Apple and Brussels Sprout Slaw

Did you watch the Superbowl this past weekend? We did not. We don’t have cable, so we didn’t even watch the commercials, like many choose to do. Instead, we climbed in the last bouldering competition of the season (I managed to nab third place!). It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, especially if you prefer to play versus watch. | Apple and Brussels Sprout Slaw

Just because we don’t watch football, doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy some of the classic football-watching nibbles! On Saturday we picked up a bone-in pork-shoulder from the local butcher to make the most delicious slow-cooked pulled pork, and I baked a batch of my super-soft slider buns (Jonty was still taking his welding course, so I had the kitchen to myself). And what goes hand-in-hand with a meal like this? A good-old tangy, crunchy slaw! | Apple and Brussels Sprout Slaw

The great thing about a meal like this is that you can make everything a day or two before, and it tastes better the longer it sits. And after a good day of hard bouldering, coming home to dinner all prepped to eat, is like wonderful gift to yourself 🙂 | Apple and Brussels Sprout Slaw

This apple and brussels sprout slaw makes use of the great winter fruits and veggies at the market. Feel free to use the standard green cabbage, if you don’t like brussels sprouts or can’t find them in the store. And I would urge you to find a great tart, crunchy apple for this recipe (we use our favourite Pink Lady apples). When pairing the slaw with something like pulled pork, we find the acid in the coleslaw helps to cut down the richness of the pork. | Apple and Brussels Sprout Slaw

If you’re still living under a blanket of snow (apparently Vancouver still wants to hit us with the white stuff this year!) this is a great winter salad to add a bit of colour and crunch to your meal.

Apple and Brussels Sprout Slaw
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a tangy, crunch slaw that holds up well in the fridge, with flavours improving the longer it sits.
For the salad
  • 1 tart apple (like Pink Lady), julienned
  • 12 - 15 brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1 red Thai chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 green onions, green and white parts thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
For the dressing
  • 3 tbsp non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Mix the apple, shredded brussels sprouts, chili pepper, green onions and cilantro in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, and pour over the salad. Toss to combine.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
  4. Let sit in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy this Apple and Brussels Sprout Slaw! | Apple and Brussels Sprout Slaw

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Apple Streusel Pie with Rye Pastry

I feel like December is cookie season. But since we’re firmly planted in November for the next week, I’m declaring we’re still in pie season. The local Okanogan apples are plentiful in the markets, and you never have to twist my arm very much to make (or eat) pie. So, just in time for American Thanksgiving, or just in time for Canadian Anydays-giving, here’s a little Apple Streusel Pie for you. | Apple streusel pie with a rye pastry crust

I was originally going to call this post Apple Rye Streusel Pie, because I find rhymes like this highly amusing. But then I thought, perhaps you might think there was rye (i.e. alcohol) in the pie, not rye (like the flour). So I caved, and went with the boring title instead 🙂 | Apple streusel pie with a rye pastry crust

We actually made this rye pie for our Canadian Thanksgiving last month, but time has gotten the better of me and I didn’t get around to posting it; however, posts like these are better late than never, and this was such a good pie, that I’m sure you won’t care when it was intended for. At least I’m hitting someone’s thanksgiving this week!

I wanted to make a pie but didn’t want to go through the fuss of making a double-crust fancy-pants pie. This apple streusel pie was the result. | Apple streusel pie with a rye pastry crust

Rye Pie Pro’s:

  • This apple streusel pie is very easy to make.
  • The pastry base uses a good amount of rye flour, instead of the traditional all-purpose white flour. I think this adds a subtle nutty flavour to the pie, which nicely complements the apples.
  • The streusel topping bakes up nice and crunchy, and anyway, who doesn’t love streusel topping!
  • For a typical pie, there is very little sugar in it. I like to let the sweetness of the fruit come through. Can we call this a healthy pie? Probably not. But it definitely tastes like perfectly ripe apples, and that’s a good thing in my books.

Rye Pie Con’s?

  • Umm… it takes more than 60 minutes to bake?
  • Umm… you need to wait for it to cool before slicing into it? | Apple streusel pie with a rye pastry crust

If you find yourself in need of a good dessert for tomorrow, or a good dessert in general, give this one a try. I think it can hold its own against the classic Pumpkin Pie.

