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Posts Tagged ‘apple’

I love teaching during the colorful days of autumn.

Over the past week, the students in my class have been busy finding autumnal inspiration to include in their poetry.

We’ve spoken a lot about letting our senses speak through poetry.

We can see the lovely bold colors and the days getting darker.

We can feel the days getting cooler.

We can hear the leaves tumbling in the howling wind.

What about the taste of autumn?

How are they to understand the smell?

Don’t worry, I’ve got that one covered.

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Covered in puff pastry, that is!

Any excuse to get these kids in the kitchen, people.

During my prep lesson yesterday, I practiced baking these delicious caramel stuffed, pastry wrapped baked apples.

I photographed the steps in hopes of preparing a guide for my students, but once all was said and done, I realized this wasn’t the recipe for my class. 

I ended up going with a simpler baked apple recipe, but I still wanted to share this gem of a dish with all of you!

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The ingredients were pretty basic: puff pastry, caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon, an egg and apples.

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To prepare, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

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Create and egg wash by beating an egg and 1 Tbsp. water together.

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Slice off the top of the apple, leaving the stem intact.

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Remove the core, being sure not to go all the way through the bottom of the apple.

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Carefully get in there to get out all of the seeds.

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Peel the whole apple. I did the cutting and coring first because I didn’t want the kids working with knives on slippery apple flesh.

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See? Core removed but base intact!

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Remember that bowl of cinnamon sugar? Now’s its time to shine. Roll the apple around in the brown sugar to coat completely.

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Carefully place two caramel cubes into the hollow of the apple core. Again, be sure you don’t push too hard and pop out the bottom of the apple.

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Is your mouth watering yet?

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Next, I joined strips of puff pastry and wrapped them around my prepared apple.

By this point, I realized:

  1. Cutting, coring and peeling would be a bit too much for my kiddos.
  2. Our school kitchen wasn’t equipped with enough peelers for each student anyways.
  3. Making long snakes of puff pastry, an item which needs to be kept cool, would be difficult for my hot-handed pupils.
  4. There were simply too many steps to remember and rewrite in recipe form later in the week.

Even though I knew by this point that my students wouldn’t be making this recipe, I still wanted to finish it off.

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Create two leaves out of the puff pastry.

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Carefully place the leaves on the apple so they look like they’re coming from the stem.

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Brush the pastry with the prepared egg wash.

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Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, being sure to leave space between the pastry and foil. Place in the refrigerator to cool for half an hour before baking.

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Bake the covered apples for about 20 minutes before removing the foil and continuing to bake until the pastry is puffed up and golden, about 20 minutes longer.

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Gosh darn it, the puff pastry idea may have been out, but those leaves were too cute not to include in my students’ version!

The flaky, crumbly, sweet and gooey qualities of these baked apples were incredible! Almost like a personal-sized apple pie, I highly recommend this recipe.

So, my practice apples turned out great but weren’t going to work for my students. You may be wondering what they did during our baking lesson today.

Well, let me give you a sneak peak into our school kitchen. I’d love to share the photos of these beamingly proud kids, but can’t, so their busy little hands will have to do.

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After watching my “demonstration,” the kids cut, cored, stuffed and decorated their apples on their own.

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When he saw my fully wrapped apple the previous day, a little boy said with amazement, “Wow, Ms. Brady, that looks like a professional cook! You should go on TV!”

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Creating their own “professional cook’s” pastry leaves was a highlight of the activity for many of the kids.

Who knows, maybe I’ll be watching them on Food Network one day!

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They were all so very proud of their apples.  PA121863

Two of our baking dishes, ready for the oven!

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Sadly, my battery died before capturing the final product, but I assure you, the apples were stunning… and tasted as good as they looked!

Baked Apples with Puff Pastry Leaves

If 8 year olds can make this dish, so can you!

Ingredients

1 tart apple

1 heaping teaspoon raisins

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 dash nutmeg and cinnamon

1/2 Tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Puff pastry

1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Cut off the top of the apple, being sure to keep the stem intact.
  3. Carefully remove the core of the apple. Take care not to cut all the way through the bottom.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the raisins, brown sugar, nutmeg and dash of cinnamon.
  5. Stuff this mixture into the hollow of the apple, again, be sure not to push the stuffing through the bottom!
  6. Top the stuffing with the butter.
  7. Place the apple in a baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  8. Replace the top of the apple.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut two leaf shapes from the puff pastry. Add the veins of the leaves by gently pressing half-way into the pastry with the back of a knife.
  10. Next, place the leaves on the apple.
  11. Whisk together the egg and water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pastry with the egg wash.
  12. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving room between the foil and pastry.
  13. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes.
  14. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown.
  15. Cool before serving.

