Week Two of Apples of Gold had the theme “Loving Your Husband”. In that vein, I made for the ladies a dinner of some of Keith’s favorite foods. I started with the entree, my famous Smokehouse Brisket served with homemade BBQ sauce. This is made using the crockpot as a smoker, with mesquite wood chips actually IN the crockpot. Once I had that nailed down, I also had my theme for my dinner – Crockpots! So everything I made, I did so in more than a dozen loaned crockpots. Along with the brisket I served baked potatoes, green beans, and dinner rolls (the dinner rolls were from scratch, but I ended up not warming them in the crockpots, just because we were running out of outlets!).
For dessert I converted my mother’s baked apples recipe – which Keith goes gaga for – for use in the crockpot. We usually serve the baked apples as a side dish – like at Cracker Barrel – so I needed a way to “dessert” them up. Luckily I am hooked on “Top Chef – Just Desserts” and asked myself “What would the Cheftestants do?” I changed the name to “Crustless Apple Pie” and added an “a la mode” with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. A sprinkling of cinnamon sugar added flavor and decoration, and at the last minute I whipped up some cinnamon-sugar pie crust points as a garnish. It wouldn’t win Top Chef, but I was happy with it!
Thursday night’s group is also served an appetizer, since they eat dinner so late. To stay with the dual themes of “things Keith loves” and “things I can cook in a crockpot” I settled on a brie recipe from my favorite crockpotting blog, Crockpot365. It has apricot, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, rosemary and walnuts. Yuuuummm!