Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Not your Mama's Apple Pie.

So, I got to go to Jaemor farms today to buy some farm fresh produce. It's about an hour away but well worth the trip. I only go there once or twice a year, usually in the fall to get apples and the elusive pink pumpkin (aka Warsaw Buff Pumpkin). It is my favorite pumpkin to bake with. However, that's not what I'm blogging about! Today I bought a peck of Apples for $10.00. I don't remember what kind they were, but they are yellowy green with a bit of red on them. They are a nice blend of tart and sweet, just perfect for an apple pie. So, since I was making apple pie, I thought I would share my recipe with you.


Crust (Pate Brise)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 sticks of cold butter cut into pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice cold water


7 apples cored, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
nutmeg to taste
3 tbs butter sliced

First you need to start with the pie crust since it will need to be refrigerated for one hour before you can roll it out. It is fine to make it in the morning or even a day or two ahead of time. You will need a food processor to make it this way so if you don't have one then you can buy or make your own crust. I do have to tell you that this crust is the BEST and it's my fave...mostly because it has two sticks of butter in it. So combine the first three ingredients in the food processor and pulse until mixed. Then add your butter pieces all spread out like so:

Then mix that until it resembles a corn meal like consistency. Next, with the food processor on high, pour the icy cold water in through the tube veeeeerrrryyyy slooooowly.....

.....until the dough holds together and forms a ball. You may not use all of the water, but I generally do.

Scrape the dough out onto a piece a plastic wrap, press into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Meanwhile, go ahead and peel, core and thinly slice your apples. Put them in a fairly large bowl, I had to pour them into a larger bowl a bit later on, and add the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

This is also a great moment to have your helper Sous Chef add some ingredients.

After you have added all of the dry ingredients stir to coat and let it sit while your crust refrigerates. Give it a stir every now and then while you wait.

Once your crust is ready to come out of fridge, break it in half and roll out half of it. Be sure to roll it pretty thin because pie crust is best when it's thin. Here's a neat trick I learned from my grandmother, If you don't have a plastic sheet for rolling out dough, you can do what we do. Find an old pillowcase that you don't use anymore (make sure it's clean), flour it really well and roll your crust out on it. Afterwards you can just shake the excess flour into the trash can and toss the pillowcase in the wash. After it's washed I usually just fold it in half and roll it around my rolling pin for the next time.

The pillowcase is also great for helping me flip my pie crust into the pan without breaking it. I just put my hands under the pillowcase in the middle of the dough, put the pan on upside down and then flip the whole thing. Once its flipped I arrange the crust and press it into the edges of the pie dish.

Pour in those nicely coated apples....

...then top with the 3 tbsp of butter.

Normally at this point I would roll out the other half of the dough cut some slits and flip it onto the pie, but my Sous Chef insisted that we make a lattice pie. So, since I don't have a fancy schmancy wavy cutter I just used my pizza cutter to cut the dough into not very even strips.

Then I used my very best elementary school weaving skills. I don't think I could explain this if I tried. So here's the best picture I could come up with.

Next, you will need a fork to crimp the edges.

And then cut off the excess dough and pop that baby in your 450 degree preheated oven (oh yeah, did I forget to mention that earlier??? oops!)

This is what it looks like after it's baked. We couldn't wait for it to cool to eat it, so now we can't taste anything with our burnt tongues. 

This is what it looks like after your family of five has gone at it. YUMMMM!

Thanks for reading!!! I promise to blog again soon, when we will find out about my adventures in canning!!!! YAY!

Love ya peeps,


Monday, September 24, 2012

Update!!!! Chicken Taco Soup recipe revisited with an easier method.

Hello Again!

I wanted to repost an old blog from a couple of years ago because I can feel fall in the air! It is time to break out my favorite fall/winter foods and this recipe is one of them. I am proud because it is the only recipe that I ever made up. Plus I have an awesome update to the recipe that makes it SOOOO much easier! Hopefully you have a Kitchenaid mixer, because if you don't, you are missing out. Go! Go get one now, or ask for it for Christmas like I did (It was the only gift I got that year because my WHOLE family teamed up to buy it for me) It is sooooo worth the money. You can't have mine because my family has been instructed to bury me with it when I die. Here is the original post with updates added in red, hope you like it:

Hey all!

Guess I need to update more often, but while at times the stories come back to back, sometimes they are spaced am I. So on to the story. My dear sweet 8 year old (now 11 yo) girl, Ray bear, told me about a month ago that she feels sad for cows when she eats hamburgers (Maybe she's not mine after all, I never feel guilt over a good burger or steak..YUM!). So she wants to become a vegetarian....I am going to try to support her, tofu and all (Yeah, that didn't last long, mostly because I decided that cooking two meals was too much work). I have checked out some books and am studying up on vegetarianism and I told her that after a visit to the doctor we can start on that. Now her sweet little almost 7 year old (now 10 yo) sister, Stinkerboo, wants to be JUST like Ray bear, so she said the other day that she wanted to be a vegetarian too. Last night we had a non vegetarian meal for dinner, it was my made up recipe that I like to call Chicken Taco Soup (recipe to follow). It has black beans in it and it is mighty tasty. Stinkerboo said she hated beans and wouldn't eat it....I told her that vegetarians have to eat lots of beans. She froze and stared at me looking horrified, then she said "Nevermind....I don't want to be like Ray bear!" It was pretty cute. So as promised here is the recipe.

Chicken Taco Soup


4 boneless skinless Chicken breasts
2 cans of chicken broth (or homemade if you have it)
1 pkg of Taco Seasoning (or make it yourself if you know how)
2 cans of rotel
2 cans of black beans (Drained and rinsed)
Sour Cream

Cook the Chicken in the crockpot until done. (No, I am not sure how long that is, but I ususally cook on High for a 3 hours or sometimes I use the handy little meat thermometer that comes with my crockpot and cook until the temp is 180.

Then take the chicken out of the crockpot and shred it with 2 forks using your kitchenaid mixer, if you have one. It's simple to do, just put the paddle attachment on (pictured below), 

 drop the cooked chicken in and turn the mixer on for about a minute or so and voila!! perfectly shredded chicken (you can thank me for this awesome tip in the comments section). 

You can leave the juices from the chicken in the crock pot and then throw the chicken back in. Add in the broth and taco seasoning and stir, 

 then add the beans and rotel and stir again. Cook it on Low til it is all warm and bubbly or until you are ready to is hard to ruin and the longer it sits the better it gets.

 Serve topped with salsa, sour cream and cheese and you can crumble the tostadas on top like Ramon does or break and dip them into the soup like I do, either way is YUMMYLICIOUS! ENJOY! And don't forget that beans are good for you!

P.S. The leftovers are EVEN BETTER!

Get widget