Effortless Apple Crumble

Effortless Apple Crumble

Last night, despite still having leftover homework from the weekend, I decided to make some apple crumble! The recipe is super simple and easy to follow. I was inspired by a recipe by lifestyle blogger Kalyn Nicholson and I decided to recreate it with my own twist! All in all, it took around 1 hour — including baking time.

The finished product! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup granola or oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 small apples (or 3 regular-sized apples), diced
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. First, mix together the flour, sugar, granola, melted butter, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. I used a wooden spoon to do this in order to keep the crumbly consistency. Next, dice the apples into small cubes — around 1/2 inch in size. 

In a 2 quart size casserole dish, layer 2/3 of the crumble mixture on the bottom of the dish. Next, place the apples on top of the crumble later, sprinkling 2 tsp of cinnamon on the apples. Finally, layer the final 1/3 of the crumble on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 
Before baking

After baking! 

This dish is so delicious, especially when eaten warm. My roommate, Lizzy, and my boyfriend, Chris, both said they loved it! for my first time baking apple crumble, I definitely think it was successful!

xo

B

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Oven-Roasted Brown Sugar Chicken

Oven-Roasted Brown Sugar Chicken

Tonight for dinner, Chris decided it would be a good idea to have chicken…and for me to cook it entirely by myself. As you can imagine, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of preparing a meal on my ownfrom start to finished, raw to fully-cookedbut I was up for the challenge. Although I was nervous, the meal turned out pretty well! In this post, I will share with you the recipe I used to cook these (admittedly delicious) chicken thighs. 

The recipe for this chicken was inspired by one that Chris’s mom made him when he was growing up. She used brown sugar, butter, and a mix of Italian spices to create a wonderfully sweet and golden crust. Here is our take on her recipe (for three chicken thighs): 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper
Preheat the oven to 450° F. First, I rubbed each thigh with butter. Next, I rubbed each chicken thigh with salt and pepper on the bottom, top, and under the skin. Next, I liberally rubbed the brown sugar into each thigh (again, on the top, bottom, and under the skin). Finally, I sprinkled the thyme and sage on the top of the thigh and under the skin. Cook chicken in oven for 30 minutes, or until skin is a perfect shade of dark golden brown. 
This chicken was delicious! Chris made it five days ago, and I simply recreated it tonight. I was more liberal with my use of the brown sugar, and Chris said that although he was skeptical at first, he loved it! On the side, I served oven-roasted zucchini and pan-fried tofu with soy sauce and sesame oil. Overall, tonight’s meal was so tasty, if I do say so myself! Naturally, we spent our dinner watching the latest episode of MasterChefI’m rooting for Claudia!
I am so proud for not burning this meal for the first time, and I can’t wait to try more recipes! Now that we are living off-campus, I need to learn how to really cook for myself (a girl can only eat grilled cheese sandwiches for so long). 
xo
Taiwanese-style Tea Eggs: Cha Ye Dan 茶葉蛋

Taiwanese-style Tea Eggs: Cha Ye Dan 茶葉蛋

Recently, I made my boyfriend, Chris, one of his favorite childhood snacks: cha ye dan, or tea leaf eggs! While it was my first time making flavor-infused boiled eggs, I was up for the challenge. I have been learning so much about Taiwan and Chris’s childhood that I wanted to do something special and make these eggs all on my own for him to enjoy!

There are many recipes online from which I drew inspiration, but this seems to be the one that Chris liked best (including recommendations from his dad):

  • 1 heaping spoonful of black tea leaves (the ones we used were from Taiwan, but I am sure any loose-leaf black tea will do!)
  • 1 clove of star anise (we used a large one, and the flavor was very strong. If you desire a stronger licorice flavor, use more)
  • 6-8 tablespoons of soy sauce (originally, I used 3-4, but Chris prefers a stronger soy sauce flavor than most recipes called for)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
First, I placed the eggs in a pot of cold water, just enough to slightly cover the eggs. I brought the water to a boil and let boil for two to three minutes. Next, I drained the water and rinsed each egg with cold water, tapping lightly on the shells to crack the entire surface of each egg and making sure not to peel any of the eggs. The surface should look like a map of many small countries!
After, I filled the pot with cold water again and place the eggs inside, with about an inch of water above the eggs. I added all the ingredients to flavor the water and stirred lightly. Finally, I covered the pot and let the eggs come to a boil, then took the heat down to medium-low and let the eggs simmer for two to three hours (covering the pot allows for softer eggs). 
Chris loved this snack! He said it reminded him of nai-nai’s (grandma, 奶奶)  tea eggs. The only problem was they weren’t salty enough, so he suggested to add more soy sauce (I adjusted the recipe, explained above). Making these eggs was such a great adventure! We ate them with our dinner and as soon as we were done, Chris was asking for more! This made me feel so proud and excited to make more tea eggs, and I am even more excited to travel to Taiwan this winter and try nai-nai’s tea eggs myself!
xo 
B