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Apple Hand Pi Day

March 16, 2010
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While I was at church on Sunday I found out that it was Pi Day (Because the first 3 numbers in the formula for Pi is 3.14, how clever!) Any excuse to make a pie! 🙂 I had a leftover roll of Pilsbury Pie Crust and a bag of apples, and you can guess where I went from there! I made little hand pies to contain the mess for little ones and make them portable for lunches. I used my 3” biscuit cutter to cut out the pie dough and this size was just big enough to fit one slice of apple filling. Then I took it up a notch by brushing egg on top and sprinkling with brown sugar for a nice caramel crunch on top, that was the best part! (Not pictured here is how I used the leftover filling for my ice cream topping, yummy yum!) The filling recipe was adapted from .

Apple Pie Crescents

2 Pie Crusts – I used Pilsbury

4 Granny Smith Apples – peeled and sliced

2 tsp Lemon Juice

1 c. Sugar

3Tbsp + 1 ¾ tsp Cornstarch

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

¼ tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

2 c. Hot Water

1 Egg – stirred

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

  1. Toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. Put the water in a pot and stir in the sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add apples to boiling syrup and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until apples are tender. Set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out pie crust and cut out 3” circles. Place one slice of apple filling on one side of circle and pinch crust closed.
  5. Brush top of pies with egg and sprinkle with Brown Sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Serve warm with ice cream!

Lemon Bars

March 15, 2010

Ah, spring is here! We just got back from our Spring Break trip and I feel refreshed and overwhelmed at the same time, so much to catch up on! We came home to some gorgeous weather that just begged for a picnic and playground date. After all that fun in the sun I was feeling the spring mojo and whipped up some lemon bars. I was fortunate enough to cash in on the sale at Kroger this week for lemons too 🙂 . I wanted to try this recipe that I had found on FoodGal because it had over a cup of fresh lemon juice. 😀 It has a delicious balance between sweet and tart. I did run into one snafu that was all my fault, I had cooked the crust on top of parchment paper  without realizing that as it cooked with the filling the crust floats to the top, so the filling was on top of the parchment paper….it was easy enough to fix, I just inverted it into another pan and scraped the filling off the paper. It obviously doesn’t have a crispy top, but I added the vanilla wafers and I think I like that even better! 😀 So note to self, don’t bake this with parchment paper!

Shortbread Cookies

March 3, 2010


I’ve been getting a lot of free lunches at work this week (yay!) and haven’t had to pack a Bento. Which frees up more time to do stuff like this! Last night I was craving shortbread cookies but had finished my girl scout cookies a long time ago, I found this sweet little recipe on 17 and baking, it only has 4 ingredients! (I would suggest that this would probably be one of the recipes that you cannot substitute margarine for butter because you have to whip it for 10 minutes and margarine would definitely melt into ickiness after all that.)  I piped them with my giant star tip and found the dough a bit stiff, one of my plastic piping bags ripped open so definitely use a paper piping bag! I had some mini chocolate chips in the pantry so i just added one to the center of each star to make a little flower. All the effort was well worth it, perfect little shortbread cookies that are perfect for Bento travel or cravings 🙂

Banana Banana Muffin

March 2, 2010

Banana Banana Muffins

I LOVE banana bread, but I hate having to wait an hour for it to cook. The solution? Make muffins, of course! This secret ingredient to this recipe is the brown sugar on top, which turns into this sweet caramel while it bakes and melds beautifully with the banana. (Think Bananas Foster but without the alcohol and fire. Hmm, come to think of it, a little splash of rum extract would be a great variation if you wanted to go for that flavor….. 🙂 ) The best part is that you can make these the night before and they taste even better the next morning, perfect for those of us who have their hands full with little ones. 🙂

4 overripe bananas, smashed (about 2 cups)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar + extra for topping

2 eggs, beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 325 and line muffin cups with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  3.  In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
  4.  Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and sprinkle with brown sugar on top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Lasagna Bento

February 26, 2010

Hubby had the day off yesterday, so I came home to a house with a lasagna dinner ready and waiting. 🙂 I love that man so much! Since my meal isn’t all that diversified or pretty I jazzed it up with some cheese. Can you guess what it is? It’s the sun shining down on a spring flower, maybe spring will take the hint and get here faster! The weekend is upon us, and that means baking with kids, so I’ll have something new for you on Monday!

Sesame Ginger Chicken Bento

February 25, 2010
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Ok, so you may have noticed that the bento posts are lacking this week, and admittedly I haven’t been keeping up with it very well. But, today is a new day after all! We had sesame ginger chicken stir fry last night, so I saved some for lunch today and topped with some pineapple this morning. The top tier has a plain onigiri and sweet potatoes with snowflake sprinkles to commemorate our little snow flurry we had. I also have one of my king cupcakes for dessert and a Melty Kiss candy for a snack this afternoon 🙂 I put some raw carrots in the top to fill space and also because I like a little fresh crunch in my stir fry. Yum yum!

King Cupcakes

February 23, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention, or in this case, cupcakes. In my family we never really celebrated Lent or Mardi Gras, except for the tradition of a King Cake. For those who are not familiar with it, a King Cake is a bundt shaped cake that has either a plastic baby or special item baked into it. Whoever gets the special item in their slice of cake is named King/Queen for the day. My parents always managed to make sure that one of us kids was the one crowned King/Queen for a day, and boy did we revel in that! Now that my boy is old enough to enjoy being king I wanted to continue the tradition, but time is of the essence when you also have a baby to deal with. So, to cut down on time I came up with this modified recipe that is sort of a fusion between a King Cake and a Black Forrest cupcake, and you can make it with one hand. 😀  I made these in my mini muffin tin and they were the perfect little bite size satisfaction needed without breaking the calorie bank. 🙂

1 box Chocolate Cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Double Fudge Cake mix) or your favorite chocolate cake recipe

1 jar maraschino  cherries, cherries removed and patted dry and juice reserved

1 can Chocolate Frosting

Sprinkles/sugars to decorate

  1. Mix the cake mix according to the package directions but replace half of the water with cherry juice.
  2. Line mini muffin tin with baking cups and put one maraschino cherry in the bottom of one. (Or put them in several if you like multiple surprises)
  3. Bake for 15 minutes at 425° or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool and top with icing and decorations. Makes about 60 mini cupcakes.