We Are In Denial

There is something about mi-saison. The strong gust of wind and the constantly wet pavement. The dead leaves engulfing the road, making a loud cracking noise with every step we take. They stick to the pram’s wheel, and every now and then, we stop to remove the dead leaf. And yet we refuse to swap our light clothes for something thicker, hoping, praying for one last warm breeze. Just one more sunny day, that’s what we say. One more. And so we brace the cold, the wind and the rain, insisting of going to the park, taking long excursions, telling ourselves to enjoy it while it lasts. _1090054

But there is something warm about chilly weather, one that make you cocoon each other. Even the little guy is contented sitting on my lap, flipping Meg et Mog. As for me, it makes me think about hot chocolate, bubbly champagne, fresh oysters and warm apple crumble.

Truth is, when it comes to fruits, apple is as easy as you can get. It’s available all year round. There is one for every taste bud. Soft, crunchy, grainy, juicy, sweet and acidic. Tart, compote, fresh, cooked, baked. And yet, it is only during colder months that I yearn for a warm apple crumble.
Multi Layered Apple Crumble

Multi Layer Apple Crumble 2

Truly I prefer the warmer months, but I look forward to seeing mini eskimos in the playground. They are a sighting. (more…)


When Lentils Go Dink Dink

Lentil Salad Smoked Salmon Green Apple Radish Mint

How do you like your lentils? In a soup, I like them mushy thick. As an accompaniment to a meat protein, I like them in rather soft. But in a salad, I like my lentils to make a ‘dink dink’ sound when they fall onto the plate.

Radish Blonde Lentil

I made this earlier today in what I hope a good attempt to add a balanced meal into our diet. H is very much a sandwich guy. As long as there’s a bread (yes), a good cheese (always), and anything from ham, sausage, or tuna (plenty to all three), he would be happy to run on his own. Forget about the salad nor the fruits.

Truth be told, I’m rather egoist in this matter: I get bored easily so I need to try new things every so often.

Lentil Salad with Smoked Salmon, Green Apple, Radish & Mint

This salad is rather whimsical in terms of ingredients and flavors. Each of them have their own bold flavor. The lentils are nutty, the salmon earthy, the radish bites sharply, the green apple is nicely sour & crunchy and the mint is refreshing. So I made vinaigrette with Dijon mustard to go along with it. It is a nice summery salad that you can ship onto the table in no time at all. My kind of salad.


Be Kind To One Another

My trick to successful cooking and baking is to play a nice song. Often a melancholic song, because then it will set my mood to work slower, a little bit more deliberately, more purposefully. I know, I’m psyching myself here and there’s no base to support my claim. But in my case, it works. I listened to this while making this decadent apple crumble bar.

I wish I could tell you how healthy this thing is. But I’m not going to. At least I can tell you that this is good enough to be shared. Because you’d prefer to get fat together, wouldn’t you? I do.

The recipe includes corn meal as part of making the streusel topping. It’s said to give an extra crunch and crispiness. Maybe it’s true, but I couldn’t detect it. So I suppose if you don’t have polenta grains lying around your pantry, skip it.

You can find all the ingredients here, the tricky part is finding the brown sugar. Unfortunately, white granulated sugar won’t do. I also like using a 23 cm (9 inch) square pan, because it gives the right thickness that I like.

(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
makes 16 square bars or 32 rectangle bars

For the Crust:
226 gr (8 oz) digestive biscuits
1/4 C brown sugar
Pinch salt
85 gr (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

For the Streusel:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tbsp cornmeal
85 gr (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
About 900 gr (2 pounds, abt. 5 medium sized) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced half cm thick
28 gr (2 tbsp) butter, melted
1/4 C white sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch salt

  • Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Line a 23cm (9 inch) square tin with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over pan edges.
  • [Making the Crust] In a food processor with a blade attached, process the biscuits, brown sugar and salt until they have been reduced to fine crumbs, about 15 seconds.
  • Add the melted butter and pulse to incorporate. Press the crumbs into an even layer in the prepared pan and set aside.
  • [Making the Streusel] Whisk together the flour, sugars and cornmeal in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and toss with a fork until the dry ingredients are all evenly moistened. Set aside.
  • [Making the Filling] Combine the apples, melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the liquid has evaporated, 8-10 minutes.
  • To assemble: Spread the apples over the crust in an even layer and sprinkle with the streusel. Bake until the streusel is brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Put in fridge if necessary, it’ll be easier to cut.
  • Using the parchment overhangs, lift the bars from the pan and cut into squares/ rectangle bars. Best served cold.

p.s. Don’t ask me why it’s called the Dutch Apple Pie Bar.