Friday, April 4, 2014

Delishious Roasted Chickpeas

Roasting chickpeas is a really great option and they have some many uses for them. They taste great, they are easy to make and extra BONUS, they are healthy for you! The first time I made them I didn't really like them, they were bland, and I didn't like the texture of them (they were far too crunchy and dry). After making them that time and not being impressed by them, I gave up. But recently I was at a friend's house and she made a batch for our kids to snack on. My daughter Lyla LOVED them and so did her friend. They tasted great and weren't as crunchy as the ones I had made previously. So I got to work trying to figure out what I really liked when it came to this wonderful, healthy snack and how to make them.

Here are some pointers to consider:
  1. Make sure the beans you buy are organic - trust me there is a difference! If you don't want to spend the money for the "fancy", more upscale cans of beans, Goya makes an organic bean they is pretty good.
  2. Make sure it's low sodium - This way you can season to your liking!
  3. These beans really need some help when it comes to having great flavor so don't be scared to season well. If you are unsure about this, do a little at a time and just keep doing a QC (Quality Control taste) until you find a balance of flavor that you like.
  4. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to seasoning. It's whatever you like that will work. Some flavors that I have tested and like are:  Paprika, Turmeric, Garam Masala, Onion, Garlic, Kosher Salt, and cracked black pepper to name a few. You could also possibly experiment with a sweet version using sugar and cinnamon. I haven't tried this yet - but I bet it's good!

Ingredients:
1 can of Low Sodium Garbanzo/Chickpeas
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
Kosher salt to taste

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove beans from can into a sieve or colander and run cold water over them to remove the liquid they have been sitting in. Remove any of the outer-membranes that come off the bean. Once thoroughly rinsed, place in a bowl lined with a paper towel, and gently pat them dry. Remove paper towel.

rinsing beans with cold water

seasoning the beans / garlic powder, paprika, turmeric combo




2) Combine spices with beans and toss to coat evenly. Before placing them on the baking sheet, taste one. If you like the flavors then that's great, if not adjust the seasoning to your liking. Place beans on baking sheet and spread out evenly, check to see if any more outer-membranes have fallen off and remove them. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for 30-45 minutes. During the roasting process, shake pan once or twice to move them around a little, for even roasting.

on the roasting pan


Some notes:
  • This is a great snack for kids. They can also help with this process since it's not very complicated. Depending on the age of your child, it would be best to not roast them until they are entirely crunchy. For my 19 month-old, I roasted them for 30 minutes. The beans had a great crunch that were also soft on the inside for easy chewing. 
  • This would also be great as an alternative to croutons in a salad, or just as a snack to tie you over until your next meal.
  • Ensure you remove all outer-membranes that come off the bean before placing them in the oven. They will burn a little while the beans are roasting. It also look nice :)
  • You can definitely cook your own beans and then roast them - which is much better and that way you can control everything. From quality of ingredients to quantity. If you cook your own beans - follow directions on the bag.


























live.love.eat.more

Sam

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Banana Bread - Gone Dairy Free

There is nothing I love more than some of my mom's homemade banana bread, fresh out the oven, warm with a dollop of butter, as it melts into the slice. If you know my mom, then you must have at some point come into contact with this banana bread, and so you know how good it is. This recipe is a rendition of hers, as it has gone, dairy free. I replaced the butter with coconut oil and milk with almond milk. I also replace two whole eggs, for two egg whites only, for a little bit of a healthier version. This recipe would also be great for adding Nuts and dried fruit to - if that is something that you like or prefer, also some chocolate chips would work wonderfully in this.



Ingredients:
8 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 very ripe bananas mashed

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease loaf tin.

2) In a medium size whisk flour and baking powder together until well combined, set aside. In a two cup measuring cup combine Almond Milk and Vanilla Extract. Set aside. Peel and mash bananas, set aside.

3) In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle combine coconut oil and sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. Scraping down the bowl at least one to ensure all ingredients are combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated. Continue beating for an additional 30 seconds until foamy.

4) Alternating between the flour mixture and almond milk mixture, add 1/3 of a time of each until all combined, ensuring that each addition is add and incorporated well. Add mashed bananas and beat for an additional 30 seconds until well combined.

5) Pour batter into prepared loaf tin and bake, for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. When tooth pick inserted comes out clean, remove the banana bread from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in loaf tin for removing. Continue to cool on cooling rack until room temperature. At least 2 hours.

This bread will be last 3-5 days. 

