Easiest Apple Tart Ever

I know, I know. It has been months since I have posted on my blog and for that I apologize. I got caught up in other stuff and had no will to do any DIY’s or cook. But thankfully I am ready to give my blog life and get this thing rolling once again.

I decided to make this really easy apple tart that came out surprisingly great.

 

Ingredients:

  • The average frozen puff pastry that you can buy at any grocery store.
  • 5 granny smith apples

apple

  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • Less than 1/3 a cup of sugar

And that’s it! (Well you can add some love in it, of course)

First you have to let your puff pastry thaw out, give it about 20-30 minutes and it should be done. You will definitely be able to tell when it’s done, you just lightly touch it with your finger and if there is an indentation, guess what, it’s done.

While your puff pastry is thawing out, this is the perfect time for you to cut your apples up. I took the skin off of the apples first then sliced them up in a mandoline, but you can slice them by hand, it just might take a little longer. Once they were all sliced I put them in the bowl and added my cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. I mixed them all up and let them hang out.

In the meantime, why not preheat your oven? It should be preheated at 350 degrees.

Once  your puff pastry is all thawed out, roll it out a little bit so it’s stretched out. Make sure not to really “work” the pastry, we don’t want it to get messed up. Place the pastry on your pan which should be lined with parchment paper. Then working from the outside to the inside place your apples around the puff pastry so they’re overlapping.

Now once your apples are in place you can sprinkle your sugar all over them. Chop up your butter and place it throughout your pastry.

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The pastry took about 30-40 minutes to cook but this will vary so just keep an eye on it. You will definitely smell it once it’s ready.

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It was light, not too sweet and honestly one of the best desserts I’ve made. I placed a spoonful of french vanilla ice cream on mine and it was perfect. ❤

 

I hope you guys try it out! I wanted to make it a little bit different and unique but I figured I should probably try to make it the normal way first.

Let me know if you try it out, I’d love the feedback ❤

Have a great Saturday!

Love,

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Manuel’s Bread Cafe

If you are ever on the border of Georgia and South Carolina, you MUST go to Manuel’s Bread Café and pay them a visit.

My friend and I did a 5k and decided we needed to eat something. So I pulled up my Yelp app and searched restaurants with breakfast. The majority of things that popped up were fast food chains, chick-fil-a, McDonalds and things of that nature, that was a BIG NO.

I came across this place and I was a little hesitant, it had 3.5 reviews and I just wasn’t sure if I’d like it. But my friend was like “Yeah, let’s go”.

THANK GOD.

This place is a gem, straight from heaven. We got there at 9:15 and they were ready for us. Our waitress was great, she was informative and friendly. She told us all about their weekend buffet and everything we can order. The place was cute, they had both outdoor seating and indoor. We chose to sit outside, we ordered our drinks and got up to get our food.

They had shrimp and grits, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, Greek yogurt with granola, fruits, pastries and rolls. AMAZING!

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I give this place 5 stars! Great food and great service!

Have a great Sunday!

Love,

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Lemon raspberry cupcakes 

Some days I just really want to make something, just anything and yesterday I decided I wanted to make some cupcakes. Let me start by saying I am NOT a baker. If anything I’m a non-baker, really because I suck at it. It’s kind of embarrassing but I don’t know the difference between baking soda, baking powder and cornstarch. (I’m still working on learning!) But I do know how to read and just follow instructions. So I made these cute little cupcakes. They’re lemon cupcakes with raspberry jam filling and lemon “meringue” frosting.

First let me tell you what you’ll need.

Ingredients for the cupcake: MAKES 24 CUPCAKES

  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of room temp. unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, I didn’t measure this, just eye-balled it.
  • Raspberry jam

I KNOW IT’S A LOT BUT THEYRE WORTH IT.

Ingredients for the lemon “meringue frosting”

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt

Like with most recipes I mixed the dry ingredients for the cupcakes together, flour, sugar, baking powder, cornstarch, salt. Then all the wet ingredients. EXCEPT FOR THE RASPBERRY JAM, THAT’S AFTER THE CUPCAKES ARE COOKED!! The butter is supposed to be room temperature but I did put it into the microwave for just a little to get it softened. Then fold all the ingredients together.

