You can already feel the crisp air of autumn in Upstate New York. That can only mean that apple season is upon us!!! What better way to enjoy apples than by making apple dumplings? Yeah, that was dinner last night! They are scrumptious! (Is scrumptious more delicious than delicious? That’s what I’m going for.)
I only took a picture of the final product because there are way better pictures with the recipe already.
Gotta love love love Cook’s Country, Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen! Their recipes are just a breeze to follow and they just work!
This season, sweet cherries around here have been delicious… more like still are! So in a very spontaneous kitchen move, I made Skinnytaste’s Cherry Custard recipe. It is very fast and easy to put together. I didn’t have white flour and used whole wheat instead… I’m sure that changed the flavor a bit.
It took longer to bake than the 25-28 minutes suggested. I’ll be getting an oven thermometer to double check my temperature. It took my custard a good 40 minutes in the oven to set.
But it was delicious and worth the wait! It tastes like rich bread pudding but with cherries!
The Skinnytaste website has tons of delicious recipes… go visit it! I have made a good number of recipes with great results. Really, my go to website for delicious Weight Watchers friendly recipes.
So… I was on vacation and not crafting or cooking much or posting… did anybody miss me? No worries, I’m baaack!
Before going away on vacation I did finish and mailed out my 3rd quilt! This one is very special. I made it for Quilts for Kids (an awesome nonprofit that upon request will send you fabric so you can send a finished quilt in 4-6 weeks for a sick kid in need of comfort).
*L: Finished quilt (plus husband’s legs). As you can see, they use some really fun fabrics. R: Backing fabric. I really loved every aspect of this project. I’m planning on requesting another kit soon!*
Please, if you feel it in your heart to make a quilt, request a kit! Don’t wait like I did. I had only finished 2 quilts and wasn’t very confident. I guess the perfectionist in me doubted that I could make a decent-enough quilt for a very deserving kid. I can assure you, the quilt is not perfect. But you know what… kids need quilts! So go ahead! Request a kit! Make a quilt! Mail it back! It feels good.
Other than that quilt, not a whole lot happened on the crafting front. Will be back to it shortly though!
Just today I tried this Banana Oatmeal Muffin recipe (I found on Pinterest of course!). It is pretty good. It doesn’t taste like Banana Bread, but it is a healthy variation. A recipe was enough for 12 muffins. From my calculations, that makes each muffin be 3 WW plus points (sometime I’ll tell you my Weight Watchers story, I promise). Not too shabby… great for breakfast or a snack. And this is what they look like…
Speaking of Weight Watchers… I stopped the program while I was on vacation. Eek! I know… bad bad bad… but there was no way, I was going to go home and not eat my mom’s cooking… and tomorrow is back in the saddle, monitoring what I’m eating and exercising (do I see P90X on my future… well yes, I think I do). I’ll keep you posted. First time I tried P90X, I lasted a month… this time I’m shooting for the 90 days!
Hello There!!! I’ve been meaning to post some projects, but they’re not quite finished. I guess I’ll have to change my blog-finished-projects-only policy, so I can keep active around here.
Oh, I did finished something! But the picture is kind of sad and doesn’t show how cool it is. Anyhow… I found this apron tutorial and wanted to give it a try. My fabric stash is not big… it isn’t even medium sized… but I managed to get 4 fat quarters (3 different patterns) that coordinated well and put the apron together in no time. It was super easy and looks very cute when you wear it. Should take a picture of me wearing it…
I am currently working on machine quilting a quilt for my son. As soon as I finish it (hopefully in a day or two), I’ll post pictures. It’s looking super cute already.
Of course, since I’m almost done with my second quilt ever ;D, I had to start planning (meaning: buying more fabric) my next project. In fact, I already started it. I know… I should finish the one project first but I couldn’t help myself.
I’m doing Craftsy‘s Block of the Month (BOM). It’s a free class and includes videos, written instructions and forums! It started on January 2012, so I’m way behind. Every month, Amy Gibson shares 2 different blocks. At the end of the class, I’ll have a finished sampler quilt composed of 24-12.5″ blocks. Exciting!
I chose batiks (or look-alikes) as my main fabrics and Kona white for my background fabric. I bought 22 fat quarters of the batiks… hopefully that’ll be enough.
These are the 2 blocks for January (left: asterisk, right: wonky pound sign). They were super easy to make. Can’t wait to make the rest of the blocks.