Notes:

  • I have discovered through my baking that when using coconut oil, the baked goods need a little extra time in the oven. Sometimes up to 30 minutes more. Check the bread at 1 hour, if it still looks raw then continue cooking it, checking every 10-15 minutes until toothpick inserted come out clean.
  • The coconut oil that I used did not create a coconut flavor in the bread. 
  • If you wish to use dairy products in the recipe, replace the coconut oil with butter, the almond milk for regular milk (in the same ratios).
  • For the eggs, if you wish to use the yolk, add the yolk with the egg white. Beat until well combined, and continue with the recipe as follows.


Here are some of my favorite ways to eat Banana Bread:

  • Toasted with butter in a cast iron skillet


  • Top the toasted banana bread with some ice-cream for a yummy dessert! My husband loves this! Ridiculously Delishious with Butter Pecan, BTW:) You are welcome!


  • And for the South African in me, I cannot get enough of Marmite and Cheese on Toasted Banana bread. It's the perfect sweet, savory and salty combination...as far as I'm concerned. This is something I would possibly eat for my last meal. It's definitely an acquired taste:)


I hope you enjoyed this! Tell me what are some of your favorite ways to eat banana bread are, comment below. 

live.love.eat.more

Sam










Friday, March 28, 2014

Tiramisu Cake - Raw-Egg-Free

I absolutely loved this cake. I loved making it from start to finish, and yes, that included eating it too:). My husband loves Tiramisu, and so I figured I would surprise him with this cake. I was inspired to make this cake when I saw one flipping through a williams-sonoma catalog. They have these yummy looking pastries and cakes that you can order from them and one of the cakes was a beautiful Tiramisu Cake displayed on a gorgeous cake stand. As  soon as I saw it, I wanted some and so I decided I would make one for my husbands birthday. I had this planned for months, and I was so excited. When it came time to making it, I did the shopping for it while he wasn't at home, and then hid all the ingredients in the fridge. I went through great lengths to make this cake. It even came out as wonderful and delishious as I was hoping it would. Of course, my husband came down with the flu and just couldn't enjoy it as much as I think he would have. So needless to say I have a few extra inches around my waist. You just can't let something like this go to waste, Right?...Right?
 IT WAS WORTH EVERY CALORIE!

Some tips to consider before starting:
  • You will need a Spring Form pan to build your cake in. When it comes time to baking your cakes use a cake tin that is the same diameter as your spring form pan.
    For example: If your spring form pan is 9" in diameter then your cake pan should be 9" in diameter. This will ensure a snug fit [of the cake rounds] in the Spring Form pan that will allow all layers to be exposed and visible when you are ready to serve it.  
  • If you prefer not to use alcohol it can be omitted. 
  • I'm not a huge fan of Rum and switched the Rum out for a Chocolate Liqueur called Thatchers, Dark Chocolate. This gave a nice smooth flavor as opposed to the strong Rum flavor, which we liked. So if you are considering omitting the Rum definitely consider this - It's a really great alternative.
  • For kid friendly versions, you could brush the cake rounds with either a hot chocolate/hot cocoa mixture or a simple ganache, like I did [this is so delishious, BTW!], omit the alcohol from the mascarpone mixture if you making a kid friendly version or reserve some aside before adding the alcohol.
  • Bake the cakes in the morning and allow them to cool completely before assembling your cake. This also makes it easier to cut them.
  • Instead of using cocoa to decorate on top, I used ground up bittersweet chocolate. I placed 1 cup bittersweet chocolate in the freezer for approximately 20 minutes. I then placed the frozen chocolate into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse the chocolate until small pieces form and the bowl looks "dusty". Once fine enough remove chocolate from processor bowl and sift to separate the larger pieces from the small. When it comes time to serve, dust the chocolate over the cake, cut and serve. The slight hint of the bitter sweet chocolate really compliments all the flavors in the cake!
  • This cake needs time to set. It should be done up to 12 hours in advance or [even better], 24 hrs.

Cake Ingredients:
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/12 cups sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened

Directions:
1) Adjust oven racks to middle position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two cake tins*, line with parchment paper and grease parchment paper. Flour cake tins.

2) In a medium size bowl whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla extract together until well combined. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with paddle mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together on low speed until combined. Add butter 1, piece at a time, until pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute.

3) Add half of egg mixture, increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add remaining egg mixture, and beat until incorporated. About 30 seconds.Batter may look slightly curdled. Give one last mix by hand.

