What’s Cookin

Tonight I made fajitas. They are my absolute favorite because of how healthy they are. So many colorful vegetables. The only thing I hate about them is that they make my house smell like Fajitas for weeks. In fact, right now it smells like they are still on the stove. Later today I will be opening all the doors to try to get rid of the smell.

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Then to get in the Valentine’s spirit- Mickey Rice Krispie treats. Molly has a valentines party on Wednesday to attend. I thought we would bring a festive treat. Although, after I made them I realized that the party is on Wednesday not Tuesday… oh well. I just used the original recipe and then put food coloring in the marshmallows before adding the cereal and who doesn’t like Mickey?

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Cookie Making

 

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Cookies IMG_2541 IMG_2539 IMG_2571

My sisters and mom came over and we had a cookie decorating party this morning. We made sugar and gingerbread cookies with buttercream frosting and ate pizza. We let Brian go to the movies while we had sister time (We missed and wished Katie was here!) After some serious cookie decorating we opened gifts that Aunt Shelley gave to Molly. She spoiled Molly with a giraffe rocking horse. Molly is getting better and better at rocking it herself. Isn’t it the cuties thing you have ever seen? So thoughtful and generous -Thank you Aunt Shelley!

Later in the evening we went to our neighbors house for dinner. It was fantastic. We grilled chicken, steak and shrimp right at the table on raclette grills they are a tradition from Switzerland (and something I will be asking for my birthday- they make dinner 

parties a breeze). Maggie had her homemade bread and below the grills there are trays that melt cheese in and then pour it on your bread or potatoes.  We all wore our ugly sweaters. Then had a white elephant exchange and ended with chocolate fondu. 

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Mini Apple Pies

We are having some friends over for dessert tonight. I decided to make apple pies. We still have some honey crisp apples left over in the garage so I thought that would be perfect. I got mini pie tins and the Pillsbury pre-made crust. I have never been able to make a good crust. As you can see the two pies that are done I forgot to add the pats of butter in. So I had to push little pats of butter through the cracks of my weave. But, don’t worry the other two I remembered the butter.. plenty of butter.

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I can’t wait to cut into these little babies. A scoop of vanilla ice cream will make these perfect. Although, they are mini I think they are huge. Our friends the Tufts will love them tonight. Now, I have my Thanksgiving fix for the year and can continue to prepare for our vacation.

Simply Perfect Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 disks Simply Perfect Pie Crust dough, cold
  • egg wash (one egg beaten with a tablespoon of cold water)

Instructions

  1. Roll out one of the disks of pie dough to about 14 inches in diameter. Place the dough in the bottom of an ungreased 10 inch pie plate, and refrigerate.
  2. Place the apples, sugar, flour, spices, and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Fill the chilled pie shell with the apple mixture, working carefully to mound the apples evenly and with as few empty spaces between apple slices as possible.
  4. Dot with butter and refrigerate.
  5. Roll out the second disk of pie dough, large enough to overhang the sides of the pie by at least an inch. Drape the dough over the pie, pressing lightly to conform to the shape of the apples.
  6. Trim off any excess dough, leaving about a one inch margin all around the pie.
  7. Roll the top and bottom crusts under, around the perimeter of the pie, and crimp.
  8. Cut steam vents in the top crust with a sharp knife or kitchen shears, and brush with egg wash.
  9. Refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  11. Bake the pie for 1 hour + 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden, the juices are bubbling, and the apples are softened but still a little firm (not mushy).
  12. Cool the pie for at least an 1 1/2 hours before cutting.

http://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-apple-pie/

Oreos

Molly helped me make a peppermint ice cream pie. It is the easiest pie ever to make. Along the way Miss Molly helped me by eating an oreo while I was making the crust of the pie.image

fFirst the crust. Which is just 40 Oreos crushed. Then add a stick of butter melted. Mix and press into a 9×13 baking dish. Then thaw some ice cream (half gallon) just enough to spread on top of the Oreo crust. freeze. Then top with fudge and garnish with peppermint. (I forgot to take a picture of it complete- but you can imagine)image

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This ratty old Festival of Trees tree was found in our basement. I gave it a quick makeover and revived it. But now that it is all cute and festive I have no place to put it in the house. imageMuch better. In january I will catch all the christmas stuff on clearance and add some more decorations to it.

imageI had been aching to make an apple crisp for the last month now. I finally did tonight. I used Ina Gartens recipe. It was good. A bit too sweet. If I make it again I will cut the sugar way way down.

In Molly News- I am trying to wean Molly. I went two days without nursing her but I am having second thoughts about it tonight. Formula isn’t going so well. Nursing made her so happy- It feels mean stopping.

How could you say no to this bear?

How could you say no to this bear?

Apple Crisp Recipe (Ina Garten)

Ingredients
5 pounds McIntosh or Macoun apples
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the topping:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.

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Tis the season. I went to a ladies luncheon this afternoon and brought these little puppies for dessert to share. I think they are so fun. This is a pumpkin cheesecake no bake  with a graham cracker crust. Although, I have made a chocolate version for kids.

Ingredients

For the crust
    • 1 sleeve graham crackers (about 9 crackers)
    • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the filling
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1-ounce package sugar free cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix (or 1/3 of a non-sugar free instant pudding may be used)
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, plus extra for garnish if desired
  1. Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse the crackers into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter, sugar and brown sugar and pulse until combined.
  2. Spoon the crumbs into individual 9-ounce plastic cups (or other individual sized cups for serving). Place in the refrigerator to set while you are preparing the filling.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until light and creamy.
  4. Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and pudding mix and beat until completely mixed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix again until well combined.
  6. Change your stand mixture attachment to the wire whisk. On slow speed, fold in the tub of Cool Whip until well combined.
  7. Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.
  8. Using a large pastry bag with a large tip, or a spoon, top the graham cracker crust in each cup with the pumpkin mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  9. Garnish with additional whipped topping if desired.

Waffles

I love waffles and have since I first tried a “Bob Bayer” Waffle. The Bayer family in Alaska used to make these every Saturday morning when we were up at their cabin or at their house before going bowling. Tonight, I had the sister Missionaries over for dinner and that is what I made. I think they each ate 3! Brian is in Denver tonight so it is a girls night in.

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These waffles are so fluffy and crispy at the same time. Covered in butter and syrup you cant go wrong -for breakfast or dinner!

Bob Bayer Waffle Recipe.

Use the Bisquick waffle recipe but add 3 egg whites to every 1 yolk. Mix the bisquick, oil, milk and yolk together. This should look like  pancake batter. Whip the egg whites until fluffy and fold into the batter. If the waffles are too heavy, thin the batter down a bit. Make sure you fill the waffle iron completely with batter.