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Monday, November 28, 2011

Birthday Pie

September is a huge month for birthdays in my family. And this year, my dad and step mom had a big joint party together.  I decided it would be fun to try my hand at a fruit pie.

I settled on a Dutch Apple Pie.  And it was delicious!!

But not before I made a test pie....

I didn't add enough flour to my crumb topping, so it all melted together and got a little too crunchy :(

The second pie was so pretty.  But I accidentally lost a big bunch of my cell phone pictures so I don't have proof.

I started by peeling and slicing five large-ish granny smith apples.  I sliced mine pretty thin because I wanted to make sure the apples would be tender inside.  I mixed the apples in a big bowl with a half cup of white sugar, a quarter cup of brown sugar about 3 tablespoons of flour, a half teaspoon of cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg and one tablespoon of lemon juice. 

For the best  part yummy topping, I mixed together three quarters cup flour, a quarter cup white sugar, a quarter cup brown sugar and one third cup room temperature butter.  I also added a bit of raw turbinado sugar for a little extra crunch. When you mix it together, make sure you don't mix too much!!!  I made that mistake the first time and the top became more like burnt sugar than crumbly topping.  It should still appear dry and crumbly, the sugar should not be dissolving in the butter!

We keep our fridge pretty cold, so I took out the dough right away and let it sit out while I mixed everything together.  

When I was ready, I unrolled the pie crust and placed it in a glass pie dish, trimmed the edges and pressed them down.  Then I loaded up the apples and pressed them down as much as I could to give me an nice even surface to cover with crumb topping.  

Then I baked the pie at 375 for about 50 minutes.

I got many many a compliment on this pie.  I so wish I had a picture! But it was so simple and I want to keep making pies!! So keep your eye out for more :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our Second Bi-Annual Black Friday Friend Dinner

I just made up that name right now.  It's not really a tradition if we've only done it twice....over a year apart.  But it was a great time none the less!
Yesterday was Black Friday, a day known for shopping and trampling people and usually some turkey left overs.  A couple of years ago we had a get together on Black Friday with some of our friends. I made a big batch of spaghetti and we all hung out and had some drinks and great times.
I decided to do it again this year! Bryan has been saying for weeks that he was really in the mood for some enchiladas.  I thought a big dinner with all of our friends would be the perfect time to make them!
They were SO delicious and extraordinarily easy. I made two kinds.  One with green(ish) sauce and one with red.
When I first went to the store to make my purchases, I thought I was going to be able to fit enough enchiladas in one pan to feed everyone. And I was going to split the pan right down the middle, hot on one side, regular on the other.  As I started to prepare my pan, it quickly became clear that one pan just wasn't going to cut it. Which of course meant I did not have enough sauce for two pans of enchiladas.  I had to enlist the help of a friend who was coming for dinner so I didn't end up with the perfect sauce to supplement my mistake. But the result was still delicious.  Next time, I'll buy one big can of red and one big can of green.  For the makeshift sauce, I had one that was just hot sauce and one that was a jalapeno sauce.
I picked up some chicken breast filets from the store and rubbed them with a mixture of taco seasoning, fajita seasoning and just a pinch of cayenne pepper.  I grilled them in my trusty grill pan and then shredded them up.  After that I mixed them up with some cheese (okay, a lot of cheese) and about 2 spoonfuls of sour cream. I was going to use Mexican shredded cheese (Monterey Jack and Cheddar) but we had an abundance of mozzarella, due to a miscommunication on a pizza night, so I used that instead. I don't think anyone could tell the difference.
Then take your pans and pour just enough sauce to cover the bottom (one green, one red)
I heated up our corn tortillas in the microwave to save time.  I wrapped them in paper towels and flipped them every 15 seconds until they were hot (just about one minute)  Then I held the (HOT!) tortilla (be careful!!) in my hand and filled it with the chicken and cheese mixture then rolled it up and placed it seam side down in the pan.
After I filled both pans, I opened up my second cans and poured the hot sauce on the red pan and the jalapeno sauce on the green pan. (next time more red sauce in the red pan, and green sauce in the green pan) until they are pretty much covered in sauce.  Then, I topped them with cheese. I used more mozzarella for the red enchiladas and some pepper jack for the greenish, for an extra kick.
Then I heated them up in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
In the end they looked like this:

 Then I added a little sour cream and fresh tomato salsa to mine.  I cant handle the heat, so I needed something to tone them down a bit :)

It was a great night with great food!! I hope we really can make a tradition out of it!!

Time to get serious!!

I know I have been away for far too long. But, good news! I have tons of posts in store for you! I haven't been cooking a ton but in the last, ahem, 4 months...I've made some things I want to share!!

Things to look forward to...

  • Enchiladas!
  • Pies!
  • Whoopie pies!
  • Roasted chicken with pan fried potatoes
and... I guess thats it for now. But, I think its time I step up my blogging game.  So get ready!