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The Best Baked Apples

SPINACH YOGURT DIP WITH POMEGRANATE AND WALNUTS
Prep time: 10 minutes. Serves: 6
2 (7oz) containers greek-style yogurt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 chopped cloves garlic
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (10oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 tbsp chopped dill
Dried chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped toasted walnuts
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate juice

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, dill, garlic, salt and pepper. Add spinach, mint and walnuts. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil and pomegranate juice; drizzle over dip just before serving. Serve with crackers, toasted pitas, or crudites.

EASY BLACK BEAN PIZZA
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes. Serves: 4
1 (10oz) pkg refrigerated pizza dough
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp salsa
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp bottled hot pepper sauce
Topping: ½ cup dairy sour cream and salsa
1-1/2 cups shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped red sweet pepper
¼ cup sliced green onion
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves chopped garlic

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Lightly grease an 11- to 13-inch pizza pan. Unroll pizza dough and transfer to greased pan, pressing dough out with your hands. Build up edges slightly. Prick generously with a fork. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a blender container or food processor bowl combine black beans, cilantro, salsa, cumin, hot pepper sauce, pepper, and garlic. Cover and blend or process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides if necessary.

Spread bean mixture over hot crust. Sprinkle with cheese, red sweet pepper, and green onion. Bake about 10 minutes more or until cheese melts and pizza is heated through.

In a small bowl combine sour cream and salsa. Serve with pizza.

The Best Baked Apples
THE BEST BAKED APPLES
Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 1hour. Serves: 4
4 apples (Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Johnathon, Empire, Rome etc.)
½ cup mixed dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, apricots, etc.)
¼ cup chopped almonds, walnuts, etc.
1-1/2 tbsp honey
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
4 tsp butter
½ cup apple cider vinegar or water
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F. Wash apples thoroughly. Remove ¾ of the core, leaving bottom intact. With a sharp knife peel 1-inch ring of skin from around the top of each apple, and save. Using the tip of a paring knife, make four small slashes about ½ inch deep around the equator of each apple (which enables the steam to release, which helps the apples remain intact). Spray ovenproof dish, just large enough to contain the apples, with cooking spray. Place the apples in the dish.

In a bowl, combine, dried fruit, nuts, honey, salt, and cinnamon. Divide butter into four and push into each apple cavity. Divide fruit into four and spoon into each cavity. Pour apple cider vinegar into baking dish and add saved, peeled skins.

Bake the apples, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until they are tender when pricked with a fork. The apples should take about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size and variety of apple. Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm, spoon over juices and with your favorite vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

Hint: The baked apples may be covered and refrigerated for up to several days; if you do this, reheat until warm, before serving.)

Note: I don’t really follow a strict recipe for baking apples, which is a testament to how easy this dish is to make. I either core or slice an apple in half and then bake it at 350° F for about 20 minutes. Depending on my mood, I’ll add dried fruit and nuts, a drizzle of honey, a little cinnamon and/or nutmeg.

Capt. Jan Robinson’s Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Visit www.shiptoshoreINC.com email CapJan@aol.com Tel: 704-277-6521. Don’t miss the new cookbook added to Jan’s collection – ‘DINING ON DECK’.

SPINACH YOGURT DIP WITH POMEGRANATE AND WALNUTS Prep time: 10 minutes. Serves: 6 2 (7oz) containers greek-style yogurt 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 chopped cloves garlic ½ tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 (10oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed 1 tbsp chopped dill Dried chopped mint 2 tbsp chopped toasted walnuts 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp pomegranate juice In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, dill, garlic, salt and pepper. Add spinach, mint and walnuts. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil and pomegranate juice; drizzle over dip…

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