Rumors Of My Death Yada Yada Yada

I’m fairly sure no one really missed me or even noticed that I hadn’t posted in a couple of weeks *sobs dejectedly and hides under the bed* but just in case…. I’M NOT DEAD!!!! Just thought I’d mention that in case you weren’t sure if I was dead or not when you saw a post from me.

*Scratches head, looks confuzzled, starts to speak and gives up*

Seriously though (who am I fooling with the word ‘seriously” in my blog? Please raise your hand so that we can all laugh at you), I AM back. Can I promise I won’t disappear again? No. I may get hit by a falling space satellite tomorrow. I could contract Typhoid. I could get eaten by an enraged chicken. You never know.

Or I could just need a break again and not be the type to try to get whining attention by writing a post saying “I must leave *insert heavy sigh* because life is too hard *insert more sighs* and I need to lie in my bed, watch bad reality shows and eat Cheetos *sigh more and look downtrodden* and then expect 500 people to comment telling me to go away and come back when I’m refreshed. I prefer to just go away, come back when I’m refreshed and giggle maniacally knowing that maybe one or two of you were wondering where I had gone. I DID need to go away though. For reasons that are probably obvious if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I just needed some down time… physically, emotionally, mentally. But I’m back, I’m raring to go and I MISSED ALL OF YOU!!! *Spreads hugs, kisses and Twinkies everywhere*

And I like to think I have come back with a bang. Berries are getting a bit less expensive as the year progresses (meaning I didn’t have to sell the kids to buy some berries) and if you’ve read my blog, you know I love berries. During the Summer, I tend to exist on fresh blueberries and raspberries *”Violet! You’re turning Violet, Violet!!” (who knows what that’s from? Huh huh huh?)

So what I have for you today *uses my professional voice* is pretty darn yummy. It’s also pretty darn rich so plan to have this after a light meal, not, say, a pork roast or after going to a Chinese buffet (am I the only one who eats like a pig at those?) . I made a parfait that layers a rich white chocolate/almond pudding with fresh berries. I originally started out with a cake that had a white chocolate/almond filling and berries on top and it morphed into this lol.

This is fairly easy. You’re just making a pastry cream, lightening it up into a pudding type mixture, layering it with berries and there ya go… bobs your uncle (what the heck does that phrase MEAN anyway!?)

Berry & White Chocolate/Almond Parfait

  • 1 cup half and half or light cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Scant 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup almond paste, crumbled
  • 6 ounces good quality white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 3 cup assorted berries
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  1. Pour half and half into a saucepan. Add vanilla extract and bring cream to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and flour.
  3. Whisk in the eggs, then the warm half and half. Pour this back into the saucepan.
  4. Add the almond paste and whisk over medium heat until almond paste dissolves and pudding boils, about ten minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add the white chocolate. Let sit for about 3 minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  6. Put plastic wrap over pudding and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
  7. When cold, fold in the heavy cream. Cover again and chill for about another 3 hours.
  8. When ready to serve, put the preserves in a small bowl and microwave until melted, about 25 seconds.
  9. Fold gently into the berries in a medium bowl.
  10. Make a layer of the pudding, a layer of berries, another layer of pudding and top with more berries. Serve. Drool. Eat too much.

 


Wanna Drink? Me Neither.

Pina Colada Panna Cotta With Caramelized Pineapple

I’ve always been a pretty boring person. Other than one period in my life when I was 18/19 I’ve never been a big drinker. There are some things I like such as a glass of wine every once in a while or maybe some Baileys but it’s never been something that is important to me. I’ve also found that as I’ve aged (I’m all of 27 now *cough cough*) I can’t really handle alcohol anyway. Half a glass of wine and my body lets me know “Janet, if you drink ONE sip more of that, I’ll make you pay for it”. Mind you, there are exceptions but they are rare. *Remembers the bottle of whipped cream vodka and my daughter in law Kaitlyn loving it as much as I did* Continue reading

Hey Blackberry, How You Taste So Sweet

 

…Hey blackberry, tell me what you see Tell me is it interesting Hey blackberry pay some attention to me Hey blackberry look at my bumblebee Hey blackberry you know he never stings And he only hums for me.

