Last weekend, I had to make a dutch oven (campfire style) dessert for a boy scout awards banquet. I didn’t want to do the “normal” peach cobbler. (Well I am not sure how normal it is, but my family ALWAYS made it and never liked it). I thought an apple crisp would be fun and “campy.” But I never made it before and wasn’t sure what I would like. After going all over the place, I found a really tasty recipe and had to modify it for an oven. (There is no way I am going to try to cook with briquettes on my back patio)
Here is my modified recipe…it’s halved as well.
- 4 medium sized granny smith apples
- 2 red delicious apples
- 3 tbls. lemon juice
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/6 cup flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/3 tsp salt
Pre heat oven to 350. Skin and slice apples and place in a bowl with the lemon juice and toss. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients, then toss with the apples. Spray a 8 by 8 glass pan with non stick spray and place apple mixture into the pan. Set aside.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup butter; melted
In a separate bowl combine brown sugar, flour, and oatmeal; stir to mix. Using a fork, mix in butter. Spread topping evenly over apples. Baked for 30 minutes; turn oven up to 375 bake an addition 15 minutes or until topping is browned and the apples are soft.
Winter is upon us, and it is cold even here in South Texas. It is perfect weather for chili, for my chili!
This is a very yummy, satisfying, tasty, full flavoured chili, but not spicy at all. I may be a Texan but I like my chili with beans. I also add a special, unexpected, ingredient.
1 roasted head of garlic
3 pounds ground beef
3 onions chopped fine
2 1 pound, 12 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
2 or 3 15.5 oz cans of kidney beans (keep liquid)-depends on how beanie you want your chili
1 8oz can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup (or so) creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 drops of sesame seed oil
Add to taste: cumin, paprika, nutmeg, clove, salt, pepper (from a tsp to a tablespoon)
Wrap garlic in foil and roast in a 450 degree oven while, you brown beef and cook the onions in a big pot. Cool till meet is cooked thru and the onions are tender. Drain fat.
Stir in tomatoes, reserved kidney bean liquid, the tomato sauce and all seasonings and roasted garlic. Heat to boiling. Taste. Add any necessary seasonings. Transfer chili into a 6 quart slow cooker and set it to low. Cook for a few hours…at least one. Add the beans about halfway toward the end of cooking.
This is THE best recipe for French Onion soup. I have not tasted a better french onion soup. No pictures today, but when I make it next I’ll take some and update this post. It does serve 4…2 if you are greedy.
1/4 cup butter
2 large onions, sliced
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup of dry white wine
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
4 slices crusty white bread
5 ounces Gruyere or Emmental Cheese, grated
salt and ground pepper
1. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned (the browner the onions, the browner the soup) [Beef broth would solve this...but I want a yummy oniony soup and the beef can overpower the onions]. This may take 12 to 30 minutes. Be patient, it’s worth it! Stir occasionally. Stir in flour and continue to cook until the flour turns a sandy color.
2. Pour in the wine and a cup of the broth (let cook a few minutes, letting the alcohol evaporate-stirring constantly), then add remaining broth. Bring to a boil, stirring every so often. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Lightly toast the bread, then cover bread with desired cheese, and return to the broiler to melt the cheese. Place in warmed 4 bowls (not THAT important, I usually use bowls from straight from my cabinets)
4. To be fair, divide the onions up amongst the bowls and then pour the soup over all. Serve immediately.
A lot has happened in the past few months. I have been super busy, super overwhelmed, and I can not believe it’s already November. I have a lot to process so it’s easier to post super yummy recipes than to actually share the personal stuff.
My father died October 3rd. That was the biggest lump of life to swallow; funny though it wasn’t his death that was hard to swallow, but the way his family treated me that caused the choking. His stroke completely devastated his life; so his passing was a blessing. He could finally proceed with the rest of his existence. But no one told me he was on his “death bed” nor that he died. I found out those things on random postings on facebook. One of my aunts is mad that I stopped visiting him…and made sure everyone of my FB friends knew why she was mad. Such a coward. She hasn’t spoken to me in 2 years.
