Friday, August 31, 2018

Cinnamon Roll Apple Cobbler

I hope so because you do NOT WANT TO MISS THIS RECIPE
Cinnamon Roll Apple Cobbler is simply off the charts in taste.  Cinnamon and apples are a match made in flavor heaven. This early fall dessert recipe is simple to make since quartered refrigerated cinnamon rolls top the apple cobbler, then the icing from the same package is drizzled on top. Saigon cinnamon is a must for this recipe which elevates the flavor making the dish irresistible. You will need a 2 quart baking dish or a glass 9 x 9 baking dish.  
Recipe was adapted slightly from BHG November 2017 
I substituted frozen cinnamon rolls thawed for the recipe instead of large refrigerated cinnamon rolls. 

Cinnamon Roll-Apple Cobbler

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 TB. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 TB. Saigon cinnamon
  • 7 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples (Braeburn, Jazz, Granny Smith)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-17 1/2 ounce pkg. (5) refrigerated large cinnamon rolls with icing, quartered or 5 frozen cinnamon rolls, thawed

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon and ginger. Add in diced apples. Heat water in microwave until very hot, add in raisins, let sit one minute. Add to apple mixture. Toss to combine all ingredients. Spoon apple mixture into a 2-quart round or square baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 50 minutes or until apples begin to soften.
  • Quarter each cinnamon roll and arrange pieces on top of apple filling. 
Bake, uncovered, 25 minutes more or until rolls are golden. Cool at least 30 minutes. Drizzle icing from cinnamon roll package over top.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

DIY Pinterest Specials

Ever been on a craft  binge? This definitely rates as one since we made so many things over 7 hours and 1 more hour the next day to wrap it all up. The possibilities of each project are limitless depending on size of container/box made, type of paper and colors used. Pinterest was the main resource. We made efforts to be thrifty reusing scraps and using supplies Bernie and Linda already had.  

Be creative and let your imagination run wild with these fun ideas. Are you ready? The table is all set with everything you need.   A tutorial for each project is included. Click on the link.
I am starting with my favorite project- Designer Cookie Box made with a decorated paper plate. A step up from your basic white paper plate.

Scrapbooking paper becomes a bag
one suggestion for making this bag over the tutorial is using double sided tape so tape doesn't show.
a wonderful easy to follow tutorial

gift card pillow boxes-tutorial
gift card envelopes-tutorial
 Brown paper bags from Dollar Store or Michaels and think movie Sound of Music with this idea-
the wording on top brown paper packages tied up with string  
bottom wording here are a few of your favorite things
Gift card envelopes made with circles.
Paper gift baskets-good for any occasion

Did you work up an appetite looking through all these tutorials ? Try a bowl of Creamy Ham, Corn and Potato Chowder recently posted recipe
PS. We treated ourselves to a movie afterwards leaving Bella unattended. We did think we had picked up all the treat boxes and baskets. But guess we had over looked one. When we returned we discovered a messy trail. The good news... apparently Bella does not like Junior Mints as most were still left behind and only one gift box was torn. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Old Fashioned Peach Pie

An old fashioned peach pie to welcome the returning group of DIY Crafters. Each summer a group of teacher friends come to the lake for relaxation, good eats, fine conversations and making crafts. We rotate taking turns coming up with a craft and making sure everyone has the right supplies. Thrift stores are one of our most valuable resources. Some of our previous creative endeavors from years past include:
wine bags made from jeans pant legs and khaki pants
sock cupcakes
framed poems, wire wrapped wine glasses and spoons, cake stands 
starched bowls and
marbelized paper and bags just to name a few. Here's what my living room looked like after they arrived with supplies.
and then they set up shop. 
Linda and Bernie were in charge sharing their Pinterest expertise with the group. Check back tomorrow to see our impressive results. But will give you two hints what's ahead. Each item made was from paper or cardboard and all were some type of gift containers.  

