Category Archives: desserts

Simple Kitchen Slow Cooked Applesauce

Applesauce!!!!!

If you have kids you begrudgingly purchase this for $5 a jar. …..Well – NO MORE.Applesauce 10.22I am beyond amazed how delicious my first batch of apple sauce is.  The best part?  I have kids and 2 more huge bags of apples.  This was so easy and it is so delicious and you can control the refined sugar!  Read on for the recipe – book mark it, it is an easy one!

Simple Kitchen Slow Cooked Applesauce

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds
  • 1/4 cup natural sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel, core and chop the apples and toss into the pot.
  2. Add water, sugar ( if apples are sweet, then use less sugar!) cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Place lid on cooker, cook for8 hours on low, part way through I used a potato masher to muck them up a bit.
  4. When done mash again with the masher, and serve! We ate all of ours in a week!
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photo 2 copy

Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread and Kitchen Fails

Ask any food writer or recipe developer (don’t confuse them….someone is bound to get insulted!) and they will tell you that big fails in the kitchen are simply a part of the game!  I have recently gotten a bread machine.  Yes, I know, I am about 18 years late on this major apparatus…but I never really thought of bread as something to be constantly making as opposed to here and there, when I felt like it, on a whim.  Well, as a care woman, wife and busy mom and now a card carrying “label reader” nothing is as  scary as seeing about 15 ingredients the you do not know on a label.  Then, if you happen to know how to bake, costing out an egg, flour, water and some grains…compared to a purchased loaf, which, if quality, is about $4 to $5 for a loaf.  We can plow through a loaf in 2 days over here.  There are 5 of us now, including the nanny and my kids, who somehow went from bottles to grilled cheese in a blink of an eye. Okay, well, I got a bread machine by making the simple statement on Facebook “Is there anyone who has a bread machine they want to sell?”  The first response was “You can HAVE mine.”  I picked it up in 3 days and was on my way to the world of easily made breads.  The first stop was pumpkin bread because in this last week, the leaves have changed, the sky started crying and autumn snuck up on us.  So, I assembled my ingredients, loaded the machine, went to bed, and woke up to this: photo 1 So…yeah, I didn’t do it quite right.  I posted it anyways, and thought, hey, it is okay, have a laugh.  I am trying, and it is okay to fail!  What happened was the opposite..I got ADVICE.  I read the few pieces of simple Bread Machine 101 advice.  I took the advice to heart.  I went back to the drawing board after the twins went to bed.  I PUT THE WET INGREDIENTS IN FIRST.  I LAYERED the ingredients.  I also added some butterscotch chips, you know, because I like them and I think that pumpkin and butterscotch are GLORIOUS together.  Well, I woke up this morning, took my shower, poured my cup of coffee, then peered into the machine…. photo 2 copyVoila!  I am a bread machine master!  I then tasted it – DELICIOUS!  So well blended and it had almost a creamy texture.  Coach woke up with our son, and as I write this in the den they are rolling around behind me, eating the bread and reading a book.  So, I NOW have a recipe to share, tweaks and all!  This recipe is tweaked from Betty Crocker’s Recipe here:

Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread BREAD MACHINE Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup oil ( I used canola)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Grease your insert.
  2. Layer ingredients, wet first, dry to follow in the insert.
  3. place insert into the machine and set for the "bread mix" or "quick bread"
  4. Press start.
  5. Wait.
  6. Enjoy!!
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Fresh & Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

It has been a hot one!  Portland has blessed us with a gorgeous summer and the hotter the weather, the better the berry season, but they come fast, and they come furious!  I have been picking up berries and baking and cooking and freezing them before they mold!  I am a HUGE fan of getting them used while they are fresh or get them frozen to enjoy through the colder months.  I bought an ice cream maker on eBay after watching some amazing photos come across the social media outlets…. I simply could not help myself, and WOW!  It is so easy! Here is my latest creation!

strawberry froyo

Fresh & Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 cups washed and hulled FRESH strawberries
  • 1.5 cups fat free Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp sugar or 2 tbsp honey

Instructions

  1. Put strawberries, honey and yogurt into a blender and blend until your preferred consistency, perhaps chunky, perhaps smooth!
  2. Place in fridge for about 1-2 hours to chill mixture.
  3. Slowly pour into the ice cream maker. It took me about 5-8 minutes for the frozen yogurt to be ready to serve! Uneaten portions can be put into the freezer, just bring out of the freezer for a few minutes before scooping
  4. Serves 4
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Oregon Strawberry and Lemon Oatmeal Muffins

I sing your praises Oregon Strawberries!  So sweet, and bright red all the way through.  We are blessed beyond belief to enjoy these treats, even if it is just for a short window of time!

muffin

 

I had a lovely day with my children.  I took them to the zoo and had the time of our lives laughing at the penguins and oohing and awing over the fishies.  13 month old children are simply the best.  The best!  After the zoo I plopped them into their seats and the quickly fell asleep – it was afternoon naptime and they were EXHAUSTED!

