Oh Sweet Cinnamon Rolls!

April 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment
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What a wonderful spring we have been having here in the Texas hill country! I have been looking forward to the ripe fruits and vegetables that should be on their way! We have a strawberry farm a few miles away, and I’m looking forward to getting out there in the next week or so to pick some ripe, juicy berries. I’m contemplating whether I am going to share my favorite Strawberry Pie recipe with you-I know, Selfish Me! I’m sure I’m not the only one who withholds secret family recipes, or am I??? Anyway, more on that in the next week or two.

Yummy and Sticky!

This past week I baked up some made from scratch sweet cinnamon rolls-Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls to be exact. The recipe was from Bon Appétit-one of my favorite sites.  I’m not one for using yeast and letting things rise, just not that patient. So to my surprise (and the joy of my family), I found myself making these rolls. I guess the pictures tempted me. They were actually much easier that I had imagined, and from the way they turned out, I will definitely be making more for guests and special occasions. Next time I will add more of the cinnamon filling (they never add enough in my opinion). I will also try freezing them before they rise so that I can have them ready for company.

The special thing about these cinnamon rolls is that they contain potatoes! Being the finicky eater that he is, my husband cringed at the thought of it; he just hasn’t heard of potato bread and the like. I’m positive the creamy, buttery potatoes were the reason for the light, smooth, airy texture of these rolls. The icing was also very easy, but again, not enough for my liking-I made two batches.

Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls

So on a day when you’re wanting to bake, and wanting your family to praise your cooking ability, or you’re trying to impress you breakfast guests, try these delicious rolls and let me know how you like them!

(Note to my sisters: Yes, I will include you on the guest list!)

~Karin~

Needing a hostess gift? A Meggie Mae Apron makes a great gift!

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Fast, Easy, Hot Out Of The Oven

March 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment
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Several weeks ago (on my birthday weekend) my husband took me to The Bluebonnet Café for breakfast. If you have never been to The Bluebonnet in Marble Falls, Texas read the full article at www.roamingthehills.wordpress.com

This week I made some Irish Soda Bread. I know, I’m a little slow at getting around to baking it. I should have made it St. Patrick’s Day as planned. Oh well! So I started to make some Irish Soda Bread with a recipe from Simply Recipes. I made a few changes, and now call it my Irish American Bread! First, I substituted ½ of the flour (2 cups) for whole wheat flour. After about 35 minutes, I had to cover the bread in foil and cook it an additional 10 minutes or so. The whole wheat makes the bread a little denser, but I expected that. Second, I used craisins instead of raisins. My son and I enjoyed the bread hot right out of the oven. YUM!  The creamy butter we added melted over the top of the piping hot bread and the craisins added a little sweetness. This was soooo fast and easy! This would be wonderful accompanying a pot of soup.You can find the recipe here http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/irish_soda_bread/

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Remember Meggie Mae Aprons when you’re looking for your next bridal or house warming gift.

May the luck o’the Irish be with ya in all your baking!

~Karin~

Celebrating With Family and Friends

March 11, 2010 at 5:30 am | Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment
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What a great weekend! It was my birthday so we decided to celebrate with family and friends. Did I mention it was all weekend? It all started Friday night with my sister and her husband. (No, back up, it started Thursday night when my daughter surprised me by coming home from college early! yay!) They came over and we cooked the Tomatillo Chicken Stew along with the Green Chile Cornbread from Simply Recipes. Oh so good-definitely will be one of my favorites from now on. I had a friend who made the stew, but she wasn’t quite as pleased with the stew. Suggestions-I used about 8 skinless chicken thighs. I think this made the stew much tastier and the chicken tender. Also, the pictures on the site show cutting the chicken into large pieces, I cut mine into bite size. I used a jar of Central Market Green Chile Salsa Verde since I was pressed for time.  When cooking the onions, I let them become light brown. If you try the recipe, let me know how it works for you.

The Green Chili Cornbread was so delish! I made a little oops! when I grabbed two cans of diced mild green chilies, but to my surprise one can was diced jalapenos! I had to fish the japs out of the batter, retrieving as many as possible. I like hot, but I was feeding company-I didn’t want to ignite them! Oh yeah, and don’t forget to drain them. I had to bake my cornbread an extra 15 minutes, yet it still turned out yummy. I know, so many mistakes on my part-I have a hard time multitasking while visiting and laughing with guests-all part of the fun!

More on the rest of my birthday eating adventure next week!

Blessings!

~Karin~

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~

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~

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!

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