Monday, February 27, 2012

Apple Pie

Two gifts inspired me to start making apple pie. For Christmas my parents gave me an apple peeler/slicer gadget and for my birthday and two friends at work gave me a fancy Williams-Sonoma pie plate. The gifts definitely help make this pie wonderful!
What you need:
  • 1 recipe for a 9 inch double crust pie or premade pie crust
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5-8 Granny Smith apples or favorite apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
What you do:
Melt butter in a saucepan.

Stir in flour.

Add water, vanilla, white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to low and let simmer.

Place the bottom crust in your pan. Yes, I cheated and used a premade crust... so what, who cares?

Fill with apples.

Pour the sugar mixture over the apples.

Top with a lattice crust. (I cut the second crust into strips)

Bake 15 minutes in a 450 degree preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.
"Good apple pies are a considerable 
part of our domestic happiness."
-Jane Austen

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Almond Joy Ice Cream

Mr.Perfect was sick on Valentines day. It's not a great day to be sick because I tend to take the stomach route to the heart. He didn't get one delicious thing to eat so I'm making ice cream with him, and his love of almond joy, in mind.

What you need:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • toasted coconut or sweetened coconut
What you do:
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add almonds, stiring constantly until toasted and golden.

Allow almonds to cool on a paper towel then place in the freezer. (they need to get cold so they don't melt the ice cream)

In a bowl, beat egg yolks for about a minute.  Stir in sugar and cocoa.

Slowly add cream and milk constantly mixing with an electric mixer. Mix in vanilla and almond extract.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer’s instructions.

After the ice cream stiffens, add the cold almonds. Let mix in the ice cream maker for a minute or two.
Put this yummy goodness in a freezer safe container and allow to stiffen up further in the freezer.

Top with coconut... and if you're feeling extra naughty, chocolate syrup.
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Tuesday To Do Party

Monday, February 13, 2012

Be My Valentine

I've been churning out valentines all weekend. Trouble will be giving these army guys with parachutes to his classmates. They are a nod to my 80's childhood love for Pat Benatar. Of course I had to share the music video with Trouble and he was not amused with my dancing around the kitchen.

I'll be passing out erasers and...

bouncy balls to some of my students.

Teachers will be getting a sweet treat...

or a toasty pair of gloves.
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
-Charles Schulz
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Guacamole Epiphany

A few years ago I had a sudden intuitive insight into the essential meaning of guacamole. That's right I had a 'Guacamole Epiphany'. Bestie and I ordered chips and guacamole at a little hole in the wall cafe in Mexico. It was the best guacamole I'd ever tasted. There weren't any onions or tomatoes in it, no cilantro or garlic. It was just avocados with a dash of lime and a pinch of salt. THAT'S IT!

 What you need:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • pinch of salt
 What you do:
Start with a ripe avocado.

Add lime and salt.

Mash them together.
and know that avocados are delicious on their own. They don't need to be all fancy pantsied up with stuff like cream cheese and mayonnaise. (yes...there are recipes for guacamole that include cream cheese and mayo)