Apple Cheddar Squash Soup

Alright people, it’s officially soup season!  It’s chilly out in Philadelphia, so I’m ready to start taking advantage and make some yummy soups.  Believe it or not, the recipe I’m sharing with you today was a recipe that Dave, my husband, made for me!  I was so impressed.  I had flagged the recipe and bought all the ingredients, and by the time I was home from work, he had already almost finished making it!  I was so happy 🙂

This soup was really delicious, and the apple and squash go so well together.   Continue reading

Maple-Apple Turkey Burgers

TGIF Friends!!  It’s been a crazy week.  It started off with Breaking Bad ending.  Then we had the beginning of Healthcare Reform.  And ended with the government shutdown.  No big deal.

Sounds like the perfect time for some delicious fall comfort food!

These burgers have been on my list for a few years now… I was pretty psyched to try them out!  The original recipe is for Chicken Burgers, but I had a ton of ground turkey from the market this week so I decided to use that instead.  I am just loving the fall flavors in this recipe and the creativity too!  Yum!

Maple-Apple Turkey Burgers

Makes 4 Burgers


1/4 cup Olive Oil Mayo

2 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup (I like grade B from Trader Joe’s)

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

Canola Oil

1/2 Sweet Onion, diced

1 Granny Smith Apple- peeled, cored, and chopped

1lb Ground Turkey (I used 94% lean)

2 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

1 Egg

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

4 Hamburger Buns


1.  Mix the secret sauce:  Whisk the mayo, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and dijon mustard together in a small bowl and set aside.

2.  Make the topping:  Heat 2 Tablespoons of Canola Oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onion and 1/2 the apple until soft- about 7-10 minutes.  Set aside.

3.  Make the burgers:  Mix the rest of the raw apple, ground turkey, 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, Italian Seasoning, Egg, Salt, and Pepper in a bowl.  Do not overmix.  Divide the mixture into quarters and shape into balls.  The mixture will be loose but don’t worry!

4.  Cook burgers:  Heat 1 Tablespoon of Canola Oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Place the turkey burgers in the hot oil and flatten with the back of a spatula to create a patty.  Cook for about 7-8 minutes and flip, cooking the other side 7-8 minutes.  Don’t press down on the spatula once you have the patty shape created.  Remove patties and place on a plate with paper towel.

5.  Assemble Burgers:  While you are cooking the burgers, toast the buns.  Place the cooked turkey burgers on the buns.  Top with grilled apple and onion mixture.  Top with a spoonful of secret sauce.  Enjoy!

Adapted from:  All-Recipes

I’m pretty sure these were the juciest turkey burgers ever!  They were perfect.  Dave and I ate them for dinner and then again the following day for lunch.  They were even good leftover!  I was skeptical before the patties were cooked, thinking there was no way that they would be juicy and there was certainly no way the mixture would stick together while it cooked… but they did!  I can’t wait to make these again… they were absolutely delicious.





Green Apple & White Cheddar Tuna Melt

It was an Instagram picture that got me to want this delicious open-faced sandwich.  Allie, one of my closest friends and favorite bloggers… has been super stressed out with work and on a semi-blogging hiatus (sadface).  She still cooks amazing food and will occasionally torture us with ridiculously yummy looking food-porn pictures.

Allie’s Green Apple Tuna melt appeared on my Instagram feed which led me to call her immediately, requesting a recipe to be emailed or a new blog post.  Allie (being the best) did it right away!

Wouldn't this picture do you in too?  It was like love at first sight...

Wouldn’t this picture do you in too? It was like love at first sight…

Which leads me to last night’s dinner:  Green Apple with White Cheddar Tuna Melt.  The verdict?  DELICIOUS.  What an awesome combination of flavors, and what a great idea to spice up an otherwise boring brown-bag-lunch kind of meal.

