Thanksgiving Dessert in My Hands: Apple Galette

I walked in the door of my parents house, completely exhausted and ready to relax, and within ten minutes my mom hands me a recipe she had snipped from a newspaper (this one) and said, “you’re making this for Thanksgiving.”

I had never made a pie (or galette for that matter) from scratch before so I was really nervous! I thought, what the heck, baking’s all about following instructions, right? How hard could it be?

Turns out: not that hard, actually. My mom was nervous I’d screw it up too, so she made me memorize the recipe and recite it to her (she likes Thanksgiving to be perfect). Anyways, here’s the before and after it went in the oven! It was phenomenal!

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It’s supposed to be like an apple pie but a little more rustic-looking. Make sure to pick really tasty apples (I went with Granny Smith)!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken: To Die For

The other weekend, I had a couple friends coming over to get our costumes ready for a night of Halloween parties. I told them I would make them dinner without thinking ahead (don’t you hate that?). I scrambled to put together something for three people that would taste good (I needed to show off, obviously) and be easy to make. Where did I turn? Well, that’s just a silly question.

I had pinned this recipe a while back and gave it a go.

3 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts (i threw them in frozen! – I have a small crockpot so I could only fit 3)
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (I didn’t have these so I didn’t add them – still tasted delicious!)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp. garlic powder
Add the BBQ sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and garlic powder to the crockpot. Throw in the frozen chicken breasts and BAM! Wait ~5 hours and it a heavenly meal. I made some rice last minute and all together, it was fantastic. They all thought I was such a great cook. I let them think so. 🙂

Most Amazing Cinnamon Apple Muffins

This actually didn’t come from pinterest! I was in the baking mood one day, looked through my cupboards and found a recipe for Apple Muffins on the back of a box of Aunt Jemima Original Pancake & Waffle Mix. I had all the recipes so I gave it a go. I brought them in for my office the next day and people were begging me for the recipe. I mean, just look at how delectable they are!!


Recipe:

  • 1 cup Aunt Jemima Original Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
    TOPPING:
  • 4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Yields: 12 muffins

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper baking cups. In medium bowl combine pancake mix, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.
2. In small bowl whisk together milk, oil, egg, and vanilla; add to flour mixture. Stir gently until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples. Fill cups.
3. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over each muffin. Bake 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 2 minutes.
After just looking at that picture, I’m going to go make these right now!

Ham and Egg Cups of Greatness

You know those days where you don’t really feel like cooking dinner, but cooking breakfast (brinner, if you will) doesn’t seem as daunting? Well that was last night for me. I headed over to pinterest, found this guy I had pinned a while back and gave it a shot. Best risk ever.

The recipe is so simple:

– Slices of ham
– Eggs
– Cheese and other toppings of choice

The steps:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray (I always do this, regardless of non-stick cookware, because scraping burnt stuff off a pan does not seem enjoyable).
3. Place a slice of ham in each hole (as many as you want to make, obviously)
4. Add egg to each little ham cup.
5. Cook for 12 minutes.
6. Take out, put cheese (and whatever else) on top and enjoy!

Oh my gosh these were so good!!! This is going in the ‘A+’ box of recipes! The picture speaks for itself.

Don’t judge me – I ate three.

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal: Boring Bland Baking

Like the alliteration? 😉

I love blueberries and I’m partial to oatmeal, but all the ingredients in this recipe screamed delicious – so I tried it!

Unfortunately, the sugar from the blueberries, maple syrup, or even vanilla extract did not show through. It tasted like horribly bland mush (now I remember why I don’t like oatmeal!). If I were to make it again, I would most definitely add sugar or brown sugar. Bleh!!

Proof that looks can be deceiving. Photo from sohowsittaste.com.

String Art: Wisconsin Love

I was in the mood for a cheap weekend project, and came across this tutorial. Of course, living in Wisconsin for the past five years, I’ve become pretty fond of it, so instead of Ohio, I wanted to create a Wisconsin piece.

I immediately went to Craft Mecca (oh, sorry, I mean Hobby Lobby) and picked up:

  • a piece of wood
  • white paint
  • gold nails
  • red string

I started by painting the whole board with three coats of white paint (I painted until I couldn’t see the wood grain anymore) and letting it dry. During that process, I went online, found a decent-sized map of Wisconsin, printed it off, and started cutting it out along the border. I also cut out a heart around Madison, my home of five years.

I taped the map all cut out in the center of the block and started hammering the nails around the edges, sticking up enough to tie string around.

Once those were all in place (including around the heart), I tied a piece of red string to one nail, and went back and forth between the outer nails and inner (heart) nails, looping the string around the nails. Here’s the final product!

I will admit, the first time I looped all the string around, it looked really bare and sort of silly, so I started over and made sure to loop around some nails twice to get a fuller look. Don’t loop your strings too tightly or the nails within the heart will start to be pulled out! This was a fun, cheap, and easy project and I’d say it took me about 1.5 hours tops! It now hangs beautifully on my wall next to my ‘Pubs of Madison’ poster.

Honey Beer Bread: Holy Butter!

I was heading to a Green Bay Packers party at a friend’s place and they asked everyone to bring a snack. I furiously went through my Pinterest boards until I found a pin for Honey Beer Bread – a perfect football snack!
The recipe calls for:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
  • 4 Tbsp. (half stick) butter, melted (**You can double this if you’d like**)

Notice how they say you can double the butter? Oh my gosh, please do not! Cut it in half, if anything! My friends can vouch for me: it tasted like a side of bread for your butter soup.

The beer I used was one I had lying around: Grain Belt Nordeast from Minnesota. It’s an amber American Lager, but the flavor didn’t really come through (obviously, with all that butter!). Maybe with less butter and more beer / honey it would taste like honey beer bread!

I’ll keep experimenting…