Good Grief & How do You Like Them SuperBowl Stuffed Apples

a variety of local farm apples

a variety of local farm apples

This week’s blog post is brought to you by a chance meeting with “a genius” at the Apple store. If you own an Apple anything you probably are familiar with all the friendly folks who provide such fabulous customer service and classes at your local store. I especially enjoy the “one-to-one” tutoring and yesterday I was learning about iphoto and photo organization. As I was working with Charlie I mentioned a small glitch I was having with the computer. He immediately signed me in to have a session with a repair associate and while I was at it he recommended I also meet with a business associate in case I ever wanted to turn this blog into a business. As a side note, GoodGriefCook will never be a business, but I was flattered.

pick your own heirloom apples getting a bath

pick your own heirloom apples getting a bath

Off to the “Genius” bar I go where Chris is now analyzing my computer. He is reading and talking in code and I fully understand how he’s earned the title of “Genius”. I have no clue what he is saying or doing, but I nod politely and go along with it. Meanwhile, the business associate joins us and asks me to tell him about my food blog. We chat for a few minutes and then I turn my attention back to Chris who has completed the diagnostics. It comes as no shock that he has figured out the computer glitch, but what he says next completely surprises me. He looks me straight in the eyes and says, “I am going to read your blog. You see I have been going through some things with grief that I don’t understand. It isn’t getting better “.

cranberries are the perfect bittersweet fruit

cranberries are the perfect bittersweet fruit

Gosh darn it if I didn’t feel like “the Genius” now. It’s not a job I trained for, but I sure could relate to what he was trying to figure out. I could not fix it like a computer, but maybe I could help in some small way. I hope I listened well and I hope that I did the best teaching of my life in that moment with Chris who was feeling so alone in the middle of that crowded Apple store.

that's Italian

that’s Italian

Are you anticipating a big crowd around your TV for the Superbowl? This recipe landed me a finalist spot in the Ocean Spray Tailgate recipe contest a few years ago and a trip to Gillette stadium where the New England Patriots play. I remember the judge, Chef Ming Tsai saying my recipe would be fit for a tailgate with Martha Stewart. I was flattered.

Big Game Cranberry Sausage Stuffed Apples

8 large Granny Smith apples

8 ounces sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup Ocean Spray® Cran•Apple™ Cranberry Apple Juice Drink

2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped plus 16 whole berries

1 large egg, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Slice off 1 inch from top of each apple. Core apples, but do not go through bottom. Scoop out remaining apple flesh, leaving 1/4-inch shell. Chop scooped apple flesh.

Cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat, stirring to crumble, until no longer pink. Add onion and chopped apples; cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is softened. Add juice drink, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add chopped cranberries, egg, brown sugar, parsley, thyme and 1 cup cheese; mix well. Fill apple shells with stuffing. Sprinkle tops with remaining cheese and the walnuts. Top each with 2 whole cranberries. Place apples in large baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Ocean Spray Tailgating Recipe Contest Finalist 
Lisa Keys.

14 thoughts on “Good Grief & How do You Like Them SuperBowl Stuffed Apples

  1. Dearest Lisa,
    All of your writing touches my heart and this one did too, especially so. You just never know when you are going to make a difference is someone’s life, even an almost stranger. Keep on going with this! Your words are powerful and they matter.
    XO Wendy

  2. You touch so many people, and there are many more Chris’s to come.
    The stuffed apples sound heavenly.

  3. Lisa, I smiled as I read about your encounter with the genious at the Apple store. Until a year ago, I lived next door to an Apple “genious” and they are amazing. Travis’ parents divorced and he was torn where to live, but now lives with his dad! There really is no one out there not struggling with something … How nice that you helped each other! Keep up the great work you do and your recipe sounds amazing. I host Super Bowl at my house but saw this too late for tomorrow, but will make it another time. Hope all is going well for you!!!

  4. Thanks, Martine. I agree that we are all struggling with something. In a moment everything can change for better or worse. It is then that one has to make some tough choices. A simple smile, lending an ear or touch of the hand can make all the difference in the world.

    I bet your game day spread will be super delicious

  5. I love reading your blog. These sound wonderful. There are no coincidences in life, I believe your were directed there and that is what is called a GodWink.

  6. I know how Chris feels. Food is such a big part of my family’s life and Aidan loved cooking. I won’t forget the day I found your blog. I want you to know how much I truly look forward to it.
    The apples look delicious. Although I wanted to scrap cooking for the Super Bowl , my kids begged me to make my tried and trues for the game. We are expecting snow tomorrow, so I’ll be trying them then. (Although I did use some of my Kind spices on 1/2 the wings!)
    Go Pats

  7. I bet the best part of that Super Bowl were the goodies you served. I thought the commercials (especially Nationwide on child accident prevention) sad and so I had to turn it off. I heard the Patriots won so hope that made you smile.

    • Well I sure hope I said the right thing and that maybe Chris will stop by the blog to learn that he is never alone. The funny thing is that I had another blog post all ready to go but meeting him changed all that.

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