Applesauce, Eggplant and Salsa

Every so often a little bit of awesomeness comes out of me (Toots own horn).  Today was one of those days.  I was in a baking/cooking mood so I decided to make some muffins.  I knew that I had left over applesauce in the freezer and I thought I should use it before it become freezer burnt.  I was going to make cookies but decided on the muffin thing since mornings can be a fight with Isabella to get her to eat something before school.  Some days it is just a handful of goldfish crackers, other days I can get her to have a yogurt or cereal bar.  This time around I thought maybe she would at least nibble on a muffin before her day starts, that and grabbing a muffin for myself on the early mornings does make it a bit easier for me.

I found a great applesauce muffin recipe, it was simple and basic and left a lot of room for different add ons!  So I took this wonderful recipe and played with it a bit, first things first I double the batch right off.  If you have a family like mine or neighbours like mine than you have to share!  My grandmother is in a retirement home and even though they have great meals, treats are nice once in a while.  As for the neighbours, they are the same ones who own the pool that Isabella has basically claimed as hers, the wife is a great cook and is constantly baking so we get a lot of goodies sent our way!  After figuring out all the measurements, math and Melissa are NOT friends, I started to mix and create.  Here is the recipe that I used today:

3 Cups of unsweetened applesauce (Organic preferably since apples are the top pesticide laced fruit)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs beaten (free range –  let those birdies peck)

2/3 Cup melted butter (margarine = ew factor)

2 teaspoons baking soda (aluminum free if you can find it)

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 Cup whole wheat flour

2 1/2 Cups flour (Maybe a bit extra a few tablespoons)

1/2 Cup ground flax seed

1/4 Cup nutritional yeast

1 Cup dried goji berries soaked in hot water until soft, than squeezed to get as much liquid out as you can.

3/4 Cup chopped chocolate (baker’s chocolate)

Mix the applesauce, sugar, egg, nutritional yeast and butter together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt, flaxseed, flours and cinnamon. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together. Add in chocolate and squeezed goji berries.  Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake in 350 degrees oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Serious yum!  The best part about the base recipe is that you can add anything to this.  My next go at it will be with raisins, bits of apple, goji berries and a dark chocolate.  The muffins come out moist and not overly sweet at all.

My other feat today was a salsa.  I had made a batch a few weeks ago and while out shopping I noticed my mom wanted me to pick up salsa.  I am really not a fan of the  pre-made jar kind.  I find them overly sweet and to pastey for my liking at times.  My uncle does make a rocking salsa so I thought I would do the same with a little less cilantro!  My basics for the salsa are:

Tomatoes gutted (the firmer the better) – Local

Green pepper – Local

Jalapeno pepper – Local

Onion – Local

Garlic – Local

Cilantro

Lime

Salt

I can’t really give you amounts of the tomatoes because it depends on my mood, the same for the onion but usually I use 3/4 of a medium onion and at least 5-8 tomatoes. I only use 1/2 of the jalapeno and green pepper, maybe 3 garlic cloves depending on size and not too much cilantro.  I like the stuff but I prefer it with Indian food than Mexican.  Lime and Salt of course are to taste.  Nothing like fresh salsa and some nachos for a snack, or a meal depending on mood.

It’s grey, gooey, yummy, and garlicky!  BABA GHANOUSH! Again stealing this from my uncle, and since he is Arabic I’ll follow his instruction.  My family loves this stuff and it is so easy to make.  I know my batch this time around turned out a bit more greyish than normal that’s because I really didn’t feel like peeling the eggplant before cooking it; which I have done before.

The only ingredients you need are:

One large eggplant

Tahini (sesame seed paste)

garlic

salt

lemon

Yes folks that is it! Cook up the eggplant in the frying pan until soft and mushy.  If you peel it before hand your dip won’t be as grey.  Once it is done put it in a food processor, add a good amount of tahini (at least 5 heaping tablespoons) salt, lemon juice, and the garlic (2 cloves or powdered)  this is all done by preference.  Mix until smooth, let it cool or if you are like my uncle you eat half while it’s warm and give the other half to the family after it has cooled, serve with pita.  I personally am not a pita fan so I like my dip with Triscuts.  Call me crazy!

I am not sure where my next adventure is going to be for the cooking portion.  I do know that I am making chili on Wednesday and I did purchase a butternut squash – curried squash soup anyone?  I would like to get some more baking done and freeze it, but the freezer is a tad full at the moment.  Who knows…I still have a hankering to make a quinoa salad again… mmmmmmmmmm quinoa!!!!

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About Melissa

This is my "start over" blog. I had moved to the Netherlands for 2.5 years and found that it wasn't for me. I guess I'm too much of a Canadian at heart. So now I'm here in Canada with my toddler daughter who was actually born in NL. My dog is with my dad enjoying the good life and I am here trying to start over and get my life back.
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