Crumble Top Apple Pie

Original post: October 17, 2013

Today is a day worthy of a minor celebration. People are working. Paychecks will be received. My friends and neighbors breath a collected sigh of relief as things return, somewhat, to normal. Thank goodness!

To celebrate getting back to normal, I think we should all have a nice piece of pie! It’s Honey Crisp Apple time! As great as they are for just plain old eating, they also happen to be quite wonderful for baking! I expect some of you are a little horrified that I would take this precious apple variety and use it for baking. It’s available for such a short time. But requests were made. Eyelashes were batted. It was all I had to work with. Please forgive the extravagance.

Crumble Top Apple Pie
1 prepared pie crust – if using refrigerator crust, you only need one piece. I used a shortbread crust.
3 big apples, peeled, cored and sliced – I used Honey Crisp. Pure Heaven.
3 ounces each (combined 3/4 cup) flour and oats – I used half white and half wheat flour.
1/2 cup brown sugar
vanilla
cinnamon
all spice
6 tbsp melted butter

1. Place the apple slices in the prepared crust.
2. Combine all the other ingredients, except the butter. Use your own discretion with the vanilla and the spices. I probably used about a half teaspoon of the vanilla and cinnamon and slightly less all spice.
3. Add the butter. You will have a lumpy, buttery glob of yummy goo.
4. Spread (?) over the apple slices. You can drop it by the spoonful and mush it around or just dump the whole bowl over it and spread it with a big spoon.
5. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until the topping is nice and brown.

Serve. Relish the admiration.

Enjoy!

#hocofood

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

cbss

Original post: November 29, 2013

I had no plan to post a recipe today. However, my faithful assistant saw me preparing our stuffing for dinner and specifically asked me to post it so he can make it when he has his own Thanksgiving. That’s some serious advanced menu planning! How could I turn down his request? It made me so happy that everything I put into preparing our Thanksgiving meal means so much to him.

Yesterday, as I was deboning (boning?) the turkey breast for our Turducken Roll, he wanted to stand by me and watch and learn. I had to shoo him away. I was so nervous about slicing my hand. And he is a chatty little thing!

So I post today for you who are in the midst of last minute meal planning and prep and may want to try something different. And I post as a reminder to myself of my wonderful family for whom I am extremely thankful.

Homemade Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix, prepared as cornbread according to the instructions on the box
4 sausage links – 1/2 lb or more
Half cup chopped onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups broth
Poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp melted butter

1. Crumble up the cornbread into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Cook the sausage, onion and celery in a small amount of olive oil until the sausage is about 75% done. I don’t cook it all the way through so it doesn’t get too dry since it will bake, too.
3. Combine the sausage mixture and cornbread.
4. Stir in the broth and seasoning.
5. Transfer to a 9×9 baking dish prepared with cooking spray.
6. Top with the melted butter.
7. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 375 until the top is golden brown.

Try to make this as close to meal time as possible. It’s so much better fresh out of the oven. If you have to cook in advance, cover it with foil when you reheat it and keep the oven at a fairly low temp. Don’t go higher than 300.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Flan

img_1422Each week, My Faithful Assistant has a Spanish assignment that requires him to use his Spanish outside of the regular coursework. He can watch a Spanish language TV show, read a news article or prepare a recipe, providing a video with at least five steps in Spanish.

He can only do each selection once a quarter. The cooking video is his favorite.

This quarter, his teacher sent home a recipe for flan. It was not a good recipe. Fortunately, I know people who do know good recipes and we had a backup from my dear friend Jen on her blog The Whole Bag of Chips which she found on AllRecipes.com.

Here’s the recipe from AllRecipes.

Flan
1 cup white sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Melt the sugar over medium heat until it is a nice golden brown.
  3. Pour into a 9″ round baking dish. I used a glass pie plate. Swirl the sugar to cover as much of the pan as you can.
  4. Combine the eggs, vanilla, and two milks. Pour over the sugar. Cover the pan with foil.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 20 – 30 minutes and invert on a plate so the sugar in on top.

I’m not sure My Faithful Assistant loves flan or even likes it very much. I for one have not previously been a big fan of custard but the smell of the caramelized sugar and the vanilla now has me sold.

Are you looking for something different for holiday dessert? Tired of pie? Hate pumpkin? Or just looking for something for your kid to make for their tarea semenal? You may want to try this! I have to admit that I was skeptical the first time I made it but it’s actually quite easy! Just don’t rush the sugar melting or the cooling.

Keep your fingers crossed for a good grade! Enjoy!

Crispy Muffin Tin Potatoes

cmtpApparently I am letting my fans down. Who knew anyone cared that much? You post one food picture with no recipe and suddenly you drop to the number two food blog spot!

I apologize to those who have missed my wit, awful photos, and fabulous easy recipes. This one will not disappoint.

Crispy Muffin Tin Potatoes
4 all purpose potatoes, thinly sliced
4 tbsp melted butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp chives
1/2 grated Parmesan

  1. If you didn’t notice that the potatoes need to be sliced, please slice them now. Use a mandolin if you have one WITH THE GUARD IN PLACE!!! And to the man who neglected to do this, please step away from this recipe. Your grounded from the mandolin forever.
  2. Melt the butter and combine it with the chives and garlic. Toss the potatoes with the butter mixture.
  3. Add the parmesan and toss the potatoes around a little more.
  4. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin by spraying each cup with pan spray and fill each cup with potato slices.
  5. Bake at 400 for 45 to 50 minutes until the potatoes are nice and crispy.

So much wonderfulness in one little muffin tin. The crisp edges. The soft centers. The butter. The garlic. The cheese. Nothing wrong with this, except maybe that it takes a while to make. But surely you have a Netflix show to binge watch while you wait for these to cook?

You can serve them with a dollop of sour cream if you’d like, right next to your Cast Iron Seared Steak¬†.

Again, my apologies to the loyal among you who missed me so badly. I’ll try to do better.

Enjoy!

Cast Iron Seared Steak

cissMy griller is away which is a slight problem for My Faithful Assistant and me. I can grill, but I don’t love to. It’s hot and it takes too long to get the coals to the proper temperature. I prefer a nice stove top that heats fast and to the proper temperature just about every time.

Since we will be cooking for two for a little while, I decided we would splurge on some good steak, with the promise from the tiny Sous Chef that he would help me come up with a stove top method to prepare them. He didn’t fail me! He’s a good guy! The method is pretty easy, and quite speedy. Sear, bake, rest, serve. 10 minutes to the finest steak you may ever eat.

Cast Iron Seared Steak
2-6 oz sirloin steaks that are at least 2″ thick
Salt and pepper
1 TBSP oil
2 tsp butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Put the oil in your cast iron pan and heat to medium high. You can test the heat by sprinkling some water in the pan and watching in sizzle away.
  3. Place your seasoned steaks in the pan and cook for 90 seconds on each side. You should have quite a lovely sear assuming your pan is nice and hot!
  4. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Top with butter and serve.

Heart attack special. Yes. Absolutely. Will I make this again next week? Nope. Not even next month. It was very delicious and My Faithful Assistant said it was one of the finest steaks he’s ever had (and this boy LOVES his steak). Even though it was in the 90’s again yesterday, and we are due for temps in the upper 80’s this week, I believe that winter is coming and I needed to find a way to prepare steak without a grill.

Enjoy!