Blueberry Pear Crumble – Redwall – Doomwyte

Blueberry Pear Crumble Recipe - Redwall

I didn’t discover the Redwall books until I was a teenager, but once I did, I was hooked. I love everything about these books. The simplistically beautiful setting, the adorable characters, and of course the descriptions of food! Food plays a major part in the lives of the creatures who live at Redwall Abbey, and the author goes to great lengths to describe the feasts in detail.

In Doomwyte, which is the 20th of the 22 books in the series, the characters have a marvelous picnic feast by the riverbank. Included in this feast is “damson pear crumble.” After some research, I discovered that damson is a kind of plum. I love plums, but they are not in season right now, so I had to leave them out. Pears aren’t in season either, but it is really easy to find canned pears…not so much with canned plums. To give the crumble a bit of the purple color missing from the plums, I added some frozen blueberries to the mix.

A “crumble” is also what we might call a “crisp.” Usually a base of syrupy fruit cooked with a crumbly oat topping. The great thing about this crumble is that it is really adaptable. You can make it all year long, using whatever fruit happens to be in season or whatever fruit you can find canned.

Blueberry Pear Crumble Recipe –

Doomwyte – Redwall

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. nuts (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, cold

Directions

  1. Place the pears and blueberries into a pie dish or deep baking pan.
  2. Sprinkle the lemon juice on top of the fruit.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and nuts.
  4. Cut the cold butter into the oat mixture until combined and crumbly.
  5. Sprinkle the oat mixture on top of the fruit.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

I think the Friar might suggest serving this crumble with ice cream or whipped cream, but it is also perfectly delightful on its own.

I chose to leave out the nuts, because I don’t like them, but adding nuts would give this dish a distinctly Redwall feel.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Homemade English Muffins – A Little Princess

homemade english muffin recipe

A Little Princess was one of my favorite books when I was a child. I loved being transported into Sara Crewe’s magical world. One of the most special scenes in this novel is when a mysterious benefactor arranges a delicious hot breakfast for Sara and Becky, seemingly by magic. They wake up in the morning to find the breakfast all laid out on the table.

One of the items on this breakfast table were “muffins.” There is no other description of these muffins in the book, but somehow I just couldn’t imagine anyone in Victorian England eating muffins like we imagine them today. So, I researched a bit about “Victorian muffins” and learned some really interesting things!

Muffins as we know them are a relatively recent invention. In Sara Crewe’s England, what they called “muffins” is what we would call “English muffins” today. In fact, when we hear about “The Muffin Man,” that is referring to a baker who carried around a basket of English muffins, selling them on the streets to passersby. That sounded a whole lot more authentic, so I set out to make my own English muffins in honor of A Little Princess.

I loosely followed this traditional recipe. Be warned that this recipe requires a total of about 12 hours of rising time for the dough. But, don’t let that scare you. The recipe isn’t difficult at all, you just have to be home basically all day to make it.

These scrumptious muffins are worth the wait, though! So much more flavorful than store-bought English muffins.

Homemade English Muffin Recipe – A Little Princess

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 packet yeast (not rapid-rise yeast!)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup cornmeal (or more, if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or oil

Directions

  1. Mix together the flour, salt and yeast.
  2. Add the milk, honey, and egg white to the flour mixture, and stir well.
  3. Cover the bowl with a cloth, and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 3 hours.
  4. Cover a cookie sheet with a thick layer or cornmeal. Make sure that the entire baking sheet is covered. This is to prevent the dough from sticking. I didn’t put nearly enough cornmeal on the sheet I used, and I had some problems, so the more cornmeal, the better!
  5. Portion out the dough onto the cookie sheet into about 12 little mounds.
  6. Sprinkle some more cornmeal on top of these dough mounds, and cover the cookie sheet with plastic.
  7. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 9 hours (see note at bottom about rising time).
  8. Melt the butter or oil in a pan on the stove on medium heat.
  9. Add the muffins to the griddle, and cook them until brown on the bottom.
  10. Flip the muffins over and cook until brown on the other side, too.