Peach Pie
Cook's NotesSince peaches in general (fresh or frozen) are juicy, this pie won’t be as sturdy as apple pie for example. Frozen fruit will be fine, but just make sure it is thawed, completely drained. 
One of the secrets to a sturdy pie filling is waiting until pie is completely cool about 2 hours before cutting a slice.  I might add a difficult wait for my husband. The pie was terrific and adding  a scoop of ice cream was just the piece de resistance.     
  • Prepared pie crust mix (need a top and bottom crust) or homemade recipe 
  • 8 large ripe peaches
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca
  • 2 TB cornstarch
  • 1 TB. Saigon cinnamon
  • dash of allspice 
  • 1 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. butter 
  • 2 TB. sugar mixed with a 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
  • Blanch peaches for 30 seconds in boiling water, then submerge immediately in an ice water bath and remove skins.
  • In a large bowl mix sugars, tapioca, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon juice.
  • Cut peaches into chunks, add to sugar mixture and coat. 
  • Let peach mixture stand for 15 minutes (stir occasionally) while rolling out dough for bottom crust.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • The peach mixture will be liquidy so use a slotted spoon or colander to drain some of the juices before you place on bottom crust.
  • Dot with butter.
  • Place top crust over filling and flute edges. 
  • Add foil strips around top crust on outside edge which will prevent over browning.
  • Using a pastry brush moisten the top crust with a little milk or an egg wash. Sprinkle with a mixture of white sugar and cinnamon over crust. 
  • Cut 5 vents about 2-1/2 inches long in top crust.   
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 400 and bake 20-25 minutes longer. The juices should be bubbly and noticeable through pie crust vents. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Creamy Ham, Potato and Corn Chowder

Creamy Ham, Potato and Corn Chowder
Cook's Notes: Bring on the soup as we've has some very unlike late summer weather. If you're in need  of a warm-up try this hearty creamy soup packed with corn, potatoes and ham. Pair the soup with fruit or a green salad for a perfect lunch or dinner. To reheat add some chicken broth to thin soup out. Recipe serves four. 
I found this product from Green Giant quite a flavorful addition with corn that has been roasted.
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 3/4 cup diced mini sweet red pepper
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp. each thyme, dried oregano, ginger, marjoram    
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and cumin (kicks up the flavor) 
  • 2 cups frozen whole kernel roasted corn (no need to thaw) 
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham 
  • 1/2 cup half and half or light cream
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar or yellow cheddar cheese

  • In a soup pot heat 1 TB. olive oil. Saute onions, red peppers and celery until soft and golden. Add in flour and garlic cook 2 minutes more. 
  • Slowly add in chicken broth and whisk until well blended. Add in cubed potatoes and bring mixture to boil stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Whisk in marjoram, salt, ginger, thyme, oregano,  cumin, to broth mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
  • Add in cubed ham, corn and half and half. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Do not let mixture boil. Puree half of the soup mixture and return back to pot with rest of soup. 
  • Add in handfuls of cheese and cook just until melted. 
  • Optional toppings:diced green onion or bacon bits

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Fruity Dessert

Big question is it a cobbler, crumble (crisp) Betty or a buckle?
It's A Buckle!
The streusel topping on this cake-like dessert sinks a bit in the oven, creating a bucked look hence the name.
Jump start your week and make this fragrant, juicy dessert or coffee cake that uses seasonal fruits; blueberries and peaches. Adding a scoop of ice cream is the piece de resistance 
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine Network magazine September 2018
  • 4 TB. butter, at room temperature
  • 1- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon, divided or 2 tsp. regular cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries, rinsed and patted dry on a paper towel
  • 1 large peach, chopped or 2 small 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TB. packed light brown sugar
  • 3 TB. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 TB. butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
For the topping
In a bowl mix sugars, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, flour , nutmeg and salt. With floured hands work in 2 tablespoons butter until mixture at a crumbly stage.  

