Tag Archives: fruit

Apple streudel muffins

Amazing-smelling apple streudel muffins

Amazing-smelling apple streudel muffins

What do you do when you have some apples and are craving something tasty? Make apple streudel muffins! My apartment smells so amazing right now. Yum! (Recipe here.)

One-ingredient ice cream

I stumbled across this article a few weeks ago, that claimed you could make soft-serve-style ice cream with just one ingredient and no special equipment. That one ingredient is… frozen bananas.

Well, it turns out that I had some chopped-up frozen bananas in the freezer (to use in making oatmeal, which is a different experiment for a different day) and decided to try out this “one-ingredient ice cream.” I think I had about one banana’s worth left, which meant that I could use my teeny-tiny food processor. All told, it probably took about 30 seconds for the banana to look like ice cream. I had enough to fill about half a four-ounce ramekin, and put it back in the freezer to firm up a bit after being in contact with the warming metal blades. I think it took longer to clean up the food processor than to make the dish!

Anyway, it went back into the freezer for about an hour. Or, rather, I planned for it to be an hour. Actually, I lasted about 30 minutes before I decided to give in to my cravings.

In the end, it was about what you’d expected: intense banana flavor, quite sweet, and very creamy (about the consistency of soft-serve ice cream). If anything, it was too sweet, and I might consider adding in some extra ingredients next time, like peanut butter or something. Still, very tasty, and I can see this being a go-to snack in the summer. I bet it’s way healthier for you than your standard freezer-pop or ice cream.

Cranberry corn bread

About a week and a half ago, I picked up some cranberries at the Jean Talon Market. And despite the very tasty cranberry-lemon scones I made last week, I still had about half the cranberries left. Now, I had been planning on making cranberry sauce, but that’s so boring. And besides, what would I eat it with? So a bit of internet searching brought me to this recipe for cranberry corn bread, which looks very tasty and is also highly rated.

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, except that I went a bit heavy on the cranberries (probably about 1 1/2 cups) to finish off what I had left, and also I didn’t halve them. Hopefully it won’t make too much of a difference.

Oh, and I didn’t use a food processor.

“Julie,” I hear my faithful readers thinking (because I can hear you over the computer, you know), “do you really hate cleaning your food processor so much that you’ll willingly exhaust your arm and have prep take ten times as long just so you don’t have to wash it?”

Yes. Yes, I do.

Creaming the butter was the hardest part, because it had only been softening on the counter for about 30-45 minutes and wasn’t quite as soft as I might have ideally wanted it when I started. Otherwise, it was fine. A lot of arm workout as I mixed the whole thing again, and again, and again, but it was fine. And all I have to clean is bowls and forks, and not the fiddly annoying parts of the food processor.

Oh, the other difference is that I used a 7 x 11 pyrex pan instead of a 9 x 9 baking dish, because it’s what I’ve got. (And, yes, I now know to turn the temperature down 25 degrees when using pyrex.) I figure the surface areas are about the same (77 square inches vs. 81).

Put it in the oven at 5:00. The batter is very tasty. (Always a good sign.) Started to check after 35 minutes, just in case the different type of dish made a big difference. It wasn’t quite ready (almost, though), but oh, man, did it smell good! My kitchen smells awesome! In the end, it took about 40 minutes to cook, which is about what the recipe called for anyway.

Anyway, out of the oven and cooled a little, and the final verdict is… Oh, baby, this is awesome! This is probably one of the most awesome things I’ve ever made. Definitely a keeper.

Lemon-cranberry scones

Cranberries are in season. This was made abundantly clear to me at the Jean Talon Market this weekend, when a friend and I picked up quite a few of them. She had a lemon-cranberry scone recipe she said was delicious, so I decided to try them out.

Understand that I very rarely use my food processor, because I absolutely hate cleaning it. It’s not particularly well-designed to be cleaned without a dishwasher, and I don’t have one. But this recipe needed it, so down from the shelf it came.

I prepped everything ahead of time except the butter, and it’s a good thing too. Zesting the lemon (with a microplane grater, not a vegetable peeler) took long enough. Trying to chop the cranberries using only a knife took even longer. (I eventually settled on cutting them all in half and then doing the “collect and chop” method. If anyone knows a better way, PLEASE tell me!) In the end, though, everything was ready.

