Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chocolate Covered Apple Pie Caramels

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I know I know, my pictures suck.  I am working on it, and they will hopefully get better soon. 

Now that that is out of the way, here is a new recipe I found from Blondie's Cakes called Apple Cider Caramels.  Could it be, the best of both worlds, together in one??  Yep!  After days of having this web page open on my computer...taunting me, I finally gave in last night and had to make them.

After a long time over the stove stirring, I was well rewarded.  These little caramel gems taste like apple pie, stuffed in a chewy, rich caramel.  That is all well and good, but I thought it could be better.  So I dipped them in semi-sweet chocolate too.  Now are are talking apple pie meets chocolate and caramel covered apple.  Happy, happy day!  I covered half, left the other half naked, and I enjoy them either way.  This is definitely going in my holiday/special occasion recipe folder, because it just screams happy holidays! (Hey, fourth of july is a holiday, right?  Close enough.)

I modified the recipe ingredients a bit from the original, so here it is with the modifications.



1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 cup evaporated milk, 2%, divided (2/3 cup and 1/3 cup)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup real butter, cubed

Chocolate coating (to cover whole batch):

12 oz. semi-sweet, dark, or milk chocolate chips
1 tbs butter


- Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1" hanging over the edges for easy removal.

- In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and apple juice concentrate. Set aside.

- In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 c. evaporated milk + enough water to reach the 1/2 c. line on the measuring cup, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.

- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Add the cubed butter and stir until the milk and butter are fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 246 degrees.

- Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. I covered the top of the pan loosely with saran wrap. I cut it into 64 squares.  Wrap each in wax or parchment paper and store in fridge, leave unwrapped in an air tight container in the fridge, cover in chocolate* and store in the fridge, whatever floats your boat.  Stores in fridge up to two weeks.

*To cover in chocolate, cut into desired sizes once cool.  Melt the coating ingredients together in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.  Using two forks, dip caramels in the chocolate and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate until the chocolate sets.  Store in fridge.

Nutrition information (uncovered caramels, 64 servings)

  Calories-48  Carbs-9    Fat-2 g    Protein-0g

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

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I love peanut butter.  I have a serving-a-day habit and see no signs of stopping.  I love chocolate chip cookies.  I couldn't find a recipe that gave me the peanut butter flavor with the chocolate chip cookie texture that I loved.  Well, I am happy to say, I managed to marry the best of both worlds.  Enjoy!

PS-If you are adventurous, add some mini Reese's peanut butter cups, or peanut butter chips.  YUM!

Lindsay's Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Servings: 36

Cooking Times:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Oven Temperature: 375°F


1 1/4 cup brown sugar - (packed)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2/3  cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Cream together brown sugar, white sugar, peanut butter and butter.

2. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well.

4. Mix in the chocolate chips.

5. Drop by rounded spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown along the edges.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/36 of a recipe (1.3 ounces).

Amount Per Serving
Calories 155.51
Calories From Fat (37%) 57.03
Total Fat 6.73g 10%
Saturated Fat 3.05g 15%
Cholesterol 18.5mg 6%
Sodium 103.71mg 4%
Potassium 55.83mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 22.3g 7%
Fiber 0.8g 3%
Sugar 12.13g
Protein 2.68g 5%

Sunset Perfect Pie Crust Recipe

Pin It Now! Sunset Perfect Pie Crust


1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
4-5 Tbsp ice water


1. Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Cut the shortening into small pieces and add that and the butter pieces to the dry ingredients.
3. With a dough blender or a fork, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mix until the pieces resemble the size of peas.
4. 1 tablespoon at a time, add the ice water and mix with a fork, just until the dough holds together in a ball without cracking.
5. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk and place in fridge until chilled.
6. When ready to roll out pie crust, remove from fridge and roll out on lightly floured surface to the needed size.
7. Bake as required for desired recipe.

Servings: 8
Yield: 1 Pie crust for a 9" deep dish pie or shallow 10"

Oooolalallieberry Pie: AKA Crumble Topped Olallieberry Pie

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Before anyone gets excited, I made this a while ago, so no need to come break into the house for it please, there is none here.  Now that that has been prefaced--no berry is probably better than an olallieberry.  Unfortunately, they are only in season for about a month, and not necessarily very available anywhere other than near Santa Maria.  I did happen to come across a berry stand that had them, and HAD to buy some.  I sort of when buck wild and spent a fortune and bought a bunch.  I promptly went home and tried to figure out how to make them into a delicious pie (can't go wrong putting them in a pie).

