Showing posts with label sour cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sour cream. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Apple Crumb Quick Bread #BreadBakers

Tart apples and lemon juice brighten up a crisp Autumn day when they are baked into a sweet quick bread that fills your whole house with the aroma of baked cinnamon apples. Nothing better!

You know how people used to do their colors? Well, I think we can categorize our general lives in the same sort of way. I am definitely a summer person. I want beach and water and sand and surf. A day out at the beach or on a boat, preferably one that moves along smartly, is the best day! But I do have an appreciation for the beauty of fall.

This month my Bread Bakers group is using fall flavors to welcome the coming of the new season. Our air is hardly crisp in Dubai, but temperatures are mercifully starting to fall, even if it’s just a little. I had a bit of reprieve last week though, because I was in the States to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday. The trees in Texas and Louisiana were just starting to turn and the weather was sweet. Sunny days and slightly cooler nights and early mornings. Just perfect for baking bread, don’t you think?

Is there anything that beats the smell of bread in the oven? Yeast or quick bread, sweet or savory, it really doesn’t matter. But when you add apples and cinnamon, the delightfulness of the aroma expands ten-fold.

This recipe is adapted from one on Cube 5107.

For the bread batter:
2 Granny Smith or other tart green apples
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups or 250g flour
1 cup or 200g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or 125g sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g brown sugar
1/4 cup or 32g flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g butter

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and line a normal bread pan with baking parchment or grease it well with non-sticking baking spray.

Put your lemon juice in a small bowl.

Core, peel and finely dice your apples and put the pieces in the lemon juice and stir well as you go along.

In a small bowl, mix together your all your ingredients for the crumb topping, except the butter.

Cut the butter into pieces and work them into the dry mixture with two knives or a pastry blender. You are trying to make something that looks like very coarse sand but with the occasional small butter lump still.

Add a good handful of your apple pieces to the crumb topping and mix well.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

Add the rest of the apples pieces to the dry ingredients and stir to coat.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

Pour your liquid ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined.

Spoon the thick batter into your prepared bread pan.

Spread the crumb topping out over the batter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you are a thermometer user, the internal temperature should reach 200°F or 94°C.

Cool in the bread pan for about 10 minutes and then remove and cool on a wire rack.


Many thanks to our Bread Baker host this month, Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm. Are you ready for fall weather and fall flavors?

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to


Friday, October 3, 2014

Caramelized Shallot and Anchovy Puff Pastry Tart

This Caramelized Shallot and Anchovy Puff Pastry Tart is savory tarte tatin made with caramelized shallots, anchovies and wine and puff pastry. It is an elegant main course or appetizer. 

Food Lust People Love: This Caramelized Shallot and Anchovy Puff Pastry Tart is savory tarte tatin made with caramelized shallots, anchovies and wine and puff pastry. It is an elegant main course or appetizer.
Sure, you could slow cook whole shallots until they are caramelized and sweet, add wine and anchovies for extra flavor and just eat them with a spoon, but why not bake them, topped with puff pastry tarte tartin style and make a meal of them?

Let the shallots shine
Technically speaking, the anchovies make this non-vegetarian so if you want to leave them out and add in a little salt, feel free. My goal was not to have a meat-free meal but to showcase the wonderful French shallots I can afford here from time to time. What I mean is, they are almost always available but sometimes the cost is so crazy that I can’t possibly justify it. But summer is shallot-harvesting season in France so the prices have dropped to a more reasonable level, even in Dubai. In fact, a 250g (almost 9 oz) bag of these beauties were on sale at my local supermarket for just a little more than one dollar last week. How could I not take advantage?

If you’ve never had the opportunity to cook with proper French shallots, do seek them out. Their flavor is robust, some might even say strong, but they are less sharp than their fellow alliums, like onions and garlic. They are beautifully sweet when caramelized and divine chopped finely in a vinaigrette dressing. I fell in love with them when we lived in Paris, along with skinny little green beans, stinky cheese, bargain-basement Côtes du Rhône and, especially, a certain little blue-eyed blond we named Cecilie. Oh, yes, Paris was good to us.

No shallots on hand?
Can you make this tart with normal onions? Of course, you can. I substitute them all the time when a recipe calls for shallots, but just cut the onions up into wedges and keep an eye on them as they caramelize. You don’t want them to burn.

I served this beautiful savory tart with a big casserole dish of baked zucchini topped with spicy tomatoes and crumbled feta. I’ll share that recipe on Sunday when our Sunday Supper group brings you fresh whole food recipes for the theme we are calling “unprocessed.” If you are trying to eliminate multisyllabic ingredients that sound like chemicals from your daily diet, you’ll want to check back this weekend.

