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Archive for the ‘Apples’ Category

Apple Crisp Muffins

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Being married is probably one of my favourite things, especially because I somehow snagged a pretty amazing guy.

Benefits of being married to him:

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permanent master chef junior, nfl, how i met your mother and movies watching partner. permanent snuggle buddy. permanent running/roller blading companion. permanent i don’t know how to build this or fix that so can you do it please person. permanent live in best friend and person to do everything with. amazing.

What isn’t so amazing though is the fact that he loves the muffins that I make. You would think that I would be encouraged by this, or appreciate it. But I’m an only child; which means that sharing isn’t my thing. So no I don’t want to share my muffins with you. Make 2 batches of muffins you say? No thanks, not my thing either.

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These muffins were out of this world delicious. Combining apples that we picked ourselves with a streusel topping led to one amazing muffin…even if I only got to eat half the batch.

Maybe one day I’ll learn how to share and be okay with it.

 

 

Apple Crisp Muffins

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature     2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar                                        1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp apple cider                                   1 egg
1 tsp vanilla                                           1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon                                  1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda                                1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt                                            2 medium-sized apples (I used Granny Smith)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners then set aside (or use a 6 cup jumbo muffin tin like I did).

Combine the butter, oil, sugars, and cider in a large bowl (mixture will look curdled.)

Add and mix in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Remove 2 Tablespoons of the flour mixture then toss with the apples in a separate bowl to coat.

Add remaining flour mixture to wet ingredients in two batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch. Fold in the apples. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.

Crisp Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar         1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup flour                     1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cinnamon              1/8 tsp nutmeg

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.

Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon on top of each muffin.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

(My muffins baked for roughly 25 minutes so be sure to check on them as you go)

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Apples and Yams

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I guess you could say that a few minor things have changed in my life since my last post. “Minor” being a massive understatement.

Quick recap:

A) dating -> engaged -> married

B) living in Vancouver, Canada -> living in Chicago, USA

C) employed as a high school teacher -> unemployed and not allowed to work

Which leaves me here, with copious amounts of time and not much to fill that time with. And so, the rebirth of this baking blog. But probably not just baking any more, perhaps, now that I am technically speaking a housewife (cue the shudder), other meal time recipes too. If only for the fact that my husband and I can’t survive on dessert alone…

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My first order of business upon arriving in America was to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with all of my American friends. Slash more like I needed to help educate the few Americans that I know that yes Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, no it doesn’t have anything to do with Indians, yes it is a month earlier in October, and yes we eat the same things that you do for Thanksgiving. Oh, and also: 15 reasons why Canadian Thanksgiving is better.

Like number 3 of the 15 reasons link says, yams are a staple on my family’s thanksgiving table. And so the yams were made in America and they were a hit. And then I missed home big time.

Remembering to be thankful can be a challenge these days, but I know that I’m blessed and am so thankful for old friends. family back home. new friends. new adventures. getting to celebrate thanksgiving more than once a year. my husband.

I’m also thankful for traditions old and new. So here’s to celebrating many more thanksgivings, no matter where or with whom they might be.

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Apples and Yams

– 3 large yams              – 1/4 cup brown sugar

– 1 tbsp cinnamon         – mini marshmallows

– 1 peeled apple            – butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and cut the yams into thick slices. Place the yams into a pot and heat until boiling. Boil for 20 minutes or until tender.

Peel and slice the apple.

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Cover the apple slices with the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.

Put a layer of yams in the bottom of a 9 x 12 pan. Cover with the slices of apple. Add a dot of butter to the top of each apple. Sprinkle some mini marshmallows on top of the apples and then cover with a final layer of yams. Put a few more marshmallows on top and again add dots of butter.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 – 45 minutes.

* Most Thanksgivings we will make this recipe and then refrigerate it until the following day when it is baked and eaten.

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Apple Sharlotka

Credit: Smitten Kitchen

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a bit of an addiction to baking blogs and, even worse/the best, to Pinterest. Like any addiction this one probably isn’t the healthiest, especially because I not only end up staring at delicious looking desserts for copious amounts of time, but I also find myself making and eating an unhealthy amount of treats.

Things hit a new low, or maybe high, a few weeks ago when Smitten Kitchen posted a family recipe of hers: Apple Sharlotka. Never have I made a recipe on the same day that a blogger posted that very recipe. This was necessary though, crucial to my own existence I’m sure. I had to make this asap.

Thankfully I had a friend with me that night to help with my own portion control issues. This dessert is delicious. Definitely on the lighter side of things (although that first night we did add ice cream to the mix) this cake can be enjoyed as an afternoon snack or even as breakfast. In fact, I see no problem with eating this at any hour of the day.

Credit: Smitten Kitchen

Just be warned that this will disappear quickly. So quickly in fact I wasn’t even able to take my own pictures. All credit to Smitten Kitchen on this one. She’s a pure genius.

 

 

 

 

Apple Sharlotka

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
6 large, tart apples, such as Granny Smiths (but I used what was on hand – Gala)
3 eggs        1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla   1 cup flour
Ground cinnamon, to finish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan.

Peel, half and core the apples, then chop into medium-sized chunks.

Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs with sugar until thick.

Beat in vanilla, then stir in flour with a spoon until just combined.

Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon.

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How about something on the healthy side? Something that doesn’t include a ton of sugar and butter. I know, unlike me, but I figured I’d give it a shot…and it worked!

