.  My baby was dangling from me.  I had just delivered her in a toilet.  I sent my husband outside to get a nurse, anyone to help… but no one came.  For 10 more minutes, I sat there.  What was I to do?  My baby was hanging from me and all I could do was sit there.  I held my husbands hand and we cried.  Cried for my baby, cried for us.  Cried.

Finally, the doctor arrived and he looks at me like… What? What’s going on?  I tell him… THE BABY CAME OUT!  She’s hanging there!!! He instructs me to get up and move to the bed.  The nurse holds Cora between my legs and I waddle to the bed.  I sit down, the doctor cuts the umbilical cord and lays my baby down on a feminine pad.  (This didn’t bother me until later…. but really, a pad?  He couldn’t find a blanket or towel or something?!!)  They left the room and gave us some time with our daughter.

She was so tiny.  Only 2 inches long.  Her bones had not developed yet, but her body was forming.  Head, body, arms, legs…. even little toes and fingers, knees too.  She had eyes, nose and a mouth too.  She was so tiny.  She was beautiful.

I held Cora and I told her how much I loved her, how sorry I was that she didn’t get to live longer… but that she was going to join my Mom in Heaven.  Grandma Nancy was waiting for her… I told Cora that Grandma was going to hold her, snuggle with her, sing to her and take care of her until we got to Heaven to be with her.

And that was it… 10 minutes with my daughter.

The nurses took me to the operating room and a D&C was performed to clean out my uterus and ensure everything was okay.  An hour after that procedure, I was heading home.

The following day was the most emotional for me.  I was pregnant, delivered a baby in a toilet and then came home… with no baby.   I wanted her so badly.  I wanted Cora in my life.  I wanted to hold her.  Love her.  Raise her.  I wanted for Matty to be a big brother to her.  For Emily to teach her everything she knew about what it meant to be a girl, a teenager.  But… I was never going to have any of that.  She was gone.  I was lost.  I cried most of the day.  I needed to release it all.

Last night, I had a dream… Cora came to me.  She looked to be about two months old.  Big eyes like Matty but they were brown like Emily’s and she had a head full of dark brown straight hair.  She looked healthy, happy and she gave me a look… a look so deep into my soul and she told me… Mommy, I’m okay.  I made it to Heaven and I’m with Grandma and everything is going to be okay.  I love you Mommy.

And I instantly felt peace.

See, a few years ago when my Mom died… she came to me in a dream a few days after she died too.  She told me something similar, that she had made it to Heaven and that everything was going to be okay.   I also, felt at peace with her passing.

Today, three days after I said goodbye to Cora… I am at peace.  I am still sad, I will always miss her.  But I feel peace.  I know she is in Heaven and I know that everything will be okay.

My husband and I also decided to get matching tattoos today to have something tangible to remember Cora by.  I didn’t have anything with her name on it, no blanket she laid in, no clothes she wore… so I thought a tatoo was fitting.  I got her name on my left wrist and Dave got the day she went to Heaven on his right wrist.  That way, everytime we hold hands… Cora will be there.

And I feel I need to take a moment to thank my husband.  Dave… there isn’t another person in this world that I would have wanted to experience all of this with.  You are the love of my life and I am so thankful to have your love through all of this.  This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and having you with me made it somewhat more bearable.  Thank you Dave for loving me.  Thank you for loving Cora.  Thank you for holding me as I cried.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

During that 24 hours at the hospital, I was lucky enough to have two amazing friends step up and help out.  My friend Chrissy offered me emotional and moral support and my friend Chasity watched my kids for me.  And as the Facebook messages, text messages and emails poured in from friends near and far… it was these two ladies who really held my life together for me as I felt as it was all falling apart.

Chasity, Chrissy – I will forever be thankful what you did for me those days.  You held my family in your hands and you never let us fall.  You loved us, cared for us… and I can’t say it enough how grateful I am to have you in my life.  I love you!!!

So today, I baked some bread for them.  I simply call this bread “Thank You Bread”.  I’ve never made it before, but this recipe was derived from an applesauce bread my Dad makes every Christmas.  I just kicked it up a notch!

If you have sometone you need to say Thank you to, consider this bread and think of Cora for me! :)

Thank You Bread
  • 11 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 3 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1⅔ cup cinnamon chips (1 10oz bag)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease and flour 3 9x5x3 loaf pans. I also lined the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on high for 4-5 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
  3. While that's beating, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
  4. Add the flour to the creamed mixture in three parts. Between each part, add half the applesauce.
  5. Fold in the cinnamon chips, chocolate chips and raisins.
  6. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix 10 more strokes to ensure the batter is fully incorporated.
  7. Divide the batter into the three pans evenly.
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pans for 20 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 loaves

One day at a time… that’s how I’m getting through this.  Great friends, an amazing husband… and one day at a time.