Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Applesauce Spice Muffins

OK, I'll be the first to admit these aren't the prettiest things I've ever baked. Frankly, they look pretty basic but, boy, are they good! 

I made a batch of applesauce this afternoon and decided we needed to try a new muffin recipe.   A quick search on Google lead me to this....


Well, I thought, if the title says they are the ABSOLUTE BEST APPLESAUCE SPICE MUFFINS then I'd better give them a try. 

And I have to confess, they are pretty darn good!  I followed the recipe exactly ...EXCEPT,  I dredged the tops of the muffins in the caster sugar and spice mix after they came out of the oven and were still very warm.  

If you'd like to give these muffins the taste test, CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sign of the Times... Pumpkins!

So many people say they hate to see autumn coming in.  I can never understand it... of course, autumn is my favourite time of year.

How can you not enjoy the warm days, crisp nights, and all the bounty the harvest season brings?

Most of all, I love the colours of autumn....

And wearing warm wooly-pully sweaters....

And pumpkins!  

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Pottery Project Progress Report - Bigger Bowls

Finally, after months and months, I've had a chance to return to my potter's wheel. When I first started trying to throw pots I set myself a goal to make a big mixing bowl.  

It doesn't have to be gigantic, just large enough to use to make bread.  I figure it will take at least 5 or 6 pounds of clay to make a bread size mixing bowl.  

Five or six pounds of clay doesn't sound like much but when you start to move it on the wheel it can get to be a bit physical... especially for a runt like me.  

Today I screwed my courage to the sticking point and threw a bowl using four pounds of clay.  I puffed, panted, and had to stop once to catch my breath, but I did it. Hurrah!  Only two additional pounds of clay to go ... but that's for another day. Now I need a cup of tea and rest. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Apple (Cinnamon) Cookies

I've been doing some apple recipe research to find new ways to use our apple crop.   We haven't baked cookies for a long time so that's where my search began. 

I must confess, this is an old Betty Crocker recipe slightly altered to meet my cinnamon and vanilla requirements.  Here are the ingredients you will need to bake a batch of Apple (Cinnamon) Cookies:

1 cup soft brown sugar - lightly packed
1/2 cup butter or baking margarine 
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (you can use nutmeg if you prefer) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 medium apple - peel, core, and finely dice

Heat the oven to 375F/ 190C.  Grease or line cookie sheets with baking paper.

Place the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.  Stir to combine all the dry ingredients.   In a large mixing bowl,  beat the brown sugar and butter until they are light and fluffy.  Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat the mixture until the egg is incorporated.  

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir until all the flour has been absorbed.  Then, fold in the diced apple.

Using a small scoop or a teaspoon, drop the cookie dough onto the baking sheets.  You should space the cookies about two inches apart to allow the dough to spread during baking.

Bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden brown. Leave them on the cookie sheet to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Of course,  I like to enjoy one or two while they are still slightly warm... well maybe three.....  

*The apple in this recipe makes the cookies soft and moist so store them loosely covered.  Thanks Betty!  

Monday, 8 September 2014

He's SO Fluffy!

Andy got a new camera so of course he had to take a photograph of the little Dust Bunny -  who, amazingly, sat still!  

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Pink Apple Sauce

Sometime being lazy pays off.  I didn't peal the apples before cooking them and look what happened......PINK APPLE SAUCE!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Flowerpot Tomatoes

Here in Devon growing a good crop of full sized tomatoes seems to require a greenhouse.  In my tiny garden a greenhouse is NOT an option. Fortunately I have found a way to grow a crop of tomatoes in a flowerpot.

These are TINY tomatoes, just the size you can pop into your mouth and eat like a grape.  I'll never grow a Beefsteak but these are sweet, juicy, and home a flowerpot.

I think they are rather pretty, too.  Best of all, these little Tumbler Tomatoes may be bullet-proof.  Snails and slugs don't seem to like them and they don't appear to be prone to the usual tomato diseases. All you need to do is remember to give them a daily drink and a little plant food every once in a while. 

Most people grow Tumblers in hanging baskets but using a large plastic pot has helped to retain the moisture in the compost.  I find it easier to water a ground level pot rather than lifting a heavy watering can over my head.  It's the curse of a short gardener.

And just look at all the tomatoes yet to ripen!  I'll be picking fresh Tumblers well into the Autumn.