Food hugs

Once Thanksgiving rolls around, the food gets warmer and more hearty. It's like the winter food season gives you a hug... for your stomach. The best. (But also the worst because I tend to eat a ton of bread in the winter).

Anyway, I am keeping this text short today since I have so many recipes I want to share with y'all. It's post-Thanksgiving, but that does not mean the food is going to get any less delicious.

Apple Crisp Pie and crust

I make pie about once every 2 years. I am not a major pie person. But this apple pie is so great. It's like eating apple crisp in the form of a pie. This was the pie we didn't get around eating on Thanksgiving, so I made on a week day, like a mini-celebration. A pie-abration.

For the crust, I use one from Better Homes and Garden, though slightly adjusted. (The instructions are very specific, but I think I just did what I wanted).

Pie Crust

3 3/4 c flour
1 T sugar
1/2 - 1 t kosher salt
1/2 t baking powder
1 3/4 c butter, cut up
2/3 c ice cold water
2 T sour cream
1 t vinegar

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, powder and butter. Process until the butter is fully cut through (or pea sized).

Mix the water, sour cream and vinegar together and then add to the food processor. Process until it forms a ball. Divide in half. Refrigerate until ready to use or freeze.

Apple Crisp Pie

1 Pie Crust
6 to 7 apples
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1 t sugar
1 T flour

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c flour
1/2 c oats
2/3 c butter, cubed

Peel and slice apples. Toss with sugars, cinnamon and flour. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Top with crumb topping.

Topping: Combine sugar, flour and butter in food processor. Mix in oats by hand.

The pie can be wrapped and frozen at this point.

To bake from fresh state, cover edge with foil and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375 degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes. To bake from a frozen state, bake as above for first 15 minutes. Extend second baking time to 45 to 50 times. Watch closely the last 15 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Hesston College Centennial Cookbook


Now, don't have a recipe for this one because it's chicken noodle soup, which might be the easiest thing to make. This was a post-Thanksgiving treat. (I hate making turkey but I love having leftover turkey). Also, I was really proud of this soup because Annali and I made the noodles and Jeron and I simmered the turkey remains to make broth. Homemade goodness at its finest. (Oh, and one more thing. Chicken noodle soup recipes are constantly making me put Thyme in the soup. This time, I ignored it since my sister doesn't really like that herb and just used Italian seasonings instead. Better choice).


Up Next, Gnocchi.

When it comes to cooking, you would think I would be a lot braver than I am. For whatever reason I am not. I let weird kitchen things stress me out. But when it comes to pasta-type things, Annali has helped me find the gumption. Last night, we decided to try making homemade gnocchi. Unlike my dedication to making things homemade, I opted to use this version I found that used instant potatoes instead of homemade ones. (It would've taken a ton of extra time). And like all my fears about cooking, they were completely irrational. Making gnocchi is very easy. You should try it. I used this recipe from (Unfortunately, my hands were covered with flour before I thought about getting my camera out. We were also having people over for supper so I didn't take the take to capture the process).

However, even if you don't want to make your own, you can still prepare the meal we had for supper. You usually have to search a lot, but I think most larger grocery stores have them. (Although if you ask random employees they will have no idea what you are talking about... at least in Newton, Kan. You will have to spell it for them). Last night, we had gnocchi with white beans. So simple and delicious.

Gnocchi with White Beans

1 medium onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz fresh spinach
1 16oz package frozen gnocchi (or about two cups fresh, already boiled)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
dash of pepper
1/2 c mozzarella, shredded
grated parmesan

Saute onion in oil. Add garlic and spinach. Sauté until wilted. Add gnocchi, beans, tomatoes, and pepper. Heat through. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Source: Taste of Home


Well folks, whether I like it or not, Christmas is here. And today my sister and I had a brunch, which I decided was going to be our "Christmas brunch." (This loosely translates into putting Christmas balls on the table and playing Christmas instrumental music recorded by our brother).

It was great. And once again, I did not take pictures of people. But it was so great to be around this particular group of women. Usually at our brunches, we provide the main dish and people bring the sides. It's awesome. This morning, I made a spinach, feta and egg spanakopita.

Spinach, Feta, Egg Spanakopita

2 pounds of spinach, washed and drained
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
6 eggs
6 oz feta cheese
1 stick of butter, melted (or more if needed... yeah this dish is terrible for you. That is why it is awesome)
Phyllo dough, defrosted

Saute onions in oil. Add spinach and wilt. (It's a lot of spinach so you might have to do it in shifts). Remove from heat. Cool slightly and drain liquid out of the spinach. (This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated until needed).

Add eggs and feta to spinach and onions mixture.

Unroll phyllo dough. (Place under a damp towel when not using in order to keep from drying out). In a 9x13 greased pan, place 6 sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer with melted butter. Add half of the spinach mixture. Repeat layers. End by adding another row of phyllo sheets, brushed with butter. Bake at 350 fro 40-45 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Adapted from the Food Network 

If these dishes don't feel like a hug for your stomach, I don't know what is wrong with you. :-)