Apple Crisp (Sundays With Joy)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This week's Sundays With Joy recipe could be used to snag yourself a mate......or do like I do and eat half the pan yourself.  Yep, I did.  I love apple crisp, it is one of my favorite things to make in fall. 

I'm not picky about apples either.  This time I used a mixture of gala and honey crisp, fresh from a local orchard.  Both delicious, mix with cinnamon and load up with a crunchy streusel....delicious to the max! 

Another successful recipe from the Joy The Baker Cookbook, 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

Oh, and see that cute owl mug in the picture, that was sent to me from Dana Rae as part of a mug swap hosted by A Cuppa Kim.  You can check out the recap and links of those participating HERE

My mug came with a great bag of coffee too!  I've used this mug several times already, I just love it!  And it makes a great prop for these photos :)
O.K. back to apple crisp.  Now I know what you are thinking, where is the ice cream on top?  Yes, warm apple crisp is best served with ice cream.  I skipped it this time, so sue me!  It was still fantastic.
I did attempt to serve it with a warm dulce de leche sauce....then I burnt it, so it was skipped too.  I think it was God's way of telling me to leave well enough alone.  Ever need those moments?  I do, just a gentle reminder to enjoy what you have and stop trying to make it perfect.  Message received! 
So I skipped the ice cream or any other topping choice and I skipped the man baiting, oh well.  Maybe next time.  I'll be making another trip to the same orchard for some pumpkins, I guess I'll HAVE to get some more apples too!
Check out other apple crisp posts from my Sundays With Joy group on Bakeaholic Mama

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

No real blog post today....just this picture....because it's true. 
I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  And if it involves a 4-legged furry friend, even better!

Oh, To Be A Kid Again!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh hey, just hangin' with my friend Mickey, no biggie.  Family trip to Disneyland in 1985, one of my favorite childhood memories.  My parents were crazy kind enough to drive from Wisconsin to California (and back!).  What an adventure!

Last week I had the honor of making cupcakes for two little girl's birthdays.  One had a Mickey and Minnie theme, the other was a Dorothy's Ruby Red Slipper theme. 

It got me thinking about the days of a cartoon character being the biggest star you could dream of meeting.  I was lucky enough to meet Mickey and many other characters at Disneyland.  Oh to be young, naive, and thinking this is the ONE and ONLY Mickey in the whole world!

I also remember watching The Wizard Of Oz for the first time.  It was probably around the same time of meeting Mickey.  I remember it being on TV every year.  It was magical each and every time.  Oh to be young, naive, and thinking you had to just click your heels to return everything back to normal. 

I'm fairly new to decorating cupcakes with any sort of theme or characters.  I just knew I wanted to create the magic I remember as a kid.  First up were Mickey and Minnie.

They each had a set of chocolate ears as the main topper.  For Mickey, I did smooth red frosting to look like Mickey's pants, complete with yellow buttons (sixlet candies!).  Minnie's frosting was pink and swirled to look more like a dress, complete with candy white polka dots and even a pink shimmering candy bow.
Next I had to make Dorothy's Ruby Red Slipper theme come to life. 

On half of the cupcakes I covered the frosting in red sugar and then topped them with a shoe made of candy clay.  I was lucky to find a small shoe cookie cutter, it made mass producing shoes much easier.  To make them sparkle I added a little pearl dust and disco dust.  The other half of the cupcakes had a sparkly Emerald City made from melted green Candy Melts,  a candy clay yellow brick road, and words written with melted white Candy Melts.  Together the cupcakes declared, "There Is No Place Like Home". 

All of these cupcakes were so much fun to make.  I was having so much fun that I really didn't take a lot of pictures.  I really just was so excited to get them delivered to each of the birthday girls. 

The night I was finishing up the Ruby Red Slipper cupcakes, I had myself a bit of an "Aha! Moment".  I had just finished a 12 hour shift at my "real" job and was up until 2 AM decorating cupcakes.  I should have been exhausted but I wasn't.  I was so in my zone, doing what I love that the thought of being tired never crossed my mind.  I really love making cupcakes!

Though the thought of one day owning my own cupcake shop would be amazing, I think I will enjoy the here and now.  Staying up late at night working in my own kitchen to bring smiles and sugar to my friends and family.  Working in small batches to add a personal touch to each and every one, that sounds perfect to me, magical even!  I feel absolutely blessed to be where I am and doing what I do. 

Grilled Chili Cheese Fries (Sundays With Joy)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't you just want to head face first into that plate of fries?  No?  Oh, it's not lady like?  My bad!

Once again I'm trying out a recipe from Joy Wilson's cookbook, Joy The Baker Cookbook 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.  This recipe comes from Chapter 3 entitled "I need a hug or a brownie, maybe both".  In other words, comfort foods.  French fries wouldn't normally be my go to comfort food but enjoyed it just the same.

Joy's recipe calls for these to be baked but I decided to give the grill a try.  My Dad had been asking if I had any request for a meal from the grill before summer was over.  I've been craving steak for some reason.  I don't normally eat steak, it's not something I order when I go out, so this craving kind of came out of left field.  It did however make a wonderful partner for my plate of fries. 

These "chili" cheese fries don't actually have chili on them but a wonderful mix of spices that worked out perfect.  I made a few changes/additions to my liking though.  I added peppers, onions, garlic and bacon bits to the potatoes.  With the spices I used Mrs Dash steak grilling blend, a nice salt free option so I could control the amount of salt I added.  I also decided to try liquid smoke for the first time.  I love the smokey flavor it added, it definitely lives up to it's name!

It's always fun experimenting with something new on the grill.  We elevated a foiled covered cookie sheet to bake the fries on.  Because opening the grill to check on the fries caused the heat to drop every time, it took a little bit longer than baking would have.  I also forgot to spray the foil with any sort of cooking spray or oil so I did have a few stuck on fries.  The rest turned out just fine, I was just sad to  have lost a few to a silly mistake.  Oh well, you live and learn!  So a beer, a sunny evening, and a steak and fries dinner with my Dad. Turned out to be perfect!
Want to see some more versions of this recipe?  Check out Bakeaholic Mama's post HERE with a few others that link up too!  As luck would have it, Joy posted this recipe to her blog on Sunday too!  Check it out on Joy the Baker. 
I'd love to hear what comfort foods you all have?  It's hard to pick one but meatloaf and mashed potatoes is mine.  Oh but then there are cookies....or cupcakes?