Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Fun #103 - PIE!

I just made my first pie in quite a while yesterday. The Dutch Apple one in the post below, if you're wondering. Yeah, it's a rule that when you buy 40 pounds of apples (or more, I suppose) at a local orchard, you have to make at least one apple pie. Didn't know that, did you?

Then I was reading over at that she made a grape pie, something I hadn't imagined making ever, not being an especial fan of grapes. But hers looks good!

So, I'm wondering - what sorts of pie(s) do you make? Do you have a specialty? What's the oddest pie you've ever made? Any great pie stories? Do tell!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dutch Apple Pie

Another family recipe & this one's a favorite of mine. I'll do the crust as well, but feel free to substitute your own favorite crust recipe. The one I learned from my mom isn't the flakiest or the most buttery. It is, however, about the fastest & easiest I've heard of. Enough so that I'm not ever tempted to get fancier. Also, it works well for savory dishes like quiche.

Dutch Apple Pie
(And yes, I'm half Dutch, so it totally counts!)

6 medium apples, peeled & sliced (I dunno - more or less as you'd like to fill your pie pan. You should end up somewhat level to the top.)
Combine with 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, maybe a sprinkle of cloves & a sprinkle of nutmeg. Mix well. Arrange slices (or just dump & level) in unbaked pie crust*.

Combine 3/4 c. flour & 3/4 c. sugar. Cut in 1/4 c. butter. Include some spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, if you'd like. (I like!) Sprinkle over the apple in the pie crust.

Bake at 375F for 50 minutes or until golden and tender.

*My Mom's Easy-Peasy, No-Fuss Crust
For a single bottom crust: Mix together 1 1/3 c. flour & 1 tsp. salt. Then add 1/3 c. oil & 3 Tbl. cold water & mix with fork until it sticks together. Press into a ball. Let it rest for a couple of minutes. Roll between wax paper.

For a deep dish pan or to have a top crust, too: Mix together 2 c. flour & 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Then add 1/2 c. oil & 1/4 c. cold water & mix with fork until it sticks together. Press into a ball. Let it rest for a couple of minutes. (Divide into two if top/bottom crust.) Roll between wax paper.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Fun 102- Jax review

So if I'm reviewing TC restaurants I have to start with Jax. This is the place Pusher and I have gone for every anniversary since we found it... so I may not be a particularly unbiased judge. But since I plan on only reviewing restaurants I enjoy you won't get a lot of bashing in these posts... sorry any haters out there.

Jax is a steakhouse that lets me pretend I've escaped to a royal British lodge. Wood paneling surrounds the dining room and the servers are excellent. I've had things show up without realizing the server had been there. The steak is excellent and made to your actual request, not medium when you've ordered medium rare as seems to be the case with many restaurants.

The back garden is also a beautiful setting with a little shed with water wheel that spins in the trout stream. The prom dates in tuxes catching the trout for their meal is a fond memory. The seafood we've had has been quite tasty though we've never had the trout.

They also have a wonderful 30 foot long bar that you pass as you enter. If you sit out by the bar they have a small (and more like $15 and under price tag as opposed to the $15 and up for dining room entrees) menu with great Mac and Cheese and Steak bites. The wine list isn't huge but has a good range of stuff and some big famous wines if you want to drop the cash.

Jax is simply the best special occasion restaurant I've found in the TC.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ranch Crackers

2 bags small oyster crackers
1 cup vegetable oil
1 double packet Hidden Valley Ranch
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon dill weed
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

In a doubled brown paper bag, add crackers. Mix remaining ingrediants in a small bowl. Add mix to bag. Shake for 2 minutes. Wait 2 hours. Store in an ice cream bucket or similar.

Variations: Add oregano or other herbs that you think will go well with the mix.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WF #101 - Input?

So, regular readers will have noticed that last week I asked about what you liked/didn't about WF, ideas for it, etc. Our good friend ShoNuff has offered to do some restaurant reviews, so that feature will start appearing monthly, usually on the second Wednesday. Hooray! Thanks, ShoNuff!

