Super Easy Applesauce

APPLES, APPLES, EVERYWHERE!

My parents have a single apple tree in their yard. Year after year the apples just never made it. They never got good enough to eat. Well this year the tree was full of red yummy apples.

One day my dad had this bright idea to pick these apples. Well let me tell you, I was the one picking the apples. He held the ladder.

But after all that, we managed to get four large crates full of juicy apples.

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Unfortunately I never measured the amount of apples or cinnamon that was used. We did everything in bulk and taste tested it. But I thought I would still post the result because it just taste so good.

We peeled all the apples by hand. dumbest move we have ever decided to do. Out hands were cramping, our feet hurt, our backs hurt. I really need to invest in an automatic apple machine.

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We cut the apples into medium size pieces and filled the stock pot. Adding about 1/2 cup water. Cook the apples at medium heat siring every so often.

Once the apples soften mash them with a potato masher. I prefer a thicker sauce with heavy chunks. If you use an automatic apple peeler machine, the pulp will me much thinner. Almost that of which you buy in a store.

DSC0700555Add the cinnamon. Use as much as your choose. Taste it. Its hard to mess it up. See how chunky it is? So Yummy! You can add sugar to sweeten it up. I didn’t add a whole lot. Less then a half a cup. But I have read recipes that add two cups. So its up to you.

Once you have the sauce to your liking. Let it cool then scoop into containers. I froze mine. Maybe next year I will can it. But I didn’t have the time.

We took our peelings to the donkeys. They really enjoyed the treat!

donkeys and apples

Ingredients

Apples
Sugar
Cinnamon
1/2 Water

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Apple Caramel Cupcakes

While my mother and I cut, peeled, and smashed apples all day for applesauce, I decided to make this treat for some snacking. I called them cupcakes. But really the texture of the cake is more like a muffin. A pretty muffin! I am in love with these sweet little pieces of goodness. They taste good without the icing if you want to make them for a breakfast treat. But that icing is superb. Hope you enjoy!

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Ingredients

1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Cups White Sugar
3 Eggs
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (Oops Of Course)
3 Cups Peeled and Chopped Apples
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine oil, sugar and eggs.

Sift the flour and baking soda.

Then add vanilla and apples.

Mix well.

Simple as that.

Frosting

1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
1/4 Cup Evaporated Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

Boil all ingredients in a small sauce pan for approximately 2 minutes.

Once boiled, set the pan in a bowl of cold water.

Beat the icing until its a spreading consistency.

I mean whip that icing. I whipped till my arm hurt.

After your cupcakes have cooled. Spread the icing evenly over the tops.

The icing will thicken to a fudgy consistency.  Try to get it one the tops before that happens.

I was using my fingers by the time I got finished.

Garnish as you please.

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Pumpkin Bars

Today I woke up on this crisp September morning to the smell of burning leaves. I soon realized fall has begun.

Today is the day we welcome our fist annual autumn family picnic. As I pull the delicious pumpkin bars from the oven, I prepare in my head for this post.

Welcome back Pudgie Pie fans. We’ve made it through a long hot summer.

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Ingredients

2 Cups Flour
2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon salt
4 Beaten Eggs
16 Oz. Pumpkin
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Cooking Oil

Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Next combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil into a medium size bowl.

Beat until combined. Add dry ingredients.

Beat until well combined. Spread batter into ungreased 15x10x1 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees. For 25-30 minutes.

When finished set aside to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 OZ Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cup 10x Sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Spread over cooled cake.

Cream cheese frosting must be doubled for this pumpkin cake recipe.

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Pudgie’s Challenge: Cronuts!

Pudgies Next Mission?…..Cronuts!

Dominique Ansel, a New York city pastry chef has introduced the Cronut. Half croissant, half doughnut.

My mission is to figure out how to make them without dipping Pillsbury Flaky Biscuts into frying oil.

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Brownie Thins – FAIL

I hope you weren’t coming here to find a recipe for brownie thins. I couldn’t give you one if you wanted one!

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was hosting a bake sale at her church during a weekend flea market. Well you all know how Pudgie likes a challenge. (Haven’t completed one yet with success). But I will. I called her up and volunteered my time and baked goods.

But…

They didn’t turn out!

I have had a recipe for brownie thins in my Pudgie Pie file for over a year now. I have made them using a completely different recipe for Valentines Day. They turned out great. (I should really post that one. They were so pretty.) But I couldn’t find it. Of course.

So I used the one buried in the depths of my mess.

I should have known!!! I can’t say that enough…I should have KNOWN! When a recipe calls for a few Tablespoons of flour they are going to turn out to be LACE COOKIES!!!!!

I should have known!

