Apple Tarts with Rosemary-Lime Sugar

Apple Tarts with Rosemary-Lime Sugar
Apple Tarts with Rosemary-Lime Sugar

These crisp and tasty apple tarts are a great way to use up your fall bounty; using frozen puff pastry makes the whole process a lot easier, and they’re finished with rosemary-lime sugar.

It happens every year in the Hudson Valley, where we live. As soon as the leaves on the maple trees turn a ridiculous shade of red, we, residents and tourists alike, don our coziest sweaters and follow the scent of hot cider doughnuts to the nearest orchard. Once there we wander the grounds, hopped up on cinnamon sugar and crisp autumn air, filling baskets and gunny sacks with more Empires, Cortlands and Jonagold apples than anyone who doesn’t work in a pie factory would ever need.

Only once when we’re home and realize we need to put an addition on the house in order to store our haul, do we admit that maybe we’ve bought just a few too many. And just when I thought we’d succeeded in using our bounty, one of Matt’s local clients sent him home with a massive box of Golden Delicious apples from the tree in her yard. Oh well, we’ll just have to start working on that Salted Caramel Apple Pie idea I’ve been thinking about. #HudsonValleyProblems #AppleHumbleBrag

Rosemary-Lime Sugar
Rosemary-Lime Sugar

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Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

These blueberry crumb bars with oats and almonds are a perfect bake sale recipe and our favorite way to use up summer blueberries.

Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

A few years ago while we still lived in Brooklyn, Matt and I belonged to a CSA. If you’re not familiar with it, CSA stands for ‘community supported agriculture’. The gist of it is that you pay in advance for a ‘share’ of what the farm produces.

It helps the farmers because they get money in advance so they can better finance their year, and the customer gets a weekly (or bi-weekly) supply of the freshest, just-off-the-farm produce.

Of course, by investing in the farm’s potential, you also share some of the risks. If there’s a flood, or a blight, or a generally low yield of crop that season, you might not get as many tomatoes as you’d like and you just have to channel your inner hippie and roll with it, man. What’s more likely though, is that you’ll end up with way more of a certain fruit or vegetable than you know what to do with. And that’s when you have to get creative.
Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

There was one week during our CSA that we received more blueberries than I had ever seen in my life outside of a grocery store. It was a huge box of them. We had them on yogurt and on cereal. I made blueberry syrup. Matt made a crumble. And still we had more. And then I made Blueberry Oat Bars with the rest and kicked myself for not making them sooner because they were the best thing ever. They’re not so sweet that you’d feel guilty having one for breakfast but they have that crunchy, nutty topping that is such a treat.

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Chicken with Lime, Garlic and Cilantro

Chicken with Lime, Garlic and Cilantro

In the 1970s, the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I grew up was a true melting pot of cultures. I went to a bilingual grade school where classes were taught in both English and Spanish, and staying for dinner at a friend’s house often meant getting to have Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas) or Mofongo (mashed green plantains with chicharrones).

My absolute favorite dish back then was Pernil (Roasted Pork Shoulder), which is flavored with lots of citrus, cumin and cilantro. Just thinking about it is making me hungry, but until I find the time to make a whole pork shoulder, I thought I’d take some of those great flavors and turn it into a much more weekday-friendly chicken dinner.

Chicken with Lime, Garlic and Cilantro
Garlic, cilantro, lime and cumin make the sauce bright and tangy.

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Insanely Delicious Key Lime Pie

Insanely Delicious Key Lime Pie
Tasting Key Lime Pie instantly makes me feel like I’m on vacation. It’s decadent, refreshing and just plain old fun.

It’s possible that I have scurvy because recently I cannot get enough citrus. And not like regular old lemons and grapefruits. Fancy fruit. Last week it was kumquats. This week, key limes.

Key Lime
Teeny, weeny key limes

The fact that they are both adorably wee versions of regular-sized fruit may have something to do with it. I admit it. I am undeniably attracted to Lilliputian produce.

Now I’m going to tell you a secret about key lime pie. You actually don’t need key limes to make it. Regular, grocery-store Persian limes taste just as delicious. I had never seen fresh key limes before (and they weren’t that expensive) so I decided to go for it but don’t fret if you can’t find them.

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