I took the butter out of the fridge and used a knife-and-fork combo to cut it into little pieces. Well, sort of little. In any case, I was working quickly because I know that for scones, you’re supposed to keep the butter cold. Pulsed it all until it looked mealy. There were still large pieces of butter in it. I was told that this is okay.

Poured in the cranberries, then the egg-and-cream combo. (Today’s cream: 15% country-style cream. No idea if this is what the recipe meant.) Floured my counter. Floured my hands. Dumped the whole thing onto the counter. Realized my version of “well floured” is not quite the same as the recipe’s version of “well floured.” Floured my hands again.

In the end, got everything onto the cookie sheet, with four left over. (Sigh.) I was using the rim of my glass, which is about 2 3/4″ instead of the 2″ called for by the recipe. My cooking time was about 22 minutes, because my scones were a bit big. (Or maybe I was paranoid.)

And the final verdict is… very tasty! It managed to come out okay, despite any mangling on my part. D&D people, there will be scones tonight!

Semi-related question: Cooking friends, I’m looking for something to do with the juice of two lemons and about a cup and a quarter of cranberries. (Either together or separately.) Any ideas?

Ramekin berry crumble

Oh, baby, this is a dangerous recipe. I decided I wanted a snack tonight and stumbled across this recipe by Alton Brown for “individual berry crisps.” I have just two words: so. tasty.

Since I only wanted one, and my ramekins are on the small side (5-6 oz), I quartered all the recipe amounts, and I replaced the nuts with a package of plain oatmeal that seemed to be the right amount. For the “crushed cereal,” I used rice krispies. The fruit in this case was frozen raspberries.

The amounts for the crisp topping, even quartered, make a lot of leftovers. I’ve easily got enough for two or three more of these babies, and I’ve got some fresh raspberries and blackberries in the fridge. All I’ve got to do is toss them in a bowl with some cornstarch, sugar, and a little more topping and throw it into a ramekin to be 45 minutes away (maybe less!) from culinary bliss again. Like I said, dangerous, dangerous recipe.

Next time, I’ll know that it sinks down a bit when baking, so I can actually fill it over-full and not be too worried.

I ate it topped with a little vanilla ice cream… Two words. Just two words.

Banana bread (redux)

Some of you might remember the last time that I made banana bread. That was the first time I was really using my oven, and I didn’t know two important things: 1) My oven runs 50 degrees hot, and 2) Cooking in pyrex requires you to set the temperature 25 degrees lower than normal. Back then, it came out two-tone (darker on top than on the bottom), but still tasty.

So when I decided to make banana bread yesterday, to be ready for the shabbat dinner I’m hosting tonight, I figured I had all the problems licked. Note to self: Never, ever assume this.

I set the temperature right. I took it out of the oven at the right time. It looked tasty. But herein lies my mistake. You see, my dear readers, I needed to leave the house almost immediately after taking it out of the oven. Because we occasionally get bugs in the kitchen (a problem we haven’t quite beat yet), I didn’t want to leave out the banana bread uncovered. I knew that if I put plastic wrap around it, the plastic would probably melt. Instead, I covered the loaf with aluminium foil and left the house.

When I came back many hours later and lifted off the foil, I found a layer of condensation on the foil and a small pool of moisture on the top of the loaf. Boo! I let it air out overnight, bugs be damned (they don’t usually venture onto the stove anyway), and hopefully it’ll still be tasty. More news as it develops.

But still, it was one of those, “I should have thought of that” moments. Grr…

Mom’s banana bread: the verdict and recipe

Final verdict on the banana bread: tasty, though next time I’ll have to set the oven lower. It wound up starting off too hot, which made it a weird two-tone (lighter-coloured for the top 3/4″) and poofy (and then collapsed). But tasty, which is the important thing.

My mom informed me (after it was already half-consumed) that apparently glass pans require the temperature to be set 25 degrees lower. So the next time I make this banana bread, I’m setting my oven for, like, 200 degrees.

Live and learn, I suppose. At least my recent “adventures in cooking,” while still not coming out quite the way I expect them to, are at least edible and moderately tasty. Which is a step up from previous adventures in cooking, which weren’t even that.

Onwards and upwards, I say.

Because I’ve had a request for it, here’s the recipe, as sent to me by my mom:

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