Instead, I sit here at 11:44pm with this concoction in the oven, hoping to pull out an edible cookie. DSC06421

Here is the recipe: (copy/pasted directly from the site. (site address below)) Scroll down for my take on it.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of course kosher salt
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Brownie-Thins-240760#ixzz2UvthquCT

Directions:

Position rack in lowest third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter 2 baking sheets. Place butter and chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high power until almost completely melted, about 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Add sugar and egg; whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Add flour, both extracts, and salt; stir just to blend. Let batter stand 10 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoonfuls batter onto prepared baking sheets, spacing apart (12 per sheet). Spray sheet of plastic wrap lightly with nonstick spray. Place, sprayed side down, over cookies. Using fingers, press each mound into 21/2- to 2 3/4-inch round. Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle pistachios over rounds. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until slightly darker at edges and firm in center, about 7 minutes. Cool on sheet 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack; cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Brownie-Thins-240760#ixzz2Uvtpq4H3

So Because I didn’t have unsalted butter I used salted. Big mistake! I failed to omit the pinch of salt. Now my pile of brownie thins make you want some water.

As I followed the directions word for word I soon realize the consistency was really runny. That didn’t seem normal. I didn’t think these would be lace cookies. It didn’t say in the guidelines. So I added more flower. I wanted the consistency to be that of dough. So I could press them like I did my last ones.

If I ever find that recipe I will share. They were worth it!

So to finalize. The thins aren’t that bad. They are edible.

Lesson Learned…

If there isn’t a lot of flour. They probably are lace cookies!

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May 2013 Foodie Reveal

Oh, I got spoiled….

I received my box from Eleni from New Jersey this month. I was very excited to see how this box differed from last months. People taste in food fascinates me. I’ve come to realize that I eat so wrong compared to the rest of the world. But that’s a topic for a different day.

As I unwrapped my package this month I noticed a theme….Spreads…

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This month I received…

1. Biscoff Spread – OMGoodness….It’s amazing!
It’s cookies in a jar. I have never heard of this before. This is why I love Foodie PenPals! I enjoyed this so much I didn’t want to put it down. If you saw my recent Facebook post. This is what I couldn’t stop eating.
I looked this up and realized it’s sold in local stores in my area! Who knew. I will continue to purchase this!

2. Larabar  – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
I wasn’t too impressed with this one. It was good but tasted more like a protein bar. Not my favorite. This is more like something i’d carry in my purse for an on the go thing.

3. Obel – 1. Chocolate Peanut Butter  2. Chocolate
These were very good. Light and crispy. Perfect midday snack.

4. Lion Bar – Made by Nestle
This was good also. I am very partial to peanut butter when it comes to candy bars. But this was almost like a rice crispity, chocolatety, funky kit kat.

5. Nutella On The Go – Who doesn’t love nutella!

6. Justin’s Almond Maple Butter and  Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
Here it is again. Justin must be a special guy. These are everywhere in the foodie penpal world! Very good!

7. Cocoa Almond Spread
I couldn’t stop dipping my pretzels in this stuff. I also enjoyed it on rice cakes. Puts some yum onto dry, bland, health crap!

8. Dark Chocolate Almonds
Another perfect midday snack. Love ’em!

A big thanks to Eleni for getting my addicted to Biscoff spread! And for the wonderful well thought out box of goodies!

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Interested? Here are the Guidelines

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

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Cucumber Spinach Bites

Cucumber spinach bites 1While searching for inspiration for my Memorial Day potluck dish I came across an h-orderve from www.addictedtoveggies.com. She made a creamy spinach dip and put it in cucumbers. How clever. I wanted more of a healthier version with a huge punch of color.

If your food looks like candy, everyone will eat it!

I originally wanted to chop the veggies into tiny pieces and put them in the cucumber dry. I quickly changed my mind when I realized that it needs more flavor. So I decided to saute the veggies.

Just as I was about to put the dollop of sour cream on these babies they fell to the floor! If you saw my Facebook post then these are what you were looking at!

To be honest, I didn’t measure anything. I just bought the stuff and cut it up. I can’t even tell you how much I used from each item purchased either. You can do as I did or choose your own way to measure.

Ingredients:

4 Cucumber (I chose my cucumber by how even it was. You really don’t want fat ones because that would give you too much to pop in your mouth. Your going to want to eat these in one or two bites.)

1 Bag of Baby Spinach (I used about one huge handful chopped in slivers)

1 Carrot (Shredded on the smallest hole of the shredder)

1 Red Bell Pepper (I used about 1/3 of this. Chopped in slivers)

1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill

1 Packet of Bacon (I used the whole pack of bacon, but only crumbled about 2/3 of the pack into the mix. I put the rest in fridge for salads.)

1 Medium Onion (Chopped in small pieces. I ended up using the whole onion because I had to make a double batch because, remember, I dropped it on the floor)

Sour Cream Mix:

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Pinch Ground Celery Seed

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill (Chopped)

*I made the same sour cream mix that www.addictedtoveggies.com used. However you only need a dollop for each cucumber. I froze the rest of mine for future use. So you could reduce the mix dramatically.

*Mix everything together. Whisk vigorously.

Directions:

Start by cooking your bacon. Let that cool.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to frying pan.

Then chop up the veggies and put into frying pan. Toss.

I added a few drops of lemongrass and ginger oil. But that’s not necessary.

I also added a squirt of lemon juice. That also isn’t necessary.

Saute for about 3 minutes on med/low heat.

Set aside to cool.