Now my aunt lives in Santa Maria and she can go pick the olallieberries right off the bushes on the farms when they are in season.  She makes jams, cobblers, pies and all sorts of sinful things with them that I could only dream of being half as good at making.  I will never live up to her berry baking abilities, but seeing as I can't just walk over to her house to steal a pie or a jar of jam, I was left to my own devices (it is like a 5 hour drive to her house, it would be a very long walk).

Here is what I came up with.  I am a fan of crumble pie topping, the brown sugar and butter laden happy crumbles, so I married that (from Ina Garten's Peach and Blueberry Crumble recipe) with a traditional pie crust (the origins of which are from my aunt, I believe it is the Sunset Perfect Pie Crust recipe) and the filling from my aunts boysenberry cobbler recipe.  I probably tweaked them all a little, but I am giving credit for the original recipes from whence they originated.

Beware--this is not for the health conscious, those opposed to butter, or those against sugar.  You have been warned.  And before anyone asks, no, I will not provide nutrition information for this recipe.  If you are going to make it, please just enjoy the splurge.

Oh yea, it also isn't too bad reheated and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream added on top.  Yep...not too bad at all.

Olalliberry Pie

Servings: 8
Yield: 1 pie

Cooking Times
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Oven Temperature: 400°F



1 cup sugar
3  Tbsp cornstarch (or King Arthur Flour Instant ClearJel)
6 cups olalliberries (or any other berry)
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg


1 cup flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced


1  "Sunset Perfect Pie Crust Recipe"



1. In a large bowl, combine the 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon peel and lemon juice, along with the cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add in berries.
2. Mix gently to coat. Set aside.


1. For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and mix slightly.
2. Dice up the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients.
3. Mix with a fork or break up butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles large crumbles.


1. Roll out one recipe of the "Sunset Perfect Pie crust" until it is large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the 9" pie pan.
2. Crimp edges as desired.
3. Pour in the prepared filling onto the pie crust.
4. Top with the crumb topping mixture, making sure not to press it down.
5. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the top and crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
6. Let cool before serving (Important!!!  Hard to do, but important!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken

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I love dumping dinner in a crock pot and forgetting about it until its time to eat.  Here is a recipe I created in my endeavor to figure out how to use up some jars of Dole pineapple chunks we had. (I have no picture of this currently, hence the crock pot stand in)

Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken

Makes 4 hearty servings


  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 (20 oz) jar pineapple chunks in juice
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can rotel original tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • garlic chili paste (optional, add up to 1 tbs is a spicier taste is desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste
For serving:
  • White rice, brown rice, quinoa or orzo 
  1. Drain half of the liquid from the pineapple chunks and discard.
  2. Dump all ingredients except salt and pepper into crock pot and set on high 4 to 6 hours, or low 8 to 10 hours until chicken is easily shredded.
  3. Remove chicken when cooked and dice or shred.  Return to crock pot and allow to simmer for 30 minutes more.  
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve over white rice, brown rice, quinoa or orzo.
Nutrition (based on 20 oz. of chicken):

Calories-287 Carbs-30   Fat-5 g     Protein-29 g  Fiber-2 g

Homemade Hot Buttered Pretzel Rolls

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In my household, we are pretzel addicts.  And roll addicts.  So naturally, I managed to come up with the best of both worlds.  I make soft pretzels all the time, and this is the same dough, just in a roll.  Simple and easy and so very tasty.  I used to use a recipe that had a long rising time, and was very labor intensive and involved boiling the pretzels before they were cooked and it was really just a pain.  Then, in true King Arthur Flour fashion, I discovered that not only did they have an amazing soft pretzel recipe, it was simple too!!!  I made a few modifications to their recipe, but for the most part, it is their recipe for Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels .

First modification--Make a double batch.  No joke, 8 rolls will not be enough!  In the picture above, this was all that was left of a double batch by the time I had a chance to get my camera (which didn't take that long).

This recipe can be made dairy free by omitting the butter at the end or brushing with a dairy free vegetable spread like earth balance.

Hot Buttered Pretzel Rolls



  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 7/8 to 1 cup warm water*
  • *Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • coarse, kosher or pretzel salt**, optional (but really fantastic)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I use smart balance to cut down calories, it doesn't take much)
  • **I didn't have pretzel salt and I couldn't really find it, so I bought some coarse sea salt that goes in a grinder (from Winco bulk bins) and pulsed it in a food processor to break it down just a bit, tastes much more like pretzel salt than kosher.


Note:  I make dough by hand since my Kitchen Aid stand mixer is busted.  It may seem intimidating, but really, just knead it until it looks somewhat smooth ball (won't be perfect) and when you poke it quickly it springs back and the indent goes mostly away within 15 seconds or so.  It will be pretty sticky but just keep sprinkling it with a light dusting of flour until you have kneaded it to where it needs to be.