You have to be careful of over mixing. You don’t need to get all of the bumps out of the mixture, just make sure you can’t obviously see chunks of butter or anything like that.

That’s the easy part.

I had these cute little left over pink ramekins so I just put about a spoonful of the mixture into each.

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I had my oven at 350 degrees and the cupcakes were in there for about 20 minutes or so, until they are lightly brown.

While the cupcakes were baking we started the frosting.

I have never made anything meringue, I don’t think I even ate a lemon meringue pie before. But I wanted to try something new.

For this part get a medium saucepan filled with water onto your stove top on medium-high heat. Get all your frosting ingredients into a bowl. Make sure you have an electric hand mixer ready, if not get a whisk and make sure your arm is ready for some intense whipping.

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This part takes a while and is tiring.

So while your beating the ingredients (on high)  your bowl should definitely be over the simmering water to help cook the egg whites and make your frosting fluff up. You’ll know when its done when it is able to peak just like your traditional lemon meringue pie does. (Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the peaks!) Probably about 5-10 minutes for this to happen.

When the cupcakes were done, I let them cool off before I decided to fill them with the raspberry jam.

I used just your ordinary apple corer (apple core remover) to take out some of the cupcake, then just put some jam into the hole and with the same cupcake that we took out place it on top so  the frosting and the jam doesn’t mix together.

This is very easy to do. You can do it with any cupcake and use any kind of filling you like.

Once the whole raspberry filling was done, just top it off with some frosting.

I did decided to top the cupcakes with just another thing.

In a bowl I took some more lemon zest, just about a couple drops of lemon juice and some sugar to make sugared lemon zest. It tastes just like a lemon head but a lot better.

After I frosted the cupcakes I just put a little bit of the sugared lemon zest on top. You don’t have to do this, I just did it to give the cupcakes a little bit more lemon flavor.

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They were really good and I was proud of myself. I was quite surprised that I didn’t burn them, didn’t mix them right and EXTREMELY surprised that the lemon meringue frosting came out edible.

I hope you guys try this, cupcakes are great for every occasion and every day.

Let me know what you guys think! I’d love to hear some feedback.

Have a great Monday and a beautiful week,

Love,

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups!

Yes Valentines Day is tomorrow and yes you should give something homemade! (They’re the best gifts) I’m a sucker for things homemade, it shows that person really gave it thought and time. Even if you aren’t looking to make something for someone else you can make this for yourself! (That’s what I did!)

It’s simple, easy and delicious.

  • Double broil semi-chocolate chips, I did about 2 cups. You have to continuously stir the chocolate so it doesn’t burn.
  • Line your cupcake pan with liners and put a dollop (spoonful) of chocolate into eat one.
  • Then a dollop of peanut butter on top of that.
  • Then more chocolate! I did it so that I couldn’t see any peanut butter and topped it with just a pinch of salt.
  • Put it into the freezer for about just about an hour.
  • And YOU HAVE THE BEST PEANUT BUTTER CUPS EVER

The coolest thing about this is that you can do anything with it.You can use peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, dark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate there are just so many options!

 

I really hope you guys try this at home, it’s so much better than store bought.

Have a great Saturday,

Love 1236232158172503250116

Blueberry Crumble

So one of my good friends (Kat) A Sample of Alex texted yesterday asking if I’ve ever made a blueberry crumble and I haven’t (Or at least I can’t remember ever making one). She told me I should make one or some blueberry pancakes. I was confused, it was out of the blue (haha) that she’s telling me to make some blueberry thing and she told me I needed to update my blog, and well she was right. So thank you Kat!

Anyway, I made this pretty cool crumble that I actually really like.

Just so you guys know, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, rarely do I crave sweets. I’m more of a savory girl. So this dish is not super sweet, of course you guys can fix the recipe to your liking but I’ll tell you guys how my crumble went.

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
    • You can use any kind of nuts, I only had walnuts. But almonds would probably be incredible in this.
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  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 of maple syrup + honey
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 pint of blueberries
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  • juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
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This is probably is one of the easiest, if not the easiest dish I’ve ever made.

Step 1: Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Coat your pan with coconut oil.

