Fall Caramel Apple Pie

After such a long break – we’re back with another recipe! And for the first time – it’s a pie! It’s fall. Fall = fall baking. And fall baking = pumpkin pie + apple pie. Let me also tell you, your kitchen is going to smell a m a z i n g after whipping up this caramel apple pie recipe I have for you today. It comes with all the traditional pie spices like cinnamon, all spice, etc. However, the secret ingrediant is actually ~ cardamom. This is an ingrediant all south asians swear by in their tea – which brings out the most aromatic scent and flavor. So if that’s the case , why not add it to a pie ? I had the chance to test this theory out, and to my relief, it hit just the right notes in accentuating that fall spice flavor! Here’s how you can make your very own batch of this sweet & delicious fall pie:

Ingrediants:

  • For the pie crust: 1) Pillsbury pie crust (I know ~ this is technically cheating but who doesn’t love a shortcut plus these pie crusts work just perfect) 2) 1 egg
  • For the filling: 1) 6 granny smith apples 2) 1 tsp cinnamon 3) 1 tsp allspice 4) 1 tsp ground cardamom 4) 2 tbsp cornstarch 5) 3/4 cup PC brand caramel sauce (or you can make your own) 6) pinch of salt 7) 1 cup brown sugar 8) 1 tbsp lemon juice 9) 1 tbsp butter

Instructions:

  1. Start off by rolling out the pie base into your pie tin. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator while you make your pie filling.
  2. Slice your apples into thin pieces. Add in the lemon juice – this is going to prevent the apples from browning. Combine with brown sugar, cinnamon, all spice, & cardamom. Add in the caramel sauce and toss until well coated. Finally, repeat with the corn starch and mix until well coated. Set your filling aside.
  3. Take your pie tin out of the refrigerator and coat the base of the pie with a about a teaspoon or two with cornstarch. This is going to help keep that crisp on the bottom of your pie and keep it from going soggy once we add the filling. Once coated, add your pie filling. *tip: the key here is I actually strained my apple filling BEFORE adding it to my pie. This is because overtime, your apples are going to release quite a bit of juice. This is going to a result in a soggy pie once baked. So to prevent that, let your apples sit for a bit and actually strain some of the juice before adding it to the pie base.
  4. Right before topping your pie, add a few dallops of butter to the top of your pie filling. This is going to help create that creamy center we’re going for.
  5. Once your pie filling has been added – this part is completely upto your creativity on how you’d like to top your pie! I decided to go with a classic lattice ~ but you can also cut out fall shapes , or just cover the pie whole and go for a classic star vent design.
  6. Once you’ve topped your pie, coat the top with an eggwash. I found using egg whites worked best (1 egg) for giving that perfect golden brown color.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit. Bake for about 40-55 min till a nice golden brown color. *Tip ~ if you notice your crust browning too fast – cover the top with tin foil. This should prevent any further burning.
  8. Serve warm and of course topped with caramel & icecream!

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DIY Starbucks Berry Hibiscus Iced Tea

If you’re a fan of the Starbucks very berry hibiscus refresher, you’re going to love this much cheaper but equally delicious diy version thanks to tazo passion tea! The good thing about this flavor too is it adds a hint of citrus flavor you don’t usually find in the original refresher. Here’s how you can make your own batch:

Ingrediants:

  • 4 packets of Tazo Passion flavored Herbal Tea
  • Boiled water
  • Simple syrup / sugar
  • Water
  • Frozen mixed berries

Instructions:

  1. Allow the tea packets to steep for atleast 20 min in boiled hot water
  2. While the tea steeps you can prepare your simple syrup + icecubes.
  3. For your simple syrup, remember it’s 1 part water to 1 part sugar nicely boiled and stirred together till a syrup like consistensy. You can catch the recipe for this on my previous DIY starbucks post here.
  4. For the berry infused iced cubes its super simple: pour a portion of your tea mix into an icetray and top with some frozen berries mixed berries like blueberries and blackberries into each cube. Pop those in the freezer for atleast 3-4 hours. Using the actual tea mix for your icecubes will make sure your drink stays cool and at the same time doesn’t taste diluted as your icecubes melt over time! It also adds that berry flavor we’re looking for since the tea only covers the hibiscus component.
  5. Pour your steeped tea into a large pitcher and add your simple syrup till well dissolved. Place your iced tea mix into a refrigerator till well chilled (probably about atleast 3 hours to match the timing with your iced cubes) before serving.

And there you have it! Easy, simple, cheap, but amazingly refreshing diy starbucks berry hibiscus iced tea enjoyable all-year round! Trust me, you’ll thank me later. – S

All original very berry hibiscus recipie content belongs to Starbucks.Inc. This post is in no way affiliated with nor sponsored by Starbucks or Tazo.

Creamy Spinach & Pepper 2 Cheese Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Does anyone else get warm pasta cravings in winter? A perfect bite of melted cheese & spices to warm up your tummy on a cold day? Because this pasta dish is exactly that: traditional spices like oregano and thyme, 2 if not 3 cheeses thanks to the alfredo in a perfect blend for one hearty meal. Here’s how you can make your own batch for dinner tonight:

Ingrediants:

  • 1/2 cup mozarella cheese
  • 1 cup alfredo sauce
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup table cream
  • 2 cups bowtie pasta
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 cup spinach, washed
  • 1 cup bell pepper, washed
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the bowtie pasta as per package instructions
  2. Meanwhile, you can grill your chicken breast using a grill pan. Remove any bones if needed or proceed straight to seasoning if using a boneless breast. Season with salt and pepper or any desired spices. Cook until the chicken browns with visible grill marks for about 6-7 min. Remove from heat once cooked and set aside.
  3. In large skillet, add a tbsp of oil and add your bell peppers, spinach, & spices. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables slightly brown.
  4. Add in the alfredo sauce, cheese, table cream & grounded pepper and bring to a low boil for 2-3 min.
  5. Add in your cooked pasta and blend well.
  6. Once blended remove from heat.
  7. Serve warm with your side of chicken and fav wine.

