Saturday, April 28, 2012
At first, I thought the pins would mostly be of jars used as farmer-chic drink vessels, crafts or for homemade food gifts.
But it turns out Mason jars, the revolutionary invention of Jersey-born John Landis Mason in the 1850s, can be used like any other oven-safe dish. (Check out, "Who Made That Mason Jar?" in the New York Times.) After all, the clear threaded jars were made to withstand boiling hot temps.
And they're a great size for serving up made-to-order, single-serving baked goods.
I've been delighted to discover a whole subset of recipes just for baking pies, cakes and chilies in 4-16 ounce glass jars.
Today, I tried single-serving apple pies in 1/2 pint jars.
Because this was a first attempt, I went the easy route and used prepared pied dough and canned apple pie filling.
My results were delicious. That's not to say all went perfectly. On other blogs, especially these beauties on Our Best Bites, I saw photos of beautifully prepared jar pies that turned out picture perfect.
Mine overflowed and, in one, burst through the lattice top.
Part of my issue is I didn't use wide-mouth jars. Clearly, I need to increase my canning jar inventory (Note to family: Mother's Day is coming up) with which to experiment.
NOTE: I should warn that these babies are hot as Hades and take quite a while to cool. My son couldn't wait, so he suited up (with oven mitts) and dove right in.
Also, if you don't eat the crust out of the jars, they'll need quite a bit of soaking to get them clean.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
|Coffee mug chilaquiles.|
That said, I've not been paying much attention to the paper in the last few weeks because of health issues that have forced me to limit my diet to very low fat fare. But the restrictions have been lifted (I hope) and I'm back to reading and clipping recipes. Thankfully, my husband knew I'd be eager to catch up on my Good Eating reading, so he's been saving the section for me.
Turns out the April 11 edition, featuring "Coffee Cup Recipes," was one not to miss.
There were four recipes in the piece and my kids and I tested two today. The first turned out to be my daughter's self-made lunch:
Coffee cup chilaquiles
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sharp cheddar cheese [we used a shredded Mexican cheese mix]
5 tortilla chips
|Finger licking good.|
Sour cream, queso fresco, chopped green onion [optional for garnish]
Beat the egg and milk with a fork in a regular-sized coffee cup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cheese and stir. Break 3 or 4 tortilla chips in small pieces to fit in the cup, add salsa and stir. Microwave, about 1 minute, 10 seconds. Garnish with a tortilla chip, sour cream, queso fresco and onion.
This was so easy to make I still can't believe it. Best part though, besides the fact that my daughter devoured the dish, was that there was very little to clean up with this dish. It's all mixed and served in a coffee mug. [Unless you're me and dumped it out to check the consistency, then took a pretty picture of it.]
After our successful lunch, the kids moved on to the next recipe -- caramel coffee mug coffee cake -- for an afternoon treat. This was the more complicated (and required more mixing vessels) of the two recipes, but the one my children enjoyed the most from start to finger-licking finish.
|All in the mug.|
Coffee cup coffeecake
2 tblsp dark brown sugar
2 tblsp flour
1 tblsp butter, softened
Pinch salt, optional
1 tblsp butter, softened
1 tblsp dark brown sugar
1/2 egg (1 egg lightly beaten and divided)
2 tblsp sour cream
|Fresh from the microwave.|
Vanilla (a few drops)
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon apricot or other preserves [we used a spoon full of caramel ice cream topping]
For the crumb topping, pinch the ingredients with your fingers until crumbs form. For the cake, mix butter and sugar together in a large measuring cup until creamy; add egg, sour cream, syrup and vanilla. Beat until blended well. Add flour and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Pour half of batter into a buttered coffee cup, drop preserves (or caramel) into center, then top with remaining batter. Top with crumb topping, microwave about 1 minute 15 seconds.
My son's favorite part was licking his fingers after mixing the crumb topping. Oh, and he really wants this to be his birthday cake. I hope we have enough mugs.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I'm starting to think I could serve these up as appetizers.
They're so easy to make, I just had to share the recipe from Simply Recipes via Pinterest.
I haven't tried adding bacon or pine nuts. Those would be great add ins.
I did however, add a bit more lemon juice and peeled off a few of the outer leaves to have more crispy pieces per serving (or to tide me over during the walk from oven to table).
How to make Brussels sprouts a family favorite...
What goes in the cast iron skillet or baking dish:
1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed trimmed, w/ extra leaves mixed in pan.
1 tsp or more to taste lemon juice.
1 Tbsp crushed garlic.
2 Tbsp olive oil, drizzled over the sprouts.
Place skillet in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir, then bake another 10 minutes. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you'd like. Serve immediately.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
And if it wasn't for Pinterest, I'd never have discovered instructions on how to make these beautiful marbled eggs.
This seemed like a perfect way to color all the brown eggs we have.
There's no doubt these would brighten up any brunch. But I decided to use the technique for our Easter deviled eggs.
Here's a step by step:
First boil and cool the eggs. I started these in cold water. [We bought a half dozen white eggs for the kids to more traditionally dye too.]
Crack each egg on all sides, place in a small snack bag and cover with drops of food coloring. This only took about 3-6 drops per egg for me, depending on the color I was going for. If I was making a larger batch, I would put same colored eggs in the same bag.
If you get touchy with your food during prep, wear gloves or your fingers will look like this.
Wait about 30 minutes, then rinse with white vinegar to set the color.
Peel the eggs and prepare to be delighted by the results.
Next, slice these beauties and let a child mix up the filling.
Fill em up.
Friday, April 6, 2012
As much as I've enjoyed my previous attempts, the combo tonight is my favorite by far. To make sure I won't forget what I did differently, I'm going to share the recipe here.
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped white onion [Red onion would add an extra bite and tastes great with leftover turkey.]
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded [I boiled the chicken in water with about a tablespoon New Mexico red chili flakes, garlic and salt.]
1/2 cup roasted green chili, chopped [I used the ones I roasted and froze in individual bags last harvest.]
3 cups medium to hot salsa [Pick a favorite.]
4 cups tortilla chips, no or low salt
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese [Or crumbled Mexican cheese or cheddar/Jack mix.]
Greek yogurt [or sour cream or crema]
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In an oven-proof, heavy skillet, saute onion in olive oil until the onion softens, about 3-5 minutes. Add chicken and chilies. Heat through, about 3 minutes. Add Salsa. Heat through, about 3 minutes. Carefully mix in tortilla chips and cover with shredded cheese. Slide skillet into hot oven for 5 minutes, just until the cheese melts. Remove from oven, serve immediately with cilantro and Greek yogurt.
Virtual Farmgirl content (unless otherwise noted) at Virtual Farmgirl is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at virtual-farmgirl.blogspot.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here.