Aprons, Recipes, and Gardening in the Hill Country

March 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Aprons, Recipes | Leave a comment
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Last week I made the Italian Pot Roast from the Simply Recipes web site. Oh so comforting! This week I plan on making the Chicken and Apples in Honey Mustard Sauce as well as the Tomatillo Chicken Stew. I’ll be sure to let you know which one was my favorite 🙂

I also enjoyed making some yummy little treats from Baking Bites. The Coconut Lime Crumble Bars were oh sooooo good! I’m tempted by anything with lemon or lime, and with the addition of coconut well, they just absolutely beckon spring!

From my back porch I hear the birds chirping and see some of the trees budding.  I’m very excited about getting out and working in the yard. My Meggie Mae Apron really comes in handy when I’m gardening. My favorite to wear while working in the yard is the ‘bistro reversible apron’ because of the deep pockets which hold my pruning shears and seed packets, as well as the short length which allows me to stoop and bend without letting the apron touch the ground. And of course it is ‘reversible!’

The 'Bistro Reversible Apron'

The 'Bistro Reversible Apron'

I hope to have more herbs this year, as I was very happy with my little plot from last year, but there are so many beautiful, fragrant varieties that you can never have enough. Oh, and did I mention most herbs are deer proof? You have to consider that above all else when growing in the Texas Hill Country!

~Karin~

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I Love Spring!

February 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Aprons | 1 Comment
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Today I’m headed to the fabric store. I’m so excited to look at Spring colors and patterns! Walking into a fabric store for me is like a child in a candy store. I like to touch everything, and I can’t make up my mind on what I like best-so I try them all! Can’t wait to design new aprons and get them listed for you to see. I’m hoping to do some spring cleaning (I know, it’s only February) by redesigning my website as well.

Try wearing a stylish new Meggie Mae Apron –it just might help you get a jump on your spring cleaning too!

I love Spring!!

The 'Margaret' Apron

The 'Margaret' Apron

~Karin~

Free Shipping on Meggie Mae Apron Orders!

February 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Aprons | Leave a comment
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Enter code ‘ship5’ at checkout to receive free shipping on your entire order. This offer will expire on March 4th 2010, so don’t delay!  Meggie Mae Aprons make perfect birthday, hostess, or bridal/shower gifts.  We also offer gift wrapping for your convenience.

The 'Blue Hostess' Apron

The 'Blue Hostess' Apron

Simply Terrific Food Blog

February 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Aprons, Food Talk | Leave a comment
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This week I was floating through the food blog universe, which is actually one of my favorite past times. I’m amazed at the number of gifted cooks out there.  They are not only gifted at cooking, but they are also talented writers and creative photographers.  Elsie Bauer, of Simply Recipes is one the most talented.

When visiting her site, make sure you read her ‘About’ page. Her philosophy on cooking, as well as how the blog got started are great reads.  You will find everything from simple, everyday meals to more formal dishes- all tested by Elsie or her family and all with terrific photographs.  The recipe index is very helpful and you can also browse the site by ‘Recipe Type.’ Simply Recipes will definitely be one of my go-to blogs the next time I need a weeknight meal plan or a potluck idea.

This week I’m trying The Italian Pot Roast-perfect for a family meal on a cold February night. I hope you enjoy Elsie’s blog, and get the chance to wear your Meggie Mae Apron in the process!

The 'Kristin' and 'Julia' apron

~Karin~

Valentine’s Day Treats!

February 12, 2010 at 1:18 am | Posted in Aprons, Recipes | 2 Comments
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I had loads of fun spending an entire day making Valentine’s Day treats. I made three of my favorites-puppy chow, chocolate pretzels, and my own creation-Karin’s Valentine Treats.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Many of you have made puppy chow mix before. It is one of my favorites! My daughter loves it because she can make it in her dorm microwave, package it in a pretty bag, and give as gifts. My picture turned out overexposed, but you can look on Savory Sweet Life to get the recipe, as well as see a beautiful presentation. This is the picture that inspired me to use it in the red Valentine’s Day tins I found. Alice has other great recipes as well, so browse the site-she takes awesome pictures!

Of course chocolate covered pretzels are so easy and fun-no recipe needed! Just dip in chocolate and decorate with drizzled white chocolate or sprinkles of your choosing. Chocolate covered pretzels are fun to do with little kiddos too!

My previous two treats were so easy, my final creation took a little longer-but was well worth the effort! Who can resist ‘nilla wafers, peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate? Is there anything I missed?? Oh so good!

'Nilla wafers and peanut butter

'Nilla wafers and peanut butter-oh yum!

