Apple Crumb Bars

Apple Crumb Bars

This came together quickly and is so wonderful. My husband had clients in and I had to make something quick
and this was perfect! Since I was in a rush I did not take a lot of photos. But trust me this is good!
Crumbly, buttery and perfect for a cold day or even breakfast. From the blog The View from the Great Island.

Ingredients

crumble

  • 3/4 cup ( 96 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 Tbsp  (85 grams) unsalted cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts (pulse in a food processor)

base

  • 3 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced, this will be under a pound after slicing
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) milk or cream
  • 1 1/4 cups (178 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9×9 baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, if you like.
  • Put the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and blend everything together with your fingertips until there is no more raw flour.
  • Make sure to break down any large clumps of butter so there is a somewhat uniform crumbly texture. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, along with the milk or cream.
  • Spoon the batter in to the pan, and smooth out evenly.
  • Top with the sliced apples. There’s no need to arrange them precisely, but try to get them in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Lay a loose layer of foil over the top if the crumble is browning too quickly.
Cranberry, Pecan, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry, Pecan, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Valentine’s day is all about love. It can be romantic, or the love you have for family or friends. A week ago I got a package in the mail from a dear friend that included everything but the butter and eggs in these fabulous little packages. It made me happy and feel loved, and I was able to share the love with Hal’s co workers, the woman
who always helps me at the UPS store in Green Hills and Hal. Make sure to chill the dough at least 30 minutes and keep the cookie sheets chilled between making the cookies so they won’t flatten out. These are so yummy. Adapted from http://www.amodernhomestead.com blog. Make these and share some love. The game changer was the scooper
that she included in the photo.You can find one for yourself at: https://www.pamperedchef.com/pws/eatinwithe/shop/Kitchen+Tools/Baking+Accessories/Small+Scoop/2530

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 cups flour 
  • 1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate**)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla. Cream the mixture until it is fluffy.
  • Next add eggs one at a time. Beat on high for at least 30 seconds after each egg. The mixture should look like butter cream icing at this point.
  • Add baking soda and salt. Mix briefly.
  • Add flour 1 cup at a time. Start very slowly to avoid kicking flour out of the bowl. Mix for 30 seconds after each cup.
  • Add chocolate chips, cranberries, and pecans. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Spoon them onto cookie sheet with a teaspoon and bake for 11-12 minutes.
  • The cookies may appear under done, but if baked for any longer they will be too crispy. (Each oven is different, so you may need to adjust the time by a minute or two.)
English Muffin Toasting Bread

English Muffin Toasting Bread

This is from a King Arthur Flour recipe. This bread comes together very quickly. About an hour and a half, start to finish. One of the easiest breads I have ever made and SO good. My friend Elizabeth shared this recipe with me. The fabulous thermometer shown below is one of her Pampered Chef items that I find myself using all the time. https://www.pamperedchef.com/pws/eatinwithe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Unbleached flour (King Arthur) 
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9g) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon fast rising yeast
  • 1 cup (227g) milk
  • 1/4 cup (57g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil
  • cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Be sure to stir the liquid well before measuring its temperature; you want an accurate reading. If you don’t have a thermometer, the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.
  3. Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. 
  4. Using an electric beater, or stand mixer with beater attachment, beat at high speed for 1 minute; the dough will be smooth and very soft. If you don’t have an electric mixer, beat by hand for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and starting to become elastic.
  5. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
  6. Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
  7. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn’t be more than, say, 1/4″ over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn’t very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  8. Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, till it’s golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.
Thai Shrimp Soup

Thai Shrimp Soup

This is a fast and easy weeknight soup. Filling, full of flavor. I used Trader Joe’s frozen Argentinian pink and their package frozen organic rice which really made it quick. The store was out of red curry paste so I grabbed a jar of red curry sauce and it worked great in a pinch. We warmed up the leftovers and the soup got thicker and was even better the next day. This was adapted from the blog DAMN DELICIOUS.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
    (or 2 packages of Trader Joe’s Organic Basmati rice, prepared using directions)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoon red curry paste or half a jar of red curry sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (full or lite)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lime
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large saucepan of 1 1 /2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  3. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper to the stockpot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in curry paste or sauce until well combined, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in coconut milk and chicken/vegetable stock, and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Stir in rice, shrimp and lime juice.
  7. Serve immediately.
Butternut Squash “Hash”

Butternut Squash “Hash”

I don’t often buy precut vegetables but when I saw Trader Joe’s Vegetable Hash in the stores around Christmas I had to try it. I figured it would be great as a quick side dish on a busy work day. And I was right. Problem was it turned out to be a seasonal item. Seasonal??? I HATE when they do that, but I liked it so much I created my own. It was a just a bit of extra work to chop everything but I will make this again. Served with grilled port tenderloin. The Trader Joe’s version had red onion which I did not have on hand so just used a large sweet onion. I added some extras and made it my own. You could add, or substitute, sweet potato. Pine nuts would be good or dried cherries.

Ingredients
1 medium sized butternut squash, cut into bite size cubes
1 large onion, Chopped (use sweet or red)
2 Ribs of celery
Tablespoon of dried oregano
Tablespoon of Sage (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Olive oil
tsp Trader Joe’s Umami spice mix
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions
Heat olive oil in a large pan, add onion and sauté over medium heat until getting nice and caramelized Add butternut squash cubes and sauté until getting tender, add celery and cook until tender. Add herbs and seasoning. Add the breadcrumbs and cheese until the breadcrumbs start to get brown and slightly crunchy.


Crunchy Orange Tofu

Crunchy Orange Tofu

This came together quickly on a late Friday night. We are not vegetarians but this did not make me miss the meat at all and was totally satisfying. I will add to my regular rotation of fast meals. Adapted from the blog The View From the Great Island.

