Monthly Archives: August 2012

Homemade Applesauce

This time of year you might have a few extra apples lying around. If you’d like to try making some applesauce, I love these two recipes. One is for simple applesauce and the other is for spicy applesauce. The cooking process is the same. Sometimes I process and can the applesauce so I can store it on the shelf, but if you only have 6-10 apples you can probably keep the 1 or 2 jars you’ll get right in the fridge and eat them over the next few weeks. They go great with many dinner entrees.

Homemade Applesauce

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
90 minutes

Ingredients for Simple Applesauce:
apples
white sugar
water
cinnamon
Ingredients for Spicy Applesauce:
apples
white sugar

lemon juice
lemon peel
cinnamon
brown sugar
cloves
cinnamon apple extract (optional)

Directions:
Peel and core the apples and cut them into small pieces, removing any rotting spots. Put the apples in a large saucepan, turn the heat to medium-low or low, and add the remaining ingredients. For the simple recipe, for every 4 apples, add 3/4 c. water, 1/4 c. white sugar, and 1/2 t. cinnamon. For the spicy recipe, for every 4 apples, add 3-4 T. lemon juice, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. white sugar, and as much lemon peel, cinnamon, cloves and cinnamon apple extract as you wish. The more spices you add, the more spicy the applesauce. Cover the apples and continue to cook. As the applesauce cooks, try the apples and adjust the flavor as necessary.
Stir constantly and do not raise the heat too high.

Cooking the apples.

 
It will take a long time for the apples to cook down to the right texture for good applesauce. You might be surprised how much the apples cook down.


Almost done!

When the apples are done, process them in a hot-water bath to can them or put them in the fridge and consume over the next few weeks.

I used about 8 apples and filled 2 pint-sized jars. As a side note, sugar is necessary if you are canning fruit. If you eliminate too much of the sugar you can lose your seal or get mold growing in your fruit. If you want to make a low-sugar variant of this recipe, consult a known recipe for the appropriate substitutes and proportions.

Canned products make great gifts!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Special Cooking Oils

Hubby recently stumbled on some delicious specialty cooking oils. One day he pulled out the rosemary oil and poured it into a pan and fried up some chicken. He added some pasta and some peas, and voila, he had made a completely new dinner. Yum!

Rosemary Chicken

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
30 minutes

Ingredients:
garlic and rosemary oil
chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
farfalle pasta
peas
garlic salt
rosemary
black pepper
olive oil

Directions:
Saute chicken in a generous serving of the rosemary and garlic oil until fully cooked. Cook the pasta and the peas and drain. Drain the remaining oil from the cooked chicken. Combine the pasta, peas, and chicken, then add some garlic salt, some rosemary and lots of black pepper. Finally, add just enough olive oil to moisten the chicken a bit. Serve immediately.

I love it when hubby starts making up recipes 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Salmon Quiche

I had a little bit of canned salmon and a lot of eggs to use up, so I used this recipe for the filling, and this recipe for the crust, and it turned out great. Hubby didn’t like it as much as I did, because he doesn’t like the texture of quiche, but even he agreed that it smelled delicious, and the company we had over loved it. I will definitely make it again. I chose to make the crust by hand because I don’t like store-bought crusts. I think it made the recipe even better.
Salmon Quiche

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
1 hour

Ingredients:
1 c. flour
5 T. butter
3 T. shortening
1/4 c. milk
16 oz. salmon
1 small yellow or white onion
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. parsley
6 eggs
1 3/4 c. milk
salt and pepper

Directions:
Mix the flour and shortening with 2 T. butter, 1/4 t. salt and 1/4 c. milk. Work into a pie crust, roll out flat in flour, and transfer to a pie dish. Fold the edges and poke a few holes in the crust with a fork to prevent shrinkage. Put the crust in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the onion into small pieces and mix all remaining ingredients. When the crust is ready, remove it from the oven, add the filling, and return it to the oven for at least 45-50 minutes. The filling is done when an inserted knife comes out clean and the egg looks entirely cooked. Once removed from the oven, the quiche needs a few minutes to set before being served.

 

I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures – this got eaten up before I had the chance!