Served warm, with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream, it’s pretty darned great. Served cold, straight from the fridge at midnight, I won’t tell if you don’t 😉

Apple Streusel Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This pie was inspired in part by this Apple Crumble Pie
For the rye pastry dough:
  • 100 g (~3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 50 g (~1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) rye flour
  • 112 g (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ tbsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 to 4 tbsp cold water
For the Streusel toping:
  • 90 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50 g (1/4 cup packed) brown sugar
  • 75 g (1/2 cup) chopped walnut pieces
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the pie filling:
  • 3 to 4 large apples, cored and sliced, about 5 mm thick (aim for 7 to 8 cups)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 20 g (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Make the pastry dough:
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flours, butter and apple-cider vinegar (or use a pastry cutter or two knives).
  2. Slowly add in the water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse until the dough comes together and forms little balls. When you've added enough liquid, the dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers.
  3. Shape the dough into a flat disc and refrigerate until ready to use (preferably let it sit at least 30 minutes).
Make the streusel topping:
  1. With a spoon, mix together the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, chopped walnuts and melted butter. Set aside until ready to use.
Make the pie:
  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the pie filling, until the apple slices are completely covered. Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes, while you're preparing your pie shell.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and place a tray in the oven, which will be used to catch any pie overflow.
  3. Roll out the pastry dough into a circle that is about 5 cm / 2 inches larger than your pie plate.
  4. Transfer the dough into the pie plate and gently press it down into the pan and up along the sides.
  5. Trim up the edges to allow a 1-cm overhang. Then pinch the dough along the rim of the pie plate, to form a lip.
  6. Spoon the apple mixture into the prepared pie shell. Do not spoon in juice that has seeped out. The pie will probably look very full. Try to mount up the apples as best you can, as they will shrink down as it bakes.
  7. Sprinkle the streusel layer onto the pie and press it down gently.
  8. Place the pie into the centre of the oven, over top of the baking tray.
  9. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and bake for another 45 to 60 minutes, or until the apples are soft to pierce. If the top is getting too brown before the apples are finished cooking, place a bit of foil over the pie.
  10. Let the pie cool at least 2 or 3 hours before serving, to allow it to set.

Enjoy the Apple Streusel Pie! | Apple streusel pie with a rye pastry crust

Mini Apple-Blackberry Pies

This is the first week that it is really starting to feel like autumn! The leaves are just starting to change, and the markets are filling up with the local Okanogan apples. When I see the fruit bins overflowing with Honeycrisp and Ambrosia apples, I can’t help but load up my shopping cart. Even after eating them during the week, in salads or on their own, we often have a surplus by the end of the week. And since the weekends are synonymous with baking, we use them up making plenty of tasty treats involving apples, cinnamon and butter. | Mini apple-blackberry pies

We had a few end-of-season blackberries still kicking around and I was craving pie, but not a big pie of the usual size. I wanted something portable, that we could easily enjoy after a climbing day. So I decided to bake these single-serving Apple-Blackberry Pies, in a standard muffin tin. They tasted fantastic, a perfect autumn treat! And besides, who doesn’t love to have their own little bite-sized pie to themselves? | Mini apple-blackberry pies

I’ve made these mini pies a few times now, and they really are a perfect little sweet treat. And I’m convinced that most desserts feel more individual and taste better when they’re bite-sized. Another bonus is that they freeze really well, so bake up a batch to save for those rainy Vancouver days you know are coming! | Mini apple-blackberry pies

Tips for making Mini Apple-Blackberry Pies:

  • Butter the muffin tins really well. I’m serious. Make sure you butter the tops of the pan too. Nothing will anger a wife quicker than having a pie stick to the pan. True story.
  • Make sure to cut up the apples into very small chunks (think thumbnail sized), if you don’t want to pre-cook the apples first. These mini pies don’t take as long to bake as a full-sized pie, so cutting the apples into bite-sized pieces will ensure they soften before the baking time finishes.
  • If you make a full double-crusted mini-pie, make sure to cut a big hole in the top pastry, to release the steam and avoid too much overflow.

The deal with making these mini pies is pretty easy. Roll out the pastry and cut out 6 circles. I used a 10-cm / 4-inch crumpet ring, but I’ve seen suggestions of using the lid of a yogurt container, too. Gently press the pastry into the well-greased muffin tin, fill with the fruit filling, then use any remaining pastry dough to make a top crust, if you’d like. Brush the tops with milk, and sprinkle with a coarse sugar, then pop them into the oven. In less than 45 minutes, you will thank yourself for creating such cute, delicious treats 🙂 | Mini apple-blackberry pies

I think these Apple-Blackberry Pies are best enjoyed after a hard climbing day, with a good cup of coffee. Hubby fully agrees 😉

