Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Necessity being the mother and all, one day a long time ago, I had one refrigerated pie crust, 5 apples and not a lot of time. And a masterpiece was born!

Flat Apple Pie

  • 1 pre-made refrigerated Pie Crust
  • 4 tart apples
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter


  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.flat apple 4

Prepare topping first: cut butter into sugar & flour until it resembles fine crumbs; stir in walnuts; set aside. (this is most easily done in a food processor)

flat apple pie2

On flat baking sheet or pizza stone, lay out pie crust flat.

Fold in outer edge by about 1/8” all the way around, then in again all the way around, crimping/fluting edge as you go, until it’s about ¼” high.

flat apple pie1

Peel and slice apples 1/8” thick into large bowl, toss with lemon juice to prevent browning as you’re peeling.

flat apple pie5

Toss with granulated sugar, flour & spices until coated.

flat apple pie3

Arrange slices in concentric circles on prepared crust, starting at outer edge and working towards center. Repeat with additional layers as necessary until all apples are used, but try to keep height of pie consistent, about ½” to ¾” high.

flat apple pie6 flat apple pie7

Dot with butter, then carefully sprinkle evenly with topping, so that all slices are covered completely to edge. (This crumb layer will seem thick). Gently press down on top of topping with flat (clean) hands, to compress everything together, being careful not to disturb your creation.

flat apple pie8

flat apple pie9

Bake for 30 minutes or until topping starts to turn golden and apples are bubbly and feel soft when pierced with sharp knife. Cool as desired, but loosen bottom of crust from pan while warm if juices seeped under during baking.

flat apple pie10

Top with vanilla ice cream and go to town.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CCCRRRAAAPPP!!! (In a Scottish accent)

I've turned into such a slug of a blogger that I don't even bother to read my own blog anymore!!

Sorry about that. The boyfriend unit tends to communicate with his amore via the interwebs in the evening; he'll offer to log off so that I can log on to do my stuff, but by then I'm engrossed in must-see TV and any inclination to spend time staring at a computer has dwindled to non-existent proportions.

The pony has been good for me. Last week was tough because I was fighting off a head cold (successfully, I might add).

My boss gave me "permission" to "needlepoint" if I should choose, as we've slowed to a crawl here at work in architectural drafting-land. Since then, my free time has been spent reviewing shop drawings for doors & hardware for some 1oo doors, waiting for people to show up here for various reasons and my boss's wife has enlisted my graphic skillz (such as they are) in a small project that I'd just as soon NOT be part of. In other words, I haven't had a chance to stitch!

This past Saturday I did a lot of handyman stuff: changed the whole house water filter, added salt to the water softener system, purged the hot water heater, spread pesticide around the foundation of the house, mowed the lawn (2 + weeks' worth of growth!) made rotisserie chickens, rode the horse, bathed the dog, had keys made, grocery shopped...hhmmm.. I think that's about it. Just when I was about to sit down & stitch, the phone would ring or people would come home and need some dinner.

I have a little progress on PSChristmas Eve, but haven't had a chance to take a photo yet.

And that's a wrap. Pot roast in the crock pot waiting for me at home (providing it didn't burn my house down). "Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipe" contestant, I think....


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wicked Wednesday Wrecipes

Without further ado:

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (canola is good)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup demarara sugar or sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment, no-stick foil, or grease generously with shortening or cooking spray

Beat butter in a large bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the vegetable oil, and continue to beat until combined.

vanilla cookies

(this is after the oil is combined with the butter.)

Add granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg and vanilla, beating on medium speed until everything is incorporated.

Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt all at once using a wooden spoon.

Dough is quite soft. Refrigerate for 1 hour to make handling easier.

For large cookies, use a 2 TBSP scoop, and space dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets- about 6 per sheet – or for small cookies, use small 1 TBSP scoop, about 12 per sheet.

Press large balls lightly to about ½” thick. Smaller balls can be left alone.

Sprinkle tops of cookies with coarse sugar.

vanilla cookies2

(I made the smaller cookies- no flattening is necessary)

Bake large cookies for 10-12 minutes or 8-10 minutes for small cookies, until light golden brown around the edges.

Remove from oven, and allow cookies to cool on baking sheets at least 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks. Store in airtight container.

Makes 12 4-inch cookies or 30 2-inch cookies.

vanilla cookies3

Try to eat just 3!

Look Who's made the Big time!

It's Ree, The Pioneer Woman in the LATimes today!

Congratulations to Ree!

Friday, September 18, 2009

At Long Last...

some stitching!

PS XMAS eve3

Not much....but, oh well. It is what it is.

Just having some "adjustments" to life with riding again. My sleep disorder is wreaking havoc with my energy levels in the evening. I don't have any excuses for lack of lunch break stitching- just being lazy.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes!

What follows is another family favorite- one of my top five faves.

Get a nice loaf of Italian bread or crusty rolls and you'll be in heaven!