Now that you’ve read the title, I am sure you’ve figured out what this post is about, right?

You got it!!! It’s about LIVER!!!! Stuffed with Twinkies! Coated with Panko and deep fried.
Hmmm, how much do you want to bet that in a few weeks, you will be able to find a recipe for that somewhere on the web? Everything else in the world has been deep fried (I am fairly sure this is what happens to socks in the dryer. There is a secret chute and they are being taken to a 5 star restaurant somewhere and being served deep fried.), why not liver stuffed with Twinkies?

Darn it… now I want a Twinkie. Sans liver though.

Ok, before I gross everyone out completely, I should move on huh?

Quite a while ago, I printed out a recipe for Blackberry Pie Bars. I have seen the recipe in many places since then and many delicious sounding variations but the one I got came from here at Joy The Baker . They sounded utterly delicious and I love any excuse to make wholesome fruit slightly decadent hehe.

Finally…the last time I went to the store, I remembered to buy frozen blackberries. So today was the day for these. And I have to say… they’re amazing! Tender tart fruit mixed in a moist batter and topped with crumbs (I have a thing for crumbs. It’s a sickness.). You get a little bite of fruit, a bite of cake and some yummy crumbs (did I mention that crumb sickness thing?) in every bite. These are a little taste of Summer in the middle of Winter. The only thing I think I would do differently next time would be to take about another half cup of the crumbs and use them on top. The crust was a bit thick for my tastes and the topping a bit sparse.

So as I have said before, get to baking. You can thank me later. preferably with chocolate. Or Twinkies. No liver please.

Blackberry Pie Bars

  • Crust-
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • Filling-
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon each of vanilla extract and almond extract
  • juice and zest from one small lemon
  • 2 ย (16-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, thawed and drained well
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and cut it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Reserve 1 1/2 cups. Pat the rest of the crumb mixture into a greased 13×9 inch pan.
  5. Bake for about ten minutes or until the edges have begun to get light brown. Set aside to cool for at least ten minutes.
  6. In another large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice and zest. Gently fold in the drained blackberries. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the filling.
  7. Pour onto the cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until it is light golden brown.
  8. Let this cool for about an hour. I didn’t listen to those instructions at first and what I got out of the pan was a goopy, albeit tasty as all heck, mess. LET IT COOL! ๐Ÿ˜›
  9. Eat. Thank me. Thank Joy The Baker. Thank God for Blackberries ๐Ÿ˜€ hehe

 

Same Theme, Different Yummy Recipe

I know I know, I just did a recipe for a cake… and it too had apples in it. But I can’t help myself!!!! It’s Fall and apples are in season and they are totally delicious this time of year and they go so well with spices and cake and and and… you love me and will forgive me for being a wee bit repetitive. I just know you will!

You will won’t you? You’re not currently changing your bat channel are you?

Get back here young lady!! Erhmmm, no, I wasn’t meaning to insult your manhood sir. Though I’d like you to stay too. Yes, I know your wife thinks you are very manly.Yes, those are wonderful biceps. Sir, put your shirt back on please.

My husband is manlier though. He carried a tree out of our forest today. All by himself. One handed. He even grunted and said “Ugh. Me man, you woman. Cook me a whole Elk, wench”. Ok, no he didn’t and if he had, I probably would have beaned him upside the head with one of the heavy branches I was toting. I’d have made a terrible submissive cave woman. I’d have been the cavewoman berating her hubby for not killing a larger Mammoth. “Whadda ya mean, your spear broke!? I’ve said time and time again that you don’t pay attention to spear upkeep and this was gonna happen! Now what am I gonna do with this tiny 1500 pound Mammoth!? All the OTHER husbands get bigger ones! How can I show my face at the Junior Cavewomans League NOW?!”

But really… he carried a tree. Maybe it wasn’t big but I was impressed. I even swooned a little and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t from his pit smell.

Then I came home and cooked Mammothย  this cake. He deserved it. For the tree thing, not the smelly pits. And cause he likes apples. See? It’s all HIS fault I’m posting another apple cake. It had nothing to do with the fact that I like spice cake and had apples I needed to use up.