A note on rising times: The original recipe called for 4-5 hours of initial rising, followed by 12-42 hours of rising in the refrigerator once the muffins are formed. I just simply didn’t have the fridge space for that, so I adapted the rising times and temperatures to meet my needs, and the muffins still turned out great, but if you want to be totally authentic, follow the rising times in the original recipe!

Once the muffins are cooled, split them in half by running your fingers along the edges. You can toast them and eat them with butter, honey, or jam. You can also eat them plain, because they are just that good! I don’t think I’d ever eat a store-bought English muffin plain, but these are good enough to do just that.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Kronk’s Spinach Puffs – Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove

They’re so easy to make. I’ll get you the recipe.

-Kronk, The Emperor’s New Groove

Kronk's Spinach Puff Recipe - Disney's The Emperor's New Groove

The Emperor’s New Groove is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time. I love anything that can make me laugh out loud, and since I have a weirdly specific sense of humor, it is actually quite rare that a movie or show makes me laugh out loud…and this movie does just that, no matter how many times I watch it!

Kronk is easily the best part of this movie. He is so funny, and I love his passion for cooking. In light of that, I knew that I had to recreate Kronk’s spinach puffs. I adapted this recipe, and I think it’s one that Kronk would approve!

Kronk’s Spinach Puffs – The Emperor’s New Groove

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Directions

  1. Beat one of the eggs in a medium bowl.
  2. Add to the egg the spinach, feta, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  3. Cut the puff pastry sheet into 9 equal squares.
  4. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, and place the puff pastry squares into the individual cups of the muffin tin.
  5. Fill the puff pastry squares with about 2 or 3 Tbsp. of spinach filling, and pinch the corners closed on top.
  6. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl, and brush the egg over the tops of the spinach puffs.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.

These spinach puffs are great as a side item or appetizer, and I love that they’re pretty customizable, too. You can add bacon, chickpeas, or whatever else you want to the filling. Kronk was right, these are very easy to make!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Baked Apples – The Chronicles of Narnia

baked apples narnia recipe

Who else just adores Reepicheep?!

Okay let’s just get this out of the way. The apples I used for this recipe turned out really ugly looking for pictures…haha! Someday I will choose cuter apples and update this post with better photographs, but I didn’t want to keep this recipe from you in the meantime because, ugly or not, these baked apples tasted (and smelled) amazing!

Baked apples appear in The Chronicles of Narnia a couple times. Once in Prince Caspian when the Pevensie children find themselves in Narnia with no supplies. They find an apple orchard, and so for a few days, all they have to eat are apples. To give some variety, they try roasting the apples on sticks. In the Silver Chair, the dwarfs serve an elaborate breakfast including baked apples, which probably tasted better than the ones the Pevensies roasted on sticks.

The official Narnia cookbook has a recipe for baked apples, but the apples in this recipe are stuffed with raisins, and I hate cooked raisins! So I searched online for a baked apple recipe without raisins and found this great recipe that uses oats. I know they have oats in Narnia, because several times we see the characters eating oat cakes and oat porridge. So this could still be a totally authentic Narnian recipe.

Baked Apples – The Chronicles of Narnia

Ingredients

  • 4 apples (the sweeter, the better!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Cut out the core of the apples, leaving the bottom of the apple in tact. This works best with an apple corer or a melon baller, but I just used a regular spoon and it worked fine.
  2. Mix together the brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  3. Stuff the apples with the sugar/oat mixture
  4. Place the stuffed apples in a deep baking dish, and place 1/4 Tbsp. of butter on top of each one.
  5. Pour the water into the bottom of the dish. This should caramelize with the melted brown sugar to make a sauce.
  6. Cover the apples with foil and bake them for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  7. Remove the foil, and cook the apples for 30 minutes more.

These baked apples taste great on their own, but they’re also perfect for pairing with ice cream or whipped cream. They make the house smell like Thanksgiving!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Bilbo Baggins’ Seed Cake Recipe – The Hobbit

“…I don’t mind some cake—seed-cake, if you have any.”

