Cold weather is the perfect time for baked apples. Apples are good for you, cinnamon is good for you, the smell as they are cooking is divine, and the heat from the oven is welcome in these cold winter evenings.
I slice a little bit off the bottom for the apples, so they will sit flat in the dish – not too much, just a little:
Use a knife to take out a cone from the core, then use a melon-ball maker to scoop the seeds out of the center of the apple. Don’t go through the bottom if you can help it. If you do, it’s not a big deal, but try not to.
Mix up about a cup of brown sugar with about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and some small pieces of real butter – you can use a fork to break the butter up and mix it into the sugar. It doesn’t have to be well mixed, some lumps are OK, you just want small pieces of butter.
Stuff apples with cinnamon butter, pack firmly into each apple cavity, and top with a small pat of butter:
Bake at 180 degrees C. or 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes.
This is how they look coming out of the oven:
This whipped cream is whipped with confectioner’s (powdered) sugar and a drop of vanilla flavoring. YummmmmY!
We had friends in for dinner last night, and it was perfect Jambalaya weather. Nights are cold, and you want something that will warm you up and “stick to your ribs.”
“What is this?” my Kuwaiti friend asked, and I told him it was machboos if it were made in New Orleans, which made him laugh.
Like machboos, the recipe is infinitely variable. A lot of times, you put in what you have. Here is what I used, and it was delicious!
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green (or red) sweet pepper
Sautee together in olive oil and a little butter for richness.
Sautee 2.5 cups of rice in more olive oil and butter with 1 Tablespoon Tony Cochere’s Cajun Seasoning (available at the Sultan Center)
Add five cups liquid, made up of 3 packets of tomato paste (like the small cans we use in the US) plus chicken broth plus any liquid from the shrimp), bring to a boil, turn down and let simmer for 40 minutes or until rice has absorbed most of the liquid)
1 or 2 chopped tomatoes, for texture and color
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1 cup chopped chicken
1 smoked beef sausage (in the US this might be pork) chopped into pieces, or you could use a packet of the “Little Smokies” you can find at Sultan Center), pre-cooked
1 lb (500 grams) great big Kuwaiti shrimp
Stir in and let sit five minutes to heat all ingredients and so flavors blend.
Serve! This feeds six people generously, and up to twelve if other dishes are also served – salads, vegetables, etc.