National Popcorn Day 2015

National Popcorn Day 2015The Washington Post say, “The powers that pop have decreed that Monday is National Popcorn Day. Though the origins of the “holiday” are unclear…”

Popcorn also called by popping corn, is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up or pops when heated. The kernel can pop because it has a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior. As it is heated, pressure builds up within the kernel, and a small explosion is the result. Some varieties of corn are now cultivated specifically as popping corns, and we say Ya!! The more popcorn, the more we can eat on this day National Popcorn Day.

During the Great Depression, popcorn was really cheap at about 5 cents a bag. While other businesses failed during the Depression, the popcorn business thrived and became a source of income for many struggling farmers. During World War II, candy production went down because of sugar rations, and Americans compensated by eating three times as much popcorn as they had before.

national-popcorn-day-2015-popcorn-served-at-the-movies-since-1912Popcorn is a popular snack food at sporting events and in cinemas, where it has been served since 1912 (USA).

Depending on how popcorn is prepared or cooked, it can be considered a health food. Make sure though, if possible to use non GMO popcorn. You can find some non GMO popcorn here on-line at Tropical Traditions.

Bob’s Red Mill (a national famous organic food brand) also offers packaged organic non GMO popcorn.

Our favorite popcorn is Caramel Popcorn. We found this recipe that goes a bit further and adds apples. We found this recipe at Cookies and Cups .

Caramel Apple Popcorn

Makes about 14 cups caramel corn

Caramel Apple Popcorn

Photo Credit: Cookies and Cups

1 cup unpopped corn kernels

2 (2.5 oz) bags of apple chips

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

½ cup butter

1 tsp salt

1 (14 oz ) can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 250°

In an air popper, pop your kernels into a large bowl. Pick out any unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Heat until melted and begins to boil. Once boiling, pour in your can of sweetened condensed milk and stir continuously for 5 minutes, to prevent burning.

Remove from heat and pour directly over popcorn and apples, stirring until coated evenly.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to cook evenly.

Remove from oven, break into pieces and allow to cool.

Notes from Cookies and Cups:

Store in an airtight container for about a week.

You don’t have to bake this caramel corn if you prefer it softer and chewier. But if you don’t bake it, it will remain fairly sticky.

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Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie

Apple Cranberry Crumb PieThere are several different ways to make a pie crust. Everyone seems to have their favorite recipe. The most classic pie crust is made with butter. Making a pie crust with butter makes it more flaky.

Making a pie with butter takes some practice, because if you handle it too much it will end up being tough, the reason being your warm touch is melting the butter.

To get the perfect pie crust requires that all the ingredients are chilled, and doing so will give you a flaky, manageable dough. You can also make pie crust using a food processor. Let’s see how that works.

pie crust 1

Add your flour and butter and pulsate, but stop pulsing when you see the pieces of butter are pea size and still cold.

pie crust 2<—————

Now add some ice cold water slowly while pulsing, but just until you see clumps starting to form. When the clumps start to form this is a sign that the flour to water ratio is right. ———–>

pie crust 3After chilling your dough, lightly flour the surface you will be rolling your dough on. As the dough will absorb some of the flour, so putting to much can cause the dough to be tough.

pie crust 4<———–

To get that flaky crust, the butter has to be in solid form and not melted. This requires rolling out the dough promptly, getting it into the pie pan, and into the oven. Always remember, chunks of cold butter, renders flaky crust. ———>

Do you think you can do it? Sure you can. Here is the basic recipe we use here at Splendid Recipes:

Easy Pie Crust with Butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cold Butter

5 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt in processor. Next cut butter into chunks and add to processor. Pulsate until flour and butter are combined, and the chunks of butter are pea sized. Next while pulsating add a tablespoon at a time and stop adding water when you see clumps starting to form. Remove dough from processor, cut into two even parts, form into a ball and wrap each dough ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

After removing dough from refrigerator, follow illustrations 3 and 4 above. To blind bake your pie crust, link here: Blind Baking.

