Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Apple Soup

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So, today was fun.

On my drive to work today as I was merging from the left lane to the right lane just before the entrance to the highway I saw a large piece of metal in the middle of the lane. It looked like a hunk of some machine, or car part that had fallen off a heavy duty truck perhaps. 

I saw it only for a split second as the car in front of me switched lanes. I don’t remember if I had time to move out of the way or not, but I was thinking I had better not put my brakes on as I merged onto the highway because I’m sure I would have been rear ended. So I kept driving and sure enough just as I changed lanes the object met my front right tire.

It was quite the bump – it felt hard and solid as I drove over it with a clank. Unluckily I was merging right onto the highway with no where else to turn off, so I had to keep driving. The next exit was mine, but it was down a large hill. I could feel my tired slowly giving out. There was a sad little noise coming from the front right. It began to clunk louder, so I turned on my hazards, and coasted along the shoulder until the bottom of the highway to my exit. 

Oh crap.

I pulled over for a minute so I could call Adam – panicked of course. I began crying, because well that’s what you do when you’ve just ran over a large metal object, your tire is punctured, clanking and slowly deflating and your stranded on the side of a  highway and need to be at work in 5 minutes. 

I managed to let some traffic by me while I was on the shoulder of the exit, and then proceed to limp my way around the exit with my hazard lights to the nearest parking lot for a park & ride bus area. 

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I parked, got out and looked at the damage. Yup – it was definitely torn up. I called Adam back, then called a cab to get me to work. I was really only about 5 minutes from the school I was working at today, and luckily it was the school I had been at for both my practicums so I knew it well. I think if I had been TOCing at an unknown school I may have been a little more panicked. 

a $20 cab ride later, I was at school – and on time! TOC of the year? I think so. 

A big thanks to Adam who was a super boyfriend today – he left work, went to my abandoned car to put on the spare tire, which turned out to be flat and had to go to the store to get a compressor, came back and changed the spare in the pouring rain, brought it to his uncle who works at a tire store (thankfully!) and put on a new set of tires (because to be honest they needed to be changed before this winter came anyways), drove my car to my school with the new wheels and dropped off my keys, then his dad dropped him off back at his car. 

All I can say is thank goodness for boyfriends who know how to change a tire. Amen.

Needless to say I baked him two treats tonight – both with Apple because he requests apple pie daily. 

Today, he definitely deserved two desserts. I’ll be sharing them soon because they were both major hits. 

Now we’re both lying curled up on the couch watching some PVRd shows including the Black List, Agents of Shield and How I Met Your Mother. There’s lots of new shows for the season, some good some not so good. 

We had some salad for dinner with a chicken breast and a mug of this soup. 

Soup in a mug – it’s the best, and it’s happening all season long. It’s handy dandy.

I’ve began making a Sunday Soup – each sunday I’ll make a large pot of soup to eat through the week for lunches or quick dinners. I’ll share them on here each week. 

Do you have any favourite soups??

butternuts

Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Apple Soup
Serves 10
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Ingredients
  1. 2 medium butternut squash, peeled seeds removed and chopped into chunks
  2. Olive Oil
  3. 1 yellow onion
  4. 5-6 medium carrots
  5. 2-3 granny smith apples
  6. 3 Tbs. Pumpkin
  7. 4 Cups (1 carton) low-sodium vegetable stock
  8. 1 cup water
  9. nutmeg
  10. cinnamon
  11. dried garlic salt
  12. curry powder
  13. pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place sliced butternut squash chunks onto baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic and curry powder just slightly. Mix together and spread in single layer on sheet.
  3. Place in oven for 30-40 minutes, until squash is tender, caramelized and nicely roasted.
  4. About 10 minutes before the squash is finished, dice the onion and add it to a large pot with 2-3 Tbs of olive oil. Heat over medium heat 4-5 minutes until translucent.
  5. Peel and cut carrots into small chunks, add to pot. Cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Peel and cut apple into chunks, add to pot.
  7. Remove butternut squash from the oven, and add about 2 cups of the squash to the pot along with the pumpkin. I reserve the rest of the squash to have with salads - it's delicious.
  8. Add the vegetable broth and water, bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat.
  11. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or you can transfer to a blender (be sure to allow the heat to escape through the top or it will burst!), or add small amounts at a time to a food processor and return to the pot. It will turn into a gloriously thick velvety smooth orange soup.
  12. I topped mine with a drizzle of coconut milk.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
 

