The trick for perfectly crisp, juicy apples, every time

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With prime apple harvest season being September and October, now is the time to stock up on these crunchy gems packed with fiber and vitamin C. Shockingly, there are more than 100 different apple varieties grown in the U.S. This fruit is also quite versatile. You have your tart, mildly sweet apples like Jonagolds, Granny Smiths or Honeycrisps to your juicy and sweet varieties like Gala, Fuji and McIntosh, plus everything in-between.

If you’re wondering how to store apples in your fridge to preserve them the longest or simply how to choose a good one, we’ve got you covered.

The Best Way To Eat Apples

When eating a fresh apple, keep the skin on. This is where the most nutrients can be found. If you discard the skin, you’ll remove most of the fiber and the flavonoids. Apples are easy to store and transport, making them a great on-the-go snack. You can eat them on their own, or with nut butter or a slice of cheese. Bake them into pies, sauté them or transform them into juice or cider.

Dehydrated apples make a delicious snack, too, especially when mixed with nuts and seeds as a trail mix. Just be aware that apples lose vitamin C when they are dried.

Be Selective When Picking

Do you consistently find yourself picking bad apples? While it’s virtually impossible to tell if an apple is going to be mealy by just looking at it, avoiding varieties that are known for this trait, such as Galas, might be the simplest. When you’re at the grocery store or farmers’ market, look for apples without any bruises or flat spots. Avoid punctures when possible because they can lead to faster decay. If you don’t see any wrinkling when you give it a gentle squeeze, it’s a keeper.

How To Store Apples From The Market

With a little prep work, apples can be stored for a surprisingly long amount of time, remaining fresh for at least one to two months, if not longer. Skip displaying them in a bowl on your countertop because they’ll only keep for about a week and instead place them in their own crisper drawer.

Apples continue to ripen after they’re harvested and emit a gas called ethylene. The fridge’s cold temperature helps slow down the production of ethylene, but some varieties will still cast a small amount. Ethylene speeds up the ripening of other produce in close proximity, which is why apples do best when stored on their own. (Hot tip: If you need to ripen a hard avocado quickly, pop it in a paper bag with an apple.)

How To Store Apples From Apple Picking

If you go apple picking and come home with a large batch, try wrapping the apples in damp paper towels and storing them in a punctured plastic bag (again, in their own crisper drawer).

Now that you know how to store apples, you can eat them any way you want, like by baking them into a bubble-up dish or creating an apple rosemary fizz cocktail. Either way, it’ll be delicious.


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Easy, delicious one-pot recipes for fall


The coming of winter brings many things, depending on where one resides. Fall foliage, followed by falling leaves; snowfalls, and with them the opportunity to make a snowman or two; and shorter days and longer nights. After autumn, it’s my favorite season. (I pity those residing in Florida, because they miss out on these wonderful winter things.)


One reason I love the season is that it offers me many chances to plan dinners that are comforting, warm, delicious, and easy. I’m talking one-pot meals that are full of flavor and nutrition. There are fewer hours of daylight in winter, so the less time I spend preparing meals and washing dishes and pots after dinner, the better.


I’m often accused of using too many pots, pans, and bowls when I cook, and I admit that many of the things I make do require an abundance of vessels, but I also enjoy preparing dishes in a manner that gives me more time to spend with family and friends and less time washing up. (Note: Some of these recipes are perfect served with rice or cous cous or another grain, and if you choose to do so you might need to prepare your grain in a separate pot, but that’s as easy as 1-2-3, is it not? You also might need to use one bowl to mix a few ingredients. But you’ll cook all of these recipes in nothing but a pot, pan, pressure cooker, or Instant Pot.)


Here you’ll find meal ideas that span the culinary world, from a delicious Moroccan-inspired chicken dish creation to an easy chili made in an Instant Pot. There’s something for vegetarians, as well. We’ll make some side dishes and desserts, too.


Let’s get cooking!


Related: These easy soup recipes will be your dinnertime go-tos all winter



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When the days turn cooler and the sunlight slants at that beautiful autumn angle making chili becomes my calling. When time is short, I forgo my go-to method, which involves roasting dried peppers and making a paste with them, as well as several other time-consuming steps. Instead, I use my Instant Pot, and I’ve never been disappointed.


I’ve tried a number of Instant Pot chili recipes over the years, and many of them are similar, but the one I’ve gone to most often (and adapted by adding lamb and bacon) is from Jessica Gavin. It’s easy, and it’s full of flavor. Hint: Make sure your spices are fresh, and don’t skimp on the jalapeño peppers.


Get the recipe here.


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While poaching is seen by some as an old-fashioned, outdated cooking method, I can’t think of an easier way to cook a whole chicken. A large pot, some black peppercorns, bay leaves, salt, a few carrots and a quartered onion, plus several celery stalks, water, and of course, the best chicken you can find. That’s the basics. (Yes, you can poach your bird in cream, if you wish.)


I have poached scores of chickens thus far in my life, and will, I hope, poach several hundred more before my cooking days are over. My Chef’s Apron is behind this recipe, and it’s a good one. Bonus: You’ll appreciate the leftover meat that you can use in soups, sandwiches, or casseroles.


Cook this now.


The Brockhaus


One word for you here: salmon. I love a good fish curry with salmon, and every time I make it my mind wanders to New Delhi, or perhaps London, because I’ve had great curries in both places. If you don’t like salmon, haddock works, as does cod or halibut. (You can substitute shrimp for the fish as well, if that’s your thing.)


