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Monday, April 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Popcorn

Hello loves!

I've been making this recipe for a few years now. I got the idea somewhere on the internet, but I can't remember where- it's super, super simple, quick, easy, and perfect for a party or just snackin' around. A chewier, peanut butter version of caramel corn, if you will- that's the closest comparison I can make! Let me show you...

Pop up your popcorn- I used 1/2 cup of kernels and my air popper.
Put your honey and sugar in a pot on med-low heat, stir until melted and uniform.
Take off of the heat, add the peanut butter and vanilla, and whisk until uniform.
Here's your topping, all ready to go- the more liquidy it is at this point, the easier it will be to toss with the popcorn.

Peanut Butter Popcorn
-1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped
-1/2 cup honey
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Put popped popcorn in a large bowl with room for tossing (you can definitely use less or more popcorn, depending on your tastes).
Put honey and sugar in a pot on low-medium heat and stir until melted completely and uniform.
Take off the heat and add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir well until combined and uniform.
Pour peanut butter mixture over popcorn and toss well.
Store in an airtight container- this popcorn isn't supposed to be crispy at all, but it will be no good if it gets completely humidified, so make sure it's airtight!

Your finished popcorn- chewy and peanut buttery. Snack away, just make sure to store in an airtight container when you're not eating it!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, April 22, 2013

Simple Blueberry Sauce

Hey again everyone!

This recipe is extremely versatile. It takes just minutes to make and you can use it to top anything (think muffins, pancakes, waffles, cake), to fill a pie, anything you like.
For this recipe we're essentially making it so that you can buy up a bunch of blueberries when they are on sale at the store (as was with this situation), and keep them to use over time, instead of having to rush to try to eat them all fresh.

Other notes: you can do this with all kinds of berries, feel free to change what you use as a sweetener, and feel free to add other flavors to this- some vanilla at the end, a cinnamon stick in there as you cook it- get creative!

Start out with some awesome fresh blueberries- take advantage when things are in season!

All the ingredients at the beginning- doesn't look to appetizing, huh? Well it will transform...

...into this! This gorgeous vibrant sauce that goes great on everything!

Simple Blueberry Sauce
-brown sugar
I used about 1 1/2 to 2 containers of blueberries, 1/4 cup of water, and 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar. These amounts are all very flexible- just do it to your taste. Put it all in a pot on the stove on medium-low heat, and cook until it progresses from mashed up blueberries to a thickened vibrantly blue-purple sauce that just screams blueberry. This will take 10 or so minutes. Stir as you go along.

The sauce on top of a plain cupcake- delish!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, April 15, 2013

English Muffin Pizzas

Hello dear readers-

I gotta say, I can't believe I haven't thought of this before. I've come across the thought a time or two but it never stuck in my mind and I never gave it a go before. But as I stood in front of the fridge trying to figure out some food that I really really needed to eat, it clicked. I have cheese, I have pestos (I prefer these to pizza sauce though certainly go for it), I have apple, salami, onion. And what do I have to put it on? Some english muffins I popped in the freezer a month or two back. I pulled one out, defrosted it briefly, topped it, and popped those babies in the toaster oven till browned on top and bubbly!

This is far more of a technique than a recipe- use whatever english muffins you want, whatever sauces, cheeses, veggies, etc.- get creative, you can put anything on here! It's especially fun to experiment with toppings on these because you get to make two at once (one on each half of the muffin), and they're small (so cute!).

I didn't take too many pictures, because so much of it was self-explanatory, and because I didn't think of it enough at the time (as I said, I was hungry!!). That said, let me show you what I made.

I know full well that this is a bad picture- it's hard to get a good one on foil! But these are the pizzas before I popped them in the toaster oven.
This is the pizza on the right above- basil pesto, mozzarella and parmesan, apple bits, chopped walnuts, and a drizzle of lime juice once pulled out of the oven.

On this one I used sun-dried-tomato pesto, mozzarella and parmesan, onions, and salami.

English Muffin Pizza
-english muffins
-pizza toppings
This is honestly as easy as it sounds and is much more a technique than a recipe. Split your english muffin in half and make each half into a mini-pizza- get creative with those toppings! Then stick the mini-pizzas in your toaster oven (or oven) for about 5 minutes- until browned on top.
Delicious and great as a snack or meal.