Seriously though (I hear you saying “yeah, right, Janet. YOU? Serious?) this is yummy! I told all of you that I was going to post things for your Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Day of Any Worship/ whatever/ table and so I am. I mean, I’m the first person to go grabbing a Pecan or Pumpkin pie or twelve and eating every bite as I growl at anyone who ventures near me but I wanted to give you some choices that aren’t necessarily the normal holiday fare. This fits that bill quite well.ย  It’s a one layer spice cake that is redolent of Autumn and makes your house smell fantastic. It has a layer of caramelized apples on top a la upside down cake. It’s then served with the caramel that you didn’t use for the apples. Can we say “OMG”?

This isn’t hard to make at all. I’ve made it a gazillion times over the years. The hardest part is the homemade caramel and slicing all the apples. I don’t know about you but I HATE slicing apples. It’s a testament to my love for desserts like this that I do it at all. It’s originally a recipe from Epicurious.com and I haven’t really changed it a whole lot. I’ve added more spice and added a bit of vegetable oil because originally the cake was a bit dry. Otherwise, it’s the same recipe they have up. If you like apples, caramel and spice cake you sooooo have to try this.

Winter Spice Cake With Caramelized Apples

  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 medium Golden Delicious apples (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 6 wedges
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยฐF.
  2. Spray bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of the with foil; spray foil. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Wonder why you didn’t take stock in a foil company.
  3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add apples; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
  4. Sautรฉ apples until almost tender and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Wonder why you didn’t take stock in a sugar company.
  5. Increase heat to high and toss until sugar melts and apples are deep brown, about 4 minutes. Pour apple mixture onto large plate (do not clean skillet; you want all that apple and buttery goodness).
  6. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup sugar and cook until mixture is deep golden brown, stirring often, about 7 minutes (mixture will be grainy). Add cream and vinegar (do not stir).
  7. Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer without stirring until most of caramel bits dissolve, about 8 minutes.
  8. Uncover and whisk until sauce is slightly thick, deep brown and reduced to generous 1 cup, about 3 minutes longer. Pour caramel sauce into small saucepan.
  9. Spread 3 tablespoons caramel sauce over bottom of prepared pan. Arrange apple wedges side by side, rounded side down, in caramel in 2 purty overlapping circles.
  10. Sift flour and next 6 ingredients into a medium bowl.
  11. Beat 6 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons oil and 1 cup sugar in large bowl to blend (mixture will be grainy). Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla and 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce.
  12. Beat in half of dry ingredients, then sour cream, then remaining dry ingredients.
  13. Spoon batter evenly over apples.
  14. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  15. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes.Cut around cake; remove pan sides. Cool cake 15 minutes longer.
  16. Place platter atop cake; invert cake onto platter. Remove pan bottom and foil. Replace any dislodged apples. Rewarm remaining caramel sauce. Serve cake warm or at room temperature with sauce.

 

I Have A Confession To Make

Darn turkey was trying to eat my cake!

You ready for this? I’m hoping that none of you leave and never speak to me again because this is a big one.

*Takes a deep breath*

Ok, here goes.

I’m glad Halloween is over! Glad!! Glad I say!!

There!! I said it!!

*Sobs uncontrollably and hides under a blankie, peeking out to see how many of you left*

You’re still here!? To quote my three year old, “Awesome, dude!”

I really am though. Beyond the candy, as a holiday it really doesn’t do much for me. I get tired of trying to catch something decent on TV and only finding scary movies and things titled “The Exorcism of The Three Legged Emu That Ate Manhattan”. I find myself longing for Thanksgiving and Christmas movies and TV shows. I also get tired of every food product being based on the idea of how gross can we make this? Mind you, I get/got a kick out of seeing how creative my fellow bloggers can be with Halloween treats and some sounded amazingly good but I was aching for something that was homey and cozy and Autumnish.

Like I said though, the candy part? Yeah, I can deal with that. Especially the day after sales when you can snag 73 pound bags of assorted Hershey products for less than the national debt. I grab those bad boys and save them to put in Christmas stockings and pray that the kids don’t really notice the Halloween wrappers. Honest… I really do save them. Ok, most of them. There usually aren’t many any Kit Kats left. But who can blame me!? I mean… it’s KIT KATS!!!

