Fiesta Friday Birthday Edition (FF39)

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fiesta friday birthday edition

I’m celebrating my birthday this weekend, people! So, here’s the deal. I’m just going to relax and enjoy being celebrated, how’s that? This is my birthday party, after all! Birthday girls don’t normally have to cook for their own birthday parties, do they? So if you don’t see any contribution from me at the party, please don’t get mad.

In fact, I am under strict orders from the doctor aka the hubby to specifically not do anything other than being entertained and spoiled. Doesn’t that sound like a good prescription? He always takes such good care of me.

You are all invited to the party, of course, and if you bring food or drink or a story or a joke, I will personally see to it that you get the red carpet welcome from Suzanne @apuginthekitchen and Sue @Birgerbird, my co-hosts for this week’s Fiesta Friday Birthday Edition.

I did, however, manage to make a little somethin’ somethin’ this week, to be shared with you in the near future.

the novice gardener

Can you guess what they are? Let’s just say they’re appropriate for the season, even if they’re not exactly birthday-celebration fare.

***

Features from last week’s party are:


Spiced Poached Pear and Frangipane Brioche Tarts from Hannah @Domestic Gothess.

In Hilda’s words, “These are some ‘mid-morning snack’ as Hannah calls them. How I would love to be treated to one of these light and buttery fruit brioches in the a.m., sweetly spiced, glossy and beautiful. Come to think of it, I would welcome one just about any time.”

In Julianna’s words, “I thought these tarts were so sophisticated and could imagine what each layer would taste like as I took a bite. They are so beautiful and would be the perfect finish to any elegant dinner party.”

These tarts command attention immediately. Just so beautiful, Hannah! Would have loved to have a taste of one of these. Sounds about perfect as a mid-morning snack, maybe with coffee or tea.  


Blackberry and Elderflower Entremets from Michelle @Giraffes Can Bake.

In Hilda’s words, “Michelle has done it again! This exquisite entremet is composed of five layers – each one a delectable recipe which could shine on its own. Beautifully assembled, the flavour, texture and colour of the final product is nothing short of stunning.”

Hilda took the words out of my mouth! This is just simply exquisite and stunning, Michelle! A five-star entremet!


Gulgule/Meetha Pooya from Sonal @Simply Vegetarian 777. 

In Julianna’s words, “I was so excited when I saw these! Regular, mundane donut holes make a very frequent appearance in my workplace. I thought Sonal really raised the bar with this recipe and sent donut holes into a totally new dimension. Scented with fennel and cardamom? Wow! These donut holes I would actually eat!”

Well, first of all, I think Gulgule is a much better name than donut holes or munchkins. Not that I won’t eat donut holes, I eat plenty of them, but I always feel slightly juvenile whenever I down them. Call them Gulgule, instead, and all of a sudden, I feel like a sophisticated nibbler with a discriminating taste. Plus, like Julianna said, they’re flavored with fennel and cardamom! They’re definitely not your regular munchkins. Take that, Dunkin’ Donuts!


A Fall Garden Walk from Nick @The Optimistic Househusband.

I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do whenever I come home from a vacation is to go see what the garden’s been up to in my absence. It’s like my pet, my garden. And I like seeing other people’s “pets”, too. So, I thoroughly enjoyed taking a walk in Nick’s garden. It felt very relaxing. It was a complete stress-buster, Nick! Thank you for that. More, please! :-)

Thank you Julianna and Hilda, for helping me host the party and select these features!

***

Let’s get on with that birthday celebration, shall we? Click on the button below to join the party. This time, anything goes. No rules! No guidelines to follow! God Help Us!

