Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a wonderful day with family, friends and good food! I just wanted to share a quick recipe that is a must at our Thanksgiving table, Apple Squares. It’s one of the things that everyone in the family looks forward to!
I can remember making these when I was a little girl with my great aunt, we would clear the kitchen table, roll up our sleeves and dive into a world of sweet, sweet apples and the flakiest dough you could ever dream of!
Apple Squares
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shortening
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes
Combine the flour and salt in bowl and cut in shortening.
In bowl beat egg yolks and milk, reserve the egg whites for later.
Add egg mixture to the flour mixure
Mix dough until combined and form into a ball and cut in half. Refrigerate for an hour or so.
In the meantime, crush your cornflakes into very fine pieces. Perfect job for the little ones!

Roll out the dough and place it on a 15 x10 sheet pan. If you’re terrible at rolling out dough like I am than this is the perfect dough for you! It’s great for piecing together and once it’s baked, it’s so flaky that no one will ever know!
  • 6 apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Slice up the apples, we always used granny smith apples, why I have no idea but you can use your favorite kind. Toss them with the sugar and cinnamon.
Place the apple in a flat layer on top of cornflakes.
Roll out the remaining dough, place on top of the apples layer, cut some slits to let the steam escape and seal the edges. Beat the egg whites until foamy and spread on top of the crust.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour, until the crust is golden. Cool slightly.
If that doesn’t look delicious on it’s own there’s one more step!
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbl water
Combine the above ingredients and drizzle till your hearts content! I usually make these a day ahead so the next day I will cut them into 24 squares.
These squares will put any apple pie to shame!! A little bit of advice, if you decide to make these for a holiday party, make sure you keep a few squares at home for yourself! They will be gone as soon as you unwrap them! Winking smile
Could I make these square more healthy, substituting the shortening for a better option? Absolutely. But, some things should just be left alone and this is one of them.
It’s Thanksgiving, to me that means family traditions,  our day just wouldn’t be the same without them…

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

From Biscuits to Blah

Have you ever baked something that you have been craving only for it to turn out to be a huge disappointment? That was me this morning, biscuits…how hard can it be?!

It wasn’t just the biscuits that I was looking forward to, but the spread that was going on them. First, let’s just start with the biscuits…


Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt


Wet ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbl. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey


so far so good right?! Here’s where I think I went wrong, may have needed more butter.

Sift dry ingredients and mix 2 tbls butter with a pastry blender.


Now add the wet and mix just until combined.


add a couple handfuls of cranberries


Turn out onto counter and lightly kneed , roll out to 1/2 inch thick and cut out circles



Place on sheet pan and bake in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.


The finished product…


wasn’t terrible but certainly not my favorite, what a bummer! So to try and jazz up the flavor I decided to spread some Cranberry Lime Sauce on them.


I loved this spread when I tasted it here but to tell you the truth I really didn’t care for it today. Maybe it was the crackers that tasted so good! lol


Nope, I don’t think anything can save these poor biscuits except….


Miley!  Do you think she knows that she is getting my kitchen blunders?? Frankly, I don’t think she cares! lol Winking smile Back to the drawing board for me!!



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Taco's and a Giveaway!

With the girls growing and getting older I find that our schedule and weekly routines are becoming more and more hectic. Lately it seems as if days can go by without having a nice sit down meal at the table as a family.
Old El Paso has come up with this brilliant idea of  setting aside at least one night a month for  “family taco night”. To help with this Old El Paso offers a variety of  sauces, salsa, meal kits, etc. to make dinner in a cinch.
  oep taco night_final

Through MyBlogSpark, Old El Paso provided me with a great prize pack of  a packet of original Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip & Dip Serving dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase my taco fixings.
Since Old El Paso makes it so easy to prepare a meal with their dinner kits, I decided to let my 11 year old daughter, Kailey prepare our taco’s for our own “family taco night fiesta”.
She first began by cutting up all the toppings for our tacos.
Now on to the taco filling…browning the hamburg
Adding the Old El Paso Taco seasoning
Adding the water, Old El Paso salsa and sauce…
Bring mixture to a boil and let simmer for 3-4 minutes
Easy peasy, done in less than 20 minutes! Time to sit down and enjoy!
One well deserved bite!!! Great job Kailey and thanks to Old El Paso, dinner was stress free and delicious!!
As if that wasn’t fun enough we played El Tacodor TM, the worlds only family taco night game. This game consists of challenging one another to quick fire trivia, wordplay or pantomime. Some of the games we played were:
Toon Time: Pick a partner and together you have 1 minute to name 10 animated movies.
W Words: Pick a partner and together name 5 foods that start with the letter “W”.
And my favorite,
You Crack Me Up: You have to carefully hold a taco shell in your mouth and sing the alphabet song without breaking the shell! Here’s how the girls did!!
Kailey  vs.  Jorydn
Sweet, sweet victory!
We have never laughed so hard at dinner than we did tonight and as a matter of fact we have never sat at the table for that long either!
Want to plan your own family taco night fiesta? Visit El Tacodor and download the instructions, score card and a challenge sheet of our own!
To get started you can click here to download a printable coupon for $0.60 off any two Old El Paso products via MyBlogSpark.
And best of all Old El Paso and MyBlogSpark  would like to give one lucky reader a family taco night prize pack of your own which will consist of:
  • Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
  • Cactus Chip & Dip Serving Dish
  • 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes
  • $10 gift card to purchase taco toppings
Mandatory Entry
  1. Be a blog follower and make sure you leave your email address
  2. Visit Old El Paso and share with me what recipe you’d like to try for your family game night Fiesta.
Additional Entries (please leave a separate comment for each entry)
  1. Follow me on Twitter
  2. Tweet about this giveaway
  3. Subscribe to my feed
  4. Add me to your blog roll
  5. Share your favorite taco topping
Contest Ends December 5, 2010 at 9pm. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or new winner will be chosen. 
Good luck!!!