With just two teens and a three year old at home, there wasn’t any trick or treating. I figure Joshie can start going when he starts school. I’m mean that way. Plus, he is pretty timid and I really didn’t want to carry him as he clutched me in traumatized fear and then had nightmares for a year or twelve.

So I’ve moved on. I’m back to loving the idea of cozy Autumn style dishes; things that can be served to the family or maybe put on the table when Thanksgiving comes around which is getting here quicker than I’m ready for. So today I made an awesome (awesome, dude!!) caramelized apple pound cake. This is an older recipe that I only slightly adapted from Food & Wine magazine and it’s a bit more time consuming than things I usually make but it’s well worth it. I added a cider & ginger apple compote to this and it works wonderfully to add that extra pizzazz to the cake. I also didn’t use their glaze because it just sounded too sweet and heavy.

Cider Caramelized Apple Pound Cake

With An Cider, Apple & Ginger Compote

  1. Cake-
  2. 2 cups apple cider
  3. 3 cups white sugar
  4. 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  5. 1 1/2 pounds granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  6. 3 cups cake flour
  7. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  9. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (yes, you read that right)
  13. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  14. 6 large eggs
  15. 3/4 cup sour cream
  16. Compote-
  17. 1 20 ounce package refrigerated glazed apples (the kind that is by the ready made meals)
  18. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  19. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  20. 1/2 cup apple cider
  21. 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger
  22. 1/3 cup heavy cream
  23. Glaze-
  24. 2 cups powdered sugar
  25. 1/4 to 1/3 cup apple cider (will vary depending on how thick or thin you want your glaze)
  • In a large saucepan, boil the 2 cups apple cider over high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Add 1 cup of the white sugar to it and cook over moderately high heat until it is a dark amber color.
  • Take pan off the heat and add in the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the peeled and sliced apples and cook over medium high heat until the apples are tender and translucent and most of the cider syrup is absorbed. Set the apples aside and let cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan (I used Bakers Joy spray- I love that stuff!).
  • Sift together the flour, spices and salt.
  • In a large bowl, beat the 1 1/2 cups butter until creamy. Add the remaining 2 cups of sugar and the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time. beat well after each one.
  • Add the dry ingredients a third at a time, alternating adding it with adding the sour cream.
  • Stir half a cup of the batter into the apples to lighten them up a bit, then stir the apples into the rest of the batter.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth it out. Bake for 70 minutes or until the top is dry and cracked or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pan for about 20 minutes then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
  • When cool, whisk the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the cake… or just eat it with a spoon. WHAT?! Quit looking funny at me!
  • To make the compote-
  • In a medium saucepan, mix all the ingredients except for the cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently and cook until the cider has been absorbed. make sure to stir this often or it WILL stick. Don’t ask me how I know this *cough cough*. When pretty much all of the cider is absorbed, stir in the cream. Heat JUST until the cream has warmed up; don’t boil it.
  • Serve the cake with a nice dollop of the compote on top.
  • Say yum.

Taking a decent picture at 2am with no natural light (obviously) & a point & shoot camera is pretty impossible. Sigh.

When The Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie…

Sigh. Have I mentioned recently that I REALLY need a good camera?

 

That’s so NOT amore as Dean Martin crooned years ago. It’s more like, sayyyyy, the apocalypse.ย  That moon thing might hurt. Well, ok, no it won’t because the whole Earth would go BOOM long before the moon actually hit your eye… or your nose… or even an outstretched “OMG, the moon is about to hit me!!!” sort of arm. Now the boom thing? That may hurt for a split second or so.

I am pretty sure that Mr. Martin was dead drunk when he sang those words. But then again, I don’t recall any sightings of him on TV where he WASN’T dead drunk.ย  Am I the only one who remembers the show he had on TV many many years back? Erhmmm, not that I’m old enough to recall it. I watched it on you tube. Yeah, that’s it. And in those shows…erhmmm, reruns, I remember him always being surrounded by gorgeous women, always lounging against a piano and always dead drunk. Ahhh, the days when men were men. Or something like that.

