Homemade Apple Butter

Winter is coming! And with winter all things warm are welcome in the household. Especially, the kitchen. Transforming my breakfast and evening snacks slightly for the weather, I added homemade apple butter to my pantry. I am forever grateful for this sweet and sour delight. It pairs really well with warm toast. Go, make yourself a batch to know what I mean –

HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER
(yields about 1 liter of apple butter)

Ingredients

Directions

  • Put all the ingredients into a large ovenproof pot. Mix well and cover with a lid. Bring the liquid at the bottom of the pot to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until the apples are soft and falling apart. Remember to stir occasionally.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Place an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and discard the cinnamon sticks. Pour the applesauce into a blender or use an immersion blender and blend until lump free. {At this stage you have a delicious applesauce. Feel free to stop here and enjoy!} If you used a blender, pour the applesauce and the discarded cinnamon sticks back into the pot.
  • Place the pot in the preheated oven. Cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent any scorching. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Continue cooking the applesauce, stirring every half an hour, for 3-4 more hours, or until it has the desired consistency. As it cooks, the applesauce will slowly thicken and turn into a gorgeous deep red-brown color.
  • Remove from the oven and store in jars. I love these cute jars on Amazon, which are shaped like the quintessential autumn/winters icon aka pumpkins. The apple butter will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or longer if you decide to can it.

Note: The recipe can easily be halved. The cooking time in the oven will reduce to 2-3 hours.

Recipe Source: My Blue And White Kitchen

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Mediterranean Roasted Salad

I am officially committed to olives. Too apparent by the blog’s name already. 

It’s almost sad that you cannot serve olives for main course by themselves. But I compensated this week by making a weekday dinner with a salad, with added olives. I had been eating out almost the entire week due to some friends moving out of the city and some other social commitments, so at the only chance I got to get myself a dinner at home, I decided to have something green and light. What was it, you ask?

Mediterranean Roasted Salad | Olives & Oysters
Mediterranean Roasted Salad

A roasted beet salad, with a Mediterranean touch. Make yourself some with this quick recipe –

MEDITERRANEAN ROASTED SALAD

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1-2 beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick wedges
  • 2 large oranges, peeled, pith removed, de-seeded and cut into thick pieces
  • 1 cup goat cheese
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup black and green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Arrange the beets on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and roast for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and continue roasting for another 10 minutes.
  • Mix red wine vinegar, orange juice grape seed oil and olive oil in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk slowly to create dressing.
  • Add roasted beets, oranges, onions, spinach and dressing in the serving bowl. Top with olives and goat cheese to serve. Enjoy!

This warm salad is good enough to keep you full without being overbearing on your palate or stomach. In fact, the taste of raw spinach, oranges and onions is soothing to the palate. It’s almost like you can taste every ingredient individually, and yet they combine so beautifully. Tell me if you like it as much as I do by commenting below or posting a pic to Instagram with #olive_oysters.

Mexican Steak Salad

I love salads along with my dinner, but thanks to tiredness and laziness you feel after a long workday, I managed to turn a salad in to my dinner recently. Don’t worry, I didn’t starve myself or cut corners and my “salad” was really satisfying to the tummy and taste buds.

Want to know how? Read the recipe

Mexican Steak Salad | Olive & Oysters
Mexican Steak Salad

MEXICAN STEAK SALAD

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1-2 fish steaks (can be replaced with your choice of meat, or tofu/cottage cheese, if you are a vegan/vegetarian)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 tomato, stemmed and diced
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoon tomato salsa
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground cumin, to taste
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Tortilla chips, to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Sprinkle steak with cumin powder, chili powder, salt and pepper, to suit your taste. Pour oil into a skillet over medium-high flame. Add steak, when the oil is heated. Cook evenly on both sides. Depending on thickness of your steak, 3-4 minutes per side should be sufficient. When done, set the steak aside.
  • Add cucumber, tomato, avocado, lettuce, cheese in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon each of salsa and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Heat in microwave for 1 minute.
  • Set tortilla chips along the side of the bowl. Top it off with steak and leftover salsa and sour cream. Serve while hot.

The salad is a good weekday dinner option or a lazy indulgence. Pair it with a glass of red wine and you’d be sorted. Let me know how do you like it in the comments below or post a pic to your Instagram with #olive_oysters.

That overly simple carrot salad

My friends have declared me crazy over my salad obsession. Every meal of mine – be it breakfast, lunch or dinner – has to accompanied with a salad. And ever so often, my mid-day snacks are nothing but a salad.

I believe that this “obsession” came from my desire to eat raw, healthy and clean, built strongly over past two years. From overtly simple to really complex and exotic, I try and experiment with my salads as much as I can. Sometimes, my experiments fail terribly, sometimes they are a “perfect”. I would love to share my hits with you, so that you can also include a bit of healthy eating in your diets, wherever possible. (I will definitely spare you the disasters, unless they are really funny.)

First up, is my go-to recipe for the days I am in a rush. A bowl takes about 5 minutes to get ready to serve. Easily available and choke full of carotenes, carrots (and apples) are one of my favorite breakfast items. Apart from coffee, of course.

Overly simple carrot salad | Olive & Oysters
Overly simple carrot salad

This overly simple carrot salad, is exactly what I mentioned – overly simple, with a full dose of kick-me-up and pick-me-up nutrients. Let’s get to the recipe, shall we?

OVERLY SIMPLE CARROT SALAD

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: None
Serves: serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and grated or spiralized
  • 1 teaspoon mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon, extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted nuts and raisins, to garnish

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients, except nuts and raisins in a large bowl and toss well.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, honey and lemon as per your taste. I like it with less honey and more lemon.
  • Sprinkle almonds before serving for some crunch.
  • Best served chilled.

The salad can be served on its own, just as I prefer, or as  a side dish with your favorite sandwich or burger. It also tastes good with chicken and shrimps but the pairing is off-the-palate with most of the fishes I have tried pairing it with. Let me know what do you serve it with in the comments below or post a pic to your Instagram with #olive_oysters.