1) To make dough by hand, or with a mixer: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and quite slack (add more flour if it is too sticky, add more water a tablespoon at a time if it is too dry, it will be a fairly sticky dough to work with). Flour the dough and place it in a gallon ziploc bag, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. 

2) While the dough is resting, prepare the topping: Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved (be careful, when good baking soda hits hot water it bubbles and expands, so add slowly). Pour mixture into a 9" square pan and set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler). 

3) Preheat your oven to 475°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper. 

4) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into eight equal pieces (about 70g, or 2 1/2 ounces, each) and shape into balls.

5)Working with 4 pretzels at a time, place them in the pan top side down with the baking soda/water, spooning the water over their tops; leave them in the water for 2 minutes before placing them on the baking sheet. This baking soda "bath" will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color and their characteristic pretzel flavor. 

6) Transfer the pretzels to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt, if desired. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes (important, don't skip!). 

7) Score the top of each roll with two parallel cuts using a sharp knife.  Bake the pretzels for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they're golden brown. 

11) Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter.  Eat the rolls warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave. 

Yield: 8 rolls.

Nutrition information (*with butter topping) 

Serving Size: Servings Per Batch: 8 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171 Calories from Fat: Total Fat: 4.7g Saturated Fat: Trans Fat: . Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 888mg Total Carbohydrate: 27g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 1g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hyper in a Diaper

Pin It Now! ....No, I am not talking about me. This would be my almost three year old son. He goes faster than the speed of light, and does not stop. I love the kid to pieces, but he can be so frustrating sometimes. For instance, when we put him down for a nap, and after two hours of him up in his room singing every song he as learned at preschool at the top of his lungs (and may I say, he has quite a repertoire of songs), he comes down stairs and the first thing he says is "Mommy...I so tired. I want to take a nap." Seriously?!?! Really kid? What do you think was supposed to be happening the last two hours? Frankly, it is insulting.

Today though, he displayed just how talented he is. After a battle of wills over him wanting to change his own diaper, I finally said "whatever" and let him. It was sheer comedy. He ever so nicely takes his shorts off, tosses them aside, and proudly goes and picks out a diaper. With the care a precision reserved for surgeons, he pulls off one tab on his diaper, all while singing "I got a bowling ball!" (a VERY wet diaper)and shaking his butt to make the now precariously perched diaper swing back and forth. Then he pulls the other side off, lays the diaper down and carefully rolls up his diaper and happily plops it in his grandmas hands (I am sure she was so excited for that gift). Watching him put the clean diaper on is something I don't know I can describe in words, but it involved a lot of toddler butt crack. Thankfully, once he completed what he set out to do, and after much convincing, he acquiesced to grandma making it presentable.

I really think that if he is smart enough to change his own diaper, he should be able to use a potty and pull underwear on and off. I fear we will be changing his diapers until he is 5. Unfortunately, this kid can't seem to be bribed (toy store, Disneyland, zoo, ice cream, movies, park...nothing works). Sigh...hopefully he will wake up one day soon and just decide he is too cool for diapers, and want his underwear. I can hope, right?

While this is going on, his 9 month old brother has been patiently watching his brother's antics, probably taking notes on the best ways to drive mommy nuts. Outwardly though, he was going to town chewing on one teether after another. Poor kid is teething practically his whole mouth full of teeth right now. More on him later :)

On a side note, if anyone wants to test the baby proofing of their home, we will happily rent him out, since he has managed to circumvent even the best baby proofing measures we could possibly take. If it can be gotten into, he will find a way.

I would post a picture of my toddler, but he moves too fast. Just a blur in all the pictures.

Homemade Mozzarella Part II

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There can be many motivations for wanting to make homemade mozzarella.  Here is ours.  Homemade, from scratch pizza.  We make our dough from scratch.  Now, we make our cheese too!  Here is an example of what the pizzas look like with the mozzarella.  This one happens to be for my mother in law, its a cheese and zucchini pizza.  See the charred, bubbly goodness???  That is the product of my husband standing in the 90 degree weather in front of a BBQ at 10 am this morning cooking it.  The only better way to cook a pizza...wood fired pizza oven.  Someday.

Above is the pizza dough, freshly made this morning, just begging to be stretched into yummy pizza goodness.  When cooked on the BBQ, the crust is cracker-thin, bubbly, chewy, crispy, light, airy, and full of flavor.  The cheese....OMG, the homemade cheese melted incredible and was so much better than store bought.  Never will I buy store bought mozzarella again.

Here is the pizza before it goes out onto the BBQ.