And there you have it! Once deliously wholesome creamy pasta dish. This eat is approved by yours truly- S.

Rich Decadent French Hot Chocolate

If this winter had a slogan to it, it’d be Game of Throne’s “Winter is Coming” because it only seems to be getting colder and colder with rollercoaster weather. Thankfully, that gives an excuse to warm up with a nice hot cup of cocoa, like my recipe of thick & rich French Hot Chocolate. If you’re in need of spoiling yourself on a cheat day, or staying in on a cold winter day in need of a pick-me-up this recipe does just the trick. Here’s how you can make your own batch:

Ingrediants

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup table cream
  • whipping cream to top
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk (or 2/3 cup table cream 1/3 cup 2% milk)
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp espresso or coffee powder
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. On medium heat, whisk your milk, table cream, coffee powder (or espresso) & powdered sugar. The key component to this recipe is going to be the espresso/ coffee, as well as the bitter sweet chocolate. The bitter counterparted with the sweetness of the sugar is actually what’s going to enhance the flavor of the cocoa.
  2. Just before boiling, remove from heat and add milk chocolate chips & a pinch of salt. *tip: You can also use bitter sweet chocolate if you have some, I used these two as a substitute.
  3. Place the cocoa mix back onto the stove, and keep at low heat to melt the chocolate completely.
  4. Once the chocolate has completely melted, turn up the heat to medium once more. This time, let the mix come to a boil, while stirring vigourously for about 2-3 minutes. This will help thicken the hot chocolate mix.
  5. Bring the mix off the heat and let cool while you prepare the whipped cream. It’s during this time you’ll notice the cocoa mix will thicken even more. I made my whipped cream from scratch using fresh  cream and whipped using an electric mixer for about 2 min till a perfect soft peak consistency.
  6. Add a small amount of whipped cream to your cup of hot chocolate, and top as you like. You can use chocolate shavings, peppermint candy peices, I personally topped mine with caramel sauce.

And there you have it! A perfect cup of rich hot cocoa for a cold winter day. Best served warm, of course. This winter survival essential is approved by yours truly – S.

New Year’s Shortbread Cookies: White Chocolate & Cranberry 

A happy & bright new years to everyone! This year, I decided to make a special holiday shortbread cookie, dipped in white chocolate & topped with sweet cranberry bits. Perfect for a cozy start to the new year, here’s how you can make your own batch:

Ingrediants: 

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essense
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberry 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whip the butter until it’s light and fluffy in texture. This can be done using a food processor or electric mixer. 
  2. In a seperate bowl, carefully measure & sift the corn starch, flour, and icing sugar. 
  3. Add in the corn starch, flour, vanilla, and icing sugar to the butter. Blend until you see no more crumbling in the dough. 
  4. Once combined, knead dough into a large round ball, and cover with cling wrap. Chill in a freezer for about 30 min. 
  5. Once chilled, divide the dough into small round balls and place onto a ungreased cookie tray. Each cookie dough portion should be about a table spoon size each. Use a fork to flatten each cookie.
  6. Bake the cookies for 13-15 min. 
  7. While the cookies cool, begin to chop your dried cranberries into tiny bits & set aside.
  8. Next, using a microwave, melt the white chocolate chips in a small bowl, using 10 second intervals to ensure the white chocolate does not burn. This should take about 45 seconds. If the chocolate burns, use vegetable oil to smoothen the chocolate mix once more.
  9. Once the cookies have completely cooled, dip each cookie into the melted white chocolate and sprinkle with the dried cranberry bits. 
  10. Chill the cookies in a fridge for atleast 30 min and you’re ready to serve!

This sweet treat is approved by yours truly – S.

      December 2017 Desktop & Mobile Wallpaper

      The holidays are fast approaching, and I’m finally exam-free to release the first ever StudiobyS desktop calendar wallpaper! Click the link below to download this cute december 2017 calendar for FREE. I’ll be working on more desktop & mobile wallpapers, calendars, as well as printable planners perfect for to-do lists, agendas, or keeping track of buisness. Stay tuned!

      To download the mobile wallpaper, click here

      To download the desktop wallpaper, click here

      both designs made using canva

      Food for thought: The nameless origin

      After a long time I’ve put together something outside of my comfort zone & different from my usual posts. It’s my first #foodforthought piece, my own little way of speaking out on mental health, so I’d love to know what you think & if I should do more! 


       

      What do you call a known feeling you cannot describe

      A drowning or sinking no ailment can prescribe,

      It has no form, no shape nor definate size

      The mind’s darkest corners of which it’s comprised

      A familiarity to my heart as well as breathing

      Likewise to my neck on which it’s constantly seething 

      It’s everything contradictory in perfect harmony

      Anything logical that’s perfect uncertainty

      A primitive instinct of protection

      That strives and cries for redemption

      So why is it that I cannot name

      This lucid reality

      This nameless origin.