Friday, January 8, 2016

Honey Crisp Apple Sauce (NO sugar)

I keep finding amazing recipes that have vanilla beans in them, so I guess that is what I am into right now!  I had  bunch of Honey crisp apples that had been in my fridge and just weren't getting eaten, {GASP}, I KNOW! I blame it on all the yummy Holiday treats that were EVERYWHERE I turned!  So when I came across this NO SUGAR apple sauce recipe, I knew it had to be done! I didn't miss the sugar one bit, it is so sweet and yummy on its own! I found the recipe here.

Honey Crisp Apple Sauce

5 Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 T vanilla bean paste, or 1 vanilla bean scrapped

Put all of this in a pot and stir to combine. Let simmer on your stove on Medium low for about 1-2 hours or until the apples are super soft.  You can also put all this in your slow cooker on low for about 4 hours.  I used an immersion blender to blend to desired consistency.  It is great warm or cold!  It will store in your fridge for about 2 weeks or you can can it using a water bath! I doubled mine and got about 4 cups (I forgot to measure). I will definitely being doing bigger batches to can in the future!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vanilla Bean Scones

I love scones!  And as much as I love them, I think my boys love them more! I literally hid these and totally kept them all for myself, after we ate them for breakfast one morning.  They are a copy cat recipe of Starbucks Petite Vanilla Bean Scones.  I got the recipe here.

Vanilla Bean Scones
(32 petite sones)

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar 
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg
2 t vanilla bean paste (you could also use 1/2 a vanilla bean scraped and 2 t vanilla extract)

3 cups powdered sugar
6-7 T heavy ream
1 t vanilla bean paste (or 1/2 vanilla bean scraped and 1 t vanilla extract)

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk or pulse in a food processor to mix.
4. Add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter or pulse with a food processor until mixture resembles cornmeal texture.
5. In another bowl, whisk together cream, egg, and vanilla bean paste
6. Add liquid to flour mixture and pulse until just combined.
7. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead the dough briefly until the dough comes together.
8. Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.
9. Cut the dough into 8 rectangles or squares and then cut each on one diagonal and then the other creating 32 petite scones.
10. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges just start to turn brown.
11. Transfer the scones to a cooling rack to cool completely.
12. Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze adding the cream one tablespoon at a time until desired thickness. Dip the cooled scones in the glaze and place them back on the cooling rack to harden.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Apple Crisp Pie

I don't usually make pie. Not because I don't like it, I am just not very good at it. But this recipe has given me new hope! I LOVE this pie, it is probably the only one I will ever make again, it is that good! I can't for the life of me remember where I got the recipe, so please forgive me for not giving credit where credit is due, especially with such an amazing recipe! 

Apple Crisp Pie
(makes one pie)

1 homemade or store bought pie crust (I use this recipe)
5 1/2 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples (my fav is honey crisp)
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 T flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375.  Fit pie crust into the pie plate.  

In a large bowl, gently mix sliced apples, lemon juice, both sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Once it is blended well, pour into the pie crust.

Prepare topping by mixing all the ingredients for the topping in a medium bowl with a pastry cutter or a fork until coarsely crumbled and all the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture in the prepared pie crust.

Bake at 375 for 50 minutes. (If your crust starts to get too brown, cover just the crust with foil and continue baking.  The pie will be bubbly around the edges when it is done.  Let the pie cool (if you can).  It will set up as it cools! Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you so desire, but why wouldn't you?!?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce

I LOVE having a garden. I LOVE homegrown tomatoes. But there comes a time when all of a sudden you have 15 pounds of tomatoes ready all at once! That's when you can them!  I much prefer to have marinara sauce at the ready then just plain tomatoes.  And let's be honest, vegetables just taste better roasted! I found this recipe here.  It is simple, easy and in one afternoon I had beautiful jars of this perfect marinara sauce. All from my homegrown tomatoes!

Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce
(about 8 cups)

10 pounds of fresh tomatoes
16 whole, peeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
6 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 T sea salt
2 t fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Get out 2 large roasting pans or 3 large cookie sheets.

Wash tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into large chunks. The core may need to be removed. Big chunks are good.  Place the tomatoes in the roasting pan.  Add garlic, oil, broth, oregano, onion, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands until mixed.  Place the pan in the oven and roast until the tomatoes have reduced by half and are starting to get a few black spots on the edges.  This should take about 45-60 minutes. Stir half way through.  If the tomatoes are really juicy, it will take longer. 

Remove pan from oven and let cool until you can handle it.  Carefully transfer the roasted tomatoes into a food processor or blender and pulse until desired consistency.  

The sauce is ready to serve. You can serve, freeze or can it.  

To can the sauce:
(You can NOT water bath this, it has to be done in a pressure canner)

Sterilize jars and fill leaving one inch head room.  Wipe the top rim and place the lid on.  We heat the lids in a simmering pot of water, be careful not to boil.  Place jars in a pressure canner.  Process for 25 minutes at 7 pounds of pressure. Don't forget to adjust for altitude.  Once the jars are processed remove from pressure canner and let them sit, undisturbed for 12 hours. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rosemary and Gruyere Cheese Bread

I love this artisan bread recipe!  I use it ALL the time, but this time I just wanted something a little different.  I may never go back!

Rosemary and Gruyere Cheese Bread
(1 loaf)

3 cups flour
2 1/4 t yeast
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese
1 T fresh chopped rosemary
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups water

Mix all ingredient EXCEPT water and oil together in a large bowl.  Add water and oil.  Stir until the dough forms a shaggy ball and all the flour is incorporated.  Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold over itself twice.  Form into a ball, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.  While the bread is sitting, heat oven to 450.  Place an oven proof, lidded pan (like a Le Creuset or Dutch oven) in the oven while it is heating up.  Once the oven and the pan are hot, place the dough seam side up into the hot pan.  Cover with the lid and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake for 5-10 minutes more or until desired doneness.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Blender Pancakes (of the guilt-free variety)

I love a sweet breakfast! But when you are trying to eat better, there aren't that many sweet options.  When I came across this recipe, I was totally skeptical!  But thought I might as well give it a try!  So glad I did!  My kids even liked them! I am excited to have a healthy, sweet, breakfast without the guilt or added inches to my hips! I got the recipe here.

Blender Pancakes (of the guilt-free variety)
(makes about 10 pancakes)

6 egg whites
1 cup rolled oats, dry
1 cup cottage cheese
2 t sugar
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon

Place all ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Cook on a heated griddle or pan sprayed with cooking spray or greased with a little butter and serve as desired.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cinnamon Crumb Top Muffins

We have had a few snow days here is Texas and it brings out the baking monster in me!  There is no better way to spend a snowy morning than to fill your home with the smell of sweet baking goodness! When I saw these muffins they called to me!  I just had to try them, and they made our snowy day off of school so delightful!  You know calories don't count when the kids have a snow day, right?! I found the recipe here, changed it a smidgen and devoured these beauties!

Cinnamon Crumb Top Muffins
makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/3 cup oil (I used avocado oil)
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs

The Crumb Topping

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups flour


1/4 -1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 t milk

Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare muffin pan by greasing or lining with paper liners, set aside. 

Make the crumb topping by combining sugars, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk in melted butter.  Add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula until moist.  Spread the mixture out on parchment paper to dry until ready to use.  

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In a large glass measuring cup whisk together milk, oil, and eggs. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.  Scoop the batter evenly into prepared muffin pan.  Sprinkle with the crumb topping and gently press the crumbs into the batter.  Place into the preheated oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  

While the muffins are cooling whisk together the powdered sugar and the milk to make the glaze.  Drizzle glaze over the cooling muffins.  Serve while warm!
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