Friday, September 30, 2016

PB & Cookies

Somewhere a while back I found this recipe for easy peanut butter cookies. When going through my files, I just came across it, but am sorry that I don't know its source. Apparently I just jotted down how much of what and how long to bake. I will share at the bottom of this post. 

I was feeling "up-to-it" this afternoon after having 3 shots for my constant back and shoulder pain. Not to worry, I'm used to these and I was overdue. We all know what is wrong after having a totally smashed and unrepaired shoulder four years ago,  MRIs to see extent of sacroiliac deterioration,  nerve pinches, and both arterial and venal scans of legs for more information. It is not about what I can't do, it's about what I CAN DO!

Forget all about that and enjoy my project today. Since I like to experiment and am always curious, I baked three sheetsful, shaping each batch a little differently.

First were the uglies. I just scooped a blob, plopped it on the sheet and gave it a few mashes with the fork.
Next tray were the fatties.  I rolled a ball and didn't decorate or mash with the fork. 
The last dozen were the perfects — AKA traditionals. Rolled in a ball and carefully crossed mashes.
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Can you guess which had the best texture? I had the Mister eat one of each and now I know.  They all will go into the same container and be integrated. It is the way of today. No segregation here! All had brown bottoms.

Recipe
1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter (creamy was on hand)
1/2 cup canola oil
Bake 350° 10 minutes.

ALERT!  Don't bake these until you read my review tomorrow!

Monday, September 26, 2016

An Apple a Day...

...hopefully - will keep us OK! 
Today we made our first batch of applesauce of the year. First I swoosh them round in a bowl of water mixed with a little distilled white vinegar. This is because I keep the skins on for applesauce.  It takes two to tango with this project.  The Mister quarters, I core and slice. I cook down with about a quart of water in the old applesauce kettle and then the aged Foley food mill is employed and managed by the Mister. A little sprinkle of cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg is added. Some sugar too if we think it needs it after several taste tests. 
I had divided my apple supply in half and then picked out several of the larger ones, which are easier to peel, separately for further baking efforts. The other half sits in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator waiting to be sliced and diced to do the project again - maybe next week. Our freezer is almost full!
Don't forget to click on image to view larger
I must say that Cortland applesauce is quite different from our favorite Macoun applesauce.  Macouns are extra-sweet and aromatic, very juicy with tender, snow-white flesh. Cortlands make a denser and heavier sauce and there is 'something' missing in the flavor. We have been spoiled for over 45 years using Macouns with the looser texture and a different distinct flavor and aroma. HOWEVER, we are so very grateful to have any apples at all and to still have the ability to make applesauce.

There is a number on the crank plate. In 1933 it was called a Foley Food Masher and was mostly used to make baby food. (I'll bet my mother used it for me!)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Stork ...

... arrived yesterday afternoon. ALL OK!
Baby girl Sophia Lynne weighed in at 9.1 lbs! 

She is our 8th GREAT Grandchild!  There are 4 Great Grandsons and 4 Great Granddaughters today.  I'm promised a picture soon and only have the delivery ones to show you.
Here is what I read about the name Sophia:
You are spiritually intense and can sting or charm. Your name brings love and new starts into life and attracts money. In business, you are the creator and promoter of original ideas and usually enjoy considerable financial success.You are frank, methodical and believe in law, system and order.

You are seeking freedom, opportunities to enjoy life: to make love, to go places and to do things. You are very adventurous and willing to take risk to achieve your objectives. New ways and new experiences can't satisfy your restless nature. One adventure leads you to another. You are honest and fair, because you know that this is the only way to receive justice and honesty from other people. But your personal growth is vital for you, and it is difficult to be tied down by rules and obligations. Your restless spirit might best controlled by choosing the field of work that meet your demand for action and adventure.

She is and will be VERY Special! 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

E Z Cake

This cake is so moist and rich! One bowl, one pan! The most labor-intensive part is the paring, quartering, coring and slicing, but I sit at the table, using high performance tools and get the job done.

