Baked Apple Turnovers

I made these turnovers last week as I had a bag of frozen apple slices that wanted using, as well as a puff pastry dough that had been sitting in the fridge a couple days while I decided what to do with it.  These turned out delicious, and well worth keeping the recipe on hand for the next time – and so I share it here!  I found several recipes online, but most call for deep-frying; I don’t do grease.  Baking them is healthier, ecologically as well as medically, and they come out tasting like the apple pie pockets from a well-known fast-food chain restaurant – except I know exactly what goes into these, no chemicals or unpronounceable ingredients involved. They only take about 10 minutes to prepare and would be a great dessert for guests, or a quick toss-together when you’ve got withering apples to use up.

For a real treat, serve these warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  Enjoy!

Apple Turnovers

Baked Apple Turnovers

3-4 apples, peeled, cored and finely diced

4 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry

A bit of milk or cream for brushing

Prepare the apples as instructed; then toss together with the sugar and spices.

Roll out the pastry dough, and score with a knife to cut into 6 squares.

Spoon a bit of the mixture into the centre (off just a bit, as you’ll fold it at the centre), keeping it away from the edges.  Fold over corner-to-corner into a triangle, and press the open edges together with the tines of a fork.  Repeat until all are done, spreading them evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Brush the tops with a bit of milk or cream (or egg wash).

Bake at 180°C (350°F) for ~30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 6 turnovers.

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Eat to Live Tip: Relieve Tension

If you’re feeling tense, grab a carrot, a stick of celery, a bell pepper, popcorn, an apple, pear or peach, and bite in!  Let the tension go as you munch on crunchy healthy snacks, and improve your health two ways at once.

Crunchy Snacks & Tension

Pimabas Smoothie

I just made a delicious smoothie using pineapple, mango, banana

strawberry-banana-pineapple-smoothie

Image credit:  www.howtomakeasmoothie.com

and strawberries – hence the name!  I added plain yoghurt and a bit of almond paste, diluted with milk, and have enough smoothies for over the weekend.  I used freshly frozen fruits (I bought them recently, processed them and tossed them in the freezer), except the pineapple, which was a small tin of unsweetened, about 4 rings.

Pimabas Smoothie

1 small can unsweetened pineapple rings, plus juice

1/2 C. mango pulp

1/2 banana, in slices

1/2 C. strawberries

a drizzle of honey (to taste)

1-2 tsp. almond paste, or peanut butter

150 ml. plain yoghurt

 

Pop it all in a blender, and mix until smooth.  For each glass of smoothie, pour half full with the mix, and fill the rest with milk, or any fruit juice you choose.  Serve chilled, preferably with a straw to get all the goodness!

Smoothies make a great base for homemade ice cream, or popsicle.

 

Apple & Date Chicken Curry

This is a lovely dish with vibrant colours and a great combination of sweet and savoury.  You can either make this the traditional way – cooking on the stove, or as I did, in the crockpot / slow cooker; this latter method allows me to throw it together and get on with the appetizer and dessert, then take a break from the kitchen and get to work on my next novel.  The side dish of rice is made just before serving, and the whole meal will be hot and ready by the time the guests arrive.

As a complete menu idea, I served this dish with the following:  As the appetizer, Salted Stuffed Dates with Feta Cheese; as the side dish, smoked (or normal) Basmati rice; for dessert, the Apple Tiramisu.  The latter is a “multi-culti” jump; if you prefer to stay Middle Eastern / Indian, you could perhaps serve it with the Moroccan Pineapple and Banana Pudding or the East African Sweet Potato Pudding, though I tried to stay with the date and apple theme of the meal, so it worked very well together!

Apple & Date Chicken CurryApple & Date Chicken Curry

800g Chicken Meat, diced

3 Apples, peeled, cored & diced

Lemon Juice, to taste

~100 gr. white raisins

~ 200g Dates, pitted & halved

1 bundle Spring Onions, finely chopped

A dash of Garlic Oil

Curry Sauce:

In a bowl, mix together:

½ tsp. Cumin

½ tsp. Turmeric

½ tsp. Paprika

½ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Ground Pepper

½ tsp. Ground Coriander

¼ tsp. Ground Mace

½ tsp. Ginger, finely diced

2 Cloves Garlic, smashed & finely diced

1 Tbs. Curry Powder

1 can Coconut Milk

1-2 C. Chicken Broth

Stove-Top Method:

Sauté onion, ginger, garlic & spices together.  Add meat, cook until no longer pink; add in apples, cook til almost soft, then throw in the dates.  Pour in the liquids and simmer until warm through. Spice t.t.

Crockpot Method:

Stir all ingredients together thoroughly to combine; make sure that the meat is covered by the liquid (pressed down into the coconut milk & broth).  Cook on Low for 4-6 hours.

Serve with Basmati rice.

Serves 4-6

Soy Sauce & Orange Marinated Chicken with Plum Salsa

I recently made this when guests were here, and our grill season officially opened!  It was a hit, and I promised to put the recipes here for their access, so here’ goes!  The Plum Salsa is an unusual combination, but has an amazing taste; serve it chilled next to the grilled meat and it becomes spectacular!

Soy Sauce & Orange Marinated Chicken

½ C. oil
1 C. orange juice
1 C. dark soy sauce
1 Tbs. crushed garlic

4 chicken breasts

Combine all above in a large ziplock.  Massage the meat in the ziplock to coat thoroughly, then place the bag in the fridge (I set it in a bowl to keep the meat and sauce gathered, to cover the meat better).  It can be kept in the marinade in the fridge until ready to grill.  If you want, take the marinade left over and pour into a sauce pan; simmer or boil while stirring, to reduce, and sift in a spoonful of rice flour or other thickener to make a sauce to serve on the side.

Plum SalsaPlum Salsa

6-8 chopped ripe plums
a handful of chopped fresh coriander
1 chopped red onion
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Finely dice the plums, coriander and red onion, then toss together with the cider vinegar and salt and pepper; chill until ready to serve.  Serves 4-6

Strawberry–Pretzel Delight

strawberry-pretzel dessertThe recipe last week reminded me of this dessert; this has a shock factor, as people don’t often associate pretzels with something as sweet as this concoction!  I made this for a dinner with my husband’s work team and their spouses, and it was a huge hit – the salty pretzels are a lovely contrast to the sweetness of the strawberries.  You could substitute any fruit you want, and I’m sure it would turn into a smash hit too!

Strawberry Pretzel Delight

2 C. Crushed pretzels
¾ C. Butter, melted
3 Tbs. Sugar
8 oz. (225 gr.) Mascarpone (or cream cheese), softened
¾ C. Sugar
8 oz. (225 ml.) whipped cream (sweetened [American] or unsweetened [the European way!])
6 oz. (170 gr.) strawberry Jello (or plain gelatin + 1 tsp. strawberry extract and part of the frozen strawberry juice)
2 C. Boiling water
2½ C. Strawberries (frozen and thawed, or fresh – the freezing brings out their juices when thawed)

A few fresh strawberries, prepared for a garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons white sugar; mix well and press mixture into bottom of 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake 8-10 minutes, until set; set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl cream together the Mascarpone and sugar. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in (frozen) strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of raw egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.  Garnish, and serve with a smile.