One woman's insight into her daily life and some 'adventures'.............cooking, collecting, travels etc. With a lil' bit of this and that...........

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Apple Crumble Bars"

This recipe my Mom and Aunt use to make.........I found it in my Mom's rip] lil' hand written notes. I remember the smell like yesterday on Saturday mornings when she was baking. She worked full time so on Saturdays she would do some baking along with my Aunt [rip].

We always had bushel's of apples and I knew it was Fall, because my Dad's favourite fruit was an apple. I swear he never got ill during his life due to eating those apples. I don't think that he missed a day without an apple. I really believe that an 'apple a day keeps the doctor away'.

I remember Bea and Graeme my brother's in laws, every year the families would exchange a gift for Christmas from one family to another and their gift was always a bushel of Cortland apples for they knew my Dad adored them.

Before my Dad would finish off that bushel my Mom would be baking all kinds of apple desserts for us to enjoy. One time when we still had our German Sheperd 'Mushka' he even had the dog eating apples.

Mom's Apple Crumble Bars
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/3 cups AP flour
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 to 5 Granny Smith apples (or I use Mac's sometimes)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 or 6 Tbsp. sugar
1 or 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. flour (I use Wonder) or cornstarch
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup jam or more (I use what I have handy in the fridge)

Grease an 8" x 8" square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper or wax paper.......leaving some to overhang. I do this with all my squares that I bake for easier removal.

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

Combine flour, sugar and salt together.
Add softened butter and mix til crumbly.
Press into the bottom of greased pan and bake for 12 min.

Peel, core and slice apples into chunks. Combine apples, cinnamon and sugar in a large skillet. Cook this for 5 minutes over medium heat stirring occassionally. Don't over cook the apples let them still be a bit firm. Mix flour and lemon juice and pour into skillet with the apples and simmer stirring for about 1 minute til' thickened.......let cool a bit.

Take the jam and spread over base evenly and next pour the apple mixture on top evening it out.

For the crumble on top; In a separate bowl combine 1/2 cup butter that has been room softened, 3 tbsp. of sugar, 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Mix well.
Sprinkle this evenly over the apple mixture in the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or till golden brown on the top........

I know it's Fall when I pull out my leaf platters.........

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

This is the first time I ever made 'fried green tomatoes'..............to be honest the first time I ever heard of fried green tomatoes was when the movie came out. I just remember at the end of summer those 'green tomatoes' were just yanked out along with the tomato plant that has had it and thrown out.............but some did pickle them but not often. Most often they were put on a sunny window sill and waited and waited till they got red and ripe, but were kind of hard. Like the ones we get here in the winter times.
You see I'm from the Great White North well just Toronto not that far north but 'Fried Green Tomatoes' have their roots in the South.
I did make them and my family enjoyed them and now we will wait every year till the end of summer or why wait soon as I see a green tomoato just pull them off and why wait.........That will not go good with my husband who baby's his tomato plants all summer. Waiting patiently for one to turn red and he will know for sure which one I yanked off. He knows his inventory. LOL.
Here is my husband Don pulling out the last of the tomato plants.........................below the picture is the tomatoes sizling away.

I got this recipe from a few sources from a Foodie Board that I frequent and added bits and pieces to make this recipe.......and tweeked here and there. So here is my version.
3 to 4 large green tomatoes, I prefer firm ones
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
2 eggs, beaten
veggie oil, I use canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

I always set up a breading station with three bowls.........one for flour, beaten eggs and corn meal.

Whisk the eggs and add salt and pepper to taste....and add to a shallow bowl.
To the flour I seasoned it with paprika and garlic powder.........and put in shallow bowl.
Put corn meal into a bowl and set aside.
Slice tomatoes into 1/4" or 1/2" slices, I prefer thinner ones less soggy....and pat dry.
Take tomato slice and dredge into flour......and shake off excess.
Drag each slice through the egg mixture and shake off excess.
Take the egg covered tomato slice and dredge through the cornmeal mixture coating it well.

In a large saute pan heat about 1/2" veggie oil..........over medium high heat.
When the veggie oil is hot, gently place the coated tomato slices and saute till lightly browned, golden and crispy....... About 2 to 4 minutes on each side.
Using a spatula or slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined platter to drain.
Ready to eat...........

