Archive for the ‘KISS: Keep it Simple Saturday’ Category

KISS: Baked Apples

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

You won’t believe this, y’all.

This is so ridiculously easy, I’m almost embarrassed to post it.

But, what the heck. I hope you’ll still respect me in the morning.

The funniest part of this? I STILL managed to forget one of the ingredients in the ingredient shot. My brain, its like a sieve. Get the cooking pun there? Har!

What to gather: apples, cinnamon, sugar, BUTTER

First, we take a bit off the bottom of the apples, so they’ll sit flat on the plate. The flatter they are, the better they’ll hold the goop in the middle. It’ll leak out no matter how flat, but still, flatter = better. In abs and in apples. Don’t feel compelled to make 3, I just was making these at a time when my 2 teenagers were due home, so I made one for each of us. Make 1, make 20, feel empowered.

Now remove the cores. I have this “handy” little device for that. Not once in my entire life have I ever gotten it to go straight through and get the core out right the first time. So, I end up shoving it back in there 2 or 20 more times until I am sure I have the entire core out. Hopefully you’re better at this than me. I have accepted my limitations, and I eat baked apples with giant caverns in the middle. I’m ok with it.

Once you get them all flattened/cored/caverned/, make your cinnamon sugar. Unless you already have the premixed cinnamon sugar, then you get to skip this step. I, however am cheap, and the price of the premixed cinnamon offends my delicate sensibilities. Plus, I like my Penzey’s cinnamon. Dump some cinnamon into your sugar all willy nilly and stir.

Add more cinnamon until it looks like cinnamon sugar. This is very exact as you can see. This time, I got it right the first time. That’s why I get paid the big bucks (ie: $0) to run this site.

Now, game on. Fill the hole in each apple with cinnamon. Don’t worry if it gets everywhere, it’s all going to end up there eventually anyway. Don’t be shy, really fill it up.

And top with a couple pats of butter. Mmm butter.

That’s pretty much it, right there. Now, we put them in the microwave. I start with 3 minutes. At the end of 3 minutes, mine looked like this:

I take this opportunity to scoop up the yummy cinnamon goodness and pour it back in and over the apples. Back in for another 3 minutes; repeat. You’ll know when they are nearing completion when they start to cave in a bit.

At that point, you’ll want to take it a minute at a time until you can stick a fork in and know that they are tender. (You kinda have to stick the fork in the middle, because the peel isn’t going to be tender, only the inside fleshy part. Mine took about 8 minutes, but they were small. The total time for yours will depend on the size of the apples, the power of the microwave, and what day of the week your birthday falls on this year. Or maybe not that last part.

Once again, I have no idea where that ice cream came from. That keeps happening here. It’s a mystery.

Baked Apples
for the microwave!

cinnamon sugar

Remove a small slice from the bottom of each apple to flatten. Core apples. Place on microwave-safe plate and fill with cinnamon sugar. Top each with 2 small pats of butter. Microwave for 3 minutes; scoop sauce back over top of apples. Microwave 3 minutes more and check for tenderness on inside. Check after each additional minute until done to your liking. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Amaretto Sour

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

I made this blog post at 1pm. I always eat (or in this case, drink) whatever I put on the plate for the picture. This means I had an amaretto sour at 1pm for no reason other than this post.

Now that we’ve had full disclosure, we can move on.

I love to go to the martini bar and order the froofiest most girly and ridiculous fruity ones they have. Which might explain why I put this drink in a martini glass, despite the fact that it’s not a martini. Or, it could be that I’m just weird. I don’t believe in formality here, put it in a dixie cup for all I care. Really, after the first one, it won’t matter.

What to gather: Amaretto, Sour Mix, Orange slices, Maraschino Cherries, Powdered Sugar and Ice.

Or, if it’s been a rough day, just the amaretto and sour mix. I do enjoy them more when I go the extra mile, though. so lets do that.

Hopefully you have one of these shaker things, but if not, you can use a spoon or whatever. It does make you feel all Cocktail to use this, though, so if you have one, use it.

First, we add the ice to the shaker. Amount not all that important, since we’re going to strain the drink off of it in 10 seconds anyway.

Then, carefully measure 3 ounces of amaretto and add it to the shaker. Or, just do this:

It’s not that scientific.

Add 2 precisely measured “splash”es of sour mix. Or:

It’s mostly amaretto with a touch of mix.

And shake. Oh wait, first put lid on. Then shake. Emo nailpolish optional.

Now right there it’s good enough to drink, and already better than any amaretto sour I’ve ever had at a bar. But, we’re living it up here. So, we’ll garnish.

Cut an orange by slicing it in half and then slices.

Add one orange slice and one (or 2) maraschino cherries to the bottom of the vessel of your choice. Really, you are supposed to put the orange cutely on the rim of the glass. Bah whatever. I just chuck it in there. We’re friends, right?

And strain amaretto and sour mix on top of it.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Become embarrassed at the condition of your aged orange.

Enjoy drink and forget all about it.

Amaretto Sour
(technically, makes 2 if you put a cherry and orange in each glass)

3 ounces Amaretto
2 splashes Sour Mix
1 orange slice
1 maraschino cherry
powdered sugar

Add amaretto and sour mix to ice filled shaker; shake. Strain into glass, adding cherry and orange slice. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.

