Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grandma Ople's Apple Pie

So lately I've had ZERO time to do anything other than work and school.  Life has been very hectic and crazy.  Hopefully I'll be able to still post now and again with recipes.  But honestly, I only feel inspired every now and then.  Especially with the little time I do have to experiment.  Holidays always gets me excited to bake.  Hence, the reason for the Apple Pie that I made.  I was craving a project.  Making a pie can either be a pain in the butt or therapeutic.  And this time, it was SUPER therapeutic for me! I loved making this pie.  I tweaked my crust recipe a bit.  I used butter instead of shortening.  WOW! what a difference.  The flavor is amazing.  I also have an apple machine that peels and slices the apples perfectly.  So, all in all a very enjoyable experience.  It's all about having the right tools.  So I got the recipe from and I made sure to read the comments because they typically have great suggestions to improve the recipe.  So here it is---

Pie Crust Recipe
makes 2 crusts

2.5 c flour
3/4 c salted butter**, diced (cold/ refrigerated)
2 Tbsp sugar
6-7 Tbsp ice cold water

Pie filling & Glaze
6-7 apples, (more if you want that mound in the middle)*
cinnamon sugar,  to sprinkle on the apples
1/2 c salted butter**
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 c water
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar

**I used Fuji apples.  That's what I had in my fridge.  And it tasted AMAZING! Typically, apple pies call for Granny Smith Apples.  
**I prefer salted butter because it adds more flavor, but regular butter is fine as well.

  1. In a medium size bowl, cut butter into 2.5 c flour ( I like the old fashion way)
  2. After 5-10 minutes of cutting in the butter, use your hands to crumble the butter and flour to helps it mix more evenly.
  3. Mix in 2 Tbsp of sugar.
  4. Add 6-7 Tbsp of ice cold water (Mine needed 7 Tbsp). Mix carefully with a fork.
  5. Use your hands to add warmth to the dough to knead it a little in the bowl, and dough should start to form together into a ball.
  6. Wrap dough in plastic warp and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, slice and cut apples.
  8. Get out refrigerated dough, flour counter and rolling pin.
  9. Cut out 2/3 of dough.  Roll out dough and carefully place it on *greased* pie dish.
  10. layer apples inside the pie dish.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over apples.
  11. Roll out remaining crust for lattice top. Lay on top of apples.
  12. GLAZE: In a sauce pan, melt 1/2 c butter, add 3 Tbsp flour, 1/4 c water, 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c brown sugar. Bring to a boil.  Quickly lower heat and allow to simmer until thickened.
  13. Slowly pour Glaze over pie.  Make sure to get all the holes filled with the glaze.***
  14. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour ( Be sure to use a baking sheet to place under the pie to prevent any spill over.) ****
  15. Allow pie to sit at room temperate for about an hour to set.
***It was suggested that you pour the glaze over the apples before you layer the crust on top.  But mine turned out just fine with the glaze only poured over the crust.  So it's up to you.
****I was shocked my baking sheet only had 2 drops.  But still it's better to be safe than sorry.  Wouldn't want to have to scrub your oven.

I'm SOOOO glad I finally tried this recipe.  Every time I would like for a pie recipe to try, this one would pop up.  I love how pretty the glaze makes the pie look.  The glaze gives the pie such a pretty golden color.  Hands down, BEST PIE I'VE EVER TASTED. 

I dare you to try it :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gluten Free and Vegan Pizza Crust

A while ago I purchased a book by Kimberly Snyder called The Beauty Detox Foods.  I absolutely love the book.  She covers all her favorite beauty detox foods and their benefits.  She does suggest guidelines to follow by:

  1. Give up Dairy
  2. Drink the Glowing Green Smoothie every day
  3. Eat more veggies and fewer animal products
Included also is a guideline of meals for 3 different levels, depending on how strict you want to be.  I don't care to much for that.  I just want to focus on the foods she highly suggests incorporating into your every day diet.  So I have been keeping in mind her 3 main principles, and in fact I feel great!