Beef Stew

  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs chuck stew beef, cut into 1” chunks (DON'T get "round"!!)
  • 4 carrots, peeled & cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chunked
  • 3 celery stalks, chunked (leafy parts are extra good!)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled & cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 cup flour, seasoned with 3 TBSP essence spice mix*
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup vermouth, or red wine, or beer if that’s all you have
  • 8 oz. Can tomato sauce
  • 3-4 cans beef broth- the regular, 14 ounce size, or 1 humongous + 1 regular
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil

beef stew1

(cast of characters)

Heat large pot over medium high heat, add 3 TBSP oil.

beef stew2

(cut meat into 1" cubes-ish)

beef stew3

(same with veggies, although I cut the carrots on the bias for fun)

Dredge meat cubes in seasoned flour, shake off excess.

beef stew5

Fry in batches over medium high heat until crispy brown on most sides. You don’t want to crowd the pan, and you’re not trying to cook the meat thru- just brown the outside.

beef stew4

Remove browned meat to a bowl and continue with rest of meat, adding more oil to coat bottom of pan as necessary.

When all meat is cooked, add 2 more TBSP oil, and stir in chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ tsp pepper.

Saute several minutes, until onion starts to turn translucent, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

beef stew6

Stir in herbs and vermouth (or wine). Cover pot and steam 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, add meat back to pot with tomato sauce, beef broth and potatoes, stir to combine thoroughly. Add enough broth to cover everything.

beef stew8

Put into crock pot, and cook on low 8-10 hours.

beef stew7

(I've been lazy & using red potatoes so I won't have to peel!)


If pot is oven proof, cook in oven at 275 degrees for 4 hours. Check piece of meat and potato or carrot for tenderness. Bake up to 2 more hours if required.

Good reheated the next day- don't forget to take the bay leaf out and discard!

* Bonus recipe!

Essence Seasoning Mixture (by Emeril)

  • 2-1/2 TBSP paprika
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 2 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP black pepper
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 TBSP cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 TBSP dried thyme

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container or jar. Can be used on chicken, beef, vegetables.


Happy Meals and Happy Hours.
Scroll to bottom photo in post.
Laugh your frikkin' ass off!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Diary of a Foodie was on PBS this weekend during the monsoon. The episode featured up & coming Tasmanian food products.

I think I want to move there instead of Ireland. In fact, today at work while it was slow, I spent quite a bit of time researching just how one does move to Tasmania.
Unfortunately, it seems they only want people between 20-40 years of age, unless you have lots of money, in which case they'll "make exceptions".

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You Can't Have Just One....

Don't even look if you can't handle the cute:


In case that embedded player doesn't work, try this link via copy/paste into your browser:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wicked Wednesday Wrecipes

The Adam unit was looking at granola in the supermarket last week. I recalled a blog I read in which the poster tells of her family recipe for granola that she makes at Christmas. Apparently it's so good, family members won't even let it sit under the tree. Well, of course, I can no longer remember which blog, and the post is probably over a year old. I found this Alton Brown (Food Network) recipe that 20 some odd reviewers gave 5 stars.


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews (substitute pecans)
  • ¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 6 TBSP brown sugar
  • 6 TBSP maple syrup (substitute honey)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins (substitute craisins)
  • 1/4 cup flax seed, optional

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt.

Combine both mixtures and pour onto two parchment lined sheet pans.

Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

granola1(halfway thru)

Remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl.

Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.


Store in airtight container.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Here's my new start on PS "Christmas Eve":

PS XMAS eve2

I think I want to do some specialty stitch in those little boxes, accented with beads.

Have you ever bought a new chart, and carried it around with you because you love it so much and want to just keep looking at it?

CEC Pumpkin Conspiracy

Silks and crows and pumpkins- oh my!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

In celebration of momentarily being by my lonesome in my own house, I bake myself a treat:

Easy Best Brownies

  • 1-1/2 sticks butter, melted (try not to let it get too hot)
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8”square pan with foil & grease bottom only.

brownies1 Heat butter in microwave just until melted so it's not too hot.brownies2 Watkins Double Strength Vanilla. I don't cut my vanilla amount in half- I go for the extreme vanilla experience.

Combine melted butter, sugar & vanilla in large mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat well with spoon.


Combine remaining ingredients and gradually add to egg mixture. Beat GENTLY until well mixed, but DO NOT over beat.

brownies4 brownies5

GENTLY so you don't spray cocoa all over the counter & yourself like I did!

Spread batter into prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes or until it appears set. Cool & serve.


Have a party!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh Grammar Queens!

Windows Live spell check wanted that apostrophe in "Someday's" below; it's making me I right or wrong????

Fixed it! Now I'm happy

Some Days it Doesn't Pay to Get up....

so I'm in the shower this morning, where I do my best thinking, and realize with a sinking feeling that I've already made a HUGE error on Prairie Schooler "Christmas Eve". Here's my progress to date:

Edit PS Xmas Eve

Here's my mistake:

a corrected PS Xmas eve

Yup. It ALL has to come out, and be rotated 90 degrees.


At least I wasn't able to waste my lunch break yesterday adding to this fiasco. Today's lunch break will see me ripping all this out. :^()