Karin’s Valentine Treats

Lollipop sticks (optional)
Vanilla wafers (I prefer Nabisco or Keebler)
Smooth peanut butter-about 1 ½ cups
Butter or nonstick cooking spray

Caramel Ingredients
1 1-pound box dark brown sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup maple pancake syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt

12 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips-or whatever you prefer
Optional-white icing for drizzling, various valentine’s sprinkles

Spread each cookie with peanut butter and top with another cookie. Slide lollipop stick between cookies, optional. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet.

Caramel

Karin's Valentine Treats covered with caramel

Covered with caramel

Combine first 8 ingredients in a heavy 2 1/2-quart saucepan. Stir with wooden spoon over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 15 minutes. Using a candy thermometer, heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236°F, stirring constantly but slowly with a wooden spoon and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into metal bowl. Cool, without stirring, to 175°F, about 20 minutes.

Cover two cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Rub each with butter. Using 2 fingers or small tongs, carefully pick up each cookie and dip it in the caramel. Use a small spatula to brush off any excess from each side. (If using lollipop sticks, the trick is to not let the stick fall out!) Gently place on the buttered foil. Place them in the fridge and cool completely.

Cover two more cookie sheets with foil and butter them. Melt your chocolate in the microwave according to package directions. Dip each cookie in the chocolate, scraping off excess with a spatula. Place each chocolate covered cookie on the buttered foil. While still warm, sprinkle with decorations or drizzle with white chocolate. Place in the fridge until cool. Wrap in individual lollipop wrappers or saran wrap.

I hope you have lots of fun making treats for your favorite Valentine.  And don’t forget-Meggie Mae Aprons make great gifts!

Puppy Chow, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Karin's Valentine Treats

Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Puppy Chow, Karin's Valentine Treats

Happy Valentine’s Day!

~Karin~

My Favorite Healthy Meal-Fish Tacos!

January 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Posted in Aprons, Food Talk, Recipes | Leave a comment
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I’ve made it ½ way through my 21 day resolution! No sugar, sugar substitutes, or processed flour-and through that I’ve made cappuccino brownies and Mississippi mud cake, without a drop of sugar entering my mouth!  I’m feeling pretty good about it, although I am really looking forward to the time when I can have some sugar once again. I have a hard time looking at dessert pictures-there are lots of recipes I’m now dreaming of making; I can’t wait to try them all!

Fish taco-healthy eating at its best!

But really, I’ve found some great healthy recipes. My favorite to prepare this week were my Fish Tacos. Fish tacos are my favorite! I consider myself an expert on fish tacos. The best are at La Playa in Port Aransas, Texas. Mine are second. Sometimes I dip the fish in Panko bread crumbs and fry it (not healthy but oh so yummy), but I enjoy grilled fish the most. I have used tilapia, mahi mahi, and orange roughy.  For frying, tilapia works great. For grilling-I prefer mahi mahi. This particular night I had orange roughy because that’s what looked the freshest in the store.  Grilled fish, mango salsa and purple cabbage slaw drizzled with a special sauce all served on soft corn tortillas, alongside seasoned black beans and fresh guacamole. Oh yeah, it was delicious!

Here’s a great recipe (not mine, but a good one) from Food and Wine Magazine-check it out!

http://tinyurl.com/n4epaq

One night I made a Frittata with eggs, spinach, bacon bits, red onion, and sliced black olives with feta cheese sprinkled over the top and served alongside fresh fruit (blueberries, tangerines, and apple slices.) This was a quick, delicious meal for a busy night, but would also be great at breakfast served with toast. There are many Frittata recipes online, just add your favorite ingredients. It’s like making a quiche, only without the crust. This is a tasty and satisfying dish, as well as very colorful. Here’s a great recipe from www.simplyrecipes.com http://tinyurl.com/cs7rn6

Enjoy your week by spend some time cooking your favorite meal or trying a new recipe-you will be very satisfied with your efforts and your family will love it!

The 'Amy' full apron

~Karin~

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Happy 2010!

January 1, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Posted in Aprons | Leave a comment
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Happy New Year! I’m so excited about the possibilities in 2010. For Meggie Mae Aprons it looks to be a very busy year with spring apron designs coming out, new product lines, and of course trying delicious new recipes.

Meggie Mae Aprons will also be having promotions with coupons and discounts throughout the year. So check our blog often to catch the savings! Our aprons are perfect for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, wedding showers, or hostess gift. Meggie Mae Aprons are of the finest quality, individually sewn and made from designer fabrics.

The 'Kim' Apron

The 'Kim' Apron

Also, we’d love for you to join us on Facebook or Twitter by clicking one of the links to the right. I’m always wanting to hear about your favorite recipes!

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

≈Karin≈

Classic Christmas Cookies

December 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Posted in Aprons, Recipes | Leave a comment
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It’s the week before Christmas! I still have shopping left-I’m headed out into the holiday crowd today. Odd, but I actually enjoy the crowds-I think it lends a sort of cheer and anticipation to the Christmas celebration.

