Oct 14, 2010

Things you probably already know

Just wanted to share a few things (random and in no particular order) that I have discovered and love-which you all probably already know about. But in case I am not the last person on earth to have found them or tried them I will share them in hopes to make other lives a little better (and in some cases yummier).
#1. Executive Homemaker. Have you checked out this blog? I hadn't until I was searching the Internet for some printable cupcake toppers and was lead to it. Fabulous stuff to make a mom and wife's and ladies life a whole lot cuter, funner, easier and more organized. And the best part is you can sign up to have stuff sent to your e-mail. So every couple of days you get a cute free printable sent to your inbox (and it sure beats junk mail). Really cute stuff. Go here to check it out.
#2 The best and quickest way to make doughnuts. Oh my goodness all these years people I have been wasting my time I tell you, making cake doughnuts from scratch (not like I have done it a ton but enough to have considered it a waste of my time) after finding out that you can use those package refrigerator biscuits instead. Now under normal circumstances I think they are terrible as an actual biscuit but deep fry those suckers and cover them in a glaze and they are heavenly. I even used the cheapo Western Family kind and they were divine. I wanted mini doughnuts so I broke each biscuit in half, then rolled the half in a ball, flattened it with my hand, and poked a hole in the middle. Deep fry in a bit of oil. They were the perfect size. I made a simple glaze of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla for half of them and dipped the other half in sugar. WOW-seriously could have eaten the whole plate myself. I am not promoting these as a health food by any means. Those biscuits are loaded with who knows what but if you want to make some good doughnuts quick and cheap-this is the way to go.
#3 Easy applesauce-courtesy of Martha Stewart. I found this recipe in a Martha Stewart Baby Magazine (remember when they had those and the Kids editions too-oh such great magazines that you can no longer get). She was showing how to make applesauce as a baby food. I thought, "why not do the same thing on a larger scale to use for canning?" So here is what you do. Sorry because there are no measurements really.
First start by washing, coring and cutting up your apples into about 1 inch pieces. You don't need to peel them. I REPEAT-DO NOT PEEL. (I would say I use about 25 medium size apples per sauce pan full but I just cut until my pot is full). Put those into a large pot and add water-enough to steam them (I do about a cup and half-maybe two cups-not too little not too much). Put a lid on your pot and steam over medium heat until the apples are soft. They will look like this-only this is taken after I have removed about half of my apples.
Put your apples into a blender with part of the water. You will want to have at least 1/3 of your blender filled with water otherwise your applesauce will be too thick. Blend. You may need to add more water if it is too thick. You can have thicker or thinner applesauce too depending on what your preference is. Better to start with less and have to add more.
Then press through a strainer. If you have one a little larger and in better shape than mine you would be in business but even this small one does the trick. I pour in part of the applesauce and press it around with a rubber scraper. The applesauce will go through and the skins will...
stay on top like this and you can scoop them out and throw them away. You may get the odd skin in your sauce but you will end up with a very smooth and creamy applesauce.
Like this. You could do this on a large scale to can or on a small scale to eat fresh for your family or as baby food. Easy and delicious.
#4 Crock pot Chile Verde. I am posting this on for my friend Tali because I was talking to her on the phone while preparing this and she said it sounded fantastic and oh it was delicious. Whenever I have my choice of restaurant it is Mexican and one of my favorites is Chile Verde. Well here is a super easy crock pot version I just discovered.
You will need:
1-2 pounds boneless pork chops
1/2 cup baby carrots cut up (or you could have more or omit this entirely)
1 jar Salsa Verde
Put the pork chops in your crock pot. Add the carrots and cover with the jar of salsa verde. Cook on low for 8 hours of high for 4 (though my crock pot never takes that long). You can serve the pork chops whole or do what we did and shred them and then serve them on tortillas with beans and all the trimmings. So easy and so tasty. But you probably already knew all of this.
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  1. Another quick and easy way to make donuts is with pancake batter mix. Just add enough water to the mix to make it doughy instead of liquid for pancakes. They're pretty good too. My kids love them. Just thought you'd like to know :)

  2. To make applesauce, I like to use my Victoro strainer, all you do is cook the apples, put them in the victoro strainer, and you have applesauce.

  3. I am SO making applesauce like this... I really appreciate you sharing because my baby eats applesauce every day and it is so much cheaper to make your own! Do you do anything else to the applesauce (sugar, etc) before you can it? I've never really canned before, and I'd like to keep the applesauce as "natural" as possible for my little man. Less added sugar is better in my book. :) I really appreciate any advice/experience you can offer. Thanks!


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