My Best Apple Pie (so far)

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Ingredients-

  • 8-9 large apples -I like Granny Smith 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter

Method-

Peel core and thinly slice apples. Place in a large mixing bowl. combine lemon juice and vanilla and pour over apples. Toss lightly to coat apples. Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Pour over apples and toss to coat most of the apples. Carefully mound the apples in a prepared 9 inch deep dish pie crust. Try not to let the apples touch the top edges of the crust. It makes is hard for the top crust to seal to the bottom crust. Once the pie crust is over filled with the mound of apples cover with the top crust and seal and crimp the edges.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven to catch any spills. Place the pie on the foil and bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

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Belgium Waffles

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I found this easy and yummy recipe on the A Bountiful Kitchen website and I am going to put the link here so I will not forget about them. It makes about 3 big waffles in my Belgium waffle maker. https://abountifulkitchen.com/belgian-waffles/

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Cranberry Sauce

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Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy and so much better than from a can. This recipe is from my Tokyo friend, Becky Budge.
Ingredients-

1-12oz bag of fresh cranberries

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

1 cup orange juice

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan much larger than you think you will need. This boils up more than you expect it to. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Listen for the cranberries to pop. Turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes. It will thicken as it cools. Spoon into a clean jar or a plastic container. It can be stored in the refrigerator or it can be frozen.

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Sweet and Sour Sauce

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  • 1/4 cup sugar or lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
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The Best Ever Pie Crust

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I have been following the A Bountiful Kitchen site for a long time and Si Foster has some really great recipes that I use often. My new favorite is her pie crust. I have found that if I don’t post favorites here they can disappear from the original website. Please follow the links to see all of her hints and tips on making the perfect pie crust. I enjoyed the flakiness and crispiness of this crust.

Ingredients

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (add the two tablespoons if you at sea level)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening- I used 1/2 cup regular Crisco and 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1/2 cup very cold water-I put it in the freezer when I started making the pie crust. I added just a little more water. Don’t add to much. you don’t want a sticky pie crust!

Method

  1. Mix flour and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening with pastry blender. You are looking for the shortening to be in pea sized pieces.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water all at once. 
  4. Fold ingredients with fork until flour is absorbed and dough comes together. If needed, add more cold water, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough resembles something similar to biscuit dough.
  5. Divide dough in half for two pie crusts. The dough should be soft and not sticky. If sticky, roll in a bit of flour. 
  6. Flour surface and rolling pin well. I use about 1/4 or more cups of flour on surface and spread in circle. Keep the rolling pin floured. 
  7. Flatten dough with hand to make round disc shape.
  8. Roll out from center to about 1/8” thickness. Place the pie plate on top of the dough. The dough should be rolled out approximately 2 1/2  inches past the edge of the pie plate, to allow for the dough to sink into the corner of the pie plate, and also extend over the edge of the plate so an outer crust is easily formed. 
  9. Fold dough in half, lift onto pie plate.
  10. Open and shape to pan, make sure to gently press the pastry into the corner of the pie plate. 
  11. Cut off excess dough if making a single pie crust. If making a pie to be baked with filling, fill the pie shell, top with crust if desired (if making apple or other fruit pies). Follow pie recipe directions. 

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Buttermilk Biscuits

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I found this biscuit recipe on Food 52 and am posting it here so that I can find it again when I am ready to try baking these.

Ingredients-

  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, frozen, plus more, for the pan
  • 2 1/2 cups (310g) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk buttermilk, cold
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Marge Means Bread

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When we moved back to Kingwood in 2012 I became friends with Marge and visited with her at church and in her home. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. She passed away when we were on our mission in the Philippines here is the photo I have of her bread recipe. She used to make loaves and deliver them all the time in her little red truck.

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Japanese Curry

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I met my friend Rachel when we lived in Tokyo. Actually, we met her husband Nate first. It was our first Sunday in Tokyo and it was Nate’s, too. A senior missionary couple, the Snow’s, invited us all for dinner. Rachel came awhile later. I do feel that I have gotten to know Rachel a bit better since leaving Japan. She has a blog Lafujimama.com, but mostly I see her on Instagram. She shares many Japanese recipes and I love her recipe for Japanese Curry. It is a favorite comfort food. You might be thinking why would you need a recipe, can’t you just buy the curry block at the store? My answer is usually, I can buy a brand that doesn’t have much flavor at my favorite grocery store or I can drive across town and buy the one we do like at a different store. Right now, with the Covid 19 stay home in place neither of my stores have curry blocks on their websites for curbside pick up. That doesn’t mean they don’t have it, but I am not going in to find out. Also, Ally hasn’t found them in Montreal at all. Another reason for making your own is to avoid preservatives and gluten.  This is my adaptation of Rachel’s Vegan Japanese Curry Rice. If you want to see her original recipe go here.

Ingredients-

2-3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (depends on how much meat you want)
1-2 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (See my tip on fresh ginger below)
2 to 4 tablespoons curry powder-I tried S&B this time (Start with 2-add more to taste)
1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste at the end of cooking if needed)
4 carrots cut into chunks
2 large potatoes cut into chunks
1 cup green beans or frozen peas (add at the end of cooking)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons apricot or peach jam (I didn’t have either and used fig preserves instead)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (I love rice vinegar, but use white or apple cider as a sub)
2 cups chicken stock (I make mine from bouillon cubes so I can control the strength)
1-2 cups water (start with 1 and increase it until you get the consistency that you like)
1/3 cup cornstarch
Hot steamed rice for serving

Method-

Heat a large non-stick pan or wok over medium high heat and add the onions to sauté until wilted. If they start to stick add a little water. Next add the garlic and ginger and sprinkle the curry powder and salt over everything and stir.

Add 1/2 cup chicken stock, tomato paste, jam, and vinegar and stir to combine. Add the carrots, potatoes and rest of the chicken stock and the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.

Add the cooked chicken and peas or green beans. Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are cooked.

Put the cornstarch in a bowl and spoon some of the hot curry sauce over it. Whisk it to make a paste. Add to the pan and stir until the curry has thickened. If it is too thick add water a little at a time. Sample and add more curry powder or salt to taste. Serve over hot rice. Makes 6 servings.

Tips-
You can use any kind of vegetable you have on hand.

Ginger- Did you know that you can freeze fresh ginger? I bought a piece at the store and just popped it in a freezer bag. When a recipe calls for ginger I pull it out and grate the frozen ginger on my microplane. I don’t even peel it. The peel is not noticeable at all in whatever I am cooking. I was so glad to discover this, no more wasted fresh ginger!

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DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Makes 26

Ingredients-

1/2 pound butter, slightly softened
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
2 3/4 cups Nestle’s Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts

Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for two minutes.

Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with the mixer on low speed for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl.

With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds, don’t overmix.

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) two inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and the center is still soft.

Remove from oven and cool on a baking sheet for about one hour.

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Fanny Farmer’s Raised Waffles

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Makes 8-10 waffles 8-10 waffles.

1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast or 1 1/2 teaspoons
2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, yeast and flour mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.

Heat a nonstick waffle iron. Whisk eggs and baking soda into batter. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter into waffle iron. Bake until they are golden and crisp.

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