Roasted Garlic Rosemary Brussels Sprouts and Oven-Baked Ribs

This Saturday was totally efficient for me.  Other than getting lots of chores done, I managed to make a very awesome dinner with one of my most favorite foods ever, Ribs! Plus, I experimented with trying out how to make Brussels Sprouts.  I’ve never made it before and only ate it once before the week before when my best friend made it for the potluck.

Ribs and Brussel Sprouts with Rice :)

Ribs and Brussels Sprouts with Rice 🙂

I have my own ribs marinade.  I don’t really know the portion as I do it by the feeling that I get.

However, this time I did change it up a bit.  The ingredients I used included: Low Sodium Soy Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Honey, Ground Pepper, Herbes de Provence and a bit of sugar if you find it not sweet enough or just use a little bit more honey.  After you spread it on the ribs, you can add a bit of water in it so that it won’t be too dry in the baking process.  Set the oven to 400F and covered it with aluminum foil and then cooked it for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Ribs!

Ribs!

When there was about 30 minutes left to bake the ribs, I switched on my rice cooker to steam some rice and started prepping the brussels sprouts.  For the brussels sprouts, I got the recipe from Tone it Up when I signed up for the Bikini Series.  Its a pretty simple recipe, although the only part that bothered me was that they didn’t tell us how long to bake it for…so I slightly improvised on that.

They named this recipe: Beauty & The Brussel.  I think its for the nutritious factor of it, I don’t know. Its called Roasted Garlic Rosemary Brussels Sprouts.

Ingredients:

2 cups of Brussels Sprouts

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp pine nuts

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary (or dried)

Pinch of seasalt

How to make this: 

1) Set oven at 400F. Prepare the baking tray by covering it with tinfoil. Spray a little cooking spray on your tin foil.

2) Cut off the ends of the brussels sprouts and then cut it in halves lengthwise.

3) Mix together olive oil, pine nuts, and diced garlic in a bowl.  Toss the brussels sprouts in the bowl.

4) Lay the brussels sprouts in one layer on the tin foil including flakes.  Sprinkle rosemary and salt

Roasted Garlice Rosemary (or Thyme) Brussels Sprouts!

Roasted Garlice Rosemary (or Thyme) Brussels Sprouts!

I ended up baking it for about 30 minutes.  However, the key is to keep flipping them every 8-10 minutes.  I’ve read some recipes that say 5-7 minutes.  It worked out pretty good for me.  I did make one modification to the recipe aside from using more for each ingredient to be in proportion with the amount of brussels sprouts I had.  I ended up substituting rosemary with dried thyme.  I did some research and it says that its a good replacement and thyme itself is a milder spice, I believe.

My first time eating brussels sprouts like this and it was pretty good.  I’ll search up some more recipes for it especially since its supposed to be really nutritious as its filled with vitamins and helps boost immune system and metabolism. That sounds pretty good to me!

I have to say, I was impressed with myself with this meal.  Plus, I didn’t flip out at any part of it.  I may have gotten frustrated just a little, but I was alright.  In between of the first 30 minutes of the ribs baked time, I actually whipped up something else, but I’ll save that for another post 😉

I’m a beginner at making brussels sprouts! Anyone have suggestions of other good ways to make it?

Double Baking: Cherry Coffee Cake & Cinnamon Rolls

This weekend was absolutely awesome.  Yesterday, I had promised to post up the recipe for the dessert I made for the BBQ with friends.  You can read that post HERE.  However, I felt like baking again and I ended up making something I’ve been planning all month, Cinnamon Rolls.

The Cherry Coffee Cake was actually a slight modification of a dessert I posted a few weeks ago called the Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake.

Cherry Coffee Cake fresh out of the oven!

Cherry Coffee Cake fresh out of the oven!

Check it out HERE to get the original recipe.

The modifications I made were the following:

  • 1 cup of Bisquick mix (ran out)
  • no yogurt or grated lemon-zest
  • replace milk with unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • replace fresh blueberries with fresh cherries. Remember to remove pits
  • No streusel topping but sprinkled with brown sugar before putting in the oven

Its straight forward and delicious! The change in fruits made for a refreshing taste.  Some  of my friends ate it with ice cream and found it was a good match. Still a very worthy recipe!

Next up, my first attempt at making CINNAMON ROLLS! There were super successful! 🙂

Cinnamon Rolls! Fresh out of the oven!

Cinnamon Rolls! Fresh out of the oven!

