Showing posts with label Kuala Lumpur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kuala Lumpur. Show all posts

Monday, November 4, 2013

Caramel Apple Muffins #MuffinMonday

Apple muffins are wonderful plain, but they are kicked up several notches with the addition of caramel.  Add some cinnamon and you’ve got the perfect fall snack.

When I am counting my blessings, friends in Kuala Lumpur are right near the top of the list, along with family and health.  There are a few things in life that keep me sane, and getting together with folks who share my stories and complete my memory is among them.

I am fortunate to be staying with a dear friend and baking in her KL kitchen this week.  It was like old times as we discussed the muffin recipe and decided on caramel and apples.  She put out the paper muffin cups and I was delighted when I saw her choice because, now, I will always remember where I was and with whom I baked these lovely muffins when I see the photos.  Our friendship goes back to my arrival in KL almost 12 years ago, from the time my younger daughter was in third grade and I volunteered to help with the Girl Scout troop.  That baby girl is now finishing the first semester of her third year at university, to give you some perspective.  That’s a long, long time in a mother’s life!  We all did a lot of laughing and crying and loving and growing up in those many years.  It’s been wonderful to refresh our memories and tell stories on each other and to catch up on all the news.  And bake some muffins.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light oil
1 Granny Smith or other green tart apple
24 square or 200g caramels, divided

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it thoroughly or spraying with non-stick spray or lining it with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and stir well.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and egg.

Cut half of your caramels into smaller pieces making sure to set aside 12 whole caramels.  Put the cut caramels into the flour mixture and mix so that the caramel pieces are coated with flour and won’t stick together.

Peel and chop your apple into small pieces.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Fold in the apple pieces.

Divide half of the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Put one caramel in each and push down slightly.

Evenly divide the rest of the batter among the muffins cup, making sure to cover the caramel.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted just next to the middle comes out clean.  (The middle should have a sticky soft melted toffee, remember.)

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.

These are the perfect snack or breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea.  Or even a cold glass of milk.


I even have a helper dog here.  His name is Max. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Lora’s Avocado Tomato Feta Salsa

When I lived in Kuala Lumpur, I got together once a month with a lovely group of ladies, ostensibly to play Pokeno.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, we did play, but the best part of the evening was definitely the potluck meal we shared.  We took turns hosting and if we were playing at your house, you were responsible for the main course.  The rest of us brought appetizers and side dishes and salads and desserts.  I don’t remember who was hosting when Lora made this lovely salsa but, after that, we hardly ever let her sign up to make anything else.  And, of course, she had to share the recipe.  I made it again a few weeks ago for my sweet neighbor’s even sweeter daughter’s third birthday celebration.  All the accompanying parents seemed to love it and even some of the children were digging in, with the tortilla chips.  Its delicious flavors made me miss my Pokeno ladies so I was grateful for new friends.

2 ripe avocadoes
4 red ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped (Lora says:  You can substitute, but make sure they are quality tomatoes. It makes a difference!)
1 small purple onion
1 small red chili pepper or 1 green jalapeƱo
1 bunch cilantro or fresh coriander
4 oz or 85g feta cheese
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt (I used Maldon flakes.)

Mix your salt, cumin, vinegar and olive oil to make a dressing in the bottom of a mixing bowl.

Cut the avocados into halves.  Remove the seeds and, using the tip of your knife, cut just down to the peel, going first one direction and then perpendicular.  

Scoop the avocado out into the bowl and toss lightly with the dressing.

Core and chop the tomatoes.

Share a little with your helper, if he has been a good boy.  

He adores tomatoes! 

Mince your pepper, removing the seeds if you would prefer your salsa to be less spicy.  

Peel and dice the onion.

Trim the tough stalks off of your bunch of cilantro.  Chop the leaves roughly.

Crumble your feta cheese, if purchased whole.  

Add the tomatoes, pepper, onion, cilantro and crumbled feta to the avocado bowl.  Mix everything gently.

Chill, covered, in the refrigerator, until ready to serve.  If you can leave it for half an hour or more, that would be good since it allows the flavors time to merge.  

Serve with warm toasted pita wedges or tortilla chips.