Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Picnic Treats

I've got some great summer recipes to share with all of you. I also have a few ideas in the back of my head for these couple months, but I will keep that on the down low for now.

Anyways, Its basically the start of the summer over here on Vancouver island, but it sure hasn't shown it self . It was sunny a few times and now recently its been cloudy,rainy weather, but still quite humid at times. I guess I cant complain to much because the rain is great for everything too and I'm glad that it hasn't been horribly hot yet. I probably jinked myself saying that and now I must throw salt behind my shoulder.If it comes to that I'll go towards my trusty unbaking recipes and try to fit in some swimming too.

For everyone that knows me personally will already know that I'm really interested in all picnic stuff. For everyone that's new to this interest I'll tell you that recently I've been trying to find a vintage picnic basket that is affordable and not found online. This has been found to be pretty impossible to succeed at especially ones with lids along with handles.Anyways, I thought well I have two great picnic bags sitting around and its been bad weather recently. I thought I will use the utensil and decoration of each to create a food scene (see below). So I may not have found my wonderful basket yet, but I sure can add to the collection of recipes for it.

So far I've added two to the summer collection of recipes and I'll begin to add another two.Recently we've had a ton of different cereals around because of all the great deals that have recently been on the boxes, including coupon freebies or coupon's off. One of the cereals there's been abundance of is cornflakes and I know there are many many recipes that can incorporate this well known cereal. So I actually looked through my mom's Kellogg's corn flake recipe book and flipped back to of course the dessert section, my sanctuary as it might be.I right away saw a really yummy recipe for apple tarts made with cornflakes and I've always seen recipes for this online.So I dived in and just couldn't waste an opportunity with an ingredient.

The recipe for the tarts were pretty straight forward and a little time consuming at times in preparing the apples.However I can recommend preparing the apples prior to the rest so everything can come together  quickly in the end. You don't want any dough sitting around to long and if that does happen I would put it in the fridge. That's what I did when I chose to do the apples last. Anyway you choose it's fine, as along as you keep those apples in lemon juice then you don't have to worry about any browning.

The slight changes that I made to the recipe were replacing the butter with lard because the dough seem pretty close to a pie crust. I also couldn't resist adding that flavorful ingredient brown sugar and still now I wish I replaced all the white sugar with it because it would been an excellent syrup. The glaze I also made up myself because I found the original amount of icing was too much.

For me there was some slight difficulty with the dough, looking as though it wasn't going to be enough for top and bottom. Really you have your work cut out for this dough, especially the top layer. The bottom is pretty easy to fix any problems because you press it in yourself. The top is rolled prior and then placing on top of filling. Any problems can be easily fixed, it will just take some fiddling around.

These tarts have a nice flaky texture along with a chewy crunch from the corn flakes. From my experience of using cornflakes for the first time in this recipe, I think I will crush the cornflakes more finely next time for different texture.The filling was perfect though and it was exactly like eating a perfect piece of apple pie. This is one of those guilty pleasure treats that satisfied.I give two thumbs up for taste and appearance.I do recommend remembering to crush the cornflake more finely and I'll be listening to my own advice on that. Plus brown sugar brings the best possible flavor.

These yummy tarts also baked really nicely and were done in exactly 45 minutes. I was surprised by this because that's the first for me ever having something finished at the exact time lol.It is extremely important though to give some ventilation and put holes in the top. You don't want to see what happens if you ignore that advice in the recipe. For the tarts they can be served hot or cold. Its basically an apple pie and its your preference in what you like. I do recommend to cool them overnight to absorb the flavors and keep them from falling apart. The glaze also sets really nicely cold and doesn't melt off when you pour it on.

These would be a great summer treat to bring to a picnic or BBQ because they are easy to transfer and everyone will love a mini version of an apple pie.If you really want to get fancy bring a aerosol can of whip cream for the shindig.

