Apple Maple Boursin Muffins w/ Sweet Potato

Boursin’s story began in 1957, in a small Normandy village, located in France, when cheese maker François Boursin set up a factory producing soft cheese. At that time, he had no idea his name would become internationally famous.

Boursin Garlic & Herbs was launched in 1963 and quickly became a household name across France. Sixty years later, the original recipe remains unchanged and food lovers in more than 35 countries have spread their passion for Boursin all around the world. Perfect on bread, as appetizers or in a creamy sauce for main or side dishes. Since 2011, Boursin has been made in Canada in St. Hyacinthe, Québec, by Agropur, the Canadian dairy co-operative, for Bel Cheese Canada, the Canadian arm of Bel Group, the France-based multinational. 

There are seven flavors of Boursin Cheese sold in Canada: Garlic & Fine Herbs, Shallot & Chive, Bouquet of Basil & Chive, Cranberry & Pepper, Cracked Black Pepper, Fig & Balsamic, Apple & Maple.

Boursin is sometimes dubbed a Gournay cheese, Gournay being the name of the region in Normandy where Boursin was first made. The cheesemaker used the name when he was first asked to classify the cheese for customs purposes.

Today, I am doing a bit of recipe development with Apple Maple Boursin. The apple flavor and the silkiness of maple syrup perfectly complement Boursin’s incomparable texture along with some sweet potato, dates and dried cranberries. The whole combination creates an exceptional sweet and savory cheese muffin. Brion & I really enjoyed my new muffin creation.

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Apple Maple Boursin Muffins w/ Sweet Potato
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Instructions
Topping
  1. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Spread out on a large plate & place in freezer until; ready to use.
Muffin Batter
  1. Cook, peel & mash sweet potato. Chop dates. Slice, core & grate apple. Grate orange (zest). Chop pecans. Crumble Boursin.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tin with baking cups.
  3. In a large bowl, combine first 12 ingredients using a fork. Make a well in center.
  4. Beat egg until frothy. Whisk in sugar, oil, sweet potato & sour cream. Crumble in 75 gm of the Boursin cheese.
  5. Pour into well & stir only to moisten. Divide between the 12 muffin cups. Remove topping from freezer & place some on top of each muffin.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes then remove from pan. BEST SERVED WARM!

Strawberry-Banana Crumble

Crumbles aren’t just for Autumn and Winter. Most people don’t like to turn on the oven in summer and I realize no-bake desserts are wonderful, but there are some desserts worth risking the heat for. Fruit crumbles certainly fall into that category and of course, it goes without saying that it should be topped with ice cream or a whipped topping at least.

It seems that nearly any fruit is improved when you cover it in a layer of crunchy, buttery crumble. Strawberry and banana are a winning combination for many reasons. Strawberry gives a slight sweet and sour taste and banana adds a sweet and creamy texture.

This crumble is an incredibly simple and delicious dessert for when you need a last-minute dessert or for when you’re just craving a sweet, fruity treat.

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Strawberry-Banana Crumble
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Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, bananas, 3 Tbsp flour, sugar, lemon juice & salt. Toss together gently to avoid bruising the bananas, Pour into a 9-inch baking dish or 6 ramekins.
  3. Combine all ingredients for topping using fingertips to form a crumble. Completely cover fruit mixture with crumb topping.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes or until mixture is bubbling on the sides. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving with ice cream or whipped topping.

Lemon Gel ‘Crumble’ Wedges

Nothing says spring more than the zesty, fresh flavor of lemons. I think this lemon dessert is the perfect way to celebrate spring.

Crumbles are a true British dessert, which can be made any time of the year. They are believed to have originated around the time of World War II which brought the world to a standstill; shops were closed, people were left unemployed. As the war progressed, food scarcity became a major scare and due to inflation and rationing, the accessibility to basic food ingredients became a problem. In these hostile times, British housewives came up with many recipes; some of these recipes were lost in time, but some stayed and even gained cult status with time. One such British recipe is that of ‘apple crumble’.

