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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Tuna Salad

tuna-salad

Credit: Pinterest

Today I went to a friend’s house to show/help her learn how to make my Bread & Butter Pickles.  I was thinking of all the ways I use these versatile preserves, and one of the things that came to mind is tuna salad:  It can be eaten straight as a main lunch dish, or on bread, or in a tortilla for a sandwich wrap (just top with a bit of torn lettuce and you’re good to go), as a side dish for other main dishes, or even as a dip with crackers as a simple apéro.  The pickles make a lovely addition to this salad; I usually take a whole jar of the pickles, dump it into a blender on high for a couple seconds, and wha-la, a jar of pickle relish!  The relish and juice make the tuna salad snap with taste.

The great thing about this mix is that it can be kept in the fridge for several days; it makes a great, healthy & quick lunch (for adults or kids), a healthy nibble when you just need a bite or two, and can be served in so many ways.

So here’s my recipe for this simple mix; the amounts are really about taste, but I’ll give you an approximation of what I do, and you can add or subtract according to your own tastes.  Word to the wise:  The tuna juice is best used by dividing it evenly into small bowls and given to your cats. 🙂

Tuna Salad

2 cans of tuna in salt water, drained & mashed apart with a fork.

~1/2-3/4  C. mayonnaise (whatever your favourite kind is)

1-2 shallots, finely chopped

~1 Tbs. lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1-3 Tbs. pickle relish with juice

Mix all together in a glass or plastic bowl (not metal – the citric acid, and vinegar from the pickles will react with that).  That’s it!  Add a sprinkle of fresh or dried chives for a contrasting colour as a garnish if you want to dress it up a bit for company.

Enjoy!

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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

Quick & Easy 3-Bit Frosting

FrostingThis frosting is so stinkin’ easy, it’s really my only go-to frosting when I want to top off a great cake or cupcakes!  No cooking, no fuss, no special ingredients – just straightforward frosting, whether you need a lot or a little.

Quick & Easy 3-Bit Frosting

1 pint (~475 ml.) heavy cream, well chilled
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the chilled cream until frothy.  Add the icing sugar and vanilla gradually while beating.  Add in your preferred flavourings, and whip until light and a thick enough consistency to spread as an icing.  Chill until ready to use, and spread onto a cooled cake or cupcakes.  Serve immediately, or keep in a cool place (or the cream will melt).

Additional Possibilities:

CHOCOLATE 1
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted in with the icing sugar

CHOCOLATE 2
1/2 bar of your favourite chocolate, gradually melted/stirred/melted stirred in the microwave on a low setting.  Pour into the basic mix, and whip again until stiff.  Adjust sugar downward accordingly.

COFFEE
1 tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved in the cream

LEMON
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 finely grated lemon, rind of, in place of the vanilla

ORANGE
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 finely grated orange, rind of, in place of the vanilla

NUT
1 teaspoon almond extract, in place of the vanilla
3/4 cup minced nuts, of your choice, folded in

TIPSY
1 -2 tablespoon brandy or 1 -2 tablespoon rum or 1 -2 tablespoon Bourbon, in place of the vanilla (For extra tipsy, pierce the cake layers and dribble with more of the same type of liquor and let stand)

 

Life Hack: Onion & Garlic Odours

When chopping onions and garlic, your skin can easily pick up their aroma; sometimes it’s not a bad thing, but it can be overwhelming, or even unwanted when you’ve moved on to preparing dessert!

To get rid of the odour without paying money for those little steel “soaps” marketed for the purpose, try the following trick:  Wash or rinse your hands, then rub them along your kitchen sink’s stainless steel faucet (water tap); rinse again, and smell your hands (before and after).  You’ll notice a huge difference!  If a residual odour remains, rub them once more and rinse.  It works every time, and requires no special soap or gadget.

No Soap.jpg

Salted Dates Stuffed with Feta Cheese

Dates with FetaThe combination of coarse sea salt and the sweet dates with the tangy taste of Feta is truly addictive!  These wee appetizers are quick, easy, and will likely make you groan with the great taste as it explodes on your taste buds.

Serve them warm; you can either heat up the oven to 190°C (375°F) and bake for 5 or 6 minutes, or zap them in the microwave; I prefer the latter as it is far more energy-efficient, quick, and literally last-minute before guests sit down at the table, or couch, or wherever you’re serving your appetizers / starters / hors d’oeuvres.

I served this appetizer along with a recipe for Apple & Date Chicken Curry (coming soon!), and smoked Basmati rice, with Apple Tiramisu for dessert.

Plan for 6-8 per person, more or less.

Salted Dates Stuffed with Feta Cheese

Dates – de-stemmed and pitted

100-200 gr. Feta Cheese, sliced into date-slit-sized wedges

Coarse sea salt

TIP:  Dates are much easier to handle if your hands are wet – they won’t stick as much.

To prepare the dates, slice a knife along the length; pry the opening open with your fingers, and slip the seed out of the centre, being careful to leave the ends of the dates intact if possible.

Stuff each date with a wedge of Feta (or any goat cheese), and then sprinkle all of them with coarse sea salt (table salt is not recommended, as you don’t want them uniformly salty – just accented with it).

Just before serving, either bake (as above) or zap in the microwave less than a minute (mine took about 30-40 seconds); you just want the dates warm and the cheese soft, not melted out of the fruit!

Quick & Easy Grainy Molasses Marinade

I don’t know what temperatures are like where you live, but here in Swizterland we’re neither used to nor prepared for heat waves in the summer; and for over a fortnight, the temperatures daily hit 35°C+ (95°F+), with no air conditioning.  By the evenings it was time to open up the windows, shutters and doors, and let the evening breeze through, and heat up the grill.

This marinade is one I mix together in a Ziplock bag, squish it together, toss in the meat of choice (it goes well with chicken, pork, beef… whatever you want!) and pop it back into the fridge, rolled up tightly to let the marinade hug the meat for a few hours before grilling.  It’s delicious, and glazes nicely!

Grainy DijonGrainy Molasses Marinade

1½ C. molasses

3 Tbs. grainy Dijon mustard

2-3 cloves garlic, finely mashed (or 1½ tsp. puréed)

1/4 C. lemon juice

Mix it all together in a large Ziplock bag.  This amount will cover roughly 4 large chicken breasts.  Toss in your meat, seal the bag (squeezing out the air) and squish the contents around to mix well and coat the meat.  Roll the bag up around the meat to ensure that the marinade and meat “hug” each other, then let the flavours marry for a couple hours at least, or overnight.  Grill as you like, and enjoy!