27 August 2008

Apple Nut Muffins

I love baking so the first thing I decided to try out using the apples I picked was a simple muffin recipe. I'm quite happy with this recipe as the muffins are nice and moist and not too sweet. I only used a few apples to make them though which means I have plenty more to play around with and try out more recipes with.

Apple Nut Muffins

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup of brown sugar
2/3 cup corn oil
1/3 cup rice milk
1/2 cup peeled & chopped apples
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

Optional: Soak the sultana's overnight in a freshly brewed cup of tea. I do this because it makes the sultanas softer and more juicer and it gives the cake a bit of a tea flavor to which is perfect for afternoon tea.

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

2. Mix the flour, sugar, walnuts, pecans, apples and sultanas (if you've soaked them overnight be sure to drain them first before adding them to the mixture) together in a bowl.

3. Mix the oil, milk and egg together then add it to the dry mixture until completely mixed together.

4. Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in and place in the oven to cook for 15- 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Remove from tray when cooked and allow to cool before serving.

Makes roughly 15 muffins

Bon Appétit!

24 August 2008

In the Garden

Today was such a beautiful day I decided to pay a visit to my nanna's garden and help her pick some apples. Growing up my nanna's garden was always such a magical place, a place where the fairies lived and danced at night. It was a place where you could pretend you were exploring the jungle and having an epic adventure. I always described going to play in my nanna's garden as a trip "down the rabbit hole" and into Wonderland because going there was always an enchanted adventure. I've spent many a summer lying amongst the flowers bathing in the sunlight and hiding amongst the bushes hoping to frighten my grandparents when they would pass by.
One of the best things about visiting the garden in summer would be all the fresh fruit you could pick and eat; blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, pears and of course lots and lots of apples. Although now many of those fruit trees and bushes have gone the one that still remains at the center of the garden is the old apple tree.
The apple tree has been there longer than the house has, I would guess around fifty years or possibly longer and still at the end of every summer it has the juiciest, crunchy and most delicious apples you've ever tasted. When asked what my favorite type of apples are I always say nanna's apples! One of the greatest things about these apples are that they are completely organic we've never used any pesticides or spray to help them grown, they grow purely on sunlight and rainwater with a little help from the bees of course. They aren't the hugest apples in fact they're only small but still absolutely delicious in every way and you know what they say "good things come in small packages" and in this case it is most definitely very true.
The best apples always grow at the top of the tree closest to the sunlight so when I was younger it was always a challenge to climb up to the top to get the tastiest apples. My brother and I always treated it like an Olympic event which he always won of course! Even now it's still a challenge for me to get to the top of the tree to find the tastiest apples but now it's because I'm too big to climb the tree and wouldn't want to break it under my now adult weight. However I am a lot taller than I used to be so with the help of a ladder I can pretty much reach the top and get to the grand prize of those tasty apples.
Now with so many apples the challenge is what to do with them. My nanna makes a great apple crumble and apple sauce which she gives to friends and family. My auntie, who also has an apple tree, makes apple chutney with hers but now it's my turn to come up with a great apple recipe. I've been presented with a huge bag full of delicious apples and no idea what to do with them so now it's my job to find a delicious recipe to share with the family so for the next few days I'll be knee deep in recipe books and apples! However once I find a great recipe I'll be sure to share it.

23 August 2008

A Birthday Treat

Today is my 23rd birthday and the start of my new blog.
I've spent the day with my closest friends and family enjoying good food and good company, which to me is the perfect way to celebrate the occassion. It's true that sometimes the littlest things in life are the ones you enjoy the most as today had made me realise how much I cherish those around me and although a very small celebration I have spent it with the people that matter to me the most and it has brought a smile to my face.
I now can't wait to slip out of my party clothes and into a nice hot bubbly bath and enjoy the rest of my evening alone relaxing, drinking champagne and enjoying my birthday blueberry cream tart.