I have always had problems with “family.” Mine sucks…all around…both sides. I used to beat myself up, “Why don’t I have a great family?” Many of my friends told me, “Eh, family sucks.” And listed all the examples of family meanness. Yeah, sometimes family does suck and it seems not to be the exception. But it is not the rule, because Heavenly Father did NOT create families for them to suck. They ARE your foundation and support. And maybe if they don’t, then maybe it isn’t a family after all. I have come to believe that family isn’t about blood, but about bonds and trust.
I am still working thru it. I will make sure though, that MY family IS a family and IS the foundation and the support every member needs.
Speaking of foundation, Lorelei got baptized this month! It was a beautiful sacrament. She was radiant. My parents and the oldest of my younger brothers came and my dad baptized Lorelei. It was a nice visit, completely what I’ve come expect…and no one screamed at anyone. See, very nice.
Jamey and I have been talking about having another baby. It’s mainly me talking…I was/am feeling that the Lord had another soul waiting for us. (The feeling isn’t as strong now). Rationally I am full of reasons why not to have more kids: my age, the kids ages, my mental health, finances, space, yadda yadda. But if my family isn’t complete…I trust in the Lord to help me cope. Jamey is all about the logic of it. I thought well if the Lord wants us to have a baby, he will make it happen-IUD or not. But when I was at the temple yesterday, I had the distinct impression that it won’t happen unless my husband WANTS it. So there you go. I don’t know. I think I am good either way. I think.
We have also been very busy selling popcorn for cub scouts; every weekend packed and stressed with booth sales. Poor Jamey has been very stressed out. Popcorn season is just about over.
And now starts the Holiday season…
As it is the Thankful Month, I wanted to share what I am thankful for today: My strong, brave, smart daughter. We went to the dentist today for some fillings and whatnot and she did AWESOME! I really lucked out in the daughter department.
This is a VERY simple little dish that I just a adore. It’s cheesy and garlicy with a nice bit of spinach for my much needed iron intake. The sauce is prepared and cooked with the pasta water boils and the pasta is cooked. I usually only make a single portion as my kids thing weird green bits is yucky. I say, “More for me!”
3/4 cup to one cup of tricolor rotinni pasta (this shape helps hold the garlic)
5 cloves chopped or minced garlic
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons of extra fine chopped frozen spinach (mine comes in wee little pillows)
1 tablespoon (or so) butter
a few grinds from the pepper mill
After setting the pasta water to boil, begin mincing the garlic. Add garlic to a cold small skillet, prepared with a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute on medium. When the garlic begins to become fragrant and a light tan add the frozen spinach, butter, and pepper. Stir. The heat will defrost and cook the spinach. Meanwhile, add pasta. Usually, the pasta and the sauce are done at the same time.
Drain the pasta and add to a bowl. Pour garlic spinach sauce over the pasta. Add Parmesan. The cheese is what really brings it all together.
This dish started as a basic parmesan and butter pasta…eventually I added the garlic and then the spinach. I rarely ever have just butter and parmesan any more. My new dish is vastly yummier.
Yeah, there hasn’t been much blogging lately. Not much to write about I guess or I don’t want to bother writing about the goings on? I am not sure which one. Obviously the passion I had for writing in general and writing in blogs has markedly decreased over the years.
I want that to change. This decline didn’t happen unnoticed by me, not at all. It happened as a gnashed my teeth in frustration as the pen slowly just dried up. It’s aggravating, because writing is who I am. Expressing myself thru written word is still how I feel most comfortable. Creating thru the written word truly satiates my soul. (Creating thru knitting is a pale comparison) But I still feel horribly blocked and it’s tiresome. But I guess yelling at the stone won’t make it move; you need to chip away at it, you need to put your shoulder to the boulder and MOVE it.
So let’s see if writing here again will help chip away at that writers block, eh?
I’ve always been cautious on what to write in my blog, especially as I have grown older and wary of the divisive world we live in. I hate mean spirited criticism; it really does deflate me. But, I think it is becoming important to testify and let others who might be find solace in my words feel less isolated. Uncover our candles from the bushel they are hiding under and flash it upon the hill so we become a beacon; so we may chase away the darkness.
What utterly non-pc topic should I start with? Gay marriage, abortion, states rights, illegal immigration, Islamic Jihad, gun control, mental illness, healthcare reform (or the lack thereof!), or spanking?
