MONGOLIAN BEEF

This MONGOLIAN BEEF recipe is a MORE AUTHENTIC crispy, flavorful tasty homemade version than the sweet gloopy restaurant style Mongolian Beef you see in many restaurants.

1 pound flank steak, sliced against the grain into ¼-inch thick slices SEE NOTES
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 egg white
1 teaspoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • Drain pineapple into a sieve.  Save the pineapple pieces for later.
  • Whisk together avocado oil, liquid aminos, pineapple juice, egg white and cornstarch until well blended.
  • Pour over beef pieces in a large bowl, stirring to coat well.
  • Cover and marinate the beef for 1 hour.

¼ cup cornstarch

  • Dredge the meat in the remaining ¼ cup of cornstarch until lightly coated. I go old school and use a paper bag to shake it well.

⅓ cup avocado oil
2 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal
2 carrots, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 shallot, side thin

  • Heat over high heat.
  • Lay the flank steak pieces in an even single layer in the wok, and let sear for 1 minute.
  • Flip meat and sear another 30 seconds.
  • Remove meat and keep warm.
  • Add celery, carrots and shallot slices, stir frying a minute or more until soft.
  • Remove to meat platter and keep warm.

½ teaspoon minced ginger
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch long slices on the diagonal

  • Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the wok and turn the heat to medium-high.
  • Add the ginger and peppers flakes.
  • After 15 seconds, add the garlic.
  • Stir for another 10 seconds.
  • Add the liquid aminos and chicken stock. Bring the sauce to a simmer, add the brown sugar, and stir until dissolved.
  • Let the sauce simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Slowly stir in the cornstarch slurry mixture–until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.  SEE NOTES
  • Add the beef, veggies and scallions and toss everything for another 30 seconds.
  • Serve over rice or noodles.
  • Garnish with the crushed pineapple.

NOTES:

  • Flap meat like that used for carne asada works really well also.
  • There should be almost NO liquid as the sauce clings to the beef. If there is still liquid sauce, increase the heat slightly and stir until completely thickened.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 39 of 2018

GOOD MORNING everyone. I hope you had a GREAT week and weekend!

Well it’s official! FALL is here! YAY!!! 😀

We spent last week first at Disneyland, California Adventure and then at the central coast visiting Hearst Castle, Cambria and Big Sur area while relaxing a few days before a BIG family wedding at Avila Beach on Saturday night.  Hubby’s side of the family is HUGE and we ALWAYS have a GREAT time whenever we all get together for anything, but especially the special events like weddings.  We have fallen in love with Lindsay, our nephew M.J.’s new bride and look forward to getting to know her better.  SIL treated us to a FANTASTIC suite for the night so I felt like a princess!

It was also a SAD time as we spent time with Lola (in the pink hat), a LONG time “friend” of the family HA HA, nope more accurately she became actual family many years ago and is my sister from another mother and my SIL’s BFF of MANY years.  Unfortunately, LOLA has decided to move away to Texas since that is where her kids now are. So her presence will be sorely missed! We have already made tentative plans to meet in Vegas though 😀

SIL posing for silly pictures.

Be sure to link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – I’m at my SIL’s house so the weather is PERFECT! 😀 It is still in the 50’s and a bit overcast, but we’re supposed to get up 65 and sunny today.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – yogurt, green tea and a banana

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY THINK – our bank called last week while we were on a HEARST CASTLE tour and told me they had been informed by MasterCard that my card had been compromised in a data breach at a retailer so they needed to close it and were issuing me a new one. That alone ticked me off since we’re traveling, though we could use hubby’s card. But, when I asked where the data breached occurred so I could avoid that retailer in the future, I was informed that they could NOT give me a retailer’s name because it could potentially damage the retailer’s reputation and that they didn’t even actually know who it was!  They did give me a date range though.  Are you ready for this?  The date range was Feb, 1st, 2018 – June 15th, 2018.  So this tells me that my information has been out there and has been at risk for a good 6 months now! Plus we were still in Texas at that time and on our way to the west coast – so where did I use that card that became an issue – inquiring minds want to know!

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – I took this one last Thursday as we sat on the beach after dinner and just watched the sun go down. I’m really glad I got this picture since Friday night was all fogged in and overcast.

And I love this one from Disney’s haunted mansion.

INSPIRATION

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS /  APPOINTMENTS – We’re still traveling this week so no real time table till hubby’s dental appointment later and then we’ll get back into a routine.

