Monday, August 29, 2011

To Heaven and Back - Clovermead Apiaries

Peaceful and fascinating place!
It's just a short drive away from our home - have no idea why it took us so long to visit! I was expecting a cute nice place, flowers and bees: found all these and even more! It felt like taking my eyes and brain to the spa, and giving my memories a nice long massage (oh, the apple trees!) . And on top of that, we came back home with a box full of yumminess. 

Here's what we got:

- organic cider vinegar (unpasteurized, un-filtered, aged in wood)
- pure raw honey
- pure bee pollen
- chocolate honey spread (it's got "chocolate, honey" listed for the ingredients, I suppose it's made with dark chocolate or even cocoa powder since the honey itself is so sweet)
- ginger honey spread (just bought the trial version, and it' so good, spicy good, I'm going back for some more as soon as I get the chance)

And then some more:

- bee propolis
- raw propolis
- pure beeswax

Now this is how heaven looks like:

By the apple trees:

Well deserved break!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins

In celebration of the lovely sings that awesome September's almost here. Almost... Dreaming of leaves rolling in the wind, amber light, air starting to be crisp and healthy, almost pretty colors welcoming October, cognac mums, pumpkins, September skies - all the beautiful things. Almost there...

12 happy pumpkin muffins waiting for September in my kitchen!

Preheat oven at 350 F. Line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl add the following, mixing well after each addition:

- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- cinnamon
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (pre mixed with 1/2 tbsp baking powder)
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin

Do not overmix! Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for ~ 25 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Choux Puffs

Or choux pastry, or cream puffs...

Anyways, they're cute. And tasty beyond cute. And can be filled with whatever the moment brings. Or craves. Strawberry and whipped cream, in this case.

Recipe makes about 15 puffs, and goes like this:
Preheat oven at 400 F.

In a heavy saucepan, place:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup water
and bring to a boil. Remove fro the heat and add:
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt

Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and return to heat. Continue stirring until the mixture forms a thick lump. 

Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer for one minute or two to release the heat. Once cooled, add:
- 2 whole eggs lightly beaten
and continue to mix until the mixture forms a think paste.

Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet in spoonfulls, spacing them a couple of inches apart.  Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for ~ 15 more minutes.

Remove from oven, make a small slit on the side of each shell to release the steam, and let cool completely on wire racks.

For assembling the cream puffs: slit each shell in half and fill the bottom part with the filling of choice. Place the top part of the shell on top of the filling.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Cravings on a rainy Sunday - ok, it's not sweet, but it's still baking. Best companion for a glass of cold buttermilk while watching the beautiful rain.

And easy to make.
And bakes so quick!

Recipe goes like this:

Preheat oven at 400F.

In a medium bowl, mix well:
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- salt (to taste)

Then add:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder.

Mix until well combined and transfer the mixture into a 8in square pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for ~ 20 until golden. Wait until cools completely before cutting. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Coconut Peach Pudding (Coconut Heaven - Part I)

 Tuesday inspiration (yes, it was on a Tuesday) brought me to coconut heaven - part I.

My lil' A. is vacationing under the Texan sun and this means green light for coconut for us at home! He hates coconut, I love coconut! In my efforts of being a good Mom I usually avoid coconut - except for the song where  you 'put the lime in the coconut, you drink 'em both together'.

The beginning of a beautiful journey - the coconut and I (have I mentioned 'coconut' enough times already?)

Preheat oven at 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together:
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4 tbsp agave syrup
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup shredded coconut *

Pour the mixture into a buttered porcelain quiche pan (or parchment paper lined loaf pan).

Bake for 15 min until set. Remove from oven and add the thin cut slices from ~2 peaches. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden.

(*would've preferred it better with just 3/4 cup shredded coconut) 
 Yup, it's that simple!

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