How to Make the BEST BLT

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How to Make the BEST BLT

I know you’re probably thinking that you don’t need a recipe for a BLT…the ingredients are in the name of the sandwich, right? I have a few tricks to take your average BLT and make it the BEST BLT ever!

Ok, so growing up my parents were garden people, and on top of the horror of having to weed the garden all the time as a kid, they also would eat raw tomatoes with a little salt like it was an apple. The horror!

And now here we are, once again the enemy called “time” has taught me that “yeah behold I know that I am nothing” (Alma 26:12) because sure enough, there’s nothing more incredible than a garden tomato. The grocery store might as well rename their tomatoes because they are not the same thing. My mom would practically salivate at the mention of a BLT and now I’m totally wiping my keyboard clean as I do the same.

 

a photo of a perfect BLT sandwich with golden toasted bread, slices of crispy bacon, tomato slices and lettuce with mayo slightly seeping out the sides.

 

Tips for the BEST BLT

We know there aren’t a ton of ingredients in a BLT sandwich so the ingredients need to be done right! Here are our tips for BLT success:

Bread

We prefer a good high quality sourdough bread sliced fairly thin — about 1/2 inch thick. If you aren’t a sour dough fan, then do a good sturdy white bread or french bread.

PRO TIP: Give up the toaster and grill each slice of bread in butter (not bacon fat!) on a cast iron skillet only on one side. This way, the inside remains tender. Don’t over toast the bread! You are looking for a nice light golden brown.

a photo of half a blt sandwich that is golden and toasted on top with a little may seeping out and a layer of crispy bacon, bright red tomatoes and green leaf lettuce.Read more

Cranberry Apple Walnut Oatmeal

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Cranberry Apple Walnut Oatmeal is a tart and sweet body-warming dish perfect for filling those bellies before a busy day.

Apple Oatmeal

Cranberry Apple Oatmeal

Fall brings about such cozy feelings for me. Not only cozy sweatshirts and fires but cozy, warming things in my belly. The full-body warming feeling that comes from oatmeal is such morning comfort.

Being surrounded by local apple orchards, apple picking season brings about a bowl of fresh apples on the counter for weeks on end. There really isn’t a better snack and any that get soft I can easily toss into oatmeal or other dishes.

In August the orchards in our area put out a schedule of when each variety will be ready for picking. McIntosh’s are always first followed by Honeycrisp. Honeycrisp is our favorite for snacking! So good, fresh, crispy, and sweet.

For baking, I like Golden Delicious and Johnathan’s. Having local access to orchards here in Ohio it has been fun to discover varieties we hadn’t tried before like Ambrosia and Empire. I am curious about what you find in your areas?

This breakfast is so easy, warmed, and cooked in just one pot. Dicing a few apples – I even leave the peel on, warming them with oatmeal and spices fills your house with the scents of fall.

The aroma of spicy cinnamon and apples cooking always gets me in the mood for autumn. Oatmeal is everything I love about apple pie cooked into a hearty comforting breakfast.

Cranberry Apple Walnut Oatmeal

Apple Oatmeal with Cranberries and Walnuts

  • rolled oats
  • water
  • apples
  • chopped walnuts (pecans may be substituted)
  • dried cranberries
  • kosher salt
  • cinnamon
  • butter
  • light brown sugar, maple syrup or honey
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Sheet Pan Chicken with Potatoes and Green Beans

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This easy-as-can-be Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Green Beans has become a favorite in many of your homes over the past two years.

This is such an easy dinner recipe and my family continues to make it at least once a month. It only takes about 5 minutes of effort to toss the chicken, potatoes, and green beans in a simple lemon and herb vinaigrette before roasting until tender and crisp.

chicken with green beans and potatoes on pottery plate

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

Whoever invented the sheet pan really should be given a medal. I use my half-size sheet pans at least once, if not multiple times a day. Sheet pan dinners are one of my favorite ways to use them.

All other baked chicken aside, this recipe for sheet pan chicken thighs and potatoes is probably going to remain my favorite for a long time.

