Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pear Apple Crisp

Yesterday was the first day of Fall.  It was a lovely 94 degree day here in South Louisiana.  Ugh.  I love Fall, and it may be here on the calendar, but someone forgot to tell the weather.  Oh well, maybe next week (or month) will be more pleasant.  In the meantime, I will make Fall inspired dishes and dream of falling leaves and sweater weather.  Speaking of Fall inspired dishes...




PEAR APPLE CRISP

2 (15 oz) cans sliced pears in extra light syrup (reserve the syrup)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
3 TBS reserved pear syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp corn starch
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1 tsp cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling)
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the pears, reserving the syrup.  Place the drained pears in a baking dish.


Add the peeled, sliced apples to the baking dish.


Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon over the apples and pears and stir.


In a small bowl, mix 3 TBS of the reserved pear syrup, vanilla extract and cornstarch (I use a whisk).





Pour this over the pears and apples and stir gently.


Make a crumble by mixing together oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.


Add softened butter.  Using a fork, mix until crumbly.




Sprinkle over the pears and apples.


Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and crisp on top.



Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.


This is a simple recipe that really feels like Fall.  It makes your kitchen smell amazing, too!  Plus, it tastes great!  You can't beat that.  Happy Fall Y'all!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Italian Stuffed Vidalia Onions

Hi everyone!  It's been a while.  Sorry.  We are still dealing with the aftermath of all the flooding here.  My parents are living with us because they lost their home, so we've been helping them with all the issues that follow a disaster (dealing with FEMA and insurance adjustors, etc).  Not fun.  The worst part is watching my Mama grieve for family treasures that were washed away.  Not expensive things.  Irreplaceable things, like her Mama's Bible and the kids' baby blankets.  It's rough.  But, life does go on even when we think it can't possibly.  There's is just one of thousands of stories of  Louisiana families who have lost everything.  Please keep these good folks in your prayers.

Now, let's talk about food.



This stuffed onion recipe is fantastic!  I use sweet Vidalia onions, but you can use any onion.  (Though, sweet onions are the best!)


ITALIAN STUFFED VIDALIA ONIONS

3-4 Vidalia onions (I used 3)
1/2 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning
Mozzarella cheese (I like whole milk, but you can use shredded)
Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the onions.  Cut the very ends off so they will sit flat.


Then, cut them in half across the middle.


Scoop out the middle of each onion with a spoon.


You want to remove enough to have room for the stuffing but not so much that they won't hold up when baked.  They should look like this:


Place a small bit of onion in the bottom to cover up the hole.




Now, take all those pieces of onion you removed and chop them up.

Brown the ground beef and sausage with the chopped onions and the garlic.



Once browned, you want to drain the excess grease.  Here's a tip:  I place a colander on top of a bowl then scrape all of the beef mixture into the colander.  Let it sit for a few minutes and the grease will drain away into the bowl underneath.



Place the drained beef mixture back in the pot and add the can of diced tomatoes (including the juice).


Season to taste with salt, pepper and Italian Seasoning.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.


If you are using block cheese, cut into small cubes (I use 8 small cubes per onion.  You can use less if you like).


Place the onions in a baking dish then add 4 cubes of cheese to the bottom of each onion.  If you are using shredded cheese, just sprinkle some in.



Next, spoon some of the beef mixture into each onion.



Then, add 4 more cubes of cheese on top (or sprinkle the shredded cheese on top).


Finally, sprinkle a little grated Parmesan cheese on top of each.



Lightly grease a sheet of foil (or spray with cooking spray) so it won't stick to the cheese.



Cover the baking dish with the foil (greased side down).  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  Then, remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes more.



These came out awesome!  Taste a little like pizza!  They were soft and sweet with a little spice from the sausage, so good!  



 You need to make these tonight!  Seriously.  You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Chocolate Glaze

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Things have been downright terrible here in South Louisiana.  The horrible flooding that occurred a few weeks ago devastated so many homes, nearly 100,000, including many of my friends and family members.  In fact, my brother and my parents lost everything.  Everything.  Needless to say, it's been a very trying time.  Please keep them in your prayers; they're going to need them.

My Mama and Daddy are living with me for now.  They've had a lot to deal with, naturally, so I thought I'd make them a cake.  Just a little something to say I love you.  I had a box of chocolate cake mix in the pantry so I made it (quick and easy) but needed something to frost it with.  My Daddy is not a big fan of thick frosting on a cake, so I made a simple glaze.  This recipe tastes just like the glaze on a chocolate donut!  So yummy!



CHOCOLATE GLAZE

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 TBS cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 TBS milk

Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa.



Once it's sifted together, add the vanilla and 2 TBS milk.  Stir until it is smooth and pourable.  If too thick, add a little more milk (not too much) and stir until you reach a good consistency.




You can pour this onto a cooled cake and let sit for a few minutes.  It sets up as it sits.



It makes a great topping for a cake, but you can also dip shortbread cookies into it, or glaze donuts with it, or sandwich it between two vanilla wafers, or pour it over ice cream, etc.  It's a really easy, versatile recipe to have.  Make it for someone you love just because.  Sometimes it only takes a tiny gesture to put a smile on someone's face.