Showing posts with label apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apple. Show all posts

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Roasted Pumpkin Apple Bacon Soup

Nothing beats roasted pumpkin soup on a chilly fall day. Add some bacon, ginger and green apple for a warm, bright bowl of goodness your whole family will love.

Food Lust People Love: Roasted Pumpkin Apple Bacon Soup. Nothing beats roasted pumpkin soup on a chilly fall day. Add some bacon, ginger and green apple for a warm, bright bowl of goodness your whole family will love.

It’s never really winter here in Dubai so when we get a day that is grey and looks like it is threatening to rain (although honestly, it hardly ever does) that is what I call a soup day. Today it’s pumpkin soup since I am trying hard to channel autumn.

Roasted Pumpkin Apple Bacon Soup

This makes two large, very, very thick bowls of soup. This recipe is easily multiplied to serve more.

600g or 1 1/3 pounds fresh pumpkin
2 slices or rashers of bacon (streaky) (optional)
2 cups or 480ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 small onion
1 medium carrot
1 green apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Small knob young ginger
4 cloves garlic
20g or 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Optional, to serve: Drizzle of cream

Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C. Clean the seeds and fibers out of your pumpkin.

Cut it in pieces so it will roast faster. Trim the bottom a little, if necessary, to make it stand up properly. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Roast the pumpkin for 40-50 minutes or until a fork goes in easily. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, if using, chop your bacon into little strips. Fry with a little olive oil over a medium fire.

Peel the vegetables then chop your onion, carrot and garlic and ginger.

Add to the bacon and sauté until softened, adding another couple of glugs of olive oil. Put the lid on and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if it starts to dry out.

Put one teaspoon of lemon juice in a small bowl. Peel, core and chop the apple and mix it around in the lemon juice.

Add the apple to the pot. Stir everything around and pop the lid back. Cook on medium, adding water occasionally if it starts to catch.

Once you are able to hold your pumpkin, scrape the flesh out of the skin.

Add the butter to the pot and then add the pumpkin.

Add the stock and give the pot a whisk.

Carefully ladle and then pour everything in to a blender. Make sure not to overfill the blender. You may have to do this in batches. Blend until smooth.  Return to the pot and check the seasoning. Add salt, if necessary, and a couple of good grinds of black pepper.

Serve with a drizzle of cream and hot buttered toast.


Check out all the great easy pumpkin recipes my Sunday Supper group are sharing today!

Meals, Sides, and Snacks

Delectable Desserts

 Pin it!

Food Lust People Love: Roasted Pumpkin Apple Bacon Soup. Nothing beats roasted pumpkin soup on a chilly fall day. Add some bacon, ginger and green apple for a warm, bright bowl of goodness your whole family will love.

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. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Apple Banana Carrot Muffins #MuffinMonday

As some of you may have read, I celebrated a milestone birthday last week.  Yep, fifty years old already.  Which surprises me somewhat, because I can still remember what 10 felt like.  And 24.  Can anyone relate?  And while I have gotten considerably wiser and certainly more knowledgeable about a lot of things, 10 and 24 just don’t seem that long ago.  When I was 24 years old, more than a quarter of a century ago, we lived in Abu Dhabi and being back here and reconnecting with yet another old friend has freshened those memories enormously!

Those days, we spent every weekend with David, eating curry suppers after a rousing game of Pass the Pigs and a few cold beers on a Thursday night, cooking full English breakfasts (often at four or five a.m.), attending marathon “company” lunches that lasted from lunchtime through to early evening, but most especially, we sailed all day Friday and sometimes Saturday as well.  We had a Prindle catamaran and David sailed a wooden single hull boat called a Drascombe Lugger.   Along with a few other friends, we would launch our crafts in the morning, sailing out to some of the sandy spits offshore Abu Dhabi, bringing along drinks and sausages to grill.  We had fabulous weekends!

So guess what we did for my birthday? We went to Abu Dhabi, of course!  First there was a fun champagne tasting and dinner at David’s on my actual birthday evening.  Then we sailed all the next day, sipping cold wine and eating hot sausages in buns.  And then Saturday night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner out that started with champagne and included a specially chosen wine with each delicious course.  All in all, a great birthday weekend adding to great memories with a dear friend.

One of the sandy spits, with a view of the shores of Abu Dhabi.  These are often almost covered at high tide
so you have to plan your lunch stop wisely.

Here are just a few of the things I know after 50 years:
1. Your real friends don’t change and it doesn’t matter how often you get to see them, you will still love them and enjoy their company. And they will love you.
2. Friendships have a collective memory.  What you don’t remember, someone else will and vice versa.  Which is really important as we age.
3. Having a good giggle about old times reinforces the collective memory of all so we should get together with old friends more often.
4. When people are hurting, you should cook for them.  Your time and concern nurture their souls and the food nurtures their bodies.
5. Sailing is one of the best ways to spend a day.
6. When you stay with people, you should bring them food, drink and/or flowers.
7. Love people like you’d like to be loved, because it’s the right thing to do.
8. Be loyal to your friends and they will be loyal in return.
9. The company of good friends makes good food and drink taste even better.

In keeping with number six, I brought these tasty muffins to share for breakfast.   Our recipe this week was for a maple apple muffin, but I thought I’d make them an even more complete breakfast by adding bananas and grated carrot and then topping them with some crunchy granola.  Perfect.