I’M READING – nothing this week – have been enjoying the scenery too much and am too tired at night to even bother.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – The new season starts tonight, but we’re still on the road this week so not sure what we’ll catch or not.  I’m still on the fence about the Magnum P.I. remake, but we’ll give it a chance. We are looking forward to a few of the new shows like New Amsterdam, The Rookie, God Friended Me, A Million Little Things and then of course our old favorites:

COMEDIESBig Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Life in Pieces, The Good Place, American Housewife

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comediesNCIS, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Designated Survivor (yes it was canceled, but has been picked up by Netflix), Seal Team, Blindspot, Macgyver, Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, 911 – I like that they have moved the Chicago series to all on the same night. Sadly Scorpion one of my favorites has been canceled 🙁

DRAMAS & REALITYThe Good Doctor, This Is Us, The Resident, the Amazing Race, Dancing With the Stars, American Ninja Warrior, Ransom, Instinct

SYFYZ Nation, the Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Flash, Supergirl, DC Legends, Orville, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files, Supernatural, Midnight Texas

COOKINGGuy’s Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay, Worst Cooks in America, Kid’s Baking Championship, Master Chef Jr., Master Chef, Southern at Heart, Best Baker in America

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

DESSERT

MONDAY – FRIDAY

GREEN TEA,

BANANA & YOGURT

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

MONDAY

??

TUESDAY

OUT

WEDNESDAY

??

THURSDAY

??

FRIDAY

??

??

SATURDAY

SATURDAY

??

SUNDAY

SUNDAY

??

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

OVEN BAKED CHICKEN & RICE with SAUTEED MUSHROOMS

This dish has progressed over the years for me with flavor changes and updates. Grams used to call it “CONTINENTAL” chicken for a reason I will never know. LOL 🙂 But, it’s just a sturdy chicken and rice that serves a family well.

OVEN BAKED CHICKEN & RICE with SAUTEED MUSHROOMS

CHICKEN
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground pepper, to taste
6 skinless bone in chicken thighs **

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, parsley, paprika, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken pieces and coat each piece evenly with the seasoning. Set aside, allowing the flavors to absorb into the meat.
  • Spray a large baking dish with nonstick cooking oil spray and set aside.

RICE
1 large VIDALIA onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups long grain white rice

  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the broth, water, salt, oil, garlic.
  • Add the onion, garlic, oil, Stir well to combine.
  • Mix in the onions and rice.
  • Add to baking dish.
  • Arrange chicken in a single even layer over the rice, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked right through to the bone.
  • Change oven setting to broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the chicken and crisp rice.
  • When chicken and rice is finished cooking, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes.

MUSHROOMS
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound button mushrooms quartered or I prefer Beech Mushrooms
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2/3 cup white wine
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, to garnish

  • Heat butter in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Sauté green onions and garlic until fragrant (30 seconds) and add mushrooms; cook until softened.
  • Add wine and cook until absorbed.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of chives and season with salt and pepper.

ASSEMBLY

  • Transfer chicken onto a plate; fluff rice with forks, then mix the mushrooms through the rice.
  • Arrange chicken back onto the rice in the dish, garnish with remaining chives and chopped parsley.

NOTE: If you prefer using chicken breasts or boneless thigh fillets, add them in after 20 minutes dish has been in the oven. The bone-in pieces tend to stay juicier and more flavorful.

Linking to  CELEBRATE YOUR STORY, CRAFTASTIC MONDAY, DISHING IT & DIGGING IT, NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, SHOW & TELL, SUNDAYS AT HOME, SUNDAY’S BEST, THAT DIY PARTY, JCOOKING & CRAFTING WITH J&J, INPIRATION MONDAY , INSPIRE ME MONDAY , MADE BY YOU MONDAY, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY, MERRY MONDAY, MIX IT UP MONDAY, MOTIVATE ME MONDAY, PROJECT INSPIRED, SHOW AND SHARE, TUTORIALS & TIP , DIY TUESDAYS, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY, THE SCOOP, TREASURE BOX TUESDAY, TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST,CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS, SHARE YOUR CUP , WINTER BLUES WEDNESDAY, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, SHOW ME WEDNESDAYS, WOW US WEDNESDAY , CREATIVE CIRCLE, DAGMAR’S PARTY, HOME SWEET HOME, FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, HOME MATTERS, PIN JUNKIE PIN PARTY, TALK OF THE TOWN, BLOGGER’S PIT STOP, HANDMADE HANGOUT, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME, SWAY SHAREFEST, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS PARTY, BOUQUET OF TALENT PARTY, INSPIRE-BE-INSPIRED, RAE GUN BLOCK PARTY, I’M LOVIN’ IT, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL THURSDAY, FULL PLATE THURSDAY, FRIDAY FOODIE