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I was so proud of the way these kids worked today. Even when two other teachers came into the kitchen and started making a racket, my students were so focused in apple baking mode that they didn’t even look up. I find this photo so funny!

If you’re a parent, I beg you, get in the kitchen and get to cookin’ with your kids. You will both leave the kitchen with happy hearts, full tummies and wonderful memories!

Happy Fall, Y’all!

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P4055044 Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb. Delicious!

For breakfast this past week, I enjoyed oatmeal with a fresh strawberry rhubarb sauce.

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The sauce was very simple. Just a matter of chopping up the fruit and simmering until it was tender. P4055032

I cooked the apples, lemon juice and rhubarb for a little while first then added the strawberries later. P4055041 Vanilla sugar, my new love.P4055046 Good morning, sunshine!

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal

For the Fruit Sauce

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 apple peeled, cored and diced

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 Tablespoon vanilla sugar, or to taste

For the Oatmeal
1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup soy or rice milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 banana, mashed

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

For the sauce, combine the chopped fruits, water, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat while cooking the oats.

Separately, combine the water, milk, oats and salt. Simmer on low heat, until the oats thicken to a porridge like consistency. Remove from heat, and stir in the mashed banana and cinnamon.

Serve the oatmeal topped with the fruit sauce.

Makes 2 large servings.

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Straight from the recipe section of the organic grocer’s monthly magazine.

This recipe is simple yet elegant. The original recipe called for blue cheese but I opted for goat cheese instead.

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Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Apple

4 servings

Ready in 30 minutes

  • 250 grams (just over 1 cup) Puy lentils
  • 3 Tbsp. walnut oil
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 red apple
  • lettuce, I used lamb’s lettuce
  • 80 grams goat cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions. Strain and cool cooked lentils. Mix together the walnut oil and lemon juice. Set aside 2 Tbsp of dressing and mix the remaining amount into the cooled lentils along with salt to taste.
  2. Core the apple and then slice into very thin ribbons. Cover the apple slices in the remaining dressing.
  3. Serve the lentils on the lettuce. Top with the apple ribbons and crumbled goat cheese.

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Good enough to eat for lunch again tomorrow.

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After an unnecessary absence from blogging, I’m back with a delicious recipe to share.

The days are getting shorter and colder.

Comfort food is making a reappearance this autumn.

P9299686 Cozy up to a warm serving of Vegan Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

P9299670 Mix together the dry ingredients and stir in the sliced apple.

P9299671 Add in the wet ingredients

P9299672 Give it all a good stir and put into the prepared baking dish.

P9299676 Sprinkle the crumble on top and bake.

P9299683 Once the apples are soft and the sides are bubbly, your oatmeal is done!

P9299688 Serve as is, with warm ‘milk’ or maple syrup.

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. dried fruit such as raisins or dates
  • 1 handful of chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 fresh apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. and 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed, divided
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 Tbsp. wheat germ

Method

  1. Mix 2 Tbsp. water and 2 tsp. of ground flaxseed in a bowl and set aside to thicken. Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C.) Grease a baking dish.
  2. Mix together the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder,  salt, dried fruit and nuts in a large bowl. Stir in the sliced apple.
  3. Add the almond milk, vanilla and apple sauce to the flaxseed mixture and stir into the dry ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. flaxseed and wheat germ. Sprinkle the crumble over the oatmeal mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Eat as is or topped with warm almond milk or maple syrup.

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I don’t know if it’s my subconscious saying, “you have to go back to work soon so take full advantage of your vacation days,” or what, but I slept in again today… to am embarrassing 10:00 am.

Needless to say, breakfast also served the purpose of lunch.

Luckily it was filling and delicious!

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Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup spelt flour

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 1/2 cup soy milk

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. raw sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. ground flax seed

1 cup fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Whisk together the flours, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the soy milk, coconut oil, and sugar. Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the coconut oil is melted. Whisk together then incorporate the vanilla and flax to the liquid ingredients.
  3. Carefully pour the wet ingredients into the dry while whisking. Mix together until combined, the mixture may be a bit lumpy, but that’s ok. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  4. Preheat a non-stick skillet for at least 2 minutes then pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet. Cook until bubbles begin form in the middle and the edges are set then flip and cook the other side.

Tomorrow, my job as a teacher officially resumes.

To be honest, I’m excited to go back. I really miss being around kids and look forward to jumpstarting my creativity once again.

All day today, I did school-prep work on the computer. I also planned 2 new bulletin board displays that I’m really excited about. I’ll show you guys the finished product in a week or two.