Next chop your cucumbers into even slices. You want to keep it on the thick side to prevent a weak bottom. But not too thick it becomes too large a bite.

Then hollow out the centers with a small melon baller. I used a spoon because my melon baller was too big.

Stuff the cucumbers with the veggie mix.

Put the sour cream mix into a pastry bag (or ziplock) cute tiny hole in the corner and dollop the tops of the cucumber bite.

Garnish with fresh dill.

Serve

If you buy your veggies in bulk like I did, you will have plenty to play with if you drop them. 🙂

Cucumber spinach bites 2

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Blueberry Fool

When I say Martha Stewart what is the first thing that pops into your head? I bet a few bad things. But one thing I will always remember is my mother obsessed with recording her shows everyday! Attempting to do her crafts and make her food. I remember when I was little I collected the “Got Milk” ads from her magazines. I had nearly every one!

My sister had to make a pot luck meal for work and she chose Blueberry Fool. I thought it was going to be like a fluff. But my goodness the taste was so heavenly! I keep calling it Romantic Bliss. The recipe as follows came from Martha Stewart’s magazine! So worth making!

Blueberry Fool pic 1

Ingredients:

2 Cups Frozen or Fresh Blueberries

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

Scant 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

7 Tablespoons Sugar, Divided

1/4 Teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 Cups Heavy Cream

Directions:

Combine blueberries, lemon juice, cinnamon, 4 Tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat and simmer until blueberries burst and become very soft, about 8 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a food processor and puree.

Pour into a fine sieve set over a bowl, stirring and pressing on solids to remove as much liquid as possible.

Discard solids and refrigerate puree until cold and thickened slightly, at least 1 hour and, covered with plastic wrap, up to 1 day.

Whisk or beat cream with remaining 3 Tablespoons sugar to soft peaks in a large, wide bowl.

Drizzle puree evenly over cream and fold cream over puree twice with a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until puree is streaked throughout cream.

Do Not Over mix!

Transfer to a large serving bowl or individual serving dishes and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and, covered with plastic wrap, up to 1 day.

Serve Cold.

 

 

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Stuffed Peppers

stuffed peppers

I had planned on making stuffed peppers for dinner for about a week now. But of course I ended up with a 48 hour bug! So I stand looking at these delishious peppers and I’m afraid to just dig in. But I still tasted and they are fabulous. Very basic. I want to try these with different seasonings.

Ingredients:
1 Pound Ground Beef
1/2 Cup White Rice
6 Green Bell Peppers
2 Cans Tomato Sauce
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (seasoned)
1 Medium Onion
1 Bag Baby Spinach
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Spritz of Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place rice in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and cook for 20 mins.

Meanwhile, cook the ground beef in a frying pan until browned. Set aside.

Add olive oil to a frying pan and saute the onion and spinach. Add spritz of lemon juice, fresh pepper and dash of salt.

When picking peppers I tried to find ones with four nubs at the bottom so they stood nicely. Top off the peppers and discard. Clean out the seeds and membranes and place in cooking dish.

stuffed peppers all 6

In a bowl, mix the beef, rice, and sauted onion and spinach mix.

Spoon the mixture into the peppers. Drizzle tomato sauce over the peppers. Pour remaining tomato sauce and diced tomatoes around the peppers. You can also add the tomato sauce without the diced tomatoes to the beef mixture and then stuff the peppers. However I didn’t want a lot of red sauce in mine.

Bake 1 hour until the peppers are soft.

About 10 mins till done, add Mozzarella cheese to each pepper.

Enjoy!
stuffed peppers open

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Seven Layer Salad

Last Sunday we all drove to the in-laws to visit. If I didn’t get along with my in-laws I would still drive down there just for the food! My husbands mother is an amazing cook. I have learned new things from her. His family stretches back into the Mennonite religion. His parents aren’t Mennonites and neither is he. I’m not entirely sure who is what. But I do think its his uncle and then from there are Mennonite. I’ve been trying to piece that all together for a long time.

Anyway, I do know that his mom has kept a lot of the Mennonite traditions. Including cooking. Everything is homemade. From huge (full table) dinners to Chinese egg rolls and pizza. They rarely do take out.

So this past Sunday we had an open fire meal. We made Mountain pies and had seven layer salad on the side. I fell in love. As simple as it is, I still thought it was just fabulous!

I just had to make it myself.

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Ingredients:
2 Heads Lettuce ~ Chopped
2 Handfulls Baby Spinach ~ Washed and Dried
Salt/Pepper to taste
4 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 Pound Bacon ~ Cooked/Chopped
2 Medium Tomatoes ~ Chopped
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese ~ Shredded
2 Cups Frozen Peas ~ Partically Thawed

Dressing
1/2 Cup Mayo
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Sugar

Directions:
In a large, clear, bowl (or any) combine the ingredients. Layer each ingredient, one on top of the other by favoring the outside of the bowl. By doing this the layers look more full and pretty. Then fill the center with extra lettuce. Place the dressing on top and garnish with bacon.

I made extra eggs and bacon for future salads. You don’t have to use that much.

I also added a little extra dressing.

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