BACON MUSHROOM CHICKEN

BACON MUSHROOM CHICKEN adapted from THE RECIPE CRITIC

CHICKEN
4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Generously season the chicken thighs with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  • Pan Sear each side of the chicken for 1-2 minutes until brown and place skillet in oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout.
  • Transfer chicken to a platter.

SAUCE
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces white beech mushrooms
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stems removed

  • Add avocado oil to the skillet and saute the mushrooms until soft.
  • Add the heavy cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme.
  • Bring to a simmer until the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Add the bacon pieces.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet, turning to coat in the sauce.
  • Serve immediately.

RUSTIC CHICKEN with GARLIC GRAVY

RUSTIC CHICKEN with GARLIC GRAVY adapted from Seasons And Suppers
A SUPER delicious one-pan meal served over mashed potatoes or pasta.

CHICKEN
2 Tbsp cooking oil vegetable, canola etc
6 pieces skin-on/bone-in chicken thighs, washed and dried
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
20 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon FRESH thyme leaves
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Heat the oven to 400°.
In a large cast iron skillet heat the oil over medium high heat.
  • Generously season chicken pieces with salt and the pepper.
  • Sear the chicken until golden, turning regularly, for about 8 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a platter, keeping warm.
  • Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
  • Add onions and sauce 30 seconds or so.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook, stirring regularly, until it is starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic and stir until combined.
  • Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and put it on a burner.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the pot to platter.
  • Over medium-high heat, whisk in the wine and simmer for 1 minute.
  • Whisk in the broth, thyme and a bit more salt and pepper, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until sauce thickens.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the butter.
  • Taste sauce and adjust seasoning.
  • Add the chicken back to the pot coating each piece with the sauce.
  • Serve spooned over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta

PARMESAN HERB MUSHROOM CHICKEN

PARMESAN HERB MUSHROOM CHICKEN adapted from Cafe Delites

CHICKEN
2 tablespoons butter
6 skin on, bone in chicken thighs*
PINCH of garlic powder, to taste
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Generously season chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add butter. When melted sear chicken thighs 2-3 minutes on each side (skin side down last) until golden and crispy.
  • Transfer chicken pan to the oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
Transfer to a warm plate and set aside.

SAUCE
2 green onions, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (I like to substitute beech mushrooms for a nuttier flavor)
1 tablespoon FRESH minced basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped Flat Leaf Parsely
1½ cups Half and Half
2 cups baby spinach
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese , divided
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 KNORR chicken bullion cube, crushed
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with
2 tablespoons Half and Half
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley for garnish

  • Drain all but 2 tablespoons of some of the excess fat from the skillet.
  • Return skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and garlic a minute or so in the pan juices until fragrant.
  • Add the mushrooms, herbs and 2 teaspoons of parsley, sautéing until mushrooms begin to soften.
  • Reduce heat to low-medium heat, add the half and half and bring to a SLOW simmer, stirring occasionally, and being careful NOT to boil.
  • Add in the bullion cube powder and season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  • 
Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons half and half.
  • Add cornstarch mixture to the center of the pan, and continue to simmer while quickly stirring the mixture through until the sauce thickens.
  • Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese; allow sauce to simmer for another minute until cheese melts through the sauce.
  • Add the chicken back into the pan and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes in the cream sauce.
  • Taste test and adjust seasoning, if desired.
  • Fold in spinach leaves, stirring to coat and cooking JUST until they wilt.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta.


NOTES – To substitute chicken breasts for the thighs there is no need to bake them. After adding the breasts back into the pan, continue simmering in the sauce until completely cooked through.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 38 of 2018

GOOD MORNING sweet friends. I have come to really love these Monday mornings to recap my week and plan the new one.   I hope you had a GREAT weekend.  Ours was quiet, but SUPER productive as we cleaned, packed and started to close up this house. Closing the house is simple as long as you follow a logical check list, but I also did a deep clean (things like pulling out the oven, refrigerator and washer dryer to clean behind them, window sills, and under the bed…the dust here in the desert finds its way in no matter what you do!!!!) since my mom will be here in a month.

