A Time to Celebrate with Apple Pie a la Mode

A Time to Celebrate with Apple Pie a la Mode

Hey folks! It’s been a while since I last posted, mainly due to life getting crazy. No recipe here today, just a nice post about taking time to slow down, enjoy family time, and eat some pie.

The weather has been great so I’ve been getting out to yard sales on the weekends. My latest find is a beautiful ceramic cake stand. It’s elegant and I love it!  The other day I invited my family over to have apple pie and ice cream. Dad’s favorite! The cake stand made a nice decorative centerpiece and we all had a great time.

The best part of that day is: Dad’s doctor told him he’s in “complete remission”! :)

Apple Pie Party

 

Apple Pie Party

 

Apple Pie Party

 

Apple Pie Tarts

Apple Pie Tarts

Hello, Everyone!

It’s been a while since I posted and well, what can I say… life just got in the way.  Makes me think of a song lyric I really like by John Lennon: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy doing other things.”

About a month ago I made some apple pie tarts and brought them to my dad in the hospital. He had just started chemo treatments and still had his taste buds. He’s home now and slowly getting his taste buds back, so I thought I’d make him one of his favorite treats again.

These take a little time to make because you have to roll out dough, and prepare many tiny pies, but they are worth it. I used a cupcake tin, but you can use a large muffin tin instead if you want a larger-size pie tart.

Instead of making the pie crust from scratch, I got Pillsbury pre-made pie crust. It saves time and this week I really needed to save time on cooking. They are very good.

pillsbury pie crust

Apple Pie Tart

Apple Pie Tarts

Ingredients

  • 8 medium to large granny smith apples (or golden yellow)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinammon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice
  • 14oz pie crust dough

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slice apples and put in a medium or large pot. Set on medium heat and cook for 15 minutes or until apples are soft and mash together.
Stir in sugar and spices.
Turn off the stove and while apples are cooling, roll out pie crust and cut out circles (roughly 4 1/2 in. in diameter)
Spray cupcake pan with cooking oil.
Press each circle of pie crust into the cupcake pan cups.
Slice pie crust tops for each pie tart by cutting circles roughly 4 inches in diameter.
Poor spoonfuls of apple filling into the pie pan, filling each one to the top, but not going over.
Place pie tart crust tops on each pie tart.
Pinch the edges of each tart with a fork.
Slice air holes in the top of each tart.
Place on middle oven rack and bake for 15 minutes or until tops of crust are golden brown on the edges.
Let cool for several hours, then place a large flat cookie sheet over the top of the pan, hold them together and flip them upside down. Tap the bottom of the cupcake pan until the tarts pop out onto the cookie sheet.

 

 

Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

Today, I needed chocolate. Not milk chocolate, but dark, intense chocolate.

To get my fix, I whipped up some chocolate chip pancakes (using Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chips).  Oh… these were just what I needed!!

To make it even more interesting I added blueberries. I could have added some walnuts since I had them in the cabinet, but I wanted more chocolate and soft chewiness in each bite.

These pancakes are whole wheat. Now, don’t let that scare you off, if you’ve never made whole wheat pancakes. It doesn’t take away from the taste, in fact, I think it makes it better. I love cooking with whole wheat flour. The texture really works in this too.

Chocolate and Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

Serving size: about 6-7 pancakes.

Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

Fluffy, rich and thick chocolate and blueberry whole wheat pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
Make a hole in the middle of dry ingredients and pour in milk, melted butter and egg.
Mix together then add chocolate chips and mix until blended.
Gently mix in blueberries. Don't over-mix batter. Some lumpiness in the batter makes for fluffier pancakes.
Heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil or butter on frying pan and pour batter into pan.
When tiny bubbles begin to appear in the pancake, flip it over.
Continue until all batter is cooked.
Coconut Yogurt Parfait with Strawberries and Blackberries

Coconut Yogurt Parfait with Strawberries and Blackberries

It’s still winter…. ugh…

Do you need a break from the cold? An escape to a happy place, maybe a bit tropical?

Sometimes, that happy place involves coconut. Actually, I think all happy places should have an option for coconut.

I found Chobani coconut yogurt at the store the other day. I thought… hmm… this could work in a great smoothie or yogurt parfait. Then, I realized, I’ve never made a blackberry parfait and voila, here it is. I made it fancy, too, so I could share one with my sweetie.

I used graham crackers for the crumbly layers, but you can use oatmeal or other cereal, if you prefer.

Coconut Yogurt Parfait with Strawberry and Blackberry Compote

Coconut Yogurt Parfait with Strawberry and Blackberry Compote

Serves 2
Creamy coconut yogurt parfait with graham crackers and a fresh strawberry and blackberry compote. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coconut yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup graham crackers, crumbled
  • 2 mint leaves, for decoration

Directions

Scoop spoonfuls of yogurt into parfait glass (or wine glass) until the glass is 1/4 full.
Sprinkle in a 1/2 inch layer of graham cracker crumbs.
Scoop in another layer of yogurt until the glass is about halfway full.
Make another 1/2 inch layer of graham cracker crumbs.
Make another layer of yogurt, filling the glass up to almost full, leaving about an inch for the last layer of berry compote.
In a small bowl, mash up the blackberries until they are small chunks. Mix in the strawberries and honey until blended.
Add the berry compote as the last layer.
Serve cold and enjoy.
Hungarian Kielbasa, Cabbage and Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

Hungarian Kielbasa, Cabbage and Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

 

It’s still winter.

Although, technically, in a few days it will be spring. Yesterday, we had 50 degree weather and today it’s back to the cold with a high of 38. Brr….I keep hearing we are having a slow start to spring and it’s making my summer-lovin’ friends and family very frustrated.

For Christmas, my sister Christine bought our other sister, Kelly, a slow-cooker crock pot. Kelly doesn’t cook often so I thought this was a good gift because it allows you to throw in a few ingredients, turn it on, let it sit for several hours, and then voila – you have a fantastic meal ready to eat.

A week ago, Kelly made a pretty good beef stew. She’s letting me borrow it and I wanted to make a Hungarian meal, since we are half Hungarian, to celebrate my dad’s side of the family.

Ooooh! Speaking of dad… he’s home from the hospital! His cancer cells look as if they’ve finally disappeared and he’s considered in remission. Right now, that word: remission, is my new best friend. I’m so thankful for all the prayers and love that has gone out to my dad from all our friends, family and the church community. He’s very very happy to be home.

Side Note: While researching online for similar recipes out there I found this one of a corned beef version of the slow-cooker meal from a fellow food blogger, Lisa, at snack-girl.com I love brisket, so I bookmarked this one for another time.

Hope you’re all enjoying these last days of winter!

Kielbasa Cabbage Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

Kielbasa Cabbage Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

Serves 6-8
Kielbasa Cabbage Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 turnip
  • 1 small cabbage
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground corriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 keilbasa links
  • 3 small potatoes (any kind you like)

Directions

Chop turnip and potatoes into 1 inch-sized pieces.
Chop cabbage into bite-sized pieces.
Slice kielbasa links in half (length-wise) and then slice them into 1/2 inch-sized pieces.
Turn on slow cooker and set to high setting.
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, starting with the keilbasa. Add spices last.
Pour in 6-8 cups of water. I added 8 for my stew, but 6 cups will make it less soupy and more dense.
Stir ingredients to mix them, then cover slow-cooker and let cook for 6-8 hours or until turnips and cabbage are soft.
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