Saturday, November 26, 2011

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Happy Thanksgiving...a little late!  I hope you all had a wonderful time with those you love.  We had about 20 people at my parents' house.  It was smaller than usual but still very enjoyable.  At the end of the 3 days, we had so much food left we know who REALLY eats the food...all the people who weren't here this year.  ;-) We always have tacos on Wednesday night and then a conglomeration of desserts.

  However, my aunt Jo Ellen decided to make a deep dish apple pie.  Let me tell you, it was beautiful and delicious.  She got the recipe out of a Southern Living magazine.  I would highly recommend it!  She used premade pie crusts, but you could make your own crust if you REALLY wanted to be hard core about it.

Easy Skillet Apple Pie from Southern Living Sept 2011
4 pounds of apples (the recipe suggests 2 eat of granny smith and  braeburn.)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 up butter (1 stick)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 package refrigerated pie crust (has two in the package)
1 egg white (we did not use this)
2 tablespoons sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.  Peel and cut apples.  We used an apple-peeler-corer-slicer on some; so, we had wedges and thin slices.  I think the combination of sizes was actually a good thing.  Toss apples with cinnamon and the 3/4 cup sugar.  Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet.  After it is melted, add the brown sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Place one pie crust in the bottom of the pan on top of the sugar mixture.  Pour the apples over the pie crust and top with the remaining crust.  Brush with egg white if desired.  Sprinkle sugar on top.  Cut small slits in the top crust.  Place in over and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with ice cream or cool whip.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pretending It's Cold - Potato Soup

A few weeks ago, it actually felt like fall around here.  Today, it is 80 degrees...but we'll forget about that for now and pretend.  Just imagine, it's a beautiful fall day...just enough chill in the air.  You've had a long day at work and want something warm and comforting for dinner.  So does your family.  What could you make that is quick but definitely has that homemade feel?  I suggest this potato soup!  It is souper (HA! couldn't resist!) easy and very kid friendly.
I made it for D and K the other day.  She refused to eat anything but bread and banana, but he said it was really good.  Even took some left over home to his mom who promptly asked for the recipe.  I like sharing recipes!  :-)  This really only takes as long as the potatoes take to cook; and since you cut them into cubes, that's not really very long.  It does call for jalapenos, but if you don't want the spice, just leave them out.  So, if you're in the South (or southern hemisphere!)...pretend it's cold and try this.  If you're somewhere that actually feels like fall, just enjoy the weather AND the soup! 

Aunt Merle's Potato Soup
5-6 red potatoes (not the tiny ones, the bigger ones)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
water to cover
2 cans of cream of celery soup (I use 98% fat free)
1 pound Velveeta type cheese (1/2 of the standard block or the whole small block, I used 2% version)
chopped jalapenos to taste
1 oz. jalapeno cheese if you want to add some extra spice

Chop potatoes and onion.  Place in your large stock pot and cover with water.  Bring water to a boil and then cook until potatoes are fork tender.  Meanwhile, cut the cheese into cubes.  When potatoes are ready add the remaining NOT drain the potatoes.  Stir over heat until cheese melts and everything incorporates into a yummy, cheesy, potato soup!  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

T-shirts and Toffee

Last year, I got that wonderful cookies book for my birthday.  My goal is to bake through it...and that's still my goal.  But I took a little break from it. 
Sometimes I just really like to try out things that I see on other blogs.  However, I still have some recipes that I need to share with you from the book.  This cookie is one that I made in August when I went home between ER shifts.  On special thing I want to share with you about that trip before you get this YUMMY cookie is the quilt that my mom made for me. 
Several years ago, she had me choose special t-shirts to use on a T-shirt quilt.  One of them is from my sixth grade year, some from high school, and some from college.  This trip, she gave me the finished quilt.  It's pretty awesome if I do say so myself....and HUGE!  I could fit a couple of people under it.  She suggested using it for "picnics on the floor."  We used to have these every year when it was Miss Mississippi and Miss America time!  Such fun!  Thanks for the great quilt, Mama!  Now, the cookies.  I knew these would be good ones.  I mean, toffee...chocolate...nuts.  YUM!  Tried to be a little creative with the pictures this time...

whatcha think?  ;-)  Daddy enjoyed these per usual.  Don't remember the specific comments...I mean, it has been three months!  However, I do know that I would highly recommend them.

Chocolate-Toffee Cookies from Southern Living Incredible Cookies
1 cup pecans, toasted
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped toffee and chocolate (you can use Bits'O Brickel or just chop Heath bars)
1-1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Toast pecans in toaster oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter until creamy, then add sugars and beat well.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.  Stir in the toffee, chocolate chips, and nuts.

