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~

Chicken Pot Pie-Perfect For A Cold Winter Night

February 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment
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I made it through my 21 days without sugar, flour, or fast food! O.k., so I did splurge twice for special occasions, but I still feel better having rid myself of sugar and processed flour. I didn’t realize how sugar affected my mood until I went off it totally. I will certainly cut back on the amount of sugar I consume.  Also, with all the fruit I was eating, that had to have some positive effects, right? I have started back on flour as well, but only in small amounts-like in the recipe that follows.

This week was dark, cold and rainy- just the type of weather for some homemade chicken pot pie. I started following a recipe from some unnamed source, but it was soooo unnecessarily complicated that I took it in my own direction. I was happy with the results. Here’s the recipe for

Karin’s Chicken Pot Pie

1 ¼ cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 stick butter, cold, cut into small cubes
5-6 Tbsp. ice water
1 egg yolk, blended with 1 Tbsp water for glaze (optional)

4 chicken breasts, skinless, cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt/pepper to taste

5 + 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
5 Tbsp. flour
4+ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
¼ tsp. dried thyme
1 clove garlic, finely diced
¾ cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups frozen green peas
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped or 1 ½  tsp dried

Crust:
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter until you have pea size lumps. Pour in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with your hands. Add enough water to where you have a good dough, but not wet or soggy. On parchment paper, flatten dough to a 9 x 13 rectangle. Place on a cookie sheet and put in the fridge.

In a large skillet, heat 4 Tbsp of olive oil, add the chicken, season with salt and pepper.  Cook until well done. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix 5 Tbsp. flour and 5 Tbsp. of melted butter until smooth. Set aside. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. oil in the skillet on Med-high. Add the celery, onion, and carrots. Sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add thyme and garlic, cook 3 minutes. Add wine, cook about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and simmer. Slowly whisk in butter/flour mixture a little at a time.  Simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas, cream, and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a 9X13 baking dish.

Remove crust from the fridge. Place on top of the chicken mixture. Brush with yolk/water glaze. Bake in the oven on middle rack for 15 minutes.

Turn on broiler. Place pie in the top half of the oven. Broil until top is a golden brown-about 2-3 minutes.
Remove pie, let rest 5 minutes. Serve with a simple side salad and there you have a delicious, warm chicken pie for a cold winter night. I placed mine in 2 round baking dishes, since I knew my family would not finish this whole pie in one night.  We ate one and I froze the other for another night. You could also use rotisserie chicken so you can skip that step. Also, if you wanted a meat pie, you could make it with beef and use red wine instead of the white.

Keep warm and have a wonderful week!

~Karin~

Healthy Ideas for Breakfast and Dinner

January 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Food Talk, Recipes | Leave a comment
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I’m on day 18 of my no sugar, no flour 21 day resolution! I have to admit, I did splurge and have some of the chocolate cheesecake I made, but other than that, I’ve stayed the course. I’m almost there! I do feel better without the sugar and flour coursing through my veins. But to tell you the truth, can’t wait to start baking! Life is meant to be celebrated, and what’s a celebration without cake?

We’ll, this week I did try some outstanding recipes. My first was Rosemary Trout with Cherry Tomato Sauce from Food & Wine magazine. This is such a fast and easy meal to make and it’s the perfect winter dish-it has a warm,  carmel color  and is light and flavorful. I used trout filets with the skin on for my dinner served with steamed asparagus, Greek salad and crusty whole grain bread.

Rosemary Trout with Cherry -Tomato Sauce

4 servings. A couple of rosemary sprigs are all you need to flavor each whole trout.

Fish

1 pint cherry tomatoes (preferably assorted color), halves
1 large shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary plus 8 large sprigs
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Coarse kosher salt
4 -10 to 12 ounce whole trout, gutted, boned, heads removed, if desired

Mix tomatoes, shallot, vinegar and chopped rosemary in bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil.
Season sauce with salt and pepper.
Open trout like book on work surface. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.
Place 2 rosemary springs on each; fold over to close.
Divide 3 tablespoons oil between 2 large nonstick skillets. Place over medium-high heat.
Add 2 trout to each skillet. Cook trout until brown outside and just opaque in center, about
3 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Spoon sauce alongside.

My next dish I enjoyed was for breakfast-although it could be a dessert as well-whole wheat fruit crepes.  I love crepes because you can make them easily, they are lighter than tortillas, and you can fill them with just about anything to make a terrific meal. I filled mine with fresh fruit and non-fat plain yogurt, with a dollop of fresh whipped cream (no sugar added). These are so delish! I’ve made crepes before, but this whole-grain recipe filled with fruit is one of my favorites.  I can make a batch, wrap them between parchment paper, and they keep in the fridge up to 4 days.

Wheat Crepes –adapted from The Sonoma Diet Cookbook

Whole-wheat Crepes

2 eggs

2/3 cup water

½ cup milk

1 TB olive oil

1 cup whole wheat flour

pinch of salt

In a small bowl blend the eggs, water, milk and olive oil. In a large bowl mix the whole-wheat flour and salt. Make a well in the flour. Slowly stir the liquid ingredients into the flour until thoroughly combined.

Let set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Coat a non-stick skillet with spray oil. Heat skillet on medium-low heat. Pour batter into skillet. You might have to lift the skillet and swirl the batter to get it to spread. Heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter and continue with the remaining batter. Place parchment paper between crepes.

