Though it is almost the first of November, I am proud to say that South-Eastern Pennsylvania has already accumulated some small amounts of snow. Now of course, the location of your home dictated how long those feathery flurries lasted, but it was sure fun (at least somewhat) while it did. Yesterday we experienced 20-40 mph winds, constant showers, hail, and of course snow, that lovely lovely snow. With hints of what the day would entail from the big game the night before, Tuesday, October 28th was just one of those days where you wanted to sleep in all day, surrounded by comfy down pillows and warm blankets, watching through your frosted windows what mayhem sweeped across the land. But we are not all so lucky, and I had to venture out into the mess, with umbrella in hand, and boy let me tell you it was quite an experience. Inverted umbrellas, icicles in the rats nest which now made up my once straightened locks, and brush burns from being slammered in the face by sleet and snow always make a woman feel her best don't they? It was a long day but I was so glad to come back home, put on a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup and sip a nice hot cup of cocoa. Luckily, the Nor-Eastern which brought all this horrible weather about is finally passing through, and come Halloween it will be sunny and warm-er than yesterday or today (currently 38 degrees.) If I don't get to tell you then, I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Come the middle of October I am completely enthralled with cooking; baking especially. I conjure up ideas in my head, gather the ingredients, and make tasty comfort food for my family, friends, and loved ones. I DVR all of my favorite cooking shows, watch them when I get the chance, and then use their recipes as the inspirations for my own creations. Seasonal magazines are also a must in my kitchen, such as Country Living, Martha Stewart Living, and Gourmet. The pictures alone get my creative kitchen juices flowing and I often times find myself jotting recipes on anything within reach, such as receipts, junk mail, etc. Just yesterday I felt like baking, so I made an apple crisp pie. Using, ehem.. store bought crust and store bought apple crumble, I used up all of my past-their-prime Macintosh's, added some pumpkin spice and cinnamon, and piled up the ingredients. There is nothing like compiling a recipe on a whim, simply based on whatever is stocking the kitchen shelves. I try not to waste food, so if a few apples begin to go bad I'll make apple sauce or if the tomatoes have reached their peak, "sun dried" tomatoes. Last night I brined some pork chops, and made a roux out of white wine, butter and flour, tossed in some thyme, dried cranberries and sauteed onions, and voila! Parmesan thyme risotto accompanied the dinner along with steamed broccoli florets, and dinner was served in no time. The chill in the air makes people crave those feel good foods that not only make your house smell amazing, but they taste amazing as well. Here's to using simple accessible ingredients to serve up delicious comfort foods!
Apple Crumble Pie:
1 store bought pie crust (or homemade if you're so inclined ;)
1 box T. Marzetti Apple Crumble Mix w/ 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pound sliced Macintosh apples (or whatever you have on hand) about 2.5 cups
2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. pumpkin spice or all spice
1 Tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice (to preserve apples)
1 Tbsp. flour
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay pie crust in round pie pan, poking the sides and bottom with a fork as well as creasing the edges. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes until crust is golden. As crust bakes, cube 5 tbsp. cold butter and incorporate into Apple Crumble mix (or use a food processor.) Place in fridge. Mix apples, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, flour, salt and vanilla and fill pie crust. Top with chilled crumble topping and drizzle with maple syrup. Brush an egg-wash onto the crust prior to placing in oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until apples are tender and crumble topping is golden. Let slightly cool and enjoy!
Ps: Sorry no post-baking photo, my camera fell in Metayo's water bowl and I was frantically trying to save it ;) But it still works thankfully!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Has anyone caught the Food Network commercials that have announced a BRAND NEW season of Barefoot Contessa, as well as an all new series from Giada DeLaurentiis, called Giada at Home? Being that the two above are my all-time favorite show hosts on the channel, I am uber-excited. Not only does the fall bring new sights and smells, but also new shows! I have been watching these two cookin' ladies for several years now, and although I can only really say I've attempted a handful or so of their recipes, I love the way in which the shows are filmed, and the fresh ideas that they take on common grocery items.
Now that it is officially Fall, I have been bitten by the cooking bug and have been whipping up concoctions all week long. Last night at 9:00 P.M. I decided that I would make sweet potato pie. How do you make sweet potato pie you ask? Well I wouldn't be able to tell you, but I knew I had some ginger-snap cookies that were going to go to waste as well as a can of sweet potatoes, so I figured why not? After a few additions and mistakes, I whipped up a Sweet Potato pie which my family all loves, just in the knick of time too (10:30 P.M.) ;) Today, I saw some button mushrooms that needed to be used, so I figured that I would whip up some Chicken Marsala for my sister who has been asking me to make her a "creamy pasta dish." Theres something about fall, and that cold nip in the air that makes you crave comfort foods, and makes me yearn to be in the kitchen, creating some new dishes that will entice my loved ones senses and of course make their belly's happy. Please do tune onto the Food Network on October 18th @ 1:00 P.M. if you hadn't already planned, or of course set your DVR to record for the two lovely new shows. Heres to Falls new beginning and the start of some comforting kitchen creations and celebrations!
ps: How could I forget, Food Network has also created a new Magazine!! Check it out here