Only one week left until I start at the Culinary Institute of America!!!  I have been very busy lately packing and enjoying the last few days of summer but I wanted to squeeze in one more post about what i’ve been up to lately before I leave. I am still planning on blogging while I’m at school, however, The Cheftell Blog will take on a new format of day-in-the-life posts.  I hope that you all will continue to follow my blog and experience at the CIA!IMG_2260IMG_2277

Every year my family loves to go apple picking.  We usually go later on in the season, however, we decided to go earlier this year so I could go as well! We tried a new farm this year that was closer to home.  It showcased unique art pieces around the orchard.  It was definitely an interesting twist on apple picking – almost like an outdoor art museum. We picked a bag of macintosh and bought a bag of seconds to make applesauce.  I could eat the applesauce my mom makes every year for dessert – it’s that good! This year I made it for us since I have been home for most of the day.  All you need to make it is fresh apples, cinnamon and a little bit of sugar! I typed out the recipe below. IMG_2271IMG_2286IMG_2273IMG_2280IMG_2324

We are still receiving bountiful bags of produce from our farm share. I was really excited this week because we started getting fall vegetables like squash and broccoli. Lots of acorn squash, spaghetti squash and a pumpkin too! I forgot my camera though so unfortunately there are no pictures from this week.

Even though it is late in the season we are still getting a TON of tomatoes every week from our farm.  I have been making and freezing lots of tomato sauce and bruschetta! They are so sweet I enjoy eating them in wedges right off the cutting board as a snack.

Here are some of the dishes that I’ve made recently…

Bruschetta with red and yellow tomatoes, red onion, basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

Frittata with leeks, yellow tomatoes, cheddar cheese and mixed herbs and cooking greens.IMG_2044

Tomato basil bisque with Parmesan sourdough croutons.IMG_2292

Fall salad with spring greens, ripe Bartlett pears, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese and a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. IMG_2310

Mushroom chicken hoisin wraps with miso edamame.

Brown sugar spiced pork chops with mashed cauliflower and miso glazed green beans topped with an herbed sour cream. Served with a side of applesauce.IMG_2311

Spaghetti squash with spicy marinara and Parmesan cheese.IMG_2245

Aunt Eunice’s Famous Coconut Cake…vanilla cake with marshmallow frosting and lots of freshly grated coconut for my Grandmother’s birthday.  I decided to surprise her with her favorite cake from our 91 year old aunt Eunice…little did I know how involved it is to grate your own coconut. Needless to say I broke out the power tools. It was well worth it though and a great learning experience!IMG_2120

Dark chocolate almond torte with wild blueberry sorbet and pistachios.

Homemade Applesauce

Yields roughly 4 quarts


1/2 bushel of apples (recommend: Macintosh seconds)

1 cup of sugar (more or less depending on sweetness of apples)

3 Tablespoons of cinnamon (more or less depending on your likeness)

Pinch of kosher salt


Wash and peel all of your apples. Slice in long, thin slices using up as much of the apple as possible (almost as if you were making an apple pie or apple dessert). *You could use an apple corer or hand crank apple peeler if you have one. Add all of the apples to a large stock pot. Add sugar and cinnamon to your liking. Remember that it will concentrate when it boils down. You can always add more cinnamon and sugar later but you can’t take it away! I like it to simply taste like the apples – not to sweet and not over powered by cinnamon.

Cook on low heat, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours stirring every 15 minutes or so.  The apples will eventually cook down. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash half of the apples. (You could mash all of the applesauce but, I like the texture of the apple pieces).

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week or in quart size plastic freezer bags in the freezer for up to a year. Enjoy all fall and winter long with your favorite comfort classics.


I hope you will continue to follow my adventures at the CIA! 🙂