Typically, crumbles use soft fruit like apples, pears, rhubarb or plums, but berries or even a lemon filling can be used. The crumb topping can be made with flour, nuts, breadcrumbs, cookie or graham cracker crumbs, or even breakfast cereal.  

This dessert is very different from the usual crumble. You start with a crumble crust/ topping but the filling is uncooked. It is so nice with fresh lemon juice and zest in it. As it bakes, it becomes almost gel-like and the top crumbles soak slightly into the filling. The flavor of lemon always seems to give such a refreshing taste to everything its used in.

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Lemon Gel 'Crumble' Wedges
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Course dessert
Cuisine American, European
Keyword lemon crumble
Servings
Ingredients
Crust & Crumble Topping
Lemon Filling
Course dessert
Cuisine American, European
Keyword lemon crumble
Servings
Ingredients
Crust & Crumble Topping
Lemon Filling
Votes: 1
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Instructions
Crust/Crumble Topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all topping ingredients. Mix well with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of topping; set aside. Place remaining topping in a 14 x 4-inch baking pan pressing it up the sides as well as on the bottom. Set aside.
Filling
  1. Mix all filling ingredients well, then pour into crust.
  2. Place baking pan in oven & bake for 30- 35 minutes or until filling is set & crust is golden.
  3. Remove from oven & cool completely. This dessert is best refrigerated overnight or at least 6 hours. Cut into wedges or bars & serve with WHIPPED TOPPING.

Carrot Cake Cookies

‘Tis the season for fall flavors! Nature is offering an abundance of root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and fruits to make use of in our fall baking.

Thinking about autumn can bring about some pleasant thoughts. While it is common to think about cozy scarves and pumpkin lattes, the symbolic meanings of autumn are more profound than you think. Ancient cultures, science and astrology have associated many aspects of this beautiful season to human life. These symbolic associations are powerful reminders that Mother Nature has an incredible influence on our lives.

These fall cookies are full of green zucchinis, deep orange carrots and bright red apples, colorful representations of the changing season ahead.

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Carrot Cake Cookies
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Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda & salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together applesauce, honey (or maple syrup), egg & vanilla. Mix in the melted butter.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the nuts/seeds, grated zucchini, carrot & apple.
  5. Use a large scoop or measuring cup to drop 1/4-cup portions of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Use your fingers to gently shape the cookies and flatten slightly, as they won't flatten on their own during baking.
  6. Bake 14-15 minutes, until set and lightly golden. (If baking more than one pan at a time, be sure to rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.)
  7. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Apricot Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart

Strawberry-rhubarb … raspberry-peach … blackberry-plum … the possibilities for combining summer fruit in amazing ways are truly endless. I’ve recently became aware of the apricot, strawberry & rhubarb combination. This combo had never occurred to me, superseded as it is by the mighty strawberry/rhubarb duo.

Fruit tarts are stunning desserts that look like they should be in a French bakery window, but the truth is they can easily made at home. This super simple, mixed fruit tart with an oat pastry really celebrates the flavors of the season.

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Apricot Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart
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Ingredients
Oat Pastry
Servings
Ingredients
Oat Pastry
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Instructions
Oat Pastry
  1. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, spices & salt. Add melted butter & vanilla; stir to combine. Press 2/3 of mixture onto the bottom & up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan; set aside.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Prepare fruit & place in a mixing bowl; add the orange juice, vanilla, sugar & spices. Stir to coat & set aside.
  3. Pour the fruit over crumble mixture; sprinkle the rest of the crumble around the outside of the fruit.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until crust turns golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Chewy Raspberry Apple Granola Bars

When I think of granola bars, the thin slabs of oats and honey of the 1970’s come to mind. What began as a ‘hippie’ craze gradually morphed into decadence with bars including chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, corn syrup and marshmallows. Great tasting but hardly healthy would you say!

The basic recipe often starts with old-fashioned rolled oats and a sweetener that acts as a binder. Honey seems to be a popular choice but other options include brown rice or maple syrup.

