Recent Posts

Black Bean Test

Black Bean Test

With how simple cracking open a can of beans is and dumping them into a pot, you may wonder why people go to the trouble of using dry beans. The soaking process takes time and requires planning, and the beans take longer to cook. In […]

Blonde Brownies

Blonde Brownies

As the holiday season approaches, we’re preparing for the many get-togethers ahead, surrounded by good food and good company. The aromas of a roast in the oven wafting throughout the house, the sound of laughter as family we don’t see often enough catches up with […]

Amelia Bedelia’s Apple Pie

Amelia Bedelia’s Apple Pie

The inspiration for this post originated at my local public library.  As my three-year-old daughter meandered through the children’s section, she chose a couple of books out…based on how pretty the spine was.  One of them happened to be Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie.  Once we got home, I slowly flipped through the pages, reading aloud, as my daughter absorbed each picture.  When we reached the end, we found a recipe for…you guessed it, an apple pie.

There is really something special about homemade apple pie.  The aromas of apples and cinnamon wafting throughout the house, as the pie bubbles away in the oven, is something that warms the soul.  Apple pie reminds me of past Thanksgiving and Christmas memories, surrounded by good company and good food.

Considering this recipe came from the back of a children’s book, it turned out fantastic, with a few tweaks.  Let’s be honest though, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with apple pie.  Whether it’s for a big family holiday party, or just Tuesday, I promise you’ll enjoy this classic dessert.

Servings:

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cups cold water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Filling:

  • 6 – 8 apples, around 2 1/2 pounds.  See tip #1.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Prep:

Crust:

Bowl 1 (large enough to mix the dough)- flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon

Filling:

Bowl 2 – peeled, thinly sliced apples, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg. See tip #2.

Process:

  1. Preheat  your oven to 400 degrees.

Crust:

  1. Mix the butter into Bowl 1 thoroughly, until the mixture takes on a course crumb consistency.  See tip #3.
  2. Sprinkle the cold water and vinegar into the bowl, then mix until the dough forms and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.
  3. Split the dough into two even parts, and form each into flat disks for rolling.
  4. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and place into your refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  6. Roll out each disk, as circular as possible, until the dough is roughly 1/8 inches thick.  Each disk should be approximately 10 inches in diameter.  See tip #4.
  7. Place one of the dough sheets into a 9 inch pie pan.

Filling:

  1. Thoroughly mix the ingredients in Bowl 2.
  2. Pour Bowl 2 on top of the bottom crust in the pie pan.
  3. Slice the butter into very thin pieces, and layer on top of the pie filling.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar onto pie filling.
  5. Cover with the top crust and vent.  See tip #5.
  6. Place the pie in the center of your over and bake for one hour.
  7. When the pie has taken a golden brown color, and the juices are bubbly and thickened, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.

Tips:

  1. I know that the elite apple pie bakers will disagree with me here.  Maybe my palate isn’t as refined as the apple pie connoisseurs of the world, but I can’t find a combination of apples that I don’t thoroughly enjoy.  I’m not saying that your selection of apples isn’t going to change the flavor of your pie, I’m saying I’d be impressed if you came up with a combination that didn’t taste great.
  2. The way you slice the apples will change the texture and consistency of your pie.  Personally, I find that the thinner the apple slices, the better.  The apples cook through more thoroughly, and the filling tends to be more uniform.  If you’re looking for a chunkier, lumpier filling, leave your apple slices thicker
  3. I’ve tried to use a whisk to combine the butter into the dry ingredients, and it works like crap.  The mixture finds it’s way into the center of the whisk and hangs out in there until you dig it out with your finger.  Amelia Bedelia’s recipe, it suggests using two dinner knives to mix in the butter.
  4. The recipe in the back of Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie recommended rolling out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap.  I could have made some error when attempting it, but it worked like garbage.  I ended up bailing about 45 seconds into the attempt and switched to the ol’ trusty dusting of flour on the counter.

For this pie I attempted my first lattice top.  Things I learned about a lattice: It takes way more dough than a flat top, it takes way more time than a flat top, and I don’t have the patience for it.  For my next pie, I think I’d go for a flat top with some decorative venting.  However you decide to put this together, it’s going to be delicious.

Sauteed Sweet Potato and Apples

Sauteed Sweet Potato and Apples

During this time of the year where I’m from, the apple orchards are teeming with families hand picking their own apples, making memories that will last forever.  The jackets are starting to make their yearly comeback, and everyone is starting to look forward to the fall […]

Swedish Pancakes

Swedish Pancakes

I know you probably woke up this morning thinking I want an amazing breakfast…but I don’t want to go out…and I’m not into eating spongy pancakes…SWEDISH PANCAKES IT IS…but I don’t know how to make them.  Your first thought of the morning might not have been […]

Lemon Ginger Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Ginger Pork Tenderloin


A delicious pork tenderloin takes me back to enjoying a meal at my grandmothers house, surrounded by loved ones.  The smell of the of the tenderloin would seep from the oven and permeate every nook and cranny of the house, making every mouth water, patiently waiting for her to call out “Dinner’s Ready!”