This is a long and time consuming recipe.  Its two times of waiting 30 minutes to wait for the dough and the rolls to rise, but then the actual baking time is only 25 minutes.  However, if you want your house to smell sweet and delicious with cinnamon aromas, this is the perfect choice 🙂

I found the recipe in my Looneyspoons cookbook called Rolls Royce!

Makes 12

Ingredients:

Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 1/4 tsp quick-rising yeast

1 tsp salt

1 cup 1% milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp butter, at room temperature

Glaze

2 tbsp light cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tbsp butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Goes great with Maple Soy Ice Cream :)

Goes great with Maple Soy Ice Cream 🙂

How to make it:

1. To make dough, combine both flours, flaxseed, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

2. Add milk, sugar, butter and vanilla to a small pot.  Heat over medium heat, stirring often, just until milk is warmed, butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Do not simmer or boil.  Remove from heat and carefully pour into a large mixing bowl.  Add half of the flour mixture and egg.  Stir using a wooden spoon until well blended.  Add remaining flour mixture and stir until soft ball forms.  Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Add a bit more flour if dough is too sticky.  Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 1 minute.  Place dough in a clean bowl that has been lightly oiled.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes or until double in size.

3. Meanwhile, make the filling.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

5. When dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll out dough to a 12×14 inch rectangle. Using a butter knife, spread 2 tbsp butter evenly over dough.  Sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture and spread evenly to edges.  Roll up dough jelly-roll style.  This should be 12 inch long.  Using a very sharp knife, slice roll into 12 equal pieces.  Arrange rolls in a single layer in prepared pan.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake rolls for 25 minutes, puffed and light golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly while you prepare the glaze.  Using an electric mixer, beat together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.  Spread evenly over warm rolls.

Close up texture

Close up texture

Of course, I made some modifications and here they are:

  • Omit flaxseed (didn’t have any)
  • Replace 1% milk with unsweetened almond vanilla milk
  • No glaze

Not so many changes but that dough is extra hard to roll into a rectangle.  Mine was slightly lopsided.  That made for two of the rolls to be a bit funky looking. However, I’d say that it was a successful first time trial and I’d definitely try it again.  This recipe was delicious.  I removed the glaze because even without, it was sweet enough.  Plus, the glaze has cream cheese and I can’t eat that.

If you want to make your house into a delicious smelling place (if you like the smell of cinnamon), then this one is a sure fire.  It may be time consuming but its a really fun experience (even when I was cursing the dough for not turning into a rectangle 😉

Happy Monday Morning! Cinnamon rolls anyone?

*Almost* Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies!

Have you ever heard of these cookies? Kitchen Sink Cookies for short apparently…

These ones came up in my search when I was digging up recipes based on another blogger’s comment for Coconut Cloud Cake post. Brian at Hard Ticket to Home Video commented that “mixes coconut, toffee and dark chocolate”.  I have never baked with toffee so I had to run off and look for that.  Of course, the trusty Walmart Superstore here has everything and I managed to pick up a pack of toffee bits on Saturday.

I changed it around a bit to match the tastes of my boyfriend and his family, which will be delivered to them tonight 🙂

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I found this recipe on Martha Stewart`s site.  The link to the original recipe that inspired it is: http://www.marthastewart.com/332894/everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-cookie

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These cookies are quite easy to make as its pretty much mixing the wet ingredients then in another bowl the dry ingredients. After that putting it together and after having the cookies dough done.  Its time to add all the contents: dark chocolate, toffee bits, coconut shreds, dried cherries, pecans, oats and pretzels.  Point is, its supposed to have EVERYTHING…

20130407_225046

My version doesn`t change much for the dough.  I did remove the salted pretzels and dried cherries.  Its not hit in their families and then swapped almonds to replace the pecans.  Also, I didn`t have any dark chocolate on hand so I used some semi sweet chocolate chunks.  Plus, the intended recipients aren`t big fans of dark chocolate and more semi-sweet.

P1210782

 

Obviously, this one fits in all my nono`s. So I couldnt`t try it out.  However, what they do feel and look like are Oatmeal cookies with Chocolate chunks, coconut, toffee bits, and almonds.  Now that sounds like a winner combination right. My mom did help me out to taste it and she said that it was a bit too sweet (but she always thinks that) however, she did say the taste was pretty good.  The texture of it was not too hard and all the ingredient choices matched up to a good taste.