It takes less than 5 minutes to pull this entire chicken dinner together and get it into the oven. Just scatter the chicken, green beans, and potatoes across the baking sheet. Drizzle with the lemon vinaigrette and bake until done.

The chicken will be crispy, the potatoes with be tender, and the green beans will be cooked to perfection every single time. Every bite will be flavorful and this whole meal is certain to make you smile.

chicken potatoes and green beans

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs

While it’s cooking, you’re free to walk away from the kitchen. Your house will smell amazing and everyone will think you spent your day working hard in the kitchen.

The

Apple Brownies

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Chewy edges, crazy moist blondies, and a crackling crust add up to these mouthwatering, slightly sweet Apple Brownies.

blondies made with apples sliced on parchment

Apple Blondies

I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as too many apples. When making apple crisp if it says to use 6 cups, you better believe I am using 12 cups. And so far, no one has ever complained.

This recipe follows that philosophy. Other versions have some nicely chopped apples scattered throughout. Not this one – pack ’em in, it makes it so good!

The secret to the apples baking up so nicely is to use the varieties that are meant for baking. Johnathon apples are perfect for apple brownies as they hold their shape so well. McIntosh, not so much, use those for applesauce as they cook down and get deliciously saucy quite easily.

Back to our brownies – Oh. my. word. Friends! How have I never had apple brownies before now? They are AMAZING. Huge thanks to my friend Katie for telling me about them and encouraging me to try the recipe.

With hints of cinnamon and an abundance of sweet apples in every single bite, the reviews of this recipe have been overwhelming. Double thumbs up every time.

I’ve made these a couple of times already and shared them with friends and everyone went positively crazy over them. The texture is that of a blondie packed with cinnamon apples.

apple filled blondies on black plate next to apples

Apple Brownies

  • butter
  • white sugar
  • egg
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • cinnamon
  • apples 
  • chopped walnuts
unbaked apples and blondie batter in metal panRead more

Pineapple Mango Smoothie

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Pineapple Mango Smoothie, a refreshingly delicious and naturally sweet kid-approved green vegetable and fruit smoothie.

green smoothie in tall glass next to fruit

Pineapple Mango Smoothie

Using up leftover bits of this and that from the fridge or freezer can often result in some great new recipes. Quite a few of our favorite breakfast smoothies have begun this way.

These Pineapple Mango Smoothies with spinach are exactly that. I mixed this smoothie together recently because I wanted to use up the remaining pineapple juice from the canned pineapple I used in a batch of Hawaiian muffins.

When I shared this recipe with a friend her kids renamed these smoothies “Green Monster Smoothies” which gave me a good laugh.

I need to take notes from her because she has also convinced her kids that smoothies and crackers and cheese or hard-boiled eggs are a meal. That meal is a special treat they beg for when dad is out of town on business!

 

Frozen fruit creates a smooth texture for this drink. Often smoothies have ice cubes in them, which is fine, but we prefer ours this way. In order to always have ingredients on hand, you’ll want to freeze your fruit in advance.

If you have produce on the verge of spoiling, I like to prevent waste by freezing it. Just place the fruit on a sheet pan and freeze it. Then transfer the loose, frozen fruit to a zip-top bag for later use.

I do like to use fresh spinach when I have it on hand, but if you’re staring down a bit of leftover baby spinach don’t hesitate to toss it in the freezer. While it won’t be great on its own or if you try to cook it later, it will work well tossed into future smoothies.

Personally, we don’t care for the flavor of it after it is frozen and it just doesn’t seem to incorporate as smoothly. Speaking to smoothness though, since you are using spinach be sure to blend this extra to really get it purred in with the fruits.

All smoothies need some extra liquid to help the fruits and vegetables blend. Pineapple juice is the main one but water is your other liquid. Regular cold water is fine, or if you have some coconut water on hand it will be quite tasty.

The combination here is a great one. It was very smooth and much more juice-like than some of our other green smoothies. The kids and I enjoyed our smoothies on the back patio along with our Favorite Pancakes made into PB&J sandwiches. It was a fun lunch.

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