Improvising With Apples

My backyard gifted me just enough apples in the latest harvest for roughly two pies worth. I needed a mom break so I dropped my kiddos with the grandparents and went to MY Grandma’s house and made pie while we chatted. (I wore a mask the whole time even though we are both vaccinated, better safe than sorry!)

I hit a roadblock. We were having so much fun chatting that I didn’t realize we had run out of flour after making two bottom crusts. So I had two half constructed pies that were missing tops! And where my GG lives, the nearest store is 30 minutes away in a different county. So we got creative and made do. We combined quick cooking oats, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon to make a crumble topping.

All reports were that it worked out well, but the pie was a little dry as the oats sucked up all the excess liquid from the cooked apples. But all in all still an edible dessert. But the best part was spending a few hours alone with my GG. I wish I could do it more often so I’ll cherish the time I do get.

Happy Baking!!

Continued Apple Adventures

The apple harvest continues! This time Jellybean and the husband talked me into apple pie. I must really love them because I spent SO MUCH time cutting and pealing apples.

I haven’t made a fruit pie since I was in high school so I was a little rusty. But what it lacked in beauty it made up for in flavor. At least according to my family. I don’t like fruit pies myself.

Next up Jellybean has requested we make apple butter. So the apple adventures look to be continuing, lol.

Happy Baking!!

Christmas Baking

I was looking through my camera roll on my found some of my favorite photos of the season and I wanted to share.

First up….baking with a 6 year old and 2 year old equals flour EVERYWHERE. Including all over the two year old who got too close to the mixer when we added flour.

Next up the 6 year old’s version of sugar cooking decorating complete with extra frosting.

And finally about 1 bazillion almond bark coated pretzels. These are the reason I need legging post Christmas :O

The chaos is *almost* worth the memories! I sure hope my kids remember all the fun when they are bigger. Anyone have a favorite christmas memory to share?

All The Carbohydrates

About a day after American Thanksgiving I found myself staring at the fridge full of leftovers. And for whatever reason I felt a surge of creativity. Maybe it was the small gathering and zoom meeting hangover? So I pulled all the bits and bobs of Thanksgiving and started creating.

I decided on a “pot pie” like construction. I used the extra crust leftover from the 2-pack I got for pumpkin pie. I filled the pie pan and then in a separate bowl I mixed green bean casserole, a dollop of mashed potatoes, a little bit of turkey gravy and a healthy dose of diced smoked turkey.

I baked that for about 20 minutes and then pulled it out of the oven to crumble the last little bit of stuffing we had and cooked for another 15 or 20 minutes. It came out gorgeous looking!

Oh my lawwwwdddd….. and it was delicious too. It was creamy and hearty and tasted like the parts of your thanksgiving plate where your different foods touch. I threw in some leftover hot rolls with jelly and had the best dinner ever. And best yet? I literally finished off three whole containers of leftovers instead of letting them sit and get thrown out!

I am considering keeping more pie crusts on hand throughout the year. I feel like there is a whole world of untapped potential for leftovers cooked in this manner. I could do quiche with leftover roasted veg or even spicy taco pot pie with bean, meat and cheese. As long as my family indulges me…this might be staple “recipe” for us!

Happy Cooking!!

More Gratuitous Baking Content

Jellybean looked at me this week and said “we should make cookies”. And I said why not! So here is more gratuitous quarantine baking content.

We made pretty standard cookies except for Jellybean insisted on adding the whole bag of chocolate chips. He then put fork marks in them like peanut butter cookies because why not? He also squished the completely flat. So we have very nice and crisp cookies.

They lasted all of 3 days. But to be fair I only baked 1/2 the dough and froze the other half or another baking day. I hope future Rachelle enjoys the work of past Rachelle, lol.

Happy Baking!!

Pizza for Breakfast

Caution….food porn ahead!! I had a particularly heinous and stressful day ahead of me while simultaneously having leftover homemade pizza dough in the fridge…

You guys, I made Parmesan garlic and egg breakfast pizzas. And ooooohh my did they taste amazing and everyone of the 600 calories!

I didn’t follow any recipe and just scrounged ingredient from my fridge. I made four mini pizza crusts and seasoned them with butter and garlic salt. I then slathered on some Parmesan garlic pasta sauce and topped that with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. And to top it all off I cracked a large egg on each pizza and put in a 400 degree oven. They took about 12-13 in to get the eggs cooked but yet still soft.

Two of the eggs slid because my pan was not level. So lessons for next time! I think I might make the crust have ridges or perhaps use my better stainless steel pizza pan to keep things tidy. Never mind how they look….they looked delicious and we devoured them! this one is for sure will do again!!

Happy baking!!

Dinner Rolls Take Two

Happy Carbohydrate Friday! (I’m pretending its a thing during this crazy time)

I decided to take another run at dinner rolls in my bread machine. My last attempt was okay but I knew I could do better. I did some internet searches and landed on the Bread Machine Dinner Rolls on the Betty Crocker website.

The dough came together nicely. I managed to make more reasonably sized dinner rolls that were almost all the same size. The batch made 15 rolls and they raised nicely. I think I need to space them a little better during their second proofing.

The rolls taste and texture were a VAST improvement form my first try. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I printed it and put it inside my bread machine cookbook. My family quickly gobbled these with a bit of butter and peach jam.

Happy Baking!

Stress Baking

I’m my father’s daughter and when I feel uncertain or stressed….I like to work me feelings out by making carbohydrates. Today’s self care is brought to you by my bread machine and my first go at making dinner rolls.

The batch went swimmingly well in my machine. However, I definitely need more practice at sizing my rolls. I kind of overshot the “roll” size and landed more in a “hamburger bun” size range.

My family pronounced them delicious no matter the size. They browned beautifully and rose nicely. I used a basic white dinner roll recipe from my Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. The texture was light but this recipe used eggs and it had different texture than I an anticipated. I’m new to hardcore baking but my mother told me this is normal for egg based breads. I think I am going to make the pizza dough recipe for the next round and shape them as rolls instead of crust. It is just flour, salt, olive oil, water and yeast in that recipe.

Based on the current social distancing, I think I’m going to get a lot of baking practice. And I might end up needing bigger pants…

Happy Baking!!

I Need To Level Up My Biscuits

The kids requested biscuits and jelly with dinner this week. Now, normally as a working mom I grab a can of Pillsbury from the store and go to town. My kids eat them just fine. But I got a wild hair to make my own. I got out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and made Supreme Biscuits. They are kind of a mashup of baking powder biscuits and buttermilk biscuits.

They turned out fine and the flavor was good. But I really need to level up my biscuit skills. I forgot to put the cream of tartar in and I definitely rolled the dough to thin. My biscuits came out pretty short because of those two factors. I did manage to keep the butter cold and not overwork the dough so they were soft and flaky.

I’m kind of in carbohydrate phase right now and I think I may fire up another batch for some chicken and biscuits or biscuits and gravy…..yum! What is your favorite way to have biscuits?

Cake By Jellybean

Jellybean from time to time likes to bake and cook with me. Sp during his birthday shenanigans we made a birthday cake. We made the cake together and then I added the base coat of chocolate frosting.

He then went to town with every color of frosting, every decorating frosting tip I could round up, and literally every variety of sprinkle we own. He wanted to make it look like “trash” and not the derogatory kind. He was thinking a la Oscar the Grouch. I think he nailed it!

Then he proceeded to grab my phone and take “beautiful” photos of it.  He concentrated SUPER and hard and I stood off to the side laughing till I cried. My kid is something else and I wouldn’t trade him for anything. So I’ll just leave you with a few of his cake glamour shots….

P.S. it was also delicious!