Flaked coconut is popular but not being a coconut lover, I opt for coconut oil instead. When it comes to nuts, along with nutrition they provide crunch. If you notice this recipe does not include them, its not for any other reason except that a nut allergy plaques me. Definitely add them if you can.

Customization comes to the forefront in your choice of dried or frozen fruit. Some choices might be dried dates, apricots, cranberries, pineapple or mango.

These bars make a nice breakfast treat or snack option, not to mention the word ‘healthy’.

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Chewy Raspberry Apple Granola Bars
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BARS
Servings
BARS
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with a nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oil & applesauce until smooth. Mix in milk, honey & cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Stir in the oats until evenly coated with the applesauce mixture. Gently fold in the raspberries.
  3. Press the oat mixture into the prepared pan & bake for 16-19 minutes. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan before slicing into 10 bars.

Garden Grain Burgers

CELEBRATING HERITAGE DAYS!

Heritage Festival in our city of Edmonton, Alberta Canada is one of the world’s largest multicultural events, taking place every August. It features over 70 pavilions representing almost 100 countries set up in William Hawrelak Park. All ethnic minorities of Canada come together to exchange experiences, entertainment, cultures and to celebrate Canada’s diversity. Thousands of visitors come to enjoy the tastes, smells and sounds of different nations around the world.

Due to the Covid-19 world pandemic this year, the annual August long weekend tradition of the Edmonton Heritage Festival will not be celebrated in Hawrelak Park, and is instead being reformatted from an on-site event into a virtual festival. You will be able to enjoy performances from past events, entertainment from countries around the world, explore new cultures and authentic recipes, as well as order food from local Edmonton restaurants. More than 40 pavilions are ready to celebrate our heritage online.

These grain burgers are one of my favorite ‘burgers’. Heritage Day seems like a good reason to enjoy some!

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Garden Grain Burgers
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine rice, bulgur wheat, seasoning blend, poultry seasoning & water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat; cool completely. Cover & refrigerate overnight if possible.
  2. In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, oats, mozzarella cheese, cheddar & onion. In a food processor, process cottage cheese & egg substitute until smooth; add to the mushroom mixture. Stir in parsley, salt, basil, celery seed & chilled rice mixture. Divide mixture into 12 balls & shape into patties.
  3. On a large non-stick griddle, cook patties in oil for 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned & crisp. Serve on lightly grilled Ciabatta buns with your choice of garnishes.
Recipe Notes
  • If using a BBQ, place patties on a oiled sheet of foil paper to grill.

Pumpkin Liqueur Cupcakes with Pepita Oatmeal Topping

Love it or hate it, pumpkin  spice season is well underway. Every year our obsession with the ‘flavor of fall’ continues to grow with weirder, more unique, pumpkin themed products invading the bakeries, grocery stores, coffee shops, you name it—

It all started with the introduction of the famous Starbucks ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’ in 2003. Strangely enough, as a kid, I wasn’t crazy about pumpkin at all. But that was then, now I’m one of those who loves everything pumpkin.

Some time ago, Brion had picked up a bottle of Pumpkin Cream Liqueur. It has a wonderful taste on its own but of course it only seems fitting that I would want to bake with it.

I believe one of the secrets of having incredible flavors in both savory and baked goods is with the use of alcohol. You can’t help but notice, over the last number of years how the humble little cupcake has been elevated to a whole new level. Many of these specialty cupcake stores that have popped up are featuring alcohol-inspired, adult-friendly options.

Now, today, I’m back to ‘recipe development’ to see what I can come up with.


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Pumpkin Liqueur Cupcakes / Pepita Oatmeal Topping

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Servings


Ingredients
Cupcakes

Pepita Oatmeal Crumble Topping

Servings


Ingredients
Cupcakes

Pepita Oatmeal Crumble Topping

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper cups.

  2. In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients & set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt & spices. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

  4. In another bowl, whisk together egg, liqueur, milk & pumpkin puree. Stir into flour mixture JUST until moistened. Place a small scoop of batter in each cup. Divide topping. Using half of topping, divide evenly between cupcakes, creating the 'filling' for the cupcakes. Divide remaining batter between cups; top with remaining topping. Bake 15-20 minutes or until they test done. Remove from pan & cool on a wire rack.


