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.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER AND MENU PLAN MONDAY week 37 OF 2018

GOOD MORNING dear friends.  I hope you had a GREAT week.  Mine was busy, but productive. We attended hubby’s airborne picnic on Saturday.  It was SUPER hot and I didn’t do very well with the combination of the heat and the food, but am glad he got to go. I spent most of yesterday recuperating.

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 – Only 2 more Mondays in this horrid triple digit heat.  I’m already in my swimsuit this morning and ready to get my workout done.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – Green Tea, yogurt and banana

CRAFTS / PROJECTS – nothing until after our migration

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

It’s Ovarian Cancer and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – I didn’t get any good pictures this week.

INSPIRATION – I can’t believe it’s been 17 years since this horrific event.AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS /  APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads of clothing and towels
  • LIVING AREAS… I’m doing a deep clean today
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean
  • YARD… nothing much, but hubby is giving the BBQ a serious deep clean
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning
  • PROJECTS… nothing till after our migration
  • APPOINTMENTS… dentist, nails
  • TO DO… we’re going to go to the county fair for my birthday and to see Peppermint with Jennifer Garner this week.

I’M READINGMurder at Merisham House

A mansion, a title and marriage to a wealthy Lord – Lady Eveline Cartwright has it all. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to prevent her being bludgeoned to death one night in the study of Merisham Lodge, the family’s country estate in Derbyshire. Suspicion quickly falls on her ne’er-do-well son, Peter, but not everyone in the household is convinced of his guilt. Head kitchen maid Joan Hart and lady’s maid, Verity Hunter, know that when it comes to a crime, all is not always as it seems. With suspicions and motives thick on the ground, Joan and Verity must use all the wit and courage they possess to expose a deadly murderer who will stop at nothing to achieve their aim…

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – we’ve been watching NASCAR (when it’s not rained out). This is the last week before the CHASE play offs.  Football has started and while we are watching we are not as diligent as years past because of all the political stuff.  We did binge watch Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime and Iron Fist on Netflix.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP – I tried this yesterday and it not only works, but the bacon was tastier and crisper too.MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

DESSERT

MONDAY – FRIDAY

GREEN TEA,

BANANA & YOGURT

CHICKEN, TUNA

or

GREEN SALAD

MONDAY

CHICKEN DUMPLING STEW

TUESDAY

ORANGE BRAISED CHICKEN & RICE

WEDNESDAY 

C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night

THURSDAY 

HONEY ORANGE CHICKEN & STIR FRIED VEGGIES

FRIDAY

DRUNKEN CHICKEN & TOMATOES

PINEAPPLE CHEESE PIE

SATURDAY

SATURDAY 

ROCHESTER CHICKEN ala IMMIGRANTS

SUNDAY

SUNDAY

C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

BOURBON CHICKEN & HERB BISCUITS

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s GREAT for a group or a cool fall evening’s dinner for 2. You can serve it on the biscuits as small sandwiches or you can roughly chop the chicken and serve it over the biscuits like a stew (my favorite way).

BOURBON CHICKEN & SEASONED BISCUITS
CHICKEN
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 bulb onion, halved and sliced thin (save some greens for garnish)
1 1/2 cups baby carrots, sliced diagonally
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 – 1 container (8-16 ounce) beech or Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed (chopped smaller if using Cremini)
1 cup QUALITY bourbon (I often use Seagrams and it is still quite yummy)
1 cup PURE maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream**
2 sprigs FRESH thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk together the bourbon and maple syrup in a saucepan and gently simmer 10 minutes.
  • In a large saute’ pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add carrots and onions, cooking 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces, searing about 2 minutes per side or 3-4 minutes if using pieces.
  • Add maple syrup mixture to the chicken pan.
  • Reduce heat slightly, add mushrooms and bring to a SLOW simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cream, thyme, salt and pepper, cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm over biscuits.
  • Garnish with greens.