Nick

Jing

Michelle

Su

Michelle

MB

MB

Tina

Sonal

Chava

Lisa

Kaila

NancyC

Hannah

Juju

Shelly

Loretta

Arlene

Mandi

Martina

Justine

Stephanie

Mr Fitz

Johanne

Anna

Hilda

Julie

Cat

Julianna

MB

Jhuls

Radhika via Jhuls

Sarah

Meaghan

Meaghan

Andrea

Andy

Simi

Anjana

Anjana

Anjana

Julia

Ginger

Sonal

Tracy

Ahila

Selma

Claudia

Cynthia

Lily

Marta

Suzanne

Dini

Kunstkitchen

Mr Fitz

Jess

Sue

Prudy

Katie

Petra

Anna

Hannah

Indu

Chitra

Chitra

Andy

Mr Fitz

Skd

Naina

Nino

Su

Liz

Sarah

Ted

Ted

Stacey

Nell

Linda

Kaila

Krumkaker

Ted

Anugya

Shikha

Mr Fitz

Mr Fitz

Ted

Ted

The Impossible Chocoflan | Fiesta Friday #38

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chocoflan

chocoflan

As you know, my Crepas de Mole recipe, posted two weeks ago, came out of a failed Cinco de Mayo post. Judging from the responses I got, however, it didn’t seem to bother anybody much that a Cinco de Mayo recipe was posted in October.

Come to think of it, the stores have been in Christmas mode since like what, July? If a store can get away with celebrating Christmas in Summer, so can a blog with celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Autumn.

If not, just look at it this way – I’m not late for Cinco de Mayo, I’m just super early for the next one. So, with that, I’m bringing you another Mexican recipe. This time, a dessert, called Chocoflan. It is, no doubt, the perfect dessert for Cinco de Mayo. However, I think you should really find excuses to enjoy it any time of the year. It’s really, really, really, really, really….gooood! Really! :-)

Okay, silliness aside, Chocoflan, which also goes by Pastel Imposible (The Impossible Cake) is possibly the best dessert there is. How can it not? It’s part cake and part flan, in one. Ingenious, isn’t it?

It is dubbed The Impossible Cake because of the intriguing way the cake and flan layers flip themselves while being baked. You pour the cake batter first into the pan, then the flan batter on top of it, but while the whole thing is baking, somehow the cake will rise to the top and the flan will sink to the bottom. Neat, isn’t it? Anybody out there a scientist? Explain this to us, please!

chocoflan

chocoflan

Chocoflan

  • Servings: 8-9
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

The caramel layer
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and the water.
2. Heat, on medium-high, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling.  
3. Stop stirring and allow syrup to continue boiling until it turns amber (about 6 minutes).
4. Remove from heat immediately and pour about a tablespoon into 4-oz custard cups and roll around to coat the sides of the cups. Set aside.

The cake layer
2 oz (1/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp (half a stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter and microwave for 30-second increments, stirring in between, until mixture is melted and smooth.
3. Add sugar, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract and whisk until everything is well-blended.
4. Add flour mixture and stir until incorporated.
5. Pour into custard cups, on top of the caramel. 

The flan layer
2 whole large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup 1% milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)

1. You can either place all the flan ingredients in a blender and process until smooth or use a whisk or hand-held mixer.
2. Strain to avoid any lumps.
3. Pour slowly and carefully over the cake batter.

Place the cups in a large roasting pan. Pour hot water around the cups to come halfway up their sides. Bake in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove custard cups from the hot water bath and place them on a rack to cool. When completely cool, cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 

To unmold, run a small metal spatula around the sides of each cup. Place a flat serving plate on top and invert Chocoflan onto the plate. Lift off the cups. The caramel sauce will flow down the sides of the Chocoflan, or drizzle more caramel before serving. Decorate with candied nuts or fruits.

Makes 8-9 mini (4-oz.) chocoflans.

chocoflan

***

Features from FF37 are:


Celebration Cake from Melissa @The Glen House.

How could anybody not fall for this cake? Four layers of chocolate sponge cake, with crispy chocolate rice cereal and whipped cream in between! Sounds and looks divine, doesn’t it? And Melissa worked so hard to make it. Only to be met by rude guests who either refused it or threw an unfinished piece in the bin. Sacrilege! I think these people were insane! I would have taken two slices, I tell you. Take heart, Melissa. We at Fiesta Friday loved it!


Halloween Treats from Juju @cookingwithauntjuju.

