Apple Tart

May 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

What is more America than apple pie?   Maybe apple tart?  Probably not but making a tart is definitely easier for me.  I’m not a very good pie maker.  Making a good pie takes a lot of practice but when my practice pie doesn’t turn out well, I’m usually not ready to jump back into making another one. 

I’ve found that this tart is just as good as a traditional apple pie, and best of all, it turns out perfect every time.  The pie crust is key.  This is why I use my mom’s crust recipe.  You won’t go wrong if you use her recipe.  Hope she doesn’t mind me sharing it with you.

Mom’s Pie Crust

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup ice water

In a large bowl, add the flour and salt.  Blend in shortening with a pastry blender.  In a small bowl, crack egg and beat with a fork until yolk and white are mixed.  Add lemon juice and water to the egg.  Pour mixture into the flour mixture.  Knead together.  Divide the dough into 4 equal balls.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes then roll out.  Makes 4 pie crusts.  This recipe can be cut in half but you’ll still need 1 egg.

Apple Tart

  • 1 pie crust
  • 3 apples – core, peel and slice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons course sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a bowl, combine the apples slices, sugar and cinnamon.  Mix together well.  On parchment paper or silpat, roll out crust into a large circle about 15 inches in diameter.  Place the apple mixture into the middle of the crust leaving about a 2-3 inch border.  Fold the border up over the apples.  Beat egg in a small bowl with a tablespoon of water.  Brush onto the top of the pie crust.  Sprinkle sugar on the crust.  Put little pieces of butter on top of the apples.   Place onto baking sheet.  Bake on middle rack for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes.  Serve with ice cream.  Serves 6.


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May 20, 2011 § 2 Comments

My – Go To – Honey Dijon Marinade

May 18, 2011 § 3 Comments

I  never buy pre-made marinades.  Why?  Well, first of all, they are expensive. Many are upwards of $4 – $5 dollars.  Not budget friendly.  Second, they usually have some ingredient in them that my son cannot eat (he has food allergies).  And finally, I can make better marinades at home…and so can you!  It is fun to mix flavors together to come up with a marinade that truly satisfies your own unique palate.  Marinades always taste so much better when you make them yourself.

This is my “go to” marinade recipe.  It is the one I do most often because everyone seems to like it and I usually always have the ingredients on hand.  I have used this marinade for chicken, pork and on occasion, fish.




Honey Dijon Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

 Combine all ingredients together.  Will make about a 1/3 cup of marinade.  I usually don’t need much more than this but if you need/want more, feel free to double or triple the recipe.  I’ve also extended it with a splash of water, white wine or cider vinegar, when I needed just a bit more.

Sun-Dried Tomato Bean Dip

May 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

Not only is this a tasty and healthy dip that the whole family will like, but it is super easy to make.  It is sort of like humus.  You will need a food processor in order to blend everything together.  It is best to make this and then let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving.  This waiting period allows all the flavors to intermix and come together.

Sun-Dried Tomato Bean Dip

  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto – I use Bella Sun Luci brand but use whatever brand you like
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 – 15 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons light sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • just a pinch of cayenne pepper

Put all ingredients into a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Place into serving bowl, cover and chill for 2 hours.  Serve with pita chips.  This recipe is a total crowd pleaser.  Enjoy!

Chicken Waldorf Salad

May 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

This is my favorite chicken salad recipe EVER!  I’ve served this for many of my friends with great reviews.  I suggest you give this one a try.  I think you’ll like it.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

  • 2 – 12.5 oz cans of chicken breast OR 2 poached/grilled chicken breast
  • 1 large apple or 2 small ones, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 3 tablespoons chopped or slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • Butter or Romaine lettuce

Drain the cans of chicken or dice up chicken breast and place into bowl.  Add the diced apple, green onion, raisins, almonds, mayo, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Toss to coat.  Serve on a bed of butter or romaine lettuce.  Add crusty french bread and butter, if desired.  Serves 4.

Note: I have substituted the raisins for dried cherries, as well as the almonds for walnuts.  It is great with these variations too.

Fridge Friday: Capelli con Pollo

May 6, 2011 § 2 Comments


This month’s Fridge Friday was not only inspired by the ingredients I had leftover, but by a dish I created years go.  My husband loves it.  He used to say this was one of his favorites.  For some unknown reason, this dish was dropped from my repertoire.  After making this again, I know why he loves it.  It is delish!  It’s now been added back into the dinner line-up.  Hope it makes it into yours.

Capelli con Pollo

  • 1/2 lb. dried angel hair pasta
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomato pesto
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 7  kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup basalmic vinegar
  • 10 basil leaves
  • Salt

In a stock pot, begin to heat salted water for the pasta over high heat.  In a large pan over medium heat add olive oil, garlic, and pesto.  Once those ingredients have heated through and melded together, add the chicken, olives, stock and vinegar.  Turn down to a simmer.  At this point, drop the angel hair into boiling water.  Cook pasta until al dente (should take about 3-4 minutes).    Drain pasta.  Pour pasta into a serving dish.  Cover with the pan sauce.  Tear basil leaves over the top.  You can also chop the leaves and sprinkle over the top, if you like it this way better.  Serves 4 

Note:  Feel free to add more chicken to this dish if you have it on hand.  I only had 1 chicken breast, but it was fairly large so I thought there was enough for the dish.  I’ve also used just black olives instead of kalamata.  Use whichever you like or have on hand.

The Journey

May 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

I can remember as a young adult, coming “home” to visit my parents.  They always seemed concerned about me.  Many times they felt I was either too thin or appeared too stressed.  I needed to eat more or get more rest.   In actuality, they were probably right.   Life is rough and they could see it on me.   But the one thing I will always remembered about my visits to see them was their sense of pride.  They consistently made it clear how proud they were of me and the person I had become.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but the person I had become was the person they guided me to be.  Sure, we all have that internal drive that helps direct us into who we become, but I believe our true sense-of-self is shaped by those who have the most influence on us – our parents.   

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I have come to reflect on being a parent and what that means to me.  Before becoming a mother, I used to fear it.  The lifetime responsiblity of loving and caring for another human being seemed utterly overwhelming.  I seriously questioned myself and ability.  Could I do it?  Would I be a good role model?  Could I give a child what they need to be a happy, loving and productive person?  I didn’t know.  But this journey called motherhood, has given me so much perspective on who I am, where I’ve come from and where I’m going.  It has opened my eyes to the importance of knowing who you are.  With understanding yourself, you can accomplish anything.

As I think on my meer 6 years of being a mother, I find myself striving to give my son a good sense-of-self.  One that will carry him through the good and the bad.   Through my own realization, I understand my role as a parent isn’t to just make sure my son is fed, bathed and clothed.  Reaching adulthood in one piece is only part of the journey.  As a mother, my role is to guide my son on his journey to finding and feeling a good sense of himself.   This knowledge will make a difference for him throughout his life. 

I understand this won’t happen overnight.  This will be a journey.  It will probably be a long one at that, but his sense-of-self worth it.   Our journey is just beginning, but I do know one thing…I am already so proud of who he is and know that my pride will only continue to grow, one day at a time.

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