Packing was the hardest part since this is a multi leg journey.  I’ve organized the bags according to location, but there is also the garment bag with the dress clothes for the wedding which is an awkward piece. We will be leaving here soon after this post 😀

We did work in a visit with my favorite uncle and his family who live nearby for my birthday on Saturday and we did also get all 3 NASCAR races watched in between and even a little football. My birthday dinner (at least on the real day) ended up being 5 GUYS BURGER and FRIES which lasted me 2 meals so I was good.  I did miss having cake – probably the only day of the year I really eat it and LOL now I cannot ever have it again 🙁 Hubby gave me a trip to Disneyland and my favorite Disneyland restaurant for my birthday so we will be eating at Blue Bayou tonight after we get checked in.

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday to visit with a great group of ladies.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – It will hit triple digits before we actually leave today, but YAY this will be the LAST time I EVER say that 😀 I have on gray capris and my favorite tye dyed off the shoulder top with sandals.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – Mixed Berry yogurt, green tea and some grapes

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY 

  • I’m praying for the safety and well being all those in Hurricane Florence’s path as they deal with their clean-up and rebuilding.  I have serious empathy after surviving Hurricane Harvey last year.  It takes a community working together to survive and rebuild stronger.
  • While I’m NOT 100%, I AM stronger than I was when we got here and have more stamina MOST days so I’m very thankful for that. I know this will be a work in progress and not happen overnight after my body has endured so many traumatic things the past 7 years.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – My old neighbor sent me a surprise birthday gift that is perfect for the fall season I’m craving! Fortunately, we will be north by the end of the month.

INSPIRATION

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS /  APPOINTMENTS

This is a completely free week as we begin our trek north via Disneyland (Hubby’s birthday gift to me), Hearst Castle, our nephew’s wedding and visiting with friends and family along the way!

I’M READING & WATCHINGThree Sisters Catering Book #1 Pinch of Salt

We found a new to us series on NETFLIX that has been fun. Death in Paradise.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK – on the road this week so really unsure except for my birthday dinner on Monday 😀

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

DESSERT

MONDAY – FRIDAY

GREEN TEA,

BANANA & YOGURT

??

MONDAY

dinner at the Blue Bayou

TUESDAY

??

WEDNESDAY

??

THURSDAY

??

FRIDAY

??

??

SATURDAY

SATURDAY

Whatever they are serving at the wedding 😀

LOL I cannot remember what we signed up for 😀

SUNDAY

SUNDAY

SIL’s choice

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

CARAMEL APPLE SLAB PIE

I’m posting this recipe for my nieces while I keep looking for the one I actually promised them.

Before we get into the recipe I thought I’d share a little about crust making.

PERFECT BLUE RIBBON PIE CRUST TIPS

There is nothing as good as a flaky, buttery, tender homemade crust in my opinion. Sure, remade is convenient, but it just doesn’t compare. You DON’T have to be a BLUE RIBBON baker to make a great crust either.

Pie dough is basically three simple ingredients; flour, fat and water in EXACT, or at least near exact proportions.

While you supposedly don’t need to sift flour anymore, you do need to stir it up to make it fluffy before measuring. Personally, I still use a sifter. Use a spoon to put the flour in your measuring cup and a knife to level it off. Just scooping into the flour bin tends to pack the flour too tightly.

Be SURE to use COLD fats whether it’s butter, shortening or lard. This is a step that helps make your crust flaky. If you’re recipe calls for fat in a liquid form it will be more tender than flaky. When you cut in your fats STOP when you have pieces the size of peas. Anything too large will allow the dough to form holes in your crust when the fats melt. If the pieces are too small they melt too fast taking away from the flakiness of your crust.

Be sure and add your COLD water only a tablespoon at a time JUST until the dough holds together. DO NOT OVER MIX! Add just enough water to bring the dough together so you can form a ball.

BLIND BAKING (cooking the crust by itself before adding the filling) makes a stronger crust for filling. There are many tricks for doing this. One of the simplest methods is to add a piece of heavy duty folded piece of foil to the inside of the crust and gently form the foil to the pie pan shape. Partially bake the crust, remove the foil, add the filling and finish baking. You will probably want to add a piece of foil around the edges to keep your edges from browning too fast and burning. Many times I add a layer of beans on top of the foil to keep it weighted so it doesn’t bubble and blister. If you’re making a pie with an unbaked filling, remove the foil halfway through the baking time, prick the bottom with a fork and return the crust to the oven to finish baking.

