Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad with Apples & Bacon

Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

A hearty salad that will fill you up and won’t leave you feeling hungry! With pecan crusted chicken breasts, diced apples, dried cranberries and crumbled bacon over a bed of romaine lettuce all gussied up with the easiest honey mustard dressing in the world. The salad of my dreams.

Let’s talk honey mustard. Have you figured out I’m completely crazy for it by how many times it shows up in my recipes?! It’s my go-to dressing and dipping sauce and one of the simplest things to make using your favorite Dijon mustard and honey. That’s it. Two ingredients. Mix equal parts together to start, with a little drizzle of water to thin it out, and there’s your life-changing dressing. 
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Bacon, Apple & Cheddar Broccoli Slaw

Bacon Apple Cheddar Broccoli Slaw

This cool, crunchy broccoli slaw gets a ton of flavor from juicy apples, sharp cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and red onion dressed in a tangy honey mustard. It’s ridiculously easy to throw together and makes a great side for anything you can imagine from burgers to chicken.

If you’ve never seen broccoli slaw before in your market it’s usually hiding next to the bagged coleslaw and lettuces. It’s made of shredded broccoli stalks, carrots and sometimes red cabbage. If you can’t find broccoli slaw you can use cole slaw instead.

For the dressing I use a good quality honey Dijon mustard right from the jar with a little bit of mayonnaise. When you first mix it together there might not seem to be enough dressing but after it sits for an hour in the refrigerator it loosens up. Some of the juice from the apples mingle with it and the broccoli releases some water. The vegetables soften a little too and the flavors meld. If you prefer it crunchy you can eat it right away.

To make it vegetarian skip the bacon and add a big handful or two of nuts like sliced almonds. You can add them anyways, if you like, along with a handful of cranberries or raisins.

Cheddar Apple Broccoli Slaw

Bacon, Apple & Cheddar Broccoli Slaw

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Bacon, Apple & Cheddar Broccoli Slaw

This cool, crunchy broccoli slaw gets a ton of flavor from juicy apples, sharp cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and red onion dressed in a tangy honey mustard. It's ridiculously easy to throw together and makes a great side for anything you can imagine from burgers to chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounces broccoli slaw
2 of your favorite apples, peeled and shredded [I like Gala]
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup honey Dijon mustard (not dipping sauce)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt and pepper, to taste
*4 - 5 slices crispy cooked bacon, crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl toss the slaw, apples, cheese and red onion together.
  2. Add the honey mustard, mayonnaise, a few dashes of salt and pepper and toss again. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour or longer - until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving mix in the bacon, taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed.

Notes:

*To make it vegetarian skip the bacon and add a handful or two of nuts like sliced almonds.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/bacon-apple-cheddar-broccoli-slaw/

Cranberry, Apple & Walnut Chicken Salad

Cranberry Apple Walnut Chicken Salad

A chunky chicken salad packed with chewy dried cranberries, fresh tart apples, crunchy walnuts and the subtle bite of red onion. It’s held together with mayonnaise and a touch of mustard seasoned with sweet dill, salt and pepper. It is the best chicken salad I ever made. Or ate.

The success or failure of any chicken salad, in my eyes, depends completely on the quality of the chicken you use. I used a leftover, roasted, organic chicken that was so tender and juicy it melted in my mouth. You know that saying it melted like butter? This was that chicken. A rotisserie chicken will work well too. Just don’t use dried up, tough, tasteless chicken. Save that for the soup pot. … 

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Smoked Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

Cheddar Apple Butternut Squash Soup

A creamy butternut squash and smoky cheddar cheese soup that’s been kissed by the natural sweetness of apples. The trio form a perfect balance of savory, salty, smoky and sweet.

Are you thinking this is the perfect fall soup? It totally is. One that can hold it’s own right through winter. Plus it’s a cinch to make starting with sauteing onion and garlic then simmering it all together with the squash in chicken broth.

Once the squash is tender you puree it with apples until smooth and velvety, mix in the smoked cheddar and, if you like, depending on your mood, to give it a touch of richness, a little half & half. Totally optional.

This is for the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash hosted by Joanne of Eats Well With Others and Heather of Girlichef. If you made a recipe using squash this week feel free to link up below.

Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

Smoked Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Smoked Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

A creamy butternut squash and smoky cheddar cheese soup that's been kissed by the natural sweetness of apples. The trio form a perfect balance of savory, salty, smoky and sweet.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
6 cups cubed squash (from about a 2 pound squash)
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 apples, diced (I used Gala)
1 heaping cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 cup half & half or heavy cream, optional
chopped chives or green onion, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, a few pinches of salt and pepper and cook 6 - 7 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the butternut squash and broth. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 25 - 30 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Stir in the apples. Puree the soup with a stick blender or in batches in the blender holding the top down with a kitchen towel so it won't blow off from the steam.
  4. Return the soup to the saucepan over low heat and stir in the cheese and half & half. Bring back up to heat.
  5. Serve garnished with a sprinkling of cheese and chives.

Notes:

Adapted from Food and Wine

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/smoked-cheddar-butternut-squash-soup/

Cream Cheese Filled Apple Cake

Cream Cheese Apple Cake

A delectable cake with apples and nuts folded into the batter, a tunnel of cheesecake filling and a nutty brown sugar frosting with caramel notes to it. Two desserts in one, this is a cake with a lot going on.

