Recently in In The Kitchen Category

Apple Picking and Apple Pie

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One of the things I really wanted to do this fall was go apple picking.  I actually really wanted to go last fall but never made it happen.  This past Saturday was a perfect fall day so my boyfriend and I decided to meet up with a bunch of my family and head to the orchard.  This was my first apple picking experience and it was fantastic.  Definitely met my expectations.  The apple pie I've been enjoying (the first I've ever made) all this past week has been fantastic as well.  :)

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apple picking 018.JPGI realize I messed up the crust a bit, and it's not that great to look at, but it really is delicious.  I wish I could share a piece with you to prove it.  :)

If you have a favorite apple recipe, please feel free to share.  I have so many apples left still and the crisp I tried was a big failure.

Happy Fall!

Rhubarb Crisp

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I made the first rhubarb crisp of the season this past Sunday evening.  I went out to my backyard the other day and noticed the rhubarb had started growing like crazy.  There was a ton ready to pick (I inherited 10-12 rhubarb plants with my house), so I figured I'd better get started on using it up.  A friend of mine gave me a super-easy rhubarb crisp recipe last year that has been a big hit when I bring it to work or other spring/summer get-togethers.  It really doesn't get much better than this in terms of bang for your buck.  It's so easy and taste so good.


Microwave Rhubarb Crisp Recipe



4-5 cups sliced rhubarb

2/3 c. sugar

1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. rolled oats

2/3 c brown sugar

3/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/3 c. soft butter or margarine



1.  Combine rhubarb and sugar in 8 inch baking dish. 

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 2.  In mixing bowl, blend remaining ingredients until crumbly.  

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3.  Sprinkle over rhubarb. 

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4.  Microwave uncovered on high for 12 minutes or until rhubarb is tender, rotating dish once or twice. Topping becomes more crisp as it cooks. For crisper topping, broil a few minutes. 

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5.  Serve with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!  Also, I highly recommend heating up when


I've got a lot of rhubarb so please, share with me your favorite rhubarb recipe so I can try it out next! 

Tasty Holiday Treats: Church Windows

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This past Sunday afternoon I was still going strong on the baking front.  I made a "cookie" that was very appropriately named for making on a Sunday.  Church Windows!  I had never heard of them until they were suggested by my friend Jess.  They are a simple mixing of melted chocolate and marshmallows. 



Church Windows Recipe



1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

1 12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 10.5 oz. package of mini colored marshmallows

Mix chocolate and butter in a double boiler until melted.

Take off heat and allow to cool for approximately five minutes. It should be cool before adding marshmallows so they don't melt. 

Add marshmallows and mix.

When thoroughly mixed, pour onto aluminum foil and form into cylinder.

Put the cylinder in the refrigerator and then slice into cookies.

Helpful Hint: For the cylinder, take an empty paper towel roll, cut in length-wise and put aluminum foil on the inside, then add the chocolate/marshmallow mix. This should help make a more symmetric cookie.



The list of ingredients can't get much simpler.



Melt in double boiler or make-shift one like mine if you don't own one.



Looks kinda gross when melted and mixed with marshmallows.



All rolled up.  I only had one paper towel roll so had to make do with just foil for the second roll.



They do end up kind of pretty, even if my poor photography skills don't show it.



These were by far the simplest of all the treats I made this weekend.  They were also probably my least favorite, but only because I am not a huge fan of marshmallows.  I brought a dozen or so into work and set them out by the coffee machine and water cooler, and sent an email to the engineering department at my company.  I did this around 10:00 AM.  At around 10:30 AM I was over by the counter I had set the plate of cookies down on and there was one left.  By 11 they were gone. I got a lot of emails and visits to my desk with people telling me how good they were.  So even though they weren't my favorite, they were certainly a hit at the office.


This is part 3 of a three part series on Tasty Holiday Treats. 

Read part 1:  Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buckeyes

Read part 2:  Traditional Sugar Cookies

On Saturday afternoon I tackled Traditional Sugar Cookies.  I used a recipe given to me by my mom.  The recipe below is exactly as she sent it to me, including all of her comments. 