Now I’m feeling all nostalgic for old TV shows. I used to love all the old variety shows that came on during the Christmas season. My favorite was always the Bing Crosby Special. Oh Gawd, I loved those shows! I have on an old VHS tape one that came out a few years after Mr. Crosby died that was a compilation of all the shows. I kept it once I found it because for YEARS, and I mean MANY YEARS, I remembered the version of “The Little Drummer Boy” he sang with David Bowie ( go look it up on you tube. It’s beyond amazing!) and that was the only way I could hear the song. Then a few years ago, “Now That’s What I Call Christmas” came out with a CD that had that song on it. I was one happy Bing lover.

Back to that moon and pizza pie thing. I love pizza. Matter of fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who DIDN’T like pizza. But if they did, I bet I could change they mind with this one. This doesn’t have sausage or pepperoni or extra cheese or mushrooms (damn. Now I’m hungry.) Nope. This one is covered in a nice cheesecake filling, apples, cinnamon and sugar as well as caramel and a delicious streusel topping. Drooling yet?

I saw a recipe for caramel apple pizza and while it sounded good, that genetically warped part of me took over (go figure huh?) and I had to mess with it. I mean c’mon, would you really expect anything different form me? I didn’t think so. So I added a nice sugar cinnamon sprinkle to the crust to give it some flavor and then topped it all off with an oatmeal crumb topping. The cinnamon sugar could be left off if you preferred but…why? ๐Ÿ˜€ This makes a great family dessert, especially this time of the year when apples are excellent. It would also be great at a kids Halloween party. This makes 2 pies so if you want to do the math, you could cut the recipe in half ๐Ÿ˜›

Streusel Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pizza

  • STREUSEL-
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Cinnamon sugar topping-
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
  • PIZZA-
  • 2 store bought pizza crusts (yes you could make your own but this is meant to be a fairly easy quick to put together treat)
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup caramel dip or topping
  • 3 large apples, cored, thinly sliced (Gala work well)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped peanuts (I didn’t do this because I don’t like them but figured I’d add it to make it more caramel apple seeming)
  • more caramel topping for drizzling.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. Mix well then cut in the butter using a pastry blender. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and the caramel topping.
  4. Spray the pizza crusts with butter flavored baking spray (regular is fine too) and put them on large cookie sheets.
  5. Combine the cinnamon sugar and sprinkle it over the two pizza crusts. Get annoyed at me cause I’ve made you dirty 3 bowls and 2 baking sheets.
  6. Spread half the cream cheese mixture over each pizza crust.
  7. Arrange the apple slices on each crust in a purty spoke design even though they are going to be covered in streusel and you won’t see them. YOU’LL know it’s pretty under there. It’s like wearing nice underwear in case you get into an accident.
  8. Drizzle the apples with more caramel topping. I didn’t give an amount for that because I am heavy handed with it. You may want less…. or more even, in which case call your dentist.
  9. Sprinkle half the streusel topping over each pizza crust.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees until the topping is browned and crispy and the apples are tender.
  11. Serve this with vanilla ice cream. Curse my name as your hips get bigger as you eat and your jeans button pops open. Know that I’m giggling over here.

Lucccccyyyyyy, I’m Hommmmmeeeeeeee! Cook Me Some Dinner!!

Oooo, Ricky, can we go to the club tonight!?

No Luccceeeee! You need to be cooking dinner for me!

Ohhhhhhh…. Rickkyyyyyyy! WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Ummmm…. yeah. That’s my way of saying I’m back! Did ya miss me!?ย  huh huh huh!? Was there an emptiness in your life the past 2.5 weeks while you waited for my return? Did you mourn and eat lots of Twinkies in my honor?

Well…. moving is done. We are settled with nary a box in sight. Well, one box but it’s my husbands and I’m not touching it… unless it sits there too long. Then I’ll hide it.

I had forgotten how much I hated moving. The only thing it is good for is that you have a clean house for a while. I think from now on we will just move every time the house gets dirty. Easier than cleaning.

Seriously though; moving sucks. By the time I finished culling things in the old house and packing up I was already exhausted. Then once we got everything here, all the unpacking and setting up pretty much fell to me since my husband had to work. Talk about tiring! A three bedroom house…. unpacked in like 3 days. Why you ask? Because I am extremely anal and couldn’t handle the idea of living in box city for longer than necessary. So I practically killed myself getting it done. I am one of those people who HAS to have it feeling like home. I need a magic wand or a potion to create “instant cozy”. If you see one on ebay, keep me in mind.

