Friday, September 7, 2012

Apple Recipes and Tips & How to Have Productive Day

Cooking with Apples: Tips & Recipes
School's back in session, leaves are just starting to turn on the trees around the studio, and apple season here.  Today on Fact or Fiction we did some Apple Trivia so I thought I would share more trivia, baking tips, and recipes in honor of my most favorite time of year - Fall!

Types of Apples and How to Use Them:
There have been times when I wanted to make a recipe with apples, but either couldn't find the type of apple the recipe recommended or the recipe isn't specific to begin with.  Here's a go-to guide for apples to give you an idea of which ones would best suit all of your delicious fall recipes!

Pre-Cooking Apples for Pies:  Pre-cooking apples before using them in a recipe is very important.
1) Shrinks the apples allowing more fruit per inch of the pie
2) Eliminates the gap between the fruit and the top crust
3) Reduces the chance of the pie's juices overflowing the dish.

Apple Trivia: 

Apple Recipes:
Fall baking is one of my favorite things.  Apple and pumpkin recipes are probably some of my favorite treats.  Last weekend, I made some Apple Pie Bread.  I will try to find and post that recipe later this evening too.  If I can't find it in time, I will post it tomorrow morning with the Saturday's recaps.

Free-Form Apple Pear Tart w/ Cranberries
Blue Ribbon Deep Dish Apple Pie
Caramel Apple Muffins

Tips for a More Productive Day:
This morning we also talked about some ways to be more productive.  Some of them aren't what you would think.

The Inbox Can Wait: We are all more connected than ever with texting, emails, social media capabilities through our cellphones.  If your not careful, all of those emails and texts will distract you from getting your work done. Designate communication-free times that you dedicate to real work - say 60 to 90 minutes.  Then check and reply to all messages that you received during that time.

Write Everything Down: This tip comes from David Allen's book Getting Things Done. Any time an idea or to-do pops into your head, immediately write it down. A lot of times we often have so much on our plates or so many back-to-back meetings that we can forget critical thoughts and ideas we have throughout the day.  Our general manager also shared a tip with us that his wife recommends.  She says it's helpful to keep a notebook on your night stand.  If you have so much to do the next day that it's affecting your sleep, writing these things down will keep you from thinking about them at night so you can rest and be more productive the next day.

Take Breaks: An often overlooked pillar of productivity is to make time for yourself to do something you truly enjoy like spending time with family/friends, taking an exercise class, enjoying your lunch break away from your desk, or not working late so you can have dinner with your family.  It is important to take the time to refuel and recharge so you are ready to attack your to-do list again tomorrow.

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