“Lots!” Bilbo found himself answering…and he found himself scuttling off…to a pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.

-The Hobbit

Bilbo Baggins Seedcake Recipe Hobbit Lord of the Rings

Here we go with another recipe from my very favorite book of all time. I’ve seen and tried many recipes for Bilbo’s seed cake and have never liked them much. Most recipes out there are very authentic to the type of seed cake that Tolkien likely meant, which is caraway seed cake. I think it’s wonderful that these food bloggers and cookbook authors want to be authentic, but I much prefer poppy seed cake to caraway seed cake.

Years ago, when the first Hobbit movie came to theaters, Denny’s ran a promotion in which they offered a Hobbit-themed menu. Being the total nerds that we are, my husband and I drove 45 minutes to the nearest Denny’s just to eat Hobbit food! One of the items on the menu was French-toasted lemon poppy seed cake with a cream cheese glaze. It was so yummy!

For my recipe, I decided to go somewhere in between the authentic caraway seed cake and the totally inauthentic lemon poppy seed French toast, and I found a great sweet spot! I adapted this recipe for poppy seed cake from Food Network.

Bilbo Baggins’ Seed Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter into a round cake pan (or several round cake pans if you’re making smaller cakes).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until done in the middle.

When I took these cute round cakes out of the oven, I really felt like a hobbit! And I had just as much fun eating the cake as I did making it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Ketchup Soup and Parmesan Potatoes – The Martian

the martian recipes

This month, Food ‘n Flix is hosted by A Day in the Life on the Farm. The chosen movie for this month is The Martian, and I am so excited to share with you my recipes inspired by that film!

Back in 2014, my husband (who happens to be a rocket scientist…no, really!) read The Martian by Andy Weir, and he loved it so much that he talked about it almost nonstop for weeks. Since I never planned on reading the book (not really the genre I usually like to read), I let him tell me all about it, and I felt like I had read it myself.

So, when The Martian movie came out a couple years later, I knew we had to see it together in the theater. We both loved it, and I enjoyed hearing my husband compare the book to the movie. They are different, of course, but he liked them both.

I decided to make two recipes inspired by this movie. First up is parmesan potatoes. Mark Watney eats a lot of potatoes in this movie, because he is stranded with very few food reserves and resorts to growing his own potatoes from a few potatoes found in a packaged meal.

I was trying to figure out what I could do to make the potatoes more flavorful that would still maintain the theme of the movie, and I remembered a part in the movie where he runs out of ketchup and dips his potatoes in crushed Vicodin. Yes, as in the narcotic. While using actual Vicodin in this recipe would be both disgusting and illegal, I thought that powdered parmesan cheese looked a bit like crushed up Vicodin powder, so I went with that.

Parmesan Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. parmesan cheese powder (you know, the kind that comes in a bottle shaker!)

Directions

  1. Wash the potatoes and cut them up into bite-size pieces.
  2. Put the potatoes in a bowl, and toss them together with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Lay the potatoes out onto a greased baking sheet, and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

For the next recipe, I was inspired by the packets of ketchup Mark Watney uses (until he runs out, that is). And I thought, “Oh, why not make tomato soup with a ketchup base?” Um…bad idea, Courtney! Seriously, do not make soup out of ketchup. It was so vinegar-y and just nasty!

So instead of taking it so literally, I just made my favorite simple tomato soup recipe. I still called it “ketchup soup” though, because I was inspired by the ketchup 🙂

Ketchup Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot on the stove.
  2. Whisk the soup together as it heats so that all ingredients are incorporated into a smooth consistency.
  3. Add any desired garnishes, such as basil or parmesan cheese.

I served this soup with a dash of parmesan cheese powder to tie it in with the potatoes. It’s not gourmet, of course, but it is good in its simplicity…and it sure tasted better than the actual ketchup soup I made before. haha!