Then, as life is wont to do, it used it’s massive sense of humor to add Bronchitis to the settling in process. I’m still recovering from that and 99% of the time, tend to sound like Minnie Mouse after she has been sucking on a helium balloon. Kinda funny actually. Except when I try to sing. Then it’s just frightening. I think I have traumatized Joshie and all the cats.

Butttttt… I have FINALLY been able to start cooking again. Between setting up and illness, I didn’t cook a thing for the longest time. So all my grand plans of having a backlog of recipes and posts when I gotย  internet access back were ruined. But that’s ok. I’ll still be cooking for you. Have a new one for you right now as a matter of fact. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted a cobble the other day but didn’t have the things I needed to make a good home made one so I improvised. I guess it must have worked since my non sweets liking husband had two servings. Yay me!

This is supremely easy to throw together and a perfect Autumn cobbler. It is rich, decadent and smooth (starting to sound like I cloned George Clooney) with a crunchy biscuit topping that goes over the top by taking a dunk in butter and then a cinnamon sugar mix (omit the cinnamon on if you don’t like it {I see you Ann!} or can’t eat it.). Add in a shot (or so) of Butterscotch Schnapps and this is one tasty cobbler!! So get to cooking! Then get to eating. Then get to telling me how yummy it was!

ย Apple, Pear & Butterscotch Cobbler

  1. 1 20 ounce can apple pie filling
  2. 2 15 ounce cans pears in juice, drained (reserve juice from one can)
  3. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1 cup butterscotch chips
  7. 1/3 cup butterscotch schnapps
  8. 1 7.5 ounce ten count can buttermilk biscuits
  9. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  10. 1/3 cup sugar
  11. 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more if desired. Can also be omitted)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Whisk in the reserved juice from the can of pears.
  • In a large bowl, combine the apple pie filling and pears. Mix in the cornstarch mixture.
  • Pour in the butterscotch chips and the schnapps. Combine well then spoon into the buttered baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the last 1/3 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  • Open biscuit can. Dip each biscuit in the melted butter, then in the cinnamon/sugar mix. Lay on top of fruit in baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 until the biscuits are golden brown and the fruit is bubbly and thickened, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Say yum many many times.

Make Mine Extra Crispy Momma!

Is there ANY way to take an appealing photo of a mish mash of warm fruit? Lol

I’ve mentioned my son Jordan a couple of times. He is my sweetheart and I don’t know what I’ll do when he grows up and moves away, though in all actuality the chances are that he never will though my prayers are for him to enjoy as much self sufficiency as possible. On the other side of the situation, there are times I want to send him to live with a band of roving Gypsies in Budapest. Depends on the day. Today I figured I’d keep him.

Jordan is 16, almost 17 but intellectually he will never be more than about 9 or 10 and some days less than that which is why I say that chances are he will always live with us. He has mild mental retardation, high functioning Autism, ADHD and a scope of other issues. Why? I don’t know. He is who and what he is and I love him dearly. He is getting ready to start his sophomore year of high school. Our hopes are that he can make it through without what are becoming far too frequent hospital stays. He gets overwhelmed in school and lashes out which inevitably leads to a hospital stay to try to get his meds adjusted.

Yet this same boy has inherited his mommas warped sense of humor though in him, it is more likely to come out via the worlds worst knock knock jokes or a high decibel giggle over the everyday strange happenings of life. He can one minute be playing “whee” with Joshie, my two year old son, as they both laugh hysterically at something only they get and the next he can be crying as if the world is ending because I have to throw out a pillow he has grown attached to and loves like, as he put it, “another family member”. Life with him is never boring and I never know what will come out of his mouth next. Like today. I was making a fruit crisp. he asked me what I was making and I told him. He “oooed” and “ahhhed” a bit and then looked at me and said “I like crisps. that’s like when we get KFC. make mine extra crispy momma! Just like chicken”. This led to an explanation where I told him that they weren’t quite the same things. This led to his disappointment and my feelings of guilt that I couldn’t make the fruit crisp extra crispy for him. ๐Ÿ˜› After all that, he chose to have for dessert the cookies stuffed with frosting that I got for him and Zach (my 14 year old) at the store rather than have the utterly delicious made with love fruit crisp I made. Sheesh. Kids. ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh well. Maybe YOU’LL like the fruit crisp. I used five kinds of Summery fruits, sweetened it up and covered it all in a crispy buttery oatmeal crumb mix. Oh my gosh, this is good! The fruit wasn’t too sweet or too tangy and the crumbly topping just put it over the top. Try this one before all the fresh fruit is out of seasona nd costs more than your utility bills. You’ll love it!