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Roast Beef the Old Fashioned Way

These are the last of my summer flowers.........Begonia's and Dusty Millers, soon my husband will be yanking them out and putting in Mums. Here are some Scarlett Red Begonia's and the Dusty Millers.
Beautiful pink and red Begonia's.

Dusty Miller..........I have some that have grown quite tall, that is if Alvin the Chipmunk doesn't trample on them in the pots or the Racoon in the flower beds.

Roast Beef with Cabbage........The way my Mom and Grandma use to make.

I don't have a set recipe for this because I usually just wing it as I'm cooking. My Grandma [Baba] made it like this in the old days...........and I'm still using her old roasting pan.

I take a roast and carmelize it to seal in the flavour..........and then put into a roaster.
Secondly I chop up 1 onion, 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs and 2 garlic cloves and saute til carmelized in olive oil or canola I use sometimes. Add to pan where the roast is and sprinkle all over.
Then I take a 1 small cabbage and cut it inot wedges and put around the roast beef..........
Lastly........... I roughly take 1 or 2 cups of beef broth and pour over roast beef and cabbage wedges. Then my Mom use to take Lipton's Onion Soup dry mix and sprinkle over everything in the roasting pan...........you may need more seasoning depending on your taste buds and salt in/take.
I like to chop up some flat leaf parsley and add to that also along with a couple of bay leaves.
Then I let it roast at 350 deg. F. til done and nicely browned and carmelized. We like ours well done and melting in your mouth as husband will not eat anything that is rare.
Ready to go into the oven...........

Roasted and ready to be eaten and carved.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Olive Salad

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I haven't been blogging to much lately because plain old life just got in the way and I have this horrible cold that has been lingering on for 2 weeks almost. Just can't shake it.........I have been cooking but got lazy pulling out the camera.........I always put each camera in a different place and then can't find it. Same old story with me.

I'm not sure where I got this recipe but I've had it for years.........if my memory serves me correct I think one of my husband's friend's wife gave it to me. I collect lots of recipe and forget to write where it was adapted it from. But lately I've been good and jot down the source.

This is one of my daughter's fave side salads...........she can inhale the whole bowl herself and that will be her dinner. I come from an Eastern Europe background so when I was growing up we only had olives my Mom would buy when guests would come over...........and those were for 'Martini's'. I don't remember seeing any at my friend's home either. But when I got married to a Turk 25 years ago, he was eating them for breakfast. They were those huge black Kalamata olives, for the first year I couldn't swallow an Olive early in the morning, too salty and well it wasn't breakfast food for me. Now with a piece of bread and cheese I can down a couple of Olives. Quite frankly I've begun to really love Olives now, I guess I got use to the tasteand we always have a variety in the fridge, because in the old days I only thought they had those stuffed green olives. Couldn't figure out if they grew like that or someone stuffed them and thought 'man they sure would take a long time to stuff each one'. Hey.......I was a lil' kid then.

1 cup green pimento stuffed olives, chopped
2 small Roma tomatoes, peeled, sliced and diced
2 green onion, chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Fresh Black Pepper

Firstly I put the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute, then took out and put into ice water for a minute or so and then the skins come off very easly.

In a medium bowl add the chopped olives, diced tomatoes and chopped green onions along with the chopped parsley.

Mix olive oil and lemon in a small bowl and pour over the olive mixture............*I like to use Canola Oil as it has a milder taste with the olives...... but it is what you prefer.

*****This is also yummy as a topper for hamburgers off the grill.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great Friday!!!!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Love Lucy

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I Love Lucy...........and I mean I really loved that TV show. I think through the years I've seen each episode about 20 times. I still watch it whenever they show them.......still can't believe that those two Lucy and Ethel get into trouble daily.

I'm showing the BLUES on Lucy's hat and gloves.......and on the other side of this Lunch Box Ethel's dress or frock.

I must explain this is a Lunch Box that I picked up at some lil' gift store. I don't use it but couldn't hold myself from buying it because of Lucy and Ethel being on it. So now it just sits on a shelf in front of my cookbooks.

Front of the Lunch Box.

Back of the Lunch Box.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great Happy Blue Monday!