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Apple Crumble Cookies

I love cooking shows.  You can get some really good ideas from them and, even if the dishes have something in them you don’t like or can’t eat, you can always adapt the flavours.  It’s all about inspiration and having a go.

These cookies appeared on Jamie Oliver’s show, Jamie’s Quick and Easy Food, where he makes yummy meals and dishes using only five main ingredients.  I hastily scribbled down the recipe, hoping I had got all the measurements right.  I am always looking for a good cookie recipe – something that is simple and quick with not too many ingredients or steps.  These fit the bill.  I love apple crumble so what could be better than a cookie based on those flavours, right?  I did add cinnamon because I think that is ESSENTIAL when you are making anything with apple.  So this is technically a six ingredient recipe, not five, but hey, I was never very good at maths anyway.

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Next time I make these, I am going to try leaving out the egg.  I like a really crisp, crunchy cookie, and these were a little softer than I would normally make.  Omitting egg from cookie recipes will generally give you a less “cakey” cookie.  Don’t quote me on that – I’m not an expert.  It’s just my experience.

So, anyway, here is the Apple Crumble Cookie recipe.  Try them – they’re simple, no fuss,  and delicious.  Plus they have my Mum’s seal of approval, which is good enough for me.


Apple Crumble Cookies

Ingredients

100g dried apple
100g butter, cubed
100g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Method

Process apple in a food processor until it is chopped finely.

Add butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon and process again until it resembles bread crumbs.  Remove about 1/4 cup of this mixture and set aside.

Add egg to remaining mixture and process until a dough is formed.

Roll spoonfuls of dough into small balls, about the size of a walnut, and place on baking tray lined with baking paper.

Flatten with a fork.  Sprinkle set aside crumb mixture on top of each cookie.

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Bake at 200 C for 10-12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

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Apologies to Jamie Oliver for borrowing his recipe.  But these deserve to be shared 🙂

 

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High-Fibre Muesli Bars

I have a new baby nephew!  He’s very cute (as babies tend to be) and everyone is besotted and spending a lot of time gazing at him, taking photos, and generally coo-ing in his direction.  What is it about babies that makes everyone go a bit nutty?

In trying to help out my brother’s family, I baked a few meals to pop in the freezer and a few little treats to go in school lunchboxes, for bub’s four older siblings.  One such treat included these muesli bars (granola bars if you’re in the U.S.) that I modified from a recipe found at  http://superhealthykids.com/.  I have to confess, I made the munchkins a batch and then, unwisely, made myself some.  I am not good at stopping at one treat – I will generally convince myself that I can have just one more, and just one more…and so on.  I am a bit binge-y these days.  I am consuming my emotions in vast quantities.  Which translates to having no willpower whatsoever and basically just shoving food into my face, regardless of how large my thighs are getting or whether I can do up my pants.

At any rate, these muesli bars are quite delicious and super simple to make.  I was looking for something I could give the kids that was nut-free (because their school has a ban on foods containing nuts due to the rise in allergies) and this fit the bill.  Coconut is not a true nut (it’s considered a fruit, technically) so isn’t on the banned list (but do check to see if it’s ok with your school and allergy-prone kiddiwinks).  You should also check to see that the seeds used are not from a plant which also processes nuts.

I added flax meal to the original recipe to incorporate some extra fibre.  You could easily add some chopped dried fruit, dessicated coconut etc.   Choc chips would be nice too 🙂

 

Ingredients
  • 2 cup – quick oats, dry
  • 2/3 cup – raw caster sugar
  • 1 cup – flour, wholemeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon – bicarb soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon – baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon – salt
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup – honey
  • 2 tablespoon – coconut oil, melted if it has turned solid
  • 1/4 cup – sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup – pumpkin seed kernels
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax meal
Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients and press into rectangular pan, (mine was 32cm x 23cm) lined with baking paper. The mixture will be really dry, kinda like crumble mixture.  That’s ok – that’s how it should be.  Trust me.
  2. Press mixture right to edges of pan.  Flatten with a fork.
  3. Bake at 160 degrees celsius for 20 minutes or until edges are browned. Take out and before it cools, score lightly into bars (mine made 15).  This makes it MUCH easier to break them into bars later.  Otherwise you just have a crumbly bunch of, well, crumbs, everywhere.
  4. Once completely cool, break or cut into bars and store them in an airtight container.

Ta-da!  Easy-peasy.

Superhealthykids.com has lots of simple, tasty, healthy recipes to try.  Check them out!

Thanks for dropping by.  Have an awesome week 🙂

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Easy Lemon Delicious

Lemon Self-Flagellation Pudding. When you’re sad and hating yourself for being a not very good human being, cook a guilt-laden dessert for yourself and shove it in your gob. Salty tears and a scoop of remorse add a little savoury note.