I hope you enjoy these fun little recipes as much as I enjoyed The Martian movie!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Josefina’s Bizcochitos Recipe – American Girl

Back in December, I posted a few recipes inspired by Kirsten, my favorite American Girl. I posted these recipes mostly just for fun and honestly didn’t expect many other people to enjoy or appreciate them, but boy was I wrong! I got a lot of great feedback on those recipes. Even now, almost 3 months later, those are some of my more popular posts on this site.

So, I am so excited to be doing another American Girl recipe today! This recipe is inspired by the book Happy Birthday, Josefina! Josefina is an American Girl growing up in New Mexico in the 1820s. At her 10th birthday celebration, they serve bizcochitos. I used this recipe to recreate this yummy treat.

Bizcochitos are a traditional New Mexican cookie with a very unique flavor. The combination of anise seed and cinnamon makes these cookies unlike anything you’ve ever tasted!

Josefina’s Bizcochitos Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground anise seed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. apple juice
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar

Directions

  1. Mix together the lard and 1/2 cup of sugar until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and anise seed and stir it well.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and apple juice and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours.
  5. Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and 3 Tbsp. of sugar.
  7. Cut out individual cookies, and dip them into the cinnamon sugar before placing them on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

The traditional shape of bizcochitos is the fleur de lis. Since I didn’t have a fleur de lis cookie cutter, I used a star, and I think that turned out beautifully, too.

With these lovely little cookies on hand, you’re ready for an authentic New Mexican celebration, just like Josefina’s birthday party!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Chocolate Cherry Tart – Pan’s Labyrinth

“You will see a sumptuous feast, but don’t eat or drink anything. Absolutely nothing. Your life depends on it.”

-The Faun, Pan’s Labyrinth-

chocolate cherry tart recipe

When I read that the film for Food ‘n Flix this month was Pan’s Labyrinth, I knew I had to jump at the chance to participate in this online film club for the first time. This month’s Food ‘n Flix is hosted by Pretty Cake Machine. Check out either of those blogs for info on how you can participate! Now, let’s get to it.

I am normally quite squeamish when it comes to movies and TV shows, so I usually steer clear of rated “R” movies, since they normally have too much violence for me to handle. However, I make an exception for Pan’s Labyrinth because it is just such a beautiful film. I love the gritty, realistic version of fantasy found in this movie, and the symbolism in the story is heart-wrenching and inspiring all at once.

I was of course inspired by the scene with the Pale Man. Even though that scene gives me anxiety, the food on the table is stunning. No wonder Ofelia and other children like her were tempted by it.

One dish that stood out to me the most was a tart or pie studded with bright red cherries. I already had a jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge, so I knew immediately I wanted to recreate this delectable dessert. I used a recipe for chocolate pudding that I found on the Hershey’s website.

So, here it is. A chocolate pudding tart adorned with bright red cherries. It’s so easy to make, but also yummy and beautiful.

Pale Man’s Chocolate Cherry Tart – Pan’s Labyrinth

Ingredients

  • Pie crust (I used a store-bought graham cracker crust…sue me! 😉 )
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk (trust me, do not use anything other than whole milk!)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Maraschino cherries

Directions

  1. Mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt and milk in a saucepan.
  2. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it starts to boil, stirring it constantly.
  3. Allow the mixture to boil for about 1 minute, remembering to keep stirring.
  4. Remove the pudding from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
  5. Pour the pudding into the pie crust, and allow the pudding to set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  6. Allow the cherries to drain on a towel for a minute, then arrange them in a circular pattern across the top of the tart.

Bonus Recipe – Warm Milk with Honey

Mercedes is one of my favorite characters in this movie. She is sweet and kind, but also determined and strong. I love the kindness she shows to Ofelia. In one scene, she offers to give Ofelia some warm milk with honey, and I thought that warm and comforting drink sounded lovely, but since it’s so simple, it can’t really be counted as a recipe.

