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Breakfast Experiment

My husband considers himself lucky…. some may consider him tortured.
To be subjected to my cooking experiments…. poor man.

I ‘dreamed up’ another recipe that I thought I’d try. I bet there are recipes like this somewhere out there on the internet, in some great cook’s blog; after all… that is how I learned of Baked Oatmeal. Here I had thought I had ‘dreamed it up’ and yet I found it later that morning in a blog.

This recipe is a cross between baked oatmeal and apple pie… sans sugar.
I don’t have a name for it just yet, may never. But here goes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place purchased pie shell on counter to warm up, to become flexible.
OR… make your own pie shell from your favorite recipe.
Place all ingredients as they come in a medium-sized mixing bowl – keep in mind, I made this up as I went.
2 medium apples – peeled, cored, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts – toasted and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup whole grain old fashioned oats
1 egg – beaten
1/2 cup milk – or cream or soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch sea salt – freshly ground
Stir well — let set for five minutes while you prep pie shell in your favorite pie pan
Add
1/2 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen
1/4 cup oat flour
Stir gently to combine
Place one half of the mixture in prepared pie shell
Dot with 1/2 tablespoon butter – not margarine – butter
Place the other half of the mixture on top
Dot with another 1/2 tablespoon of butter.

Fold up and in the sides of the pie shell for that rustic look.
Brush folds with milk and sprinkle on a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, amount to your liking. 
Keep in mind there is NO sugar in this recipe, merely the natural sugars of the apple and blueberries and the sweet spices.

Granted I have been trying to cut down on sugar, but truth be told, I actually FORGOT to add any. We’ll see how it turns out.

Bake. 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Crust will be golden brown when done and you’ll hear bubbling coming from the filling. Apples will still have structure and not be mushed. (in other words… apples could be done a little more… depends on what you like)

This was an experiment and I may need to adjust it for another Sunday breakfast… but for now, We Eat!

two apples chopped

two apples chopped

toasted walnuts chopped

toasted walnuts chopped

add sweet spices

add sweet spices

add whole oats

add whole oats

add beaten egg and milk

add beaten egg and milk

stir to combine

stir to combine

add oat flour

add oat flour

place mixture in shell, dot with butter

place mixture in shell, dot with butter

fold in crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar

fold in crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar

bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes

bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes

cool

cool

get ready to enjoy

get ready to enjoy

Okay… we ate it… and lived…. Yes, it would have been better with a little bit of sugar… maybe even a bit more moisture… but it was pretty good and it looked great. Was good enough for Jeff to have seconds…. yet, he could have merely been starving. Hold the phone… he just admitted he had thirds… that’s what I get for blogging while he does the dishes.  🙂

I tried to create something healthy. It is somewhat healthy without the added sugar, the fiber of the apples and blueberries, the nuts and the oats – the omega3s of the walnuts and the benefits of the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are added bonuses. Next time, I may simply add more blueberries as they added the sweetness we wanted. I had also previously thought about cubing up some cheese to bake in it…. maybe we can add some cheese to it as we warm it up… but next time for sure (unless I forget).

a slice for Jeff

a slice for Jeff

the results

the results

a slice for me

a slice for me

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Apple Tart

Much like her mom, Mom could watch someone create an epicurean delight and then recreate it …. nearly the same, if not better. I know, I watched her do it many times.

A few weeks ago, I once again followed in Mom’s footsteps. I had seen an apple tart being created on the Food Network. How easy the presenter made  it look. I knew I could make it, so I quickly wrote down the ingredients and made a note of the baking temperature and time.

Apple Tart

preheat oven to 400 degrees
one pre-made puff pasty — thawed and placed on a parchment covered baking sheet
cinnamon, lightly sprinkled over puff pastry
two or three tart apples of your choice, depending on the size, peeled and thinly sliced, placed on the tart
a couple tablespoons of sugar sprinkled over the apples — adjust to your taste
another light sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired
two tablespoons butter cut into small cubes and dotted over the apples

bake in your preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes…. until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown

near the end of the baking time, spoon some apricot preserves into a sauce pan (about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup), add a bit of water to thin, cook over a medium-low heat until bubbly

at the end of the cooking time, remove the tart from the oven and brush on the heated apricot preserves

cool a bit – slice – serve – enjoy

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Another Pancake Experiment

Well, I had another recipe floating ’round in my head… I am nearly sure MOM put it there. She’s like that.

This time, a pancake with some chai tea in it…. I could almost smell the ingredients. All those wonderful spices.

But what kind of pancake base?

This time I tried a creamier, nearly custard type of batter. (Mom always LOVED a good custard.) I am not sure I hit the mark, but the pancakes were good. And I am sure that any further ‘testing’ will be appreciated by my husband. 😉

To my basic pancake recipe, I added another whole egg, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Hindsight tells me I should have added some nutmeg… but I can do that next time. This time I was more concerned with the chai tea and how I was going to incorporate that into the batter.

MEANWHILE….
I wanted some berries for a topper for our pancakes. I grabbed the Marionberries from the freezer, put about 4 cups in a saucepan, 1/4 cup of sugar and a couple shakes of cinnamon. I heated them up real slow, while my other ingredients were coming together. When the berries were nearly finished heating I added 1 tablespoon of “Blackberry Cordial” that we purchased from “Stein Distillery” while on a mini-vacation in Joseph, Oregon

While the Marionberries were slowly heating up, I could get to work on other ingredients. First off, I toasted some almonds. One layer on a sheet of parchment, in a 375-degree oven for 13 minutes. After the almonds cooled, I put about a half cup in my Cuisinart food processor along with 2 heaping tablespoons of “5 Valley Chai” tea produced by “Mountain Tea Trading” that I bought from “Arrowhead Chocolates” while on our trip to Joseph. I ground the two ingredients to the course-side of a fine grind.

I used 3 tablespoons of the almond-chai tea grind in the batter of the pancakes. Cooked the pancakes, then assembled them. Pancake, Marionberries, Greek-style yogurt, a sprinkle of the almond-chai tea grind. Then my husband and I ate a creative breakfast at home.

Looking forward to refining this recipe and experimenting with yet another.

Mom would be pleased. 🙂

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Catching a Rainbow

I should say….

Catching a Mother’s Day Rainbow at Palouse Falls

On Mother’s Day, my husband was ready for an adventure. So, he chose a day-trip from our Northeast Oregon home to Palouse Falls in Southeastern Washington. We had the time. Why not. So, he packed up a picnic and off we went.

We drove north and northeast through rolling wheat fields for miles and miles. The terrain did not seem to change much.

Then it did.

The road took us up and over and down larger hills. The terrain finally changed. Basalt rock outcroppings.

We found our turn-off. Other vehicles found it also. They had the same idea. Go figure. Mother’s Day, warm sunny weather and families were out exploring. Jeff had thought there would be only 2-5 cars there…. I laughed. We got to Palouse Falls State Park just as everyone else and their picnics had.

We had our picnic and went off exploring the overlook of the falls.

Beautiful!!!

We gazed at the waterfall, watching vast amounts of water cascading over the basalt cliff and falling down into the pool below….. sharing some water droplets with the sunshine to make a rainbow. Made me think that Mom was with us, enjoying her Mother’s Day.

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