And a non-sewing project… I finished and started using the Meal Planner. It is awesome! I just want to use it for a bit before sharing here so I can give you my opinion. I will share more details soon.
Until next time! Peace.
Today I’ll show you how easy it is to make baby food. Pure goodness, no additives. And it is sooo tasty… I know because I taste everything.
1. Prep the vegetables/fruit. In this instance I was making sweet potato puree. I peeled the sweet potato and cut it in small cubes (to shorten cooking time).
2. Set up the steamer. I got a silicone steaming tray at the grocery store and it works perfectly. Steam the vegetables/fruit.
3. Using a food processor (adding water to obtain your preferred consistency) puree your vegetable/fruit.
4. Freeze the puree. I use these silicone ice cube trays and I love how well they work. Each cube is 1 ounce, so it’s really easy to tell how much baby is eating.
5. Pop frozen puree cubes out of silicone trays and store in freezer bags (remember to label your bags with content and date). They stack really well, so they don’t take a lot of freezer space.
See? Easy! I do the same for butternut squash, carrots, peas, green beans, apples and pears. Soon, we’ll be introducing new foods and mixed foods. So exciting!
I was going to write about something else, but tonight I decided that it was as good a time as any to organize my “precious” collection of plastic containers. I didn’t even thought of taking a before picture. Didn’t want to embarrass my mom!
I have a theory… I think that plastic containers reproduce at a crazy rate and they don’t even care to produce even numbers of containers to lids that match.
I’ve always complained about the messy state of that area in my kitchen, so I went for it… I organized it! It looks like this now!
And it only took me 5 minutes! No excuses for having a mess of plastic containers anymore. Now I can find what I need. And look at all that extra room… now I can fit more kitchen stuff!
Like I said yesterday, I love to cook and try new recipes. I love entertaining and use my friends as guinea pigs (sorry guys!) . Don’t worry, I’ll never serve something that doesn’t pass the hubster’s taste test. I try to make something new every time we get together or have our game-get-togethers/potlucks. We have a couple of friends that are gluten intolerant and I feel strongly about accommodating for them (because they’re not trying to be picky eaters… they get really sick when they consume gluten… I take it seriously). Sooo, I had found a Gluten-free asparagus quiche recipe (from Joy the Baker) on Pinterest and wanted to make it for my friend and knew that we would enjoy it too.
I couldn’t find the brand of gluten-free flour Joy the Baker used on her recipe, but I did find Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour on my local grocery store (which I love, by the way). I saw people commented how GF flours vary from brand to brand. I’m not going to lie… I was a little worried. When I made my dough, it didn’t look like Joy the Baker’s dough. It was a little on the dry side. I decided to proceed. It was a little difficult to roll out because it was crumbly but I manage to put it on the pie plate on one piece. The quiche baked beautifully. Wanna see?
Love those golden edges. I didn’t get enough dough to make a fancy edge but I’m ok with that. Then, the moment of truth… I called my “official” taste tester over and I guess he approved because he ate the whole piece I served him. The quiche filling was delicious and very creamy. Oh, but that crust won us over. It was crisp, flavorful, so very delicious and it didn’t taste any different than “regular” pie crust. The kind of crust that you can eat by itself. We got a winner… we’re definitely adding this recipe to our rotation… maybe changing the filling a bit and we have some ideas already.
To round up my gluten-free offerings, I made cream cheese flan (someday I’ll share my mom’s recipe) and almojabanas. Delicious food to share with awesome friends.
Most people that know me know that I love to cook and I love to try different recipes. I also have a husband that loves to eat what I make (*gotta love that*)! He had mentioned a while back that he loved almojabanas and how he would love to have some because there was this place where he would get them and it was only at this place that he had seen them before and… and… and… You get the idea. So being the *awesome wife* that I am (at least I think so!) I found a recipe on Saveur magazine (this was years after the long sad story was told) and got the ingredients. If you don’t know, almojabanas are fritters (popular in Puerto Rico) with a rice flour-based dough and some cheese. They look like this after frying…
Well, let me tell you that they were easy to make and so super delicious! They are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside… and they have melty cheese! What’s not to like?! The recipe made a ton, so I spooned the leftover dough onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper (the dough is a bit sticky) and put them in the fridge for tomorrow. I’m assuming that they will keep well for a day. Fingers crossed… I guess we’ll know tomorrow.
They would be great for a party; the almojabanas fry super fast because all the ingredients are cooked while you make the dough. I will definitely be making these again!