“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.”— Laila Ali

To be honest, I don’t surrender easily to fall. I’m not crazy about pumpkins or pumpkin spice lattes, so thank God for apples. I absolutely love them: Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Gala…to name a few.

Apple Slices and Almond Butter in Crum-bowls

For me, there’s nothing more perfect than an apple: so delicious, so nutritious, and so low-calorie. They are delightful cut into slivers and served with almond butter for a snack any time of day that’s sure to please. And for something delicious but a little more indulgent, who doesn’t love a caramel apple?

One of my favorite farmers currently has 12 types of apples at the market, but, I must admit, once I’ve surrendered to the idea of fall, one of the best parts is apple picking. You certainly can’t find fresher apples than the ones straight from the tree and the entire experience makes me feel more connected to the seasons and reminds me of when my kids were little. It also reminds me of my mom, who loved apples just like I do.

Apples lend themselves so well to a wide range of dishes. If you’re looking for a fall entrée that is absolutely spectacular, here’s a favorite from my cookbook: Chicken Paillard with Pancetta, Apples, Pecans, and Crispy Kale served with Whole Sisters Ranch. This level of deliciousness helps me embrace autumn and makes summer’s departure feel a bit less wistful. Can you believe it’s Whole30 compatible?


My Gluten-Free Apple Crumble (click here for the recipe) takes the celebration of apples a step further. The beauty of a crumble is that you can make a different one for every season, depending on which fruit is ripe. It’s so easy to throw together, it makes you happy to eat it, and it’s absolutely the breakfast of champions, as apples are high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. I love knowing that I’m supporting local orchards, whether I’m using apples from the farmers market or apples I picked myself.

Hasselback Apples

And what about Cardamom Hasselback Apples? This gorgeous dessert is quite easy, but certainly next level in terms of looking and feeling special. They are beautiful and taste so delicious, either by themselves or with vanilla skyr. The hack to get them to look this way is to put chopsticks on either side when you cut the apple, so you know just where to stop.

Apple Slice The Hungry Bluebird
Photo by @thehungrybluebird

Speaking of local, did you know that Chicago’s small neighborhood bakeries are famous for their Apple Slices? It’s kind of a spectacular dessert made in a large sheet pan with (you guessed it) apple slices. It’s like a two-crust apple pie but cut into squares like a brownie and frosted on top.

In my house we’ve always been fans of Martinelli’s sparkling apple juice— there’s simply nothing better. We always have a bottle on hand, whether as a recipe ingredient or a refreshing sip of fresh apple goodness.

This is an excerpt from Friday Favorites #97, Apples. To get more content like this right to your inbox, sign up for Friday Favorites here. The full issue includes contributions from @thereallailaali, @inspiredwithatwist, @mickklugfarm, Alex Krulewitch, and @dianemorrisey. If you would like to read this full issue, screenshot a confirmation of your Friday Favorites submission and DM me on Instagram with the screenshot and let me know you want to read the issue. I can send you the issue right away!

teri in yard with book