**NOTE: A great substitute for heavy cream is 2/3 cup warmed WHOLE milk and 1/3 cup melted butter.

BISCUITS
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons COLD butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups cold WHOLE milk
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Combine the spices in a small bowl until well mixed. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the combined spices.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, the seasonings, the sugar and salt in a medium bowl using a whisk.
  • Using a bowl scraper or your fingers, mix in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal; using your fingers will create a more cake-like texture.
  • Make a well in the center and pour in the milk.
  • Stir JUST until combined.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times.
  • Roll the dough into a 1-inch-thick disc and cut out biscuits using a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Make sure you don’t twist the cutter otherwise you’ll squish the sides and the biscuit won’t rise. Knead the scraps together, re-roll and cut out biscuits until all the dough has been used.
  • Place the biscuits bottom-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the avocado oil with the reserved spices.  Brush the herb butter on each biscuit.
  • Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

BEEF RAGU & PASTA ala SLOW COOKER and A LITTLE PASTA HISTORY

Strozzapreti AKA priest-choker or priest-strangler are an elongated form of cavatelli, a hand-rolled pasta typical of the Tuscany region of Italy.

The name has many theories as to the name. One of the theories is because of gluttonous priests were so enthralled by the savory pasta that they ate too quickly and choked themselves. Another explanation involves the “azdora” OR A  ”housewife” who “chokes” the dough strips to make the strozzapreti. It is presumed that the housewife would express such a rage possibly triggered by the misery and difficulty of her life that would fill her with enough rage to be able to strangle a priest!” And yet another legend suggests that wives would customarily make pasta for priests as partial payment for land rents (the Catholic church rented to many farmers) and their husbands would be angered enough by the priests eating their wives’ food to wish that the priests would choke as they stuffed their mouths with it. And yet another possible explanation is that the pasta resembles a clerical collar which is commonly referred to as a “Priest Choker”.

The more commonly accepted theory is that following Sunday mass, a priest would visit homes of the villagers and enjoy dinner with them. The more pleasant the experience for the priest the more often they would come back to that particular home. As a means for the family to let the priest know that he might have worn out his welcome, they would serve this pasta which later earned the name “Strozzapreti.”

The dough is first rolled out in thick flat sheets. It is then cut into strips. The strips are lightly rolled or twisted between the palms. The large pasta is separated into 3-4 inch pieces by pinching it. Unlike spaghetti or macaroni, this pasta is not uniform in size or shape.

Different regions makes this pasta slightly different. In Romagna it is made with wheat flour, water, salt and sometimes eggs. Where as in Emilia it is made from flour, water, Parmesan cheese and egg whites which are all beaten together. In Pici it is more similar to the Tuscan style which is hand rolled, solid fat tubes of dough that are cut, but not twisted giving it the appearance of a taut rope. In Corsica it is a large gnocchi made of cheese and vegetables and then baked.

Unless you make your own pasta regularly this is a difficult pasta to find in your average grocery store. I usually substitute the Barilla Campagnelle pasta which is a thinner cone shaped pasta with a ruffled edge and is often known as “little bells”.

BEEF RAGU ala SLOW COOKER
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 -3 pound chuck roast
1 tablespoon House Seasoning (see below)
28 ounce crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Prepared pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated

  • Spray a large slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Arrange the onions and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle the roast with the house seasoning on both sides.
  • Arrange roast on top of the onions and garlic.
  • Sprinkle the carrots on top of the roast.
  • In a medium bowl, blend together the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, red wine vinegar and Italian seasonings.
  • Pour over the roast.
  • Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours until the beef is EXTREMELY tender and falls apart.
  • Skim any fat from the top.
  • Use 2 forks to shred the beef.
  • Stir beef into the tomato sauce.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Re-cover and cook for another hour to allow the flavored to meld together.
  • Serve over prepared pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

HOUSE SEASONING MIX

1/4 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon FRESH ground black pepper

  • Combine in a small bowl until well blended.
  • Store in an air tight container.

 

SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD with POPPY SEED DRESSING

SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD with POPPY SEED DRESSING

SALAD
3-4 cups baby spinach, washed and spun
2 cups torn romaine hearts, washed and spun
1 quart strawberries, hulled and large chopped
1/2 red onion, halved and sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped candied walnuts

DRESSING
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Whisk together the vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour half of the vinegar into a microwave safe bowl and microwave 1 minute.
  • Add onion, toss to combine and let sit 30 minutes.

 

  • While onions marinade, toast the poppy seeds in a non-stick skillet until fragrant and darkened.

 

  • Whisk oil into remaining vinegar mixture.
  • Add FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste.

 

  • In a large salad bowl combine spinach leaves, romaine pieces, strawberry pieces and candied walnuts.
  • Remove onion from vinegar mixture and add to salad bowl, gently tossing to disperse.
  • Whisk onion marinade back into the vinegar mixture.
  • Drizzle over salad,
  • Plate salad and top with more walnuts if desired.
  • Enjoy!

