Cooking Contests / Winning Recipes

Savory Baked Breakfast Apples

I confess:  for many years, morning breakfast consisted of nothing more than boxed cereal.

I am ashamed.

With time and food allergies and mom guilt, I have tried to gradually transition away from boxed cereals and toward more whole, real morning meals like oatmeal, eggs, Canadian bacon, chicken sausage, and healthy versions of pancakes.  This is a process that has literally taken years.  We didn’t stop cold turkey.  I feared mutiny.  I simply purchased less and less cereal over time, stocked my kitchen with better choices, and left more time to actually cook in the morning.   Now cereal is the LAST option for us.  Woo Hoo!

Hands down, we eat oatmeal most days.   Each of my kids has become a master at making oats and we’re not talking about the little packets either.  Each has their signature add-ins: blueberries, raisins, jam, apples, pears…the list can go on and on.   I love it when they take an ordinary bowl of oatmeal and make it unique.

That same idea was my inspiration for my entry in the Jones Dairy Farm Rise, Shine, and Sizzle Recipe Contest.  The company was looking for unique, healthy, breakfast recipes.

My recipe is a baked apple stuffed with a savory oatmeal mixture of apples, raisins, and Jones Canadian Bacon.   It’s not a terribly photogenic dish, but it is delicious and scored thumbs up all around.

What’s even better is that my recipe was selected as one of twelve semi-finalists!  Very cool.

In order for me to advance to the next round, I need a little help.  Specifically, I need one little Facebook like.  That’s it.  If you follow the link below, you can simply like the picture of my apple recipe (pictured below).  The deadline for votes is Friday, July 15th at 5:00pm central time.  After that, it’s done.   I am going head-to-head with one other recipe.  The one with the most likes moves on to the next round.  So, if you are surfing around Facebook, will you give my recipe a little like?  Will you consider sharing that photo on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook?

Thanks so much!



Savory Baked Breakfast Apples

serves 4

4 medium sized Gala apples
8 slices Jones Dairy Farm Canadian Bacon, finely diced
1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion
2 tablespoons salted butter, divided
1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/2 cup Greek yogurt



Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Place 1/4 cup water into 2-quart round baking dish.  Set aside.

Using melon baller or spoon, scoop out a hole measuring about 2-inches in diameter in each apple, being careful not to break through the bottom or sides of the apple. Be sure to leave at least a 1/2-inch thick wall of apple all around. Reserve the insides of the apple.

Finely dice enough of the reserved apple to measure 1/2 cup.

Place diced apple, Canadian Bacon, onion and one tablespoon butter into skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are fragrant and translucent.

Add oats and almond milk into skillet and cook until nearly all almond milk has been absorbed, roughly 6-8 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and adjust temperature if needed to prevent burning. Remove from heat, stir in raisins, brown sugar, maple syrup, ground cinnamon and apple pie spice.

Fill each apple with oatmeal mixture. Cut remaining tablespoon of butter into fourths and place one piece on top of each apple. Place apples, open side up, into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce through the side of each apple.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

If desired top each apple with a dollop of Greek yogurt (about 2 tablespoons) and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon.

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