How cute are these treats? Especially “The Wicked Witch of the East” cupcake. Julianna agrees with me. She says, “I loved this post, packed with so many cute and creative ideas for Halloween. So many of the ideas are brilliant and easy. Judi’s feature photo of the witch’s legs coming out of cupcakes would be a HUGE hit at any Halloween event. This post was a party unto itself!”


Creamy Baked Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese from Lina @Strictly Delicious.

This is ridiculously mouth-watering! I didn’t think vegetables could do that to me. But it really made me super hungry looking at it. All that melty cheese! I wish I could taste this, Lina. I guess I’ll have to make it on my own. This is when I really wish someone had invented a teleporter so I could just beam me up some of these dishes you guys brought to the Fiesta!


Lobster and Avocado Ravioli from Petra @Food Eat Love.

In Hilda’s words, “Why settle for just lobster when you can serve it prepared in lobster butter with peas and avocado wrapped in a delicate wonton wrapper? Petra’s creativity is a real inspiration and credit to Fiesta Friday smorgasbord.”

In Julianna’s words, “The combination of lobster and avocado in ravioli just seemed so exotic and elegant to me. Petra’s presentation was so beautiful, and my palate was telling me that this pasta dish rocked with flavour! This would be stunning at any dinner party!”

Need I say more? This is one of those recipes that makes you go, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Avocado to add creaminess to a dish without the guilt is such a brilliant idea! Bravo, Petra! Will give this a try, for sure!

***

Thank you, Hilda and Julianna, for helping me select these features, and for agreeing to stick around and co-host FF38. What would I do without you? Probably not hosting a fiesta, that’s what!

Now let’s party, people!

Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

Mandi

Cindy

Meaghan

Kaila

Tina

Meaghan

Naina

Su via Jhuls

Sonal

Hannah

Michelle

Hannah

Michelle

Sonal

Nick

Apsara

Su

Claudia

Indira

Elaine

Naina

Skd

Petra

Selma

Shelly

MB

Melanie

Chris

Julie

Stephanie

Johanne

Alex

Julianna

Juju

Hilda

Sue

Andrea

Lily

Katkapow

Ginger

Justine

Tracey

Anna

Sarah

Mila

Tracy

Cynthia

Cat

Josette

Jess

Nino

Mr Fitz

Anjana

Anjana

Melissa

Sarah

Mermaid

Swayam

Swayam

Swayam

Sandhya

Ted

Ted

Katie

Noony

Indu

NancyC

Linda

Margy

Andrea

Nimmi

Aruna

Chitra

Chitra

Prudy

Suzanne

Mr Fitz

Ted

Ted

Shikha

Anugya

Anugya

Swayam

Nimmi

Juju

Sarah

Ted

Polianthus

You’re next!

You’re next!

Fiesta Friday #37

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Fiesta Friday Badge Button I party @

Time management. I have a problem with it, if you ask me. Big time! Of course I knew that Friday was coming close. Of course I knew that when Friday comes, Fiesta starts. And of course I knew I’m only the host of the Fiesta. None of these seemed to matter to me. I was still dilly-dallying ’til the last minute and by that time, I was too late. I’m showing up at my own Fiesta without anything to bring.

Good thing I took the day off from work today. Which, to me, means that it’s the day to wake up late. If you give me extra time to procrastinate, I promise I will use it. All right, all right, I will use the rest of the day to get busy in the kitchen. I promise.

In the meantime, you can party on! With Julianna @Foodie On Board and Hilda @Along The Grapevine. I, on the other hand, will be checking in and out while keeping my eyes on something in the oven, to be brought to the party later. It’ll be worth your wait, I promise.

***

Here are features from last week’s fiesta. Thank you to my dream team Selma and Elaine for helping me select these.


Almond Paste Figs from Linda @La Petite Panière.

In Elaine’s words, “A-MAZ-ING!!!! These arabic sweets are just so perfect. Linda is a true artist.”

In Selma’s words, “[These] are quite incredible. A labour of love, made from scratch and totally gorgeous to look at! A very accomplished cook, Linda makes this seem so easy!”


Marvellous Mezze from Elaine @Foodbod.

