I ADORE cooking. I get all tingly and stupid when I walk into a nice clean stainless steel kitchen just waiting for me to do things to it! One of the things I love about cooking is how it allows me to get creative. Even in school when I was given a recipe to work on I would tweak it because the flavor wasn’t right to me or I just felt the taste could be improved often with great results. In fact, after revamping the school’s recipe for Arroz con Pollo one day and talking to the teacher about it, I understand they have since adjusted it to incorporate my changes for authenticity:) However, when it comes to baking I just suck out loud! You see while cooking can be an art baking is a science which involves exact measurements and a tendency for things to go seriously awry if those measurements and ingredients are not changed correctly and well..
Yo no tengo math skills
Anyway, I have dabbled in dessert making from time to time via the Sandra Lee (or perhaps any of the so called Food Network stars lately) approach except without all the alcohol, cultural insensitivity and the crazy. For instance, I do love to make pie for gatherings with friends and family but sometimes (usually) I just don’t have to make the crust or pie filling from scratch so I kind of cheat a little. Either way the results are pretty damn good and takes less than an hour to prep and cook in many cases. As it is Fall I recently made my famous Semi-Scratch Apple Pie while successfully tweaking one of my favorite recipes of all time:)
1 box frozen pastry shells
(doesn’t have to be name brand, I go generic, just make sure there are two in the box and be aware that they need to defrost before you start the recipe)
6 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
(I like to use a blend of Pink Lady and Macintosh or Granny Smith apples myself. If you’re a slow peeler/corer/slicer keep some lemon juice or other citrus acid handy to keep the slices from oxidizing)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place sliced apples in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine sugars, cinnamon, and flour. Stir well and pour mixture over apples. Cut half of butter or margarine into small pieces and add to apples. Toss apples until thoroughly coated. Personally I like to put the apples into a gallon sized ziplock bag, add mixture, seal and toss. Everything seems to blend much better and once you’re done it’s one less bowl to have to clean.
Pour apples into pastry-lined pan. Dot apples with the rest of the butter or margarine. Place second pastry on top. Seal edges and cut steam vents in top crust. Now I tend to take the second crust from the box, place it on a cutting board and cut into strips with a knife or pizza cutter to place over the apple mixture before sealing the edges. I also make an egg wash (using the one beaten egg and a bit of water for those who don’t know) which I brush on to the crust before sprinkling a blend of the sugar, brown sugar and some cinnamon on to the crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Food Network eat your heart out!
And the beasties like it too!
Now if you want SUPER simple, Food Network has that covered! Click on the pictures below for some stupidly easy recipes, of course if you can’t make ice cubes or boil water you’re pretty much out of luck.
Don’t forget the marshmallows!
The Southern lady knows her English peas
She knows her way around sorbet too!
Chow for now!