Archives for the month of: November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

I just want to take a moment and thank all of you who check out my blog. I have almost 2,500 views and that really means a lot to me ūüôā Hope you keep enjoying my posts!

In preparation of one of my favorite holidays, my sister and I made pecan pie for our guests! Not only is baking with my sister a blast, but she also takes beautiful pictures that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do! Check out her pictures here and here.

Both the recipe and the pictures are a special treat! (See if you can guess which ones are mine and which ones are hers…)

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Dig in and enjoy this great holiday with your families!

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. ice cold water
  • 2 Tbsp. ice cold vodka (or an additional 2 Tbsp. ice cold water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 1¬†pie crust, partially pre-baked
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 2 cups pecans (plus extras to line the top, if desired)

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Crust Directions

Pulse together flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Sprinkle in half of the cubed butter, and pulse in 2-second intervals, 2-3 times, or until incorporated. Add remaining butter and pulse until incorporated. Dough will be in little clumps.¬†Sprinkle dough either by hand or with a spray bottle with the vodka and ice water. Then use a spatula or spoon to mix the liquid into the dough, mixing until just combined and the dough sticks together. (You can also do this step in a food processor — just be careful not to overmix. The dough should not form a ball in the food processor.) Use your hands to pack the dough into a ball, like you’re packing a snowball.

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Then carefully pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick round disk. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days, until ready to use.

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Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface, then lightly dust the top of the dough and the rolling pin with flour as needed. Roll out the dough into a circle at least 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick, the perfect size for a 9-inch pie plate.

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Carefully transfer dough to the pie plate, and gently press the dough into the plate without stretching it.

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Use some kitchen shears or a knife to trim off any excess pastry, leaving about a 1-inch border of crust around the top of the pan. Then, section by section, carefully lift the rim of crust so that it sticks straight up, then fold it back about 1/2-inch (towards the outside of the pan) and pinch the crust into itself to sculpt an upstanding ridge. Use a fork or your fingers to form a scalloped edge if desired. Poke the bottom of the crust all over with a fork so that it does not bubble up while baking. Place pie crust in the freezer for 10 minutes to re-chill the butter before continuing.

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If your recipe calls for pre-baking the crust, line the inside of the chilled crust with aluminum foil so that it is gently pressed into the bottom and sides of the crust, and hangs over the edges of the top of the crust. The foil should basically be like a second skin, fitting the mold of the crust. (A chilled pie crust will prevent the foil from damaging the crust shape.)

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Fill the bottom of the crust with pie weights or dried beans.

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Then bake immediately at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

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Remove the crust, and carefully lift out the aluminum foil layer with the beans in it, and set that aside. If any of the crust has started to bubble up, poke it with the fork a few more times. Return the crust to the oven for 10-12 minutes for a partially baked prebaked shell (should be lightly browned), or 15-17 minutes for a fully prebaked pie shell (should be golden brown).

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Filling Directions

Partially pre-bake a pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan according to instructions, then heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon; add eggs and whisk until smooth. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the butter turns brown and fragrant. Slowly pour butter into the sugar mixture, and whisk to combine.

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Stir in chopped pecans.

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Then pour filling into the prepared pie crust.

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If desired, line the top of the filling with extra pecans.

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Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is set.

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If the edges of the crust begin to turn too brown, briefly remove the pie from the oven and cover the crust with a pie crust shield or loosely wrap with aluminum foil, then return to the oven. Once the filling is set, remove the pie and let cool completely on cooling rack, 3 to 4 hours, before slicing.

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Original pie recipe here and original crust recipe here. Enjoy!

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And remember to always be thankful, even when things don’t go your way!

This delicious treat is from Shape magazine’s November 2013 issue. They are crispy around the edges and the apples are soft inside. The apples used here came from Carter’s Mountain near Charlottesville, Virginia and they were perfect! This is a great fall snack and a perfect combo for hot cider, coffee or tea!

Crumble Topping

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Apple Filling

  • 2 firm apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

 Directions

Preheat over to 350. Lightly coat a 12-cup mini muffing pan with cooking spray and set aside.

To make the crumble topping, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in maple syrup until well coated. Use a fork to smash the butter pieces into the oat mixture until crumbly. Set aside.

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To make the apple filling, add apples, maple syrup, and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

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Meanwhile, place 1 tsp of the oat mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup. Use your fingers to gently press down to form  a solid crust.

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Place 1 T of he apple  mixture over each and top with remaining crumble distributing evenly among all muffin cups. Make sure to set aside crumble for the top because it is easy to get carried away and not have enough left to top off the apples!

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Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool to room temp, then use an offset spatula or a butter knife to gently remove from pan. Serve at room temperatureImage.

Enjoy!

Here is a tasty snack that has all the right ingredients for a energy boost! All the ingredients are packed with just what your body needs to stay alert and strong and it tastes yummy too. They are not baked; they just need to be frozen and when you want to eat one you can either pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds, just let them thaw for about 10 minutes, or eat them frozen! Either way you eat them they taste good and they are good for you! Enjoy!

I made these with my sister and her roommates, Josie and Rosanna, who are all very fit and health conscious in an inspiring way! Josie even has a instagram account with thousands of followers and has countless ideas for workouts, healthy food, and inspiring words. Follow her @vmfitness

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into balls.

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Place balls on a cookie sheet and freeze for one to two hours. Remove from cookie sheet and place in an airtight ziptop freezer bag (or other airtight container).

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We tried microwaving some as cookies before freezing them, but we put them in for a minute and a half (too long!) so heat them up for only about 30 seconds.

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Enjoy!

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Makes around 3 dozen energy bites.

It’s fall time! And that means it’s apple time! To kick of fall, I found a great recipe for an absolutely delicious apple cake where you can use fresh apples! The recipe intends to make squares, but I kept it as a cake and it tastes just the same. I already made this cake two separate times, one of which I made two at the same time, which is why there are pictures of two bowls below, and I gave one to my dad’s awesome band and the other to my sister and her roommates. I used winesap and granny smith apples and they both came out great! Enjoy this cake while you still can get some fresh apples!

Ingredients

  • 3¬†medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small square chunks
  • 1 teaspoon¬†cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons¬†brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup¬†all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon¬†baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1 cup¬†white sugar
  • 1/3 cup¬†vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup¬†Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon¬†vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9√ó9 square pan.In a medium bowl, toss chopped apples with cinnamon and brown sugar.

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In a mixing bowl, combine together 1 and 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of white sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, and vanilla until very smooth. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.

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Add dry ingredients (flour mixture) into wet ingredients and mix until just combined.Image

Pour half of batter into the greased pan, top with half of apples, then pour the remaining half of the batter on top of the apples layer. Top with the remaining half of apples. Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Dust with powdered sugar before serving (optional).

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