In Selma’s words, “Elaine has been working really hard on her photography. She has even bought the Plate to Pixel book and I think that there is such an improvement in her pictures. She has created a wonderful spread of dips but, but, but… it is those sweet potato flatbreads that are just stunning. Only Elaine could have come up with a such a creative, good-for-you flatbread!”

I’m in complete agreement with Selma. Just look at those pictures! The flatbreads are ingenious! This is going to be how I will get my kids to eat sweet potatoes finally, I’m convinced. Thank you, Elaine!


Deep in Pie-Land from Sue @Birgerbird.

In Selma’s words, “Sue’s pies look amazing – What a lot of thought, practice and hard work Sue has put into them. The “Mr Fitz’ Pork Pie” came second in Savoury!! (I caught up with her on Instagram.) Congratulations Sue!!”

In Elaine’s words, “What a stunning collection of pies, every picture is gorgeous, you just want to pick them off the page – and we now know (via Instagram) that she was a winner!!” 


Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake from MB @Bourbon & Brown Sugar.

In Selma’s words, “Oh my giddy aunt!! What a wonderful cheesecake! And made from the remnants of her children’s devastation of the cupboards – how fortuitous for her school and for us!! Peanut Butter, Caramel and Chocolate Chips? Yes please – make mine a generous slice!!”

In my words, “What Selma said! Plus this – Can I wear this all over my face? ‘Coz that’s what I wanna do. Bury my face IN IT!”

***

Okay, it’s late (I’m in so much troubbleee!) but link-up is on! Let’s party! Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

Kaila

Su

Mimi via Jhuls

MB

MB

Lina

Andrea

Andrea

Michelle

Mandi

Simi

Lisa

Hilda

Juju

Jing

Sarah

Nicky

Arlene

Meaghan

Meaghan

Meaghan

Julie

Tina

Elaine

Petra

Julianna

Meghan

Cris

Tracy

Martina

Stephanie

Lori

Anjana

Anjana

Fida

NancyC

Skd

Shikha

Mr Fitz

Nancy

Cat

Sarah

Melissa

Tracey

Andy

Justine

Claudia

Anna

Apsara

Swayam

Naina

Cynthia

Jess

Margy

Selma

Nino

Johanne

Johanne

Nimmi

Ted

Ted

Prudy

Polianthus

Jess

Nick

Indu

Justyna

Chitra

Chitra

Mr Fitz

Mr Fitz

Indira

Anugya

Krumkaker

Ted

Sonal

Aruna

Swayam

Radhika

Nimmi

Ted

Ted

Sandhya

Linda

Ted

Ted

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Crepas de Mole | Fiesta Friday #36

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crepas de mole

crepas de mole

How many draft posts can a blogger have, at one time, that would be considered normal? I heard that the very successful food blogger and author David Lebovitz, whose Facebook page I follow, has about 40 at any given moment. I’m not an author or a successful food blogger, but it feels good to be in the company of Mr. Lebovitz. I have roughly about the same number.

Most of them are abandoned half-written posts (I lost interest in the subject or I lost my train of thought). Many are boring and badly written posts (I was at a loss for words). Then there are posts that for one reason or another have no photos (I lost my mind, period).

In an attempt to be more organized and to clean-up my neglected drafts, I looked over them. And guess what? I found one ready to be published. A Cinco de Mayo post that somehow didn’t make it on Cinco de Mayo. I remember why. I made chicken in mole sauce. And you know, don’t you, that while chicken in mole sauce in an excellent dish, it just doesn’t photograph well?

Anyway, reading that post made me hungry for Mexican food. And reminded me that I have leftover mole sauce in the freezer. Since May! I decided to get over the part about “mole is not photogenic” and bring it to my fiesta. This time served over crepes instead of chicken pieces. Hopefully, you’ll think it looks appetizing. The taste, I can vouch, is muy excelente!