Apple Tarts (Adapted From Kellogg's Corn Flakes Cereal Recipe Collection)

2 cups Kellogg's Corn Flakes Cereal, Crushed
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup lard
1/4 cup milk
5 cups peeled and sliced thinly tart apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp icing sugar
A few drop of hot water.

Place corn flakes in a large freezer bag and seal. Crush using hands,rolling pin or the handle to a large knife(be careful using this). Crush till fine.
Use a large bowl and combine crush corn flakes, flour and salt.
Cut fat into flour mixture using a pastry blender until they look like bread crumbs
Slowly add the mix and toss with a fork until forms into a large ball.
Cut dough in half with a knife. Pat one half of the dough into a greased 9 inch glass square pan.Set aside

Peel and remove cores of about 6 small apples. Slice apples thinly to make 5 cups. ( More or less apples can be used,depending on size of apples and slice thickness)

Add slice apples to a medium sized bowl and sprinkle lemon juice.

Combine sugars,flour,cinnamon and nutmeg.Mix with apples. Spoon into crust and even it out.Set aside.

Flour your work space and roll out the other half of the dough.Roll out as thin as possible without breaking. Then fold the dough to help transfer it.Place over apples. If their are gaps or long pieces to one side. Take the long piece to fill in the gaps. Flatten the top and then poke a few holes on the top with a fork.

Bake for 45 minutes at 375F until golden brown. Let cool overnight and then drizzle on glaze.Mix icing sugar and hot water to form a glaze.Let set in fridge.

I'm not done yet!, I still have a great party mix I have to share with all of you.Now this is an easy peasy summer snack. This is my experiment shreddie's mix adapted from a nuts and bolts recipe. I didn't have any of the other main ingredients, so I threw in all the shreddies and chose my own spices.

Garlic is a main ingredient in almost all of these spice blends I have seen and this is the first I've ever had to make a garlic paste. Now that was something to figure out at first. I think it be best if the garlic was roasted prior and then mashed up into a paste. I can imagine that being incredibly easier then what I had to do. I basically mashed it with  a spoon to get the salt into it and then mashed it with the flat side of a knife lol.

After all that I began experimenting in what I liked in seasonings.  If you like hot,mild, spicy,neutral etc.That all can be created for this party mix. For me I went with a mild flavor to please everyone that would try it.This party mix does take some time to toast and soak up all that spice blend. On a very low heat it takes about hour and half and remembering to toss every 20 minutes to evenly bake.This does remind me quite a bit of baking caramel popcorn.

Now I have to say this party mix is addicting for me and I will definitely make it again.I plan to pair it with other snacks like variety of nuts, chips, pretzels,or even dried fruit.It's a really good spice balance and pairs well with a carbonated drink like any party mix.I can see making these party mixes even healthier to any one's liking. It will definitely keep well along as its in an airtight container. The party mix is great to transfer for a picnic and a easy no utensil snack.This recipe is great for experimenting with your own ideas and you wont be disappointed. Go ahead, take my recipe and add your own spin on it and share with me in the comments what they are.Summer is here and it better show its self pretty soon. Cross your fingers for this coming week. :)

Experimental Party Mix
(Adapted from Nuts and Bolts Snack Mix)

3 cups of shreddies
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp margarine, melted
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Onion Powder ( you preference)
Seasoning salt ( your preference)

Add shreddies to large bowl.
Mince garlic. Place garlic and salt in a small bowl ,mash together with a spoon. Once salt is mixed in,place garlic on a cleaning working surface and mash with the flat part of the knife to help turn into a paste. It  will look soft and changed texture.

Stir paste into melted margarine.Add Worcestershire sauce,onion powder and seasoning salt.Mix thoroughly
Pour into a greased large rimmed glass pan. Place in oven at 225F. Stir every 20 minutes for 1 hour 20 minutes. Once done place in a bowl or plastic container and let cool at room temp, covered with a towel.Best eaten the next day.


  1. Oh, these sound amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe.

  2. I have never made party mix. This sounds so good I will have to try to make some this week. Thanks for the recipe. New follower from Sweets for Saturday.


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