KISS: Chocolate Chip Dump Cake

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Welcome to KISS: Keep it Simple Saturday. Weekends are chaotic around here, to say the least. With 5 kids, 1 dog, and 1 husband, there’s no way I’m standing in the kitchen half the day trying to cook without tripping over one or more of the above. So, this category will be for those things that can be whipped together relatively easily but still be delicious. What better place to kick off this section of the site than the chocolate aisle.

It doesn’t get much easier than this. This is PMS fodder if there ever was any (sorry, guys). You can vary the flavors, if you are so inclined, but I’ve really only ever made this for one purpose: to consume copious amounts of chocolate.

Less talk, more chocolate.

What to gather: chocolate cake mix, instant chocolate pudding, vegetable oil, eggs, chocolate chips, (You need a 6oz bag of regular sized chips. I got a 12oz bag of mini, because that’s all they had. Don’t be like me.) and water (not pictured, but it’s clear and comes from the faucet).

Preheat oven to 350° using the following totally necessary and useful photo for guidance.

While it heats up, pour the oil into a bundt pan. It will pool at the bottom, do not worry.

Swirl it around a little to coat the sides. It will still pool at the bottom, and it will still be ok.

Combine the remaining ingredients, using only half the bag of chocolate chips if you are a dork like me with a 12oz bag.

Stir until mixed. Don’t over think it.

Pour batter into pan. The oil will still be pooling. Don’t freak out. We don’t call it How 2 Stay Fat for nothing. However, if you want to get down to it, the recipe on the box to make a cake calls for 1/2 cup of oil and we only used 1/4 cup here. We’ve saved you 1/4 cup! (and added pudding mix and chocolate chips, but that’s not important now. What’s important is the 1/4 cup of oil we cut out. )

Lick spoon. Go ahead, you know you want to. It’s only me here, and I won’t think any less of you.

Bake for 40 minutes @ 350°.

Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then invert to platter to cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar.


I have no idea where that ice cream came from.

Chocolate Chip Dump Cake

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1 chocolate cake mix
1 6 oz pkg chocolate chips
1 small chocolate instant pudding

Pour oil in bundt pan to grease. (Some oil will puddle at the bottom of the pan which is fine.) Stir remaining ingredients until moist and transfer to pan. Bake 40 minutes – 350 degrees. Cool, dust with powdered sugar. Can be served with vanilla ice cream or cool whip.

KISS: Grilled Pastrami Sandwich – AKA: YUM!

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Introducing my favorite category here, right after anything that involves sweets or baking: Keep it Simple Saturday! (And I’m posting this on a Friday. My organizational skills are top notch. OR! Perhaps I’m posting it on Friday so that you can gather your ingredients in time to make it on Saturday. Yeah! Lets run with that!) This category will be full of things you can throw together in a hurry without having to resort to canned chili. (Which I had for dinner last night, so I suppose I’m not above that, either!) Anyway, on with the show!

I wanted to call this a panini, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it means to BE a panini and I didn’t want the Panini police to show up and take me to panini prison or anything. Besides that, panini is italian and I’m sure they wouldn’t approve of their name being on this sandwich. I actually think panini is the plural form of panino or something, but lets not get sidetracked here. Lets make a sandwich.

I got this handy Cuisinart Griddler for Christmas. Which is to say, I had it on my Christmas list and then saw it at Costco for much cheaper and bought it and left it in the car until Christmas. If you don’t have one, do not fret! You can fry this baby up in a pan just like any other grilled sandwich, and it will still rock your world.

Lets begin.

What to gather: Italian bread (you could use rye, but my husband doesn’t like rye so I don’t buy it because I can’t shouldn’t eat an entire loaf of it), butter (note to self: buy more butter), pastrami, pepper jack cheese (look! it’s low fat! I’m very health conscious today.), sauerkraut, pickles, mustard.

The first thing I did was to put the sauerkraut I was going to use into the microwave for a minute just to warm it up, since it had been in the fridge. I’ve made these without doing that, and didn’t notice it being cold, but I’m paranoid and stuff.

Preheat your pan/grill/griddle/panini press and get ready for the fun.

First, butter both slices of bread. On the outside. You could certainly use the margarine in a tub, I won’t judge you.

Lay one slice onto the preheated surface, butter side down. And get ready to move fast, you don’t want it to brown before you get the top on. That is, if you’re using a device that cooks both sides at the same time. I guess if you’re going to flip it, it doesn’t matter. But anyway, butter side down.

Pile on the pastrami. Or corned beef would be good, too.

Now the sauerkraut. I can’t be bothered with little bits that don’t make it. We’re on a mission here. A mission called Delicious.

Add some pickles. These are the handy sandwich slices that I got in the deli case because I like some crunch to my pickles. You can use whatever pickles you like.

Slather on some mustard. Just the plain ole yellow stuff. My husband puts his mustard on after, so that it doesn’t get warm, but I can’t be bothered with that, either. I just slap it on there all at once and then eat.

Now add my sweet sweet love… pepperjack cheese. You can even add 2 slices if you’re feeling lucky.

Now the other slice of bread, butter side UP.

Let the magic happen. Peek inside if you are using a griddler. If you’re using a griddler on your kitchen table to be closer to the light, like I am here, this might require you to actually climb on the table to get this angle. Just sayin’.

Eventually, this will happen:

Oh, mercy.

Baked chips. Again, very health conscious around here.

Grilled Pastrami Sandwich

2 slices italian bread
pepperjack cheese

Butter both sides of bread, and place one slice in preheated pan, butter side down. Layer with pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles, mustard and pepper jack cheese. Top with other slice of bread, this time butter side up. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

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