Meanwhile, if you just caramelize the shallots and eat them with a spoon, you’ll get no judgment from me. Carry on.

1 lb 10 oz or 750g shallots
Olive oil
1/2 cup or 120ml wine – red or white as long as it’s dry
5 or 6 anchovy fillets
Black pepper
8 oz or 230g ready made butter puff pastry

Optional to serve: crème fraîche or sour cream

Peel each shallot from the top.

Now, gently whittle off the roots with a sharp knife to keep the shallot whole.

In an ovenproof pan, drizzle a little olive oil and a little water and add the peeled, whole shallots. You want them to fit fairly snuggly because they will shrink a bit as they soften.

Slow cook them over a low flame with tight-fitting lid on for about an hour. Check on them every once in a while and add a few drops more water, if necessary. Shake the pan or push the shallots gently around to make sure they aren’t sticking but don’t break them apart. We want them to soften and caramelize, never burn.

After an hour or more of simmering, add your five or six anchovies, broken up into pieces and then the wine.

Add a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.

Turn the fire up just a little bit and cook the shallots with lid off until the pan is almost dry.

Turn the oven on to preheat to 400°F or 200°C and take the pan off the stove.  Allow the shallots to cool for about 15 minutes while your oven preheats.

Unroll your puff pastry and cover pan with it.

Tuck the edges under all the way around the shallots.

Cut a few holes in the pastry to let the steam out.

Bake in your preheated oven until pastry is puffed and golden, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then invert on serving dish.

Food Lust People Love: This Caramelized Shallot and Anchovy Puff Pastry Tart is savory tarte tatin made with caramelized shallots, anchovies and wine and puff pastry. It is an elegant main course or appetizer.

Serve each slice with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream, if desired. Although the cream is rich, somehow it complements the silky sweet shallots. I’m not even going to tell you because I’m sure you already know, but pour yourself a glass of wine as well.

Food Lust People Love: This Caramelized Shallot and Anchovy Puff Pastry Tart is savory tarte tatin made with caramelized shallots, anchovies and wine and puff pastry. It is an elegant main course or appetizer.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Waffles #FoodieExtravaganza

Take all the lovely ingredients of a fully loaded baked potato, stir them into waffle batter and bake till golden in a Belgian waffle iron. Perfection squared. 

Last month my Foodie Extravanza group celebrated peaches and I missed the whole thing because of traveling. It made me a little sad, but with the choice of London or cooking peaches, I had to go with London! But it did make me doubly determined to participate this month, especially when I heard that we were celebrating waffles. Waffles can be sweet or savory so, if you know me at all, you know which way I was sure to go. And since my mother, well documented on this site as being a lover of all things potato, was visiting, a waffle with all the fixings of a loaded baked potato seemed perfect. And indeed it was. Serve them plain with extra sour cream, chives and cheese. Or pop a fried egg on top.

Make sure you scroll down to the bottom to see all the lovely waffles we are sharing. Many thanks to Summer from Summer Scraps who is hosting this month!

Ingredients for six or seven square Belgian waffles
5-6 slices streaky smoked bacon (just less than 4 1/2 oz or 125g)
1 cup or 125g flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup or 120ml sour cream plus more to serve, if desired
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1 egg
1 potato (about 7 1/2 oz or 210g)
1/2 oz or 15g green onions, plus more to serve, if desired
1/2 cup or 45g grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, plus more to serve, if desired

Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry it until crispy. Remove it from the skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on some paper towels. Put a little of the bacon fat in a small bowl and set it aside. Yep, we are going to grease the waffle iron with it for extra flavor.

Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and a few generous grinds of fresh black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add in the grated cheese, crispy bacon and green onion tops and stir well.

Whisk the egg, sour cream and milk together in a smaller mixing bowl.  Peel and grate the potato and add it immediately to the egg bowl and stir to stop the potato from oxidizing and turning brown.

Looks like the grated cheese, doesn't it?

Preheat your waffle maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Now fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Using a pastry brush, grease your waffle maker with a little of the reserved bacon fat.

Pour the manufacturer’s recommended amount of  batter into the center of the lower half of the waffle maker, being careful to leave room for when the batter spreads out as you lower the lid and also for when the waffle starts to rise when baking.