4) Divide batter evenly between prepared cake tins and smooth top with rubber spatula. Bake until tops are light golden and tooth pick inserted comes out clean 20-25 minutes rotating pans halfway through cooking.
Let cake cool in pans on cooling racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and discard parchment. Allow to cool completely, about 2 hours.

Cake Tins: Depending on the size you use will depend on how many you need and baking time
8-inch-cake-tins: You will need three cake tins and bake them for 18-20 minutes.
9-inch-cake-tins: You will need two cake tins and bake them for 20-25 minutes.

Recipe by Cooks Illustrated

cakes cooling

Coffee Mixture:
1 1/2 cups strong coffee
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
5 Tablespoons Dark Rum (optional)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and mix until espresso powder has dissolved. Set aside

Mascarpone Filling:
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cream (for adding to egg yolks)
2/3 cups sugar
4 tablespoon Rum (optional)
1 pound mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add eggs yolks and mix on low to break up. Add salt and sugar and beat on medium until a light pale yellow, approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Add cream and beat for an additional 30 seconds until well combined. Scrap bowl to ensure all ingredients are well combined.

2) Place bowl with egg yolk mixture over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir and scrap bowl constantly to ensure egg doesn't cook, until mixture becomes thick and coats back of spoon, about 4-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir vigorously to cool slightly, set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Whisk in Rum. Transfer bowl back to stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, add mascarpone cheese beat on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl, and set aside.

3) In the same bowl (no need to wash), add the heavy cream and beat on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peak forms. About 1 1/2 minutes more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 whipped cream to mascarpone mixture to lighten mixture. Add the rest until and fold until no white streaks remain. Set aside.

Recipe adapted by Cooks Illustrated

Assemble the Cake:
1) Gather all your equipment and ingredients to assemble your cake. You will need, a Spring Form Pan, a pastry brush, your cooled cake, mascarpone mixture, coffee mixture, serrated knife, spatula.

2) using a serrated knife, cut cake rounds in half or thirds, parallel to the ground (depending on the height of cake rounds and how thick you want the cake layer to be.

3) Place a bottom half of a cake round into the bottom of spring form pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the coffee mixture over the cake until well covered. Pour 1/3 of mascarpone mixture over cake layer. Place second cake round over mascarpone mixture and repeat the process, another two times. You should have three layers of cake and the last 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture will be poured on top of last cake round after brushing with coffee mixture.

4) Once your cake has been assembled, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 12 - 24 hours. I kept mine in the fridge over night and through the next day.

5) Remove cake from fridge, using a paring knife, gently run it along the side of the cake and pan to help loosen. Carefully loosen spring form pan, and remove slowly. Dust with cocoa powder or grated chocolate, cut and serve.




kid friendly version w/ chocolate ganache between layers of cake and mascarpone
When it came time to building my daughters Tiramisu I had 1/2 a cake round left. I broke it up and layered the tiramisu cake into a Ramekin. It was perfect and she loved every spoonful of it.

If you would like the recipe for the chocolate ganache, please comment below and I can give you something to work with.
I hope you enjoy making and eating this delightful cake as much as I did:)

Happy Creating!

live.love.eat.more

Sam

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quick Breakfast Loaf

I absolutely love making quick breads and this one is no different. It's healthy, packed with flavor and has a wonderful texture. It's the perfect breakfast bread that is delishious by itself, with butter, jam, cheese or even a fried egg (which is my favorite to top it with).
I do have a note for you before we get started and that is: this bread is easier to cut when completely cooled - However if your household is like my household then allowing it to cool completely is not an option. Because, what is better than fresh, warm bread straight out the oven with a little pat of butter? I can't think of anything better! Can you? I hope you enjoy creating and eating this Quick Bread as much as I did.
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (thick cut or steel cut)
1/3 cup ground flax seed/flax seed meal
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup sunflower oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of each extra poppy seed, flax seeds and oatmeal to sprinkle on top (optional)


Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease loaf and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine both flours, oatmeal, ground flax seed, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2) In another bowl combine egg, brown sugar, almond milk, sunflower oil, and vanilla extract until well combined. Make a well in the flour and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened (batter should be lumpy). Spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top with the extra poppy seeds, oatmeal and flax seeds. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
3) Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, remove loaf from pan and allow to continue cooling to room temperature on a wire rack - approximately 2-3 hours.
To store bread: Wrap in wax paper and then plastic. Must be eaten within 2-3 days.
Notes:

  • Do NOT over mix this batter until all lumps have disappeared. This particular bread is very dense and over mixing will toughen the batter making it more difficult to manage, and the outcome will not be as tender. 
  • If you have whole flax seeds - Grind them in a clean spice grinder (or coffee grinder) to create a flax meal.






























