Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bolton Common Apple Picking Article

The Mixing Bowl by Renee Zarate

Apple picking time is here!  We have some friends that have an apple picking party every fall.  To begin the party we all meet at the orchard and pick the apples.  When we’re finished picking we go to our friend’s home and enjoy a fantastic bon fire, roast hot dogs and then go in the house when it gets chilly for coffee and some sort of baked apple treat.  If you like apple strudel you will probably enjoy this dessert.  Part of it can be prepared the day before and then you can finish it up in just a few minutes after dinner.  It is light and crunchy with just a little sweetness.  You have several options when serving this.  You can leave it plain, sprinkle powdered sugar over it, add a topping of whipped cream or a little ice cream on the side. 
 Apple Harvest Cups
(Makes 24 mini-tarts)

One box of Athens phyllo/fillo dough or pastry sheets (you will only need to defrost ½ of the box).  Follow the directions on the box to thaw the phyllo.
One stick of unsalted butter, melted

½ cup of cornflakes, crushed finely and mixed with
½ teaspoon of cinnamon

4 apples, chopped coarsely
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
The zest of one lemon, finely grated
A pinch of salt
¼ cup of brown sugar

powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two muffin pans with cooking spray or butter.
On a piece of waxed paper or parchment, lay down one sheet of the phyllo, lightly paint with melted butter.  Sprinkle one teaspoon of the ground cornflakes mixed with cinnamon over the sheet of phyllo.  Repeat until you have 5 layers of the phyllo stacked.   Do not paint the last layer with butter yet.  Cut six four inch circles from the phyllo stack (don’t worry if they are not perfectly round).  Place the cut circle into the muffin cup, pressing firmly against the bottom and sides.  Paint butter on the top of each and tuck the edges in to make it fit into the cup.  Repeat the process 3 times to make 24 phyllo cups.  Bake in a preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  Cool on a baking rack.  Remove from the muffin pans.  Set aside.  This part of the dessert can be done one day before serving.  Cover the phyllo cups with foil and leave at room temperature until ready to fill.

Peel, core and chop 2 lbs of tart apples.  Put in a saucepan with nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest, salt and brown sugar.  Cook until the apples are soft.  Put warm filling into the phyllo cups, sift powdered sugar over strudels or serve with whipped cream or ice cream on the side.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Taking Zentangle to California!

I just got home from California.  The trip served three purposes (1)  My in-laws, Joe and Cecelia Zarate celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. WOW, what a party. (2)  I took time to visit my relatives, Mom, Holly, Karen, Dave, Justin, Amber, Patrick, Kaitlyn and the new baby JOSHUA!  My Aunt Ella just happened to pop in while we were there to make it pretty complete. (3) I taught my first Zentangle class in a scrapbook store environment at The Stampin' Post in Temecula.
So while I was there I took the time to introduce my sister-in-law Deborah and her 12 year old daughter to Zentangle for Kidz.  Big success!  Sophia started creating immediately and seem to love it.  Hopefully, someone will send me pictures of their work to post on my blog.  My niece's daughter, Kaitlyn, is only 5 but learned quickly using the same book by Sandy Steen Bartholomew.  I love teaching this to kids.  They seem to grasp the meaning and method immediately and create beautiful art.  Kaitlyn's friend came to play and of course the first thing Kaitlyn did was teach Zentangle to her friend.  Amazing!
I purchased 10 of these books and I have almost sold out.
While I was staying with my Mom we had our friends Terry and Bill Richie over for dinner.  I made them Chicken Fettuccine with homemade Alfredo sauce, Caponata, Caprese Salad with fresh mozzarella & homegrown tomatoes, garlic toast.  For dessert Apple Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, topped with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  I tried to keep the menu light since the weather was at least 100 degrees!
I made plenty.  I figured that would leave Mom and Holly a little something to eat after I left.  Just a little reminder that someone loves them both very much.
I got home to Bolton Tuesday night at 10pm.  Flying all day.  I would be about this tired if I had taken the RED EYE!  I'll keep that in mind next time.  Sure feels good to be home.