He's also offered to do some wine reviews/food pairings if folks are interested. I think it sounds like a great idea - how 'bout y'all?

Anybody else have talents they want to share (beer reviews? food trivialist? cookbook review?)? Or have more to say on what you like or don't or would like to see as a Wednesday Fun feature? Speak up, I'd love to hear more input/ideas!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

CSA Year 2 Week 14

Dear weather conditions this year,

Why have you been so nice to the kohlrabi when we haven't even gotten ANY carrots yet from our CSA? Ours at home are yummy and good-sized, but the girls keep picking them two at a time for snacks and we're starting to run out already! Also, they've figured out how to tell which ones of the rainbow mix are red/purple, so those are going fast. Can you pretty please give us some nice fat carrot producing days?


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Herbed Soda

I first had this served to me by a lovely, grandmotherly coworker. I believe she said she got the idea from Martha Stewart, but I might be misremembering. Anyway, this recipe is available many places online, but that's not going to stop me from putting it here.

Simple Syrup Herb Soda
Basically, you make a simple syrup, which is a one-to-one ratio between sugar and water. Let's say a cup of each. Bring that to a boil, and toss in, oh, a third of a cup or so of fresh herbs that you've crushed a bit to bring out the oils. So far basil is my favorite. I've also tried lavender (a little too floral/sweet, but I think it would be awesome if you also mixed in some lemon zest) and lemon verbena (YUM!). Anyway, turn off the heat under the water, cover, and let steep for 5-10 minutes depending on how strong you want the herb flavor to be. (I usually go 10.) Chill.

To serve the sodas, put some ice in a glass, fill about 1/5 to 1/4 with the syrup, then top off with club soda. If you want to be fancy, you could garnish with a sprig of whatever herb you used.

This is a fantastically refreshing summer beverage, and there's lots of flexibility around creating it to taste.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Fun #100!!! - P.S. Mmmm... bacon!

Did you know that last Saturday was International Bacon Day? No? Me, neither, or you know I would have totally used that as last week's Wednesday Fun! So, go ahead and have an extra serving of bacon today, anyway!

Speaking of Wednesday Fun, I'd like us to take this 100th WF to do a little assessing/revising. I started doing these posts so that we'd have a regular reason to check back in. Our recipe posting often goes in streaks, based on theme, or having time, or just finally getting around to posting, or whatever. But unless we click over here to Recipeeps on occasion, we just might not notice there've been new recipes put up. So, I figured a regular weekly post would be a good idea.

Bearing that in mind, what do you think? I do still think we need some sort of regular post/feature/whatever, but I'm open as to what it could/should/might be. Do you enjoy the WF questions? Or links? Or polls? Are there other things you'd like to see - maybe restaurant reviews (esp for the TC area or chains, since more Recipeeples are TC-based than anywhere else), maybe trivia-type info on specific foods, maybe ????? Would you be ok with the CSA post being the regular feature for the summer months rather than WF or would you rather something more than just that? Also, how interested/willing would you be to maybe take a month, or something like the third Wed of every month, or do a restaurant review (single or series), or introduce a favorite food blog?

Let us know! Of course, I know you'll keep comments constructive and helpful, but you are still welcome to leave your comment anonymously if you'd like. Thanks so much for your input!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009


This is yummy and makes a lot. Uses one eggplant!

1 Eggplant
4 Zucchini
1-2 onions
3-4 Green Peppers
1 Jalapeno
3 cans Diced Tomatoes (Italian Style - Basil, Oregano, Garlic)
1 can small Black Olives
3-4 cloves Garlic Minced
2 T. Chicken base

Saute garlic in Olive Oil. Add rest of ingredients and simmer for 1-1.5 hours until tender. Top with Parmesan Cheese

Friday, September 4, 2009

CSA Year 2 Week 13

So, yeah, a few more tomatoes this week again. Guess I'll need to freeze 'em or make marinara sauce again (& then freeze it). Also, guess I'm going to actually have to do something with these eggplants & the ones in the frig or they'll start taking over. I've gotten a couple of ideas, from baba ganoush (sp?) to Alton Brown's Eggplant Steaks to just throw 'em on the grill. So we'll see how that all goes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Caramel Dips for your Apples

Here are three great dips to eat your apples. We usually make the cream cheese one but they are all good! I have also dipped popcorn in so do not stop at just apples. Enjoy!!

