Thursday, 29 August 2013

Teacup Apple Crumble

So... is it me, or does anyone else suffer from the illusion that things that come in tiny servings must be healthy? Mini muffins. Fun-sized Mars Bars. Fun-sized anything. Mini Magnums. Doughnut centres. Aeroplane-sized cans of Coke. And that somehow, because it's in a tiny portion (and therefore uses more packaging - three cheers for environmental destruction!), you can eat more of them. Like two. For the purposes of this, let's say two. We don't need to dig deeper into my abysmal snacking habits here right now.
Now, I love apple crumble. I love apple crumble almost as much as I love deluding myself. So making apple crumbles in tiny portions seemed like the perfect idea. Sure, I could have made them in shot glasses like you see at cocktail parties, but come on, you need enough apple crumble for it to work its wonderful, warming magic on you.
3 apples
1tsp sugar
1tsp cinnamon
3 cloves
A little water
1tbsp butter
1tsp cinnamon
2tbsp brown sugar
3tbsp plain flour
(Note that I "wrote" the quantities into the My Fitness Pal app in grams (which was a rough conversion to begin with), and now I'm converting it back, so they may be a little out. Play with it until it feels (and tastes!) right!)
Peel and roughly dice apples. Cook them, covered, with a little water and the sugar and spices until softened - around 5 minutes. Make sure they don't stick. Once softened, tip off any extra water and leave cover off.
Meanwhile, rub butter, cinnamon, sugar and flour together until evenly distributed. Try not to "test" too much of it - rest assured that it really does taste quite nice!
Grease 3 (or 4, depending on their size) oven-proof teacups. Divide apple mixture among the teacups. Remove and discard cloves. Top with the crumble mixture.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200oC for around 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Obviously I can't remember whether it was 5 or 10 minutes, and as you can see from the scorched bits hidden under the ice cream, I overshot the mark, so keep an eye on it! All you're doing is browning the topping as the filling should still be hot. At some stage in the near future I will make this again and test the times but for now, hey guys, it's apple crumble. It's not rocket science. It needs to be hot, and apple-y, and cinnamon-y, and wonderful. No biggie.
Enjoy one with a scoop of ice cream. Or two.
And for those health-conscious peops out there, there are 301 calories per serving without adding ice cream. So it's probably just as well you made these in a tea cup, otherwise you'd go back to the pan a sneak another spoonful. And then another... and another... and another... yeah, I'm onto you!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Breakfast at Tom's Farm. Alternate Title: Lost In Translation. Second Alternate Title: Why It's A Miracle I Didn't Lose Weight In America.

So I've been hanging out in the US of A for the past week with my friend Carole from Toot Sweet 4 Two. We met at Bloggy Boot Camp Vegas last year and totally hit it off, although, to be fair, **not** hitting it off with Carole poses a far greater challenge!

Carole had kindly agreed to drive me from her home near Escondido (kind of outer San Diego) up to my aunt's house in Pasadena at the end of my stay, and we stopped by the side of the highway at Tom's Farm for breakfast. It started out as a produce stand on the side of the I15 near Lake Elsinore and has now morphed into almost a destination unto itself. It has a diner, a Mexican restaurant, a wine/cheese place, a produce store, a traditional candy store, a furniture shop and a model train and pony rides for the kids. And on weekends it hosts a craft market as well as the occasional blues show.

Anyway, I tried my darndest to order breakfast there, and all I can say is "lost in translation". My own thoughts were encapsulated by a set of pointy brackets, but it did something funky to the formatting and they all disappeared :(

ME: "I'll have the hotcakes combo with bacon and fried eggs over easy"
SERVER LADY: *blank look* "I'm sorry, how do you want your eggs?"
ME: "Uh, you know, like, sunny side down...?"
SERVER LADY: "Uhh..." *looks as Carole for help and then back to me* *crickets chirp*
ME: "Um, you know, fry the eggs, flip 'em but try not to bust the yolks...?" *awkward laughter*
CAROLE: "So I think she wants the eggs over, a little cooked on top"
SERVER LADY: "Oh, okay, so how do you want them?"
ME: "Medium please. Like, not too hard but not too runny."
SERVER LADY: "Right, gotcha. And what do you want to drink?"
ME: "Can I have a cup of tea, please?"
SERVER LADY: "Sure, uh, so you want, like, hot tea?"
ME: "Yes, please."
SERVER LADY: "And would you like blueberries or chocolate chips in your hotcakes?"
ME: *stunned look* "Blueberries, please."

(And for the record, blueberry pancakes go really well with fried eggs! Crazy, I know.)

(Also, Carole assures me that I used the correct terminology straight up. I can only assume she was concentrating on my accent and not my words, because that's what I do when Irishmen speak and... *vagues out to a happy place full of cute Irishmen with charming accents*)