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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Maple Apple Pecan Granola

Was trying to figure out something new to do today so leafed through some of the myriad of cookbooks on my shelf looking for inspiration.  I kept coming across recipes for different types of granola and realized that I've never made it before. So here you go, a little culinary experimentation to get your week started.

Maple Apple Pecan Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. brown sugar
1 small Granny Smith apple, diced

In bowl, mix together the rolled oats, pecans, and cinnamon.

In a small saucepan, bring the water, maple syrup, vanilla and brown sugar to a boil.  Set aside.

Core, peel, and dice the apple, then mix into the rolled oats mixture. 

Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir well making sure that everything is evenly coated.

Grease a large cookie sheet using butter or a butter spray.

Pour the granola mixture onto the cookie sheet, spreading out to make an even layer across the whole thing.

Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes, stirring once or twice during the baking process, or until mixture is browned and crisped.

You can serve in a bowl with milk or over your favorite yogurt or over your favorite ice cream or use it as crumb topping for a coffee cake or muffins.  So many options, so many choices.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cheesy Egg Bake

Last weekend went to my Annual Girls Night Out Birthday Brunch.  Everyone makes a fabulous contribution and this year my friend Carol made a yummy Amish style breakfast casserole. We never did figured out what the Amish part was, perhaps it was meant to be baked by candlelight.  We each got a copy of the recipe and I decided to bring it to you...only with a few changes because I can't leave a recipe alone without adjusting to my taste.  So here is my version of it...

Cheesy Egg Bake

1/2 lb. turkey bacon, diced
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1-1/2 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
3/4 cup cottage cheese, small curd

In a skillet, cook the turkey bacon and onion together until the bacon is crispy.

Turn the heat off and add the minced garlic.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix eggs, salt, pepper, hash browns, and all the cheeses.

Mix in the bacon and onions, then pour the mixture it a baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until its browned on the top.

Let the dish sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving up (for 4-6 peeps).

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rustic Spiced Pickled Apple Tart

First of all them me assure you, spiced pickled apples are the bomb!  Very tasty and delicious.  So as previously mentioned, I'm tartin' em them up...rustically.

Rustic Spiced Pickled Apple Tart

tart dough
1-1/2 cups
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
6 oz. (1-1/2 sticks) cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup cold water

4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. flour
pickled apple slices (approx. 3 apples worth)
1 tbsp. melted butter

Mix together 1-1/2 cups of flour with the cinnamon and salt.

Cut in the cold butter cubes with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs.  You can also put ingredients in a food processor and pulse on low until it crumbs.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the water.  Using your hands, knead the ingredients together until they form a ball.

Roll out onto a floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes.  Roll out with a rolling pin to a thickness of approximately 3/8".

Cover a large cookie sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper.  Use the rolling pin to roll up your flattened dough and transfer to the papered surface.

Mix together the remaining 2 tsp. flour with the sugar and sprinkle across the surface of the dough.

Lay out the apple slices in a round pattern in the middle of the rolled dough, leaving a 3" border uncovered.

Fold the dough over the apples, as neatly or not as you'd like.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes then brush the edges with the melted butter.  Loosely cover with foil and bake an additional 15-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender and cooked through.  Mine baked up in 46 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool on rack.  Serve up with a scoop of your favorite frozen dessert or, for a change, throw a couple of cheese slices on the side. I recommend cheddar!

In case I haven't tooted my own horn tart ever!  I am a total food genius. :D  Toot! Toot!