Summer Fruits Oatmeal Crisp

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking tapioca
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned or quick cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, sliced into 8 pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine fruits, sugar, tapioca, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss well to combine.
  3. Pour into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan. You’re best off using a glass pan because metal pans can react with acidic fruits and give an off taste and color to cobblers and crisps. If I am making it for someone else, I use the disposable foil ones; they won’t do that.
  4. In another bowl, combine all the other ingredients (from the 1 cup of flour down), using a pastry blender to cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle this over the crisp.
  5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375. Cook for approximately 30 more minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly.
  6. I would say let cool before scarfing it down but I would be hypocritical since the serving in the photo was eaten by me in the space of ten minutes. Ummm…oops?

Have Rice Will… Kill All Nutritional Value In It

I have heard a lot of people decry pudding as a boring dessert alternative. I completely disagree. Pudding is awesome darn it! Smeared all over… ok, wait, let’s change the tangent I was about to go off on there. My bad. ๐Ÿ˜›ย  Where was I? Pudding is awesome. When I was a kid back in the 60’s and 70’s (yes, I’m older than most other bloggers. I like to think that makes me wiser and smarter and more experienced and a better cook… and far cuter. Or something like that.) when most women were entering the work force for the first time, pudding meant the dry powder in a box mixed with milk because none of our mothers had the time to actually MAKE pudding home made. I have to admit to still having a certain fondness for the Butterscotch flavor. I still buy it as well as the newer types of pudding that have come out. The Jello Temptations are pretty darn good and are low calorie and Jello brands sugar free Creme Brulee Rice Pudding is…wait for it… “to die for” *grins cause you all know what I think of that phrase ๐Ÿ˜› .

But rice pudding for me has always been a sort of comfort food and nothing beats home made. But… *sighs deeply*… being me, I am never content to leave well enough alone. Nooooooo… I have to mess with things I like to try and make more things I like. Like I did last night with rice pudding. Mind you, it worked. Quite nicely. But now I have a craving for regular warm rice pudding covered in a few pounds of Cinnamon (sorry Ann … I know you can’t do Cinnamon. But that’s why you should keep reading :-P). But until I decide to make that, this is a wonderful Summery alternative. If you like coconut (no coconut pieces in it cause I just don’t care for the texture as much as I love the flavor) and Pineapple, you should love this. Plus, if you want to lighten it, it can be done by using low fat coconut milk, lighter milk and light or fat free whipped topping instead of the heavy cream. The Greek yogurt in this adds a nice tang as well as some extra nutrition. All in all, while this isn’t exactly great for you (this IS me after all ๐Ÿ˜› ), it’s certainly not BAD for you either if you use lighter ingredients. I hope you like it! There was no way to really photograph rice pudding to make it look exciting lol, but it sure does taste good ๐Ÿ˜€ This makes a lot so it could be cut in half if needed.

ย Pina Colada Rice Pudding With A Greek Yogurt Twist

  • 4 cups cooked rice (I used leftover Basmati Coconut rice but any cooked rice would do. I actually think this would be better with plain white rice. )
  • 2 cans coconut milk (I used full fat cause the low fat tastes watery to me in all the brands I have tried but you could sub low fat)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks, well drained
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped or 1 1/2 cups whipped topping
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (I used honey flavored because it was what I had on hand)
  1. In a medium heavy bottomed (preferably non stick) sauce pot, combine the cooked rice and the coconut milk. Stir well to mix. Over medium heat, bring the mix to a gentle boil stirring very often.
  2. Turn heat down to low (I had it on two) and cover. Cook the rice until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Mine took about 30 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture into a large bowl and cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  4. When rice is cold, mix the whipped cream (or whipped topping) with the Greek yogurt.
  5. Break up the rice pudding (it will be stiff) and fold the cream/yogurt mixture into it.
  6. Add the drained pineapple and mix well. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Don’t Mess With My Hydrogenated Oils, Man!

