Monday, October 19, 2015

Itty Bitty Pies

I have fond memories of Hostess Apple pies.  You know, the sugary apple pie deliciousness that came two per waxed paper package.  (I'm pretty sure that they had blueberry and lemon pies too, but yuck!)  When I saw "hand pies" on Pinterest, I immediately thought of Hostess pies.  I think Hostess ones were fried though, and obviously not as good as fresh-made, right?

Though pie-like, I wouldn't quite call these pie.  Brian and I have been calling them "Apple Pie Cookies."  They are pretty fantastic and in a word, dangerous.  I'd make them again for sure.  Here's the recipe:  Apple Hand Pies.  I found it on Pinterest and take no claim for it.

 All of the necessary ingredients

 Refrigerated, pre-made piecrust.  This mama doesn't mess around making her own.

 Sean helping by "inspecting the biscuit cutter."

 What makes these little pies special?  A little dollop of caramel sauce in each one.

The finished product.  There WAS four on here, but Brian really wanted one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

An Apple a Day

Three-day weekends are good for cooking.  So far I've made applesauce this weekend, and overnight apple oatmeal.

The applesauce was my standard fare.  Recipe courtesy of The Joy of Cooking, aka "The Bible."  We've been using this recipe for years, and the only difference this year was using a food processor instead of a food mill.  What ease!

the overnight apple oatmeal is a thing to behold!  One must put it together kind of late in the evening, in order for it to be ready at breakfast.  I peeled and diced 4 apples earlier, and sprinkled them wit vitamin C powder so they didn't turn brown.  (you can find this with the canning supplies.)  You layer the ingredients and then the recipe warns you, DO NOT STIR.  I was skeptical but obeyed its command.  And this morning I was rewarded for my patience with the scent of apple-goodness when I staggered into the kitchen to make coffee.  (I'm kind of a mess in the morning."  This was extremely tasty.  And luckily it makes a lot, so leftovers for the week!  The only critique tat Brian had is that it's heavy on the cinnamon.  I love cinnamon though, but maybe next time I'll adjust it a little.

Next hand pies.  And then I still have more apples, so who knows.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekend Warriors

What a weekend in our kitchen.

First, let's talk about this pizza for Saturday lunch.  I had no idea that ricotta, arugula and caramelized onion would make such fantastic pizza toppings.  Unfortunately, you can't reheat pizza with arugula on top, because it wilts.  So we had to eat it all, tough break.

I made stuff for our freezer.  Three freezer bags of ratatouille, and this time I salted the eggplant slices first a la Alton Brown.  It definitely got some of the moisture out, making the finished product less "mushy."  It'll go great with a starch and a little grated Parmesan later.

Then it was time for a magic trick....turning a $4.23 whole chicken into two meals and then boiling the carcass for chicken stock.  (Thank you, rapidly approaching "sell-by" dates!)  And honestly, it didn't take very long.  I just sauteed some aromatics (in this case a whole sliced onion, a couple of carrots and some celery ribs) and added the carcass, covered with water and let it boil for an hour.  I'll strain the fat off the top tonight and put it in the freezer for some delightful chicken soup at a later date.

Now, I've got some overripe bananas to turn into muffins, and yesterday we went apple picking.   Thinking about what to make!  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Deep Freeze

When we first moved to our current home, we decided to buy a chest freezer.  Considering that the freezer in the kitchen is kind of small, this has been really helpful.  Until I opened it up last week and found it to be mostly empty, save for some cookies, a loaf or two of quickbreads and some chicken wings that I am almost certain made the move two years ago.

The freezer is empty and Winter Is Coming.

Well, perhaps winter isn't coming today.  I mean, it's only October.  But perhaps it's time to "realize the dream" of actually filling the freezer with meals.

I've always been one of those types that realizes that keeping ready-made food in the freezer is a good idea.  That the concept of bringing up a meal and defrosting it for dinner, therefore not having to really "Cook" that night but still having a great meal, is a huge time-saver.  I'm just not quite good at putting it into action.  And I really want to be one of those people.

So last weekend, I made meatballs, enough for two meals.  And I froze all of them.  This weekend we're having a roast chicken that I scored for just $4.23!  (hooray for approaching expiration dates.)  After we have a lovely meal paired with cornbread and vegetable sides, I am going to boil the carcass and make chicken stock for a future soup date.

As for the rest?  I'm already combing Pinterest for ideas.  This is my "Year of the Freezer."