Friday, November 1, 2013

In a Baking Mood

We had a abundance of Apples from a local produce store and I was in the mood to bake so I brought out the flour and pastry blender and got to work at making homemade Pie dough and a Apple Pie and a Pumpkin Pie.

For the Pie dough I went with Martha Stewart for a always reliable recipe basic pie dough.

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 16 tablespoons cold (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Directions
  1. Step 1
    In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
  2. Step 2
    Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time). To help ensure a flaky crust, do not over process.
  3. Step 3
    Transfer half of dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough. (Disks can be frozen, tightly wrapped, up to 3 months. Thaw before using.) Makes 2 disks.

    For me though I just used a big bowl and my pastry cutter and yes I did end up using a bit more water.

 Do you see those peices of butter in the dough, that is where you get flakyness.


For the Apple I used this recipe but I used apple butter thinned with 1/2 cup of water instead of the apple cider and did not use bourbon. And I used Martha's pie dough. cider bourbon apple pie with oatmeal cookie crumble


Cider Bourbon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble


Ingredients:

filling
6 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
oatmeal cookie crumble
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cups loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

filling
Add the apples to a large bowl and toss them with the flour and the cinnamon. In a small saucepan, combine the bourbon, cider, sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour it over the apples and toss.
Roll the pie crust out into a 12-inch circle (if you're using a 9-inch pie plate). Fold it in half to pick it up and gently place it in the plate, unfolding as you go and trimming any excess off of the edges - you can also use a fork (or another decorative idea!) to press the edges down. Add the apples to the crust.
oatmeal cookie crumble
Combine the oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and use your hands to crumble it up and toss it in the mixture - I combine it for a full 5 minutes until it is really incorporated and crumbly. Sprinkle it evenly over the apples.
At this time, it's up to you if you want to cover the edges of the crust with foil strips in case they brown too much. I choose not to, and just check the pie halfway through. At any time you can place foil on the edges (or over top of the crumble) to keep them from browning. Bake the pie for 45 to 50 minutes - until the crust and crumble on top are golden. Let the pie cool for at least an hour or so before serving - if you want to be able to cut it into pretty slices. If not, go to town!

Before Baking

 After Baking

For the Pumpkin Pie I used the Libby's recipe on the back of the can of Pumpkin Puree just because it is the only kind my Grandma baked and all of our family is used to that pie, that taste, and those memory's I suppose. Anyway here is the recipe anyway. Libby's Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

Directions

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving. 
 Before Baking
sorry I covered in tin foil the last 20 minutes and some of the pie stuck to the foil so I don't have a finished baked pie.

Chicken Dinner

On Wensday I knew I was in the mood to roast a chicken. I have done this before and so its not a big deal. It is the first time I spatchcocked a Chicken though but seeing as I have done this to a Turkey last year for Thanksgiving I knew it would be easier working on a smaller bird. It was I took out the innards and I just used a good serrated boning knife and cut out the back bone which I kept on the baking sheet along with the Neck to roast along side the chicken then I seasoned with salt and pepper on the inside. I flipped the bird over and put pressure on the breast bone to flatten the bird out slightly more and seasoned on that side also. In it went in a Preheated 400 degree oven for just under 45 minutes as I checked the temp and it was at 170 degrees in the thighs. It does look a bit weird but I cut a bit to much of a bone in the right thigh area so that leg and thigh do look weird. I also slightly burnt a bit of it as I stuck it under the broiler and left it a bit long.
 how to roast a chicken butterflied tips


 I had soaked some pinto beans over night and then simmered them in a pot with 5 cups of water just so water covered them about a inch and left that boil 2 1/2 hours then sauteed chopped onions and carrots in a dutch oven till tender then added the drained beans plus the liquid in its pot plus water to equal 1 1/2 cups then mixed up apple cider, vinegar, brown mustard, molasses, brown sugar, and tomato paste and added that to the pot. It was supposed to cook for 45 minutes then been done but my beans were not tender and I kept adding water and boiling them hoping they would eventually be tender but alas I had to throw the pot of beans away. Here is the pot though if you want to try this recipe.cider beans


Then while both of those dishes were cooking I just set a pot of water to boil with tiny potatoes from my local Farmers market. I left the skins on because peeling them would be a hassle and I love potato skin its good for you. Once tender I drained and added to a skillet with butter and olive oil and sauteed over medium heat till the skins were crispy.


October Foodie Pen Pals


The Lean Green Bean
This was my second moth doing the Foodie Pen Pals and while its really fun I may stop doing it for November and December as its a busy two months. This month I was paired with Donna Yi from Somerset New Jersey. How cool is that she and I have the same town name. When I opened up my box I was excited to see so many Koren foods and snacks. Something I totally cant buy around here.


Filled with so many goodies.


Koren Popcorn
It was really good but my dad and brother are more into savory snacks than me and they loved it.

Nori seaweed snacks
Now this is more my style I love nori and happily ate some of these plain just like chips. I am saving a box or two to make some sushi.

Ginger Chews and Ginseng Candy
Pretty good these mostly went to my Mom who loves anything Ginger.


Shrimp Chips
These were really good and surprisingly my dad and brother actually tried them and loved them to.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
My favorite for sure this was gobbled up with some Chicken and Rice Soup I made and then toasted in the oven and used to spread some Spinach and Artichoke dip on.

The note that Donna sent me.




And finally I sent this picture to Donna, she loved it and I had to include it here.
My Corgi Laci loves the Nori snacks to!