2 cups Mashed Potatoes (left overs work the best-the more flavourful the better)
6 tblsp flour
1.5 tblsp onion (I grate/mince mine in the food processor), browned in butter. (I actually use a whole onion )
2 tblsp chives (optional, I never use)
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable oil (for frying)-I have used canola or coconut oil for this
In a bowl combine well the potatoes and egg, stir in flour throroughly and stir in onion and chives. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a heavy skillet heat 1/ inch of oil over med high heat until hot but not smoking. Fry heaping tablespoons of the potato mixture, flattening them slightly with the back of a spoon, for a minute per side, or until they are golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. If needed keep them warm in a 250 degree oven.
1 pound fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups light cream (we use Half & Half)
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Wipe mushrooms clean with a moist paper towel; trim off the stem ends. Melt butter in a large saucepan; gradually add flour; stirring to make a paste. Add 1 cup of the broth and stir until slightly thickened. Add remaining broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 4-5 minutes.
Cut up mushrooms and puree in a blender of food processor with a small amount of the broth. Add the mushroom puree to the broth; then stir in cream. Season with thyme, cayenne pepper and salt and simmer 4-5 minutes longer – do not boil.
8 – 10 servings (about 3/4 cup each).
NOTE: If you plan to hold the soup before serving, or if you choose to prepare it ahead of time, place in a large pan of hot water to keep warm or to reheat. Do not place over direct heat. Add cream just before reheating.
It seems for me Spring has become the time of my undoing. I am not sure if it’s the allergies; the dread of the upcoming summer heat or what, but I am just worn out.
I ran across this in a blog post about burn out during homeschooling, from Chocolate on my Cranium:
- Take One Day at a Time. Sometimes that is all you can do! We were reminded of this in January’s CES Fireside by Elder D. Todd Christofferson. After quoting part of the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day, our daily bread.” Elder Christofferson said,
“Jesus is teaching us, His disciples, that we should look to God each day for the bread — the help and sustenance — we require in that particular day. The Lord’s invitation to seek our daily bread at our Heavenly Father’s hand, speaks of a loving God, aware of even the small, daily needs of His children and anxious to assist them, one by one. . . Take it one day at a time. The Spirit can guide us when to look ahead and when we should just deal with this one day, with this one moment. To deal with something very big, we may need to work at it in small, daily bites.”
I really like this. When life seems insurmountable and overwhelming…just take it slow…don’t shut down, but take small bites. I find giving myself a to do list and a schedule. A schedule helps if I am particularly unmotivated. Also of course prayer: keeping God in my thoughts….keeping up with my scripture study.
My zucchini plants look like they have succumbed to the Squash Vine Borers. They are wilty and the embryos have all aborted. Oh well, I did get a nice harvest and some really nice meals out of them. Next year…I will use more DE and maybe a screen.
Tomorrow the boy scouts are coming over to tackle the backyard jungle. They earn some money for camp and I get my backyard back. I think it will be a small help; a big check mark of completion.
I planted 4 gold rush zucchini plants this year. I am of course practically drowning in nommy zukes. I decided to make a tian. It’s french country food. Basically a dish roasted in a shallow pan. I layered carmelised sweet onions on the bottom, then a layer of sliced zucchini, tiled, then some more onions, garlic and thyme infused olive oil and some parm and then more zukes, oil and parm…extra parm on top. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
What You Need:
- 6 cloves garlic, 5 whole and one minced
- table spoon butter
- one onion, sliced in to moons
- 2 tablespoons or so extra virgin olive oil
- tablespoon fresh thyme
- 3 or 4 zucchini, sliced 1/4 in thick
- 1/4 cup or so Parmesan
- salt and pepper
Start with a 450 degree oven. Wrap a five cloves of garlic in a bit of aluminum foil and place in the oven. While its roasting, melt butter in a pan and toss in sliced onions and salt, on medium heat. While onions carmelise, pour oil into a small dish: add thyme and minced garlic. Then slice zukes. When the garlic is roasted and soft, mash it up
Once onions are a nice golden brown, spread half of the onions on a square 9 inch baking dish, mix garlic with onions, layer zukes, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle, salt and pepper, oil and then parm over zukes. Repeat once more; adding the rest of the parm liberally over the top.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes until it’s brown and soft. If you want it extra brown on top place it under the broiler for a few minutes.