Apples to Apples: Part 1

‘Tis the season you guys!…the season for APPLES! And I’m pumped about it! I love going to the orchards and picking my fruit off the trees and tasting all the fun cider based treats. I also love going home and making apple treats. This year I may have gone slightly overboard….

I haven’t been apple picking since college (ugh that was 3 years ago….I’m old) so I was extra excited to go. Long story short I ended up with 1/2 bushel of apples.

I realizes once I got these guys home I needed to start baking ASAP as I picked entirely too many lol. But these things happen…especially when you go with friends who’ve never been apple picking before (shock) and the weather is gorgeous.

I decided to start with an apple pie and an apple peach cobbler (we also picked peaches).

I started with the pie first. I prefer butter over shortening for my crusts so here’s the recipe I use…I roll mine slightly thin so that I get two crusts out of this (one for bottom and one on top)
Pie Crust:
2 1/2 c flour
1 stick of butter
1 tsp salt
cold water

You cream the flour, salt, and butter together with a pastry cutter or a fork (I don’t own a cutter anymore ūüė¶ ). When the mixture looks like a bowl of small crumbles add water 1 Tbs at a time until you get the right consistency (not too wet not too dry, slightly elastic).

Flour your surface area and roll your dough out in a circle until its about 1/4 in thick. Transfer it to your pie plate.

Filling:
I don’t generally use a recipe for this, but here are some rough guidelines. I peel and slice about 8 apples and put them in a bowl. Add about 1/4 of sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon (I like cinnamon so I use more of it) and a quick squirt of lemon juice. Mix it all up and put it in your pie plate. I add about 3 tbs of butter (3 pats) on top of the apples.

Roll out another pie crust and place on top of your apples. Pinch or fork your edges to seal it and make it all pretty and slice some ventilation in the top. Brush with milk or add a little butter on top to make it golden. Bake for like 30ish mins until golden brown.

 

You can get edges like these by pinching your thumb and pointer finger on one hand, and pinching the crust into those fingers with the pointer finger on your other hand.

Apple Peach Cobbler:

Repeat the filling from the Apple Pie recipe above…except also add peaches.
Put your filling in a casserole dish or pan.

Crumble Topping:
1 c Corn Flake type cereal (I used Special K Vanilla Almond…YUM)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4-1/2 flour
1 c melted butter
cinnamon for flavor

Crush the cereal. Mix the cereal, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together and add melted butter. Mix until a crumble forms. Spread it on top of the apples and peach mixture in your  dish. Bake for 20-25 mins until apples are soft and crumble is lightly browned.

Both were really tasty and made my house smell amazing. I’ve been baking like crazy with the millions of apples I have so look for posts later in the week to find out what else I made! ¬†SPOILER ALERT: apple bars, apple butter, and apple cider sangria…stay tuned!

The gang and I had a fun time picking apples and walking around Smolak Farms the other weekend.

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Muffin Tin Madness: Individual Chessecakes

mmmm…cheesecake. Right?

I’ve never made cheesecake before. This is partly because many recipes are a bit intimidating…mainly because it can take a while and you really need a spring form pan…which I don’t currently own. YET.

But in one of my frequent ramblings through the depths of Pinterest I came upon this guy (click me!). Its such a great recipe and super easy. And best yet: you make’em in a muffin tin. BOOM. ¬†Also there’s a great instructional video to walk you through it.

I topped mine with some Nutella. YUM!

Sometimes I’m a Spaz in the Kitchen…

So those of you who’ve met me know that I am not the model of balance and grace…quite the opposite in fact. And this has been especially true lately. An alternate title for this post was actually going to be “That time i became Frienemies with Pancakes” but then that didn’t fully encompass the span of my clumsiness.

So I had¬†avocados¬†and corn on the cob left over and I needed to use them. I found a great recipe for Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad (here) that would be perfect. Incident One of being a spaz. EVERYONE knows that when you de-pit an avocado you ‘chop’ the pit,not STAB. Even as I was doing I was thinking…this is dumb Kristine….and then OWWWWW. Yup…I stabbed myself in the hand. Nice going, champ. Kitchen Fail ONE.

Not even a week later the spaz in me struck again. I was just giving voice to my love of pancakes by whipping up some chocolate chip pancakes NBD right? WRONG. The pancake was essentially finished cooking when I gracefully flipped one right outta the pan. Without thinking I grabbed it to toss it back in…another genius plan. My middle finger, with laser sharp accuracy mind you, landed firmly on the molten core of a chocolate chip. OH.MY.GOD. That biz hurts….A LOT. I got a big ugly fiery hot blister on my that stayed on my finger for 2.5 weeks. I’ll spare you the photos…which exist because obviously I need to send things like this to people like my mom lol. I have a bit of a mixed history with pancakes. About a week before I returned to America from Peace Corps, I was fixing myself a batch of pancakes when I flipped a pancake onto the stove. MESSY. In my attempt to clean it up I rubbed my hand all up on the still-on-the-active-burner frying pan. I still have the scar on my hand as a momento. So this latest¬†debacle¬†places us firmly the frienemies category.

And I’ve been dropping just about everything I touch (and weirdly things I don’t touch at all) in the kitchen ever since.

Here’s a little something I whipped up the other day for my cousin’s baby shower. I made some chocolate cupcakes with Diet Pepsi frosting (Diet Pepsi being one of her fave things).

For the cake I just used a box and prepared it as instructed. HOWEVER, if you can sub out all the ingredients the box says to add with a can of soda for an extra light, lower fat, cake.

You can find the recipe HERE. Its a chocolate glaze that actually tastes like Diet Pepsi. I let the glaze dry and then dusted them with powdered sugar.