These healthy fruit crepes are easy to put together in the morning if you slice your fruit the night before. Then the next morning just spread your fruit and yogurt in the crêpe, wrap in cellophane, grab your coffee, and you’re out the door.

The 'Lisa' Apron

I hope these recipes get you off to a great start!

~Karin~

Valentine’s Day will soon be here. Order your apron today!

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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Healthy Findings

January 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Posted in Food Talk, Recipes | Leave a comment
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I’m not by any means giving up baking. I love baked goods of all kinds. I love to look at the artistic ability of professional and non-professional chefs alike. I am amazed at the beauty they can create in the kitchen to delight our sense of sight, smell, and taste. Food –especially baked goods-are such an enjoyment; they represent the celebration of heritage and festivities in cultures throughout the world, and that’s wonderful to be a part of!

So this 21 day resolution of giving up sugar and processed flour can’t be over quick enough. This is my 4th day of my so-called “diet.” I thought the first day was very easy, but by day three the biscotti I had deliberately hidden in the back of the freezer was calling my name. My morning cup o’joe wasn’t quite as satisfying without the sugar, but by the end of the week I think I will be accustomed to the new taste. The best part of the week was that I found some great healthy recipes!

Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts and Tarragon

Day one I prepared Bean Soup that you buy in the dried bean section of the grocery store (can’t remember the brand.) I prepared it according to directions, except instead of pork sausage I used chicken sausage with spinach and it was healthy, very tasty, economical, easy, and makes enough for you to freeze leftovers.

My favorite find of the week was Spaghetti Squash.  I came across a recipe in Food and Wine Magazine, and since I had never made this type of squash, I thought I’d give it a try. This was such a healthy, easy and bright side dish! I really enjoyed it and had a lot left over for lunch the next day. Here is the recipe- http://tinyurl.com/yj95v4h . I made a few adjustments of my own: 3 squash is waaay to many- used 1. I didn’t have white wine vinegar-I had red wine vinegar. I didn’t have fresh tarragon-I had dried and I mixed in a small amount according to taste. I didn’t have queso fresco so I used crumbled feta cheese. Since I wasn’t using the recommended 3 squash, I thought I would have lots of dressing left over, but I ended up using it all-you might use less according to your taste.

The 'Julia' Apron

The 'Julia' Apron

Healthy Cooking!

Karin

If you’re needing a Valentine’s Day present for your favorite chef,

or a treat for yourself, check out Meggie Mae Aprons!

New Year’s Resolutions-365 days? How ’bout 21?

January 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Food Talk, reviews | Leave a comment
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OK, so I’ve been contemplating my New Year’s resolution. I love baking and I’m usually pretty good at eating only small amounts (in my opinion) of what comes out of my oven. But I’ll admit, I am notorious for licking the bowls. Don’t tell me you resist-I’ve tried running water in the bowl before temptation strikes, but I never make it to the sink.

So, that brings me to my New Year’s resolution. As I was thinking about what I should work on this coming year, I received a link to an article which gave me the determination to see my resolution through. My resolution?? Going off all sugar and unhealthy food of any kind for 21 days. My inspiration? Check out this article entitled The Hazards of Sugar  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/02/HighFructose-Corn-Syrup-Alters-Human-Metabolism.aspx.

The whole segment is quite long (9 parts), but it is well worth watching.

So, starting January 11, I’m starting my resolution-strategically scheduled after my Texas-Alabama football party and when all the biscotti is gone from my kitchen.  I’m starting a 21 day heath kick. Fresh, wholesome food which means no sugar or sugar substitutes. This will be hard-not even sugar for my coffee-aahhhh! But 21 days-I’m thinkin’ this isn’t a full month, and it is just long enough so I can accomplish my goal and rid myself of all gunk. OK, I had better state up front-my husband’s birthday falls in this time period, so that might be the one day I fall off the wagon, and coffee isn’t gunk- it’s essential for me to function; I’ll go off coffee in the summer. The upside is I can start the year off right and reintroduce baking on a good note-just in time for Valentine’s!

Healthy Resolutions

I’ll keep you updated periodically on my progress and let you know what I end up cooking for family dinners. Good luck with your resolutions, and let me know if you were amazed as I was about what the doctor had to say. You might just want to join me!

~Karin~

Best Dessert of the Year?

January 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Food Talk | Leave a comment
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You all know I love to bake. I’ve been baking non-stop since Halloween! My first attempt at a recipe for the New Year appears on this month’s front cover of Food and Wine Magazine. It was named the dessert of the year-Butterscotch Sticky Buns.  In my opinion, sticky buns are not a dessert-they are like a pastry served at breakfast. So really, I don’t feel like this should have been named “Dessert” of the year, but who’s complaining?? Anyway, they looked so yummy staring at me from the front cover, I had to grab an apron and start bake them.

I’d have to say, they turned out very pretty, and the irresistible icing drizzled perfectly into all the folds of the little buns and absorbed into the bottom oh so right. But the downside was my dough turned out a little dense-probably had something to do with the yeast and temperature of the milk (I think it was too warm). Served hot, right out of the oven-oh who could resist?  Overall, I’d say the first treat of the New Year was delicious! But best dessert of the year? That will need some testing. I’ll let you know in December how it holds up.

Happy Baking!

Butterscotch Sticky Buns

~Karin~

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≈

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