Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice! Apple mini pies

Apple Hand Pie

Apple Hand Pies

What is sugar & spice and everything nice?  If you guessed mini apple pies you are right!  This is the first time I made apple hand pies. They couldn’t be easier or more delicious.  In my opinion anything with a fantastic homemade crust with cinnamon and apples is delicious.  Hands down … this is a winner.  ENJOY!

French Pastry Pie Crust (I love this pie crust – it comes together beautifully)

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
5 tablespoons water
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Mix well, then cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. In a small bowl, combine egg, vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of water. Whisk together, then add gradually to flour mixture, stirring with a fork. Mix until dough forms a ball. Add one more tablespoon of water if necessary.
3. Allow dough to rest in refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling out.

Source:  Allrecipes.com

Apple Filling:

2 cups small diced (peeled) Granny Smith apples or your favorite apple
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water)
Crystal sanding sugar (optional)

Directions:

Make the filling:

In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

Apple Hand Pie

Assemble the pies:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out.

Using a 4-inch (or whatever size you want your pies to be) circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles.

Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.

Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).

Bake the pies for about 17 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.

Apple Hand Pie

 

Reuben Pizza

Tastes like a reuben sandwich

I love that pizza is so versatile and there is no end to the creativity of toppings.  This pizza tastes like a Reuben Sandwich. So easy … and oh so good!  ENJOY!

INGREDIENTS:
1 (1 pound) pizza dough
1/2 cup thousand island dressing
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
6 ounces deli sliced corned beef, cut into strips
1 cup sauerkraut – rinsed and drained
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a large pizza pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pizza dough out into a large circle about 14 inches across. Transfer to the prepared pizza pan and press up the sides.
2. Spread the salad dressing over the crust. Sprinkle with the Swiss cheese. Arrange corned beef over the cheese, Top with sauerkraut
4. Bake for approximately 24 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese melts and toppings are heated and crust is golden brown.

Pizza Dough – This is the best pizza dough I have tried.  It is super easy, but you do need to remember to make it the day before as it sits in the fridge overnight.

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups water (ice cold)
1 tablespoon sugar
cornmeal (or semolina flour) for dusting

Directions:
1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
2. Add the oil, water and sugar and mix until it forms a sticky ball of dough.
3. Knead on a clean surface for 5-7 minutes adding flour if it is too wet or water if it is too dry.
4. Cut the dough into three pieces and form them into balls.
5. Place the dough balls on a pan, spray them with oil and cover them with plastic.
6. Place the dough in the fridge and let it rest over night or up to three days.
7. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into discs. Lightly flour the discs, spray them with oil, cover them with parchment paper and let them rest for 2 hours.
8. Flour (or oil) your hands and lay the dough across your knuckles. Lightly bounce the dough on your knuckles, turning it and stretching it until it reaches the size that you want.  Or … alternatively, roll out and shape into pizza pan.
9. Place the dough on a baking pan dusted with cornmeal.
10. Add your pizza toppings.
11. Bake in a preheated 450F oven until golden brown on top, about 20-22 minutes.

Source:  Closetcooking.com

Corned Beef, Swiss Cheese - tastes like a reuben sandwich

Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus

Edamame what?  Edamame also known as soy beans makes an incredible hummus. I grow Edamame in my garden.  Why??  Because I can .. and because Edamame, any way you serve it, is delicious and full of health benefits.  Fresh is the best, but if you are not growing it in your garden you may also find it in your fresh produce section of your local market or in the frozen section.  ENJOY!

Source:  Foodnetwork

Ingredients
1/2 pound frozen shelled edamame (green soy beans), about 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons), juiced
1 clove garlic, smashed
3/4 teaspooon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Suggested serving: Sliced cucumbers, celery, and olives

Directions
Boil the beans in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, or microwave, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.

In a food processor, puree the edamame, tahini, water, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix until absorbed.

Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the parsley and drizzle with remaining oil. Serve with the suggested vegetables, or refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.

Edamame Hummus

Sweet N’ Sour Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai Cucumber Salad

This is not your traditional cucumber salad … it’s so much better.  It combines some of the Thai flavors I have come to love.  My garden had a bumper crop of cucumbers this year and even after canning Dill Pickles and Bread and Butter Pickles I still had an abundance.  I won’t be needing an excuse to make this salad again.  ENJOY!

