Sunday, October 26, 2008

Apple Pie: Because Kristen has been asking since last Thanksgiving...

From Better Homes and Garden "New" Cook Book. (To be honest, this is not quick and I find making crust hard, (but worth it)....but boy is it good. When I make this for parties, it is GONE!)

1 recipe for pastry for double-crust pie
6 C thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples (about 2 1/4 lbs)
3/4 C sugar (I often cut the sugar a little bit)
2 Tb all-purpose flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon (I always double and then some the cinnamon!!!)
1/8 t ground nutmeg

1. prepare and roll out crust...line a 9-in pie plate w/half of the pastry

2. In a large bowl stir together the 3/4 C sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated.

3. Transfer apple mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim bottom pastry to edge of pie plate. Cut slits in remaining pastr; place on filling and seal. Crimp edge as desired.

4. To prevent browning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 min. Remove foil. Bake 20 min more or until fruit is tender and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.

This is my husband's favorite dessert when completed with vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee. :) I'm asking for an apple corer/peeler contraption for Christmas...

Pizza Sauce

From Cooking: A Common Sense Guide

Prep: 10 Min
Cooking: 25 Min
Makes sauce for two 12 in pizzas

1 Tb olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 C peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 t of dried basil
1 t dried oregano
1 t sugar

1. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion over low heat for 5 min, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 min.
2. Stir in the tomato, herbs, and sugar and cook over high heat for 20 min, or until reduced and thickened. Season to taste and cool before using.

NOTE: The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container until required. The sauce may also be frozen for up to 2 months. You my like to make a double batch and freeze the remaining sauce for future use.

Heather note: Use canned tomatoes with chilis for a kick (blends really well with a supreme pizza) or canned tomatoes with Italian seasonings for more flavor.

Kristen's PB Pie

Oh so good...

Ground Pork Chili


  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) can mushroom pieces
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can wax beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can sweet peas
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • chili powder to taste
  • ground nutmeg to taste
  • dried marjoram to taste
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and cook the ground pork until evenly browned. Reserving the juices in the skillet, remove pork, and set aside.
  2. Stir the onions and garlic into the skillet, and cook in the pork juices over medium heat until tender. Mix in the mushrooms, wax beans, peas, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper. Cook and stir until tender and heated through.
  3. Return the pork to the skillet. Mix in the tomato sauce. Season with chili powder, nutmeg, marjoram, and salt. Reduce heat, and simmer about 45 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
I've made this twice and it was a hit both times. It is super easy to alter. I did not use any of the seasonings but used salt, pepper, and Old Bay instead. (I'm a spicy wimp...) I also didn't use mushrooms, used only 1 pepper, and added other veggies, beans, and canned diced tomatoes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread

It is appropriate the chocolate chips are listed before the banana, because it is very chocolaty! I got this recipe from my Food Network cookbook How To Boil Water and it is quite tasty! Makes 1 loaf.

1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/2 C all-purpose flower, plus more for pan
1/2 C sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t fine salt
1/4 t ground cinnamon (I used a 1/2 t because I double the cinnamon in everything!)
3 very ripe bananas
1 large egg, at room temp
1/3 C plain yogurt, whole or low-fat (may substitute sour cream or sour milk)
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 C choc chips
1/4 C walnuts (optional)

1. position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour loaf pan.

2. Melt the 1/2 C butter is a small saucepan over med heat or covered in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup in the microwave. Cool slightly.

3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl

4. Mash the bananas with a fork in a med bowl. Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork or a whisk, then mix into the bananas. Mix in the yogurt, vanilla, and butter. Stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in choc chips and walnuts just as the batter comes together. Do not overmix. Batter should be wet, sticky, and a little lumpy. Scoop batter into prepared pan.

5. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 65 - 70 min. The bread should rise in the middle to a crown, feel springy when touched, and pull away from the sides of the pan.

6. Cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the sides and slicing.

***I made this bread a second time but replaced 1/2 C of all-purpose flour with 1/2 C of wheat flour and used only 1/2C of choc chips. It was much lighter and less chocolaty.***