Apple Turnovers

I remember eating so many of these as a kid.

Before I discovered the deliciousness that was the cheese danish, turnovers were what I loved to get at the bakery. It’s literally been years since I’ve had either a danish or a turnover and I thought that that was something that needed to be changed.

I made these on a whim and the result was astounding; I had no short of a dozen and a half apple turnovers all to myself. Talk about a dream come true! Not just any apple turnover, though, these were delicious and flaky and I could hardly contain myself from eating more than just one or five. I mean, it was obvious that I had to make up some lost time between myself and the turnover.

However, no one girl needs to eat an entire recipe worth of apple turnovers. Luckily for me, I have a few friends who are happy to be fed and I was able to share these treats with them. If there was ever any doubt about my belonging to my family, it would be totally washed out with my innate desire to feed other people; just like my Mother and her mother and pretty much every other woman in our family.

In fact, the women in our family make it their mission to feed every mouth and stomach that walks through the front door. If you do not leave stuffed, then we are not satisfied and have not done our job or at least that’s how most of my family views things. I guess the apple never falls far from the tree.

Apple Turnovers
(Adapted from Epicurious Recipe)

3 – 4 medium apples, peeled and diced
1/4 c. water
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the filling, peel and cut the apples. In a sauce pan, put water, sugars and apples over medium heat. Bring to a boil stirring throughout. Cover the pot and reduce the heat; let the apples cook until very tender, stirring occasionally, about ten minutes. Using a fork, gently mash the apples into a chunky applesauce like texture. You can let the apple filling cool completely or not, I have no patience and left it warm; I didn’t notice any difference.

Once the pastry dough is thaw, roll it out on a floured surface to a 15-inch square. Using a knife, cut the puff pastry into nine equal sized squares. Spoon about a tablespoon of filling into the center of each square and brush the edges with the beaten egg. Fold the square in half, either pinching the edges with your fingers or with a fork to seal the turnover closed. Once all pastries have been folded, lightly brush the tops with egg and make three small slits in the tops with a sharp knife. Place pastries on a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.

Bake turnovers for about 25 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Serve warm and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

I could really go for one of these for breakfast right about now. Mental note: do not write blog posts on a empty stomach.

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Apple Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

I dislike Mondays for several reasons.

Not only do Mondays mean it’s the end of the weekend, they just arrive way too fast for my liking. I shouldn’t really complain as someone who has a four day weekend every week, but I find that by the time I start to enjoy my weekend, it’s already Sunday night and I’m dreading the next day.

Why must you do this to me, Monday? I’m not ready to make myself presentable for the rest of the world; I’d rather bum around in pajamas and eat cereal out of the box all day without having to comb out my hair. I would like to have this kind of relationship, Monday, if not today, then maybe sometime in the near future.

Monday is the day that you chastise yourself for letting your diet slip over the weekend or not getting a head start on your work or organizing your apartment. For me, today is definitely that Monday that encompasses all three. I mean, I can’t be the only one that wishes she didn’t eat that last slice of pizza, right?

I sit here at my computer, procrastinating, while I have a pile of dishes up to my chin in the kitchen and a broken glass that I have yet to sweep up after knocking it over in my haste to get to work this morning. However, a few extra slices of pizza and a broken glass aside, I’m going to make this Monday better. It’s going to be a good Monday for both of us because this baked oatmeal is heavenly and healthy. It’s the perfect breakfast and at around 150 calories and full of fiber, it could be the perfect dessert as well (with a little bit of whipped cream on top, of course).

Apple Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
(click here for a printable version)
Makes 4 servings

1 c. oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. light (or sugar-free) maple syrup
1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (regular milk works too)
1 egg or 1/4 c. egg substitute
1 med. apple, chopped
1/2 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the chopped apples and blueberries in a greased medium baking dish; spread them evenly on the bottom. In a bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and syrup. Pour the oat mixture evenly on top of the fruit and then pour the milk mixture over the oats and fruits; try to pour it evenly throughout the oatmeal. Do not mix. Bake the oatmeal about 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top.

Eating healthier today totally negates yesterday’s pizza, I promise.

Warm Cinnamon Apple & Grilled Chicken Salad

I love this salad.

I came up with the idea about a year ago. The heat in my apartment was broken and being a college student, I pretty much had no food…except, you guessed it, apples, a head of lettuce, and a frozen bag of chicken strips from Trader Joe’s.

Obviously a salad was going to be on the menu that night. But, the problem was, it was so freaking cold. The thought of eating cold lettuce, covered in cold dressing made me almost forgo dinner that night. (Almost, Mom, I said almost…no need to worry, I’m eating plenty).

That was how I somehow came up with this idea of grilling the chicken and apples together to create a warmer salad. I know I’ve said this a lot, but it really is so easy. It became my go-to meal for the rest of the week. Until, of course, I ran out of ingredients and was back to contemplating between ramen noodles or eating a jar of peanut butter.

Warm Cinnamon Apple Grilled Chicken Salad
Serves 2 as main dish (up to 4 as side dish)

1 tart apple, chopped (I used granny smith)
1 small/med. chicken breast
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 c. mixed greens
(spinach, romaine, etc)
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)

In a pan over medium heat, cook the chicken until lightly browned on both sides (you could probably also cook the chicken in a george foreman grill or a grill pan). Remove the chicken about 2 minutes before it has finished cooking and slice into strips or pieces; return to pan. Then add the chopped apples and cinnamon to the pan.

Stir the chicken and apples while cooking for about 2-3 minutes, until the chicken browned and the apples have warmed and appear grilled. Remove from heat. You can either place chicken/apple mixture directly on top of the salad or leave it in a separate bowl for serving purposes. If desired, top salad with chopped walnuts for an extra crunch. Serve with warm honey mustard vinaigrette.

Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. honey
2 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. white vinegar

Whisk all ingredients together. Heat in microwave.

It’s a bit classier now without those frozen chicken strips.