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)!

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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.

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…

Stove-top Mac & Cheese: A+

The ever-so-fancy lifestyle of a grad student: Instagramed

Everyone loves a good mac & cheese recipe, but for the longest time I just could not find one that lived up to my Wisconsin, cheese-loving standards. Until now! (I should also point out that I do not have wonderful photography skills, so my iPhone shots are what you get!)

On pinterest (but of course) I spotted a seemingly easy recipe for stove-top mac & cheese (found here). I thought it was completely bizarre that the noodles were boiled in milk, but I thought I’d give it a try. Let me tell you, it was absolutely fantastic! It makes a lot, so if you’re someone that typically cooks for one (like myself) the leftovers make a great next-day lunch, and you get to enjoy the ooey-gooeyness twice! I’ve made this dish over and over and over again, and I will keep making it until I get sick of cheese (note: this will never happen).

A couple tips:
– I had to use more milk than the recipe called for. It tends to evaporate pretty quickly and you want to make sure your noodles are at a good consistency.
– Don’t add too much nutmeg. Seriously, don’t. That was my first mistake.
– Try different cheeses! If you find a good combo, let me know! I’ve always been a cheddar girl, but I’m open to try more!

This recipe gets a definite A+ in my book!