For the cake 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk the flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp. Saigon cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. 
  • Beat the butter, granulated sugar and orange zest in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the milk (it may look curdled). Add the flour mixture and beat, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until smooth. (The batter will be thick.)
  • Dice peaches and mix with blueberries. With rubber spatula fold in fruits to batter, Spread batter evenly in prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle cake batter with topping mixture. Bake until the top is golden and set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool 15 minutes and serve warm with ice cream.
In no special order
Bacon, Corn and Potato Chowder
Lo Mein with Hoisin Meatballs
Tomato Cheese Tart
Cinnamon Roll Apple Cobbler 

The World According to Bella

Today is National Dog Day August 26, 2018
I've been celebrating for two days
First I got to go on a sunset cruise.
And for late breakfast or maybe an early lunch I devoured a hot dog
so fast Mrs. S barely got in this photo.
 To wear off some calories so I can keep at my ideal weight as Dr. Steve says, Mr. C and I went out for a walk. Lucky me, look what I found, another deer leg to add to my collection.
I wasted no time dropping it when I saw the trade-another hot dog. 

Just in case you want to celebrate the day with us Mrs. S found this site for you.

Love, Bella

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Taste of Summer

Cherry Tomatoes
by Anne Higgins

Suddenly it is August again, so hot,
breathless heat.
I sit on the ground
in the garden of Carmel,
picking ripe cherry tomatoes
and eating them.
They are so ripe that the skin is split,
so warm and sweet
from the attentions of the sun,
the juice bursts in my mouth,
an ecstatic taste,
and I feel that I am in the mouth of summer,
sloshing in the saliva of August.
Hummingbirds halo me there,
in the great green silence,
and my own bursting heart
splits me with life.

Some of Ever Ready's Best Tomato Dishes
Tomato Galette

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Caramel Pecan Brownie Trifle

What to do with leftover brownies is a good problem to have and easily solved with Caramel Pecan Brownie Trifle. 
Cook's notes: This trifle is elegant and simply decadent. I made brownies (recipe follows) and had a few left over so you might call this a repurposed dessert. If you need to take a shortcut try Pillsbury Purely Simple Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix, Reddi Wip and Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel Sauce. It's all about the presentation for this trifle. Use a fancy glass to serve like a martini or wine glass. If making a mini trifle use a small glass or even a large shot glass will do. You will have to double the recipe if using a compote glass. 

I would like to dedicate this blog posting to my friend Suzanne whose birthday is August 24th as I know she'd like this trifle as a birthday treat.  
Baileys Butterscotch Brownies Ingredients:
Recipe from with very few adaptions :)
For the brownies

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp.salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee granules (I used espresso powder)
  • 1/4 cup Bailey's (or other similar brand) Irish Cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 TB. butter
  • 4 oz. 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate, bar chopped (I used 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate but a Semi-Sweet Chocolate bar would also work) broken in small pieces, 
  • 2 TB. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

  • Preheat oven to 375 and line a 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil and allow the foil to hang over 2 opposite edges. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl mix the eggs to break them up. Add in the sugar, coffee granules or espresso powder, Baileys, and vanilla. beat for 10 minutes. 
  • Place the butter in a small saucepan, Add broken pieces of chocolate and melt on low, whisk a few times. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder. 
  • Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, add the flour mixture to the batter and gently mix. Fold in the butterscotch chips.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake brownies in the preheated oven for 19-2o minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pan on a wire rack. Cut brownies when cooled, the top part will be a little crackly but whip cream covers it. 
To assemble the trifle you will need the following:
crumbled brownies, chopped toasted pecans, prepared caramel sauce, whip cream (whipped) 
Layer trifle twice with crumbled brownies, whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of toasted pecans. 
A similar recipe from Ever Ready
Baileys Irish Cream Parfaits

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

GET TO KNOW YOUR APPLES Pink Lady , great balance of sweet and tart. Granny Smith , maybe the most popular baking apple. A little more tart ...