Green Apple & White Cheddar Tuna Melt

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Allie’s All I Eat Food

Serves:  2 (thoughts on this, read below)


2 Whole Wheat English Muffins, sliced

2 cans of Tuna (I, like Allie… like to eat a whole can if I’m eatin’ it!), chopped with a knife

2 stalks Celery, finely diced

2 large Carrots, peeled and finely diced

1 teaspoon Freeze-Dried Chives (also seen in Buff Chix Soup)

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard (Trader Joe’s is a great one)

2 heaping Tablespoons Olive Oil Mayo, or light

4 thin slices Green Apple, peeled

Shredded White Cheddar Cheese (I used a large pinch per sandwich)

Sea Salt & Black Pepper


1.  Toast your English Muffins.  Preheat the oven to 425.

2.  Combine Tuna, Celery, Carrots, Chives, Mustard & Mayo in a bowl.  Mix until well combined.  Taste and season as you like (I like to use garlic powder, dill, hot sauce… you name it… but not all together!  The mustard in this batch was so good I didn’t need to though)

3.  Prepare a cookie sheet with foil.  Place the English Muffins on the foil.  Spoon the tuna out evenly and pile onto the English Muffin halves.  Put an apple slice ontop, and lightly smush down to make the top flat for the cheese.  Sprinkle the cheese on top.

4.  Set the oven to broil.  Place the cookie sheet with the tuna sandwiches in the top section of the oven and don’t leave unattended.  Broil for a minute or two or until the cheese is melted and just starts to brown.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.

Before broiling w/ cheese ontop

Before broiling w/ cheese ontop

MMMM... could not wait to devour!  I served this with some sauteed up Cauliflower and Mushrooms (Grapeseed Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Smoked Paprika... that's it!)

MMMM… could not wait to devour! I served this with some sauteed up Cauliflower and Mushrooms (Grapeseed Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Smoked Paprika… that’s it!)

photo 3 (5) (1)

SO, now that you see just how yummy these looked, let me tell you what I think.  I’ve already raved about how good they taste (YUM), but I’m not sure about the serving size.

I, for one, typically have “big eye” syndrome and always want to eat more.  We ate the tuna for dinner, but also had a very small side salad and some sauteed veggies on the side (i was thinking to replace chips).  I also personally always “take turns” when I’m eating something that’s more than one part… as in… one bite sandwich… one bite salad… one bite veggies.  LOL.

SOOO… long story short… I was STUFFED and didn’t even get to finish my second half of tuna sandwich.  It just sat there all sad, wanting me to finish it… but I couldn’t!  I was just too full.

With all of that being said, I think you could eat one half for lunch, and even just one half for dinner if you have something on the side.  If you want both halves, go ahead but don’t waste your time making sides like I did!  This tuna melt is FILLING!

You may also like…

Smoked Salmon and English Muffin Sandwich

Smoked Salmon and English Muffin Sandwich

Beth's Tuna Salad

Beth’s Tuna Salad

Portabello Mushroom Burger

Portabello Mushroom Burger



Apple-Toffee Blondies w/ Brown Sugar Frosting

L’Shana Tova everyone!  Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Traditionally, apples and honey are eaten on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a “sweet” new year.  I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while and wanted to take the “sweet” new year tradition to a new level.

Eating apples is a tradition on the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah

Apple-Toffee Blondies w/ Brown Sugar Frosting

Recipe by:  Cookies & Cups Apple Toffee Blondies


2/3 Cup Butter (room temp, you’ll need 2 sticks)

2 Cups Light Brown Sugar, packed

2 Eggs

2 teaspoons Vanilla

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1  Green Apple, peeled and chopped

1/2 Cup Toffee Bits* + 1 Tablespoon to garnish

Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Butter (1 Stick)

1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed

1/4 Cup Skim Milk

2 Cups Powdered Sugar

*You can find the toffee bits in a bag just like chocolate chips, in the same area.  


1.  Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2.  Cream butter and brown sugar until smooth.  This took me a good 5 minutes, having to stop to take a knife and remove gunked up dough from the beaters a few times.  Add eggs and vanilla, continuing to beat on medium speed until it’s well combined.  