Whatever you do, don’t skip any of the spices or herbs here. The ginger, garlic, and curry paste or powder, in sufficient amounts, are necessary. Don’t expect a bland curry dish to make smiles happen at your table.


Girl Heart Food supplies this recipe, and it’s a good one. Click here to learn how to cook it.


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Rice pudding by any other name would taste as, well, delicious, and this easy, quick dessert that you can make in an Instant Pot is Arroz con Leche. Or rice pudding. It’s sweet, but not overly, and it’s decadent and rich. Best of all, it’s an ideal dessert for all kinds of main courses. (I’ve even enjoyed it for breakfast.)


Tip: always rinse your rice in running water before cooking. Cinnamon optional, of course.


Here’s One Happy Housewife’s version of Arroz con Leche.


Related: Easy sheet pan recipes your whole family will love


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Full of fiber, vitamins and potassium, kale is a vegetable I cook at least twice a month. I’ve been buying organic kale at Trader Joe’s lately, and am happy with it; it’s prewashed and chopped, a bonus. You can, of course, buy yours at a farmer’s market, or frozen from the grocery story.


Garlic and chili flakes are delicious here, and I like to add a touch of acid to my kale, so balsamic vinegar is my go-to choice. Just put a splash or two in the pan after the kale is done.


Here’s your recipe.


I urge you to find fresh, wild-caught shrimp for this easy recipe, but if you cannot, try to at least buy wild-caught frozen shrimp. Farmed shrimp comes with lots of issues …


This one’s from Mark Bittman, and it’s about as easy as opening a jar of olives. Seriously. You’ll want to make it at least once a week, and serve it with a loaf of crusty, warm bread. The garlic, cumin, and paprika combination is sublime. (Wine pairing: a lively Albariño, such as this one from Mettler Family Vineyards.)


Here’s the recipe.


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Be still my heart. Yes, I adore this traditional recipe from the days of my youth and living in the U.S. South. It’s rich and warm and comforting, and if you are seeking a simple appetizer or party hors d’oeuvre, stop looking, because this is a great one.


There are myriad ways to make this, and they are all simple. Spread this classic dip on cracker or toast points, and serve with sherry, if you wish.


Here’s the way to make it, from


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Lamb is perhaps my favorite type of meat … and I love it all. Chops, bacon, leg, you name it, I cook and eat it. Meatballs from ground lamb is at the top of my list, however, and they are often on my mind when I consider meal ideas.


Meatballs in a tomato sauce are what I lean toward nine times out of 10, but I recently tried a recipe I found on Good Food Baddie, and I’ve added it to my rotation. All you need is a skillet, and a handful of ingredients, and about 30 minutes. Dinner will be a happy occasion. I paired a Tempranillo with this dish, and it was just what was needed.


Here’s the recipe.


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Here’s a soup that has stood the test of time, and done so with nothing but requests for more. You can use fresh tomatoes, or canned tomatoes, water or stock (vegetable or chicken). But, always use fresh basil, and garnish with more if it. (A touch of cream swirled in at the end of cooking is never a bad thing. Trust me.)


The recipe I chose does use cream, and it’s marvelous. One pot, minimal prep, and flavor galore.


Get the recipe here from Taste of Home.


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Cooking complete dishes on a sheet pan has become popular as of late, and I can see why. One pan, a few ingredients, all of the juices and textures and flavors mingling in the oven … what’s not to like?


This recipe, from the Beach House Kitchen, calls for acorn squash, but I’ve used pumpkin and butternut as well. I prefer hot Italian sausage, but mild, chicken, turkey, and non-meat will work as well. Line your sheet pan with aluminum foil if you wish for even easier cleanup!


If you don’t eat meat, add onions and other vegetables, such as broccoli, to the pan and enjoy!


Here’s how to make it.




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To a dessert now, one that can be mixed in its cooking container and popped into the oven. It makes for an easy weeknight final course, and it can be made with many types of fruit, including peaches, blueberries, and apricots.


The recipe I use comes from a great-aunt of mine, and she’s been making this cobbler for decades. While hers is my favorite, a version I found at Pear Tree Kitchen is quite good, and simple.


Get the recipe here.




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You might think of seafood when you read the word “bouillabaisse” … and for good reason. It’s a classic dish that’s been made for centuries, and is considered to have hailed from Marseille. Keith Floyd  — one of my favorite chefs and television personalities — showed me how to make this Gallic wonder, and you won’t find a more satisfying bowl of food anywhere.


That said, making bouillabaisse can be a process, and that’s not our mission here. Instead, let’s prepare chicken bouillabaisse, in one pot. There’s saffron, and fennel, and tomatoes, and it’s a wonderful way to use chicken. A red wine from Cahors would be an ideal pairing.


Here’s your recipe, from Serious Eats.


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Let’s head back to lamb, that versatile protein loved by so many around the world. This time, instead of meatballs, we are going for a rich and hearty stew made in one pot. It can be the centerpiece of a Saturday evening meal, and served with a loaf of bread and a jug of wine, it is perfect. (Yes, you can substitute beef for the lamb, so do that if you want. I recommend chuck or a similar stewing cut.)


Curry Trail is the source of this satisfying recipe, which you can find here.


I cannot say or write enough about Marcella Hazan. She was a passionate, opinionated, and dedicated cook, teacher, and writer, and I urge you to buy her books if you are not familiar with her.


It’s a good thing to know how to make your own tomato sauce, and Hazan’s is by far my favorite one. I make it often, and use it in all types of pasta dishes. I freeze it, I give it to friends as gifts, and I eat it by the spoonful. The secrets? Butter, and a whole onion.


Here is the recipe


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