I worked on Easter so I had a bowl of ramen when I got home. That isn't exciting so I decided to treat myself to a belated Easter brunch on my next day off ( That was Tuesday). I took the beloved food writer Elizabeth David's simple menu of an omelette and a glass of wine. I made a cheesy herby omelette, fresh baked bread, a big ass salad and a bottle of white zif. The late Judith Jones wrote a cookbook after her husband passed entitled The Pleasure of Cooking For One. I have taken it to heart since I became single. Do I miss spending holidays with my family? The big picture is that I, of course, miss my family. But I seek solace in solitude. Nelson Mandela was once asked being in prison had changed him. Mr. Mandela response was," I grew up.". Oklahoma is by no means a prison but my isolation has helped me to grow up. I am not sad that I had to work on Easter and come home to my dog. I am happy that I have a job and my Beatrix. That in of itself is worth celebrating.
Easter 2019 weekend looked a little different for us this year. As my family is preparing to move, we were sorting and packing to lead up to our first ever garage sale on Saturday.It was a success, but the work didn't stop there. Later in the day, I happened to stop in awe of these cactus blooms to enjoy them for a few minutes. I ended up painting two rooms on Sunday and three sets of cabinets...whew. We haven't been eating home cooked meals regularly, and Easter was no different. We ended up eating out at one of our favorite restaurants called the The Cornish Pasty. Love me some Scotch Eggs and Cubano Pasty with Mustard Creme Sauce. Delicious!
This was my Easter weekend.
Photo shoot with my friend TK for a fundraiser for Angel Flight. Brews & Props. Afterwards we joined our friend Nora at her splash art exhibit at a local gallery
And then Easter morning with husband and our church family celebrating our risen King
Amy, Nikita, Georgia and Jen
I recently scored a bunch of Pillsbury Pie Crusts for next to nothing. They are all expiring this week, so my challenge for this week was finding other ways to use them. My favorite pie crust alternative so far is making empanadas. This time I tried out a recipe on Pillsbury’s website for “Chicken Empanada Cones”.
The issue I had was that the soup in the recipe is not available – I think they stopped making it. I substituted 1 tbsp. of canned diced jalapeños, 1 cup of black beans, and ¼ cup more of Classico Spicy Red Pepper sauce. Close enough.
These were tasty, but I think a good empanada could be achieved without so much effort. If I made these again, I would skip the honey and raisins since I didn’t notice them in the final product, and probably double the jalapeños because it wasn’t spicy at all. My husband preferred a different batch of empanadas that I made a couple weeks ago – seasoned ground beef and a bit of cheese inside, and the outside is brushed with egg. Way easier too.
I thought about making hot pockets but I just saying "Hot pockets!" and not getting them made. So I grabbed my beloved copy of Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook to find what I could find. Guess what? I found apple dumplings! I only had 2 apples but that's enough. I cranked up Bob Marley and got down to business.
From Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook
It's the method of adding pastry jackets that's different- try it
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup cold water
6 medium apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup hot water
Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until about the size of small peas. Add cold water, a little at a time, mixing with fork until particles form a ball when pressed together. Roll out on a lightly floured board 1/8" thick. Cut in 6" circles.
Peel and core apples; place 2" apart in a greased casserole or 13"x9"x2" pan. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup sugar. Divide mixture and put in centers of apples. Dot with 2 Tbsp butter.
Fit pastry circle over each apple, barely tucking it under. Prick pastry in several places. Bake in very hot oven (450°F) about 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and remaining 2 Tbsp butter; add hot water. Simmer 5 minutes. Pour over dumplings; return to oven at once and continue baking 15 minutes, or until apples are tender. Serve warm or cold with cream or vanilla ice cream. Makes 6 servings.
I had one for lunch with a couple of wedges of cheese.
Note: No chance of dumplings having a soggy undercrust. There's no pastry under the apple.
Looks like Nikita and I had an extra busy week.
Very thankful to Jen and Amy for keeping the Saturday Bites train moving along
Until next week,
Jen. Amy, Nikita and Georgia
This week was my week and I challenged everyone with jams, jellies and preserves.
Make your own or make something with it in it.
I made a classic pound cake and served it with sweetened marscapone and homemade strawberry preserves
I think this might be a great replacement for strawberry shortcake.
Try it. You won't regret it
I’ve never made jam before. And technically, I still haven’t made jam. My 13-year-old did this one on her own! We went for blackberry jam since blackberries were on sale. It turned out good. I’d prefer it to be a little less sweet, but that’s not her fault – she followed the recipe. 😊
My recipe isn't very exciting this go round.
I made a strawberry preserves syrup by combining a few tablespoons of preserves(I used Bonne Maman preserves) with some water in a saucepan. The heat on low I stirred the mix for a minute then added a little Splenda and about 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Whisk for a bit then turn off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes in the saucepan. Lovingly pour over waffles, pancakes or whatever.
If you go to Bonne Maman's websites there's a plethora of recipes and ideas for their leftover jars.
Nikita is beyond busy this week.. So she is taking a pass..
Making preserves doesn't take nearly as much time as you think. It's oh so worth it.
Until next week.
Georgia, Jen, Amy and Nikita
I intended on making something really fancy with Kiwis beause they are so exotic and deserve to be on some beautiful dessert, but time did not allow. I whipped together this Kiwi Salad instead with strawberries, blueberries, and a honey-lime dressing. It was a delicious treat on a beautiful spring day looking out over the pool.
I'm in Georgia this week. Yep.. Georgia in Georgia.
So cooking and baking were not really on my list of things to do this week.
Visiting friends and family was. So I did.
But kiwi was on the menu. I found this fun little smoothie joint called Freshens.
They had a Strawberry Kiwi Lime smoothie.. Challenge completed.
It was delish by the way.
I got excited about this challenge mainly because I got to use my new cast iron skillet. It's the little things.
I popped South Pacific on the record player and got busy. South Pacific because it felt right.
I wanted to try something different and I initially found a recipe for kiwi bread (which I may still bake) but again...new cast iron skillet. Rachael Ray's website must have sensed something because her recipe for Kiwi Breakfast Cake turned up. Cake for breakfast? Yes, please!
So here's Kiwi Breakfast Cake
From Rachael Ray Every Day
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