I'm not usually huge on taking pictures of food this close up, etc., but with this I felt that it helped to show just how close this was to real pizza- I was so fantastically surprised!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, April 8, 2013

Apple Cake with Maple Glaze

Hey there again everyone!

This cake is fabulous. Perhaps not quite completely cake-like, as it isn't overly sweet and gains so much from the apples and walnuts. The light drizzle of maple glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness. I cut the oil with applesauce, as I often do in cakes and quickbreads. You could also safely reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe by at least 1/3, and I would love to give it a try with some good white whole wheat flour (if i could afford it!!). This recipe can be used as a legitimate cake, or could be made into squares or muffins or even as a coffee cake of sorts. Let's get to some pictures, eh?

Just mix together your wet ingredients, then whisk in the dry ones.

Then fold in your chopped walnuts and apples- no need to peel!

Finished batter in the pan- I used a 9-inch pie pan for 1/2 a recipe.

Mix up your glaze in a small bowl or cup measure- cream the butter and sugar, then add the liquids.

I popped mine in the microwave for a few seconds to help smooth out the last few sugar lumps.

The cake, fresh out of the oven and looking perfect!

What could be yummier, eh?

Apple Cake with Maple Glaze
-3 eggs
-1 3/4 cup sugar (can be reduced slightly if desired)
-1 cup veggie oil (replace up to 2/3 with applesauce)
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-2 cups flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-3 cups unpeeled chopped apples
-1 cup chopped walnuts
Beat eggs slightly, then whisk in veggie oil/applesauce, vanilla, and sugar.
Stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Fold in chopped apples and walnuts.
Transfer cake batter to your greased pan or pans (anything from a 15x10 in jellyroll pan, a 9x13'' pan, or even little ramekins. I used a 9-inch pie pan for 1/2 a recipe).
Bake at 300 F for 30 minutes or so for a larger pan, and 15-20 mins or so for smaller pans- test with toothpick.
Let cool. Drizzle with Glaze.

Maple Glaze
-1 tablespoon butter, softened
-1 cup confectioner's sugar
-2-3 tablespoons milk
-1 tablespoon maple syrup
Beat together sugar and butter, beat in other ingredients until smooth.
If the sugar is having difficulties dissolving completely, stick the glaze in the microwave for 20-30 seconds then stir it up again. Pour over cooled cake.

the finished cake- apple and maple and delish!! Give this a try.

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, April 1, 2013

All-Yolk Flan

Hi all-

Today I've got a very, very simple recipe for a dessert that is so rich and creamy and caramely it'll knock your socks off. I love flan. I don't know how many of you are too familiar with it, but I have had it primarily in Mexico and have been in love with it since first bite all those years ago. This flan, however, takes it to the next level. This flan won't be good for every occasion- sometimes you will want a lighter flan. But if you are in the market for a simple, special, and decadent dessert then this is it. Let's go!!

The sugar and a bit of water starting to heat up for the caramelized sugar.

The caramelized sugar on the left, and the eggs and milk on the right.

Pour the eggs and milks over the sugar. In this pic you can see that the pan is sitting in a larger 9x13'' pan- that's for the water bath.

The flan all baked up- resist the temptation to just dig in at this stage!

All-Yolk Flan
          water bath- for the water bath, place your pan of flan in the larger pan, and place in the oven. Then use a cup measure to pour hot/boiling water into the pan- less chance of spillage.
          baking pan-i used a pan that wasn't quite right- a pan which is less rounded would be better- any pan that's about the size of an 8x8'' round cake pan)
-8 egg yolks
-1 can evaporated milk
-1 can sweetened condensed milk
-1 cup sugar
Heat sugar and a little water in a pot and whisk occasionally until caramelized. Pour into the bottom of the pan you are using for your flan.
Whisk the eggs together, then whisk in the milks- do not over mix to avoid bubbles.
Pour egg mixture into the pan with the caramelized sugar.
Bake in a water bath at 350 F for 45+ minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
Cool, then invert out of the pan so the caramelized sugar pours all over the flan. Enjoy!

The flan flipped out of the pan. You can see my pan was not quite the right shape from the way it stuck a bit on the edges, but fantastic nonetheless! So delish.

Savor it!
love, rue