Place on baking stones or sheets in tablespoonfuls.  Place stone in oven and bake for 10 minutes or until slightly browned.  Cool for 1-2 minutes on stones then remove to cooling rack to completely cool. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Forever Lentils

A few weeks ago when the weather was cool (before it got warm again and then cool and then see the cycle), I decided to make some soup.  I had seen this great looking lentil recipe on Brittany's site and knew I had to try it.  So, one Sunday after church, I pulled out the crockpot and started cooking.  I wanted to eat it for supper, so I increased the heat to high, thinking that would help it cook faster. 

Wellllll, all it did was make the crockpot overflow!  Yes, it bubbled over and I ended up having to was the insides of my crockpot.  Maybe I'll try those liners one day.  :-)  Anyway, I turned the heat down to low, like the recipe called for and let it cook for the full time.  Thankfully, I had some distraction and just had a late supper.  It was SO good!  I ate it for days, sent some home with my parents, and have some frozen in the freezer for later when the weather turns cold for good....or not!  Try it out!

Slow Cooker Lentil Chili from A Healthy Slice of Life 

8 cups stock/broth (I used chicken because it cost less but to make this vegan use veggie stock)
1 package dried lentils
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or cheat and use pre-minced garlic like Brittany and I did)
4 tsp chili powder

Rinse your lentils well, but no need to soak.  Chop the onion, pepper, and tomatoes.  Put these, lentils, and broth along with garlic and chili powder into your slow cooker.  Set on low and go do something fun.  Let it cook for 8 hours.  Serve with yogurt atop.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Only One

 Last week we had a "party" in the ER for Halloween.  Now, a party in the ER means that we all bring food and when the rush of patients slows down (Hopefully!) around 1-2am, we eat.  I'm usually the sweets person...and that was no different this time.  I had seen this recipe from Recipe girl a few weeks earlier and thought it looked pretty good.  At first I was going to change things up and use a peanut butter filling but decided to stick with the recipe. 

MAN was it good.  The only thing I did change was cutting some of the semi-sweet chocolate in the actual cookie and substituting some white chocolate.  One of the nurses asked me for the recipe for tailgaiting...I think it would make a fantastic tailgaiting recipe.  On the way home, I went and left a bag of them for D, who was post-call from the ICU.  Later he told me that they were good...but so rich he could "only eat one!"  Well, I think I take that as a compliment.  :-)

Ooey Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars from Recipe Girl
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg (ALMOST forgot this!)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing enough overhang on the long side to lift the bars from the pan.

For the filling: Place the chocolate chips and condensed milk in a small saucepan over the lowest possible heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add vanilla, and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Dough: Place the butter and sugars in a large bowl and cream with a mixer.  Add the egg and vanilla. Beat well. Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl then add to the butter mixture. Beat until everything is well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using half of the batch of cookie dough, place dollops into the prepared pan and press down lightly to even it out. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the dough and then add small dollops of the remaining dough on top. Don't worry if the dollops don't completely cover the chocolate mixture. Just spread it together as much as you can, and let some chocolate peek through.  This will fill in when it is cooked.  Bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.  Placing it in the refrigerator to chill helps the cutting go more smoothly.  Cut into 32 bars. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Apple a Muffin

So, I have had several requests to post this recipe ever since I made the muffins.  Plus, it's finally cool and fall like, I give you apple pie muffins.  After making a fruit salad for that surprise party a few weeks back, I had LOTS of apples left over.  So, I went in search of a good recipe to use those apples.  I stumbled across this muffin recipe and thought it looked, it had a crumble topping.  I think the top is the best part of the a crumble top is even BETTER!  I ended up using applesauce in replacement of the oil to make these a little bit healthier.

On a side note, I am of the opinion that applesauce does make the "shelf life" of baked goods a lot shorter.  So, if you do use the applesauce, either eat these quickly, or freeze them!

On the other hand, the texture of the muffins was still good.  I didn't think the topping was quite crispy and dry enough.  I still haven't figured out how to make the best topping.  All in all, though, these were really good muffins!  These were great and had a great amount of apple in them.  Check them out!

Apple Pie Muffins adapted from My Baking Addiction

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups peeled, chopped apples - I used gala but granny smith is the traditional type

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with baking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, applesauce, vanilla and brown sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in apples. Use a large scoop to fill each muffin well, filling the cups to the top.

  In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of melted butter, mixing until well blended. Sprinkle this over the tops of the muffins. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.  Cool on wire rack. Store at room temperature or freeze. Enjoy!