Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Homemade Applesauce

If you ask me what I love making in the fall I will say APPLESAUCE APPLESAUCE APPLESAUCE! I started making it last year, I can't tell you how many times I made it last fall and winter. I froze enough to hopefully last the year and it did last a while, but we ran out in May or June and with apple out of season and not locally grown, it just doesn't taste the same, plus the prices were insanely high! So my local Stop & Shop had apples on sale for .88 a pound... I couldn't resist the overwhelming urge to make applesauce. So I picked up a peck and skipped home. I didn't wait long, well I waited as long as it took me to clean off my counters and get out my knives and cutting sheet! I sliced and corded all the apples, got the pot going and I was in applesauce business!

I went from this:

To this:

1 Peck of apples (5-6 lbs)
1/2 to 1 cup water
Sugar (white & brown), honey & cinnamon to taste
Equipment Needed:
Large Crockpot Pan
Food Mill
core & quater cut apples
Put in Pan, add water when done
cook on low uncovered. When water starts to boil mix around apples once in a while... add in sugars, honey & cinnamon now. I usually had about 1/2 cup of white sugar and about 1/4 cup loose brown sugar.... a couple squirts of my honey and a few shakes of cinnamon.
when all the apples seem soft (maybe an hour) remove from heat. Using the mill and a bowl put the apples through the mill to create your applesauce and keep the skins out of your sauce! Serve warm for a yummy treat or put in smaller containers and freeze for later use.

Chicken Pot Pie without the Crust!

The one thing I hate about Chicken Pot Pie is the dry flakey crust. Maybe my mother didn't have a good crust, I personally haven't had much experience with making a crust of any kind. I don't normally like pie and neither does DH so I rarely make one! But this, this is pot pie without the pie.

Chicken Pot Pie Minus the Crust


1 lb of chicken, cut & cubed uncooked
1 can of cream of something soup. I normally use cream of chicken or spinach but mushroom will work just as well.
1.5 cups of veggies of your choice. I normally use a pea and carrot or corn, maybe some spinach... I don't REALLY measure the amount out, I just mix in what I think is good... we like a lot of veggies. As long as your veggies get coated in the soup that's all that really matters
1 egg
2 cups of bisquick


Mix chicken & soup in a pie plate or 8X8 or 9X13 for a short but long pie. Add in veggies, making sure everything is coated well. In a seperate bowl combine bisquick, egg & milk, using enough milk to make the bisquick blended and thinned. pour over chicken & veggies. Put in oven at 350 for 45-1hr. top should turn golden brown and should bubble on the sides.

Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well I did it, after reading a ton of posts on the Nest I finally got my act together and baked some off. Eric was less than impressed but I thought they were fantastic! One reason I can see that might have turned him off was that I used dark brown sugar, thinking the cookie was huge and an extra rich kick would be good. I liked them but again I like dark brown sugar! So the recipe was orginally posted on all recipes But I will repost with my moderfications.

Jen's Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Made 1 dozen cookies about 4-5 inches wide

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tea baking soda
1/2 tea salt
3/4 cup butter, melted in microwave
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Put bowl and dough in fridge for 30 mins. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

My tips: Put the dough in the fridge prior to baking and WATCH YOUR COOKIES! I overcooked one batch for about 2 mins and they got hard after a day... the not overcooked onces were still soft 10 days after baking (10 days is how long they lasted... so DH ate 1 the day they were made and I ate 11 in 10 days. And I wonder why I can't loose weight! LOL I also individually wrapped them in saran wrap when they were cooled.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Plans for the weekend

Well the weekend is here and we're coming towards the end of August which means the Durham Fair is just around the corner! So this weekend I am planning on making a few of the recipes I'm hoping to enter into the fair!

#1 Collecton: Biscotti, Italian Bread, and Italian Fruit-filled Cookie
these recipes are given to us, we need to make all three things and put a collection of them in a basket for judging. 6 Biscotti, 1 loaf of bread and I believe 6 cookies. I have never made any of these so I'm going to try them out this weekend

#11 Any Yeast Bread
I'm going to enter my Garlic Yeast Bread, the recipe is from all recipes and it's for a bread machine but I make it by hand.

#4 Any Cookie not chocolate chip
Molasses Cookies, I have a recipe that my aunt used to make and my mom made them after she passed away. They are THE BEST molasses cookie in the world and hopefully will blow the judges away! The other option I've been thinking about is a decorative cookie but I would have to go through my recipes to decide for sure.

#15 Grandma’s Favorite Recipe
Zucchini Bread, I have never entered this contest b/c I didn't want to give away such a good recipe... but a few people have asked for it and I've given it out so I decided I'll let the world (or at least Durham, CT) have it!

my plan is to make the biscotti, italian bread and fruit filled cookies this weekend. Maybe the garlic bread too. I'll take photos and post the recipes with the photos! happy baking!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My dream kitchen....

I want a retro kitchen. In the colors of light blue, dark brown and a cream. I have liked this color combo for a few years now and my husband used to make fun of me, then he started seeing this trend of a color scheme everywhere from clothing to home shows! So we aquired my grandmother inlaws all formica top kitchen table. I redid the chair cushions with a tie-dyed fabric and painted my walls a fabulous shade of blue. Rocking the oldies blue tea kettle and so far scores some cool S&P shakers from a cute store on the cape. It's coming along piece by piece. Once we own a house of our own it'll come along a lot faster! But this blog isn't about what is in my retro kitchen, it is about what comes out of it!