One lesson learned during this baking experience?  Erin is incapable of nicely decorating sugar cookies using icing.  Seriously, it was pretty pathetic.  Luckily I decided to do the majority of the cookies using red and green sprinkles.

I made mine with only 4 different cookie cutters: angel, holly leaf, snowman, and a bell.  I saw this 4-pack at the grocery store and they were just too cute to resist.  They are actually what prompted this little baking frenzy.

I made a double batch and I think it made a little more than 5 dozen cookies, although I didn't count.



Christmas Sugar Cookies

(I usually make a double recipe so I'll put the regular amount in front of the ingredient and then the double amount.  Good Luck!)


3/4 (1 1/2) cup shortening (I use butter)

1 (2) cup sugar

2 (4) eggs

1 (2) teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 (5) cups all-purpose flour

1 (2) teaspoon baking powder

1 (2) teaspoon salt



Mix thoroughly shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. (I usually take the butter out ahead so that it is kind of soft.) Blend in mixture of flour, baking powder and salt a little at a time. Cover; chill at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board (like pie crust). Cut into desired shapes. Decorate with colored sugar. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 6-8 minutes or until very light brown. They cook a little more when you take them out so don't over do. It's good to have two baking sheets so you can keep them going. Cool on rack and enjoy!







This is part 2 of a three part series on Tasty Holiday Treats. 

Read part 1:  Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buckeyes

Read part 3:  Chocolate and Marshmallow Church Windows

Tasty Holiday Treats: Buckeyes

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I decided a week or so ago that I wanted to do a bunch of holiday baking this year.  I have never done this in the past, but somehow got it in my head that this year I was going to do it.  Even despite the old crappy oven.  So I reached out to people for their favorite recipes and chose three to do this weekend. 

So this is the first of series of three posts, one for each of the tasty treats I decided to make.

First up is something suggested by an old friend of mine.  It has chocolate and peanut butter so I knew I had to make this one.  I searched up some recipes and found a great one over at The Way the Cookie Crumbles and adapted it ever so slightly.  It seemed easy enough for a novice like myself to make so on Friday afternoon, on a lovely vacation day from work, I headed to the store to get everything I needed and got started.



Buckeye Recipe



1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

1 jar of creamy peanut butter (approximately 18 oz.)

1 tablespoon of vanialla extract

3 cups of powdered sugar

16 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate



1.  In a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-low speed until creamy. Add peanut butter and continue mixing until fully blended. Blend in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix on medium-low speed until fully blended. It should have the texture of very thick cookie dough.

2.  Roll the peanut butter mixture into 1-inch balls, and place the balls on a parchment- or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Push a toothpick into each ball. Put the peanut butter balls in the freezer and chill until hard, at least 4 hours.

3.  Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Using the toothpick as a handle, dip each peanut butter ball in chocolate, leaving a section of peanut butter uncoated. Place chocolate covered balls on parchment or wax paper and remove the toothpick. Once the peanut butter has softened, you can use a finger to smooth over the hole from the toothpick. 





For the semi-sweet chocolate I ended up buying a 24 oz. bag of Nestles morsels and used 2/3 of the bag. 

I ended up with extra chocolate but I really think it was the perfect amount because right at the very end it was starting to get difficult to dip and cover the balls.

This recipe should make between 4 and 5 dozen buckeyes, depending on the size.  I made just over 4 dozen.

I split them up onto two different baking sheets due to size contraints but this ended up working out really well.  I left the second baking sheet in the freezer until I was done coating the second. This worked out well because if they sit out to long the balls will start to soften which makes the dipping difficult/impossible.  I also recommend enlisting a friend to help make it go a little faster.  But maybe I was just being too picky and going rather slowly. :)

So far my batch has been taste-tested by three different people (one being me, ha) and they all gave two thumbs up.

According to the original site I got the recipe from, Buckeyes can be stored, loosely covered, at room temperature for at least a week.



This is part 1 of a three part series on Tasty Holiday Treats. 

Read part 2:  Traditional Sugar Cookies

Read part 3:  Chocolate and Marshmallow Church Windows

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





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