30 minutes meals, Brunch, Uncategorized

Apple Compote

Last week I made a so called childhood desert. Some of you might know is also as “Compot de mere”. I think we all have those moments when we crave a childhood dessert. I will share the recipe, and the way my mother used to make it for us, although I noticed that French compote is more like a stew, I love the extra juice from mine. As a kid, I always thought the more juice, the better ūüėČ I still like it this way.

Apple compote.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 apples (I used green apples)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon¬†powder
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • juice from two lemons
  • about 2.5-3-litre¬†water

Directions:

Bring a large pot with water to boil on medium high heat. When the water starts to boil add the sugar, the cinnamon sticks and the cloves.

Wash the apples thoroughly. Peel and core the apples. Cut them in pieces. I love mine a bit bigger. While I cut the apples, I put them in a large bowl, and I squeeze the lemon juice over the apple¬†pieces so they won’t oxidize.

If you like it sweeter, you could add some more sugar. If you are not fond of cinnamon, you can use only the cinnamon sticks or the powder. Simmer all together for about 15-20 minutes. You can serve it hot or cold. I like it mostly cold, from the fridge.

You can serve it hot or cold. In the Summer I will definitely have it cold ], right from the refrigerator.

You can keep it the compote in the fridge up to two weeks if such a thing is possible. Mine will probably vanish in a few days ūüėČ

 

Aplle compote 2

 

 

Aplle compote 3

 

Enjoy ! 

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Smoothies and drinks

Happy New Year Everyone !

I would like to start by saying ¬†‘Thank you’ to every one of you by visiting my blog, for your comments and for your inspiration. The best thing about me returning to my blog after 5 years was to discover you all and to realize there is such a wonderful,active community for me to join. I really appreciate your visits and comments, it gives me courage and inspiration to go on.

Normally, I never write down my resolutions for the year but this time, I decided to try something new. 

So here there are my  2017 GOALS 

  • Fitness: move more in general: skip the street car from the subway to work and from work to the subway. This will add 30 minutes walk daily.¬†
  • Money:¬†Save more: do not remove the money form saving just because I need one more thing to buy.¬†
  • Food: Eat less chocolate and bread ( in this order )
  • Recreation: Do more things I like to do: knit, post on my blog, read ¬†
  • Health:¬†Go earlier to bed: I wake up @ 5:00 am every morning but I go to sleep around 12:00 am each night, so is definitely not enough sleep. I do wake up refreshed but around 11: 00 am I feel like I need a nap. There is the moment where chocolate craving hits. LOL¬†
  • Do a relaxing¬†thing every day:¬†Play more with my munchkins: Steve and Sherlock. They are so different and they play in their own way so I have to play the same amount of time with both :). Steve is more active and funny so I tent to spend more time playing with him. ūüė¶ ¬†
  • Entertainment: Meet more with my friends: my best friend told me a few weeks ago that we haven’t been to a movie in three or four years. Crazy, I know.¬†
  • Well being: Manage anger better: go for a walk; change the scenario; take a ¬†bubble bath; do yoga.¬†

Another one of my resolutions is to drink more water. You know how it is when you’re at work: you’re stressed, you want to finish that report on time, your colleagues are always asking you for this and that and before you know it, it’s time to go home and guess what? You’ve not had a sip of water since morning. Well, that’s me. But I am trying hard to put a stop to this and to make drinking water more enjoyable, I have started drinking homemade infused water. One combination that I absolutely adore is Citrus Spice Infused Water. Aside from being wonderfully refreshing, it also helps with digestion!¬†

Now this is a drink that you might expect to have during the summer when the weather is stiffing hot but really, you can drink this all year round. Just skip the ice cubes. It’s just as delicious, I ¬†promise.¬†

Ingredients:

2 medium lemons

1 medium lime

1 clementine 

1 small cinnamon stick 

a few cloves ( about 5 )

1 tbsp pure raw honey

1 mint tea bag 

about 10 cups of filtered water 

Wash well with hot water: the lemon, lime and clementine. Cut into slices. Add all the ingredients to a pitcher, stir and enjoy it whenever you feel thirsty.  

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‚ąó

 

 

 

Cakes

Cinnamon Apple Cake

My hubby is a huge fan of classic Pumpkin Pie. He can have pumpkin pie  actually all year around. And this is not all. He can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. LOL

For me and my daughter the favorite is Apple pie.We like the classic American apple pie or Romanian that my mom use to make. I usually look and try all kinds of variation of apple pie or apple cakes.

Recently I found my inspiration on a blog I recently followed: Z.Y. DOYLE with Cinnamon Apple Cake that just stuck in my mind from the moment I read it.

I have to admit it was the right choice. We finished this cake in about 24 hours. When we had the last piece in the box my daughter started to count who had the more pieces so she can see if she can have the last one LOL  And I was asked to make it again.