I surprisingly really enjoyed these cookies. But here’s the thing, I would never label them as cookies, even though that is what the recipe said. Instead let’s call them granola bar cookies, or granola bar-ish snacks. If you’re wanting a good dessert, this isn’t it. But maybe you want a healthy afternoon snack? These are definitely that. It’s all about changing your mentality!

These were enjoyed back in the summer when I was climbing mountains and exploring Whistler with the best friend. And then we went back to the place that we were staying and stuffed ourselves silly with other delicious foods. Such a good decision.

Adaptable. That’s what these are. I threw in raisins and craisins but I’m sure nuts would be a good addition, as would dried cherries or blueberries. Healthy. I like it.

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Applesauce Cookies

3 ripe bananas     2 cups oats

1 cup raisins        1/3 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, raisins, applesauce, and vanilla.

Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown.

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What’s better than an individual galette? Getting the chance to choose what kind you want to eat.

Naturally that’s what I did. Mother’s Day was that much better having the choice of strawberry rhubarb, peach or apple galette. I have to shamefully admit that the peaches were not fresh, they were from a can. Embarrassing. Soon enough the peaches will be ripe and I will be able to avoid such a problem. The apple, for that one I used the same recipe from my previous apple galette attempt. Decent.

Have you ever asked a question and the person’s response was “decent.” What an insult. For example, when I was younger I asked my mom after one of my soccer games how she thought I had played. Her response was, “decent.” Decent? Really? So, not good, not bad, but decent!? Don’t use the word decent, in fact I apologize for saying that the mini apple galettes were decent, they were good, just nothing in comparison to strawberry rhubarb galettes.

Galettes are a good thing. The possible combinations are endless and always delicious, never decent.

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette Recipe

Apple Galette Recipe

 

 

Peach Galettes

Follow these directions to make the dough.

Preheat oven to 350F.

If cheating like I did, add peach pie filling to the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.

Lightly brush the edge of the dough with the egg and sprinkle with sugar (turbinado if you have it).  Use enough egg to brush the edge of the galette.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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1 of the many perks of being a high school teacher…spring break. Even better…a 2 week spring break. The best part…a 10 day southern Caribbean cruise. The worst part…returning from 27C weather to 5C and pouring rain, oh, and probably gaining a zillion pounds. My stomach has officially expanded.

Climbing rocks and getting drenched by a wave in Aruba, snorkelling in Bonaire, having a monkey sit on my shoulder in Grenada, going to waterfalls in Dominica, having a walk-in only most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen all to myself in St. Thomas and kayaking/drinking pina coladas on the beach at Princess Keys made for an amazing vacation. Tired and stressed out? You should go on this vacation.

Food. Good food. But so much food. More specifically desserts, my favorite. From oatmeal raisin cookies to tiramisu to german chocolate cake to pecan pie, you name it, they had it…and I tried it. Those photos above were all served in the dining room and include a: hazelnut toffee cake, apple strudel, cookies and cream parfait, floating islands of meringue, chocolate souffle and a variety of different treats. One of my favorites were the blueberry blintzes. Crepes stuffed with warm blueberry sauce. Instead of dessert they were my lunch. I didn’t regret it for a second.

Favorite food memory of the trip: the baked alaska that the waiters paraded around the dining room and then served at our table. I opted for a different dessert that night but my dad ended up being served a piece that was a quarter of the cake. Enormous. Needless to say my help was required. Unfortunately we still weren’t able to finish off the huge piece. Maybe more training is required for such an event?

And now, back to reality. Thank you Princess Cruises for an amazing time. I thoroughly enjoyed every second. The food was incredible, the service was excellent and the sunshine that you provided couldn’t have been any better. I’m glad that I’m now a darker shade of white.

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Apple Coffee Cake

Fairly recently I discovered my love of coffee cake. Maybe it was the coffee name in the recipe that deterred me before. I don’t drink coffee, there’s something about it…too bitter? I don’t know. But I do love the smell, go figure.

Regardless of all this, a few years ago, when I was in Wisconsin being a bridesmaid, my friends mother made the most delicious coffee cake. Or was it a fruit cocktail cake? Whatever it was it was absolutely amazing and I was instantly hooked. The fruit inside, the cinnamon and sugar topping, the best. I kept on going back for seconds, thirds, you get the picture. The family probably wondered what kind of manners Canadians have! Oh well, take it as a compliment.

Recently this apple coffee cake was made. Again delicious. The topping, I just can’t get enough of it. So addicting, but the apple makes it healthy, or must at least create some sort of a balance. Most people that I know eat coffee cake for breakfast, or brunch. Normal. What’s abnormal is what we did, we served the coffee cake with vanilla ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, I love warm baked goods that encourage the ice cream to melt everywhere…but this was a bit excessive.

Coffee cake can hold its own, it doesn’t need to be “buttered up.” What does make coffee cake even better is getting to share it with an amazing friend. Wish I was back in Wisconsin. Why do so many of the most amazing people that I know live so far away…Minnesota, Detroit, Thailand…thanks friends. Thinking of you and sending my love…

Apple Coffee Cake

3 eggs                        2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil     1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon           2 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour                 3 cups thinly sliced unpeeled apples

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream together the eggs, sugar and oil. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix together.

Pour into a greased 8×8 square pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Topping:

1/4 cup butter   1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

Boil the 3 ingredients together for 3 minutes then pour over the hot cake.

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