Sweet N’ Sour Thai Cucumber Salad
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt [plus extra, to taste]
  • ⅛ tsp dill [fresh or dried]
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 2 cups chickpeas [canned or cooked from dry]
  • ¼-1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, plus extra to garnish
  • 1.5 large english cucumbers (any kind of cucumber will work)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely minced onion
  • 2-3 extra large carrots
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • ½-1 TBSP sesame seeds
 INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, dill, salt, and minced garlic and whisk to emulsify.
  2. In a medium bowl add chickpeas, minced onion, chopped bell pepper, ½ an English cucumber [chopped] and cilantro.
  3. Pour in dressing and mix thoroughly. The longer you allow them to marinate the more intense the flavor will be!
  4. Next, using a spiralizer or tool of choice curl one english cucumber and 2-3 large carrots [the biggest, thickest carrots you can find] into raw spiral noodles.
  5. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and pour over salad.
  6. Top with extra chopped cilantro and a hearty sprinkle of sesame and chia seeds.

Source:  peasandcrayons.com

Thai Sweet N' Sour Cucumber Salad

Pesto Grilled Shrimp Kabob & Pesto alla Genovese

Grilled Pesto Shrimp Kabob

 

Are you looking something super quick, super easy and super delicious?  Look no more!  Whip up some home-made pesto or if you are like me and have pesto in the freezer it is even quicker!  I ran out of pesto over the winter and determined not to be in that predicament ever again I planted a lot of basil in the garden this year and have made a gallon bag full of pesto already this summer.  I freeze it into ice-cube trays and then put it into freezer bags.  I will not ever, ever buy pesto in a jar ….. bleh!

Load up the skewers with shrimp and veggies and brush pesto over the shrimp.  I added red pepper and green onion.  On a preheated grill these will not take much more than 5 minutes – you do not want to over-cook shrimp … cook just until they turn pink and are no longer opaque.

ENJOY!

 

Pesto alla Genovese

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, salt, and pepper and process for a few seconds until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic and, while the processor is running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until a mostly smooth sauce is formed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Pesto may be made 1 day in advance and kept, refrigerated, in an airtight container, until ready to use. If making in advance, be sure to cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the pesto from darkening. Pesto may also be frozen in the same manner in small quantities for use at a later date.)

Pesto Recipe – Source:  foodnetwork

Spicy Cashew Shrimp Stir-Fry

Shrimp Stir Fry

 

This is a fantastic recipe and a great way to use your garden fresh snap or snow peas!  My garden snap and snow peas are doing awesome this year.  I am quite simply amazed at the height they have grown to … about 4 – 5 feet  tall! Even if you don’t have a garden, go ahead and try this stir fry.  Enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Shrimp
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • black pepper
  • 2/3 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Thai chili garlic sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 large carrots, sliced thinly on the bias
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups snap peas (or snow peas)
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped canned baby corn
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice, cooked according to package directions

Instructions

  • Toss together shrimp, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, plus a couple grinds of black pepper in a bowl then set aside. In a separate bowl, combine remaining soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, Thai chili garlic sauce, and garlic. Microwave for 20 seconds in the microwave, then stir and set aside.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a lark wok or skillet over high heat. Add shrimp and cook until no longer pink on the outside, about 2-3 minutes. Add carrot, broccoli, snow peas, onion, bamboo shoots and remaining oil if needed, then stir fry for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add water chestnuts and baby corn, then stir to combine.
  • Add the sauce and cashews to the wok, then let sauce bubble for 2 minutes. Serve over cooked white rice.

Source:  Iowagirleats.com

Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Salad with Grilled Chicken

 

I love love love this salad and it couldn’t come at a better time as my garden is starting to grow and flourish.  I’m keeping this recipe on the counter as I will be making it again soon!  My lettuce is almost ready to be picked and my snap and sugar peas are climbing to the sky!  If you are a fan of Thai cuisine I’m sure you’ll love this salad.  ENJOY!

Thai Chicken Salad

serves 8

Chicken marinade

1/2 C vegetable oil
2 Tb rice vinegar
1/4 C sugar or 2 Tb Truvia
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
dash of salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – about 2 1/2 pounds total

Salad
2 hearts of romaine, chopped
1/2 large head of napa cabbage, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 C salted peanuts

Dressing
1/4 C rice vinegar
1/4 C Thai sweet red chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar or Truvia
pinch of salt and pepper

Peanut Sauce
1/4 C natural peanut butter
2 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb rice vinegar
1 Tb Thai sweet red chili sauce
2 Tb water

Thai salad with grilled chicken1.  In a ziplock bag, combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade.  Mush it all around, then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours to marinade.  Cook the chicken either on a hot grill, 6-8 minutes a side or in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Allow it to cool a bit, then chop up all the chicken into bite sized pieces.
2.  Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, except for the peanuts, then add the chicken.  Combine all the dressing ingredients then pour over the salad.  Toss until the salad is evenly coated with the dressing.  Dish out the individual servings of the salad.
3.  Stir together the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl.  If the sauce is too thick to drizzle, add a bit more water.  Generously drizzle the peanut sauce over each serving of salad then top with the peanuts.

 Source: mykitchenescapades.com

Thai salad with grilled chicken