Sunday, November 25, 2012

My favorite apple crisp recipe...

I'm sure I've mentioned before how much I lovvvvve fruit crisp. This year for Thanksgiving, instead of attempting another apple pie, I decided to go with a crisp. I just really love the buttery crunch. In my opinion, it gives it an extra special kick that apple pie doesn't have. Whenever I make a crisp, I loosely follow Ina Garten's recipes. However, over the years, I've found a few tricks that I like better. Here is my apple crisp recipe,

  • 5 pounds crisp, tart apples (I used Granny Smith here.)
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crumb Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups flouf (Half white with half whole wheat is great, if you have it.)
  • 3/4 cup granulated
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (You may be able to use less. Just make sure all of the crumb topping is "wet" with butter.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 baking dish

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, melted butter and walnuts in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

Bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

This twice baked potato casserole is one of our family favorite side dishes. It definitely isn't the healthiest thing in the world, but it makes enough to feed an army! It's great for potlucks or family get togethers for that very reason. Here is how you make it,

  • 5 lb russet potatoes
  • 10 slices bacon
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 0.25 c chives, minced (I omitted because green onions and chives are one thing I really don't like!)
  • 2.5 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 0.5 t pepper
Directions -

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Boil potatoes over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender and easily pierced with a paring knife.Transfer to a colander to drain.
2. While your potatoes are cooking, cook bacon until crisp and browned, turning once. (We bake in the oven at 425 for 17 minutes.) Transfer to paper towels to drain. Chop in to bacon bits.
3. With an electric mixer, whip the potatoes. Add the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream, and stir until combined and smooth. Add the chives, 2 cups cheddar cheese, half the bacon, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
4. Transfer to a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, bacon and a generous amount of black pepper. Bake until top is slightly golden and potatoes are heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; garnish with remaining bacon. Serve immediately.

(Note, this picture is before the final step of baking these. If possible, I prefer to finish them off wherever we're eating, so they're nice and warm when served!)

See other great recipes at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Heath Bar Ice Cream Cake

It was almost 80 degrees here in Kansas City today, so we're flashing back to a summer recipe I never got around to sharing. When my husband turned 35, he requested an ice cream cake. It just happened to work out that ice cream sandwiches were on sale for $1.99 a box, so I decided to use this fake-out ice cream cake recipe instead of paying a fortune for a DQ cake.

This is the recipe,

24 ice cream sandwiches
8 oz Cool Whip
1 cup of Heath candy bar chips (You really could substitute any candy, but the Heath chips are easy!)
1 bottle of chocolate syrup
1 jar of caramel syrup


  1. First Layer: 12 ice cream sandwiches, placed over bottom of an 8x13 pan
  2. Second Layer: half the container of Cool Whip
  3. Third Layer: half of the Heath chips, topped with half of the chocolate syrup and half of the caramel topping
  4. Fourth Layer: the rest of the ice cream sandwiches
  5. Fifth Layer: the rest of the Cool Whip
  6. Sixth Layer: the rest of the Heath chips, topped with the rest of the caramel topping and the chocolate syrup
  7. Freeze for 6-8 hours and eat as desired.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Our sweet little, and the reason I've been out of commission...

Just after we moved in to our new house, we discovered I was pregnant again! We were absolutely thrilled, and the timing was so great since we had an extra bedroom. At 6 weeks, life met us with a major blow, and I miscarried. I know, of course, that miscarriages are super common. I just didn't see it coming at all. We were absolutely devastated...and then imagine my surprised when I found out we were pregnant again...only 4 weeks later. It was a worrisome first trimester (and a really long one with a short break!) but we've come out on the other side! I'm so happy to share a pic of our sweet little, and I ask for your prayers as this pregnancy, like my last, is high risk due to a low HcG hormone. Believe me, we'll be praying too!

As I start feeling a little better and as the holidays set in, I hope to have more time to update! Life just gets crazy sometimes, and the blog is the first thing to go. That being said, I'm ready to get back to it!