It’s been a rough week.  I hurt someone’s feelings and I feel terrible about it.  I’ve apologised and I think they’ve forgiven me but I can’t get the yuckiness out of my brain.

 I’ve had to say goodbye to people this week, a dear friend lost her beloved four-legged best friend, I’m anxious and tired, and everything seems tricky and hard.

Feeling miserable and sad and not liking myself very much, I turned to food.  Because that’s what I do.  I have been trying so hard to be good but last night was NOT the time to be disciplined.  So, baking was on the agenda.  The fat and sugar-laden agenda.

I had some lemons that were beckoning me (they’re fruit – that’s healthy, right?) and I was not looking to create anything too difficult or taxing on my limited energy.  I wanted comfort food.  I wanted sweet, lemony, saucy comfort food.  So I made a Lemon Delicious Self-Saucing Pudding.  And then ate pretty much all of it.  Hating myself with every bite. Crying over the bowl as I stood at the kitchen counter.

I use this recipe from Best Recipes.com – it’s easy and fool-proof and takes no time at all to whip up and devour.  Which is good if you want to bake it and eat it in record time so there’s no evidence of your bad adulting left behind. Unless of course your brother comes home and catches you, standing in your PJs, sobbing into a steaming hot baking dish, your face smeared with lemon sauce and cake crumbs.

Lemon Delicious (Self-Saucing Pudding)

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon rind grated
  • 2 tbs butter melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon rind grated
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C.
Sift the flour and pinch of salt together.
Add sugar and grated lemon rind, mixing well. Stir in melted butter, vanilla and milk.
Turn into a greased, ovenproof dish with deep sides.

Sauce: Sprinkle mixture with the sugar and lemon rind.
Combine boiling water and lemon juice and carefully pour over the mixture in the dish.
Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tears optional 🙂

 

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Strawberry Muffins

We’re having a little lunch at work this week to sort-of-farewell my library volunteer who is taking some time off to manage some family issues for the next couple of months.  She’s the loveliest person ever and always spoils me with home-cooked meals (which make me feel very guilty but not so guilty that I don’t go home and gobble them up, ha ha) and helps me out in the library and basically supports me more than she knows.  I didn’t know what to bring and didn’t have a lot of ingredients in my pantry to make anything very exciting so I did a quick panicked look through my cookbooks to find something I could bake.  I had some strawberries in the fridge that were a bit past it but still fine to eat so I wanted to incorporate them.

I ended up finding this recipe at Food.com and it worked a treat.  I adapted it slightly, but it was so easy and the muffins are very tasty.  I’m not actually a huge muffin fan, but I wolfed down a few of these – purely as a taste-testing exercise, you understand.  They were delicious.  And they’re a one-bowl wonder which is always good.  No butter to beat or anything fiddly or fussy.  A good standby recipe to have when you’ve got people coming over and have nothing to serve them.  This recipe took less than 30 minutes – from making to baking and then eating.  So quick!  This would be a good recipe for kids (and first-time cooks) to have a  go at.  You could substitute any fruit in the recipe so give them a try with raspberries or blueberries, apple or even pineapple.

Strawberry Muffins

Ingredients

1 2/3 cup strawberries, chopped
2 eggs
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
1 1/2 cup plain flour
2 tbs milk
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180 c
  2. Put a paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or grease just the bottoms of 12 muffin cups.
  3. Slightly smash strawberries in large bowl, using fork.
  4. Stir in sugar, oil and eggs and milk until mixed.
  5. Stir in other ingredients just until moistened.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
  7. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown or toothpick poked in center comes out clean.
  8. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar, if desired
  9. Cool 5 minutes.
  10. Makes 12 muffins.

Enjoy! (Best eaten the day you make them)

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Ricotta Cheesecake Flan

Ricotta Cheesecake Flan

I am seeing my friends this afternoon for another movie session. We get together, watch a movie or two (our current trend is Tarantino films but once they’re exhausted I’m sure we’ll move on…) and eat food that we’ve all prepared. We try to go with “healthy” snacks – doesn’t always happen but I think we all endeavour to bring/make things that are not too high in fat etc.

I am suffering from a bad case of the “can’t-be-bothered”s this weekend. I am tired and grumpy and my body is whacking out on me (is that a term? it sounds rude) i.e. causing me pain (stupid hiatus hernia). I was going to try and make something complicated and impressive but instead went with a dessert that is neither. Just simple and easy.

