Apple Cider Muffins

by Marykate Smith Despres, Salem Depot

Although apple cider is perfect simply warmed on the stove with a few sticks of cinnamon and some cloves, once you read through this recipe, you may want to switch things up and eat your cider. This recipe offers a great way to use both the apples and apple cider that members with fruit shares got at the Coop last week.

Notice that these muffins call for just baking soda rather than baking powder. That’s because apple cider acts as an acid, which combines with the baking soda to help your muffins rise. Without the addition of baking powder or a stronger acid like apple cider vinegar, and because of the added heaviness of the actual apples in the batter, these muffins will be quite dense and moist. This means that they will make for great treats even a day or two after they’ve been baked.

This recipe is adapted from one featured on by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox.

You’ll need:

Unsalted butter, for the muffin tins (optional)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup grapeseed oil

3 large eggs

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup apple cider

3/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 apples, peeled, cored, coarsely grated

1 Tbsp unrefined sugar, for sprinkling on top of muffins

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the granulated and brown sugars with the oil in a mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs. Get two more bowls and combine the dry ingredients in one and the apple cider, sour cream and vanilla in the other.

Add the wet and dry mixtures to the sugars gradually, being careful not to over mix. Fold in grated apples last. Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and top with unrefined sugar.

Bake 12-15 minutes, rotate, and bake another 12-15 minutes until muffin centers are springy when touched. Let the muffins stand in the tins another 10 minutes after taken out of the oven and before transferring to cooling rack.


Southwestern Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

by Marykate Smith Despres, Salem Depot, recipe from Barbara Roy, Marblehead Depot

Marblehead member Barbara Roy sent us this recipe, one of her favorites adapted from, and added, “Perfect to use some of the sweet potatoes from this week’s share.”

You’ll need:

3/4 pound uncooked boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 large onion, chopped

29 oz of diced tomatoes (the recipe suggests canned, salsa-style tomatoes with chiles, undrained)

14 1/2 oz fat-free chicken broth

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernals

Combine everything but the corn in the crockpot and cook covered on low for 6 hours. Add corn and cook about 30 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through.

Thanks, Barabara!

Keep ’em coming, folks! We need more crockpot meals for the blog that use ingredients, like this one does, that you find in your weekly share.


A Call to Slow Cookers

I love my crockpot. It is perhaps one of the best hand-me-downs I ever got. It was given to me while I was pregnant, tired, working long hours and always hungry (not hungry as in lacking enough food hungry, hungry as in growing a human hungry).

The sister of a firefighter and wife of a worrier, I make my slow cooked meals overnight rather than leaving the pot on while out of the house. Personally, I’d rather have the house burn down while I’m at work than while I’m sleeping, but I also don’t mind waking up to the smell of dinner already cooked at six in the morning.

For the rest of the season, I’d like to post at least one crockpot recipe a week, but I need your help to do it! What can you do with a crockpot? Meat, veggies, soups or stews? Anyone know a slow cooked dessert?

Send your recipes to