Skillet Apple Cake

Adam and I are lucky to live in the same condo building as our friends. It sometimes feels as if we are living in a FRIENDS episode, bumping into them in the hallways and elevator, borrowing clothing, ingredients, pots and pans when needed and other miscellanious items such as muffin liners, glue guns, and staplers etc. It’s nice to know if you run out of something, or need to run out quickly someone is home to watch a little one, like we have done for our friends with a toddler. We’ve even relieved them of the little guy when they aren’t feeling well, taking the baby and the dogs out for a walk so they can get some rest. It’s nice to know people in the building, other than just a neighbor whom you pass by in the hallway with a nod. One of our friends lives only a few doors down, while the other live on the opposite side of the building. We get together for dinners as often as possible, knowing its only a short commute between houses, without worrying who is driving or what the weather outside looks like. It’s also nice that one of them is a Vancouver Police Officer, so if anything happens I know where to go! Haha. I was originally going to make another type of apple cake, to bring to Adam’s parents, that required eggs. Having only one egg left, and not wanting to get dressed to go to the store, I called our friend to borrow an egg. We were all still in our PJs. Afterwards, I found this recipe which I wanted to try instead, and of course, it did not require any eggs. Bonus for me, since I have a slight allergy.

Later that afternoon, we were waiting to go to dinner when all of a sudden the fire alarm in our building began to go off. We have had problems in the past of pipes bursting after cold weather, as they did last winter. Again, knowing people in the building really pays off, as our friends apartment was unfortunately flooded with water when the pipe burst, and luckily I was home along with our other friend who had a key to their place, and we were able to get in and try to control the water damage before the Firefighters got there. We figured this was the same instance, and got our jackets on to go outside and wait. However, when we entered our hallway we smelled smoke. This was an actual fire. Other neighbours told us there was a lot of smoke at the end of the hallway, and to call 911. We went back in, grabbed a couple items,  like my computer (my life!) and went outside. Our friend, the police officer, was waiting for us to look after the little guy, so he could go inside and see what was happening, as his wife had just gone to the store when it happened. Our other friend had to wrangle their two cats into a carrier, much to their dismay, but humorous for us watching them trying to push their way out of it, met us outside. Luckily it was not a large fire, but rather someone had not watched a pot on the stove that caused it to smoke and sound the alarm in their apartment, to which they did not turn off, and then it caused the entire buildings fire alarm to set off. There was quite a lot of smoke, but luckily no one was hurt and no further damage was caused.

We went back in, got dressed and left for dinner, apple cake in hand. Adam is part of the strata committe, and had to attend a scheduled meeting that night. I’m sure they had more to talk about after the ‘fire’ incident. I sent the rest of the cake down with him to share with the other members. Another reason you should get to know your neighbours – they might bake you something!

This cake is subtley sweet, studded with tart chopped apples. You can bake it in a skillet, I decided to finally break mine in. Or, bake it in a cake dish, 8” or 9”.

Unfortunately I don’t think I can use our skillet for cooking on our stove, as we have a glass top stove and I’ve read some stories online of the cast iron causing it to break and crack. So, for now it will only be used in the oven.

Apple Cake
Slighlty adapted from: Joy Of Cooking 75th Anniversary Edition 

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk, with a squirt of lemon)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 medium green or tart apples

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly season/grease your cast iron skillet. Alternatively, you can use an 8 or 9” cake pan.

Cut apples into segments, chopping up into smaller pieces, reserving some slices, leaving the peel on.

Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl thoroughly to remove any large lumps.

Add, the milk, oil and vanilla.