But I also enjoy the cold nights spent at home with family, the fireplace lit and the smell of cookies coming fresh out of the oven. Recently, Meghan and I spent time cooking two of our favorites-M&M cookies and Coconut Macaroons. The recipes are old standbys; you probably have ones similar in your own recipe collection, but here is our take on these yummy classics.

Meggie Mae Aprons

Meggie Mae Aprons and Christmas Cookies

M&M Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 ½ cups M&Ms plain

Blend shortening and sugars. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Sift remaining dry ingredients together and add to the sugar and egg mixture. Mix well. Stir in 1 cup of M&Ms-reserve remaining for decorating. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet-decorate tops of the cookies with the remaining M&Ms.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperatureCoconut Macaroons
¾ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
24 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 6 cups firmly packed)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate or chocolate bark, melted

Position rack in center of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and salt; beat until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in coconut. Drop batter onto sheets by tablespoonfuls, spacing 1 ½ inches apart.
Bake 1 sheet at a time until golden on bottom and browned in spots, about 25-30 minutes.
Using a ziplock, place the melted chocolate in the bag. Cut a tiny hole in one corner. Drizzle chocolate over each cookie. Chill on sheets until chocolate is firm.

Enjoy the Christmas season!

~Karin~

Quest For The Perfect Blueberry Muffin Recipe

December 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Aprons, Food Talk | Leave a comment

My quest this week was to find the perfect blueberry muffin recipe. In my internet wonderings, I came across a terrific site called Not without Salt. Ashley of Not without Salt is not only a talented baker, but also a gifted photographer.The site is so elegant with its beautiful photography and the wonderful recipes look so enticing that you will definitely be inspired.

So I decided to try The Classic Blueberry Muffins-the step by step pictures were oh so helpful. Ashley added a few recommendations at the bottom of the recipe. I took her advice and changed a few things-first, I substituted buttermilk and added 1/8 tsp. baking soda. Next, for the topping, instead of using 1/2 cup of white sugar, I used 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. I did like the crispy topping that formed on the tops.  And last, I used frozen blueberries-I know, fresh is definitely better. This was a little tricky because I had to let them come to room temperature, drain them with a paper towel, and stir them in ever so gently. Oh yeah, one more thing, I had to bake them slightly longer than 15 minutes-more like 18-but that might just be my oven. All in all I think my first attempt at blueberry muffins was a success, thanks to the wonderful recipe from Not without Salt.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

If you’re looking to do some holiday baking, check out Not without Salt for some wonderful inspirational ideas and recipes. Also, visit Meggie Mae Aprons for some trendy holiday gift ideas.

Merry Christmas!

~Karin~

Christmas Biscotti

December 3, 2009 at 5:28 am | Posted in Aprons, Recipes | 1 Comment
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It’s Christmas time, and that means lots of baking! I like to get a jump on baking so my home has lots of goodies when friends come over. I always start with biscotti because, as many of you know, I’m an avid coffee drinker and I love biscotti. I have a piece each morning during the holidays-my little treat. I usually make 3-4 different types. Below are two of my favorites. I love the honey smell of the Sesame-Honey biscotti, and the white chocolate flavoring on the Spicy Nut biscotti. Put on some Christmas carols and enjoy your holiday baking, and don’t forget to wear your Meggie Mae Apron!

Sesame-Honey Biscotti

Honey-Sesame Biscotti

Sesame-Honey Biscotti

1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; beat until combined. Beat in eggs and honey till combined. beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds and any remaining flour.

Divide dough in half. With floured hands, shape each portion into a 12-inch log. Place rolls about 4 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten to about 3 inches width. Sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds and press them in with your hand.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or till lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet 1 hour.

Transfer to a cutting board; cut each loaf diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Lay slices, cut side down, on the cookie sheet. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn slices to the other side and bake 8 to 10 minutes more till dry and crisp. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Spicy Nut Biscotti

Spicy Nut Biscotti

Spicy Nut Biscotti

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups finely chopped nuts
1/2 cup vanilla coating or white chocolate

Beat butter or margarine in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated and brown sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; beat till combined. Beat in eggs till combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the nuts. Stir remaining nuts into dough. Divide in half.

Shape each portion into a 12-inch roll. Place 5 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly to 3-inch width. Sprinkle reserved chopped nuts on top of the loaves; press lightly into dough.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or till lightly browned. Cool on a cookie sheet 1 hour or till completely cooled.

Transfer to a cutting board. Cut each loaf into 1/2-inch slices. lay slices, cut side down, on the cookie sheet. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn slices to the other side and bake 10-15 minutes more till dry and crisp. Remove and cool on wire rack.

Melt white chocolate in the mircowave according to directions. Transfer to a small ziplock bag. Cut one corner off to form a very small opening. With the biscotti still on the cookie sheet, zig zag back and forth with the white chocolate to decorate the cookies.

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