Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apple Pie

I should be talking about pumpkin actually as it is October. But I really want to blog about September. As usual I am always late with everything. I like to talk about apples. Although this October many millions of people did talked about Apple. But I am going to talk about a different apple. The kind that grow on trees.

On the 17th of September, it was the national apple picking day here in Netherlands. Since living here, we would make it a ritual to visit the apple farm.

We plucked different sort of apples this year. Elstar, Jonagold and Goudrenette.



This particular sort is called Goudrenette. Which is good for cooking and baking.

I never had to learn how to bake apple pie as I am surrounded by apple pie experts in Netherlands. My mother-in-law for example would bake apple pies whenever she is free and store them in the freezer and ready to serve whenever she has guests visiting her. This year as we plucked so many Goudrenette apples I decided to try for the very first time baking an apple pie. And of course, I have to use my mother-in-law aged old recipe. I find this particular apple pie  very unique as the apples are grated instead of sliced.

Whenever I look at this photo I have to laugh. As I was baking this apple pie and decorating the apples on the pie, I thought to myself " The apple slices formed a pair of very nice water lily flowers!". And then I thought maybe I go next door to my 70 year old neighbor's fish pond and steal one on the pretty lily flower and complement this pie in the photo.
 And then, what do you know? My neighbor rang the doorbell and handed me this particular Lily flower! She said, "I remembered you like this lily very much and as I am going away for vacation I want you to have this". Isn't she sweet? ( Thank goodness I don't always do what I am thinking!!) I like to share this apple pie with her but her doctor advice her to stay away from anything sweet.

Of course, one good thing about mother-in-law is, they are never short of tips and advice. It turns out that whenever I grate the apples I should not grate it with a back and forth movement or else the apples would be too watery. The reason Goudrenette  apples are suitable for apple pie is they are not too sweet and too soft and watery. AND when kneading the dough for the crust do not knead too long or else the result will be chewy instead of a shortbread-liked broken crust. Make sense, right? (I am not going to argue with her, especially when  I need to borrow her recipe)

              At the apple farm was some pears too.

For the first time this year, my very own apple apple tree bear some apples. And they are pretty!

And delicious too.

***note : I said "grated apples" and it should be "shredded apples", don't want your apples turn into baby food ( Thanks Serena)

Moving on to pumpkin project soon.
 Or maybe not.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Award Winning

Couple of months ago I began writing a blog thinking I would just use it as dumping ground for my thoughts or ideas. Nevermind if no one finds it useful, entertaining or annoying as I am taking up some little space in the blogsphere writing about not knowing what to write. Little did I know, this blogsphere ( I didn't know this word exist) consists of REAL human beings behind these beautiful blogs who actually care, respond and acknowledge each others posts or ideas. And there are a lot of positive vibes in this particular sphere and I have yet (thank goodness for that) came across any negative bloggers who would post snide remarks on anyone's blog.
Another good news is I made some friends.

One particular blogger friend Serena from awarded me this award recently. I am so honored! Thank you so much Serena. Do check out Serena's blog. Serena who knew her life is to cook has tons of yummy recipes in her blog.She says her dogs always sit by her side whenever she blogs, they know her blog is Great too! 

Before being nominated "Your Blog is Great" award I was awarded
with the "Versatile Blogger" award by Shannen of
Shannen is super versatile herself having prepared so many great recipes in her blog. Please go to her blog to find out. Thank you Shannen!

The rule of nominations are :

*I have to tell 7 things about myself 
*pass on the award to 7 other great bloggers.
*Nominees have to thank and link back to the person who gave you the award

Here you go, 7 things about myself (bear with me, it is not that painful) :

1) I do not know what to write but I am writing a blog
2) I don't know how to cook and bake but I have to cook ( 2 hungry   kids can be very ugly)
3) I know nothing about plants but I do love gardening
4) I do not have any time and talent but I do paint
6) I like being beautiful and skinny but I enjoy eating more
7) I do like fashion but prefer sticking to passion

And the nominees for the award are :

1)     because she is the one suggested me writng a blog. You have the juice for it, she says. I like to really thank her. If not because of her there is no Desperate Housewife in Holland and no awards. She has been a blogger for many many years and has so much experience to share.

2) she probably would kill me if I don't nominate her. I am related to her. Or maybe she won't kill me, I am her only sister. Do check out her blog. Having lived in France for many years she has tons of French cuisine recipes in her blog.

3)    she cooks easy and yet delicious home cook meal with mostly Indian flavour which I love. Do check out the blog.

4)       a storyteller bringing me to another place everytime I read  her exploring new places. Although I do not know her personally but writing to each other I could sense she is a warm, sincere and exciting person. 

5)  she probably has many awards already as she is a very successful blogger. Nevertheless, I am going to give this award to her. She is the only star blogger I know ( not really knowing her personally ). Despite being so successful, she sometimes drops by and says some encouraging words to me. I am star struck everytime she drops by.

6)  I do know her personally. Her mum bakes professionally and so the apple didn't fell far from the tree. I trust and love her baking.

7) an interesting blog where I learn about places and look at photographs of other countries without having to stamp my passport. Her writing is usually spiritual and calm. You have to read it to believe it.

People say sharing is caring.
Nothing is better than winning.
But giving is definitely the beginning of a beautiful thing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) organization is a partnership of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to screening services. 
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October is about educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health by practicing regular self-breast exams to identify any changes, scheduling regular visits and annual mammograms with their healthcare provider, adhering to prescribed treatment, and knowing the facts about recurrence.
While October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Web site is a year-round resource for breast cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and the general public.

One DH friend suggested recently to all DH friends to create something by art and craft or baking or cooking to honour the breast cancer movement in October. She said "After all breasts is what we all have". I think it is a great idea. The pink ribbon represents fear and hope for the future and evoke solidarity among women. 

I decided to bake some pink cookies with silhouette women figure on it to represent hope, solidarity, care, feminine and goodwill.

Oh yes, I added some rose water in the cookies that my friend Aise bought for me from Turkey.

So I had tea time and sort of a tete-tete with silhouette women.

But I must say, they are not very chatty.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fresh Figs Quesadillas

I love going to the market here in Holland. It is always so much more fun going with my friend Aise who was born and bred here in Holland. But I called her DH Turkey because she loves everything Turkish and always quote Turkey. "Do you know tulips were actually from Turkey? But everyone relate it to Holland?", she said to me one day. I saw some fresh figs in the market. They are quiet pricey. I think I paid €4 to €5 for these."They are very laxatives (you know?If you have bowel movement problems) and full of vitamines", Aise told me this while I was checking them out. You see? Going with a friend saves me a lot of time googling for info. Aise gave me some recipes on the spot too.
And yes! These figs are from Turkey!

            I actually prefer to eat them fresh.

But I can't possible write a post about how I eat them fresh so I think I should prepare some brilliant recipe with it.
DH Turkey's recipe sounds good with pinenuts and roast them with cheese, etc. But I can't possibly remember everything at the market as we moved on to more info with other vegetables and fruits.
When I reached home I prepared some simple quesadillas with them. My family love quesadillas. It is so simple that a recipe is not necessary actually. All you need is some tortillas and you are ready to go.

It was quick and easy. But I still think eating them whole and fresh is the best. I won't even bother to cut them.