Add the chopped apples and mix until incorporated into the batter.

Scrape the batter into your prepared baking dish, and spread evenly. Arrange reserved apples slices ontop of batter in a pattern.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on the counter on a cooling rack.

Once cooled, you can sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream or maybe a scoop of ice cream.

This would also be good with a crumb topping, a mixture of brown sugar and buter with oats.






Apple Crostata

The best thing about living in B.C is the local produce. Every summer I look forward to baking and cooking with fresh produce and fruit grown locally.

I have already visited Krause Berry Farms and sampled some of their delicious fruit and products. This past week my mom was in Osoyoos, the interior of B.C and Keremeos is also known as ‘fruit stand capital of B.C.’ There are tons of local farm markets you can visit and sample all the fresh and delicious fruit. Oliver is also the wine capital of Canada, an entirely different kind of fruit product ;)

When she came home, she said she had bought lots of fruit and was going to give me some. She brought back Peaches, Cherries, Transparent Apples, and green and yellow Zucchini.

The apples were very different than I had seen before, they felt as though they were made of foam! Very light and sponge like. She said they would probably be good for baking with. Translation: Make Pie.

I happily took home the veggies and fruit, and decided that I would make a pie to bring over for dinner the next night.

A Crostata is an Italian style pie. I have never made one, but thought since I’m Italian, I had better try it! :) Another pie I really want to try before the summer is through is a lattice-top :)

There are a couple differences for Crostata from a traditional pie dough. First, the addition of eggs. More specifically, egg yolks. Also, sugar. Lots of sugar. This creates an almost ‘cake-like’ pie crust, as Adam put it. It is more dense, but just as flakey and tender. It is really good! You could definitely serve this with a scoop of ice cream, or whipped cream. I simply sifted some icing sugar on top. You can serve it warm or cold, I had mine at room temperature and it was delicious!

Now, the apples I used were definitely not ‘hard’ apples. They were quite soft. So in the baking process, when you cook the apples first before baking it in the oven, they got extra soft. I think If I used a softer apple next time I might skip the first cooking process, and just bake it in the oven.

I also made my dough the night before, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

I will definitely be making Crostata’s in the future. Maybe even mini ones! I think this would be great for Easter, or ‘Pasqua’ in Italian ;) I’m sure other fruits would be delicious as well!

Apple Crostata
Recipe Adapted from Martha Stewart’s New Pie’s and Tarts

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 3 Tbs. Butter
  • 6-7 medium/large Granny Smith Apples, or Green Apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2. Tsp. Lemon Zest
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Sprinkling of Cinnamon
Crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour (WW or AP)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks plus 1 tbs. butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbs. ice water (use as needed)
Also: sanding sugar or granulated sugar for sprinkling, and one egg for egg wash

Directions

  1. To make the crust, mix flour, sugar, and butter on medium speed until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the yolks; mix slightly. Add ice water one tbs. at a time. Mix until just combined. Form dough into disk; wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour or up to 3 days.
  2. To make the filling, melt butter in a large pan on high heat. Add apples, and zest stirring until coated. Sprinkle sugar, and saute, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, liquid has thickened, and apples are almost golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet, and let cool to room temperature.
  3. To assemble, flour surface lightly. Roll chilled dough into a 1/4-inch-thick circle. Place dough on cookie sheet ( I used a pizza pan!). Mound cooled apple mixture in center, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold edges of the dough on top of apples, overlapping and leaving about a 6-inch round opening. Feel free to ‘tear off” any large amounts of excess dough. You can trim it with a pizza cutting as well before placing on baking sheet. Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush edge of crust with egg, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until pastry is golden brown and apples are tender, about 30-40 minutes, up to 50 minutes if needed.Ciao~ Enjoy :)* I think the dough really makes this Crostata, but I may just use a regular apple pie filling next time, without the additional cooking, and butter. I also used two who eggs instead of four egg yolks this time, as I did not want to waste four egg whites =)

    Lainey was helping too, of course. =)

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