But now that you know about my draft post problem…. you won’t need an explanation, will you, if let’s say…. you see a Christmas or New year’s Day post on Halloween? :-)

crepas de mole

Crepas de Mole

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

The crepes
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp fine cornmeal (masa harina)
A pinch of salt
1 x-large egg, beaten
1 tbsp oil
Butter

1. Mix the flour, masa harina, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Pour the milk and whisk until well-combined.
3. Add the beaten egg and oil and whisk until batter is smooth.
4. Set a 6-inch non-stick pan over medium heat, add a little butter and let it melt.
5. Pour about 3 tbsp batter, tilt and swirl pan to distribute batter evenly on the surface of the pan.
6. Cook for about 1 minute, or until edges appear dry. Flip and cook the other side for 10-20 seconds, or until lightly brown.
7. Transfer to a plate and repeat. Makes about 16 (6-inch) crepes. Set aside.

Easy red mole sauce
Making mole is a true labor of love. If you have the time and inclination, make a large batch and freeze some. On busy nights, however, without leftover mole, this makes a great substitute.

3 chiles anchos, stemmed and seeded
4 chiles guajillos, stemmed and seeded
3 Roma tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in water
1/4 cup ground almond
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp dark chocolate morsels
1 – 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp lard or cooking oil

1. Toast the chiles in a skillet over medium heat. Use a spatula to press them against the bottom of the skillet. Toast until they begin to change color, about 1-2 minutes. Then soak them in warm water to cover and let them soften.
2. Roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
3. Place roasted vegetables in a blender, add chiles, raisins and stock. Purée until sauce is smooth.
3. Heat lard or oil in a saucepan, add the sauce and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add all spices and dried herbs and continue to cook until sauce is slightly reduced.
5. Add the ground almond and chocolate and continue to stir until chocolate is melted.
6. Add more stock if sauce is too thick. It should be the consistency of a thick creamy soup.

The filling
Cooked and shredded meat (beef, chicken or pork)
Grated cheese (Muenster or Jack cheese)

(You can easily make this vegetarian by omitting the meat or substituting with beans or other vegetables.)

Assembling the crepes
1. Place 1 to 2 tbsp of meat (depending on how thin or fat you want your crepes to be) in each crepe. Add 1 to 2 tbsp shredded cheese. Roll up, enchilada style.
2. Arrange in a single layer in an oven-proof dish.
3. Cover with sauce.
4. Bake in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove, sprinkle additional cheese and bake for additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

***

Features from last week’s fiesta are:


Caramel Snickerdoodle Cake from Jess @Cooking Is My Sport.

Jess made a scrumptious cake to celebrate her birthday that she shared with her twin Jas. A caramel snickerdoodle cake! Doesn’t that sound so yummy? And how adorable are these two gals! Look at those smiles! Happy Birthday, Jess & Jas!

There were quite a few birthday posts last week. Prudy said it best, “It was a Happy Birthday kind of Fiesta Friday…. Some really beautiful sweets made with love in celebration of our friends or their loved ones….” Take a look at them:

Splendidly Chocolate from Loretta @Safari of the Mind
Boy’s Power Rangers Birthday Cake from Anjana @At the Corner of Happy and Harried
Dark Chocolate Cake from Nino @icookonboard
Eggless Blue Velvet Cake from Shikha @Chhapan Bhog
Cupcakes With Butter Cream Frosting from Nimmi @adorable life


Streusel Topped Apple Brioche from Hannah @Domestic Gothess.

In Naina’s words, “With all the wonderful apple recipes making the rounds, this one really stands out. The gorgeous braided brioche with that luscious apple pie filling. As if that wasn’t enough, there is streusel topping involved!! Perfect fall deliciousness!!”

Apple pies, I’ve always thought, top all other apple desserts. Until I saw this apple brioche! You cannot be serious, Hannah! I never thought I would ever say this, but I think on a good day, this might beat an apple pie. What an extraordinary apple recipe!


Spicy Apricot and Sausage Braid from Anna @thelittlebluemixer.

That’s one stunning-looking bread, Anna! Fantastic flavor combination of sweet apricots and savory sausages, not to mention the other interesting seasonings. Would have never thought of it, but really, it all makes sense. Thank you for sharing at the fiesta!


Chinese Red Pork Sausages from Mr Fitz @Cooking with Mr Fitz.