The process of this recipe varies from by grandmothers (dropping an unmarinated, raw tenderloin onto a baking sheet and baking it), by starting the tenderloin out with a good sear.  This step keeps the moisture in the tenderloin…where it belongs.  It also adds flavor, and color to the tenderloin.

While I always enjoyed my grandmother’s pork tenderloin, it was always traditional.  This recipe takes a tenderloin and gives it an Asian flare.  The ginger and citrus flavors combine perfectly with some added sweetness to transform a traditional dish into something that rises above the standard dinner.

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb pork tenderloin, see tip #1 below
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic grated
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups broth or stock, see tip #2 below
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Prep

Bowl 1 – lemon juice, lemon zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper

Bowl 2 – green onion

Process:

  • Place the pork tenderloin into a gallon Ziploc bag and add bowl 1.
  • Place the Ziploc bag in the refrigerator and allow it to marinate for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • Heat an oiled 12 inch cast iron skillet over high heat until it just begins to smoke.
  • Remove the pork, allowing as much marinade to drip back into the Ziploc bag as possible, and place the tenderloin into the pan.
  • Pour the marinade and stock into a 1.5 quart saucepan, and bring it to light simmer.
  • Once the tenderloin is well browned on the surface in contact with the pan, rotate it until the tenderloin is browned on all sides.
  • Transfer the cast iron pan into the preheated oven.
  • Flip Tenderloin after 20 minutes, then cook additional 20 minutes
  • Remove the pan from the oven when the internal temperature of the tenderloin reaches 155 according to a thermometer.
  • Transfer the tenderloin to a plate and cover with foil, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Slice the tenderloin and pour the contents of the sauce pan on the tenderloin, and then top with the green onion in bowl 2.

Tips:

  1. Generally, when I purchase a package of pork tenderloin, there are two inside.  Each tenderloin usually averages a bit more than a pound, so one of these packages is perfect for this recipe.
  2. I used chicken stock when making this version, mainly because it’s what I had on hand, but this is by no means a requirement.  Selecting a type of stock or broth will allow you to customize this dish. While broth and stock are used interchangeably, there actually is a difference: stock is made from the bony parts of the animal, and broth is made from the meat.

Food is so much more than a way to ingest calories for sustenance.  It’s everything about the gathering and event for which the food is served.  Food can take you back to a holiday party, or an amazing vacation, or your grandma’s house, like pork tenderloin does for me.  Never lose site of the important things in life.

Love you Grandma!

Things to accompany:

Bacon Cheese Smash Burgers

Bacon Cheese Smash Burgers

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Easy Grilled Asparagus

Easy Grilled Asparagus

This is one of those dishes I find myself going to constantly. My family and I love asparagus, and it generally finds its way to our table about twice a week (as long as they’re not $4.99 a pound).  I like to play around with […]

Boiled Eggs: Soft to Hard

Boiled Eggs: Soft to Hard

You’d think that boiling an egg would be one of those kitchen tasks that you can’t fail, but I’m here to tell you that you can mess this up.  An overcooked hard boiled egg will have a rubbery white portion, and the normally bright yellow yolk will turn green.  Overcooked hard boiled eggs will also begin to have a sulfur smell to them.  Depending on what consistency you’re looking for, you can also end up under-cooking your eggs.



The method of cooking our eggs for this experiment was to place them into boiling water for a designated time, then remove and immediately place them into ice water to stop the cooking process as quickly as possible.  This process was selected to produce consistent, repeatable results in any environment.

I’ll often see instructions that start the eggs in cold water, or allowing the eggs to sit in the hot water after the heat has been turned off.  The issue with these methods is they don’t take into account the heat retention properties of the pot.   The speed at which an aluminum pot will reach a boiling point compared to the speed a heavy cast iron dutch oven will, using the same heat input, is very different.  On the flip side, the speed at which the heat dissipates from these vessels is also drastically different.  Our method was chosen to remove as many variables as possible, and to promote consistency.

Here are the visual results.


 


  • 14 minutes – The egg was cooked all the way through and the yolk didn’t show any signs of “wetness”.
  • 9 minutes – This was the first egg that crossed from having a shine to an actual wet center.
  • 6 minutes – We’re going classify this egg as the perfect soft boiled egg.  The yolk was fully runny, and the white was completely cooked.
  • 5 minutes – This egg was hard to peel and probably had some uncooked white mixed in.  This may have turned out alright if we didn’t send it right to the ice water.
  • 4 minutes – I think the visual evidence is enough here, plenty of uncooked egg white.  There was more cooked egg white, but it was thoroughly stuck to the shell and too much work to separate.
  • 3 minutes – after seeing the 4 minute egg, we didn’t bother peeling this one.

Drink Suggestions:

  • Ranch Dressing
  • Hot Sauce
  • Mayo

P.S. Please ignore the drink suggestions…

Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

A good pasta salad is one of those versatile dishes that is at home sitting next to anything from a hot dog to a salmon fillet.  The combination of pasta, fresh herbs, fresh veggies, meat, cheese, and dressing come together to create a dish that […]