Tuesday, September 29, 2015

More Apples Muffins

Apple season is back! Got a lot of apples? Here is a recipe for apple muffins with more apples than a dough. So moist, so flavorful, so delicious! Yep, easy too!

Blog's Category: My Own Fast and Easy, Perfect Breakfast, Snacks, Vegetarian




Intro

Recently, at a local market, I've got a huge bag of McIntosh apples. It's probably my favorite choice among endless sorts of apples. Crispy fresh, obviously just picked from a tree, they are were just great to eat fresh. But having that much apples gave me idea to bake something very appl-y. Despite the fact that my kitchen renovation is not finished yet and in place of normal oven, I have just small toaster-oven :)


Inspired by Italian olive oil cake recipe, I decided to go for it, just adding apples in an out-of-proportion large amount. Outcome? It has exceeded my expectations big time. I'm afraid, I'm settled for an apple muffin recipe forever.


What is it?

Just a few simple and healthy ingredients - a lot of apples, a little of flour, eggs, a generous amount extra virgin olive oil and some brown sugar. All this mixed up and baked in my ultra-convenient silicon muffin cups. In my toaster-oven! 


Taste Description

These muffins are so moist, light and just burst with an apple flavor. Topped with brown sugar and pecan pieces, they have nice crunchy muffin-top.


Notes

- If you don't have pecans, use any nuts you have around. A week ago, I made these muffins with hazelnut topping - worked perfect as well.

- I used McIntosh apples. Any apples can be used. Depending on a sort, you will get softer or a bit tougher muffins.

More Apples Muffins



For 24 small muffins:
  • 8 medium apples, quartered, then diced, keep skins (see video below, in a pictures section, how I do this)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar + 2 tbs for topping
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
- Prepare and chop apples into a large bowl.

- In a separate bowl, with a whisk, mix eggs, olive oil, salt, sugar and vanilla (if using). Add flour. On a top of flour, add soda and baking powder and work them with your fingers into a flour a little bit to start on leavening magic. Then mix flour into egg mix just to combine all together.

- Add dough into bowl with apples and stir to coat apple pieces nicely.

- Fill muffin cups to the top with apple dough. If you use silicon muffin cups, no need to grease them. If using any other kind, even non-stick, grease them with an olive oil first.

- Prepare topping combining 2 tbs brown sugar and chopped pecans.

- Top muffins with a 2/3 tsp topping mix.

- Bake in a preheated to 350F oven until golden brown.

- Enjoy!



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IN PICTURES AND VIDEOS



video

I get used to cut some fruits and veggies not on cutting board but holding them in hands, like my mom and grandmoms did. Please be careful trying to do this.














Some of my silicon muffin cups I got from Sur La Table, some bought in a Walmart. Love them! Sooo convenient, no greasing before baking, easy to clean after.





As you can see it's more apples than dough!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic

I would call them, oxymoron way, Fresh Sun-Dried Tomatoes.  Spiked with garlic, these tomatoes will keep in your fridge for a while. Just fish one out from a jar, throw on a toasted pumpernickel bread - voila, you've got a healthy snack!

Blog's Category: Hors D'oeuvre, My Own Fast and Easy, Snacks, Vegetarian




Intro

One of my favorite local markets, Miles Market, often have whole basket of tomatoes on a clearance rack. For a $6-8 you can have a whole lot of nice ripe tomatoes, few of them may have a couple blemishes but overall great fruits for making fermented tomatoes or some Tomato Spread

This time when I got a large basket of tomatoes, it was Roma tomatoes, strangely flat with a hollow insides and a very few seeds.  I decided to make something nice, easy and versatile. Here what I come with.


What is it?

It is tomato halves, roasted with some olive oil and garlic. Packed into a clean jar, they can be stored in a fridge for a couple of weeks. 


Taste Description

There is one secret ingredient (it's sugar!) which makes this tomatoes absolutely delicious. Small amount of sugar, along with a garlic pieces, enhances natural taste of roasted tomatoes. Added olive oil rounds up a taste and works as a preservative helping tomatoes to keep longer in a fridge.


How to Serve

Serving options:
- on a toasted country bread or baguette
- on a bagel with cream cheese (see picture below)
- on a boiled egg, slit in half
- as addition for your burger sandwich
- on a top of pita with hummus
- on a cracker with pesto 
- on a top of goat cheese slice
- inside of breakfast burrito with some scrambled egg and beans


Notes

If you noticed, this recipe does not call for salt. Don't be tempted to add one! Later, if you think it absolutely lacks salt, sprinkle some right before serving, but taste first without it. I bet you'll be surprised!

Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic



  • 10 roma tomatoes, cut in half
  • garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 320F.

- Grease baking sheet with a little olive oil. 

- Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet.

- Sprinkle tomatoes with sugar, garlic and olive oil.

- Roast in an upper part of oven until tomatoes are slightly caramelized on top and garlic are golden brown. Depending on oven, it may take about 1-2 hours.

- Remove tomatoes from an oven and let them cool completely.

- Transfer tomatoes, one by one, in layers, into clean and dry glass jar. Pour remaining juices and oil into a jar, on a top of tomatoes. Cover with lid and keep it in a fridge.

- Enjoy!



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IN PICTURES

Instead of cayenne, I used some finely chopped fresh chili pepper. It's optional!





 Pour remaining juices on top...
Moved to a fridge.. As my tomatoes were not completely cooled, I left lid ajar for a little bit...