Close the lid and watch for the signal that your waffle is cooking.  On my waffle maker, the light goes green when it is ready for batter, red when it is cooking and then green again when the waffle is ready.  I leave the waffle in just a little bit longer after the light turns green the second time so the waffles are nice and crispy.  But if you like them less crunchy, by all means take them out earlier.

Serve topped with a little extra sour cream, green onions and even grated cheese, if desired.

If you have any batter left over, go ahead and baked the waffles and store them, wrapped in cling film, in the refrigerator or freezer. They reheat beautifully in the toaster. A couple of days after making these, I toasted one and served it with a couple sunny-side up eggs on top, more bacon on the side. Sadly, I didn’t take a photo but it was wonderful. The runny egg yolk nicely filled many of the waffle holes. Soooo much better than plain toast!


My helper is always right there, on clean up duty, just in case I drop something. Hope springs eternal.

We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food! And each month we all incorporate one main ingredient into a recipe or choose to celebrate a certain dish and put our own twist on it. This month that dish is waffles! We hope you all enjoy our delicious waffles this and come see what next month's new ingredient or dish will be. If you would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our bloggers Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

Check out all the fabulous waffles we've made this month!

Savory Waffles

Sweet Waffles

Ambidextrous Waffles

Monday, February 24, 2014

Banana Sour Cream Muffins #MuffinMonday

The secret to these muffins is the sour cream. It makes them so rich and moist I will double dog dare you to eat just one. Can’t be done.

Since I’m still in Uganda, once again, I’ve chosen an ingredient that is produced here in abundance, bananas. We’ve been eating them every day and the farm where we are staying grows several types, including ones called Matoki that the Ugandans serve cooked and mashed. They taste remarkably like potatoes.  For these muffins, use normal sweet bananas.

I’ll add a little bit about my first day at Masooli School and some photos after the recipe so for anyone who is interested, scroll on down.

1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1/2 cup or 100g cup brown sugar
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup over-ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 medium bananas or 175g when peeled)
3/4 cup or 185g sour cream
1 large egg

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin tin by spraying with non-stick spray or lining with muffin papers.

Combine your flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your bananas, egg, oil, sour cream and vanilla.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stop when it’s still quite dry looking. 

Divide your batter between the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pans and then remove to continue cooling on a wire rack.


The first day at school got off to a late start when the battery on our rented van was dead and the engine refused to turn over. The plan had been to start our “specials” of art, sewing, technology and puzzles at 8:30 and get through four half-hour sessions before recess at 10:30. Then we’d keep going for another four sessions before the 1 p.m. lunch hour. And yet another four 30-minute sessions between 2 and 4 p.m. Well, that didn’t happen. But between day one and day two, we did manage to see all of the P4, P5, P6 and P7 children, teaching in all more than 200 children.

My sewing project was for each of them to make a small drawstring bag, tied with ribbon. So far, they have all started their bags and I am hoping they will finish them in one more 30-minute session each. I will also be working with the lower grades, stringing beads and playing with punch cards and shoestring for “stitching” practice.

Here’s an amazing thing: At the instigation of my teacher friend, Margaret, also known as MJ (the one who sucked me into this!) last school year was the first time that Masooli School had a Kindergarten class so, before that, they all arrived in P1 at the age of six with no knowledge of the alphabet or counting and, frankly, no experience in the how to behave in school or listen to the teacher. This year the P1 teacher is having a joyous time! Her students already know about half of the year’s curriculum and they all know how to sit and learn and listen and interact.

Which brings me to another change that has come about in this school the last two years. The children are gradually learning to interact, to question, to discuss, to collaborate. The old educating-by-rote method, that is sheer memorization, is slowing dying out as the teachers learn to teach in a new more dynamic, interactive style. Which is a pretty amazing breakthrough. I know that is a very western idea so it will take a while to overcome the innate shyness of these students but we are already seeing the blossoming of calculative thought and reasoning.

The kindergarten students with MJ.

Putting on their new shoes to make a "short call," the Uganda term for a trip to the toilet to pee pee.

Masooli School yard

Enjoying the donated laptops

Crowding around an iTouch

Art lab

Their favorite thing:  Selfies! With one of my fellow Dubai-based volunteers.
Then they all want to see!

The lunch line at 1 p.m. - serving a hot lunch to more than 250 students.
About 120 little ones who go home before lunch get porridge mid-morning.
Sharing her juice drink in a bag with her friends.

Some of my students with their bags.  They were so proud to have sewn them! If you'd like to see photos of the area around Masooli and read about my first impressions of Uganda, check out my Muffin Monday post from last week.