NOTES:

  • TOO MUCH flour or water will make your crust TOUGH.
  • TOO MUCH fat will make your crust crumbly and fall apart.
  • TOO MUCH WATER = STICKY MESS
  • NOT ENOUGH WATER = BIG CRACKS IN YOUR DOUGH

TRICKS:

  • Use 2 sheets of wax paper when rolling your dough so you don’t need to add additional flour. I prefer to do this to keep the crust from getting too tough.
  • Carefully roll your dough gently around your rolling pin and move it to your pie pan and gently unroll to avoid stretching or tearing it. You can also carefully fold your disc in quarters to move it to the pie plate.

This pie tastes just like a caramel apple! The beauty though is that there is a thin and flaky crust that houses the juicy apples and crispy crust that is drizzled with homemade caramel for a melt in your mouth tasty treat.  There are 2 versions CARAMEL APPLE SLAB PIE and APPLE PUMPKIN SPICE SLAB PIE

CARAMEL APPLE SLAB PIE – 25 pieces

  • Prep time 40 mins
  • Cook time 45 mins
    Total time 1 hour 25 mins

CRUST
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup CRISCO butter-flavored shortening
8 tablespoons cold water

  • Spray a 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in the shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cold water over the mixture and toss with a fork. Repeat using 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it is moistened and knead the dough into a ball.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 19×13-inch rectangle.
  • Wrap it around the rolling pin and unroll it into the prepared baking pan.
  • Ease dough into the pan and up the sides, being careful not to stretch it.
  • Trim dough to ½ inch beyond edge of pan.
  • Fold dough edge over and flute as desired.

APPLES
⅔ cup sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons QUALITY ground cinnamon
3½ pounds granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 10 cups)

  • In an extra large bowl combine the sugar, ⅓ cup flour, cinnamon and apples.
  • Toss until coated.
  • Spoon the mixture on the dough and spread evenly.

CRUMB TOPPING
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup butter

  • In a large bowl, stir together quick-cooking rolled oats, packed brown sugar, and all-purpose flour.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until topping mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle EVENLY on top of apples.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender.
  • Cool slightly.

NOTE: IF TOP IS BROWNING TOO QUICKLY, COVER LIGHTLY WITH A PIECE OF FOIL.

CARAMEL
1 cup PACKED brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon PURE Vanilla
Pinch of salt

  • Mix all ingredients together until smooth in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat.
  • Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thicker.
  • Turn off heat.
  • Serve warm or refrigerate until cold.
  • Drizzle on top of apple slab pie.

SPINACH SALAD with PEACH VINAIGRETTE

SPINACH SALAD with PEACH VINAIGRETTE serves 6-8 adapted from Alli Kelley from Longourn Farms

SALAD
4 cups baby spinach or favorite lettuce mix
4 cups coleslaw mix
+/- 1 cup Craisins
1/2 cup candied walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 large peach, peeled and sliced
Peach vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)

  • Toss together the spinach and coleslaw in a large salad bowl.
  • Sprinkle in the raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss together.
  • Drizzle dressing over, tossing periodically until desired amount is reached.

PEACH VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup diced peaches (with skin removed)
2 tablespoons celery seeds

  • Blend all the ingredients except the celery seeds in a food processor until smooth.
  • Stir in celery seeds.

ORANGE BRAISED CHICKEN

ORANGE BRAISED CHICKEN
2 bone-in chicken legs
2 bone-in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup sliced fennel
1 small red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Bragg’s amino acids
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 navel orange, half juiced – other half sliced into half moons
Fennel feathers for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Heat coconut oil in oven proof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sear chicken pieces 8-10 pieces until golden on all sides.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to platter and keep warm.
  • Add onions and fennel to sauteing 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Add orange juice to pan and deglaze.
  • Add amino acids and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add chicken pieces and orange slices and coat well.
  • Place pan in oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes or white rice.
  • Garnish with fennel feathers.

