I think it is family time post!
Whenever I go to Los Angeles, my first dinner out is always at Crossroads Kitchen, and I do that as soon as possible. In fact, it’s rare that I go only once. Well, this trip was different, and I did not get there as I was on home duty mostly, making lots of breakfasts and dinners for my granddaughters, who are now 9 and 11 now. While the girls were at school all day, I had lots of focued work to do on polishing the Rouxbe Essential Vegan Desserts Course with my colleagues. The course is launching Nov 10th, the day after I return from the Vegan Cruise to Panama! Talk about an embarassement of riches! I did take breaks to walk in the gorgeous weather and play with the Costigals three rescue dogs: Teddy, the oldest; Mushu, the middle brother; and Cocoa the baby. These boys are so sweet and friendly, and just love playing together.
I was helping out while my talented daughter- in-law Linda Hawkins Costigan was in Haiti working on season two of her new show, Lakou Kajou – Educational TV for Haitian Children. This show is the first of its kind, and honestly, it is superb! Word of the hurricane came soon after Linda landed. She assured us she was safe, but that the damage was grave. A shortage of food, a contaminated water supply, and a cholera outbreak could create a major humanitarian disaster in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, PIH Co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer said to ABC News. If you’d like to donate to Haiti, do not donate to the Red Cross. Donate to Partners in Health instead: http://bit.ly/2eh3wTL
The girls, my son Michael, and I visited the always amazing Hollywood Farmers market and I saw a white pomegranate, which was new to me, and unshelled macadamia nuts. I bought fresh dates, which I can’t get in NYC. Amazing! Buddha’s hands and dragon fruit were gorgeous, and so were the tomatoes, mushrooms, avocados—so much goodness, including new season apples. Those apples gave me an idea – so read on.
The girls told me they like baked apples so I made them, using the recipe in More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally as jumping off point. The basting juices from the baked apples made a tasty plate sauce. If you care, this is a naturally no sugar added, no oil added, gluten-free dessert.
Pictured here are a peanut butter cookie that Cecile helped me make. The recipe needs more testing but I can tell you it couldn’t have been more simple and yummy!
Two days before I was to return to NYC, I visited the Rowleys, my former Tribeca neighbors who’ve just moved back to the U.S. from London and have reloacted to Santa Monica. We had delicious salads at Art’s Table in Santa Monica. The next day, Suzy and I had lunch at Matthew Kinney’s Plant Food and Wine, in the garden. Suzy, who is not vegan, said she loved the tacos and the rosé we sipped in the garden.
After a one night stay with the Rowleys, I got back into an Uber to get back to my kids in time for the holiday dinner. And that’s how we rolled in LA.
Super Stuffed Baked Apples
- 4 sweet apples
- 2 cups apple juice
- 4 tablespoons raisins
- 4 tablespoons chopped toasted nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup apple butter
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8 x 8-inch baking dish or other baking dish large enough to hold four apples.
Core the apples from the top, stopping 1 inch from the bottom. Peel the top quarter section of each apple. Put the apples in the baking dish, and pour the juice over them.
Mix the raisins, nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture into the apples and sprinkle any leftover filling in the bottom of the baking dish.
Cover the apples with a sheet of parchment paper and over- wrap with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the dish and baste the apples with the pan juices. Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until the apples are tender but not mushy. The total baking time will depend on the variety of apple.
Remove the baking dish from the oven. Brush the warm apples with the apple butter, and stir the remaining apple butter into the pan juices. Serve the apples warm, spooning some of the pan juice over each.
Recipe from More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, © 2006 by Fran Costigan.