Mini Apple-Blackberry Pies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Inspired by Dessert for Two
For the pastry
  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 112 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butte
  • 8 g (1/2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 8 g (1/2 tbsp) apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 - 4 tbsp ice-cold wate
For the filling
  • 245 g (~1 large) cored and diced apple (we like Ambrosia)
  • 60 g (~3/4 cup) blackberries, fresh or frozen
  • 10 g (2 tsp) lemon juice or apple-cider vinegar
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) brown sugar
  • 15 g (~1.5 tbsp) flour or cornstarch
Making the pastry dough:
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, butter, sugar and apple-cider vinegar.
  2. Add the water, 1 tbsp at a time and pulse until the dough just starts to clump together.
  3. Remove from the food processor, wrap tightly in plastic or place in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to a few days.
  4. Let sit at room temperature about 15 minutes before you plan on rolling it out, to soften it up a bit.
Making the filling:
  1. Core a large apple and dice into small pieces. Place into a bowl, along with the blackberries.
  2. Add the lemon juice or apple-cider vinegar, brown sugar and flour and toss very gently to combine.
  3. Set aside while you are preparing your muffin tins.
Making the mini pies:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and place a baking tray in the oven, to catch any over-flow.
  2. Grease 6 muffin cups very well, ensuring both the cup and the top edge of the pan are greased.
  3. Lightly flour your counter-top and roll out the pastry dough into a rectangle, about 5-mm thick. Cut out 6 circles, each about 12 cm (4.5 inches) in diameter. Gently press each pastry circle into a prepared muffin cup.
  4. Spoon the apple-blackberry filling into the prepared pastry cups. The filling will shrink down as it cooks, so don't worry if the cups look quite full. Really pile it in!
  5. If you are doing a top crust (there is enough pastry dough), roll out the remaining pastry and cut into your desired shape - either strips for a lattice, or circles for full coverage. Regardless of the shape, make sure you have enough holes in your top crust to let out the steam.
  6. Pinch together the edges to seal. Brush the tops with a bit of milk and sprinkle with a coarse sugar.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the filling starts to bubble
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Then gently remove the mini pies from the muffin holders and cool completely on the rack.
  9. While the pies are still hot, use a knife to loosen around the edge of the muffin cups, so that any overflowed filling will not stick to the pan while the pies are cooling.
The pastry recipe will make enough for 1 9-inch single-crust pie, or 6 double-crust mini pies.
These pies freeze very well.

Enjoy! | Mini apple-blackberry pies

Apple-Walnut Hand Pies

Happy Pi Day!

Being two physicists (by degree) and food-lovers (by taste), we couldn’t let 3.14 go by without a pie recipe for you. Last year we were traveling in the Sprinter van with no access to an oven, so we made a raw Strawberry Tart. This year, we’ve made an equally easy recipe: Apple-Walnut Hand Pies. | Apple-walnut hand pies

We had a sheet of puff pastry in the freezer that I wanted to use, and the most difficult part of the recipe is remembering to let the puff pastry defrost in the fridge for a few hours before using it! | Apple-walnut hand pies

Because these little hand pies only take about 25 minutes to bake, you will need to soften the apples first. Add them to a small saucepan, cover and let simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often to avoid them sticking to the bottom on the pan. Adding a splash of water to the mix will help.

Once they’ve softened, add some cinnamon, flour, a touch of sugar, a touch of apple cider vinegar, and a handful of toasted walnuts, and stir to combine. Let this mixture cool for a bit before assembling the hand pies. | Apple-walnut hand pies

If you’ve never used it, puff pastry is surprisingly easy to work with. As long as you keep the worktop surface well-floured (to prevent the pastry from sticking) and work briskly (to prevent the pastry from warming up too fast) the pastry is quite forgiving. Using a rolling-pin, roll out a sheet of puff pastry to about half its original thickness, and cut the piece into 4 equal squares (or rectangles).

Brush the edges with a bit of milk, place 1/4 of the apple mixture onto one half of each square, then fold the pastry over this mixture and crimp the edges together using your fingers or a fork. Brush the tops of the hand pies with a bit of milk, slash to tops with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape, then pop the hand pies into the oven for about 25 minutes. | Apple-walnut hand pies

While these hand pies are still warm from the oven, I suggest topping them with a scoop of ice cream. The ice cream melts into all the nooks and crannies of the pie, making these seriously delicious. If you live in Vancouver, I urge you to head to Earnest Ice Cream to pick up a pint; there will be no regrets 🙂 | Apple-walnut hand | Apple-walnut hand pies

So easy to make, so  tasty to eat!