What to do?  The drive home is only 25 minutes and the kids will need at least 90 minutes of rest.  Answer:  Farm Hunting.  This is where you cruise the rural outskirts of the city and find fresh fruit and veggies being vended right on the property.  I prefer this to Farmers Markets even as I really get to see where the treats were grown!  We found an AMAZING strawberry farm about 10 minutes from home.  I bought a flat and went cruising through the countryside eating them, one after the other until the kids stirred.  At this point, I went home.  Uh-Oh, I still have a TON of berries!  what to do?  Well, lets start with muffins because our friends just had a baby and they will need breakfast foods.  Here is what I came up with!

Oregon Strawberry and Lemon Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • BONUS GLAZE:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, lightly beat together the oil, milk, egg, and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix the lemon zest, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix strawberries into the flour mixture. Stir in the oil mixture just until moist. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full with the batter.
  3. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.
  4. OPTIONAL GLAZE:
  5. When cool, whip the glaze ingredients together with a whisk and drizzle over top!
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Simple Kitchen Berry Coffee Cake

Berries!  They come into season and as quickly as they arrive – they are gone!  This is why you must freeze them – so that you can enjoy the fresh flavor of berries in the depths of winter.  After the holiday joviality has been tucked away and the skies are gray….you need something to look forward to.  Summer.  Sun.  FRESH BERRIES!

For starters – you should have picked your berries, washed them, then placed them on a cookie sheet to individually freeze them…then placed them into freezer bags.  This extra step is so you can scoop them easily out for smoothies and muffins and cakes!  Trust me – you will not regret it!

I was so pleased when I was unloading my freezer ( we bought a new fridge!) and came across my berries that were a gift after the babies arrived.  I had taken the extra steps and froze them because I was so busy with the twins I was unable to bake with them at that time!

Simple Kitchen Berry Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup of blackberries (or any berry)
  • TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and soda. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine egg and buttermilk; stir into the flour mixture. Fold in berries. Spread into a greased and floured 8-inch round or square cake pan. Sprinkle with topping and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over coffee cake batter just before baking.
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Simple Kitchen Cookie Contest 2013!

Well, we did it.  We pulled off the first Holiday Cookie Contest!  The winner was Cara Firestone with a wonderful twist on the good old snowball!  White Chocolate Cherry Teacakes were the winner and surprisingly the easiest of all cookies!  Rebekah Hubbard of www.pdxfoodlove.com did Cara proud!  We ate each cookie as we talked about them on the air during a 2 hour episode and then voted!

Cara – your package is on its way!

The prize was BIG, and much fun was had!

Many cookies were eaten!

The ladies spared no feelings about what was difficult, but also shared the fun parts of the cookie baking!

CHOCOLATE SPICE CRACKLE COOKIE WITH GINGERBREAD CARAMEL

you can find this cookie post at www.cookingcatastrophe.com 

Kristin Weglarz of Bremerton, WA

Kristin is a home cook who loves to experiment and create recipes, especially cookies.  During the holidays she loves to use the traditional spices like ginger, cinnamon, etc.  Her father always ate ginger snaps and her mother made yummy Christmas caramels so she grew up partial to ginger and caramel.  Chocolate is simply her weakness.  This cookie combines all three:  ginger, caramel and chocolate.

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PISTACHIO CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS CRISPS

you can find this cookie at www.margaritasintherain.com

Mary Marlow Leverette of Columbia, SC

Mary grew up on a farm in North Carolina and her father did not have a huge sweet tooth.  He like dessert but nothing overly sweet.  The tartness of dried cranberries wee right up his alley.  She first made these cookies with pecans because they are plentiful in the South, but as pistachios became more readily available, I made the switch because she likes the holiday red/green look.    She works from home as a freelance writer and enjoys baking for family and friends.

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WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY ALMOND TEACAKES  *WINNER*

you can find the cookie at www.pdxfoodlove.com 

CARA FIRESTONE, AUSTIN, TX

As her small children get older, Cara and her husband wanted to create holiday traditions the honored their families’ traditions, but create their own as well.  Her grandmother always made traditional Russian Teacakes, and while remembering  her and Christmases at her house, she had to admit to never really liking the teacakes.  She decided to put a fresh twist on the recipe, using flavors they like, and White Chocolate Cherry Almond Teacakes were the result.  Cara teaches musical theater and voice in Austin, TX.

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ROYAL PINE AND PARM HOLIDAY HONEY SANDWICH COOKIES

 you can find this post at www.spoonandsaucer.com

DAVID WILSON, CHICAGO, IL

This recipe harkens to David’s days as a Cub scout and then later Boy scout, camping and hiking pine-laden backwood trails.  As an Explorer scout he learned many different cooking approaches.  In 2010 he entered culinary school and after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago with a culinary degree, he returned to school and earned his pastry certificate.  The These honey cookies are a time-honored classic turned on it’s head with the unique flavor blend of honey, pine and Parmesan cheese.

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CHOCOLATE FROSTED ITALIAN FRUITCAKE COOKIES

you can find this cookie at www.rosemarried.com 

TRUSA KRUSE, EAGLE, ID

Trisha is a fitness instructor living in Idaho, where she grows all of her own vegetables and fruit, preserving by drying, freezing and canning as much as possible.  Both cookies go back to her Italian roots.  Living in Europe gave her a taste for Austrian pastries like linzer tortes, and the cookies are a miniature version.  The fruitcake cookies were served at Christmas time in our Italian neighborhood in Genoa with cups of espresso.