You will need a potato peeler, a heavy duty cutting knife, a very sharp paring knife, a cutting board and a large bowl. You will need to prepare a large pan with foil (NOT non stick-it doesn't come large enough to cover with one sheet) and some Pam. Of course you can just grease the pan and then have cleanup duty later.

Ingredients: 
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar 
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon (I add dash of nutmeg)
1/2 cup oil 
6 medium Honey Crisp, Cortland apples, or whatever tasty apple is available.
2 cups flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and oil. Peel and slice the apples and add to mixture in bowl (coating as you go to keep apples from turning brown.) Mix together the baking soda and flour and add to the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well until all of the flour is absorbed by the wet ingredients. Pour mixture into one greased 9x13 or two 9″ round pans. Bake for approximately 55 minutes. 
Before adding flour and baking soda mixture
Ready to bake
After about an hour it is finished
And ready! After I whip some cream for the topping!
Please click on image to view larger


Friday, September 23, 2016

Good Work Ahead

I say this because the applesauce-making project here in this old cabin is done in an old-fashioned way and is actually a pleasurable activity for this old couple. Are you getting the gist of old?  The sink in which the apples are first washed is old. The knife with which the mister quarters the apples is old. The paring knife the missus used to dig out the core is old. We are all sharp. The kettle the apples are cooked down in is very old as is the wooden spoon. The Foley food mill is old and fits perfectly over an old large Pyrex bowl. We call it the "apple bowl." The sugar container is old. The ladle is very old and the only newbies are the containers for the finished product which is later placed into a new freezer in an old carport. The apples and the cider come from an old orchard that was planted over two generations ago.

I have already topped down the most flavorful cider in my world so we can have it through the winter. It has to be topped down as it will be frozen and the container needs to be compensated for expansion. It keeps perfectly fine and is always delicious and healthy. 
please click on image to view larger
The apples we are processing this year are Cortlands. And by the way, there is more cider in my refrigerator - FOR NOW!

Orchard Oddities

Last year there was an apple still hanging in a tree that had porcupine quills sticking out of it. Jeannie Jayne said that was a first. Well this year another had porcupine quills in it as well! This  red apple is Jeannie's 2015 picture, the 2nd is mine from today.
In 2015 I took several other pictures of the oddities that were found when sorting the apples.
Today I was privileged to see more.
Please click on image to view larger

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti ~ Gere’s Recipe from Freezer and Refrigerator Supplies

I cooked up an entire 16 oz. box of Mueller’s Vermicelli spaghetti and after having some for a dinner several weeks ago, I put the rest in a gallon ziploc bag and froze it. As I was trying to decide what to have for supper I came across it and also found a container of frozen home-grown tomato puree that my daughter made from her garden bounty and brought for me.  Since I was thinking about making lasagna in a couple of weeks, I already had the ricotta and the mozzarella and more tomato sauce on hand. I then put it all together just like you would to make lasagna but made baked spaghetti instead. I did add a little bit of oregano, basil and a touch of nutmeg to the ricotta cheese. 

HOW >>>
First a bit of tomato sauce, and a little spaghetti over it into the pan; then top with about 8 dollops of ricotta; next -  shredded mozzarella spread generously and do it all over again with a final topping of parmesan/romano shredded cheese.

Bake for about one hour at 325° and let rest before cutting into squares. 

This saved me time, water, electric stove energy and was really tasty.
Oven Ready
 Hot out of the oven.....
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Apple Pie

I sure make a mess sometimes when baking! This is after the pie went into the oven.
Now, please don't laugh! This is my crust recipe. I have used it for about 60 years. Now I use unsalted butter instead of Crisco. I also add a tablespoon of white sugar and one of salt as well.
The Honey Crisp apple pie before cutting is rather lovely to see after the mess and time invested.
That first piece is a doozy to get out.
And now for a taste! Ummmmmmm!
 Please click on image to view larger
Recipe below:
Gere's Apple Pie

Ingredients:
Pastry for 2 crusts
8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples - about 3 lbs.
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
Directions:
1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.
2. Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.
3. Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
4. Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.
5. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.
6. Reduce heat to 350° and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.