The Glowing Green Smoothie is absolutely delicious.  It's really fun to play with the recipe.  I like to add cilantro, parsley or mint to give it a different taste.  I also change between adding pineapple, pears, kiwi and apples.  So you can change it up and make it fun and exciting.  It took me about a couple of weeks to actually look forward to my green smoothie because I was use to making eggs, sweet potato and veggies.  So in other words, I was use to a heavier meal.  So there was a bit of transition.  But aside from that, I definitely feel more energetic after drinking my green smoothie and I don't feel hungry afterwards.  The batch I make makes about 24 oz.  I drink it all in the morning.  Or if I'm in a hurry, I'll drink 1/2 and save the rest for later.  She also includes some breakfast recipes if you're finding that you're still hungry.

So the only downside of the book is her recipes.  Granted, I'm sure they are delicious but there are a lot of ingredients that are expensive or not everyday ingredients.  So I have a hard time finding myself purchasing some of her ingredients to make some of her recipes.  So I will only SLOWLY integrate her recipes because of the expense of some of the ingredients.


One recipe that definitely caught my eye was the Gluten Free & Vegan Pizza Crust recipe.  I've been doing really good with avoiding gluten and dairy (if you read the book, you'll understand why).  However, I've been really missing pizza.  So I decided to make a pizza!  I was a little scared because I was afraid it was going to taste nasty.  But surprisingly, it all came together really, REALLY well.  The dough formed together beautifully!  It wasn't hard to spread it out on my 10" pizza pan.  It was all quite easy!  Which I love.  

The taste of the crust is really quite good as well!  I'm really surprised by this recipe which is a very good thing because I was afraid I was going to suffer through it.  It's a great substitute for pizza.  I mean obviously not exactly the same, but good enough when it's gluten free and vegan. I might've had 6 pieces that night!!! 

I kid you not, It really is delicious!

makes 1, 10" round pizza

1.5 c brown rice flour
1.5 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 -1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp powdered stevia
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
3/4 c cold water
2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer,**
mixed with 4 Tbsp very hot water
Coconut oil, grease pan and help spread out dough

**I used 2 tsp Flaxseed meal soaked in water instead (soak for 10 minutes).  
Sorry I don't really understand Ener-G egg replacer.  I think it's weird stuff :P

  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Grease 10" pizza pan (I used coconut oil).
  2. With a standing mixer, mix brown rice flower, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, stevia, oregano, arrowroot, and tapioca until well blended.
  3. On low, slowly add 3/4 c cold water.  Add egg replacer/ water mixture.  Mix well on medium speed. Mix dough until none of the dough is sticking to sides of bowl.
  4. The dough will be quite sticky so Rub some coconut oil on your hands to remove dough from bowl and spread out dough onto 10" pizza pan.  
  5. Bake in oven for 9 minutes.
  6. Add Toppings: I used salsa as the base, baby kale leaves, shredded salsa chicken (crockpot), fresh pineapple and chopped green onions.
  7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Place pizza back in oven.  Bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Coconut Curry Chicken Salad

A couple weeks ago I attended a wedding.  Following the wedding we found a really cute place to have a late lunch.  We went to Plates & Palates.  It's your basic cafe; sandwiches, salads, wraps etc.  I ordered Coconut Curry Chicken Salad.  It was absolutely delicious.  Eve since then, I've been craving some.  So I decided to make a similar recipe.  And it turned out GREAT!

makes 2-3 servings

1/4 c canned coconut milk
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp curry powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded/cubed
1/4 c chopped green onions
1/2 c red grapes
1/4 c chopped dried apricots
1/4 c Creamy Curry Cilantro Dressing* (optional)

Other ideas for toppings: celery, shredded coconut, chopped almonds, dried mango

*At my local health food store (Ginger's Garden Cafe, Springville, Ut) , they bottle their own dressings, this one is my favorite!

  1. In a small bowl, add 1/4 c coconut milk, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1/2 Tbsp vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp curry powder and salt and pepper (for taste).  Add *optional dressing.
  2. Whisk ingredients until well mixed.  Add shredded/ cubed chicken.  Mix well.
  3. Either mix in or top Chicken with chopped onions, red grapes and dried apricots or other toppings listed.  
  4. Serve over bed of greens (spinach, kale, watercress etc.)

Adapted from: Lauren's Latest

Friday, June 14, 2013

White Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Stix Cookies

For FATHER'S DAY I decided to make some cookies for our little family get-together.

