So while we are gearing up for Independence Day here in the United States, it’s Canada Day today (July 1st) I’m celebrating with this lovely Maple Apple Pie. It is more autumn-ish than summer-ish, but apples are around year round. Remember to use a firmer apple (pink lady, honey crisp, or if nothing else is available, a granny smith) and avoid ones that get mushy (mackintoshes are a big no no for baking). Also, I used maple extract in addition to the maple syrup, to amp up the flavor some. In full disclosure, the maple syrup didn’t come from Canada… it’s from Maine (New Englander that I am!)
I went strawberry picking yesterday; ended up with about 42 pounds of berries, so they’ll be a lot of strawberry recipes coming up. The thing with picking your own strawberries at the farm is that they are so fresh and unadulterated that you actually have to process them within a day or so. That means lots of jams, pie fillings and such. And this Charlotte cake. They are pretty to look at, but yes, a bit of a pain to cut as the second that you take off the ribbon, the lady fingers could fall off. Of well; still tastes great.
Rugelach always reminds me of Christmas. I don’t know why, actually, because they are really Jewish sweets and don’t have anything directly to do with Christmas. But nevertheless, they do.
And thus I have no explanation for why I am making them in June. I felt inspired, I guess. But I did use peach jam and pistachios, so it almost has a bit of a Middle Eastern flavor. A bit of everything, I guess.
And now for something actually good for you [grin]. Ok, so these granola bars so actually have chocolate chips in them (you can skip those if you like; add in more fruit) but on the whole they are pretty darn good for you. Wrap them in parchment paper or plastic wrap and they should stay good for a couple of weeks of lunches as the recipe makes 15 of them. Note that the recipe is versitile when it comes to the fruit and chocolate. On other words, if you like cranberries and dark chocolate chips, swap those in. Cherries and chocolate? Also good. Figs and cinnamon chips and add a bit of maple syrup? Great! Or go with the traditional raisins. Any which way, homemade granola bars are definitely the way to go!
Let’s talk about garlic bread. It’s a total summer time thing for me and I almost never make it in the winter, even if it does pair nicely with Italian dishes like the traditional “Spaghetti and Meatballs”. But now that it is summer, it’s time to work on perfecting these loaves of yumminess. This time, I decided to not take a loaf from the store and slather it with garlic and herb butter, but I made the bread too. And I made the “pull apart” / “crazy bread” style bread that I have become so fond of. Added a lot of parm and voila. Yumminess! Best part is that it virtually falls apart into slices when removed from the loaf pan, so no need for a knife.