Tag Archive | Oregon

Apple Cider Muffin Tops

Some of you might have stopped in to hear the results on my Apple Cider Muffins. Or perhaps you wondered if I traveled by foot to pick up fresh apple cider from New York, since my last post did leave you with, “be back with the details shortly!”

My only reason for it taking 2 weeks to get back on here is being just plain busy. Life! Ha! Interviews, redecorating (assembling furniture & sewing), haircut, day trips, and then the sun came out for a few days!! I figure I have all winter when it’s gloomy & rainy to stay inside cooking & blogging. But don’t you think for one moment I forgot about making the Apple Cider Muffins (muffin tops in the end)!

Take a look at the finished product! After trying a few different batches, I couldn’t stop eating these. They are perfect 4-bite wonders that can put a smile on any face. Guaranteed!

 

To keep up with my goal of using local ingredients, the apples and apple cider are all from Hood River, Oregon, and were picked/processed fresh the week before use. The egg was organic and from Oregon. I used King Arthur Flour and made the apple puree, however, I would have used my homemade applesauce too! That’s right, folks – buy a dozen apples this week and make a couple quarts of applesauce. You can keep it in the fridge and eat all week, or go big and can it for winter storage. Support your local farmer, either way. Think of them of like their your neighbors, even if they are a few hours away!

 

Apple Cider Muffin Tops

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup  white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce or apple puree (below)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil

Apple Puree (for instant applesauce):

  • 1 small-medium sized cooking apple
  • 1/4 cup apple cider

Topping:

  • cinnamon
  • sugar

Directions

If you decide to make the apple puree, prepare it by simmering the diced apple and 1/4 cup cider over medium-low heat until broken down, about 10-15 min. Puree with immersion blender if you have one, or you can mash it up with a potato masher or fork. You should have 1/4 cup puree. If you have more than this, return to heat and simmer until reduced. Let cool. This can also be made ahead!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Combine the dry ingredients and whisk/stir well together in a small bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. Add the mixture by the tablespoon-full to the baking sheet leaving about an inch between the cookies. Flatten the mounds so they can spread out and hold the topping. Mix together enough cinnamon and sugar (to your liking) and generously sprinkle it over the tops of the dough mounds.

Bake 10 minutes or until cooked through and golden color on the bottoms. Remove from the oven and turn onto cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve warm and with a glass of leftover apple cider! It will be a blissful experience!!

Fall Foods recipe #2: Apple, Carrot, Sweet Potato & Ginger soup

Today is the first day of rain we’ve seen for a couple of months. That’s a pretty big deal in Oregon!

What better way to celebrate a day inside than with homemade soup?

I stocked up on apples and carrots at the farm last week, and found a sweet potato hanging around my onions in the pantry. Then as I went through my fridge, I couldn’t miss the 3 leeks I bought at the farm as well. They had other uses before this soup came to mind; for a leek and cauliflower soup. But they could work in this recipe, too.

The results of all these fresh pieces of fall produce came together, with a little help from chicken stock (my substitute for veggie stock), ginger and nutmeg, to  produce a sweet & spicy lunch treat. I really liked it!

It has a consistency of baby food, which is a new texture for me, but I think it would have to puree in the blender. Otherwise, the apples would turn to mush against all the other nice chunks of veggies.


Apple, Carrot, Sweet potato and Ginger soup

Serves 4

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated    (I didn’t have fresh ginger, so I used 1/8 tsp of dried ginger spice)
  • 3 small apples, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups sliced, peeled carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, leek, dash of salt, and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant.  Add apples, sweet potato and carrots and cook for 3 minutes more.

Turn flame to medium-high and add in broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce flame to low and simmer, uncovered,  until apples, sweet potato, and carrots are softened, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.

Blend the soup in batches in a blender.  Be sure not to fill the blender more than halfway full or hot soup will explode everywhere.  Also, when blending hot liquids in a blender, leave the blender lid slightly ajar to let some of the steam escape.

Once all the soup is blended, return to the pot.  You can add more vegetable broth if you prefer a thinner consistency.  Taste, and add a dash of fresh ground nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper to taste.  Remember a lot of heat will come from the ginger, so you probably won’t need to add pepper.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and another dash of nutmeg to taste for a creamy, sweet & spicy treat. I bet a nice piece of garlic bread would be great to scrape the bowl with. Yum-o.

Adapted from this recipe.

It’s Raspberry season!

Did you know there is an island in the state of Oregon? I sure didn’t. During my first visit here in 2009, I learned about Sauvie Island by going berry picking in the 100 degree heat of July. They have blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, marionberries, raspberries, etc. and many varieties of each.

Fast forward to 2011 and I still can’t get enough berries in July!I picked 15lbs of Tulameen raspberries and began to run out of space in the fridge for them – I needed a solution – STAT!

So what else to make on a lazy summer Saturday morning when I can’t sleep in no matter what? Make Raspberry Syrup over Buttermilk Pancakes!

After tasting the tart yet still sweet raspberry syrup over those light ‘n fluffy pancakes, I may just have to rethink maple syrup’s role in my pantry… It. Was. That. Good. Can’t wait to see what other recipes I can find for this wonderful berry!

Here are both recipes, from Food & Wine:

Raspberry Syrup

5     cups fresh raspberries

¼    cup of water

1 ½ cups sugar

Directions:

 In a non-stick saucepan, combine the raspberries and the water. Lightly crush the berries against the side of the pan, then cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Strain the raspberries into a bowl, pressing down on the berries.

Wipe out the pan and pour in the raspberry liquid. Stir in the sugar, bring to a boil over high heat and cook. Skim the surface and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Serve warm.

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

Makes about 1 ½ cups.

The Best Buttermilk Pancakes

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2     tsp. baking soda

¾    tsp salt

2     cups buttermilk

6     Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2     large egg yolks

2     egg whites

Fresh raspberries for garnish

Directions:

While making the batter, heat a griddle on medium-low heat. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. In separate large bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter, and egg yolks.

In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter just until combined.

Heat a lightly buttered griddle. For each pancake, gently spread the batter on the hot surface to form a 4-inch circle. Cook over moderately-low heat until the top pops the bubbles, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking until golden about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a large plate and keep warm while the other pancakes cook.

Serve with Raspberry Syrup for a wonderful weekend breakfast.

Makes 4-6 servings – I halved the recipe to make exactly enough for 2 people.