Recipe Notes
  • Technically, pepitas and pumpkin seeds are the same thing. But pepitas (which mean “little seeds of squash” in Spanish) don’t have a shell and are found in only select pumpkin varieties.

Asian Pear & Brie Strudel

Perhaps its no surprise that Asian pears suffer an identity crises. They are often called ‘apple pears’ because of their crisp texture and apple flavor characteristics. Asian pears are a cross between the Ussuri pear and the Japanese Sand pear, having no relation whatsoever to apples.

Some of the Asian pears made their way west with Chinese and Japanese immigrants in the 1850’s. Their shape and taste were modified into fruit like the well known ‘Bartlett’pear. Other pears travelled eastward to Korea and Japan. These ‘Asian’ pears became more like an apple in shape and crisper in texture. Unlike other types of pears, which you want to eat when they have a bit of give to them, ripe Asian pears are firm. Even though they are hard, they still bruise easily, which is why you often see them sporting ‘foam net sweaters’ for protection in the grocery stores.

Since I had a couple of these nice juicy pears on hand as well as some Brie, putting them into strudel seems like a good idea. I’m just going to ‘wing it’ as the saying goes, and combine a few ideas to see what develops. What’s not to love about strudel, right?! 

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Asian Pear & Brie Strudel
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Rating: 4.5
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Course Brunch, dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Streusal
Strudel Pastry
Course Brunch, dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Streusal
Strudel Pastry
Votes: 2
Rating: 4.5
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Instructions
Pear Filling
  1. In a small saucepan, combine pears, apple juice & maple syrup. Bring to boiling; reduce heat & simmer uncovered about 5 minutes or until pears are tender. Drain pears; add nuts, cherries, brown sugar & apple pie spice. Toss gently until mixed; set aside.
Streusal
  1. In a bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugars, spices & salt until fully combined. Gently stir in melted butter & crumble ingredients together. Set aside
Strudel Pastry
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder & salt. With a pastry blender, cut in cream cheese & shortening until mixture resembles coarse peas. Stir in milk. On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough gently about 20 times. On a sheet of parchment paper, press dough out to a 14"x 14" square & lightly butter pastry.
  2. On another large sheet of parchment paper, spread streusal topping out evenly. Lay pastry, buttered side down over streusal & press down lightly. Lay thinly sliced BRIE cheese over pastry, then top evenly with pear filling. Roll up pastry from the longest side using parchment to do so.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lay filled strudel roll with parchment on a baking sheet. Slice top of strudel part way through at 1" intervals. Remove any excess streusal. Bake about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove strudel from baking sheet & place on a wire rack. Sprinkle with excess streusal.

Sour Cream Oatmeal Cookies

Sour cream is often thought of as topping for potatoes or an addition to sauces. Due to its creamy texture, sour cream can be added to a variety of baked goods and recipes in order to yield moister results. The use of sour cream has been associated with the cooking traditions of Eastern Europe, Germany, Ukraine and Russia since the first half of the 20th century. Originally made by allowing cream to sour naturally, today’s commercial version can contain the addition of lactic acid, gelatin or guar gum.

Probably one of the first recipes I ever used sour cream in was coffeecake. I just couldn’t believe how tender and moist it was and the heavenly smell when it came out of the oven. Looking through my mother’s recipe files, I see there were many recipes that contained sour cream that she had used.

I saw this recipe on a site called love2cooksweets.ca  It was posted back in 2010. Nothing fancy but makes a wonderful sour cream oatmeal cookie. These can be filed under ‘comfort food’ I’m sure.

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Sour Cream Oatmeal Cookies
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Rating: 4.5
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Course Brunch, dessert
Servings
Course Brunch, dessert
Servings
Votes: 2
Rating: 4.5
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Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda & salt. In a medium bowl, cream butter with sugars; beat in egg & vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream. Stir in raisins & oats.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Scoop dough onto cookie sheet a few inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool on pan about 30 seconds then remove to wire racks.