If you don`t like any ingredients or you want to swap things in and out, as long as you know the end result taste works for you, then go for it.  It should work out fine. 🙂

Seeing as I`m a beginner with toffee bits, what else do you recommend I do with it? Any other great recipes or types of cookies or cakes that it would work well in? I was thinking maybe fudge might be a good option? I don’t know.  I’m not experienced with fudge either..Give me some suggestions.  I’d love to hear all about it 🙂

Food Review: Casa Victoria Fine Dining

On Saturday night, we headed over to Casa Victoria as a big group to join into the 25th anniversary and chinese new year party for a company that we help out over the past 10+  years (depending on who we are talking about).  For me, its been around 10 years.  I don’t remember exactly when I started but its been pretty fun. Casa Victoria has a Victorian theme going on in their banquet halls.  With beautiful lights and golden drapes and decorations on the walls, it radiated elegance.  The atmosphere was beautiful, the group was awesome and its the first time we’ve come in contact with the main office in Toronto so it was pretty fun.

This is a food review so I’m going straight to our huge meal that we had. We had a cocktail in the beginning with some appetizers and drinks.

I’m a lover of Barbecue pork and especially when in a pastry, the fluffy crust that melts in my mouth when done well.  This one was done to perfection.  It was so scrumptious, not too sweet or salty and the texture was awesome. I’ve never had bite size pie shells filled with eel and man, were these awesome.  I’m not a huge fan of eel but this one really impressed me a lot.

After a bit of chitchat and waiting for everyone to settle into their spots, we had some speeches and some games in between the course and even had a raffle and lots of gifts.  It was super fun. The first dish to come is a very well-known Chinese meat platter…

Chinese Meat Platter

Chinese Meat Platter

Stir Fried Jumbo Shrimp and Scallop

Stir Fried Jumbo Shrimp and Scallop

Braised Dried Oyster and Pork Hock

Braised Dried Oyster and Pork Hock

Braised Winter Melon Soup with Conpoy and Sweet Corn

Braised Winter Melon Soup with Conpoy and Sweet Corn

Pan Fried Beef Filet with Garlic Sauce

Pan Fried Beef Filet with Garlic Sauce

A little cut in this because I realized that I forgot to take the picture of Crispy Fried Chicken.  It was super delicious but somehow I didn’t do it.  Up to now, I can’t say anything else about the food because it was super good.  I’ll give more of a review at the end..We’re about halfway 😉

Stir Fried Sole Filet with Vegetable served on Crispy Bone

Stir Fried Sole Filet with Vegetable served on Crispy Bone

Wok Fried Lobster with Maggi Sauce

Wok Fried Lobster with Maggi Sauce

Searfood Fried Rice with Garlic

Searfood Fried Rice with Garlic

Braised E-fu Noodle

Braised E-fu Noodle

Red Bean Sweet Soup

Red Bean Sweet Soup

Anniversary Cake

Anniversary Cake

Le Petite Fleur with Almond cookies, Glutinous Rice Balls

Le Petite Fleur with Almond cookies, Glutinous Rice Balls

Man, that was a huge meal, right? It was awesomeness.  There were a few that were on the salty side but thats because I’m used to eating my mom’s cooking and its all healthy and minimal salt.  The meats were all done to perfection, desserts were right on.  The most memorable was the crust of the Jumbo Shrimps and Scallops.  Usually its called the Bird’s Nest and that was done so different from the other restaurants I’ve eaten at.  Another one was the fish and the Crispy Bone.  I was very tasty although I gave a part of my portion away because I was so full and I wanted to try the other food.

Fantastic meal and wonderful party with a bunch of awesome people.  It was a great night!

The next morning, the boss of this company invited everyone back to the restaurant to eat early morning dim sum. I didn’t take any pictures because I wasn’t fully awake from sleeping late watching Chopped.  But take my word for it, it was super awesome.  If you live in Toronto or visit there, go to Casa Victoria. You won’t regret it 🙂

What do you think about the meal?

A Bite of China: Braised Shrimps

This weekend was really efficient.  Yesterday I managed to get 2 A Bite of China recipes made for supper and then managed to make a nice little dessert as well.

The first up was making this Braised Shrimps.  Shrimps is possibly one of the easiest foods to cook because its really all in the marinade.  It gets thoroughly cooked rather quickly as well.  As I got older, I slowly grew out of my seafood love but now and then it does pop up.  With my mom in Melbourne for my cousin’s wedding, I made it a point this time to maximize on what is already in the house, because my mom keeps tons of food in the freezer.  And guess what? I found a bag (or a few) of shrimps.  Perfect for a nice meal and to hone my Chinese cuisine skills.

