Tag Archives: apple

Apple Cranberry Crisp

28 Sep

Apples and cranberries… to me these fruits speak of autumn to me.  They remind me of chilly weather and getting cozy inside when the weather is getting cooler outside.

Trying to work with what nature gives us naturally each season, this is my tribute to those fall flavors I love so much.

Apple Cranberry Dessert with Oatmeal Gluten-free topping

APPLE CRANBERRY CRISP

3 large Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into chunks

2 large Gala apples, cored and cut into chunks

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup cranberry sauce – recipe here

¼ cup cornstarch

1 cup brown sugar

The zest and juice of 1 yellow lemon

A pinch of salt

A pinch of vanilla powder

 

For the topping:

1 ½ cups of gluten-free flour

1 ½ cups of oatmeal

 1 ½ cups of brown sugar

1 ½ cups slivered almonds

1 ½ sticks of butter – cut into very small pieces

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla powder

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large glass baking dish, dump the cut apples and mix in the dried cranberries, cranberry sauce, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla powder.  Mix well to combine.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, almonds, with the pieces of cold butter.  Using your fingers, or a fork, combine the butter with the rest of the ingredients until it becomes like the consistency of wet sand.
  4. Pour the topping over the apples evenly.  Bake in oven for about 30 minutes…  the apples will bubble and the topping will look cooked and somewhat golden.

I usually turn off the oven and leave it inside until we’re ready to eat… to me, it’s best served warm with a side glass of milk or vanilla ice cream.

 

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Apple Onion Relish Panini with Gorgonzola

8 Feb

I was given a challenge… A Sandwich a Day wanted us to showcase our favorite sandwiches.

I’ve told you before how I could live on sandwiches alone possibly and how one of my most addictive sandwiches is my Avocado Tomato Sandwich. Sometimes I fail to come up with new ideas for sandwiches because I am so enthralled with this one still. I even dream about eating it sometimes.

But recently I have come to learn to love another sandwich… maybe not as fresh-tasting as the one above, but certainly very seasonal. Mixing apples, onions, thyme, almonds and blue cheese in between 2 pieces of bread might not seem very appealing, but oh, oh boy, how delicious it is. This has nothing to do with my Latin roots, but everything that I have learned to appreciate from my travels in the Northeastern part of the US.

Inspired by these crostini from Giada Di Laurentiis, this panino hits the spot on a cold winter night. I might even argue it works great for a nice cozy date in front of the fire. I think your date would be greatly impressed.

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APPLE ONION RELISH PANINI WITH GORGONZOLA

2 slices of 100% whole grain bread
Cream Cheese
Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles
Toasted Sliced Almonds
¼ cup of Apple Onion Relish
Butter – for the outside of the bread/sandwich
  1. Pre-heat your Panini maker, or in my case, my George Foreman Grill.
  2. Spread cream cheese on the inside of both bread slices. This will be part of the glue that makes the sandwich stay together.
  3. On one slice, add the apple onion relish. Try to keep it as dry as possible so the moisture won’t seep out of the sandwich. Layer the toasted almonds and finish with the blue cheese crumbles.
  4. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, cream cheese on top of the almonds/blue cheese.
  5. Butter the outside of the slices with some softened butter.
  6. Place on the Panini maker and press lightly without forcing it too much. The sandwich will flatten as it toasts in the Panini maker.
  7. After a few minutes, the cheeses will be melted and the bread toasted on the outside. Carefully, remove the sandwich from the panini grill and allow it to cool slightly. This will allow you to cut into the sandwich without the breads sliding all over the place.

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Enjoy with you favorite sparkling cider or tea.

Apple Onion Relish

4 Feb

Before I go on a trip or to a retreat, I like to clean my fridge as much as possible. I hate wasting food and throwing away food jut because it was left unattended on the fridge is just “a sin” to me.

So before I left for my Xmas retreat I was looking for recipes to use up fresh stuff I had in my fridge that I didn’t want to go to waste. When I came across this recipe on TV by Giada Di Laurentiis, I knew it would be perfect to use those apples that had been staring at me for a few weeks now. I do like apples, but I am super lazy when it comes to snacking on an apple. I also had brought some thyme and rosemary from my sister’s during our last trip there… and I knew the herbs could go bad if I waited too long to use them.

This was the perfect recipe then to cook a bunch of apples with thyme all at the same time.

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APPLE ONION RELISH

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 small Gala apples, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tbs apple juice
2 tbs maple syrup
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  1. In a high-sided skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, apple slices, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar, maple syrup, and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and apples are very soft, about 40 minutes.

