Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Apple Pie with Pecan Topping

This is my mom's favorite dessert! I love making apple pie for her and everyone else loves it too! :)

Here's what you need:
1 box of ready made pie crust (2 sheets)
6 Granny Smith apples
1 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
dash of salt
3 tbsps of Lemon juice
2 tbsps unsalted butter

For the topping:
1 cup of chopped pecans
2 tbsps unsalted butter
1/3 cup of brown sugar
dash of ground cinnamon

Here's what to do:

  • I like to cook my apple mixture first, so on medium heat mix the apples, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Let Caramelize and bring to a boil. Bring down to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes on low.
  • Grease your baking dish (I also like to line it with parchment paper) and use one of the dough sheets to line the bottom.
  • Add the apple mixture and add slices of butter to the mixture.
  • Cover it with the other dough sheet and crimple the edges with your fingers for a pretty finish.
  • Make a few slits with your knife on the top layer of dough for ventilation.
  • Bake at 425F for about 50 minutes. * to prevent the edges from burning cover only the edges with foil*
  • Mix the chopped pecans, butter, sugar and cinnamon with your fingers and add to the apple pie the last 15 minutes of baking for a crunchy topping.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!!



Your house is going to smell soooooo good! ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicken Lasagna


Lasagna is one of my family's favorite dish! I've made it many times before but never with Chicken. Tonight for dinner I didn't have any ground beef, so I made with what I had and it came out surprisingly good!!! 

Here's what you need:
1 box of No boil Lasagna pasta
2 large cans of tomato sauce ( I always use garlic and onion flavor)
4 large pieces of chicken breasts
1/4 cup of water
1 32oz tub of ricotta cheese
1/2 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1 box of chopped frozen spinach
salt, pepper and oregano to taste


Here's what to do:
  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Season the chicken and fully cook it in the water in a covered pan
  • Thaw the frozen spinach in the microwave for about two minutes
  • Mix the ricotta,egg and spinach. Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grind the cooked chicken in a food processor and mix with tomato sauce
  • spray the baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and pour some of the tomato sauce chicken mixture onto the bottom of the dish
  • Start layering the pasta sheets (remember not to boil) then the chicken mixture and top with the shredded mozzarella, repeat two more times. The last layer finish off with a little bit of mozzarella and bake for 45 minutes. Add a bit more mozzarella the last 5 minutes of baking.
  • Enjoy! ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Round Scarf



Scarves are fun and easy to make! they make great Christmas or birthday presents and you can make some really nice color combinations! This one is a round scarf which is just ,a regular scarf attached at the ends, makes it really easy to just wrap around your neck when you're in a hurry ;)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Mango Adventures

I love love love mangoes and always wanted to know how to grow them by seed. I tried a few times before this but it would just take too long and the plant would die pretty fast...there had to be an easier way. I got this idea from Bursting Seed. It has actually worked out really well! I've started like six already :) I'll keep you'll updated on how big they are getting!

Here's what you need:
A ripe mango
Sharp knife
Light towel
Potting soil
A pot

Here's how to do it:
Pick out a nice ripe mango


Let the seed dry out for a day for easier handling



With a sharp knife poke the side of the seed and slowly begin to open it with the knife. Once it has a small opening try to open it with your fingers so that you don't damage the inside. You will find a smaller seed inside.


Wrap it in a small towel and soak it. Rinse the towel and let it dry for about a week. This is what it should look like when you unwrap it.


Plant it in soil and water it every other day. You just want the soil to be moist not soaked. after a few days it should look like this




This one  is 4 weeks old!

These two are 6 weeks old!!


Look out for Mango adventures part 2! ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

White Crochet Beanie With Flower

So I've been doing a lot of crochet lately, and some of my favorite things to do are beanies and scarves! They are so easy to make and can jazz up any outfit. This beanie is just a simple hd crochet pattern with a  sc finishing made with an 8.0 mm hook. That large hook made it really light and perfect for a cool day. the flower pattern I got from applehead. she has a ton of other flower patterns but I specially loved this one!






Monday, November 8, 2010

Preserving Tomato Seeds

I've been very interested lately in growing my own fruits and veggies. I really love the idea of cooking with fresh ingredients that I know exactly where they come from. With our moving every few years having an elaborate garden is not exactly ideal, but I can dream can't I? For now all I can do is learn as much as I can about cultivating and grow some small things that I can have indoors and maybe even take with me, and  maybe one day I will have a great big yard where I can grow all kinds of yummy stuff to cook for my family! ;)
I'm learning new things everyday and hope I can share my adventures with you. Let's start with something really small. Preserving tomato seeds for next year. You can save the seeds now and plant them next spring, preferably in one of those upside down tomato planters (at least for me since I can take that with me),but let me not get ahead of myself.  Actually well preserved tomato seeds last up to 50 years, but with every year that goes by they loose potential. I preserved these and will definitely be using them next year. I can not wait!!

Here's what you'll need to ferment the seeds:
1 beautiful tomato
any kind  glass jar ( I used a glass baby food jar)
coffee filter
paper plate
Here's what you'll need to do:
  • Pick out a great tomato, the better looking the tomato the better the seeds.
  • Cut the tomato long ways and scoop out the seeds along with the gel.
  • Place the tomato pulp in a glass jar and fill  with water, enough to cover pulp. Cover jar with coffee filter and let sit for about a week.
  • It will be covered in mold by this time. scoop out the mold and any seeds that have floated to the top.







  • Rinse the rest of the seeds through a strainer.                                     




  • Place the rinsed seeds on a coffee filter and then paper plate. Let completely dry for 2 - 3 days.






  • When completely dry store in a moisture proof container or Ziploc bag. I also stored mine in the freezer.
I hope this inspires you to save your own tomato seeds! :)




I got a ton of great info at Tomato Casual check them out!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies



Who doesn't like a good peanut butter cookie? Here is a really simple recipe for a great tasting peanut butter cookie!
Here's what you'll need:
1 cup of peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
3/4 cup Splenda
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
non-stick spray

Instructions:

  • With a fork mix together peanut butter and sugar.
  • Add the rest of ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • Coat your hands with non-stick spray and make small balls out of the cookie dough, place on a greased cookie sheet and gently flatten with a fork to make criss cross pattern on each cookie.(dip fork in sugar to prevent it from sticking to dough)
  • Bake for 12 minutes at 350° F
  • Let cool for a few minutes after taking out of oven, transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Makes about 20 cookies.


                               

 

Enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treating

This year for Halloween my daughter was Little Red Ridding Hood and my son was a cute little cow! Both of my kids are tall and skinny, which makes it really hard to find clothes that fit right all around. So, I had to take in my daughter's dress... a lot... like three inches on both sides! For my cute little cow all I had to do was fold in the straps on the hat and sew them together because it was huge!!The outfit itself was fine because he doesn't need to walk in it or anything.
Of course he found his sister hilarious! which I thought was absolutely adorable. Every time he would look at her he would start giggling. Normally when I wear any type of hat, cover, towel anything really, he will get very confused and just stare at me, hahaha, not with his sister! :)








Trick or treating with my kids this year was a blast! My daughter in hand of grandma and grandpa and my son in my arms collecting "his" candy!  Just when I thought I was too old to trick or treat, along came the kids! Yay for free candy!! lol.  My daughter had so much fun screaming "trick or treat!!" when she got to a new house, what a difference from last year when she was too shy to say it loud enough for anyone to hear! Now she was leading the way telling us where to go and which houses seemed to be giving the "good candy".




Hope you guys had as much fun as we did!



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