As we mentioned at the on set of the article, there are variations to making a pie crust. Here is another pie crust recipe:

Easy Pie Crust with Buttermilk

With this pie crust the oil replaces the butter, and the cold ice water is replaced by buttermilk ( 5 tablespoons equal 1/3 cup).

2 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil (we use avocado oil or lite olive oil)

Sift flour and salt. Add buttermilk, oil and stir only until dry ingredients are blended in. Divide dough in half, and form into a ball and wrap each dough ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

After removing dough from refrigerator, follow illustrations 3 and 4 above. To blind bake your pie crust, link here: Blind Baking.

After you have prepared your crust, blind baked it, here is an idea for some great pie ingredients to fill your crust with.

Apple Cranberry Crumb PieApple Cranberry Crumb Pie

1 prepared blind-baked pie crust

Filling

2 pounds of sweet-tart apples, peeled and cored – An excellent choice is Gravenstein, Braeburn, Fuji and Pink Lady. They are all crisp and sturdy apples for baking

1 3/4 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries, chopped

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Coarse salt

Topping

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a small mixing bowl make sugar mixture whisking together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Place apples in a large bowl and toss with the sugar mixture, coating apples thoroughly. Add cranberries, mixing in well. Spoon apple mixture in the pie crust, distributing evenly over the whole surface of the crust.

For the topping combine all ingredients, except butter, in a small bowl, and mix well. Next add butter, using two knives, cut in butter until mixture forms small pea sized pieces. Sprinkle over filling, covering completely.

Place prepared pie plate onto a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and continue baking 40 minutes, or until apples are tender. Insert a knife into the pie to check the firmness of the apples. If the apples are still firm, continue baking until they soften just a little. If topping is getting too brown and apples are not done yet, cover pie with aluminum foil to allow apples to bake a bit longer.

Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool 1 hour before serving.

Apple pies are best served at room temperature or warmed in a  350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie will keep at room temperature overnight, and can be stored in the refrigerator up to four days.

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Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

When your hungry but to tired to make a big deal about preparing something to eat can be discouraging. But isn’t it great when you just go looking through the refrigerator to see what you have, and you come up with a simple idea. That’s what happened here with our Sweet Pork and apple Wrap.

homemade tortillas

 

The day before we thawed out some pork loin pieces. But by dinner time I was just too tired. So we just boiled the pork in water with some garlic and cooled it down and put it away in the refrigerator. That same day some home made tortillas were made.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what I came up with, our featured recipe: -Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap- and here is what you will need:

ingredients for Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

The amount of ingredients for the wrap depends on the number of wraps you want to make. The recipe we are preparing makes about 5 to 6 wraps.

1 cup cooked pork loin pieces, thin sliced, about 1 -inch

1/4 lb. snap peas

1 red apple, cored, sliced 1/2 inch thick, do not peel

1/3 cup avocado oil

1 teaspoon Maya Coffee Rub (bought at Whole Foods Market)*

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

* If you don’t have a Whole Foods Market near by, here is a similar if not the same recipe you can use for the coffee rub spices…

⅓ cup fresh ground coffee (dark french or Italian roast)

¼ cup cocoa powder (dark Dutch cocoa)

⅓ cup dark brown sugar

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.

mixing oil and spices for Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

In a large mixing bowl, add and combine well, the oil, vinegar, and coffee rub. Next add the cooked meat, vegetable, and fruit, and mix with the wet coffee rub until meat and produce are well coated. Keep in mind we are not marinading the meat and produce, as the meat is already cooked. The coffee rub is going to give the meat mix a great flavor.

cooking Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Next add avocado oil to a large frying pan over med-high heat. In the Splendid Recipes kitchen, we always use ceramic coated pans (link here on some good reading about ceramic coated pans verses Teflon or non-stick pans).

When the oil is heated, add the meat mix and cook until the snap peas turn a brighter green, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Once meat mixture is warmed, remove from heat. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls of mixture on to an open tortilla in the center. Fold tortilla up into a wrap or burrito.

