Thanksgiving = Perfect Apple Pie

Happy almost Thanksgiving! I’m so excited to go home and spend time with our families this week (not to mention enjoy a day off Thursday). I am bringing my famous apple pie to the festivities and I thought I would share it with you in case you need to whip up a last minute dessert.

I made this pie the first year Michael and I were married when I was on a kick of trying new recipes. It’s from my 1976 Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book that my grandmother gave me. It really is called “Perfect Apple Pie” and you can never go wrong with this recipe. It’s simple and tastes like your grandma made it.


Photo Credit: Novel Eats

Perfect Apple Pie

INGREDIENTS
– 6-8 tart Granny Smith apples, pared, cored, and thinly sliced (6 cups)
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
– 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
– dash of ground nutmeg
– Pastry for 2-crust 9″ pie (store brand works just fine)
– 2 Tbsp. butter

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine sugar, flour, spices, and dash of salt; mix with apples.
2. Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry, fill with apple mixture, and dot with butter.
3. Adjust top crust, cutting slits for escape of steam; seal along edges.
4. Sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.

Note: Don’t use the canned apples! I swear it’s not as good. If you feel up to it, cut your top pie pastry into strips and create a weave pattern (it looks amazing and ensures you look like you slaved over your pie).

Happy baking, turkey eating, and football watching!

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Chicken Pot Pie Mondays

Happy Monday! Hopefully your day went as fast as mine did and you felt like you were sleeping in this morning due to “falling back”. This, of course, is the time of year I get excited about Daylight Savings time. I hate losing an hour in the spring.

Tomorrow should be a beautiful day and the perfect weather for a run outside. I have to take advantage of every nice day we have left before the cold weather forces me back on a treadmill. In spirit of working out and staying healthy, I wanted to share a healthy recipe for you that we made yesterday and enjoyed leftovers of today. Happy cooking!

Chicken Pot Pie

INGREDIENTS
– 1/2 cup low-sodium cream of chicken soup
– 1/2 cup boneless chicken breast, diced
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– 1 cup frozen veggies
– 1/2 cup Bisquick
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– 1 egg white

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix soup and 1/4 cup milk in 1 quart casserole dish. Stir in veggies and chicken.
3. In a small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with a fork until blended. Pour over chicken mixture.
4. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes.

Note: If you prefer more Bisquick breading, mix 1 cup Bisquick with 1/2 cup milk and 2 egg whites. You will need to bake slightly longer, until the breading is cooked throughout.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothies

Happy Halloween! It doesn’t seem our apartment complex does trick or treating, which is sad, but not really because we were not prepared at all. We decided if we had candy in the house we would end up eating most of it and that’s no good.

Instead, we made natural Strawberry-Banana Smoothies!

Note: I never measure any of this out. Start with a little milk and if your blender doesn’t blend, add more. A Tbsp. of honey should do it. FROZEN bananas are a must, it makes your smoothie taste like it has ice cream in it. Sometimes I get crazy (ha!) and add different types of fruit or use orange juice instead of milk.

Halloween

My family stopped celebrating Halloween when I was little, but I enjoy making Halloween decorations now that I’m an adult. This weekend, I’m going to make Zombie cupcakes to share at work on Monday – that is if I don’t eat them all before then. I’m including the recipe below in case you’d like to join me. (Thank you www.cutefoodforkids.com for the zombie hand recipe and AllRecipes.com for the homemade cupcakes!)

Zombie Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
– 1 cup white sugar
– 1/2 cup butter
– 2 eggs
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1-3/4 tsp. baking powder
– 3/4 cup milk
– Frosting (I’m going for the store bought kind)
– 1/4 bag pink candy melts

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake tins with liners (I’m going for black).

Cream sugar and butter in a bowl for several minutes (until light and fluffy), then beat in the eggs (REALLY WELL), one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder with a wire whisk, add half of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk and mix well until the batter is smooth. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. For directions on the spooky zombie hands go here. Have fun!

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I also wanted to share a fun template for your front door (download here). I have to mention that I didn’t come up with it on my own. I found the idea online and traced a photo of the design.

Rainy Sundays & Tortilla Soup

Now that the weather has been cooler, I’ve been keeping an eye out for new slow cooker recipes. Today we finally tried one that I’ve been eyeing for a while, it was amazing! I found it at www.bettycrocker.com.

This recipe is perfect because it’s cheap, healthy and oh so easy! Note: the original recipe called for chicken thighs, but I prefer chicken breasts. I am also a HUGE sour cream fan, so I added light sour cream to the soup when serving.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Slow Cooker Style)

INGREDIENTS
– 5-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
– 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
– 3 (6″) corn tortillas, cut into 1″ pieces
– 1-1/2 cups frozen kernel corn
– 1 can (15 oz) chick peas, drained, rinsed
– 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
– 3/4 cup salsa verde
– 2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
– 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
– 1 tsp. ground cumin
– 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
– 2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped
– chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Mix all ingredients in 3-4 qt. slow cooker (minus tomatoes and cilantro). Cover; cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken to shred and then add back into soup. Add tomatoes before serving and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Spice Rubbed Chicken Breast Tacos

I wanted to share a really great and healthy recipe. It’s one of Bobby Flay’s from www.foodnetwork.com. Since it was cold and rainy today, we actually made the chicken on our George Foreman grill instead, but it was still amazing. It’s crispy and juicy with just the right seasonings. Enjoy!

Spice Rubbed Chicken Breast Tacos

– 2 tablespoons chili powder
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 2 teaspoons ground cumin
– 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons kosher salt
– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
– 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
– Canola oil
– 8 flour tortillas

Directions:
Heat the grill to high.

Whisk together the chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper in a small bowl.

Season top side of the breasts with the rub mixture, turn over and season the back with the remaining salt. Drizzle with some of the oil and place on the grill, rub side down and grill until lightly golden brown and a crust has formed, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over, close the lid and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 6 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Grill the flour tortillas briefly, just to mark and heat. Build the tacos to your liking and enjoy!

Sugar Cookies

Well, I broke one of my measuring utensils while making this one, but it was worth it (not to mention it has been ready to break for a year now, haha)! This recipe is so wonderfully simple and easy to make and the cookies are phenomenal! I separated the dough and added food coloring in shades of blue and green just for fun, but these would be great with sprinkles or any other small candy on top.

Thank you allrecipes.com for THE best sugar cookie recipe ever!



Simply Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

METHOD
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix flour, baking soda and baking powder together in medium bowl.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg. Add vanilla.
4. Stir dry ingredients into butter-sugar mixture.
5. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets. Then carefully remove them to a wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.