Apple-Walnut Hand Pies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • ~200 g / 7oz puff pastry (this was ½ package for the pastry I used)
  • 1 large apple (275 g), cored and diced
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) walnuts, toasted then chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Thaw the puff pastry as directed (usually a few hours in the refrigerator).
  2. Core and dice a large apple. Place into a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add a splash of water, cover and reduce until softened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Toast the walnuts in the oven or in a pan on the stove top until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Chop and reserve.
  4. Once the apples have softened, add the cinnamon, brown sugar, flour, apple cider vinegar and chopped walnuts. Stir to combine, then cool the mixture.
  5. To make the hand pies, roll out a piece of puff pastry on a well-floured surface, to about half its original thickness. Cut into four equal pieces. I cut mine into 12-cm / 5-inch squares.
  6. Brush the edges of the pastry with milk and add ¼ of the apple mixture onto each square. Fold the pastry over itself, and pinch the edges together with your fingers or a fork.
  7. Brush the top of the hand pies with milk and slash a few holes to allow steam to escape.
  8. Place the hand pies on a parchment-lined tray and bake in a 400F oven for 22 to 25 minutes, until the pastries are a deep golden brown.
  9. Cool slightly on a rack before eating.

Enjoy these Apple-Walnut Hand Pies! | Apple-walnut hand pies | Apple-walnut hand pies
Climb Eat Cycle Repeat | Apple Ginger Smoothie with Lime and Chia Seeds

Sunday Smoothie: Week 3

Well, I’ve just finished Week 3, and it’s been Smoothie Sailing! 🙂 But seriously, it’s been a pretty tasty challenge I’ve taken on! I may not be following the daily recipes religiously, as I’ve tried to use them more for inspiration and as a guide in order to expand my fruits and greens combinations.

The winners this week were the Apple-Ginger Smoothie (with ginger, lime, apples and chia seeds)… | Apple-ginger smoothie

… and one I’m calling the Tropical Fiesta Smoothie, with kiwi, oranges and pineapple. | Tropical-fiesta smoothie

Mornings can be a bit of a rush, so I always make sure to prep my smoothie ingredients the night before. Once you get into the habit, it’s pretty easy. I weigh out the greens and liquids into the BlendTec jar, along with extras like chia seeds, flax seeds and ginger. The fruit gets chopped up and put into the freezer, so it’s always nice and cold.

In the morning, Jonty blends up my smoothie for me (because it takes me longer to get ready!!), all he has to do is put the frozen fruit in the blender jar and he’s good to go! Making them takes a minute or two and just requires tweaking the liquid to get the perfect consistency as the ingredients are blending!

Preparation is the key for success 🙂 | Apple-ginger smoothie

As always, these smoothies make one big glass, so if you have a few people in your house who want to partake, feel free to double the ingredient list.

Also, I can’t stop seeing a face in the Tropical Fiesta Smoothie picture above, do you see it too?! Those big green eyes and kiwi nose staring at me! 🙂

Have a great Sunday, and Happy Smoothing!

Apple-Ginger Green Smoothie
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 large glass
  • Serving size: 1 smoothie
  • Calories: 245
  • Fat: 4.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 51.1 g
  • Sugar: 25.3 g
  • Sodium: 284.2 mg
  • Fiber: 13.2 g
  • Protein: 7.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 70 g (1 packed cup) kale
  • 1 cup coconut water (we use the King Island Pure Coconut Water)
  • 1" piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (or ½ tsp ground ginger)
  • ½ banana, chopped
  • ½ medium apple, cored and diced
  • ½ lime, juice
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  1. Place the kale, lime juice, ginger, chia seeds and coconut water in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add the banana and apple and blend again until smooth.
For a cold smoothie, make sure at least one of the fruit is frozen.

Tropical Fiesta Smoothie
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 large glass
  • Serving size: 1 glass
  • Calories: 270
  • Fat: 1.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.9 g
  • Sugar: 41 g
  • Sodium: 39.8 mg
  • Fiber: 11.2 g
  • Protein: 6.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 70 g (1 cup, packed) kale
  • 1 cup coconut water (we use King Island Pure Coconut Water)
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1 mandarine orange, peeled
  • 160 g (1 cup) diced pineapple
  1. Blend together the kale and coconut water until smooth.
  2. Add the kiwi, orange and pineapple and blend again, until smooth.
For a cold smoothie, ensure at least one of your fruit ingredients is frozen.