SLOW COOKED SWEDISH MEATBALLS

I found this recipe in Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers: Easy, Family-Friendly Recipes from Scratch By Samantha Skaggs

I love that they start by saying “If you’ve ever visited a certain, large, Swedish, rat-maze-like furniture store”…. Gee I wonder if they mean IKEA LOL 😀 I did adapt it slightly, but the final product is REALLY similar and VERY tasty!

SLOW COOKER SWEDISH MEATBALLS
MEATBALLS
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup FRESH sourdough bread crumbs
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
FRESH ground pepper, to taste

  • Combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, seasonings, salt and pepper.
  • Form ping pong sized meatballs, about 24 of them.
  • Arrange meatballs in a couple layers in large slow cooker.

GRAVY
3 cups beef consommé
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon House Seasoning
1/3 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together the consomme’, flour, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and house seasoning.
  • Pour this over the meatballs evenly.
  • Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours until meatballs are cooked through, but still tender.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove meatballs to serving platter.
  • Skin any fat from the gravy.
  • Add sour cream to a small bowl.
  • Add a couple spoonfuls of gravy to the sour cream and whisk together. This will temper the sour cream and prevent curdling. Add a few more spoonfuls and keep mixing until completely tempered,
  • Add sour cream mixture into gravy, whisking to combine.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Add meatballs back into slow cooker and cook 30 minutes more.
  • Serve over prepared egg noodles with lingonberry jam.

Prepared egg noodles
Lingonberry jam

HOUSE SEASONING
1/4 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 36 of 2018

GOOD MORNING sweet ladies.  I’m so happy September is here!  That means fall is right around the corner along with PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING! 😀 I hope you had a great weekend and are having a great holiday too!

Ours is quiet and we are getting some honey do’s done before we call our time here over.  Hubby replaced the hardware (wheels and guides) on the sliding screen door and I cleaned out the tracks with a toothbrush – the dust and dirt from the wind beats the door all up.  We watched the NASCAR races, did some pool time and binge watched some Jack Ryan on AMAZON too.

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 – We’re still running in the triple digits, but we leave here in 2 weeks so I can handle anything at this point. 😀 It’s supposed to be a gym day, but with being a holiday we’re just doing pool time and avoiding the crowds at the gym so I’m wearing a swimsuit and cover up.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – A banana and green tea with some honey nut cheerios

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

  • Fall is almost here and it’s my favorite season
  • It’s almost comfort food season full of soups, stews, cinnamon and spice 😀

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – From our trip to San Diego last week.  I’m working on a post for the rest of the pictures. We fit a lot into just a few days, so it is taking me a while to get them all edited.

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

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads of clothing, sheets and towels
  • LIVING AREAS… nothing, I did a deep clean yesterday
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean
  • YARD… nothing much
  • BLOG… some recipe updating and future post planning
  • PROJECTS… Christmas cards
  • APPOINTMENTS… nothing much this week
  • TO DO… lunch with friends

I’M READING -Nothing this week but I need to get organized

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – The fall schedule starts soon so we have just been watching some Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK/DESSERT

MONDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 PORK CHOPS with ROASTED APPLES & BRUSSELS SPROUTS

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

PINEAPPLE CASHEW CHICKEN

PROTEIN SHAKE

WEDNESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night

PROTEIN SHAKE

THURSDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

GRILLED HULI HULI CHICKEN & SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 VENETIAN CHICKEN & RICE

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

LEMON CHICKEN PAILLARD & SALAD with HONEY BUTTERMILK DRESSING

SUNDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 CHICKEN IN OREGANO CREAM SAUCE with PARMESAN MASHED POTATOES

PROTEIN SHAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HONEY RANCH BBQ PORK CHOPS

HONEY RANCH BBQ PORK CHOPS
PORK CHOPS
4 THICK bone-in pork chops
1 ounce Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning (I buy it by the bottle, but you can use the dip/salad dressing package)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 batch BBQ sauce (recipe below)

  • Coat pork chops with ranch seasoning.
  • Add pork chops to a large ziplock bag.
  • Add sauce to the chops and coat well.
  • Seal bag and marinade at least an hour, but preferably over night, turning occasionally.
  • Drain marinade from pork chops.
  • Prepare grill.
  • Sear chops on hot grill, turning once.
  • Brush with reserved marinade, grilling 5-7 minutes until cooked through.

BBQ SAUCE
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons PACKED brown sugar
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Mesquite liquid smoke
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, honey, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic powder and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup.