Monday, November 24, 2008

Cherry Pie

Yes, I made cherry pie this past weekend. I had some leftover cherries in the freezer and a frozen pie crust as well. The pie crust was broken, so I had to smoosh (the technical term) it together and roll it out again. It ended up working out OK, but using store-bought crust when it is broken is SO not worth it. If I want it to look like that (not good!) I can just make the crust from scratch. So I plan to learn to make pie crust.

I took a few recipes for cherry pie and made up my own recipe for the pie. It was a little dangerous, but hay, I am just that way! I took a chunk off the cherries (the bag had 6C and I used a little more than 1/2, so it was slightly more than 2C, I think). I added 1.5C sugar and 2T corn starch to that. When it was all mixed it, I poured it into the pre-baked crust (10 min at 350F). I baked it at 400F for 20 minutes. I took it out at 10 minutes and it was not quite done yet. So I put it back in for the remaining 10 minutes. At that point, it looked like it was done and the crust was getting a little dark, and I know you can cover the crust with foil, but I did not want to do that. When it came out, like I said, it looked done, so I went with it. The pie was a little runny when I cut it, it filled in a little bit with the liquid. It tasted amazing!! (Despite that fact that it did not look perfect, it tasted perfect!) After the pie sat for a while, it did not run at all either, so the key here was to let it set, I think.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

That good feeling

I have been thinking a lot about why I like to mess around in the kitchen so much and I think I have finally figured it out. When I make something for the family, especially something sweet, I feel like I am taking good care of them and doing something that makes them happy.

I also want to teach them how to cook, so starting this week, they are each cooking one night a week. I gave them each a list of what that includes (recipe, ingredients, doing it) and it starts tonight, so we will see how that goes. Since we plan meals for the week on the weekend or at least by Monday, they have to decide what it will be by Sunday each week.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

pumpkin cake

So this is the first week we have moved my weekly dessert night from Sunday to Saturday so I am not so rushed to get out the door. Tonight was my first night and it was after a birthday party for my youngest at McDonalds (of course!). I decided to make a pumpkin cake in the microwave. It was so good and so easy!

It has only two ingredients. I bought a box of spice cake mix (Yes, a box! And to make it better, they were on sale this week at the grocery store.) I added a large can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, just the pumpkin.) I think it was about 28 ounces. I just mixed those two ingredients really well. I suppose you can use an electric mixer, but I did it by hand, so I know it is possible. I used a spatula and it took some stirring, but it eventually got very well mixed.

Then I cooked it in the microwave for about 20 minutes (and the time depends on your microwave) and I used a microwave cooker. I used to sell tupperware (a fact I am not proud of, but I do have a lot of containers!) and they have "heat 'n serve" containers that are so amazing to cook inside. I am sure there are others, but the tupperware ones are easy and you can store stuff in them too. In fact, DH had frozen something in it that I had to thaw out because I wanted to use it tonight.

Again, no picture, but it was so amazing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apple Crisp -yum!

So Sunday night was my night to make dessert. I did NOT want to go back to the store so I looked around at what I had and went for it. Believe it or not, this recipe did NOT come from my favorite site - This is an old family favorite from my friend and old roommate, Jen.

I had some apples from someone's tree that were about a week old. They did not look great, but they tasted divine and in Apple Crisp, who cares how they look, right?

The recipe is SO simple and so good. I think of apple crisp like apple pie without the crust, and who does not love apple pie? And even in a pie, the crust is OK, but the insides are what it is all about. So this is the perfect dessert for me. Someday maybe I will be good at making pie crust and even love it, but that day has not yet come...

6 large apples, peeled and sliced
1 C flour
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter

The last three ingredients are the "crumb topping, so I mixed those up and set them aside until the rest was done. I think I am going to try to cut down on the butter next time because I want to at least try to make it a little healthier (although, with that much sugar, there is only so much you can do...).

I peeled the apples and diced them pretty big instead of slicing them. I don't think it matters much. I wanted them to be more in bite-sized chunks. Then I added a little bit of the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. I did not really measure them, but the spices were like 1/2 t and the sugar was about 1/4 C, I guess. Then I added a little water to the dish, maybe 1/2 C or so. Again, I did not measure this, so it is a guess and depends on how you like it. You do not drain anything when you are done, so I would not add too much...

I put the apples in a baking dish as I was peeling and dicing them to cut down on the dishes that would end up dirty. Why is it that men never think about how many dishes they use? I am sure some do, but MY husband never does...

Usually I use an 8" x 8" pan but that was in use for something else for dinner, so I used a slightly smaller round Corningware pan like this.

I put the first 5 ingredients in the dish, then added the topping, which was a little more than fit, but I just piled it up and didn't stress out too much if some spilled over the edge. Then, I baked the whole thing at 325 for 1 hour and it was amazing! I wish I had taken pictures of it, but I did not. And it was gone so fast!

We all had some that night after dinner, then I took the oldest to scouts, then I had some when I got home with whipped cream that was leftover and it was incredible! The next day, there was a tiny bit left for lunch and I had the rest of it and the rest of the leftover whipped cream, which meant I could wash or throw away two containers!

Since I am always in a hurry to eat dinner, let alone dessert, on Sunday night because of the Boy Scout meeting, I am switching dessert night to Saturday so it can be more relaxed. We will see how that goes! It might sneak up on me even more than Sunday did!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Banan Cream Pie - store bought!!

Last night was my night to make dessert again and with the extra hour, the theory is I would have used it for good, but theory and reality are often quite different and this was no exception...

And honestly, I forgot until about 2:30PM.

So I took a frozen banana cream pie out to thaw in the fridge for several hours. It was not enough time. At a little after 6PM, it was still frozen. (Although, it was amazing for lunch today!) I was even at the store yesterday getting stuff for dinner, so ingredients for dessert would have been so simple, had I REMEMBERED!

Either way, the pie was great and there is still some left over, so we will have dessert tonight for dinner and we almost never have dessert during the week, so it will be like a little treat! And now, there is no security blanket left in the freezer, so I will have to make dessert each weekend, but given my brain capacity, I think I am going to get a pie or two to have on hand in the freezer "just in case".

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween - candy, yum!

So the kids got a TON of candy yesterday and they are "sharing" it with me even now. In fact, the older two kids said they got a few of our favorite things just for us (DH and I). I am not sure how much of that is true, but I will take it!

I did get DH some candy corn last week, even though I do not like it. Of course, it is still here and it seems sorta anti-climatic to eat it now.

When I was a kid, the big coup was getting a full-s-zed candy bar? What did you love when you were a kid?

Also, one of the things the youngest brought home from pre-K last week was a tootsie roll pop. Of course, he unwrapped it and took like 3 licks and then gave it to me to finish. Thanks, kiddo! But then I looked at the wrapper for that Indian shooting the start. I remember there being something cool about getting that when I was younger. Am I the only one who remembers that or did it not happen elsewhere?