 

I was feeling nostalgic today and remembering the good old days. You see, I’m an old fart compared to many of you. Quite possibly I could have been your mother. Oh my, I did NOT say that out loud did I? I was lying. I’m really only 29 and just have premature wrinkles and I color my hair gray on purpose. Ok, that’s a lie too. I really AM 46 (47 in August) but to my credit, I am a vampire who hates the sun (well, the hating the sun part is true anyway. I’m full of lies today ehh? ๐Ÿ˜› ) and I don’t have a whole lot of wrinkles. There’s my motherly advice for today. Take care of your skin. We won’t discuss the gray hair part. Let’s just say that I love the word Loreal and leave it at that.

Moving on… I say that a lot don’t I? Can’t imagine why. Moving on (see? I said it again. I wonder how many times I can fit those words into one post.)… I was feeling nostalgic for things that were a part of my long ago past. NO, not dinosaurs and stone tablets… don’t be smart! I was feeling nostalgic for beef fat. Now haven’t I told you before that your face is going to freeze like that? Stop it right now or I’ll give you something to make faces over!

Back in the day, when you went to someplace like say McDonalds and ordered fries they were cooked in beef fat. They were also delicious and it was very easy to eat 15 packages of them in five minutes. It was also very hard to get a hold of an ambulance when you had a heart attack before your arteries were clogged with beef fat. But as you died, you could lick your lips and say “my, that was yummy! MEDIC!”

They also had pies. Not that crap they sell now and call pies. These weren’t baked. They were deep fried in pure fat, mannnnn! And O…M…G… they were good. Te outside got all bubbly and crisp and the inside..well, the inside made it up to approximately 3000 degrees and many people had to have tongue transplants because of it. If you ever run into someone with out a tongue who is past a certain age, if they could talk and tell you, they’d say it was due to a fried pie.

Damnnnnnnn, did I wander today. But you’re used to that by now right? What was I saying? Oh yeah, moving on (giggles*), I LIKE my fats. I LIKE my hydrogenated oils. they may kill me, but I’ll die of eating crispy goodness like this fried pie. These are so simple and very tasty. they come from dear old (and she IS heading towards old ๐Ÿ˜› ) Paula Deen. I mean, it’s fried; you were expecting it to be from “Hungry Girl”? If Ms. Deen could have found a way to fit a few sticks of butter in this, I’m sure she would have. But barring that, she DID manage to stuff some pie crust with apples, sugar, cinnamon and butter and then deep fry it. I added the glaze to these myself because I wanted a glazed apple fritter effect. Try them. You must. For me and my nostalgia. Because you love me. ๐Ÿ˜€

Mini Fried Apple Pies

  • 1 4.5 to 5 ounce package dried apples
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 15 ounce package premade rolled pie crusts
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (more if needed to get an inch of oil in pot)
  • GLAZE-
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • enough apple juice to make a thin glaze
  1. Cook the apples in the water over medium low heat for about one hour or until water is cooked out and apples are tender.
  2. Add the butter, sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, unroll your pie crust and using either a big biscuit cutter (or a glass like I did because my biggest biscuit cutter was still too small) cut rounds out of each pie crust. I got 7 from each with scraps that I was too lazy to reroll.
  4. Heat oil to 350.
  5. Place one tablespoon on each round. Moisten edge of the rounds with water then fold over to enclose filling. Seal well so they don’t pop open in the oil. Don’t ask me how I know that that can happen. I must have read it somewhere. Yeah, that’s it.
  6. Fry 3 to 4 pies at a time in the hot oil for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Lay on a paper towel lines cookie sheet while you make glaze.
  7. Mix the powdered sugar with enough apple juice to make a thin glaze.ย  Dip each pie into the glaze and thoroughly coat it.
  8. Eat one. Then eat another. Then another. Erhmmm… moving on. HEH! I got it in one more time!