Apple Pie Filling (nutmeg free)

We are getting ready for fall and what better way than to make apple pie filling. I prefer it deconstructed anyways without a crust but I make mine ahead of time and in large batches so I can store it in the freezer and enjoy it over ice cream all year round. (After we go apple picking in a few weeks, I will update this post with pictures). I just am so excited to stock my freezer up that I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you! I am also so excited to take Jellybean apple picking with us this year!

Ingredients:

  • 8 apples washed, diced and cubed (you can peel them if you want to)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • dash of cinnamon (or more depending on what you like)

Steps:

  • mix all ingredients together and spread over a baking sheet.
  • bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes
  • allow to cool for storage (I use freezer gallon bags because they lay flat and take up less space) or serve immediately.

 

Salad…in a jar

As summer spirals down, we are trying to get the most out of our garden. I picked the last of my tomatoes and made 5 jars of homemade tomato sauce as well as picked 10 cucumbers and 2 fat zucchinis. I was telling him I think next year we are going to skip the cucumber plants since I have harvested close to 46 this year from one plant. Thank goodness I didn’t plant multiples. I decided to get rid of our tomato plants and cucumber plant from our garden since the plant keeps getting bigger but not producing anything and let me tell you, it looks so bare now. We have been blessed with a ton of rain which has been amazing and not too much fun. There’s nothing worse than being out running errands with Jellybean and being caught in the downpour. I am grateful for my rain shield (thanks uppababy) that goes over the car seat that was able to protect her because I looked like I had hopped out of the shower and put on clothes right out of the washing machine.  Anyways, after spiralizing 6 zucchinis I figured why not put some in the salad this week.

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You always want to start with the bottom and work your way up. Think about it, you don’t want to put the dressing on the top and have everything get soggy. Plus when you flip the jar then your dressings and toppings are at the bottom of your bowl.

Bottom to top:

  • Salad dressing (chipotle ranch)
  • beans (kidney or black)
  • green pepper, diced (garden)
  • onion, diced (garden)
  • zoodles (zucchini noodles)
  • coodles (cucumber noodles)
  • lettuce
  • a lime wedge

Ragu remixed

This weekend we harvested a ton of vegetables for our little garden. A few of you have asked what I consider to be a little garden, well our backyard is an acre big but my little garden is only 4 feet by 8 feet so relatively little compared to the size of our yard. We are hoping to expand it next year by another 4×8 feet. to grow more zucchini and less cucumbers. We have had so many cucumbers this year that I don’t think I want to eat cucumbers or grow them for a really long time.

We made a batch of Zucchini noodles or “Zoodles” this week and I recently learned that you can spiralize potatoes so I can going to try it out next week.

Anyways I made some ragu from the tomatoes and peppers from the garden.

Need: 1 lb of ground beef, sliced and diced peppers (3 total),sliced mushrooms, and homemade tomato sauce. You also will need your zoodles.

Cook your ground beef then strain out the fat, add in your seasonings (black pepper, sea salt and paprika). Add in your peppers (yellow and green) and mushrooms. Then simmer in your homemade tomato sauce. Lightly blanch your zoodles into the meat mix for about 3 minutes so that they don’t get soggy.

 

No Campfire Needed

This past week was National Campfire Day so we celebrated with S’mores! An easy and delicious treat made over a campfire consisting of marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers.  Well, we don’t have a fire pit in the backyard or live near a camping ground so I made s’mores in the oven. Its quick and easy and you can enjoy them all year round.

Need: 1 sleeve of graham crackers (cinnamon is my choice), 3 packs of chocolate (milk, Hershey’s) and big marshmallows.

start by heating your oven to 350 degrees and layering your oven safe dish. Layer down graham crackers (suggestion pre break them into squares), chocolate, marshmallows, and then grahams again and cook it for about 10-15 minutes or the marshmallows become soft and gooey.

Hawaiian Chicken

Over the weekend we had Jellybean’s baby blessing. There is just something about going back home that I will never miss. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, my husband is from the Central Illinois area and something about going home and being with your family is absolutely the best. My in laws, brother and sister in laws and my family all joined us for this joyous occasion. After the ceremony where they blessed my sweet baby and gave her a name in our church and added her to our records we feasted on yummy salads, cheeseburgers and banana cake. I am thankful for my family and the love they show me.

It brings me back to a movie I watched with my husband recently, Lilo & Stitch and how in Hawaii family is everything.  My husband served a 2 year mission in Hawaii through our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and I am always looking for great things to make that make him think of the wonderful time he had while serving.

This week brings me to Hawaiian Chicken. Its something I have made in the past that I know he enjoys and its easy to whip up as meal preparation and serve for lunches during the week.

ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 can of diced pineapple (you can use fresh, it just wasn’t on sale)
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • BBQ sauce of your liking (I like sweet baby rays)
  • sea salt and pepper

Cook the chicken until browned then add in Sea salt and pepper. Then add in the pineapple and green onions. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add in the BBQ sauce.

I added roasted zucchini and 1/4 cup of brown rice to the meal and called it lunch. Enjoy!

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Breakfast or Dessert, you pick!

There is always something so comforting about cinnamon rolls. Not sure if its the way they smell when they bake or the nostalgia I get when eating them. I think back to college when cinnamon rolls were cheap and you could get a pack and cook them up and eat them either for breakfast or as a late night dessert when studying. I was reminiscing about college (GO EIU!!) with my husband a few days ago and I was thinking back to my late night study sessions with friends and how on the weekends we would try different things with ordinary meals. That’s when we discovered cinnamon roll waffles. Yes, its really a thing and super easy to make. You buy a roll of cinnamon rolls at the grocery store, I prefer Pillsbury but any will do. you individually separate them out and you roll them out with a rolling pin until flat. Then comes the fun part, you place them in your waffle maker and then serve with that delicious warmed up frosting. We added some homemade strawberry rhubarb jam and called it breakfast. img_0585.jpg

Chicken Salad

This week I called my mom to find out how she always made her chicken salad. We talked on the phone for a little while before Jellybean woke up from her nap. I will take any suggestions people have on getting a newborn to nap anywhere other than on me. Its getting a little ridiculous (at least she sleeps in a crib at night). Anyways, I remixed her classic recipe and made it my own.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pink lady apples, cubed
  • 1 bunch of green onions thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks of celery thinly sliced
  • 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken, cubed (I used the other half for dinner this week)
  • 1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 1 and a little cups of mayo
  • sea salt, pepper and of course paprika

Mix all ingredients together! Easy and super tasty.

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