For the baked tofu
(2 packages) extra firm tofu (I used Trader Joe’s Pressed)
6 Tbsp cornstarch
1 pinch salt
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbs oil for frying
1 onion sliced thin
1 Zucchini, cut in half and then sliced
1 small package white or Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped

For the sauce
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or Mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup orange juice (about 3-4 medium oranges)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
1 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Drain the tofu and pat it try with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, gently squeezing some of the excess moisture out.

Slice the tofu into bite sized cubes, and gently toss together with the cornstarch, salt, and oil.

Spread the tofu cubes out into a single layer on your prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 45 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.

While the tofu is baking, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch mixture. Set aside.

About 10 minutes before the tofu is ready: In a large pan or wok heat 2 Tbsp of oil and add the onion, stir until tender and starting to caramelize. Add the zucchini and mushrooms. Cook until tender.

Remove the tofu from the oven when it is done cooking, it should be lightly golden brown and crispy on the outside, and set aside.

Add the sauce ingredients, along with the cornstarch mixture, in a small pan, mixing to combine. Heat over medium heat until the sauce is just starting to simmer and thickens.

Add the tofu to the onion mixture. Add sauce and gently toss until coated.

Serve along with white rice, and top with sesame seeds, if desired.

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Broccoli and Potato Soup

When it is cold, grey and you just want to curl up with a bowl of comforting soup this is a healthy one do make. Very easy and great for a work night. This is from a wonderful Williams-Sonoma book, Soup of the Day, 365 days of Soup. I added blue cheese to the top but you can eliminate or add cheddar. Serve with a crisp salad or warm bread.

Ingredients

3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots (or 1 onion)
1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 lb Broccoli, cored and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 lb Blue cheese crumbled

Directions

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When it foams, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until limp, about 1 minute. Stir in the potatoes and broccoli. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and flour and stir until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Add about 1/2 cup of the broth, stirring to make a paste, then gradually add the remaining broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes and broccoli are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Using a blender or hand held blender (which I used), mix until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, place over medium high heat, and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle in half of the cheese and stir until melted, about 1 minute. Serve with the remaining cheese on top. I just used some crumbled cheese to sprinkle on top.

Butter Chicken

This has a lot of ingredients and steps but it is actually really easy. I made it on a work night and had left overs for the next night. I will be making again! Adapted from Milk Street. I halved this recipe and it was perfect for us. Serve with Basmati rice. I broiled the chicken but you could also grill to get the chicken a bit more charred. If you wanted to go vegetarian you could maybe try grilled eggplant, or tofu.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons garam masala, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut crosswise into 3 strips
  • 1 cup roasted salted cashews
  • 4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into 2 pieces, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, paprika, cayenne, 3 tablespoons garam masala, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon ginger and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the chicken and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the broiler element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, set a wire rack in the baking sheet and mist it with cooking spray. In a blender, puree the cashews with 3/4 cup water until smooth, about a minute. (You can also use creamy cashew or peanut butter). Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of ginger and the garlic, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon garam masala and the remaining 1 tablespoon cumin. Add the cashew puree and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and 2 cups chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick enough to heavily coat a spoon, 12-14 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Arrange the chicken, with its marinade still clinging to it, in an even layer on the prepared rack. Broil until well browned and lightly charred on both sides, 15-20 minutes, flipping the pieces once about halfway through. Transfer to the sauce, bring to a simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the cilantro and line juice, let stand for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve over rice.

Amish Sugar Cookies

Amish Sugar Cookies

A SUPER simple, wonderful cookie just in time for Christmas. I like these better than the traditional rolled sugar cookies. These would be great to make with kids. You could add sprinkles (but they don’t need it!) Chai powder, lime or lemon or other flavorings. These are, to quote Robert Palmer, “simply irresistible”. Thank you to my Cousin Judy for sharing her recipe. I used a small ice cream scoop to make the rounded shape but a spoon would work, too. Adapted from Taste of Home.

The dough must be thoroughly chilled. No short-cuts. Completely chilled dough is a must.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, oil, and sugars until combined.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  4. In two additions, add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined. Do not overmix. Dough will be kinda fluffy and light!
  5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookie, or until edges and bottoms are lightly browned.
  8. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Recipe Notes

These are good for at least a week, but best within the first 3-4 days. After a few days, they get crumbly and a bit on the drier side – still a delicious cookie though. 

These freeze really well!

Pumpkin Empanadas

These make a wonderful appetizer. Or dessert, a little like a hand pie. They are sweet and you can make them a bit more savory by reducing the brown sugar. They are addicting. Adapted from By Tablespoon Kitchens

Ingredients

Pastry Dough:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons ice cold water
1 egg

Pumpkin Filling:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg (for egg wash)

Directions

Set oven to 425 °F.

In mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Add butter and mix with beater until well blended. Add vegetable shortening; mix. Stir in water and egg and beat until well blended. The dough should stick together when held in your hand. Place mixture in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling: In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in the brown sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved into the butter. Stir in pumpkin and cinnamon. Stir over heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and place pumpkin mixture in refrigerator to cool off completely. Filling must be cooled.

Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Take chilled pastry dough out of refrigerator and divide it in half. Return the remaining half to refrigerator. Divide dough you have into 6 balls. On a floured board or table, roll each ball into a circle with a rolling pin. Fill each circle with about 2 tablespoons cooled pumpkin filling. Fold one side of circle over and press down on the edges. You must press edges together to keep filling from running out. Take the remaining egg and put it into a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of water and beat. With pastry brush, brush egg wash on top of each empanada.

Place the first 6 empanadas on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until they are golden and the edges are lightly browned.

Take the rest of the pastry dough out of the refrigerator and follow the same instructions. When you are finished, you should have 12 empanadas.