Tag Archives: apple

SRC: Spiffy Cookie’s Peanut Butter Apple Bars

Spiffy Cookie Apple Peanut Bars-6

For May’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Erin of The Spiffy Cookie! She literally has the cutest little cookie figure  – especially the one that has its eyes closed! Erin is definitely a smart cookie – she has a PhD in Microbiology! Plus, she thinks chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination ever! Spiffy Cookie Apple Peanut Bars-1

She even has a whole list of gluten free recipes! I’m happy to know that I’m not the only person who struggles to get up more than 30 minutes before I need to get out the door! She has so many delicious looking recipes like these Avocado Brownies, Raspberry Mango Margarita Pie, Banana Foster Muffins and these Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfaits.

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In the end, I chose her Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars. I made them gluten free, vegan and reduced the sugar in half. Even then, I found them to be quite sweet, although the glaze is good as it adds extra moisture.

They were delicious! The best part were the apples, especially since they got drenched in the glaze. Yum! I sent them along with Mr. Bean to work and his coworkers loved them! They didn’t last very long!

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Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars

Bars Ingredients

1/2 c. each brown rice, sorghum and millet flours *(if you don’t have one of these flours, just use more of what you have)
1/2 c. each tapioca and potato starch
1 1/4 tsp. xathan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp raisins, finely diced
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (use soy free buttery spread to make soy free)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used Adams all natural crunchy)
2 eggs or egg replacers (1 tbsp. powder + 1/4 c. almond or other dairy free milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1+ c. finely diced apples
Almond Milk (I used 4 tbsp as my peanut butter was really quite hard

Glaze Ingredients

2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. almond milk (my peanut butter was fairly hard, so I added an extra tablespoon of milk)
1 c. sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 13″ x 9″ pan with parchment paper (I used a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet).
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt maragarine and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  4. Shift the flours and whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the diced raisins. Set aside.
  5. Add eggs one at a time to the peanut butter mixture, stirring until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Pour peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the apples and stir until combined. Add extra milk if necessary to make the batter more easily spreadable.
  7. Transfer batter onto prepared pan and spread the batter into the corners.
  8. Bake in oven for ~20 min for a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet or ~30min for a 13″ x 9″ pan. The bars should be slightly golden on top and edges are slightly brown.
  9. Remove and place on a rack to cook.
  10. As the bars cool, prepare the the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, peanut butter, almond milk and vanilla extract. Add more milk/sugar to get it to the correct consistency  for drizzling.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the bars and cut into squares.
  12. Enjoy!

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Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking the link below!

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SRC: Life and Kitchen’s Banana Oatmeal Bread & Grilled Peanut Butter Apple Sandwiches

Life&Kitchen Banana Oatmeal Bread-1

For January’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Lindsay of Life and Kitchen. Lindsay has been a vegetarian since the beginning of 2012, so most of her recipes are meat free! As well as tons of delicious recipes, she includes lots of commentary on her life outside of the kitchen – including her ridiculously cute daughter, Lily, and their adventures with a growing kid.

But speaking of delicious recipes, I literally looked through 20 pages of her blog and was so indecisive about what I should make! Some of the recipes that caught my eye were her: Bacon and Goat Cheese Muffins, Cucumber Hummus Cups, and her Broccoli Salad with Raisins and Sunflower Seeds, (which is a variation of a favourite of ours, but since I’ve already made it, I decided not to make it again.

When I saw Lindsay’s recipe for  Grilled Peanut Butter Apple Sandwiches, I knew what I was going to make: her Banana Oatmeal Bread!  It’s super easy to make, is healthy and is super tasty! I made a few variations – making it gluten and egg free, reducing the sugar and adding more bananas. The only thing I didn’t like about it is that the some of gluten free oats were still uncooked after baking – apparently they take longer than regular, so next time I think I’ll either up the liquid in the loaf or soak the oats for a few minutes before mixing them in.

