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Taking a Break

Once I finally got the house to myself, I set to work: dishes (how do they pile up so?), grape jelly, dishes, apple jelly, dishes, Maple-Apple Muffins (recipe below – finally!) and more apples cooked down to make another batch of jelly (methinks the next one will have mint) – remember, I have oodles of apples to use – I decided to take the pooch out for a walk. I have promised him we will get in a 45-60 minute walk every day.

What a glorious day for it! I mean, seriously, it’s October 10th and I was dressed in shorts, a tank-top and flip-flops for goodness’ sake! It hit 25 degrees Celsius! Whoop! Whoop! I know this is probably not a good thing with Global Warming and all but, living in an area where the winters can be pretty ferocious, we have learnt to enjoy the heat whilst we can!

That said, Zeke and I made our way to “Teletubbie Park”, as we have so named it. (When we moved to this area, the boys were in grades 2 and 4 so we walked with them before the school year to show them how to get to their new school and not get lost. We discovered the lovely hills right next to the school and noticed how much it looked like the ones on that most annoying of children’s shows – which OF COURSE our boys loved when they were small).
2013-10-10 15.23.38
OK.. this is not the best shot to really sense the hills but anyway… 😉

Zeke

Zeke

Zeke really enjoys when we come here because I let him run off leash so he can sniff away at all the delicious scents unhindered. The day was simply to be enjoyed and I regretted not having gone out sooner. Silly me!

We then continued our walk through the neighbourhood, enjoying the colours and the last vestiges of various flower gardens. These too have a lovely look to them as they gently, in the case of certain hydrangeas; or, violently, in the case of the fire bush, change colours.

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

On our way back home, we passed a bunch of rose bushes laden with rosehips… Would that I could be certain the City does not spray them with pesticide (though I seriously doubt they do) and that they were not right next to a boulevard in daily contact with exhaust fumes… I would so love to transform them into jelly!

Rosehips

Rosehips

Now, as promised, here is the recipe for the apple muffins. I have this wonderful go-to book that I return to again and again. It is Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too, by Susan G. Purdy. As the name suggests, it contains a bunch of low-fat but fabulous tasting recipes. So, no, I cannot take credit for this recipe!

Vermont Maple-Apple Muffins

Maple Apple Muffins

Maple Apple Muffins

Ingredients
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice or skim milk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp maple or vanilla extract
1 medium tart apple, peeled, cored and finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsifted whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole wheat flour, sifted it and added the good stuff to the batter!)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Topping
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Position rack in the centre of the oven and preheat it to 355oF. Coat a 12-muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine first 9 ingredients. Beat well with a wooden spoon, then stir in the oats.
3. Set a strainer over the bowl, add dry ingredients. Using the back of a spoon, stir and sift the dry ingredients onto the egg mixture. Stir well to blend.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until tops of muffins are well risen and crisp and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for a few minutes, then use a fork to lift out of the muffins and cool completely on the rack. Serve warm.

217 calories, 4 g protein, 5 g fat, 0.5 g satfat, 40g carbohydrate, 199 mg sodium,18 mg cholesterol

Oh! And a little funny to end this one. In this particular recipe, it is specified 1 medium apple, “about 1 cup” of apples… great!. What about when it is stated to add one apple, which one would you choose?
apples

4 thoughts on “Taking a Break

  1. “Teletubbie Park”; I love your description of the park. I could see myself walking there. Here temperatures are also around 26 C so not much difference although I am thousands of miles away. Wonderful looking muffins you got there. I am still looking for gluten free recipes. I wonder if yours is easy to change to one.

  2. Vestiges and laden, two of m very fave words and in one tantalizing post, Dale!!! Let’s talk about apples and how funny it it is that it was not until I’d seen the photo of Zeke that I realized he is a dog. Your recipe is tops to be sure, but say you of Fuji apples? Not in the recipe since it calls for medium tart. But I have such love for Fujis that I am very sad when I cannot find good ones at the store, The gargantuan apple in your photos made me think of them. They get pretty big, yet never lose their flavor. May your day be a Mama Apple!!!

    • Ha ha! Glad you enjoyed! As for the Fuji – I too love them… ‘Tis true that a good one is hard to find in the store… Wonder if they would grow in Quebec? Are they a more warm-weather type? Hmmm, gonna have to research that! In all my years (almost a half-century – OMG!!!) I have never picked that variety… Food for thought (yuk, yuk, yuk!!!)

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