This will be a great bread to add to your brunch menu!
Enjoy!

Sam




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Homemade Goldfish Crackers

To escape from the winter boundaries of our home, I decided to take our little one to the library a few days ago. We needed to return some of her books and get some new ones; so it was a good excuse to get out the house. Our library has a wonderful children's room and without much hesitation, we went in to explore and play before choosing some more books. Since the library is a great, warm getaway for many parents the room was packed with wonderful, crazy kids playing and exploring too. But before I bore you with the many details of how glorious this room is, and how much fun it is for my "LO", I will get to the point.
There was a little girl in the Children's Playroom that was eating her snack and not just any snack.... a goldfish cracker snack.

Now you see, Snacks are a funny thing with kids. You can give your child a 5 course meal, stuff them to the brim with their favorite food, and if there is a snack that someone else is eating, well, "I gotta have some of that, mommy!".
Which means that my "LO" had officially seen this girl eating her snack and pretty much zoned in on her without much warning, to of course, "share" her snack.

The little girl obliges and attempts to share her snack, but her mom stops her, and mentions something along the lines of "we should find out if she can eat these before you share with [LO]."

Mom of Girl: "Is it okay with you if she gives your daughter some of her snack?"
Me (with hesitation) : "Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, sure but just a few! Thank You!"

....10 minutes later; "LO" has had more than just a few and all I hear her say to me - with this huge smile on her face, eyes gleaming with delight, and crumbs around her mouth - "MORE!"

Now, I will be the first to admit that goldfish crackers are not my favorite snack choice, for my "LO". I will, in fact, avoid the snack food aisle in the grocery store, at all costs. The fact that they create these "snacks" for kids that are loaded with MSG, preservatives, colorants and ingredients I cannot pronounce, I find myself without any desire to buy them.

Which of course initiated this post since, I decided that it would be great to create some homemade goldfish for my "LO" since she loved them so much.

Ingredients:
1 cup AP Flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
5 ounces, grated, Sharp White Cheddar
2 ounces, grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 tablespoons coconut oil*, chilled*
2-3 tablespoons ice cold water

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure coconut oil into shallow dish/bowl and place in fridge. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine flour, salt and paprika by pulsing the ingredients 2 or 3 times to combine.
Add the chilled coconut oil and pulse to combine. Add 2 tablespoons of water (one at a time) and pulse until well combined. Pinch the dough, if it keeps it shape, do NOT add the additional tablespoon of water. If dough does not hold together, add the last tablespoon of water, teaspoon at a time until dough keeps together when pinched.

2) Turn dough out onto surface. Mold dough into disk, using a bench scraper or knife cut into quarters.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap to prevent drying while you work with each quarter. Roll each quarter into an even thickness of about 1/8" thickness, and cut into desired shapes. Continue cutting, gathering, rolling and shaping the dough until all has been used. Place cut dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, before moving onto cooling racks to cool completely for approximately 45 minutes. Store in an air tight container for up to 7 - 10 days.

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Notes:

  • You can find a tutorial on the Tasty Kitchen blog  on how to create your own little fish cracker cutter. P.S - it's really quick and easy. I used an empty sardine can since we didn't have a coke can in the house.
  • You do not need to make the fish cutter if you don't want to. There are many other shapes you can do from squares, to stars, to whatever your can create! There is no wrong answer here. If you have kids that are old enough to help, I am sure they would like to help with this step. I created some squares using a pizza cutter and a shot glass to make circles which I then cut in half for a little extra shape variety.
goldfish  - ready to be baked
  • Paprika helped give a little color as well as some additional flavor. This ingredient is optional and you can also increase or decrease the measurement to your desire.
  • The "original" recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of butter, chilled. If butter is what you prefer then by all means replace the coconut oil with butter. If you decided to use the butter instead, remember to chill your dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. It will be more manageable this way.
  • Coconut Oil: It worked wonderfully in this recipe. I measured the coconut oil and chilled it while preparing the other ingredients. This is a good to do as it will work into the dough much like butter which will create a similar texture. If you decide to use coconut oil in the recipe, once your dough has formed you can start rolling it out. DO NOT place in the fridge as it will become rock hard and you will have to wait for it to thaw before starting the process.... Trust me, I found this out the hard way;) . The crackers came out well browned, crispy, cheesy, rich and delishious - just what I was hoping for and the extra bonus was that my "LO" loves them too!


    use a pizza wheel to cut some squares
 I hope you enjoyed this and give it a try. They really were fun to make and worth the extra bit of effort because they really were yummy!