I decided to pair pretzel sticks and white chocolate chips.

And HOLY COW!  I knew these would be tasty because I LOVE FlipZ white chocolate dipped pretzels!  Oh my, those are so good.  And these taste JUST LIKE THEM if not better.  

I'm a big fan of regular ole' chocolate chip cookies.  I would NEVER EVER EVER choose a white chocolate chip cookie over a gooey milk chocolate chip cookie.....UNTIL I made these!  
The pairing of the SWEET n' SALTY is what makes these cookies WINNERS!

makes 3 dozen

1 c butter, softened
1/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5.1 oz instant vanilla pudding
2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c pretzel sticks, broken into pieces
1 1/4 c white chocolate chips


  1. Mix ingredients in order from ingredient list
  2. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes
  3. cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Crock Pot Pork Roast

I finally feel inspired to blog about a recipe I tried.  Blake and I have done this a couple times now.  We love buying a big fat Pork Roast, sticking it into the crock pot and then we have it all week with all different kinds of dinners.  We make quesadillas, pork BBQ sandwiches, omelettes, enchiladas etc.  The list is endless of all the kinds of recipes you can come up with, with leftover Pork Roast.  It's delicious.  First time I simply added salt and pepper but this 2nd time I added some spices and stuff.  It added the PERFECT touch to the pork roast but NOT overwhelming because I don't like overwhelming spices to meats and things because then all you taste are the spices.  It adds a nice subtle sweetness to the pork.  You can use the juices to make a thicker sauce too.  You can enjoy eating it all week :)  Trust me, you're going to want to!


1 (2-3 lb) pork roast, with bone
2/3 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c honey
1/4 c maple syrup Grade B
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

To Make Sauce:
2 Tbsp cornstarch 
1/4 c cold water


  1. Place pork roast in crock pot.  In a small bowl, mix parmesan cheeese, honey, maple syrup, soy sauce, basil, garlic, olive oil and sea salt until well blended.  
  2. Pork over Pork Roast.  Cook on low for 11-12 hours.  Trust me, it's worth the wait!
  3. To make sauce: Remove pork and shred, set aside.  Strain juices.  Pour juices into a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add 2 Tbsp cornstarch and 1/4 c cold water.  Stir until sauce thickens.  Remove from stove and pour over shredded pork.

Adapted from: MomClick

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pumpkin & Bacon Chili

Really?? Another Chili recipe?!?

Yes MAM'!!!

I love experimenting with different chili recipes.
It makes perfect sense why they have chili cook-off competitions 
because there's so many different concoctions you can come up with.

Picking my favorite chili recipe (posted on my blog) would be like picking a favorite child.
I LOVE all my chili recipes!

This chili recipe will ROCK your socks off because it has BACON and PUMPKIN.
You don't even taste the pumpkin.  It's more-so a THICKENER.
And I LOVE both additions to this chili recipe.

The bacon adds a smokiness to it which is really nice.

This chili was perfect for our weekend because we got 3 inches of snow
(haha btw this was like a week ago)

But it was a great excuse to cook up a pot of chili to warm us up!


1.25 lb ground turkey
1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 can pumpkin puree

  1. In a large sauce pan or large pot, brown ground turkey.
  2. Add diced green pepper, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can diced tomatoes. Stir to mix.
  3. Add 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp cumin, 2 sea salt, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp garlic powder. Stir to combine spices.
  4. Add chopped bacon and lastly 1 can pumpkin puree.
  5. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. 

*Serve alone or over rice with shredded cheese on top.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix Cookies

I made these cookies for my friends the other week.
And I gotta say they are SUPER CHOCOLATY & DELICIOUS!

In fact, I told my friend I would quote her:

"Laura, I just wanted to say that those cookies were so flippin delicious!!!! I shared only one and inhaled the rest of them! They were so good!!"

Hands DOWN, nicest compliment I've ever received!

Thanks Ashlee!!

I would say these are "NO-FAIL" cookies.
It can't get any easier than this people!

makes 2 dozen

1 package Chocolate Fudge Cake mix
1/2 c butter, room temp
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c white chocolate chips


  1. Mix the ingredients in order as listed.
  2. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Cool on baking sheet for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Completely cool on cooling rack