However, due to some dietary restrictions I have ( I cannot eat butter along with a long list of other things ) I changed the original a little bit but even so it was a huge success.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • lemon juice form half of lemon
  • 5 small ¬†granny smith apples
  • 1 1/4 c granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup of Sultana raisins (soaked in 1 tbsp of rum extract and 2 tbsp water)
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 5%
  • 1/4 cup of grape seed oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs, room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350¬įF. Lined a baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl mix together the two types of flour, baking powder and salt. In a second bowl mix together the ¬†1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon. ¬†Save 2 tbsp for later. Please do not forget as I did. I just sprinkle some cinnamon and brown sugar on top ūüė¶

Peel and core the apples and cut them in thin pieces. Drizzle the lemon juice over the apple pieces along with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the eggs and 1 cup sugar until creamy. Add the sour cream, grape oil, vanilla extract and mix well.

Fold the flour in the egg mixture. Drain the raisins of the liquid and add them to the mixture along with the apple pieces. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes depending on oven. Let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and remove the cake together ¬†with the parchment paper on a cooling rack. Cool completely and just indulge. ūüôā

Apple slices covered in cinnamon and sugar mixture

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Ready for the oven 

apple-cake-2

Ready to indulge

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Uncategorized

Fluffy Rice Pilaf

When you cook a rice pilaf you should always get started by cooking onion in a small sauce pan. Onion is a must. To the onion you could add garlic, shallots and fennel.This will make the difference between steamed rice and pilaf. As I mentioned, add two tbsp of olive oil or unsalted butter to a sauce pan. Add the onion and  cook until translucent.

Now it is time for the spices. You can go for either coriander and cumin or cinnamon and all spices. I went a bit different this time and I added one teaspoon¬†tandoori seasoning which includes: cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, cardamon, turmeric ¬†and black pepper.I read that you should keep it simple and don’t use to many spices at once but I just like the seasoning I am using as it nicely balances out all the flavors.

Once the onion and the spices are cooked ( about 30 seconds ) it’s time for the rice. Add ¬†one cup of long grain white rice. Cook until rice is well covered in spices and the mixture is translucent.

I added know about 6 white mushrooms and half of red pepper and stirred to mix all the flavors together.

Another ¬†important adding is the cooking liquid. Water should be replaced by broth. You can add either chicken broth, veggie broth or seafood broth. Also a bit of white wine one will be welcomed here ūüėȬ†Add about one cup of chicken broth and a splash of wine and bring to a broil for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.¬†

Before serving you can add 2 – 3 tbsp of herbs: cilantro, parsley or mint depending of preferences. Next step? You enjoy it ūüėČ

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Muffins and other sweets

No Butter Cinnamon Raisins Buns

As you might know, the main ingredients in a cinnamon roll are flour, cinnamon, sugar and butter. So you might ¬†think why no butter ? It’s not because I don’t like butter; I love butter. I love it too much and sometimes I prefer not to buy it so I can stay away from it

But who can stay away from cinnamon buns ?!? If you don’t use butter you can substitute with olive oil ( any oil of your choice it works ) ¬†and believe me there was almost no difference ūüėČ

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp instant traditional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large run free egg
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of 1% lactose free milk

Heat the milk but never reach boiling point.

In a bowl add 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 2 tbsp instant yeast. Let it activate for about 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl add the flour, salt sugar and mix. Make an indentation, add the egg lightly beaten, milk and the yeast mixture. Start kneading until the dough is coming from your hands and it’s no sticky. ¬†You might have to add a bit of all-purpose flour. Knead for about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean, oily bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic foil. Let it rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 Tbsp of olive oil ( you could also use grape seeds oil ). Top the dough with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 – 1 Tbsp cinnamon (to taste).

Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough. Cut the dough into 2 inch pieces. Add the pieces in a square or round pan lined with oily baking paper. Brush the rolls with olive oil for a reach golden color. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them stend on the top of your preheat oven ( 375 F ) for about 30 more minutes.

Bake the rolls for about 25 – 35m minutes until nice and golden on top. While fresh from the oven brush them with some honey ( optional )

Let them cool for a few minutes and then serve and enjoy them ūüôā

 

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                  ♥

 

 

Muffins and other sweets

Carrots and raisins muffins

This week one of my co-workers made me such a wonderful surprise and brought me a muffin …so kind of her, thanks Merilyn !!!

I had to ask for the recipe, I needed to make them because they were so delicious and full of cinnamon and nutmeg flavor ….Next day she brought me the recipe with another muffin ūüôā and so said so done …next day I was ready to hit the kitchen to make them …

Ingredients for a dozen

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots ( about 3 medium carrots )
  • 1 cup grated peeled apple
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes ( optional )
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts ( optional )
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Make it :

 

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.

Stir in carrots, apples, raisins coconut and walnuts if using. In another bowl beat eggs. Add yogurt and oil. Stir into flout mixture just until combined. Batter will be pretty thick.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups filling almost to the top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 45 minutes in the tray and then trasfer them to cool completely  on the cooling rack .

 

Bon Appetite !!!