Caramel Dip
1 jar Mrs. Richardson's Caramel ice cream topping
1 small jar marshmallow cream
Pour Mrs. Richardson's in a microwave safe bowl and heat to warm. Mix in marshmallow cream and serve.

Caramel Apple Dip
1 block Cream Cheese
¾ cup Brown Sugar
¼ cup white sugar
½ tsp vanilla

Mix together and warm. I serve in a small crock pot. If I am in a hurry I warm in the microwave first. Otherwise I just put everything in crock pot let warm and mix.

Autumn Apple Dip
1 cup cottage cheese
1 tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp vanilla

Mix together. Can also serve with graham crackers or ginger snaps.

Apple Cinnamon Turnovers

We make this with the kids and they enjoy helping. Everyone get their own little "pie".

Ready in 30 minutes or less

1 medium tart apple, peeled and chopped
½ cup applesauce
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
Dash ground nutmeg

1 tube (7 – ½ ounces) refrigerated biscuits or large crescent rolls
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
In a bowl, combine the apple, applesauce, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg. Separate biscuits; roll out each into a 6-in circle. Place on greased baking sheets. Place a heaping tablespoonful of apple mixture in the center of each. Fold in half and pinch edges to seal. Brush with butter. Combine sugar and remaining cinnamon; sprinkle over tops. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Serve warm.

Apple Berry Salsa

Yields: 3 cups (16 servings)
2 med. Granny Smith Apples
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 pint strawberries, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
2 tablespoons apple jelly or apricot jam
2 kiwi, peeled and diced
Baked Cinnamon Chips (see recipe)
1 small orange

Peal, core and slice apples. Coarsely chop apple slices. Dice strawberries and kiwi. Put fruit in bowl. Zest orange to measure 1 teaspoon. Juice orange to measure 2 tablespoons full. Add orange zest, juice, brown sugar and jelly to fruit mixture; mix gently. Spoon into serving bowl. Serve with Baked Cinnamon Chips.

Baked Cinnamon Chips
Yields: 64 chips (16 servings)
8 Flour tortillas
1 tablespoon Sugar
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray tortillas with water. Combine 1-tablespoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over tortillas. Cut each tortilla into eight wedges. Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and crisp. Remove from baking sheet; cool completely.

Greek Salad

3-4 Roma Tomatoes

1/2 Red Onion

1-2 Green Peppers

2+ Cucumbers

Feta Cheese (we like lots)

Kraft Greek Salad Dressing

Chop into bite size pieces. Pour the Greek Salad Dressing over and mix.

Enjoy! I meant to post this in August and it did not happen.

Wednesday Fun #99 - Name Those Apples!

Since September's theme is apples, it reminded me of the many, many, many varieties of apples there are. So today's question is...

How many varieties of apples can you name?

P.S. Don't forget to be thinking about changes you might like to see with WF (or other regular posting feature). I'll be asking what you like/dislike/enjoy/don't enjoy about WF, if you'd be willing to take a month, suggestions for WF ideas, suggestions for improvement, other ideas that could take the place of WF or alternate with it, with the purpose of having a regular post/reason for people to come by. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Theme - Apples for the Teacher

...or you, or me, or whomever! What yummy dishes/ideas do you have for apples? This reminds me I've got a favorite Dutch Apple Pie recipe I should share.

We already have
and heck, my Butternut Squash Soup with Curried Horseradish Cream uses an apple, too!

So, c'mon, let's have your apple recipes!