Wednesday, October 24

Pecorino Crusted Apple Turnovers

Dear Creativity,

Please come back. I miss you.

I think I lost you somewhere between getting home every night at 7 PM, just wanting to shove the nearest food item (usually candy corn) in my mouth when I walk in the door and being broke as a joke after not getting paid for a month and a half.

But I think I'm ready to be friends again. I think this time I will pay more attention to you. I promise you actually.



In the meantime, these apple turnovers rule. Got lots of time and lots of butter? Make your own puff pastry. I did! I made it while unemployed a few weeks ago and froze half. It keeps for 2 weeks in the freezer. Or just buy it at the super market. It will still be good. And easier!

PS The new Geico Maxwell radio ad makes me infinitely happy (will there be.. snacks?!). Anyone else? Oh and check out these freakin meese! Cuuuute.

Parmesean Crusted Apple Turnovers
8 turnovers
Adapted from Joy of Cooking

1 lb puff pastry
1 lb apples (usually 2 large, 3 small)
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp AP flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated

Roll the pastry dough into two 11-inch squares, about 1/8 inch thick. Place each square on a baking sheet covered in parchment (or a Silpat) and place in the refrigerator to chill while the filling is prepared.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel, core and cut the apples to a 1/4 inch dice (do this while the pastry dough chills, not ahead of time). Toss together in a medium bowl the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt. Set aside.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and trim 1/2 inch from all sides of each square. This will leave you with two 10-inch squares and even edges. Cut each square into four equal 5-inch squares. Turn each piece over.

Spoon some of the apple mixture, dividing it equally, into the center of each square. (I typically have some apples left because they won't all fit. I just eat these. NBD) Brush two adjacent sides of each square with some egg wash (you know, to seal the turnovers) and fold so that the sides with no egg wash meet the egg-washed sides. Use a fork to seal by making impressions around the edges.

Brush the top of each turnover with egg wash and cut 3 slits in the top of each. Arrange on baking sheets at least 1 inch apart and top each with 1/8 of the cheese.

Bake the turnovers 15 minutes at 425 degrees, until they begin to brown. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes.

Try to serve warm or at least in the same day. Fresh pastry is always best. If you can't eat them all in one day, you can breathe some life back into them with a toaster oven (think toaster strudel).

Oh.. and you don't work in a bakery. So don't worry
some are rectangles, octagons or shaped like ghosts.

Sunday, October 14

Carrot & Apple Olive Oil Cake

I recently went apple picking at this beautiful farm in VA. It actually looks like that little water color in the top left corner. I'm not kidding. It was so refreshing to get out into the country for a day and be a total apple nerd. I can't encourage this activity enough.

I used some of said apples to make this amazingly moist cake. Aaaaaand then I spent 20 minutes evening up the edges of section of the cake from where the last slice was taken. Oh it looks a little crooked here. Ok that's straight.. oh wait it's a little bit off here. You know.. important stuff. Obviously eating the remnants.

It's good. It's real good.

The cake is baked in a 13x9 pan. I actually ended up cutting mine in half, frosting with a simple cream cheese frosting (highly recommend, although something with coconut would be nice too!), and making a square layer cake. I added some leaf sprinkles for fall flair and awesome points. 

Ok CLEARLY I'm no professional, but this is pretty adorbs.. amiright?

Soundtrack: These things...

Carrot & Apple Olive Oil Cake

  • 1 1/4 sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 2 c ap flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 c peeled, cored and shredded apple
  • 2 c shredded carrot

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 X 13 inch pan by greasing and dusting with flour. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, blend together the sugar and the eggs. Add the oil and mix until combined. Using a spatula, stir in flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Don't worry - the batter should be pretty thick at this point. Stir in the carrots and the apples (watch how this step makes the dough-like mixture from the previous step become more like a cake batter and be totally amazed!). Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.

  • Bake 40 minutes.

PS Watch yo fingas!

Monday, October 1

Potato & Pear Soup

I own too many jackets. Coats. Outerwear. Whathaveyou. I need to lose a few.  I have donated so much clothing in the past month. Downsizing apartments and, therefore, closets will do that to a girl. But I can't cut back on jackets.

Is that weird? I mean I guess most people (ehemm.. ladies) own too many purses or shoes or something else at least multiseasonal. I own like maybe 6 winter coats.

I've noticed it's a problem recently, because they barely fit into the space I've been designated to stuff them. 

I've also noticed it's a problem, because as it gets chillier and I'm a working woman again, I don't really own a decent coat to wear to a real adult job in the fall. I don't really own too many clothes to wear to said real adult job either, but I'm working on that.

So like.. do I really need to buy another coat? Or can I tough it out until winter? Hmm.. First world problems.

Considering the weather is supposed to be 80 all next week and I don't get paid for a month, I'm going to go with the latter. The temptation is there though. Ugh. Not good things.

Potatoes. Pears. Soup. All good things.

This is a pretty simple soup in both taste and instruction. It's a good weeknight homemade meal. I've been really trying to focus on quick and easy lately. I'm trying to be seasonal and healthy as well. Try it with me! Gooo us!

Soundtrack: You won't make it through the whole thing, but that leaves plenty of time to dance later!

Potato and Pear Soup
Serves 3-4

1 tbsp EVOO
1 small onion, diced
1 c diced fennel
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 carton (32 oz) chicken or vegetable stock
1 small sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1" cubes
6-7 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper
2 medium Anju pears, quartered
jalapeno oil  to finish (optional)

In a medium stock pot, heat 1 tbsp of EVOO over med-low heat. Add onion, fennel and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes, until onion begins to soften and is aromatic.

Add stock, both potatoes and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to med-high and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer. Cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are almost soft enough to mush with a fork. Add pears and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until desired texture. (Alternatively, you could cool the soup, transfer to a blender or food processor and puree. Don't add boiling hot liquid to a food processor blender though, it could explode!)

Ladle into bowls and finish with jalapeno oil.