Archive for the 'cooking' Category

Preserving Autumn

Yesterday’s adventure in the kitchen was canning applesauce. 

On Monday I picked up a big box of apples from one of our local orchards.  They were having a sale, so the box of red delicious apples (over 25 pounds!) was only $5.  Being a bargain shopper, I fell for it, thinking I’d can it into applesauce.  Never mind the fact that I’ve never canned anything before.  With the wonder of the internet, you can go from novice to expert in just a few clicks.  After reading up for a bit, and begging the loan of a canner from my friend Melissa, I got out some pots and pans and set to work.

First, I peeled and chopped the apples and put them in my biggest pot.  After a dozen apples, I could hardly see a dent in the box, and the pot was getting pretty full.  I added a few more apples for good measure, then put in about a cup and a half of water and turned on the heat.  Meanwhile, I filled the canner with hot water from the tap and put it on the stove, and stuck my jars into the dishwasher to sanitize and stay hot while I was cooking.  The lids went into a little pan of water on the third of my four burners where they heated up at a low simmer.  As the applesauce cooked, I added a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon.  When the apples were soft, I used my immersion blender to blend the applesauce to a smooth consistency.  At this point, I found I needed to add a bit more water to make it look just right.  Time for a check:  Hot water in the canner?  Hot jars in the dishwasher?  Hot lids on the stove?  Hot applesauce in the pot?  Yep!  Ready to go.  Now I filled the hot jars with hot applesauce, placed a hot lid on each and secured it with a (not hot) ring.  Then I placed the jars into the hot water canner, crossed my fingers and waited.  After sitting for 20 minutes in boiling water, the jars were ready to be removed to a towel on the counter to cool.  About two minutes after I took the jars out of the canner, I started hearing the ping of the lids sealing, and felt the pride of accomplishment.

Oh, you want to know how it tastes?  Nu-uh!  I canned those babies to last through the winter, so there’s no way I’m cracking the seal today.  But I do have about 15 pounds of apples left, so it’s pretty likely I’ll make another batch today.

What’s for Breakfast?

How about carmel apple pancakes?  Yummy, if you ask me!

First, turn on the oven to 400 degrees and melt two tablespoons of butter in a pie plate.

Then, peel and slice an apple (I prefer Fuji, but you can use whichever kind is your favorite).  I use half an apple for one pancake, here I’m making two so I’ll use the whole thing. 

Break two eggs into a mixing bowl and whip them up, then add a half cup of flour, a teaspoon of salt, and a half cup of milk.  Mix.

When the butter is melted, turn the pie plate so the butter coats the entire bottom and half way up the sides.  Then sprinkle some brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the butter and arrange your apple slices in the pie plate.

Pour the batter over the apples, and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn your pancake out onto a plate.  Slice and enjoy!

Have I Turned Into A Cooking Blog?

It sure looks like it, eh?  I promise, sewing is still my first love, but lately I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking (with the help of my mother’s day gift).  Yesterday, I baked up some yummy Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  Luckily the recipe made three loaves, so even though my family has already devoured a loaf and a half, I still have one to share with my Wednesday Morning friends.  Yummy!  Here’s another picture so you can admire the swirl:

And I had a craving for some chocolate-peanut-butter-chip cookies, so here’s what we had for dessert tonight, served warm over vanilla ice cream.  Double-yummy!  If you make these, save yourself some trouble and double the recipe, it’s a small batch.

Home Baked

While we were on vacation, Hubby and I went to a pizza place that served yummy honey crust pizza, so I had to try to duplicate the recipe when we got home.  This is the recipe I used for the crust…it was pretty good, but I’m going to have to tweak it a bit to get the flavor I want.  On top of the pizza, I put alfredo sauce, chicken sauteed in garlic, tomatoes, spinach and mozzerella.  Yummy! 

Just Another Mommy-Post.

With more pictures of my kids.  Here is E. at her ski lesson this week, she had SO much fun, and went on the chair lift with daddy for the first (and second) time.

And a picture of E-boy, the obligatory messy baby shot.  We had chocolate chip pancakes for dinner last night, and they were definitely a hit.  Up until last summer, my kids were blissfully unaware that pancakes could be made with chocolate chips.  Last summer when we were visiting with Abuelita, “Uncle” Roy made pancakes for breakfast with chocolate chips in them, and quickly became a superhero in the eyes of my children.  Now when I make pancakes, the children (including hubby) insist on chocolate chips.

Caution: Children Cooking.

I’m all for child labor when it comes to household chores.  Cooking is one of the kids favorite things to be involved in, and it’s even more fun when the outcome is pizza.  Tonight, the kids helped make dinner.  A. was in charge of the pepperoni, and E. put on the canadian bacon.  Both girls grated cheese, and mama put them in the oven.  That’s what we call teamwork.