Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Things to do with the little jar of apple pie spice you bought for Thanksgiving and won't use the rest of the year...

I have a tiny jar of apple pie spice in my cabinet.  I actually didn't buy it - the company I buy my spices from (http://www.penzeys.com/) sent it to me as a free sample with an order.  I tend to prefer to blend my own spices for that kind of thing so I had never used it when I came across a recipe for "apple pie play dough".  I wish I could remember where the recipe came from, but I'll share it below anyway and hope I don't get slammed for not crediting it.

That said, I have since been looking for other uses for this little jar of tastiness and have come up with a few uses that my toddler loves.  He even came up with a recipe on his own!
So here is my list of ways to use up apple pie spice.  Because you know it won't be fresh enough next year, right?  RIGHT?

Apple Pie Scented Playdough (recipe below)

Mix with a little bit of sugar instead of cinnamon to sprinkle on toast

Jack's recipe for Apple Spiced Granola and Peanut Butter sandwich (recipe below!)

Add to applesauce or pearsauce instead of cinnamon (basically, use instead of cinnamon anytime you want!)

Keep cooking that applesauce until it turns into apple butter

Dust over vanilla ice cream

Chop up an apple (peeled, if desired), and saute in a pan with a little butter, apple juice, and apple pie spice until soft

Add to oatmeal along with some chopped, cooked apples or apple sauce

Add to pancake or waffle batter (add diced pieces of apple as well for bonus points);  top with apple butter instead of maple syrup

I have found that frequently, Jack will happily try something if I let him add spices to it himself.  So when I am cooking, I will let him add pinches of whatever herbs and spices I am using to the dish.  The tiny amounts he adds don't make much difference and they let him feel like part of the process.  Since he was very young, he has loved to taste spices - even dry mustard or crushed red pepper MUST be tasted!  He is more interested in trying foods when he has tasted everything that goes into them (usually, he wants to try all the other ingredients, too).

Apple Spice Scented Playdough
1 c flour

1/2 c salt
2 t cream of tartar
2 t apple pie spice
1/2 t cinnamon
1 T vegetable oil
1 c water
red food coloring
In med. nonstick saucepan blend dry ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients until smooth. Add food coloring. Put pan on medium heat and stir until it makes a large ball. Remove from heat and place on parchment. Allow to cool. Knead until consistancy is right. Store in ziplock baggies up to 2 weeks.
Jack's Apple Pie Spiced Granola and Peanut Butter Sandwich

1 Nature Valley Granola bar, crushed into small pieces
2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
2-3 T natural peanut butter
sprinkle of apple pie spice

Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread.  Sprinkle granola bar and apple pie spice over peanut butter and top with second slice of bread.  Cut into fun shapes and serve :)

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