Food & Drink

Apple Pie

Mom's homemade apple pie was always a huge hit in our house. The smell when you walked in was so overwhelmingly delicious. You would instantly crave all things apple and cinnamon. 

Emily and I went apple picking a few weeks back, and despite our efforts to get a small bag, we still ended up with way more than the two of us could ever eat. So we decided to recreate a couple family favourites, starting with mom's apple pie. If you're looking for ways to use up some apples, definitely give this one a try!

Pie Crust

Ingredient:
- 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp. of shortening
- 2 cups of white sugar
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1/4 + 1/8 cup warm water

Directions:
1. Cut shortening, flour and salt until chunky
2. Add water, and mold with hands into a ball
3. Roll out on counter until 1/4 inch thick
4. Use half of crust for bottom of pie, half for top

Pie Filling

Ingredients:
- 5 lbs. of apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 tsp. of butter
- cinnamon to cover
- dash of nutmeg

Directions:
1. Line 9 inch pie plate with half of crust
2. Fill pie with sliced apples. They should form a mound in the middle. Add extra apples if needed
3. Place tsp. of butter in the centre of the pie
4. Spread sugar evenly over apples
5. Cover everything with an even layer of cinnamon
6. Sprinkle a dash of nutmeg over cinnamon
7. Cover with remaining pie crust*, and bake at 350˚ for 1 hour, or until apples are soft.

* If your feeling adventurous, you can cut the crust into strips and weave it onto the top of the pie!

Hope you enjoy this classic fall treat! 🍎🍁

Apple Pie

Tomato + Herb Bruschetta

Summer has drawn to a close, and our cherry tomato plant has left us with many sweet and ripe tomatoes! I wanted to share another yummy, yet simple, tomato recipe that I love for using up fresh tomatoes like this. Bruschetta is a simple Italian appetizer consisting of a chopped tomato salad on slices of toasted bread, and it takes just minutes to throw together. I can't promise my recipe is traditional or authentic, but I can promise that it's easy and delicious!

Tomatoes

Ingredients:
- 1 cup of fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- fresh herbs - I used basil and parsley
- salt + pepper to taste
- Italian bread or baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- olive oil
- Balsamic Reduction (from my Caprese Skewers post)

Directions

1. Mix together tomatoes, garlic, herbs, salt + pepper. You can use this bruschetta mixture immediately or let it sit in the fridge for a few hours (even overnight). This helps the flavours blend and mellow out, which is great when you're using raw garlic like this!

Mixed Tomatoes

2. Drizzle the baguette slices with olive oil and let them toast in a pan until they're golden brown.

3. Top the toasted slices with bruschetta (don't be afraid to load it on!), then drizzle with the balsamic reduction to taste.

Hope you enjoy!

Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini is absolutely one of my favourite veggies. It's notorious for taking over gardens, and growing to outrageous sizes, but I don't mind when it's so delicious! Our tiny urban balcony garden didn't have room for monster zucchini this year (or zucchini at all, for that matter), so we've been taking advantage of the great deals on fresh produce from the vendors down in Byward Market - 5 medium zucchini for just $2! So now the question is: what do I make?

One of the things I love about zucchini is its versatility. It's delicious in both savoury and sweet dishes! I love it sauteed over pasta, grated in risotto, or in a yummy veggie stir fry (side dish or veggie main course!). We'll definitely be having a zucchini/veggie/pasta dish for dinner this week, but a sweet zucchini recipe is 100% mandatory this time of year.

Zucchini Muffins: when it comes to a recipe like this, I consider myself a purist. I am not a fan of the 'mix-ins' - no chocolate chips, no nuts, no other fruits like raisins or banana (Although I realize my husband may disagree with me about the chocolate chips!). This is not healthy spin on a chocolate chip muffin, and I believe that zucchini is wonderful enough to be the star of the show. 

On their own, they're a delicious breakfast or snack, and topped with a little cream cheese icing they are a great (slightly healthy?) dessert. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
- 1 medium zucchini, grated (should be a heaping cup total)
- 1/2 cup melted butter OR vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 

1. Preheat the oven to 350, and either grease a muffin tin, or line it with cupcake papers (I am a fan of cupcake papers because hey - easy clean up).

2. Mix together the melted butter and sugar, then add in the vanilla and egg and mix until well combined.

3. Add in the dry ingredients, and stir until it all comes together in a batter (but try not to overwork it!)

4. Last but not least, fold in the zucchini - and any mix-ins, if you must.

5. Bake for around 25 minutes, or until the tops turn golden brown and start to get just a little crisp.

6. Let cool, serve as is or with a topping of your choice, and feel good that you're eating veggies in delicious muffin form :)