Braised Shrimps

 

Refer to my previous post about my cookbook for Poached Chicken to see what I say about the quantities and their cookbooks. I personally don’t understand who makes 6 shrimps.  I guess if you wanted to make a small gourmet dish, right? I’m Chinese and I don’t do fusion cooking so I don’t make 6 shrimps.  I’m not sure if that’ll even feed me completely, let alone I have to feed my boyfriend with the meal also. So I improvised a bit with the quantities to increase what was in the book.

This is how I did it.  I used about 20 shrimps instead of 6…

Ingredients:

20 Shrimps

3 tbsp Cooking wine (I used Rice Wine)

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp vinegar (I used rice vinegar)

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1/2 bowl water

2 stems green onions, chopped (used garlic instead)

3-4 slices ginger (I chopped them)

Salt

Directions:

1) Wash shrimps and devein if you  need to.   Put in a bowl and pour in the cooking wine and mix it together.  Set aside.

2) Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and water and stir together.

3) Heat up some oil in the wok and put in the shrimps.  Cook shrimps until they are red on both side and they should have some oil that comes out.  Take out shrimp only.

4) Put in the onion and ginger into the pan with the oil and fry until its golden.  Pour in marinade sauce and heat until it boils.

5) Add in the cooked shrimps into the wok and put in desired amount of salt for flavor.  Cover the wok and set to low heat to simmer for 2 minutes.  Afterwards, set to medium heat to reduce the sauce a little.  And its ready to be served!

Here’s the recipe.  Don’t completely trust my quantities because I really played around with it till what looks right.  You will know when it looks right.  Just add in more or less as you see fit.  It turned out tasting pretty awesome! Actually, I didn’t even think it would taste good, because of all the guestimations.  Its very delicious dish.  You should definitely try it out if you are into seafood!

Are you a seafood fan? What seafood do you  like the best?

 

Glow in the Dark Cupcakes!

Last night I went to the Halloween party and being inspired by a recipe from another blog, I decided to make chocolate cupcakes with glow in the dark frosting.  I had asked my boyfriend’s sister and she went to get the black light to make it all work.  Originally, I had wanted to do a test run of these cupcakes first but ended up doing the Pumpkin Spice Muffins instead, so I brought some of those as well as a backup plan if the others ones weren’t enough or others weren’t interested.  It will also be the first time that I used my frosting piping set that I had bought last month.

This is how they looked like at my place before going to the party:

Later on, I’ll show you what they look like under the light.  First of all, I’m going to show give you the link for the recipe.

The cupcakes are called Devil’s Food Cupcakes found on Sweet Little Thang’s blog: http://sweetlittlethang.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/devils-food-cupcakes/

She also came up the Glow in the Dark Frosting which can be found here: http://sweetlittlethang.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/glow-in-the-dark-frosting/

See them glowing? The top ones are more obvious.

First off, I’d like to say that my cupcakes are lacking a bit of decorative skills. I tried my best though and I guess they look okay.  I will try to practice more.  Now for the changes I made to the cupcakes recipe.  Instead of cocoa powder mixed with hot water, I just melted Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunks.  I also decreased the portion of butter and sugar because that just looked way too fattening.  I used 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar (not sure about the sugar modification). As for eggs, I used 3 extra large ones.

As for the frosting, I just kept it the way it was and I think it tasted alright.  The only thing was that I ran out of time so when it said to dip 4-6 times, I only had maybe 3 or 4 times.  I’m just glad it glowed so all the hard work wasn’t wasted and plus, the friends that ate the cupcakes seemed to enjoy it.  The only thing is that with the frosting process, the green ones need to be in the freezer for an hour so it was still pretty hard when it got to the party.  Although it sat in the fridge for a bit afterwards and I think it helped a bit.  Still, it seemed to be a hit.

The whole glow in the dark concept of it as it gave a little extra Halloween spirit to the dessert.  Extra because the place was decorated with spider webs and body parts, and everyone that came was dressed up really nice to the theme.  I’ll have another post touching on that soon.  As for anyone that wants to do this, try to schedule in maybe 2-3 hours from making the cupcakes to doing the frosting and making them glow in the dark, if you plan to do it all in one day.  If not, just do the cupcakes first and then the frosting and all the remaining work another day.

So what do you think about it? You think that it would be something interesting to do? Anyone going to give this a shot? Anything special that you usually make for Halloween?

Pumpkin Spice Muffins!