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Gluten Free, Vegan Banana Oatmeal Bread

1/3 c. each brown rice flour, sorghum flour and tapioca starch
1/4 c. millet flour
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/3 c. unpacked brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 egg replacers (1 tbsp. powder, 1/4 c. almond milk – make according to the directions on package)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 c. old fashioned GF oats

  1. Line a 8 x 4″ loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Add in egg replacers, oil and vinegar and mix until combined (mine was a bit dry at the moment as instead of adding the equivalent of another egg, I added another banana).
  4. Mix in banana and oatmeal and then scrape into pan.
  5. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until a few toothpicks inserted into the loaf come out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then let cool on a rack.
  7. Enjoy by itself or in a grilled peanut butter apple sandwich!

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Grilled Peanut Butter Apple Sandwich

2 slices banana bread
Peanut Butter
Apple Slices
Margarine (or soy-free spread)

  1. Butter one side of each piece of banana bread and place butter side down on a board/plate/etc.
  2. Spread peanut butter on both sides of the bread and arrange apple slices on one pieces.
  3. Assemble your sandwich and cook in a preheated pan for about 5 min a side or until each side is golden brown.
  4. Enjoy!

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Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking the link below!

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Trip to Quebec: Food!

As I mentioned in my September SRC post, Mr Bean and I went to Montreal mid-September for a work conference for him. It was a bit of a hit and run trip – we arrived on Tuesday evening, the conference ran from Wednesday morning to Saturday afternoon and we left on Sunday morning. Definitely worth it though!

My sister lives in Quebec, so I took the time to visit with her while Mr. Bean was otherwise occupied. Both of us love food, so we knew the time we were going to spend together would revolve around it. Not terribly surprising, but very delicious!

On the Wednesday morning, my sister picked me up from the hotel and we went and picked apples.

imageIt was quite fun! The ladders were a bit bizarre and part way through the orchard was invaded by 4 or 5 bus loads of school children. We ended up with two large bags of apples, which we then put to good use throughout the rest of the trip!

We planned to spend lots of time making food together and we definitely did! Here’s what we made (over 2 1/2 days):

  • Swiss Hazelnut Macaroons – we made these while having dinner with a family my sister works with. We also had the most amazing Maple Sugar ice cream – I try not to eat a lot of dairy, but it was definitely worth it!Here is the closest recipe I can find for the macaroons based on ingredients – but instead you beat the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar and beat until glossy, then gently fold in the hazelnut meal. Spoon the macaroons onto lined cookie sheets and put a whole hazelnut on each macaroon. Bake until firm but still a bit soft. Let cool down and enjoy!
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Please Excuse the Gross Phone Shot

  • 2 batches of Applesauce – we sweetened it with maple syrup and made it spiced – so good!

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  • Coconut Macaroons

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  • Apple Pie – I used a combination of lard & shortening and I didn’t really like the taste of the crust so much. Plus, since I used a glass pan, I could see the fat bubbling away as it cooked (ick!). Has anyone else had this issue with GF pie crusts?

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  • Butternut Squash Soup - I’m not a huge fan of squash, so I was a bit apprehensive when my sister said that she was going to make this soup. I was wrong to doubt as it was delicious – so delicious that I’ve made it since I’ve come back.

My sister then dropped me off in Montreal on the Friday afternoon for a conference event and then re-joined us on Saturday morning for some sight-seeing and food adventures.

For lunch, we had Poutine at La Banquise. Poutine is a french Canadian dish that consists of fries, cheese curds and gravy, but this place also had many different variations with various additions.

Mr. Bean had the “La Trois Viandes” – ground beef, pepperoni and bacon,

Poutine-4My sister’s had “La Miam” – ground beef, sausage, onions, tomatoes and swiss cheese.

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I had the “La Matty” – bacon, onions, peppers and mushrooms without the gravy as it’s definitely not gluten free. I also ordered a salad so that I wouldn’t feel as gross and heavy. Definitely a wise move!

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To be honest, I didn’t really like it that much as I thought it was kind of greasy and it probably wasn’t as good as if it were slathered in gravy. Oh well. We decided that we would try to make it ourselves with gluten free gravy and not as greasy fries when my sister is coming to visit for my cousin’s wedding in October.

They pretty much have the most awesome tables ever. I’m sad that we weren’t sitting closer to a window so that the light would have been better.

