Recipe: Sauteed Apples and Homemade Pancakes

Real food… that’s been on my mind with each grocery list, each shopping trip, each meal preparation. I’m finding more and more ways to make things from ingredients (because real food IS ingredients) than to make pre-packaged things or “just add water & eggs” things.

My dear cousin mentioned that she likes sautéed apples with pork dishes – so I’ve made them with pork chops and ham steaks recently.

This morning, I decided to make sautéed apples, with extra “syrupy” goodness, to go over homemade pancakes. While I am trying to really pack our meals full of nutrients, sometimes it’s nice to have something fun like pancakes.

Before I carry on for too long, here is what I used for the sautéed apples:

(Remember, I’m feeding 5 kids and 1 or 2 adults for every single meal. You may not need to make as much as we do, or you might, or you may even need to make more.)

Sautéed Apples

Half a Stick of Butter
6 Granny Smith Apples – peeled, cored, sliced 4 times long ways, 3 times across
4 tsp Cornstarch
1 cup Cold Water
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Melt the butter in a large skillet or saucepan.
Add apples to melted butter.
Cook for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, until apples are nearly tender.
Mix 4 tsp of cornstarch with 1 cup of cold water, stir thoroughly.
Slowly add cornstarch & water mixture to apples, stirring constantly.
Add 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg to apples.
Boil mix for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Homemade Pancakes

3 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 TBS Baking Powder
2 tsp Salt
2 TB Sugar
2 1/2 cups Milk
2 Eggs
2 TBS melted butter (make sure it’s melted! I learned this the hard way.)

In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the 3 cups flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix thoroughly.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs, add milk and butter. Mix thoroughly.
Pour egg/milk/butter mix into dry ingredient bowl. Mix gently – break up large lumps, smaller lumps may remain. Don’t over mix.

Preheat a skillet – I use 2 large cast-iron skillets. Once preheated, pour 1/4 cup batter in 2 or 3 spaces in your pan. Let cook on just below medium, brown on both sides, firm in the middle.

Then, I let the kids choose 100% real maple syrup or sautéed apples and syrupy goodness for their topping.

Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Caramel Apple Pie

As I set out to share recipes with you regularly, I have a disclaimer, if you will.

  1. I am not good at presentation. Pretty food isn’t exactly my expertise. But it tastes good and that’s what matters around here.

Now on to the good stuff!

Caramel Apple Pie

6-7 – Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup – Brown Sugar
3 TBSP – All purpose flour
1 TBSP – Cinnamon
1 tsp – Nutmeg
1 tsp – Allspice
Bag of caramels (I found these awesome little round caramels at the store last time. Usually I have to unwrap the whole bag and dice them up.)

Deep Dish pie crust
Regular pie crust (for the top)

(As I’m getting back to making my own things instead of buying premade, I’ll start making pie crust again. I have a delicious pie crust recipe from my momma!)

006First, the apples. Wash them real well. I do not peel my apples for pie. I just leave the skin on. I quarter them, core them, and then slice the quarters into quarters and chop. Sometime I leave them in slices. Depends on how I’m feeling that day.

Wait, did I say first the apples? First the oven. Heat to 350 degrees.

Apples are ready and waiting in a big mixing bowl. I start adding the other things. Brown 007sugar, then the flour, then the spices. Don’t forget the caramels! And then I mix it all up. I was surprised the first time I made apple pie that I didn’t have to add any liquids, but you really don’t. Now comes the pie crust.

Here is where I struggle, honestly. I scoop the apple mix into the deep dish pie crust (thawed), spread it around, pack it down (and I always heap it in there). Then, I turn the other pie crust over upside d011own on top of it, and I peel the edges away from the pan, and press it down onto the edges of the deep dish crust. I slit the top crust, and put it all in the preheated oven.

Listen, pretty doesn’t go well for me. I always make a bigger mess and end up crying because it didn’t come out pretty. I’m going for knock-your-socks-off taste here.

Put something under your apple pie, to catch the bubbling extras (Maybe I overfill my pies? No matter, there is always bubbling extras when I make a pie). I bake my pie for

done

45 min to an hour – depending on the golden brown-ness (not a word, but let’s just say it is) of the top crust. Then I pull it out. Now, if I’m being good, I let it rest. Until it cools completely. So that it sets up and is really a sliceable pie…but if it smells too good to resist, I scoop it hot, right out of the pie pan, into the bowl, dollop some vanilla ice cream on top, and indulge.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Meatloaf

This delicious meal fills the bellies and is kind of comfort food around here. We love meatloaf dinner – and the subsequent meatloaf sandwiches for lunch.

Because my meatloaf has grown over the years to accommodate the size of my family, I now cook it in a cupcake pan. Each little spot is a serving of meatloaf, and they can be sliced the next day to make sandwich medallions. This works well, and saves me time, as loafing it together was taking nearly 3 hours to cook.

3lb. Ground Beef
2lb. Jimmy Dean Country Mild Sausage
1 box/2 packages Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3-4 eggs (We raise our own chickens/eggs, so if they are small, I go for 4, if they are large, I only use 3.)

I like to set my meat out about 30 minutes before I mix it all up because my hands really get to hurting from how cold it is straight from the fridge. I don’t let it sit out longer than 30 minutes for safety reasons.

Get all of your bowls, utensils, cupcake pan (or meatloaf pan), ready to go. This process is easiest if you aren’t running to the sink to wash your hands at every turn in the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs together briskly, add in onion soup packets, and whisk until mixed thoroughly.

In a large mixing bowl, with clean or gloved hands (remove all jewelry), break apart the ground beef. Next, break apart the sausage over the ground beef. Begin mixing it all together with your hands, making sure to blend it very well.

I’m silly, but I like to make a big hole in the middle of my meat mix, to pour the egg/soup mix into. Then, with my hands, I mix the eggs/soup mix thoroughly with the meat. Sometimes I have to give my hands a rest or warm them under the faucet. (My hands are very cold sensitive.)

Now, I take this mix and I start filling cupcake holes. I fill them level or even slightly mounded. I use a 24 count cupcake pan, and this recipe fills all 24 nicely.

Then I pop it in the oven. I start checking them at 30 min with a meat thermometer. Once they reach 165 degrees, I know they are ready to eat!

I hope this makes dinner simple for you and that your family enjoys the rich flavor of our favorite meatloaf.

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