Really, Mr Fitz? How could you? Hanging all those links on that pretty cupboard? Your wife is a saint! If my husband did that, I’d stop talking to him at least for a week! Actually, if he were to do anything like this, the only links I’d allow him to hang on my cupboard would be these Chinese sausages. They sound so mouth-watering. I really should give sausage-making a try. No more excuses! (I want the exact measurements of all the ingredients, btw.)

No doubt about it, Mr Fitz. You are obviously one cool dude who makes his own sausages. I wish I was your neighbor! I know Naina feels the same way. This is what she has to say, “I’m not even fond of pork, and yet these sausages made my mouth water with their Oriental flavors! And they look so professionally done! I only wish I could make sausages that look anything like Mr Fitz’s.”

***

Thank you, Naina and Prudy, for co-hosting and helping select these features! Now, say hello once again to the dream team! Who else? Selma and Elaine, of course. They’re ready to partay with you guys!

Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

Elamb

Josette

Tina

Skd

Lisa

Hannah

Nick

Krumkaker

MB

MB

MB

Selma

Andrea

Sonal

Shikha

Claudia

Juju

Nimmi via Jhuls

Jodi via Jhuls

Mr Fitz

Kaila

Indira

NancyC

Michelle

Melissa

Alex

Simi

Sarah

Stephanie

Julie

Meaghan

Meaghan

Johanne

Anjana

Anjana

Lily

Elaine

Charanya

Charanya

Julianna

Sylvia

Cat

Pang

Cris

Anna

Lori

Sarah

Emily

Suzanne

Margy

Alex

Teresa

Petra

Julia

Ginger

Andy

Kunstkitchen

Cynthia

Jess

V & V

Swayam

Swayam

Swayam

Nino

Arl

Sue

Naina

Sujatha

Mr Fitz

Ted

Ted

Nell

Prudy

Aruna

Stacey

Linda

Nicky

Mandi

Justine

Indu

Su

Hilda

Tracy

Ted

Ted

Shelly

Chitra

Shelly

Chitra

Mr Fitz

Mr Fitz

Swayam

Anugya

Anugya

Cynthia

Ahila

Ted

Ted

Su

Apsara

Nimmi

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Apple Pie | Fiesta Friday #35

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mini apple pies

individual apple pie

My mother is what I call a health-nut, or more accurately a superfood-addict. If possible, every meal she takes must contain at least a superfood ingredient. As long as I can remember, she has always been this way. She used to give us a spoonful of raw honey and fish oil daily when we were young. Yuck, right? I thought so. I rebelled by puking, which wasn’t hard to do. So, she stopped. At least with me, she did.

I’m not very much like my mother, preferring to eat anything I crave at the moment, superfoods involved or not. Sometimes I wonder if I was in fact switched at birth the way I’ve turned out so differently from my own mother. Or maybe I’m just more like my dad. He certainly loved his chocolate and croissants the way I do.

My mom happens to be here, visiting for a few weeks. Since week 1, she’s been sprinkling chia seeds into my coffee. No kidding! It turns my coffee into a pudding. I have to use a spoon to drink it. But she’s my mom and I love her so I let her. Honestly, I’m getting used to it. Actually, I’m beginning to like it. I still want my drinkable coffee, but the chia coffee pudding thingy isn’t half bad. Besides, she told me chia seeds have many health benefits. For one, they help her stay regular, she said. Mom!! TMI!!

Anyway, as much as I appreciate her well-meaning intentions, I can’t just stop eating what I want to eat. I’m forever a rebel. A rebel without a cause, I guess. I want my drinkable coffee and I want my sweets, something she considers the most unnecessary part of a diet. Specifically, I want my apple pie.

Apples have been on my mind lately. Can you blame me? It’s apple season, after all. My mom and I went picking and now I have apples all over the house. I mean it. I have them in the fridge. I have them in the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter. I have them in a basket on the coffee table in the living room. I have them on a platter on the ottoman in the family room. Anytime I need a snack, there’s an apple nearby.