Can you see it?  The monster bubbly on the back edge of the pizza??  Some may think that is not a good thing.  In our house...we fight over that piece!  Bubbles rock!

Overall, this morning was a very successful pizza making endeavor.  Until....we ran out of propane.  With one and a half pizzas left.  Tear :(  One had to be finished in the oven, and one had to be complete cooked in the oven.  The above picture is of the one that came out of the oven.  It still looks fine, but it just isn't the same charred, bubbly, smoky goodness of one off the BBQ.

I can't wait until we can get a pizza oven.  If anyone wants to donate to the "husband needs a pizza oven" fund, send me an email, and we can arrangement :)  Once we have one, I promise there will be weekly pizza block parties for anyone who wants to join!

Homemade Mozzarella Cheese: Part I

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My husband and I have great aspirations of building a pizza oven, and turning out the best pizzas southern California has ever been privy to see.  We have the dough recipe down.  The heirloom San Marzano tomato seeds have been bought (now we just need to plant them), and basil is easy to grow.  The thing keeping us from the mecca of pizza perfection is homemade cheese.  We weren't even sure if it was truly possible for us.

Well, I decided to try and make that happen a few days ago.  Making homemade mozzarella cheese involves a bunch of milk, some special cheese making ingredients, and patience.  I bought the necessary ingredients from a cheese making company and the stuff arrived this yesterday morning. The picture above is the result of a third successful attempt after two catastrophic failures.  I was jumping for joy when it finally worked...a beautiful, stretchable lump of cheese curds transformed to mozzarella before my eyes.  I know it doesn't look like much, but it was amazing. 

Now that I have half of it left, we are making pizza this morning with it... I can't wait!!  My husbands pizza is incredible without all the homegrown ingredients, so I can't even imagine how great this will be with them.  He doesn't have a wood fired pizza oven yet (but someday we will!!), so he cooks them on the BBQ.  They come out bubbly, crispy, light, airy, and just incredible.  I can't fathom the work he could do with a real pizza oven.

Part II will be all about the homemade pizza we make with it.  Let the drool-fest begin...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Copy Cat Woodranch Chicken Enchilada Soup

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The husband LOVES Woodranch's Chicken Enchilada Soup.  I have been on a mission to find a recipe that duplicates that ever so particular taste and texture.  To no avail.  But today, I can say, I have succeeded!  I found a recipe for chicken tortilla soup from Simply So Good and then made some modifications.  It turned out great!  I know the picture isn't pretty, and I will get better at them I promise, but I wanted to get this recipe up because I am so excited about it!  This recipe is gluten free and dairy free if you don't add cheese and use corn tortilla chips at the end.

Copy Cat Woodranch Chicken Enchilada Soup


1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp granulated garlic or 4 cloves garlic diced
3-6 inch corn tortillas, chopped in 1 inch pieces
1 (10.5 oz) can Rotel tomatoes with diced green chilis
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (15-16 oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups red enchilada sauce (ex. Las Palmas, La Victoria)
salt and pepper to taste


shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
corn or flour tortilla chips, broken up


 In a 4 or 6 qt crock pot add  all ingredients except the salt and pepper.  Cook on high for 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked, and onions are soft.  Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.  Place the remaining soup in a blender (may take a few batches) and puree until smooth.  Pour back in to crock pot.  Dice or shred chicken breasts and return it to crockpot.  Stir the chicken in to the soup well, then cook in crock pot on high until thickened, or until you cant wait any longer to try it.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish bowls of soup with cheese and tortilla strips if desired.

Serves 8, approximately 1 cup servings

Nutrition* (based on 8 servings and 20 oz. chicken added):

Calories: 164
Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 16
Protein: 17 grams
Fiber: 4 grams

*Does not include cheese or tortilla strips

Redemption: Homemade Chewy Caramels

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So after an incredible fail yesterday, I got up early and tried to tackle this one more time.  After an hour of undivided attention and stirring, here is the finished product.  And it was a success!!!  THIS is the caramel that the beloved caramel apples from somewhere like Oak Glen are covered in.  Now that I know how to do it, I will be going back to the caramel apple drawing board.  

But what to do with this pile of chewy caramels I have sitting on my counter???  Oh well, I am sure I will figure something out. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Measuring Cup Organization

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Anyone who is a self proclaimed pinterest-aholic will probably tell you that they have all seen the pin that shows the inside of a cabinet door sporting a lovely bar with great eye hooks, cute vinyl measuring labels, and pretty colors.  I know I have seen it, and I have pinned it from like 5 different people.  I had to have it.  I own 4 different sets of measuring cups, and that many different sets of measuring spoons.  I can not fit them all in one drawer and still be able to open it.  I use them every day, and I can not stand to be drives me the core of my very being.  I can't control my toddler, but dang it, I can control the clutter in my kitchen drawers!!!!!