This recipe is super easy… and you don’t need to tend to it too much. The smells in your kitchen will be divine.

This relish will go wonderful next to some scalloped potatoes, over creamy mashed potatoes, mashed parsnips, grilled Portobello mushrooms or even inside a sandwich.

Pumpkin and Spinach Phyllo Pie

27 Nov

It’s a good thing to start new traditions… I am a very family-oriented person and I love family gatherings. However, my family is spread all over and we no longer get-together as a family like we used to. You see… we used to gather every holiday in my grandma’s house – Xmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, 3 Kings Day… but now that she’s no longer with us, people don’t see the need to get together as a family anymore.

I invited my mom, my uncle, my aunt and her husband to my house for a Thanksgiving lunch. Lunch is what we always celebrated together… but everyone already had plans so it was only my mom and I this year. This is a new family tradition – vegetarian Thanksgiving lunch @ Madelyn’s.

My aunt gave me 2 large pumpkin pieces a few days back and I decided this Thanksgiving would be a study in pumpkin, if you will. Titi Carmín might have been busy doing her thing, but she was all over this Thanksgiving dinner…

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I saw in The New York Times… but I adapted it to make it with the ingredients I had available at home. I was not going to be a slave to running to the grocery store at the last minute to make something by a recipe. So I urge you to also tweak this recipe to fit your taste and the ingredients you might have available.

PUMPKIN AND SPINACH PHYLLO PIE

1 cup pumpkin, cut into small pieces
½ cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 leek, cleaned well and chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts, chopped
1 small tart apple, peeled and cut into 1” pieces, like Granny Smith
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup 4 cheese blend of grated cheeses
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
3/4 pound phyllo dough, thawed and at room temperature (more if needed)
 
 
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and oil the foil. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet and season with salt, pepper, olive oil and a few thyme sprigs. Place in the oven. Bake until tender, 30 to40 minutes. Every so often, turn the pieces over so they brown on most sides. Remove from the oven and transfer them to a bowl to cool. You can do this the day before if you want.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the leeks. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add the apples pieces and the spinach. Cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn the heat off and add the pumpkin. Stir to combine and to warm the pumpkin if you cooked some time ahead. Stir in the walnuts, goat cheese, and grated cheese blend. Set aside.

3.  Brush a pie pan or small glass pyrex pan with olive oil and line the bottom with parchment. Brush the parchment with olive oil.

4.  Unroll the phyllo dough. Keep it covered with a damp towel. Take a sheet of phyllo and place it on your work surface. Brush lightly with olive oil and place another sheet on top. Fold the two layers in half. Place on the bottom of your pan, don’t mind any overhang. Add your filling over the phyllo sheets. Bring any overhang of phyllo to top the filling. Cover the filling with a few additional phyllo sheets that have been brushed with olive oil just like the first ones. No need to be super careful, the last phyllo sheet I like to crumble on top to give it a rustic look.

5.  Bake on the middle rack of a large oven at 400F for 50 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

I make this on my toaster oven where the coil is very close to the pie top. So if you find the top is browning too fast, just place a loose sheet of aluminum paper on top to avoid any over browning. In my toaster oven this cooked for only 25-30 minutes.

You can serve this hot or warm.

I usually go Italian for my Thanksgiving menus – making lasagnas, risottos or polentas in past years. So it was refreshing for me to go the Greek route this year. I might have to do this again… this was delicious and very easy to make.

White Sangría

26 Mar

I am a sucker for a white sangría… Ever since I visited Spain for the last time about 5 yrs ago, I prefer sangrías made with white wine/grape juice than sangrías made with red. They seem fresher and lighter to my taste.

We made this sangría at Alison’s recently when she invited me to “teach” her a few easy recipes she could make at home for her husband. It was funny because it started like a cooking class, yet we ended up with a nice party entertaining her friends and family celebrating the inaugural issue of the online magazine Karma Life & Style. You might recognize someone as the food editor… hum, hum.

Sangrías are so simple to make and excellent to entertain a crowd. Just mix in a large pitcher, keep cool and enjoy. And make sure to have extra ingredients to make additional batches. I’ve never been able to make just one batch… it goes down smooth like juice!!!!

WHITE SANGRIA

1 bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider or grape must
1 32oz bottle of natural ginger ale
½ can of passion fruit juice concentrate
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1 orange, sliced
  • In a pretty glass pitcher, mix all the ingredients together. Let the flavors meld together for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
  • Serve over ice.

Serve over ice.

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