Archive for the 'yummy' 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!

Sometimes I’m A Genius!

And other times I just think I am…  But, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is one of my better moments of genius. 

You probably have deduced based on my previous posts that I am a soup fanatic.  The truth is, although Hubby eats my soup without complaint, the kids just don’t enjoy it.  And having a group of grmblers at the table (namely, the children) is enough to spoil my own enjoyment of the meal.  So, since it’s just me and E-boy at home for lunch these days, I’ve been making soup for my lunch (and letting E-boy eat yogurt or PB&J). 

Today I made Creamy Chicken with Rice (and homemade corn muffins on the side), and it was totally yummy.  Here’s where the genius part comes in…I served the leftovers into these cups and put them in the freezer.  Yes, my friends, I now have single-serving homemade soup just waiting in the freezer for my lunches.  I did this the other day with my homemade chili, and it worked out awesome.  Just take out a cup, remove the lid, and microwave for a couple minutes until it’s hot.  Seriously, what better way to cheer up a dreary day than a nice hot soup lunch?

A Little Update on my Garden

I posted this spring about the little garden I’d planted in the back yard, and my fears that nothing would grow.  It turns out, those fears were unfounded.  This summer, I’ve been enjoying fresh home grown tomatoes, radishes and beans.  I have some cantaloupe growing, a pepper, some cucumbers and carrots.

Today, I picked a few carrots to have with my lunch:

I shredded them, and put them in this yummy wrap, along with ham and cheese, radishes, onions, lettuce and avocado!

Try it!

I came across this recipe the other day, and had to try it.  Here’s my attempt at “chocolate cake in a mug”.

In a mug, mix 4 T. flour, 4 T. sugar and 2 T. cocoa.

Add 1 egg, 3 T. milk and 3 T. oil.  Mix well!

Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Turn cake out of mug onto a plate.  Enjoy!

I was unsuccessful in convincing the children that I was making scrambled eggs for my breakfast (hey!  there’s a scrambled egg in there!) and they had to come over to see what I was doing.

The verdict:  Not too bad!  It definitely wouldn’t compare with an oven-baked cake, but it was quick and easy, and went well with my morning coffee.  The only clean-up is the mug, tablespoon, and wiping up the microwave where the cake dripped while cooking.  Compared to “real baking” that’s definitely a bonus!

I did it!

I grew a vegetable!

Yesterday, this little radish was the first vegetable to be harvested from my little garden.  And I sliced it and ate it on my salad for lunch!  I guess all my fear that nothing would sprout in my garden were unfounded.  It looks like I’ll have some tomatoes pretty soon as well.

And just for the sake of yumminess, here’s a shot of the chocolate-covered strawberries I made for last night’s dessert:

Some pictures from this week.

Really, I’ve been taking pictures this week and thinking I should blog them, but not getting around to it.  So, here they are, all together, just to catch up.  I have guilty blogger syndrome, since I keep meaning to post but have put it off.  Until now.

This is one of my favorite lunches!  Home-made soup and a grilled cheese-tomato-onion sandwich.  Yum!  The soup is simple, I slice some veggies (onion, garlic, celery, carrots) and saute them in a bit of butter.  When they’re tender, I sprinkle some flour over the veggies, then add in chicken stock, a can of chunk chicken meat, and a can of diced tomatoes.  If I add some pasta, even the kids will eat this soup.

I’m so glad the weather is warming up!  I got my little garden planted in the back yard, and have had plenty of help from the kids with keeping the little plants watered.  E. actually had brought home a little bean plant from school which seemed to flourish while kept on the kitchen counter, but didn’t handle the transplant to the garden patch as well.  I had to take out her poor withered plant, and allowed her to “adopt” one of mommy’s plants.  She chose the biggest one, but tonight she told me that she was thinking of switching for “this one with the bug on it”.  Given my poor track record with plants, I’m glad she is flexible in which plant she wants to care for.

And here’s my little guy.  He fell asleep on the couch one morning this week, apparently tuckered out from all his playing.  Do you see he’s wearing undies!  Yes, we are working on the potty-training bit here.  Maybe by the end of Summer, we’ll be through with diapers.  Here’s hoping…

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.

I guess I’ve been a good mommy this year.

Look what my family got me for Mother’s Day!

Either they love me, or they just like it when I make homemade bread.  I’m guessing they love me.  And I already tried her out on a batch of cookies this afternoon.  Yummy!

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! 

Flickr Photos