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We also went to a restaurant called Zero8. Everything on their menu is made without the top 8 allergens – gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and shellfish. It’s a great place for people with allergies (obviously) and has some pretty tasty food!

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We started off the with the Bruschetta, then Mr. Bean had the Duck Confit and both my sister and I had lamb burgers.

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The only thing I was disappointed in was the dessert as I had a spice cake that was like cardboard. Apparently, they baked it too much. The Chocolate ganache was the only thing that made it worthwhile…

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My sister and I also found a gluten free bakery called “Cookie Stefanie“, which was pretty delicious. Their Orange Cranberry muffin made a good breakfast for our early travel day home.

I would really like to go back to Quebec to explore the food side of things more (there are at least a few other GF bakeries that we didn’t visit), plus visit Quebec City!

Have you had any Culinary Adventures lately?

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SRC: Chocolate and Chilies’ Apple Coffee Cake

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For March’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Asiya of Chocolate and Chilies – a fellow Canadian! Asiya started her blog as a way to record of all the recipes that she’s tried and I’d say she’s done a great job at picking delicious recipes and taking great photos of them! She has tons and tons of beautiful, tasty looking recipes like this Spring Greens Risotto, this mango smoothie, these kiwi, lime and coconut muffins and this eggless, machine-less mango ice cream. She even has a coconut oil pie crust recipe and a whole page about substitutions!

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After a lot of perusing her beautiful blog, I ended up choosing her Apple Coffee Cake and I wasn’t disappointed with my vegan, gluten free version! In the original recipe, you create a layer of apples, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon between two layers of cake, but since vegan gluten-free cake batters are usually thicker than their non-vegan glutenated counterparts that just wasn’t going to happen. As a substitute, a tossed the sliced apples in cinnamon and then mixed them into the batter. Since I took this approach, I probably could have added a third apple.

The cake turned out really well! It rose beautifully, and the texture was fluffy and had a good crumb. It was also tasty – I’d definitely make it again, although I’ll add less sugar next time, especially in the topping.

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Gluten Free Vegan Apple Coffee Cake

Cake:

2/3 c. each of brown rice and sorghum flours
2/3 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dairy free margarine
1/2 c. white sugar
2 egg replacers (1 tbsp powder + 1/4 c. almond milk)
1/2 c. almond milk
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 apples, peeled and sliced and tossed in cinnamon (Could use 3)

Topping:
2-3 tbsp. brown rice flour
1 tbsp. dairy free margarine
1/4 c. white sugar (could also use brown/sucanat sugar)
1 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9″ cake pan with parchment paper and grease both the parchment paper and pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the topping using your hands. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. Beat margarine and sugar together until fluffy (takes a few minutes.)
  5. Add egg replacer and beat until combined.
  6. Alternate adding flour and milk to the fat mixture, starting and ending with flour. Add the apple cider vinegar.
  7. Mix in the apples. Scrape into the pan and used a spatula to smooth out.
  8. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.
  9. Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in multiple places comes out dry.
  10. Cool on a rack. Can serve warm or room temperature.
  11. Enjoy!

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Asiya, it was great looking through your blog and I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

Please check out all the other recipes for Secret Recipe Club’s Group D below:

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SRC: The Gingered Whisk’s Grilled Apple Pie

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. I think it’s funny because she had my blog for May’s roundup and made these raw Cranberry Mango Nut Bars. She has tons of delicious recipes, such as Penne with Broccoli Rabe, Bacon and Chickpeas and Jaeger Schnitzel and Spaetzle. When I was deciding what to make, it was quite hot and I didn’t feel like using my stove/oven, so I looked at Jenni’s nifty recipe box for grilled recipes and came up with this grilled apple pie.

To any doubters, don’t let the idea of a grilled apple pie turn you off of this – basically what you do is bake the pie in a cast iron pan in your BBQ. I obviously made my pie gluten free – I tried to roll out the pie instead of piecing it together – and used a bit less sugar. Even with my changes and the novel baking method, I thought it turned out very well and it was yummy! Mr. Bean definitely agreed.

Please check out the rest of everyone else’s recipes for June’s SRC by clicking the link below!

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