Tag Archives: cooking

How to Bake My Mom’s Marvelous Apple Pie

apple pie

Since I almost never cook, I rarely ever do posts on cooking, baking, or recipes. But, since it’s the holidays and my Mom’s apple pie is legendary among family and friends, I made an exception. Sometime after dessert on Christmas Eve, I asked her if she wanted to share her apple pie recipe with me and all my fabulous readers and she said YES!

Here’s my Mom’s famous apple pie recipe written out in her own words for you and your family to enjoy:

The best apples for apple pie are Courtland or MacIntosh.  The secret to the pie, and for that matter any pie, is to let your fruit marinate in the sugar and other spices.  In the case of apple pie, it is very important that while peeling and cutting the apples, take a taste of a few different apples to determine the sweetness and juiciness of the apples.  If not sweet enough or bland in flavor, you might want to add some lemon juice.  If too dry, you might want to add a couple of tablespoons of water.

Begin by peeling and cutting the apples in slices into a big bowl.  Then add:

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

vanilla to taste

2 tablespoons small tapioca beads

Mix well and set aside.

To make the pie crust – I use a variation of the recipe in the original Joy of Cooking:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup Crisco

Mix well with a pie blender until the dough resembles small peas.  Add 5 tablespoons of water and mix the dough with your hands until it forms a ball.  Split the ball in half, one half for the bottom the other for the top.  Please note not to handle the dough too much.  The dough is also very sensitive to its environment – it will roll out differently depending on how hot or humid it is.  So never panic when you feel that your dough is different every time.

Roll the bottom first – generously flour your surface – roll to form a circle about the size of your pie dish.  Place rolled out dough in your pie dish, put half the mixture of the apples in it.  Dot with little bits of butter.  Add remaining apples, dot with butter again.  Roll out your other half of the dough.  Before placing it on the apples, wet the rim of the bottom dough all around with wet hands.  Place the top dough and press it on the wet rim of the bottom.  With wet hands, shape the edges of the pie.

Before placing in the oven, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon then poke holes on the upper crust so that your pie will ventilate and not explode in the oven.

Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F for about 35 to 45 minutes longer.

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It’s All In The Jar: Delicious Custom Cookie Mix Makes Gift Giving Easy

Even socialites (along with aspiring ones) aren’t immune to the delicious allure of freshly baked holiday cookies.  As a child, putting out home made cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve after spending a December weekend baking them with friends and family were always one of my favorite parts of the holidays.  The Mason Jar Cookie Company provides everything you need to create your own customizable gifts for both yourself and others that put a twist on classic recipes for cookies.  They even come in Gluten-Free options.  The hardest part will be choosing your cookie mix ingredients from their four cookie bases and thirty-five add-ins.  The Mason Jar website is a fun interactive experience that allows you to fill your jar with all their delicious ingredients.  My personal favorite combination is the dark chocolate chips with the oatmeal mix.

After you place your custom order, they do the rest of the work.  When your cookie mix arrives, it’s creatively and beautifully packaged in a Mason Jar, for no-fuss homemade cookies this holiday season and beyond.  The average price is only $19 depending on which ingredients you choose.  Gift certificates are also available along with a special party favor size to put in gift bags at holiday parties, weddings, and birthdays.  When you’re ready to bake those chocolate cookies you’ve been drooling over.  Simply pour your jar of chocolate cookie mix into a bowl and add the dairy ingredients per the instructions right before baking.  In most cases this is butter and an egg, although some base mixes call for a little milk or water.  Each jar makes 24-36 cookies depending on which and how many add ins you have chosen.  Mason Jar Company cookies are just as simple to make as cookies made from the box only far more glamorous.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the opinions are all my own.

This Thanksgiving Give the Vegetarians a Seat at the Table

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all. This year I am thankful for the people who make it a point to remember the vegetarians sitting at their table. As an aspiring socialite I am not only picky about my style, I also pay very close attention to the food I ingest. I am sad to say that I have spent numerous Thanksgivings eating nothing, but chex mix and dinner rolls while the carnivores feasted. But, thanks to my understanding family who have grown to know me a bit too well, my vegetarian ways and I now have a seat at the table.

Vegetarian food doesn’t have to cramp your style this holiday season. We don’t want you to do away with the turkey we just want options. It is actually very simple to integrate vegetarian options into your meal. If a salad is being presented and it includes meat, keep it on the side giving your guests the choice of adding it or not. Do not add substances such as bacon to the mashed potatoes unless you have made two batches, one with and one without bacon. If you insist on adding chicken stock or some other kind of animal product to the stuffing let your vegetarian guests know to steer clear of it. Other comfort foods that fit in with the Thanksgiving theme include macaroni and cheese or a spinach dish. These are sides your entire table can enjoy that act as the primary dish for your often excluded vegetarian guests. So show the vegetarians in your life some love this holiday season and they just may spend more money than they planned on your Christmas gift. It’s good karma.

For some amazing vegetarian recipes such as Buttermilk Squash Soup visit 101Cookbooks.com.