You don’t actually get into Halloween spirit without having something or another made with pumpkin.  I don’t cook pumpkin or squash much but I do bake. The debate was really between Pumpkin Pie and something in the form of a muffin or scone or cookie.  I went with muffins as they are easy and should be as close to foolproof as I can get for the first time baking with something new.

These are called Pumpkin Spice Muffins (at least I call them that).  The recipe that I got it from was from Looneyspoons and of course, they had another witty and long name, it was Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice.  Just to say, I followed everything to the recipe and only had two omissions. I’ll talk about that in a bit.

PUMPKIN SPICE MUFFINS (Looneyspoons Collection by Janet and Greta Podleski)

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I made my own with 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogourt

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup finely grated carrots

1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven at 375F.  Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, whole wheat flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, yogourt, maple syrup, butter, egg and vanilla.  Stir in carrots.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir using a wooden spoon just until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Batter will be thick.

4. Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of muffin comes out  clean.  Cool on wire rack.

 

Looks pretty good, right? I’m eating one of these as I’m typing up this post and its exceeded what I thought it’d taste like.  I was always worried that the pumpkin taste would be strong and it isn’t.  Its a well-balanced muffin.  Its not dry either so thats too my taste as well. I did make a few modifications. I had to take out the yogourt and chocolate chips from the recipe and instead of chopped walnuts, I put in chopped almonds.  Thats about all that I have to say. The taste is definitely pretty good.  I was pleasantly surprise and maybe will make it again next year.

Although, due to this recipe, I have the remaining can of pumpkin to use up and I have no idea what to do with it.  I’m pretty sure I’ll look for something randomly and make it.  I should be back with more pumpkin in some form of meal. Any suggestions?

As always, if you try out this recipe, please tell me how it turned out.  I’d love to know if you liked it or if you would make any changes to it, that sort of thing.

Saturday Dinner: Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Fries!

We don’t usually eat a lot of pork at my place.  Its not as healthy and its more fattening than the normal.  Another thing is that I’ve never actually made any pork chops but my boyfriend has mastered them pretty well.  So there I was on Friday night and trying to figure out what to make for Saturday and my grocery list.  Pork chops are on special so coincidentally there is also the “#1 Readers Fave” being Marla’s Maple Pork in my Looneyspoons cookbook. So voila, the menu for Saturday night was set.  Its nice to eat in on Saturday night and watch a movie (you know its horror because I haven’t gotten around to posting up the Horror Marathon).  For once, there was no parties, no ordering in, no take out, just cooking, eating and relaxing.

Here are Marla’s  Maple Chops:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 lbs (680g) pork tenderloin

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tbsp each reduced sodium soy sauce and ketchup

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp grated orange zest

1 1/2 tsp each curry powder and ground coriander

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

1. Trim pork of all visible fat.  Place pork in a large, heavy duty bag, resealable plastic bag.  Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.  Pour marinade over pork and seal bag. Turn bag several times to coat pork evenly.  Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

2. Transfer pork and marinade to a small roasting pan or baking dish.  Roast, uncovered, at 350F for 40 minutes.  Pork should be slightly pink in middle.

3. Let pork stand for 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice thinly.  Drizzle extra sauce over pork and serve immediately.

I changed it a bit.  I bought loin chops instead of a gigantic slab of meat so no slicing afterwards required.  I had all the ingredients pretty much.  I used normal mustard though because Dijon mustard is on the spicy side and my stomach is too sensitive for it.  Also, I marinaded it in the fridge for 1/2 hour.  I never read that before I do it so I don’t budget enough time. One more thing, 45 minutes in the oven for me because we don’t get pink meat, only well done.  Still, it turned out smelling delicious and tasting so good.

So with the pork chops, I made some sweet potato fries.  They were agreed upon last weekend that I’d do something with sweet potatoes.

This was incredibly easy to make.  First, wash the sweet potatoes (you’ll need about 3 medium ones).  Pat them dry before cutting them into wedges about 1/2 inch thick.  Don’t count on my cutting.  its not too sophisticated, but do follow the general idea of it.  Don’t cut into wedges that are too big.  After that, toss about  1 tbsp of olive oil and some seasoning (I use vegetable seasoning) and if your seasoning doesn’t include salt and pepper already then put that in also.  Make sure it evenly coats all the wedges.

Arrange them into a single layer on a baking sheet or tray. I didn’t oil it up because I used aluminum foil under it.  Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking time.

These turned out pretty good also.  Saturday night meal was a great turnout.  It was really delicious.

