Fall in the Pacific Northwest means that apples and fresh local cranberries are easy to come by, and I wanted to come up with a recipe that would use these ingredients in a simple, quick & easy way. I also wanted something nice and tart, which could be easily made as a single serving dish. The recipe I arrived at is an apple-cranberry crumble of sorts, with the oat topping reminiscent of a soft, crumbly oatmeal cookie.
makes 1-2 servings
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup oat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 Gala apple, chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Stir in maple syrup and olive oil. The mixture should form a loose clump (add a small amount of liquid if it seems too dry and does not hold together well). Chop apple into 1″ pieces. Place apple pieces and cranberries in an 8″ square baking dish. Pile oat mixture on top, and press to form a low mound over the fruit. Bake for 15 minutes (or until apple pieces are at desired tenderness and the cranberries have popped).
You can substitute oat flour with another flour of your choice. You can also try different apples varieties, such as honeycrisp or braeburn. Just make sure it is a variety suitable for baking and not too tart (the cranberries will give you plenty of that!). Avoid varieties like granny smith (too tart) and red delicious (don’t bake very well).
Living in a small town has its drawbacks … one being that it can be difficult to procure my favorite beverage. Unlike most ginger ales that are nothing but corn syrup and fake flavoring, Reed’s is made from real stuff … and oh my is it tasty ^-^ There are several versions, but Extra Ginger Brew is the clear winner. There are a few local stores that carry it (and my generous idea of “local” is anywhere within 45 minutes driving time), however none of them can reliably keep it in stock. It’s obvious that Reed’s is a “low priority” item, evidenced by the small amount of shelf space allotted to it, and crappy product placement (always located on the very bottom shelf or partially hidden by a random beam or something). However, it is still perpetually sold out, even when reaching to the bottles towards the back requires squatting or crawling on the floor (apparently I am not the only diehard fan of this stuff). I suspect that being a “low priority” item, reordering doesn’t always happen right away … actually knowing how this town operates, I’m sure of it. But do you think they ever let their stock of beer and oreos run low? Yeah right. I think that’s the part that really pisses me off. The mainstream junk food stretches the entire aisle and is always well stocked, while the few things I buy are constantly sold out. Whatever.
Ginko examines my “speacial order” case of Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew
So recently when my stash of ginger ale was running a low, I visited the closest store known to carry it … Safeway. I had resolved not buy my ginger ale from Safeway (after never having it in stock, they announced they would stop carrying it, then months later brought only the Extra Brew back … with a significant price hike). However, since I really didn’t want to drive 15-20 miles to another store, I gave them a try … and naturally they were sold out. I drove half an hour to the next store … sold out. Sometimes these little things in life can really get under your skin. The solution was to special order myself a case … and after a long, cranky week of no ginger ale, I am now happily stocked with not one, but two cases (not sure how I ended up with two, but you can’t expect much from the local help … I’m just happy they managed to get me my “spe
acial order” at all).
I don’t know what happiness is … but I imagine it looks something like this:
one extra-large happy monkey bowl of mochi … to counteract the effects of an extra-bad day
What makes mochi in this form so amazing is that it hits every possible craving … sweet, salty, rich & tasty, crispy-crunchy and ooey-gooey … all in one magical food. (I suppose some people have other food cravings that I haven’t mentioned … but these are probably icky things I don’t eat, and I won’t taint this lovely moment by referencing them here)