As a side note, don’t be afraid to cook this quiche a little longer than the recommended time. If you keep cooking it to make sure the inside is not runny, check it often. Try not to open the door too much though, or it will take even longer to cook.

Also, I used both leftover smoked salmon and canned salmon for this recipe. Either works. Finally, BE CAREFUL  to choose a big pan for this. I used a 10-inch pie pan. This recipe makes a lot of filling and it will create quite a mess in your oven if it runs over.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Chicken Saltimbocca

Hubby and I eat chicken a lot, since I’m in graduate school and we’re a little down on money, so one day he brought me “The Ultimate Chicken Cookbook,” which was actually a magazine. In it he found “Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca.” We didn’t have any proscuitto, but we did have a lot of bacon, so we decided to experiment…

Chicken Saltimbocca

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
1 hour

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
4-8 pieces of bacon
sage
salt and pepper
olive oil
1/2 c. chicken broth
2-4 T. lemon juice, depending on taste
1/2 t. cornstarch

Directions:
Cut the chicken breasts in half so they are about palm-sized. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with a little but of salt, pepper and sage, then wrap bacon around them. Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the chicken in the pan on medium until the chicken is done or close to done.
If the bacon is done but the chicken is not, put the chicken and bacon in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to cook it.

Meanwhile, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice and cornstarch in a separate pan and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly.


Thickening the lemony sauce.

Add the sauce to the chicken and serve immediately.


Once the lemony sauce has been added.

I learned from the magazine that “saltimbocca” means “jump in the mouth.” That applies pretty well to anything with bacon in this household…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

I am a big fan of macaroni and cheese, and I’ve always wanted to learn to make it homemade. The other day I stumbled across a very simple recipe, and I knew I had it to try it. It was delicious – I hope you think so too!

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
1 hour

Ingredients:
1 lb. elbow macaroni
16 oz. colby jack cheese, cut into thin slices
milk
salt and pepper

Directions:
Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an
oven-safe pan with non-stick spray, then add half of the macaroni. Next layer the cheese on top. Repeat those two layers then finish with some salt and pepper, if desired.


Finishing the macaroni and cheese layering.

Next, fill the pan with milk until the milk is almost at the top. Bake until the milk is no longer liquidy, and serve immediately.


Melted and delicious!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

By Request: Tzatziki and Stuffed Acorn Squash

One of my friends asked me what to do with cucumbers and squash, so I wanted to post my mother’s recipe for tzatziki as well as a Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe hubby and I made using my mother’s Amish recipe book. They’re both delicious, refreshing, and healthy. I hope this helps anyone who is trying to use up the rest of their summer vegetables!

Tzatziki (Greek Cucumber Dip)

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 c. plain lowfat yogurt
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 T. fresh dill, finely chopped

Directions:
Combine all in glass bowl and chill for several hours. Serve as a dip, as a refreshing sauce with souvlaki, or with lettuce leaves as a salad dressing. Makes 6-8 servings
.

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
1 hour

Ingredients:
3 acorn squash
1/3 c. molasses
1 t. salt
1 lb raw pork sausage, with casing removed
1 t. sage
bread crumbs

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the sausage fully and spice with sage and any other desired spices. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Put 1 T. of molasses, some salt, and a sprinkle of sage in each half. Fill the cavity with the cooked sausage and top with bread crumbs. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, then remove the cover to brown. Test the squash for doneness before serving.

 

The squash recipe makes a lot, but you might be surprised how quickly it disappears! I can easily eat a half a squash, so this recipe probably serves 6. My family thinks it’s great for big family gatherings, like Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Update: Zucchini Muffins

A friend of mine recently asked if my zucchini bread made good muffins. I had never tried that before, so I decided to experiment. The results were a resounding success! I used my zucchini bread recipe to fill some small muffin tins. I cooked them for 25 minutes at the same temperature (normal-sized muffins would likely need to cook longer). Also, as a caveat, the muffins did not rise very much, so don’t be afraid to fill them almost to the top. They are deliciously moist and refreshing even if they don’t form a round top like some muffins do. Enjoy!


The experiment was a delicious success.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized