First fall meal

 It was pretty crummy out today, so Tyler and I decided to throw an impromptu party and had friends over to watch the Michigan vs. Wisconsin football game. I ran some errands this morning and stopped by the farmers market and was inspired to do a bunch of cooking and baking. 
 I always buy fresh flowers when I'm in town and I loved the fall colors of this bouquet. 
 The first thing I did was make homemade applesauce with all of the fresh apples I got at the farmers market. I definitely will NEVER buy applesauce again....this was that good! I used 4 large apples cut into cubes, and in a medium pan brought 3/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp. of cinnamon to a boil with the apple cubes. I then turned the heat down to simmer with the lid on and cooked everything for about 20 minutes. I then used my immersion blender to smooth everything out.
 For appetizers, I made these mini philly cheesesteak bites. I took crescent rolls and cut them into squares. I diced up a medium onion and green pepper and caramelized them on the stove. Once they were cooked, I diced up roast beef (deli meat about 1/8 lb.) and then sprinkled garlic salt and 1 tbl. Worcestershire sauce. I then spooned the mix into each square and sprinkled with shredded mozzarella cheese. I then wrapped up each piece and then baked at 350 for 15 minutes when the bites were golden brown.
 And no football party is complete without taco dip! We also had lots of cheese and hummus and pita bread....there's never a shortage of apps in our place :)
For the main course, I made pot roast and potato pancakes and the both didn't disappoint. I used this recipe and slightly tweaked it (see below).

Ingredients
  • 3 lb. chuck roast 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large onions, cut in half then thickly sliced
  • 2-4 cups beef broth
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 (16 oz bag) baby carrot
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 275ºF. Place the chuck roast on a flat surface and generously salt and pepper the roast.
  2. Heat a large dutch oven on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the oil is hot and shiny, add the thickly sliced onions. Allow the onions to brown and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the dutch oven. Place the meat inside and allow it to sear on all sides of 1 minute. You want the meat to brown as this will allow for a more tender roast. Remove to a plate.
  4. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of beef broth, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce, whisking and scraping the bottom of the pan to remove all the brown bits. When the pan has been deglazed, add the roast and the onions back into the pot along with the minced garlic. Pour enough beef broth into the pan to cover the meat half way (I used about 2 cups). Add the thyme and rosemary sprigs in. Cover the dutch oven with a lid and let sit in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  5. Add the carrots into the dutch oven and allow the roast to bake for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check for doneness of veggies by piercing with a knife. Remove pot from oven. 

 Ingredients
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tablespoons of butter for cooking
Directions
  1. Grate the potatoes and yellow onion and place them in a strainer in the sink. Let them sit for about 10 minutes to drain the excess water. 
  2. In a bowl, mix the potatoes and onion with the flour, salt, and beaten eggs.
  3. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and scoop 4-5 small handfuls of the mix and pat down to make each pancake flat. Cook until browned on both sides and then move them to a plate. Repeat until all potato mixture has been cooked and serve with homemade applesauce.

 Ready to dig in!
 And then for dessert, I made these beautiful and absolutely delicious apple roses. I will 100% be making these again!
 Ingredients
  • 1 packaged puff pastry
  • 3 large apples
  • 6 tablespoons of apricot jam
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • Cinnamon and powdered sugar for sprinkling
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a muffin tin.
  2. Cut apples in half and remove the core. Cut in really thin slices and in a microwave safe bowl, add water (not the tablespoons listed above) and lemon and cook for 3 minutes. You want the apple slices to be really soft and flimsy.
  3. Roll each puff pastry sheet out on floured surface and really stretch it. Cut 6 strips for each sheet (12 strips total).
  4. In a small microwave safe bowl, add apricot preserve and 4 tablespoons of water. Cook for 1 minute and mix with a whisk.
  5. Spoon the apricot mixture on each strip. Place the apple slides on the top third of the dough and overlap them. Sprinkle them with cinnamon.
  6. Fold the dough in half (basically up to the apple slices). Next roll the strip up so it looks like a flower.
  7. Place in muffin tin and bake for about 40 minutes. Pull out of the oven and let sit for 5 minutes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

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