Just warm some milk on the stove or in the microwave. Pour a few tablespoons of honey into the bottom of a mug. Pour the warm milk over the honey, and stir it all together. You can also add some cinnamon for a little something extra.

I hope these two recipes help you get into the spirit of Pan’s Labyrinth. Enjoy!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew – Star Wars

rootleaf stew

Update: I am submitting this recipe to the monthly Fandom Foodies link-up! This month is Star Wars themed, hosted by My Main is a Cook. Check it out! #MayTheFork be with you!

 

In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke goes to Dagobah, where he meets Jedi Master Yoda. Yoda finds Luke eating some dry rations, and he insists that Luke come with him for some better food. In his humble little hut, Yoda serves Luke rootleaf stew. Yoda claims that this rootleaf stew is good and healthy and will help Luke grow strong, however, Luke seems less than impressed with it.

There is an official rootleaf stew recipe floating around out there, but, in my opinion, it contains far too many ingredients, one of which being lamb. I don’t feel like Yoda could find lamb or any quality meat on the swampy planet of Dagobah.

I used a few root plants and some leafy greens…roots and leaves…get it? The beauty of this is that this soup is highly customizable, which is perfect if you’re stranded on a planet where you are at the mercy of whatever food you can forage.

I used beef broth because, when mixed with the green juices of the spinach, the broth takes on a kind of swampy look. It looks gross, but I promise it tasted yummy. Feel free to use a different broth if you want it to look a little more appetizing. May the force be with you!

Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew Recipe – Star Wars

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a pot.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pot, and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beef broth, potato and carrot.
  4. Cook the stew for 15 minutes, or until the potato and carrot are soft.
  5. Add the chopped spinach, salt and pepper, and cook the stew for about 5 more minutes.

Feel free to make substitutions according to your tastes. I’m sure Yoda substituted ingredients depending on what he could find to forage. Use any kind of root vegetable in place of potatoes and carrots, or substitute the spinach with kale or another leafy green.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for any sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Puss in Boots’ Cornish Hen Recipe

cornish hen recipe

This is the second month I’m participating in the Fandom Foodies linkup, and so far, it’s been lots of fun! Last month, Alison’s Wonderland Recipes took us on a magical journey to Narnia. This month, Pretty Cake Machine is hosting, and the theme is “cats in media.”

Now, I am a huge fan of cats. Seriously, I like cats better than most people. They’re my favorite! But I wasn’t sure if I could participate in this linkup while staying true to the theme of my blog. But then I remembered a charming little movie called Puss in Boots.

I’m sure there have been tons of film adaptations of this fairy tale over the years, but the one I’m referring to is a live-action film released in 1988 starring Christopher Walken. Yes, that Christopher Walken. This is a low-budget film with ’80s-style hairdos and ridiculous song numbers. It is terrible and wonderful all at once.

Christopher Walken plays the title character, who transforms into a human from a cat when he is gifted a pair of boots. In his human form, Puss in Boots is always seen catching, cooking, and eating some type of bird or another, so I knew I’d have to cook up something poultry-related for this story.

I settled on Cornish hens because of a lavish feast that Puss in Boots prepares for everyone at the end of the film. He serves the fanciest-looking little Cornish hens, and I knew I had to try replicating them. Luckily, I was able to find some frozen Cornish hens at Aldi. At nearly $4 a piece, they were more expensive than larger chickens, but still affordable if you’re not feeding a crowd.

Puss in Boots’ Cornish Hens Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Cornish game hens, thawed
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place the hens, breast up, in a roasting pan.
  3. Baste the hens with the melted butter, and sprinkle the salt and pepper over them.
  4. Roast the hens for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until an inserted thermometer reads 175 degrees F.

These gorgeous hens can be served with rice, potatoes, your favorite veggies, crusty bread, or whatever else you normally serve with chicken.

My favorite part about these Cornish hens was that I felt so fancy serving them for dinner, yet they didn’t require that much extra work from any other dinner I’ve made. No wonder Puss in Boots decided to serve them at the banquet!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for any sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!