I got a recipe from a cook book at work that is filled with dishes suitable for people with dementia (in some of the later stages of dementia, swallowing can be a problem as can eating and feeling hungry in general) and are all pretty simple and quick to make.  The recipe called for quark cheese but I didn’t have any and a quick scout around my local shops did not produce any.  So I had to adapt things a little bit… Which is probably why it didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted.  I used ricotta cheese and yoghurt instead of the quark.  I guess this makes it a “healthier” and lower-in-fat recipe, but also made it less “cheesy” and dense, the way it would have been with the quark…

Anyway, try this if you’re looking for something quick to make and can’t be bothered with a lot of whipping/beating/mixing etc. It has a nice flavour and is light and goes wonderfully with a berry compote or some fresh fruit.

Ricotta Cheesecake Flan

375g Smooth Ricotta
125g Greek Yoghurt (I had a honey flavoured one)
1 Egg
100g Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
Pinch Salt
2 TBS Cornflour
20ml Cream
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice

Grease and line a round springform tin.
Preheat oven to 180 C
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Whisk until smooth.
Pour into springform tin.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes.  Flan should be set and slightly firm to touch.
Let cool/chill in fridge – overnight is best or for several hours.

Serve with fresh fruit or berry compote.

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And that’s it!  Pretty simple.  The original recipe called for 500g quark cheese instead of the ricotta and yoghurt – so give that a go if you can find quark!

Well, I’m off – hopefully my friends will like the dessert and hopefully my silly tummy / hernia will let me eat too!  Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday 🙂

PS Sorry about lack of crafting posts on here lately…haven’t had time to do anything even remotely crafty these last couple of weeks but will get back into it soon I promise! 🙂

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PPS Back home again after the movie night.  Dessert went down a treat.  T’was yummy 🙂

Strawberry Ricotta Sweet Treat

Strawberry Ricotta Sweet Treat

Today the temperatures in Perth soared to well over 44 degrees celsius – that’s over 100F in the old money – and everyone just about melted.  Plants wilted and died, pets panted and everyone stayed indoors as much as possible.  I don’t mind the heat but even I was a tad uncomfortable today.  Didn’t stop me going out like a madman and heading for the shops though.  I needed beads and jewellery supplies and also needed to get my invitations for my birthday bash printed.  I probably could have waited until a cooler day but hey, where would the fun be in that?  Besides, the roads were quiet, as sensible, less heat-tolerant people stayed home.

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This afternoon I had a talk with hubby (soon to be ex hubby I suppose – hate saying that but have to come to terms with it) and it made me feel so much better about things.  Not because we are going to get back together – we’re not – and not because I think deep down he still loves me – he doesn’t – but because I stood up for myself and told him how much he had hurt me.  I made him apologise to me.  I don’t care if the apology was sincere or not – I just needed to hear it; its sincerity is irrelevant to me at this point.  I needed to show him that, hurt and damaged as I am, I’m not beaten.  I deserve better and expect it for myself from now on. He’s not a bad guy and I don’t wish him any harm, I really don’t (although I was glad to see he had put on weight – which is nasty of me but I think I’m allowed at least one smug moment).  I want him to be happy and to figure out who he is.  I just don’t need to be around while he does it. So, I feel that, in the end, I am stronger than
I thought and maybe I can get through this and come out the other end smiling and resilient.  Maybe.

So, this evening, feeling the need for a sweet treat and not wanting to completely destroy my diet, I rummaged around in the fridge and cupboard to see what I could rustle up.  I purposely keep my fridge pretty bare so that I am not tempted by easy (i.e. fattening) foods and it was pretty slim pickings in there.  I did, however, have some leftover low-fat ricotta, one sad little English muffin, some maple syrup and a punnet of frozen strawberries (I froze a batch of them last time I went shopping – they go off so quickly and I don’t like to waste them so I froze them after eating the best ones, thinking I could use the others in smoothies or whatever and it didn’t matter if they were a bit over-ripe).

Long story short, I mixed a little bit of syrup into the ricotta with a bit of cinnamon, spread it over the toasted English muffin and topped it with the frozen strawberries (which were delicious – they might be my new favourite thing!) and drizzled the whole lot with maple syrup to finish.  Oh yummy!  Tasted so delish and was reasonably healthy, satisfied my sweet cravings and didn’t leave me feeling guilty the way I would have done if I had given in and picked up some ice cream from Baskin Robbins (’cause you know that’s what I was thinking of doing).  It was cooling and sweet and super tasty.  Perfect!  A nice change and something I will make again if I desperately need something dessert-like in a pinch.  Try it yourself 🙂

 Please excuse bad photo – it was late at night and I had no decent lighting – had to take the shot inside the fridge and the strawberries kept keeling over – they were very uncooperative!  🙂

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Stay cool everyone (on this side of the globe – everyone else try and stay warm!) 🙂