Step 3: Put your blueberries and lemon juice into pan.

Step 4: Mix all your other ingredients in a bowl and place on top of the blueberries.

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Step 5: Place in oven.

And after about 25-30 minutes it’ll be done!

I scooped myself a spoonful and drizzled some extra maple syrup over it.

It was nice, light and refreshing.

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If you guys try this out let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear all about it!

I hope you guys have a great Tuesday!

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Cranberry and Walnut Bread

The one thing in life that I will probably never be able to give up is bread. I love all types of bread and I’m quite positive there are others out there that feel the same way. I have been slacking on my cooking and updating my word press, which is quite unfortunate but don’t fear you guys. I’m going to make a huge effort in getting a schedule and making fun things that people would enjoy reading about and creating for themselves.

This bread took only about an hour and a half to make (ANYONE CAN SPARE THAT AMOUNT OF TIME IN MAKING THEIR OWN FOOD)

Ingredients:

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  • 3 cups of flour (I used unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 1 envelope of instant fast acting yeast
  • 2 teaspoon of salt (I only added 1 teaspoon of salt and my bread definitely needed more)
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar (Just like the salt, I only added 1 tablespoon of sugar and definitely needed more)
  • 1 egg + 2 teaspoons of water, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup of water + 1 tablespoon of butter, warmed to 120-130 degrees
  • AS MANY AS YOU LIKE dried cranberries and chopped walnuts

So in my mixing bowl I gather all of my dry ingredients, 2 cups of flour, yeast (undissolved), salt and sugar. Then I added my warm water and butter into my dry ingredients, mixing slowly. And add in your beaten egg and water mixture.

**** Make sure to check the temperature of your water and butter mixture! If it’s too cold your yeast will not activate and if it’s too hot you will end up killing the yeast. So be careful.

I let my bread rest for about an hour, probably about 45 minutes and you’ll see it rise! (my favorite part of making bread)

While my bread was resting, I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees and coated my pan with coconut oil.

Once your bread is done resting and the oven is at the right temperature, pop that sucker into the oven and wait 35 minutes or until golden brown.

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If you guys make any other breads that you’d like to share PLEASE SHARE! I’d love to hear all about them and try it out.  Happy Sunday!

-Love Nicole ❤

Holiday Meals

I kind of took a vacation from WordPress and I really do regret it. My family and I made such good food for Thanksgiving I don’t care that it was last month, I’m still going to share it with you guys.

My family and I moved to Georgia from Florida back in August, so going with the theme of “change” we decided to do a Thanksgiving brunch instead of a dinner. I never really cared for Thanksgiving, which is surprising because I love food so much. But I think it’s because for this holiday season my family doesn’t get together, like those families you see on TV where there are cousins on top of cousins at the grandmothers house. So I rather just watch the Macy’s day parade and get ready for Christmas. But with the bright idea of Thanksgiving brunch, this holiday got a little exciting.

I was so excited that we started prepping two days before Thanksgiving, the 24th. I had to work all day the 25th so I decided to make due with the time that was given to me. We decided that our brunch would start at noon so everything had to get ready very early. I woke up at 3 am and started getting the food ready.

Our menu:

***SORRY FOR THE HORRIBLE PICTURE QUALITY****

Balsamic cranberry brussel sprouts (Brussel sprouts are really good if you make them right)IMG_8647

Ingredients:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Barley
  • Gorgonzola cheese
  • Pecans
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Eggnog french toast

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Ingredients:

  • Eggnog
  • Bread
  • Eggs

Twice baked sweet potatoes

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Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cinnamon
  • Pecans
  • Vanilla
  • Marshmallows
  • Brown Sugar
  • Butter

Spinach mushroom fritatta

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Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Parmesan

Greek yogurt and berry parfait shooters

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Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Frozen berries
  • Granola

 

After we ate, we cleaned up and watched tv all day.

Even for Christmas we didn’t stick to the traditional menu. The holidays are all about enjoying those around you and having fun.

I truly hope you guys had a beautiful holiday season ❤

If you want recipes for any of these dishes just let me know! I will be more than happy to share them with you guys! And if you had any different dished you had, share them!

Have a great Monday!

-Love Nicole ❤