Bottom Of The Barrel

Wondering what to do with those last few apples at the bottom of the barrel? I had about six bruised and battered apples left from our trip to the orchard. I hated to throw these forgotten few on the compost pile so I decided to make a batch of apple pie topping. This was so easy and it can be used on everything from ice cream to pancakes, to granola.

Apple Pie Topping


1 1/2 Tbsp butter

6 apples, peeled and diced

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt


Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apples to the melted butter and stir to coat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Cook until the apples soften but are not mushy, about 5-7 minutes. Serve warm over some pancakes. Or let cool and top your favorite ice cream. Your kids will probably prefer the ice cream option…


And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “Put mine on the side!”

Liam (age 5): “Thumbs middle”

Dylan (age 5): “Just ice cream!”

Who cares about the verdict – I used up all the apples!!!

Any other ideas for cooking those last few apples? Please share!

Happy Belated Birthday to Us!

House of Bedlam turns 2 this year! We’ve been so busy with soccer and hockey we almost forgot to celebrate. We’ve jumped many food hurdles this past year and I’m looking forward to concocting more recipes for my little crew to sample. So far this year, we’ve mastered broccoli, tackled carrots, dabbled in tofu, made our own ice cream and cooked many stellar chicken nugget recipes. Our goals for the year ahead will be banning the words “yuck”, “disgusting”, and “eewww” from the dinner table. Still a serious work in progress but I’m hopeful it will happen one of these days…

In keeping with tradition this birthday post will be a recipe using, you guessed it, apples. Fall is picking season so we’re flush with fruit from our annual orchard excursion. And since my kids have begged me to stop giving them apples in their lunchboxes I have many to spare. As always, I face the same challenge; what to do with all this fruit before it rots? There are only so many apples you can bring to teachers. And our attempts to give a few to our neighbors did not go well – they have their own bushels to get rid of.

Instead of sweet, I went savory. And in the process I learned that hot fruit is not so kid-friendly. Although, in my opinion, this recipe is worth trying again, it was yummy. Maybe less apple though….

Pork & Apples Sausage


I medium sized apple, finely diced

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

1 lb. ground pork

1 ½ Tbsp. fennel seeds, finely chopped

1 ½ Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper


Heat a large skillet on medium to high heat and add 1 Tbsp. of the oil. Sauté the apples until soft but not mushy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove apples from pan, set aside to cool. Wipe out skillet.


In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, fennel, sage, brown sugar, salt and pepper, and apples. Form into 1” balls and then flatten into patties.


Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. In small batches (don’t crowd the pan) add the patties and brown on both sides. About 5-6 minutes per side depending on the thickness.


Remove cooked patties and drain on paper towels. The pieces of apple that fall loose from the cooked patties will caramelize and are delicious. Scoop those up to garnish the sausage. Enjoy!


And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “Don’t like it”

Liam (age 5): “It’s too squishy”

Dylan (age 5): “Don’t like the onion part”

If your kids don’t like these, not to worry, save them as leftovers for Sunday breakfast, they are great with poached eggs!

To our followers, old and new (all 600 of you!), a big thank you for following along with us this past year. We appreciated every comment, Facebook like, and retweet!

One Year Older – One Year Wiser

This week marks the one-year anniversary of House of Bedlam – hard to believe a whole year and 52 blog posts have gone by so fast. My goal when I started this little project was to get my kids to start eating better and enjoying real food. Looking back over all the new foods they have tasted I believe we made huge strides. Of course, we still have a long way to go but one thing is for sure, my kids have become a lot more fun to cook for. Okay, there are still days when someone screams at seeing a pea on his plate but at least it is not EVERY day anymore. Most nights our family dinners, while still loud, are somewhat less combustible. Another added bonus, the boys have started to set the table!

My very first post was a simple one about apples so I felt compelled to come full circle and try another apple recipe. We always take a trip to an orchard this time of year so we have a huge basket of apples ready and waiting to be turned into something yummy. I found a scrap of paper tucked in a cookbook with an old recipe for apple muffins. They are delicious and if I could remember the person who shared it with me I would gladly credit them. If you are reading this and it is you, please let me know…

So the big question is has all this cooking been worth the effort? The answer is a big fat YES! I look forward to forging ahead with new dishes in the coming year. Thanks so much to all of you who have followed along with us and for the many comments (we love getting those comments!), and encouraging words.

Now on to baking –

Apple Cobbler Muffins

To these delicious muffins I added an oat crumble topping. The crumble is totally optional, but I had a feeling my kids would love it so I made mine with. I also made them mini since they are a bit high on the sugar content.



2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking salt

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups finely chopped apples



1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp whole grain oats

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp butter



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with paper baking cups.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a larger bowl, beat or whisk together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Gently stir in the apples.

IMG_6298 Gradually add in the flour mixture a bit at a time until well blended. The mix will be a chunky consistency. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan. Note: You can add more or less apples to your mix depending on taste.

For the topping:

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon. Add the butter and use your hands to mix into coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the tops of the mixture in the muffin pan. Press down on the topping a little bit so it sticks well when baking.


Bake approximately 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin tests clean. After 5 minutes, remove muffins from pan and cool on a wire rack.


And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “Wow, I love these!”

Liam (age 4): “Did you use the purple apples in these? It tastes like it”

Dylan (age 4): “I didn’t like the fruit part – Can I try another?”

Nothing like a purple apple muffin!