Around 4 o’clock I was hungry again but didn’t want to eat anything too heavy before going to the gym, so I sliced up an apple to eat with a beautiful heap of peanut butter.

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It has been raining all day today so getting out of the apartment and going to the gym took quite a bit of personal encouragement. But as they say, you never regret a workout, you only regret skipping one! This is true.

Once home, it was time to really feed my hungry body.

You’ve got to love a good stir fry!

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No recipe here, but the veggies included 1/4 block smoked tofu, 1 carrot, 1 small zucchini, 3 mushrooms, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 red chili pepper, 2 small cloves of garlic, a nub of ginger and 1/4 red onion. The sauce was just soy sauce, agave nectar and a splash of orange juice.

Ok, I guess that is kind of a recipe. Oh well.

So, I’m off to bed, wish me luck tomorrow as the teachers all gather back together. This will certainly be a productive week before the kiddies return!

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Happy Monday Everyone!

I hope your weekend was a good one and you were able to spend time with all the important fathers in your life.

Today went very quickly. By the time I came home from work, I was hungry.

Not only was I hungry and needed to eat in a hurry, but I was craving more goat cheese after my delicious lunch salad.

Butter lettuce, fresh goat cheese from the market, red peppers and balsamic glaze.

Dinner was inspired by my assistant and a recipe she told me about involving goat cheese, butternut squash and puff pastry.

My time spent in the French region at the market yesterday is also probably to blame for this wonderful creation!

Apple, Red Onion and Goat Cheese Pastry

Ingredients

  • 1 roll puff pastry
  • 1 small container reduced-fat créme fraîche
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced in rings
  • 1 roll goat cheese, sliced
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 430° F (220° C.) Unroll the puff pastry and place it on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  2. Spread the créme fraîche over the pastry, leaving a half-inch border.
  3. Layer the red onions, apples, and goat cheese, sprinkle with the chopped rosemary.
  4. Brush the pastry border with beaten egg.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cheese is melted and the pastry is golden brown.

All that you need, minus the rosemary.

The hard part is already done for you.

A creamy foundation

Sweet red onion rings

I wasn’t sure about the apples so only used half.

Next time I’m going all out as the apple added the perfect sweetness.

Gotta love the goat cheese!

Fresh rosemary sprinkles

Baked until flakey and golden brown.

Served with steamed broccoli.

So rich and luxurious!

From start to finish, this recipe took no more than 25 minutes to complete. The result was amazing!

Too rich for a meal, this would make the perfect appetizer. Pair it with a nice white wine and you’re set to go. Compliments will most certainly ensue.

Give it a go!

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I hope your Saturday weather is as beautiful as mine.

I started the day fairly early for a weekend.

Ate breakfast, visited the fruit and vegetable lady, did some housework then hit up the gym.

Body Balance, how I love thee.

My post-workout snack included 1 apple and 2 apricots.

Saturday shopping continued at the Asian grocery store and the supermarket to buy more avocados- gotta love the sale!

I came home, dropped off my gym bag and shopping, then left for an impromptu date on the Rhine.

Today was the perfect day to sit river side in a beer garden.

The Rhine was busy! Boats were out for work and play. People were walking, riding bikes, running, and skating. I love people watching.

My food and drink consumptions included a beer and baguette with tomato, mozzarella and basil.

Kölsch is the regional beer of the Rheinland.

After relaxing as spectators, Sebastian and I became the spectacle as we walked along the Rhine, laughing and having a good ol’ time.

I dropped Sebastian off at work then continued to walk around town, taking photos of some of the beautiful sights.

Can you imagine this being your home?

A tradition from this region is the giving of a May tree. On May 1st, love-struck lads cut down birch trees, decorate them with streamers and hearts with the  names of their loves, and place the tree by the bedroom window of their sweethearts. Some trees still remain into June.

A lovely and peaceful street.

With the World Cup kicking off this week, South Africa, football, and German flags are everywhere! This advert caught my eye today! I’ll have to give the drink a try!

Back at home, I whipped up some coconut butter in the food processor. If you want to try this but don’t want to spend a fortune of coconut flakes, look in your Asian food store. I bought two big bags for €5.

Then continued into my evening meal. Dinner consisted of left-overs from my staff lunch yesterday. The food was catered by the husband of the other Year 4 assistant. This is the second time we’ve been so lucky to eat his specialties.

My dinner went from this…

How much can I stuff into a teany-tiny container?

to this!

Tabbouleh, zucchini stuffed with goat’s cheese, lentil salad, and roasted potato topped with tzaziki and baba ganoush.

Later followed by a simple dessert of kefir, strawberries, blueberries and granola.

Night all, it’s movie time!

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