Mini Apple Pies

When I think pie, it’s always apple pie…

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Veggie Patties

…sometimes you just want some light fluffy vegetables, packed with flavour and folded into a flaky puff pastry that’s baked to a perfect golden brown.

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Apple Turnovers

It’s no secret that apples are one of the best things you fill pastry with, and buying frozen apple tarts and apple turnovers is the best thing in the world, but making them at home is so easy, that it trumps being able to buy them!

It’s so simple and delicious and just, PERFECT, so I don’t feel the need to explain anything else. Let’s get to the recipe people, so you can make this just as often as I do.

apples

Here’s what you need to make the golden triangles from heaven.

1 rectangular sheet of puff pastry

2 granny smith apples, peeled and finely sliced

3 Tblspn butter

1/2-2/3 cups sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 egg + 1 Tblspn water

Preheat your oven to 400 F/200C

Cut the puff pastry into 6 squares. In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and add the apples. Let them simmer a while, then add the sugar. Once you add the sugar the apples will start releasing their juices. Mix them around a little with a spoon, and simmer till the juice starts to thicken. Then add the cinnamon and nutmeg. At this point taste the juice. If it’s very sour add more sugar, but you want it to be a little tangy. Let the mixture cool. Then evenly divide it between the 6 squares of pastry, placing the mix on one half side, keeping in mind you want to fold opposite corners to make a triangle. Fold over the pastry and seal the edges with a fork. That makes them look pretty and ensures that they don’t just pop open once they’re in a scorching oven. Once they’re all sealed place them on a baking tray that is lined with baking paper. Beat the egg with the water and brush the turnovers with the egg wash, making sure you just brush the tops. Don’t let the egg spill over the sides, because then the edges won’t puff up like they should. Bake them in the middle shelf for 8-10 minutes, or until they have puffed up and are golden brown, like in the picture above. Then it’s just a matter of eating them warm, for breakfast, or with ice cream for dessert.

Party Dip & Jalapeño Popper Turnovers!

It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I don’t know what i’m more upset about; the fact that it’s not a big event here in Ilmenau, or that i’m missing out on Black Friday sales again. But i’ll tell you all this. I’m still going to celebrate. I may not bring home a turkey and stuff it with whatever it’s supposed to be stuffed with (I could never cook a whole bird. They look like they can pop up and run away any second) and I may not make cranberry sauce and gravy, but there will be mashed potatoes on my table, and just to make up for the missing turkey, i’ll make some other things that can totally be the life of the party.

I know Thanksgivings are a family affair, with sit down dinners and endless platters of food, so here are a couple of recipes that can be made in bulk, in advance, cooked quickly, and ultimately get you through the day up till dinner without draining all the energy out of you. But you can’t get away with just making these. YOU still have to make the turkey. For me.

Party Dip

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I’m sure you might have come across this recipe, but I just have to post it just in case some of you haven’t. This recipe needs to be in everyone’s life. And the best part is it’s a dip, and it doesn’t have to be cooked; just made in advance so it can be chilled.

1 cup cream cheese

1 3/4 cups sour cream

2 cups salsa

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups lettuce, shredded

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

The only thing you have to keep in mind here is that the salsa you use should be delicious! Start off by whisking the cream cheese till it’s smooth and fluffy, then mix in the sour cream and salsa. In a dip bowl pour half of the salsa mix and top off with half of the lettuce and cheese. Then pour over the rest of the salsa mix and sprinkle over the remaining lettuce, the olive and tomatoes and the rest of the cheese. Just a tip: the lettuce has to be shredded very finely, or the dip will turn into a extremely unhealthy salad! Chill this for at least 3 hours, but over night is perfect. Serve with cool ranch Doritos if they’re available in your area, or just plain tortilla chips and potato chips will do. You can obviously add more or less of any of the toppings (tomatoes, olives, lettuce, cheese) but keep the cream cheese, sour cream and salsa just as it’s listed. This is enough for a medium sized party, but if your family accounts for half of the city’s population you might want to make an extra batch or two.

jalapeno popper turnovers!

patties

These are delicious. They’re a little different from the normal jalapeño poppers, but they taste great!

2 sheets puff pastry

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sliced jalapeños (the ones out of a jar are perfect)

1 egg (beaten for egg wash)

Since you’re making these for a party, make them small. You can be creative with the shapes, but when it comes to bulk food, uniformity is the way to go. So choose one shape and stick to it! I usually just cut the puff pastry into little squares (because it’s easy) and then fold them over once filled to make cute little triangular pouches of cheesy heaven. Divide the ingredients appropriately between each square. For 2-inch squares: Spread 1 tsp cream cheese, keeping a little inside the edges. Then place once jalapeño slice towards a side and top off with a 1 t shredded cheddar. To close just fold opposite corners. Seal with a fork. That ensures the pastry sticks together and also makes the poppers look pretty. You can make these in advance as well. They can be frozen or you can make them a day before and keep them in the fridge till they’re ready to be baked. Before baking preheat your oven to 200 C and brush each popper with the egg wash. They’ll bake in 8-10 minutes and puff up beautifully. If you bake them out of the freezer you might need to add a couple of minutes to the baking time. But you’ll know they’re cooked when they’re golden brown.

*Remember, it’s better to have leftovers than to have food running out before everyones full. There’s something about holidays that make people want to eat like there’s no tomorrow, so make a little more than you usually would 🙂

strawberry puffs

There are some ingredients that, if available, can save the day. They’re versatile, delicious, rich, and in this case, puffy and buttery. Yes folks, i’m talking about puff pastry. I ALWAYS have a roll of this in my fridge. And I know it’s not available everywhere, like in Pakistan(sometimes they have it at rahat bakery or jalal sons. and alfatah might have it now), but apparently it’s really easy to make.

It’s really easy to handle if it’s pre rolled. If you get a big lump of it, just carefully roll it out onto a floured surface. Don’t roll it out too thin. I’d say about  1/4 of an inch. It’s great for savory things like chicken patties, or you could go for a more sunday brunch-strawberry puff type of thing.

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It’s so simple. All you need is fresh strawberries. And I know they’re seasonal and not always available fresh, so you can replace them with any other fruit! Apples and bananas go great with it.

here’s what you need:

1 cup sliced strawberries

2 T sugar

1 sheet puff pastry

mint leaves for garnish

 

Preheat your oven to 200 C.

sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries and let them sit while you prepare the pastry. To make life easier, you can just cut the pastry into squares. You need two squares to make a puff. I got these precut, hence the neat circles, with the donut tops. But if you want to get fancy you can cut out little windows in half of the squares. Then it’s just a matter of dividing the strawberries between the whole squares. Then top them off with the windowed squares. You can close them up on the sides with a fork. Lightly press down just enough to seal the squares. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and place the pastries an inch a part. They do rise quite a bit. Bake them for about 10 minutes, or till they’re flaky and golden brown. Serve these warm and fresh out of the oven! Don’t refrigerate them, they’ll get all soggy and squishy. You can make a bunch at once and freeze them. Then all you have to do is pop them into a preheated oven and they’ll bake just as nicely as if they were freshly rolled out.

For 1 cup of apples add 3 T sugar and 1/2 t ground cinnamon

For 1 cup bananas add 2 T honey and 2 T crushed walnuts