Happy Sunday! Ohh San Francisco why must you make me so lazy today by being foggy outside?! I can usually see the downtown skyscrapers from the living room window, but not today. Its so gloomy outside! I wanted to get up early and go on a run… Instead of running outside this morning I think I will go to the gym. Last night Fabi and I met some friends in the Marina District and saw the new Bourne movie. Has anyone seen it? I haven’t seen the others, so it was hard to compare. I was home alone in the afternoon yesterday before we left, so I thought about making something fun – double dipped apples first coated in peanut butter and then dipped in melted chocolate and sprinkled with chopped nuts. O.M.G. they were incredible. They finished much more quickly than I thought they would-the whole process only took around 1 hour, and it was so worth it. I love peanut butter apples for a snack in the afternoon, but chocolate peanut butter apples is 10000x better =) Tips: To slice the apples, I used one of those easy apple slicers-you can find a cheap on on Amazon or Walmart. To melt the chocolate, I used a little dipper crockpot – I love these little guys they make the chocolate PERFECT for dipping! Again, Amazon probably has them pretty cheap. Use toothpicks – it might get a little messy! Grease your fingers with butter to help spread the peanut butter evenly over the apples. **I find it much easier to work with NATURAL creamy peanut butter because it have oils already where the mainstream brands do not have as much oil since they use hydrogenated oils!! And its healthier too…
Line a tray with wax paper (make sure it fits in your freezer!).
Grab the apple slivers in the bottom center, and dip apple slivers in peanut butter upside down so the peel is facing the ceiling, using greased fingers to help spread the peanut butter over the apple.
Place the slivers peel side down on the wax paper (I don’t coat the peel side with peanut butter for easier handling).
Freeze for 15 minutes.
Melt 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a little dipper crockpot or double boiler.
Stir chocolate well with a spoon, then dip peanut butter-coated apples the same way as before (peel facing up the ceiling, with fingers pinching the apple in the center of the peel side), twisting to cover in chocolate.
Shake off excess chocolate, and place back peel side down onto the wax paper.
Sprinkle immediately with chopped peanuts.
Let stand 15 minutes to harder, or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Today has just been one of those days where life is sort of…put on hold. You know what I mean? I have 2 huge baskets of laundry to do, more wedding gift boxes to unpack and squeeze somewhere in that teeny tiny kitchen, a huge stack of bills, etc. to file on my desk… but all I felt like doing today was baking. And so I did. All day. The result: these mini strawberry kiwi tarts. Fabi and I devoured them. I love these mini fruit tarts because you can fill them with either vanilla yogurt or French crème pâtissière (click for my recipe), and top them with your favorite fresh fruit! I felt a little guilty for practically not doing anything productive today, but then I remembered I have a little over one more month of freedom [until pharmacy school starts again] AND that this is my last free summer, probably ever.For the rest of my life. I think I will just enjoy avoiding real life for a little bit longer. Am I happy I quit my job and have absolutely nothing to do all day, everyday until September 27? Hell yes =)
You can probably use storebought pie crusts, but I make my own. Here is my homemade flaky pie crust recipe. If you use my homemade crust recipe, bake the mini pie crusts for about 15 minutes until they start to brown. And don’t forget to poke holes in the bottom with a fork! You can use ramekins, possibly even large muffin pans, but I found these adorable baby pie dishes … I think at Crate & Barrel … a few years ago, and this is my favorite recipe to use them with. You could probably find some cheaper ones on Amazon or Ebay.
Rice doesn’t have to be boring! I love experimenting with new rice recipes. I have to admit that sometimes the already boxed flavored rice packages are faster and easier, but nothing beats a homemade rice recipe. This rice recipe incorporates carrots, celery, garlic and sliced almonds. Just fry with a little olive oil and then bake in the oven and you have a perfect side dish for your dinner!
Since I promised pics from our honeymoon, here is one of my favorite beaches in Maui where we took windsurfing lessons!
What a gorgeous day in San Francisco today! Actually, it has been perfect weather all week so far. I took my new bike out for a ride the other night across the golden gate bridge at sunset and it was beautiful:
The other day at Ross I walked by this adorable mini-donut pan – only $6! I had to buy it. I have been waiting to use it ever since, and today I finally perfected my first recipe – baked mini glazed donuts. YUM. I can’t wait to start experimenting with more recipes, but I thought I would start out with this basic glazed donut recipe. I found one that looked pretty good on King Arthur Flour’s website, but I tweaked it a little because I found there was too much cinnamon in their recipe. I kind of made the glaze recipe up myself, adding more water/more sugar until it came out perfect. I hope you like the recipe! It works for full sized donut pans as well. XoXo
Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and yogurt well with a fork.
Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a teaspoon until combined.
Grease the donut pan and fill each form half full.
Bake for 10 minutes. Check if they are done by touching lightly – they will spring back.
In the meantime, melt butter in a small saucepan and add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Stir until blended, then add 1 tbsp water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. The glaze will harden if you allow it to cool, so keep stirring occasionally over low heat.
Add more water over heat just before glazing if needed.
Remove from the pan, and cool on a wire rack.
Place a sheet of wax paper under the rack to avoid a mess.
Last night we got back home to San Francisco, along with a carload of wedding presents! We started out with around 30 boxes to carry up 5 flights of stairs, and when there was only 3 left in the car we gave up. Pathetic, I know. The laziness has continued and I haven’t unpacked a single thing (except my suitcase). Maybe tomorrow I will be more motivated. My living room looks like a hurricane came through, and I have no idea where to start fitting everything in this tiny apartment-especially the kitchen… Of course I wasn’t too lazy to make these chocolate chocolate chip & walnut muffins! The yogurt makes them so moist and delicious-yum! The only thing I hate about muffins is every time I see the nutrition info I always feel so guilty. The amount of sugar in them is insane, so for this recipe I used NECTRESSE™Sweetener, the only 100% natural sweetener made from fruit (monk fruit extract) available in the grocery stores. I usually don’t use artificial sweeteners in my recipes, but I have heard great things about this one so I thought I would try it. It gives the muffins a sweet taste without all of the guilt. My hubby couldn’t even tell the difference. If you aren’t able to use sugar or want to cut down some of the sugar in your recipes, try this sweetener instead. You can sign up for your own FREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener to try it out! Check out the video I posted at the end with Lisa Ling to find out more.
p.s. Another tip is to use mini chocolate chips to avoid all of the chocolate chips sinking to the bottom during baking in the oven!