3.  Turn the mixer to low and add the flour, baking powder, and salt slowly until a dough forms.  Stop the mixer.  Add the chopped apples and toffee and stir with a sturdy spoon, it will be very thick.  

4.  Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.  Mine did not cover the entire thing… it will spread in the oven.  Bake 30 minutes.  Remove and place on a cooling rack until it is completely cool.

5.  For the frosting, melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add brown sugar and milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring so it does not burn.  Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.  Slowly, using a whisk, stir in the powdered sugar.  Let cool until it thickens enough to spread onto the blondies once they are cool as well.  

6.  Let the iced blondies set for at least 30 minutes, then cut into bars.

Everything ready for a nice stir!

You can see how the batter didn’t completely coat the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry.

Here they are out of the oven and cooling. You can see the center is set and the edges have just started to brown. Perfect.

Blondies iced, toffeed, and ready to be cut and devoured.

These blondies are amazing.  I’m not even kidding you… I think this is THE best dessert I’ve ever baked.  Dave and I tried a little baby piece of blondie after a huge dinner.  We were BOTH blown away.  They ROCK. 

While this recipe is NOT healthy, it is certainly worth the calories to try one.  Or two… plus the batter from the bowl.  No big deal.

So, it’s a really easy dessert to make despite the fact that there are two separate parts.  I made the icing while the blondies were in the oven.  The icing was simple and I was able to sit back, relax, and enjoy my iced coffee.  MMM.

The icing is super sweet so I didn’t use all of it on the bars.  I saved some to use for later… maybe to dip some apples in… or to just eat with a spoon.  Cut these babies (like all brownies) with a PLASTIC knife.  Just a little trick that will help keep them nice and pretty.

Like I said, it’s going to be one SWEET New Year!

Happy New Year to all!

The gorgeous photo Cookies & Cups took of her bars… if only mine could look THAT perfect!

Mashed Sweets & Apples

Do you know how healthy sweet potatoes are?  After making a personal pact with myself to eat more sweet potatoes… I decided to look up the details.  Here’s just some of the stuff that makes up a sweet potato that’s good for you:  Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Beta-Carotene, Potassium… the list goes on!  ALSO, they are fat free!  I have always loved sweet potatoes but have had a new-found respect for them after learning how healthy they are.

My mission for this post was to create a Sweet Potato side-dish that could turn any non-believer into a SP lover!  My very own boyfriend, Dave has only recently started to admit to liking them.  He used to not like the Thanksgiving-Style super-sweet w/ Marshmallows ontop type of sweets, so I didn’t want to kill it with sweetness.

I think this recipe has just the right amount of flavor and sweetness without compromising all of the great nutrition that the Sweet Potato already has to offer.

Mashed Sweets & Apples

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook
Makes:  4 Servings
3 Sweet Potatoes
1 Apple (I used Gala, because that’s what we had in the house)
2 Tablespoons Skim Milk
1 Tablespoon Light Butter
1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar (on the heaping side, not packed)
Zest from 1/2 of an Orange
Cinnamon, Sea Salt
1.  Boil water over high heat.  Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes, gently placing them into the boiling water.  Meanwhile, peel, core, and slice the apple into 1-inch chunks.  You can add it into the boiling potatoes once you’re done chopping.
2.  Test the “done-ness” of the potatoes by sticking a fork in it.  If the fork goes into the potatoes with ease, they’re done!  Drain, keeping the potatoes and apples in the pot.  Return to stove but lower heat to medium-low.
3.  Add milk, Butter, Brown Sugar, Orange Zest, and just a sprinkle of cinnamon and just a shake of sea salt.
4.  Using a potato masher or just a fork, mash together until it reaches your desired consistency.  The apples do not mash as well as the sweets.  Don’t worry… it will still taste delish!

Chopping all those sweet potatoes was a lot of work!

So it's not pretty... but its very tasty! You won't want to share 🙂 ... I didn't!