Monday, September 30, 2013

September Foodie Penpal


The Lean Green Bean

This was my first month to try a Foodie Blog Swap I think I was just as excited to send someone a box full of Pennsylvania made goodies. I was selected to swap with Lauren Vaughan from the Big State of Texas. Dallas Texas to be exact she has the food blog called From Everyday to Gourmet. If you don't know how the Foodie swap goes you have to sign up for it over at The Lean Green Bean. You are emailed a match and this month they matched us up so we send to the same person as sends to you. You then get in contact with your match and tell them a bit about yourself and what foods you do and don't like or are allergic to. You will get a message from your match again on what they like and dislike also. You then have till the 15th of the month to shop for or make the foods for inside your basket get it prepared to ship. Get it shipped of before the 15th and then excitedly await your match's box. So it finally showed up Saturday and I was so excited to open it. Remember now that my match was from Texas so I was so excited what Made in Texas goodies I would get. Please check out http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/ to sign up to be in October's Swap you have till October 4th

So here is what I got.





Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Corgi Butts Secret Santa Exchange

 A Box arrived.

Christmas Day The dogs start to investigate.
 
Laci is not to sure about it.

Of Course I had to help open it.

Look Gifts from a Bloggy Corgi friend our Secret Santa
 Krystle Briese and Luna and Twinkie 
Hmm now she is interested, must small something tasty.
Hmm the first wrapped Gift, wonder what it is?


Its a Bottle Buddy!
Ohh!!! Buddy spied this fun toy and took it for him self.


 I think Laci wants in on the fun!
Oh this is what I smelled, Mom I want one!

Finally a toy for me, Laci got a Konk Tugga Wubba toy!
The dogs love their toys and It was so fun gifting someone something and getting something unexpected.











Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies for Kids' Cancer

The Great Food Blogger 
Cookie Swap

I loved being able to help in a little way with a great Charity, Cookies for Kids Cancer. I had a great time with this Cookie Swap, to only did I bake 3 dozen of my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and sent out One Dozen to Three other Bloggers, but I also received 3 separate dozen cookies from other Bloggers. I got White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from Fran's Favs, Hazelnut Dusties from Small Town Cookie, and Molasses cookies from Bake Not Burn. All three were wonderful I personally loved the Hazelnut Dusties. 

Now on to my recipe Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies, admit it you all started off using the recipe of the bag of Chocolate Chips, Probably Toll-house brand. I did but once I started really learning how to cook and bake I wanted to search for and find that Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe! And I did what a lot of you now probably do I Googled The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. And what did I find three links down is this recipe. Its from Savory Sweet Life and it is now my go-to Recipe, that is until I find a better recipe. So try out this cookie recipe and then come back to my blog and let me know if You thought they were your Favorite!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever!

Author: Savory Sweet Life
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 22 mins
Serves: 48 Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour *If at all possible, please weigh the flour
  • 3/4 tsp. smallish-medium coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use triple Chocolate Chips)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes on medium-high speed on a K-5). Add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until cookie batter is fully incorporated. Finally add chocolate chips until well distributed. The cookie batter should be somewhat thick. Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough or use a medium cookie scoop and plop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Freeze for 5 minutes before baking
  3. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown. Remove from heat and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes. Pick up the parchment paper with the cookies still on top and transfer to a cool non-porous surface. Allow the cookies to cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Notes
* Please do not use table salt, the sea salt gives the cookies a nice flavor and hints of texture. If you only have table salt, use 1/2 tsp. *When using sea salt, you will get small crunchy flecks of salt when you bite into the cookie. If you do not like this taste, go with 1/2 teaspoon of table salt.
* I realized grocery stores sell bags of chocolate chips in 12 oz bags but this recipe really needs every last chip. Otherwise you’ll get cookies with only a few chips in each one and this recipe requires lots of chocolate to bulk the cookie up. You’ll need about 1 1/2 bags.
* I buy a mixed bag of chocolate chips at a Amish grocer but I'm sure you can find them at other stores it measures out to 2 1/4 cups so I just use one bag.
* I also like to freeze the trays of scooped Cookie dough in the Freezer for 5 minutes to firm them up they don't flatten as much.


Before Baking


















After Baking
 Oh and thank you OXO for sending me a lovely Orange Silicone Spatula and for supporting Cookies for Kids' Cancer. And Thank you to Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for organizing this whole Cookie Swap.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge

Trying to start up the blog after a very busy summer and fall and I decided to challenge myself in Photography and in doing so I entered myself in a Photo a day challenge on the website Fatmumslim. Its called November Photo-a-day and so far its November 5th thus their have been 5 days of photos which I started late on this but made up all past 3 days then I continued on till today's picture. In doing this challenge I step up a small studio in my bedroom which I have one window with good light and am using that for some of my photos, like small things and food photography. So I'm having fun and getting inspired with this challenge, I might as well blog and post my photos as well.

Lets start with day 1
The theme is Something beginning with "C"
I just bought a half pound of Brie cheese and knew I had these lovely peppered Water Crackers and I just found some delicious Spiced Cherry Cider so this is titled...
Cheese, Crackers, and Cherry Cider.





















Day 2
The theme is Colour
This is Sugary Rainbow




























Day 3
The Theme was breakfast
This is Ricotta and Blackberries and Toast with Ricotta and Blackberry Jam
























Day 4
The Theme was TV
This is my dads TV and all his cool pictures in his room.























Day 5
The Theme was 5 o'clock
This is trees and the sky on November 5 ant 5:00pm



























Day 6
The Theme was a Favorite thing
This is my puppy Laci my most favorite thing I have.




























Day 7
The Theme was Reflection
This is Life through a Bubble

























Day 8
The Theme is something you do everyday.
I take Laci out for a walk.
























So that's it for now but next time I blog I will update you with the latest pictures.