For the muffins:
1 1/4 cups or 160g all purpose flour
1/2 cup or 100g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/2 cup ripe banana (about 3/4 of an 8-in or 20cm banana)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
1 medium carrot
1 small green apple

For the topping:
1/2 cup or about 60g granola or muesli of your choice
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 cup or 25g light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Fill the muffin tin with liners or grease it really well with butter or non-stick spray.

Measure your flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and give them a good stir to mix.

Cut chunks off of your banana and mash them with a fork into in a measuring cup.  When the mashed banana hits 1/2 cup, eat what’s leftover, if any.

In another smaller bowl, mix the egg, mashed banana, vanilla, honey and butter.

Peel and grate your carrot and mix it into the liquids bowl.

Peel and core your apple and cut it into little pieces.  Add them to the liquids bowl as well and stir to coat.  This will keep your apple from turning brown.

Make your topping by crunching the granola into small pieces with the end of a thick wooden spoon.  Add in the butter and stir and mash until it is combined.  Add in the light brown sugar and mix well.  Set aside.

Complete the batter by pouring the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and fold until they are just combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.

Use your fingers to sprinkle the topping on the batter.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove to a rack to cool completely.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Apple Allspice Muffins #MuffinMonday

If you have Liked my blog page on Facebook  – and thank you so much if you have – then you know that I was traveling in Egypt last weekend.  I have finally gotten straight that Upper Egypt is south and Lower Egypt is north and I am sad to be leaving this place just as I get the hang of it!  It’s all to do with the Nile, you see.  This ancient, mighty river flows north all the way through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.  Most of its path is pure desert and, yet, along the banks and into the adjoining land, amazing vegetation grows in an astounding manner.  Flying into Luxor from Cairo, we saw acres and acres and acres of green.  As we traveled by van and bus to temples and tombs, all impressive testimonies to the ingenuity and wealth of ancient Egypt, we saw those lands being worked (mostly by hand with the occasional tractor) by modern-day Egyptians no less ingenious, providing food for the nation.  We passed fields of banana trees, corn, sugar cane and trucks and wheelbarrows piled high with ripe red tomatoes and shiny purple eggplant sand green cabbages more than a foot and a half across.  No kidding!   I will include a few photos of our trip after the regularly scheduled Muffin Monday muffin recipe for those who might be interested.

This week’s muffin comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours.  It is a simple recipe made beautiful by a generous streusel topping.  My only two alterations were the addition of one green apple chopped finely (and some lemon juice to stop it going brown) and a teaspoon of cinnamon, because I think allspice, apples and cinnamon are very good friends.  I hope you all agree.


For the streusel:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

5 tablespoons or 70g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the muffins:

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large green apple
2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour

1/2 cup or 115g granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed or 50g dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 115g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 eggs

3/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C and grease your muffin tin or line it with paper liners.

First we will make the streusel topping.  Put the flour, brown sugar and allspice in a small bowl and stir with a fork, mashing out the lumps in the brown sugar.

Add in the cold butter, cut into chunks and combine with a pastry blender or your fingers.  I tend to start out with the pastry blender and then use my fingers to get rid of the final large stubborn lumps of butter.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

On to the muffins!  Measure out two tablespoons of lemon juice into a small bowl big enough to hold your chopped apple.  Peel, core then chop the apple and add it to the lemon juice, stirring well to make sure all the little pieces of the apple are covered.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon and salt.  Mash the brown sugar lumps out with a fork.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.

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

Fold in the chopped apple.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Heap some streusel topping on each muffin.  This makes a lot of topping so don’t be shy.  Dorie’s instructions say to lightly press the topping down into the batter but I completely forgot this step.  I didn’t lose any topping while baking so don’t stress out if you do too.

Bake in the preheated oven about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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


~ ~ ~
And, now, some photos from our trip.

A tomb in the Worker's Village  - these are the folks that dug the enormous tombs
for the Valley of the Kings, where, sadly, photo taking is no longer allowed. 

Some of the beautiful decorations from inside the tomb. 

The Habu Temple in Luxor.

Amazing that color still remains.

Going to market?

The streets were filled with these little trucks and even motorbikes loaded with old corn stalks to be used for roofing.

The desert highway from Luxor to Abydos, away from the Nile, obviously. 

Donkeys are a typical mode of transportation.  We must have seen at least one hundred. 

Washing day!  I love the way they paint their balconies. Some even had curtains to keep out the dust and sun. 

Full load of bananas.

Not sure you can tell how large these cabbages were but they are ENORMOUS.

Tractors and camels (and donkeys and mules and water buffalo) all worked the fields and plied the roads. 

The temple in Abydos. 

This is the ceiling of the Abydos Temple.  It was lived in during past centuries and the fires that
were built to cook and heat the enormous stone structure had discolored the original painted carvings.
They left part dark after restoration so we could see the work that was done. 

Carvings in the temple of Dendera

Empty sarcophagi outside the temple of Dendera.  

Beautiful town streets that have an irrigation system.  And a street cleaner. 

More painted balconies and laundry. 

We passed this lovely mosque on our way home.

Thanks for traveling along with me!