Monday, November 9, 2009

Big Plans

This weekend is going to be a cooking weekend! I'm making dinner for my whole family for my step-dad's birthday - it's his 60th! For his 50th, we had a big surprise party, and I made all of the food for that too (that was fun - quite a way to spend a weekend home from college!) I'm planning on making herb encrusted beef tenderloin, cheesy potato casserole, burgundy mushrooms, possibly a soup starter, and probably some kind of green vegetable. Oh, and we'll be making Tres Leches using Pioneer Woman's recipe here. The Burgundy Mushrooms are also her recipe, from her new cookbook...I'll definitely post a review and a run through of the whole dinner, with a wrap up of how everything went!

On a different note, I've started my second quilting project, a table runner for a Christmas gift. My new sewing machine is SO amazing...I didn't realize how jacked up my old one was! My new one works like a dream, and I managed to get the topper pieced and basted in about half a day. The binding is all set to go too, and I made a pieced back as well. I just need to quilt it, then bind it. Shouldn't take too long! It was made with a disappearing 9 patch technique. I'll post more on that when it's done and I have pictures to show you!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Holy Yum Oatmeal

a.k.a. Apple Pie Oatmeal

Ok, this is soooo good. And perfect if you like to go apple picking in the fall, and then don't know what to do with all of those apples that you had so much fun picking.
First things first.....

The Oatmeal

You will need:
a crock pot


2 cups of steel cut oats


I really like organic ones, but you can get regular ones if you want. You can get these in pretty much any grocery store...look in the "healthy" or "natural" section. Also, check the bulk section for a cheaper option! Bob's Red Mill sells them in packages, and I know that that brand is in many stores.

You will also need 3 1/2 cups of milk and 3 1/2 cups of water. Mix the oats and milk and water in your crock pot, stir it all up, cover it, and cook on low for 4 hours. Stir it occasionally if you think about it. Then, portion out into single servings. Should make about 10, 1 cup servings.

For the delicious, apple-y part:

Homemade Applesauce

8 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
I like to use a mixture of granny smith and some other kind of apple - usually Red or Golden Delicious, because that's what my sister's kids like to eat, and so when we go apple picking that's what we usually get. Use whatever you like! The granny smith lends a nice texture and tartness, though, so I would keep that in the mix.
In my opinion, this is an essential tool if you do anything with apples:



This is an apple peeler/slicer/corer...it also works on potatoes. You can get one here on Amazon or I'm sure local stores have them now. They're the greatest...you don't waste tons of apple, and it is SO MUCH EASIER!

This device will leave the apples in a big curlicue....so i then take the entire stack and cut it into quarters. Throw all the apple pieces into a big pot.
Add to the pot:
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
3/4 cup water
sweetener of your choice

With my oatmeal, I like it sweet. I'm also trying to be good, so I used Splenda, about 1/4 cup. You could totally use Agave nectar, regular sugar, or no sweetener at all!

Stir all that together, cover, and cook over medium heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally. As it cooks, the apples will break down. I usually don't even have to mash mine at the end.

Divide into about 8, 3/4 cup servings.

To eat, heat up the oatmeal (it will look super weird when it comes out of the microwave- just stir it!) then heat up the apples, and dump together. This all takes about 2 minutes in the morning! Woooooooo for healthy, delicious, yummmy breakfast!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Welcome!

So, Hi and Hello! Welcome to my new blog. I love to cook and bake, and I thought I'd share my successes and not so successful attempts. I just bought Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food today, so I'm sure that there will be a few of those recipes popping up soon. Can't wait to get started!