But why have fresh apples when you can have apple pie? This, once again, is where Mom and I differ. She prefers fresh. However, as I’ve mentioned, I am forever rebelling. Plus, I am the author of this blog, and I’d say we turn some of these apples into a pie. What say you?

individual apple pies

brown sugar apple pie

Brown Sugar Mini Apple Pies

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

The crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick cold butter
1 tsp sugar
A pinch of salt
4 tbsp cold water or milk

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.
2. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Sprinkle water or milk 1 tablespoon at a time, while tossing lightly with a fork.
4. Add liquid until dough is just moist enough to form a ball.
5. Shape dough into a flat disk and refrigerate while making the filling.

The filling
3 medium-sized apples
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp butter
2 tsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Peel and dice apples into small cubes, place in a bowl. Sprinkle flour and toss.
2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter, then add sugar. Stir and let sugar melt.
3. Add apples and cook until apples are soft. Add cinnamon and stir to combine.

Making the pies
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into rounds big enough to cover your mini pie plates.
2. Spoon filling until it is level with the top edge of the pie plate (Or you can put more and have it mounding slightly, it’s up to you). Cover with another round piece of crust. Press edges together to seal and then flute edge.
3. Decorate with remaining scraps of crust.
4. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle raw sugar, if you like.
5. Pierce top of pie with a skewer or cut slits.
6. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Makes 4 3-inch mini pies.

***

Now it’s time for features! Thanks to my dream team, Selma and Elaine, for helping me select these outstanding posts, diamonds among gems.


Sauerkraut Dumplings from Ginger @Ginger & Bread.

In Selma’s words, “[These are] so unusual – I could eat a big plateful!! Not only an inspired combination of ingredients to tame the sauerkraut but also a very creative way to roll the filling in dough, slice and cook them. This is something that I must try!”

I just have to second Selma. These sauerkraut dumplings are so interesting that they beg to be tried. I just know I’m going to love them. I love sauerkraut + I love dumplings = I double love Sauerkraut dumplings. Right?


Pineapple Carpaccio from Swayam @La Petit Chef.

In Selma’s words, “Wow, this one got my tastebuds tingling just looking at the photos! A Bollywood party in my mouth indeed! Where was this a couple of months ago when it was too hot to cook? That dressing would also make the base of a very moreish cocktail. And what wonderful photos, too….”

This one had me at pineapple, or maybe at the color yellow. Summer on a plate! Such gorgeous photos and presentation of sliced pineapple. Simple and sophisticated at the same time. How is that possible? Only Swayam can do that. Way to go, Swayam!


Christmas in August from Chava @flavourphotos.

In Elaine’s words, “I love Christmas and these beautiful photos of colorful Christmas decorations made me smile so much, I don’t care what time of year it is.”

I’m with Elaine on this one. Christmas is the one time of the year I look forward to. Well, maybe my birthday, too. And my anniversary. And Valentine’s day. And Easter. And Halloween. And Thanksgiving….no, not Thanksgiving ‘coz I have to wrestle a big turkey. I think I just love holidays, but Christmas is my favorite so I don’t mind it coming a little early. Not at all. Looking at those Christmas decorations actually made me very happy, Chava! Thank you!


Almond-Crusted Pork Scallopini with Apples and Arugula from Josette @thebrookcook.

Pork and apples are a match made in heaven, showcased here beautifully by Josette. I love the idea of adding arugula, which is unusual, but why not? I got a bed full of arugula still out there. I’ve been looking at it and scratching my head what to do. And you know I have apples coming out of my ears, so apples & arugula are a match made in heaven, too, I’ve decided.


Chicken Enchilada Casserole from Arlene @Arl’s World.

Okay, confession time. This is the kind of meal that I want to eat most days, and is in fact what I serve in my house most days. Comforting, full of flavors, simple to make and can be made ahead in big batches. Casseroles are a busy girl’s best friends, I swear. This one looks so yummy, Arlene!

There you have it, folks, our features for FF34!

***

Now it’s time to party, FF35 style! With my BFFs (Blogger Friends Forever) Prudy and Naina. Please join them for a few days of fun and chitchat and getting to know each other and swapping recipes and sharing stories, etc., etc. You know how it goes, right?

Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

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