Do you like pork chops? How about sweet potatoes? Are you going to give these a shot? Have you ever done another recipe similar to it?

Raw Apple Muffins!

Ever since I saw this recipe earlier this year on a fellow blogger’s post, I’ve been wanting to make it.  I never actually had bought apples and when I did I always went and made the familiar pies.  It turns out my friends (and even myself) we’re not much of a muffin person.  Everyone always had other choices for apples, even if it meant just slicing it and eating it by itself.

Now, these muffins looked amazing.  They looked downright delicious.  Here is the link to her post on Raw Apple Muffins.

Recipe: http://saltandserenity.com/2012/05/28/raw-apple-muffins/

Last night, the initial plan was to make Pumpkin Spice Muffins, but I didn’t have time to head out to buy groceries after work.  So seeing as I had bought apples last week to make this and never got around to it, I thought it’d be the perfect time.  I have a gathering with my friends again.  I can’t believe its been a month (or so).  Remember last time, I made  Apple and Oat Scones, and before that it was Banana Gingerbread Slices? Other than dicing the apples took a crazy amount of time, this was a fun recipe.  I pretty much put on a movie and started chopping and mixing.

This recipe really suited my taste a lot.  I didn’t really have to change anything at all.  It turned out as promised to be moist and delicious from the apples.  I did have to make some little changes.  Salt and Serenity suggested to use Granny Smith and Macintosh apples.  I didn’t have those, so I used Cortland apples.  I think it didn’t make too much of a difference.  Second modification was that I replaced raisins with dried cranberries.  It added a little extra colour to each muffin and usually is a good replacement for raisins.

 

Wait before you go, there’s more.  There was one extra little part I had to change–the topping.  It was supposed to be dipped in melted butter than into the sugar.  I’m lactose intolerant for one and I had run out of butter and margarine.  So I just sprinkled the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the top.  Trust me, it still taste fantastic.  Honestly, I’m not sure melted margarine would’ve tasted the same as melted butter, maybe I’ll try it on one of them later on.

 

This was how they looked when they first got out of the oven.  Nice little muffins, eh?

I’d like to give a big thank you to Salt and Serenity for sharing this with everyone.  If you haven’t been to her blog, you definitely should, she has awesome recipes there.

So, just a little update: Those other muffins I talked about will be coming up soon.  As much as I’m not much of a muffin person, I think I’d prefer that over making a pumpkin pie or something.  Its going to be the first time I bake anything with pumpkin so, I’ll start it off in an easy fashion.

If you do have any suggestions for pumpkin recipes, I’d love to hear it.

Sunday Baking:Coconut-Almond Bread!

Baking on Sundays is starting to become a routine.  This Sunday, I used baking to get rid of a terrible migraine.  You know what though, it worked (weird as it may sound).  I bought a new loaf pan as an addition to my bakeware so I’ve been wanting to try it out, just never figured out what type of bread to bake.  I flipped through recipe books and stuff but I was missing ingredients for everything so I just ended up winging it with a little inspiration from Looneyspoons Collection called “A Grateful Bread”.

“A Grateful Bread” is supposed to have grated apples and grated carrots and grated coconuts (aka coconut shreds) but I didn’t have any apples left at home.  I really didn’t think coconuts and carrots would’ve been a very awesome match without apples to balance things out.  Thats just a feeling I get, if you’ve done it and it turned out tasting good, I’d love to hear about it.

So with that being said, I changed some ingredients around and made a Coconut-Almond Bread instead.

Here’s the recipe (modified from original recipe in The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet & Greta Podleski):

COCONUT ALMOND BREAD

Makes 1 Loaf, 12 slices

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup water

2 eggs

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  Add coconut and almonds. Mix well.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together water, eggs, oil and vanilla.

4.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour batter into pan.  Spread evenly.  Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in pan.  Remove bread from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

I gave you the modified version as I had changed so many of the ingredients and eliminated.  The only issue I had was why the bread didn’t become fluffier.  I’m guessing its because I took away some of the other grated ingredients but didn’t change the quantity other than the chopped almonds and grated coconut.  All in all though, it did taste pretty good.  I might have changed the balance of the coconut shreds and chopped almonds.  This bread is perfect as a dessert as it has a nice sweet coconut taste.  On the other hand, the almonds helped it give it the chewy crunchy taste.

I’ll definitely be doing more bread! Hopefully next weekend I”ll do another one!

Any suggestions for what bread to make? Any suggestions to make it fluffier? Will you try this out?