Monday, September 10, 2012


I still have a ton of apples. Since I just made Apple Pie Filling in a Jar I didn't need anymore of that. So I made applesauce. Wow how easy was that?!! It always freaked me out, for some reason I thought it was super-duper hard. NOPE! I like applesauce and so does Lukas. The recipe is a little loose, if you have tart apples- a little sugar is in order. But start with sweet apples and no sugar needed. Having access to a food mill makes it even easier. But not a lot of people have a food mill. I'm not even sure why I have one, this is the first time using it. I just herd it was a great tool to have around- oh and I picked it up for $2 at goodwill. But if a food mill is not available all you have to do is peel the apples.

apples washed and cored
water or apple juice
sugar- to taste

If using a food mill no need to peel the apples, if not get going. Then core the apples. No need to cut or chop after cored. Put apples in a large stock pot, fill pot with about 1 1/2 inches of water or apple juice. Cook on medium heat till apples are fully cooked. If you peeled the apples then just mash up with a potato masher. If you have a food mill - run through it and voila applesauce. If you used tart apples add sugar to taste. Can be stored in the fridge or processed in a water bath canner 15 min for pints, 20 min for quarts. Once canned it can be stored for 3 years.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake

I don't make a ton of cheesecake, due to the fact that I don't like it. However it's not all about me all the time. I offered to make dessert for a good friend's baby shower, and she asked for cheesecake. Don't get me wrong I make a good cheesecake, I think it's rather easy. As long as you follow the directions. With baking you can't always fly by the seat of your pants and just add a bunch of crazy stuff, like you can in cooking. It's more chemestry. I personaly didn't do well in chemistry, but I do well in baking and that's all my employers care about. I can read and do math. . I made this cheesecake in 1 hour and 45 min. That includes looking through my books for recipes. There were none for blueberry cheesecake, all of them had the blueberries on top. I was planning on doing that as well as making sure that every single bite had a punch of blueberries. Plus I had a bunch of blueberries to use up.
Lights Camera Cheese-Cake!
For the crust: 
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 cup Butter cold
Combine everything till the butter is pea sized. Press the mix into the bottom of a  8 inch spring form pan, or muffin cups in a muffin tin. If using a spring form pan place foil along the bottom and sides to keep water out while baking.  Bake 350* for 8-10 mins.
For the filling:
2 pounds cream cheese at room temp
1 cup sugar
3 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 eggs - at room temp
 1 cup Blueberries chopped
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat the oven at 325*
Combine blueberries and 1/4 cup sugar.
In the mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla beat until blended. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time just enough to blend thoroughly fold in the blueberry sugar mix. Pour into prepared crust. Place on a larger pan with sides. Pour hot water into the pan so there is 1 inch.  Bake until the top of the cake is golden about 1 1/2 hours for the 8 inch pan, about 45 min for muffin cup size. Let cool in the pan, run a knife along the rim to loosen the crust. Let set 4 hours before serving.

Blueberry Topping:
1 1/2 cups Blueberries
1 TBS Honey
1TBS Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Combine everything and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes until the berries release some liquid but keep their shape. Set aside until ready to top the cheesecake and serve.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Green Pasta

 I made 3 different kinds of pasta a few days ago.  Man did I get myself into a project. I underestimated the amount that I would get. Be prepared to get a nice load of pasta. Don't worry it can be frozen or dried for later use. I gave a bunch of mine away to friends, I even traded some for a freshly caught Salmon. I made fairly healthy pasta. Spinach, kale, swiss chard. I had made spinach before but the kale and swiss chard was new for me. I am not a big fan of chard and kale, but I got a huge bag full from a friends garden. I figured if I made pasta I would eat the leafy greens, and it worked! I even used whole wheat flour. I would say this is the healthiest pasta I will ever make and eat. 
Lasagna Sheets with 1/2 kale & 1/2 Chard
It's nice to have a pasta roller- but if you don't, it can be rolled by hand, it does take more muchels. I bet you know someone that has a pasta roller in a cabinet, stored away ready to be used. That's why I have one thanks to my aunt. If you are looking for one I do see them at thrift stores plenty for cheap. 

Green Pasta:
12oz of greens: Kale, Spinach, or Swiss Chard- blanched
4 cups whole wheat flour 
4 eggs
1 TBS water
pinch of salt

Prepare the greens by chopping them up by hand or in a food processor. In a mixer combine the flour, salt and greens, slowly incorporate the eggs one at a time, then add the water. If the dough is crumbly or dry slowly add more water till it forms a ball.  Let the dough rest for 30 min under a towel on the counter. 
If you’re using a roller, start with the widest setting and put it through a few times, folding it over in half in between passes. This kind of works to knead the dough. Three or four times through should do the trick! At the end you’re sheet should be the exact width of you pasta roller. Then one time through each setting will be fine. If the dough starts to stick dust with flour. I used all-purpose flour since it's less grainy then whole wheat.  My roller has 9 settings I only rolled to 6 or 7 that seemed like a great thickness. Then I passed it through my fettuccine cutter. Or don't cut it and have lasagna sheets. Once everything was cut I tossed it with flour and let it dry out on my counter. To store the pasta it can be bundled in nests and frozen, or dehydrated. Cooking it fresh will only take a few mins in boiling water, take out as soon as it floats to the top. Just a few extra mins when it's straight from the freezer. Enjoy your fresh pasta!
Swiss Chard on the left, Kale on the right

Monday, September 3, 2012

Apple Pie Filling in a Jar

I recently was blessed with a huge bag full of apples. I needed to work fast so I wouldn't lose them like the box of plums a few weeks ago. I thought of making apple pie filling. When I want to make a apple pie later all I have to do is make a crust. This was fairly easy. However a small amount of canning equipment will be key. As stated in my post jars-jars-and-more-jars from last year everyone knows that I have way too many canning jars, and I have acquired even more in the last year. I used quart jars, and ended  up with 7. It was hard to say how many apples I used since they were all different sizes. I used about 1/2 of a paper grocery bag full. If you are new to canning and want to learn How to Can this is a great website that will help with the safety precautions. It takes some time to peel, core and slice the apples.
This is only 2/3 of the apples I used
Put lemon juice in the water to prevent browning

Apple Pie Filling:

Apples peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 cups of water
1 cup water
1 cup Cornstarch
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 TBS Cinnamon
2 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1 TBS lemon Juice
7 Cinnamon sticks

Have hot clean quart jars with 1 cinnamon stick per jar ready. Have your boiling water ready, and lids and bands ready to place on jars once they are ready. With sliced apples standing by.
Combine 8 cups of water with Sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Salt in  a large pot and bring to a boil. Mix 1 cup water with cornstarch. Slowly add the cornstarch "slurry" into the boiling sugar mixture while mixing vigurously with a wire whisk.  Once it's thickened up take it off the heat and add the sliced apples. Stir the apples in and quickly add to the hot quart jars leaving 1 inch headspace.  Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
Once it's all stored away you can make apple pie with ease.