Linking to  CELEBRATE YOUR STORY, CRAFTASTIC MONDAY, DISHING IT & DIGGING IT, NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, SHOW & TELL, SUNDAYS AT HOME, SUNDAY’S BEST, THAT DIY PARTY, JCOOKING & CRAFTING WITH J&J, INPIRATION MONDAY , INSPIRE ME MONDAY , MADE BY YOU MONDAY, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY, MERRY MONDAY, MIX IT UP MONDAY, MOTIVATE ME MONDAY, PROJECT INSPIRED, SHOW AND SHARE, TUTORIALS & TIP , DIY TUESDAYS, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY, THE SCOOP, TREASURE BOX TUESDAY, TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST, CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS, SHARE YOUR CUP , WINTER BLUES WEDNESDAY, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, SHOW ME WEDNESDAYS, WOW US WEDNESDAY , CREATIVE CIRCLE, DAGMAR’S PARTY, EASY WEEKNIGHT DINNERS, FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, HOME MATTERS, PIN JUNKIE PIN PARTY, TALK OF THE TOWN, BLOGGER’S PIT STOP, HANDMADE HANGOUT, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME, SWAY SHAREFEST, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS PARTY, BOUQUET OF TALENT PARTY, INSPIRE-BE-INSPIRED, RAE GUN BLOCK PARTY, I’M LOVIN’ IT, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL THURSDAY

CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES

CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES
DOUGH
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold sour cream

  • Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
  • Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
  • Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
  • Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle.
  • Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
  • Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch rectangle.
  • Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.

FILLING
2 cups small peeled and SMALL diced Granny Smith apples (about corn kernel size)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY
Egg wash – 1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water
LARGE flake sea salt
Crystal sanding sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 425º.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14×14-inch square.
  • Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles.
  • Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling.
  • Top the apple filling with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
  • Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie.
  • Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar.
  • Bake the pies until they’re golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before glazing.

GLAZE
Juice of 1 Large lemon
+/- 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • Blend together to desired consistency.

NOTES:

  • I like to use a FULL wine bottle to rill the dough as the weight helps it stay smoother.
  • I also roll the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper so I don’t need t add as much flour.
  • Large flake sea salt is available in most specialty supermarkets. My preferred brand is Maldon Salt.

LINKING TO: CELEBRATE YOUR STORY, CRAFTASTIC MONDAY, DISHING IT & DIGGING IT, NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, SHOW & TELL, SUNDAYS AT HOME, SUNDAY’S BEST, THAT DIY PARTY, JCOOKING & CRAFTING WITH J&J, INPIRATION MONDAY , INSPIRE ME MONDAY , MADE BY YOU MONDAY, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY, MERRY MONDAY, MIX IT UP MONDAY, MOTIVATE ME MONDAY, PROJECT INSPIRED, SHOW AND SHARE, TUTORIALS & TIP , DIY TUESDAYS, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY, THE SCOOP, TREASURE BOX TUESDAY, TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST, CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS, SHARE YOUR CUP , WINTER BLUES WEDNESDAY, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, SHOW ME WEDNESDAYS, WOW US WEDNESDAY , CREATIVE CIRCLE, DAGMAR’S PARTY, HOME SWEET HOME, FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, HOME MATTERS, PIN JUNKIE PIN PARTY, TALK OF THE TOWN, BLOGGER’S PIT STOP, HANDMADE HANGOUT, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME, SWAY SHAREFEST, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS PARTY, BOUQUET OF TALENT PARTY, INSPIRE-BE-INSPIRED, RAE GUN BLOCK PARTY, I’M LOVIN’ IT, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL THURSDAY, FULL PLATE THURSDAY, FOODIE FRIDAY

SAUSAGE BRUNCH PIES

SAUSAGE BRUNCH PIES
1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 pound pork sausage
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
1/2 cup jack grated cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • On a lightly floured surface, unfold pastry sheets; roll each into a 16×12-in. rectangle.
  • Using a floured cutter, cut twelve 4 inch circles from one sheet.
  • Press each round into the bottom and up sides of ungreased muffin tin.
  • Using a floured cutter, cut twelve 3-1/2-in. circles from remaining sheet. Set aside.
  • Mix sausage, green onions, pineapple pieces, apricots and spices lightly but thoroughly.
  • Place 1/4 cup mixture into each pastry cup.
  • Brush edges of smaller pastry circles with egg; place over pies, pressing edges to seal.
  • Brush with egg.
  • Cut slits in top for venting.
  • Bake until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in filling reads 160°, 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

NOTE: Dried cherries, dates, currants, or golden raisins for the apricots.