Plate and serve, 2 wraps per person.

We want to add, if you let the cooked meat mixture set awhile, the apples seem to have a sweet onion taste. That is how Splendid Recipes came up with Sweet Pork and Apple Wraps. If you like these wraps you might like our Oriental Chicken Wraps.

 

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Apple Tarte Tatin

Apple Tarte Tatin

History books say that the tarte Tatin was accidentally created in the kitchen of the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France around 1880. Stephine Tatin, the chef that night meant to make an apple pie. She prepared the apples leaving them to cook in butter and sugar for too long. She tried to rescue the dish, as she smelt the apples burning by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, and then finished the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests loved the dessert.

The start of the tart Tatin my have begun in France, but from the American point of view, a tarte tatin is the equivalent of a pineapple upside down cake, only with apples rather than pineapple. This French dessert combines three basic flavors: apple, caramel, and buttery pie pastry.

We did adopt our recipe from

allrecipes

 

which uses a spring-form pan. You can also use a seasoned 10-inch cast iron pan as well.

 

Here is what you will need for the featured dessert:

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
3 apples – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

You can use the apples of your choice. We used Granny Smith Apples. Read more here from an article posted on our -In the Kitchen 101- page entitled What Apple to Use?

Line the outside of a 9-inch spring-form pan with foil to catch drips.

Spread butter evenly into a 9 inch spring-form pan. Sprinkle with sugar. Arrange apple slices into an overlapping pattern over sugar layer. Cover apples with pastry, trimming sides if necessary. Place pan on a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly, then release sides of pan. Place a large plate over pastry, then invert so apple layer is on top. Remove bottom of pan and serve.

 

Article source of Tarte Tatin History:

Tarte Tatin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What Is Tarte Tatin? | eHow 

 

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Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. We all know that statement. But do we understand why it was coined or when it was coined?  History.com says it was first coined at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by Missouri fruit specialist J.T. Stinson. But there is also the earliest known written use of the phrase, in a magazine edition called  Notes and Queries, printed and distributed in Whales around 1866. As to this fraise it is written, “A Pembroke shire proverb. Eat an apple on going to bed, And you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

In 1866 or 1904 they may have not known the reason why apples where healthy for you, they just knew they where. But in the 21st century we do.

Apples have flavonoids quercetin, epicatechin, procyanidin (B-2), and additionally, they are also good in tartaric acid. Together, these compounds help the body protect itself from the debilitating effects of free radicals.

The apple is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Together these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body.

The fruit also contains a small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Potassium is important to cell and body fluids, as it  helps control heart rate and blood pressure, and in turn counter acts the negative influence of sodium.

Now for our featured dessert. Here is what you will need:

lineing with parchment paper a 8 inch sprin form pan

First preheat your oven to 350°F and line the bottom of a 8-inch round spring form pan with parchment paper. Then lightly grease the rounded sides with your choice of butter, avocado oil, or coconut oil. Coconut oil is neutral in flavor and will never add additional flavor to your cooked or baked goods. Be sure to cut off any excess parchment paper.

Topping for Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the topping:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 whole cloves
1 ¼ lbs. tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

First  peel, core and chop apples into 1/3-inch cubes. Mix together apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Make sure apples are well coated with the sugar mix. Heat butter in a large non-stick frying pan (even better if you have a ceramic coated pan) over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add whole cloves so they infuse the butter and then add the apple mixture.

butter infused with clove. Cooking coated apples in infused butter.

Toss apples about until they just begin to soften, but not mushy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer apples back to the bowl, discard cloves and set aside to cool completely while you prepare the rest of the cake.

Cheese cake batter for Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the cheesecake:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each freshly grated nutmeg and ground clove
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. flour

In a medium bowl and a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth and the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 40 seconds. Beat in the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove until combined. Add egg yolk and flour and beat just until incorporated and batter is smooth. Set this aside while you make the cake batter.