---Or maybe not.

Our cabinets were too thin to screw in the lovely piece of wood that held the hooks.  I was so disappointed.  Then one night a few days ago, it came to me in bed....3M HOOKS!!!!  They don't require a drill, they don't require me wasting the husbands time on something fairly trivial in the grand scheme of things, and since I had a ton from Christmas, they didn't require any money to be spent either.  So, yesterday I put on my big girl panties, made my first journey into our attic, and dug through all our Christmas boxes until i found those darn hooks!!  Now, I have organized measuring cups, and a drawer where my non-hang-able baking items can reside, unmolested by the other items.

I have another cabinet that has more measuring cups on these hooks, as well as two sets of measuring spoons.  This was such an easy, inexpensive, and NON-PERMANENT answer to my problems.  The pin on pinterest may look nicer, but for 5 minutes work, this was so worth it.  I could even write the capacity of the measuring cup that should hang on each hook if I was truly anal.  I guess it can go without for at least a day while a stew over the necessity of that :)

Mini Apple Pies

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To make up for the epic caramel apple fail today, I can happily report that my practice run of doing mini apple pies, everything from scratch, turned out wayyyyyy too tasty for their own good.  I wish I wasn't on a diet...I would have eaten them all.

These are made in a muffin pan.  The crust came out flaky, buttery, light, airy, and oh so sinful.  The double pie crust ones have a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on them that makes them a little crunchy and a bit sparkly when they are done.  The others had an oatmeal-brown sugar crumb topping...heavenly!

This was a total win.  I may even make these for Liam's birthday party instead of cupcakes.  I am also toying around with the fillings.  Next one should be boysenberry I am thinking.

These were so fun to make, and I got to make them with my sister Emily, so it is always nice to have some quality sister time.  She even got an impromptu lesson in baking.  I am sure she was excited about that (or not).

Bonus--My house smells SOOOO good right now...cinnamon, sugar, all spice, nutmeg, caramel...cant go wrong.

Oh yea, I had extra filling and crust, but not enough to make a bunch more cupcake size ones, so I grabbed little ramikins, and make slightly larger (Ok, maybe twice as big) pies.  Both have the crust on the bottom, and each has the different topping as you can see.  Daddy was a good sport and jumped off the diet bandwagon to support his wife, and happily enjoyed the crumb topping pie.  I think it went over OK judging by the empty bowl that was left :)

Trial and Error...

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Ok, I am a caramel lover.  I thought it would be so great if I could conquer the caramel apple.  I would be making them all the time if I did.  So today I tried.  And failed. 

I researched, and studied and read comments.  To no avail. I made the caramel, it looked beautiful, I thought I just hit one out of the part...and then it cooled.  Into a grainy mess of caramel crumbs. I was left with six pretty, yet non-caramelly apples, and an 8x8 pan of not chewy caramel.  Tear... So, now it is back to the drawing board.  More research, and more reading.  Hopefully next attempt will be more successful. 

Word to the wise.  Sugar, water and a pinch of cream of tarter is apparently NOT a good enough substitute for light corn syrup, in spite of what anyone says. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Look at King Arthur Flour as Much as I Look at Facebook

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I am addicted to .  They have so many incredible recipes, on call bakers for questions, and the COOLEST baking stuff.  I have a KAF bookmarks folder on my Google chrome.  It is quicker for me to go to the site and search for the recipe, since I think I book marked most of the recipes...Woops!  Here are some hamburger buns that I made in their hamburger bun pan.  I have also made incredible looking muffins in them, and plan on trying personal apple pies next!  These hamburger buns blow store bought out of the water...I don't even know how many times I have made them.  I have made them as loaves of bread, big rolls, little rolls, hamburger buns, hotdog buns, whole wheat flour, white flour....just so many happy ways!  I miss these so much...they are bad to have around the house when one is on a diet. Beware, you will see much much much more from KAF!

Let the Confessions Begin!

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Ok, the first confession I have--I am a bake-aholic.  I like to bake, and I like to share it with people.  It makes me happy to make food that others enjoy indulging in.  I look for any excuse to make something and then give it away, just for the joy of it.  If I can't find an excuse, I make one up :)  Here is one of my new favorite things to bake.  Soft Pretzels!  I have made them small, large, and little pretzel bites.  Butter and salt topped, and cinnamon-sugar topped.  They are loved every way.  Liam loves them...and Declan eyes them with great desire.
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