Happy creating!
xo

SP

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Arroz con Pollo

Being the South African that I am and now living in the States has been a magical experience and I have enjoyed most of my time here. The ups and downs are what makes life interesting and keeps me wanting more. However, there is one "down" I have never really been able to turn into an "up" and that is SNOW! Yes, the white, magical, whimsical, fluff that falls to the ground ever so effortlessly is so depressing. The moment I step outside I know that I would much prefer to be cozy in bed and possibly hibernating for the rest of the winter. Shoveling my car out, trying to prevent my fingers from falling off because of frost bite (since I always manage to forget my gloves). Having to then sit in a cold car because it needs to run for what seems like eternity so that the heat kicks in, is just not my ideal winter.
However there is silver lining in all of this misery and that is "comfort food". Something, that when you eat it feels like its giving you a giant food hug from your belly that makes you feel so warm and forgiving for what is happening outside. Arroz con Pollo, as far as I'm concerned, is just one of those dishes that can do that. It is capable of melting those winter blues away in such a delishious way!

Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken) is a staple that can be found in many Latin American households and is really easy to pull together. You can add whatever vegetables you like and customize it for you.

Ingredients:
4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large rib of celery, diced
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup diced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon saffron powder
1 teaspoon sweet or smoky paprika
2 cups rice
1/2 vermouth or dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water or chicken/vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, heat a large dutch oven on medium-high heat (on stove top) with olive oil until just smoking. Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken skin side down until golden and brown, turn to brown the second side, about 7-8 minutes each side. Remove from dutch-oven and set aside. 

2) In the same skillet saute the onion, carrot, celery and bell pepper until just tender. About 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 30 seconds. Add saffron powder and paprika and mixed to combine with the vegetables. Cook until spices are lightly toasted, for about 30 seconds. Add rice and mix to combine. Deglaze the pot with vermouth/white wine and scrape up all that is stuck to the bottom and then add the rest of the liquid ingredients (water or stock). Mix to distribute. Add bay leaves and thyme. Place the chicken back in the pot, skin side up over the rice mixture. Place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and chicken reaches 165°F.

Recipe inspired by Mario Batali
Arroz con Pollo

arroz con pollo straight out the oven
I decided to finish the cooking of this dish in then oven because I just love this chicken getting that extra crunch on the skin. However, if you prefer to complete the cooking on the stove top - no problem. Once you have add everything back to the dutch oven, cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, until rice is tender and chicken has cooked through.

arroz con pollo
I hope you all get a nice hug from you belly when you try this. 
Enjoy!
xo

SP



Monday, February 10, 2014

"Apple Pie" for 2

My husband and I have created a little tradition, once we have got the Little One to bed we unwind with an ice cold beer or glass of wine and have some "adult time" AKA vegging in front of the TV. When we have had a really good dinner we usually want a little dessert during this time as well - because let's face it every good meal deserves to be finished off with some yummy dessert.

This is a great recipe because there isn't much prep and you don't need fancy ingredients. You most likely have everything in your pantry and fridge already. If you love apple pie as much as we do then you will love this recipe too. Once the apples come out the oven there will be a "caramel sauce" in the bottom of the pan from the butter, sugar and apple juice. You could add a splash of milk or cream and give it a quick mix and you will have an awesome sauce to top your apples with. You can also just spoon the "sauce" on as is without adding anything else.

Ingredients:
1 Granny Smith Apple  (cut in half length wise)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Clean and cut your apple in half length wise. Using a melon baller or measuring teaspoon scoop out core. Place in oven safe skillet or small oven safe roasting pan. Place 1 tablespoon of butter in each apple.

2) In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Divide in half and place on top of apple. Place in preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes until apples are fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes. Spoon juices/sauce over apple and serve with your favorite topping.

Inspired by my love for apple pie


apples cut length wise, with butter in cast iron skillet

with brown sugar and cinnamon topping

hot out the oven
This was such a great treat and I loved that it didn't take long to make from start to finish. I am also a huge fan of apple pie so it was just perfect. The granola that I added gave wonderful crunch and made the dessert extra delishious.
I cooked the apple with the skin on. It was a little tough but it was still edible. The skin helps hold the apple together because the cooking process will make it fall apart otherwise. 

baked apple topped with vanilla bean ice cream, granola and "caramel sauce"

I hope you all enjoy this!
xo

SP