Here is what you will need:

For the cake:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup evaporated milk

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. In another medium bowl, beat butter with both sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla until combined. Add egg and beat until well incorporated and batter is fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until mostly combined. Beat in half of the evaporated milk until blended. Repeat this step by adding half the remaining flour mixture followed by the last of the milk, beating no more than 15 seconds between additions. After the last bit of milk has been added, beat on medium speed for 3-5 seconds to just make sure the batter is smooth. Fold in the last of the flour mixture by hand using a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Gently spoon cooled apples over the batter in an even layer.

prepared Apple Spice Cake to cook

Bake cake until the cake wobbles ever so slightly in the middle, 45-50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool completely. Plate and serve.

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the cake:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup evaporated milk

For the cheesecake:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each freshly grated nutmeg and ground clove
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. flour

For the topping:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 whole cloves
1 ¼ lbs. tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Lightly grease an 8-inch round spring form pan with butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

To make the topping, fold together apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Heat butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add whole cloves so they infuse the butter and then add the apple mixture. Toss until they just begin to soften, but not until they’re mushy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer apples back to the bowl, discard cloves and set aside to cool completely while you prepare the rest of the cake.

To make the cheesecake batter, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth and the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 40 seconds. Beat in the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove until combined. Add egg yolk and flour and beat just until incorporated and batter is smooth. Set this aside while you make the cake batter.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. In another medium bowl, beat butter with both sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla until combined. Add egg and beat until well incorporated and batter is fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until mostly combined. Beat in half of the evaporated milk until blended. Repeat this step by adding half the remaining flour mixture followed by the last of the milk, beating no more than 15 seconds between additions. After the last bit of milk has been added, beat on medium speed for 3-5 seconds to just make sure the batter is smooth. Fold in the last of the flour mixture by hand using a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Gently spoon cooled apples over the batter in an even layer. Put cake into oven and bake until the cake wobbles ever so slightly in the middle, 45-50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool completely.

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Apple-Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake

Apple Upside Down Cake

Like to know more about what apples are for fresh eating, for baking a cake or pie or for just making apple sauce? Link here to our Cooking 101 to find out more. Click the title What apple to Use.

Here is hat you will need for the current recipe Apple-Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake:

ingredients for Apple Upside Down Cake

10 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup packed light-brown sugar
3 apples, Fuji or Gala (about 1 1/2 pounds), each peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 wedges
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

If you like you can use coconut oil in place of the butter.

prepare pan and apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat bottom and side of a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tbsp. butter; sprinkle bottom with brown sugar.

In a medium bowl, toss apples with lemon juice.

arrange sliced apples in prepared pan in a concentric circle

Arrange the sliced apples in the prepared pan in a concentric circle.

mixing ingredients for the Apple Cinnamin Upside Down Cake

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat remaining 8 tbsp. butter, granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until incorporated.

adding flour and milk alternately in three parts

With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture in three parts and the milk in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

pour batter over apples in pan

Spoon batter over apples in prepared pan making sure top is smooth. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack, at least 30.

Apple Upside Down Cake

To serve, run a knife around edge of pan, and invert cake onto a large dessert platter.

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What Apple to Use

Apples

An apple a day to keep the doctor away, as they say.

But there also is an apple that has a specific use, such as

  1. Baking your favorite pie or pastry
  2. An apple for making sauces, such as apple sauce
  3. Even an apple for fresh eating

Best apples to Use

When the recipe calls for peeling the apple, don’t through the peels away.

To make apple sauce you will use either water or bottled apple juice to cook the sliced apples in. Why not boil the apple peels first then add the apple slices.

If making an apple cake you can process the peels down to pulp and add them to the cake batter. Not only will you have your delicious apple cake but some added fiber as well.

You can also just eat the peels. As most of the nutrients are in the apple peel and the flesh that lye just under the peel.

What peels you don’t use, just toss them out in your mulch bin so they can be added back to the earth and add nutrients to your garden.

Enjoy our recipe here at Splendid Recipes: Baked Apples Apple Pie

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