Although it may look complicated to make with that ribbon of cream cheese running through it – it’s not at all. Two-thirds of the batter goes into the bundt pan followed by the cream cheese filling followed by the remaining batter. When you turn the cake out of the pan the cream cheese filling ends up near the bottom. Or on the bottom, if like me, you overestimate the 2/3 part of the equation.

Thank the cake gods it didn’t matter and turned out great despite my minor mistake. I’m here to tell you not to fret if you do the same. As long as you have enough batter left to completely cover the cream cheese it will turn out OK in the end.

The cake overflows with apples, cinnamon and nuts, it’s moist and dense and completely capable of standing on its own without the cream cheese. The cream cheese is a bonus, an unexpected surprise not often found in a world of floury cakes. It’s like a soft cheesecake, lightly sweet and slightly tangy. To top it all off there’s a super sweet, easy-to-make frosting made in a saucepan and topped with crunchy nuts.

Cake meets cheesecake meets my face and lives happily ever after.

Apple Cream Cheese Cake

Cream Cheese Filled Apple Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 bundt cake

Cream Cheese Filled Apple Cake

A delectable cake with apples and nuts folded into the batter, a tunnel of cheesecake filling and a nutty brown sugar frosting with caramel notes to it. It's like getting two desserts in one.

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:
1 (8 ounce) package regular or light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (about 1 + 1/2 pounds) (I used Fuji)
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Frosting:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
walnut/pecan halves, optional for decorating the top

INSTRUCTIONS:

    Make the filling:
  1. Beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg, flour, and vanilla just until combined.
  2. Make the cake:
  3. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour a 14-cup Bundt pan.
  4. In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice together. Stir in the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla until completely combined. Stir in the apples and pecans.
  5. Spoon about two-thirds of the apple batter into the pan. Spoon the cream cheese over top of that, don't go all the way to the edge of the pan - leave a 1-inch border. Spoon the remaining cake batter over top and smooth out. Gently tap the pan on the counter a few times to get out air bubbles.
  6. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 - 20 minutes then remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.
  7. Make the frosting:
  8. To a small saucepan over medium heat add the brown sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil whisking almost constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, whisk in the confectioners' until smooth and then stir 2 - 3 minutes until it thickens and cools off a little. Spoon over top of the cake nudging it gently so it drips down the sides. Garnish with walnuts or pecans if desired.
  9. Keep leftovers refrigerated and bring to room temperature for serving.

Notes:

Adapted from My Recipes

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/cream-cheese-apple-cake/

Caramel Apple Crumb Cake

Caramel Apple Crumb Cake

This is a sponsored post for Krusteaz. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Krusteaz challenged me to “Seize the What If” and create a dessert with one of their baking mixes to inspire home cooks to think outside the box. Using Krusteaz cinnamon crumb cake and muffin mix I created a caramel apple crumb cake.

I baked mostly as directed on the box but snuck in a layer of apples between the cake and the crumb topping and finished with a generous drizzle of the easiest caramel sauce you will ever make. I may have added some vanilla extract to the cake too because I’m secretly in love it. Lately I’ve been adding it to everything.

The apples are briefly sauteed with brown sugar and cinnamon to soften them up first. The caramel sauce is made of caramel candies melted in the microwave with a little milk to form a pourable sauce that won’t harden up as it cools.

You end up with a sticky, cinnamon crunch apple topping with a moist, dense cake underneath that is absolutely delectable.

Top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a special dessert and call it two sides of heaven.

Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Crumb Cake

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 (8x8-inch) cake

Caramel Apple Crumb Cake

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing pan
3 cups peeled diced apples {I used Fuji}
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 box Krusteaz Cinnamon Crumb Cake and Muffin Mix
2/3 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20 Kraft Caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium - low heat and melt the butter. Add the apple cubes, lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook 10 minutes stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease an 8x8-inch baking pan.
  3. To a large bowl add the cake mix pouch, egg, water and vanilla extract. Mix just until combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread out evenly.
  4. Spoon the apples evenly over top. Pour the pouch of cinnamon topping into a small bowl and sprinkle over top of the apples.
  5. Bake 45 - 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out from center without any wet batter clinging to it - a few crumbs are ok. Cool in pan.
  6. Add the caramels and milk to a microwave safe bowl and microwave on 20 second increments until the caramels are melted. Whisk well until a creamy sauce forms. Spoon and drizzle over top of cake.
  7. Cut into squares and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/caramel-apple-crumb-cake/

This is a sponsored post for Krusteaz. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How would you “Seize the What If” using this cinnamon crumb cake mix?

Upside-Down Apple Pie

Upside Down Apple Pie

Thinly sliced apples encased between two layers of flaky crust topped with caramel walnuts and a sweet glaze. It tastes like apple pie meets streusel cake.

So. . .the idea of flipping a pie upside down is a completely new concept to me. Never have I seen such a creation before. I’ll admit I was hesitant and at the same time excited over the prospects of breathing new life into my boring old apple pie routine.

If only I could pull it off…. 

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Old-Fashioned Apple Cake

Old Fashioned Apple Cake

A warmly-spiced cake with fresh apples and walnuts baked into the batter topped with your choice of a cream cheese or brown sugar frosting. Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg give the cake it’s delicious dark coloring and along with the apples infuse the flavor of fall into every bite…. 

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