March 31, 2011

Apple Dumplings

I am very thankful right now that my dad doesn't read my blog. He doesn't even own a computer, or a cell phone, or a DVD player. I am not even sure he really even comprehends what a blog is. He calls it my website "thing". New fangled technology is just not his thing....or any technology for that matter.

The reason I'm glad, is if he did read my blog, he would then know that I made Apple Dumplings with out having him over or even saving him one. If he knew, I would be in deep doo-doo. Apple Dumplings are one of my dads favorites! So if you run into my father in the grocery store please keep the fact that I made Apple Dumplings quiet. Thank you.

Apple Dumplings are easy, and a fun treat to make with your kiddos. If you are not fond of making your own pie crust, feel free to purchase pie crust from the refrigerator section of your grocery store. Voila!

Another fact that is raising my guilt-o-meter is the fact that my Dad went out of his way to hunt down the cookbook from the local parish, so I would have this recipe and would make it for him. Oh Good Golly, I'm gonna need to make these when he comes over next ease my dumplin' guilt.

Easy steps to make melt in your mouth Apple Dumplings~ from the Wright Way to Cook cookbook.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Bring 2 cups water, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 stick butter, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to a boil in a sauce pan.

Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Peel and core 6 apples. Jonathans are my favorite for this recipe.

3. Prepare Pie Crust, you can find my recipe here. (Or if you prefer to buy it you will need 3 Pillsbury crusts.) Separate into 6 sections.

4. Place apple in center of pie crust,

place 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in hole,

sprinkle with cinnamon, use as much as you like

top the hole off with a 1/2 tablespoon of butter.

5. Lightly dampen edges of dough with egg white or water, pull dough up around apple...

crimping dough at the top and forming it around apple with the palm of your hand.

6. Brush with egg white. You can leave it as is or if you are feeling fancy....

you can use some of the extra dough to make leaves and a stem. The egg white will act as glue to hold them on for you.

Place Apple Dumplings in a baking dish, where they will have space, you don't want them touching.

7. Now take the Brown Sugar Syrup and pour it all over the Dumplings. Lucky Dumplins' I would love to take a bath in this stuff!

Pop in 375 degree preheated oven for 35-40 minutes!

Apple Dumplings

2 cups Brown Sugar
2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 stick Butter
6 medium baking Apples, peeled and cored. Jonathans are what I prefer.
3 tablespoons Butter
6 tablespoons Brown Sugar
Cinnamon for sprinkling
1 egg white

These also freeze well. You can freeze them together or individually in mini deep dish pie pans, from freezer to oven add 15-20 minutes baking time for frozen dumplings. I should probably make my dad some for his freezer. That would be a what a good daughter would do. A daughter with a guilty conscience.

Do you call these Apple Dumplings? Or do you have another name for them in your neck of the woods?

What ever you call them, in the words of my father they are.....


post signature

March 28, 2011

NYC here WE come!!!

Next week is Spring Break. I'm not heading South with the rest of Michigan. I am heading due East with my oldest son.

We are going to New York City BABY!

Alot of people have asked, "Why, New York City, with only one of the kids". Why not?! My son has been asking to do a road trip to the Big Apple for a couple years now. The idea of doing it with all four a bit overwhelming, for my husband and I. Too many people and too many choices. We would be spinning in circles. And then there is the tiny little fact that my littlest one likes to wander and also likes to touch everything...this gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. (Think, scene from Elf where he is eating ABC gum from the subway railings.)

I love NYC!

The truth is I selfishly I want my son all to myself. He's 14, next year is High School, and drivers training. Life after this year is going to get busy and then he will be off the college.


So I've been planning......of course my planning has been mostly all about food. Actually every vacation I take is all about food, and then maybe some shopping, sunshine is good, but not necessary. I asked a certain New Yorker...if there were any good eats we should NOT miss. I guess that was a hard question to ask of is New York...he gave me 2 1/2 pages of places I can't wait to try. Justin you ROCK! It's always good to ask a local.

I also Yelped alot. So often I have seen something on television and it really doesn't live up to the hype. Using the Yelp, Urbanspoon, or Chowhound websites are all good ways to read what others have to say, and draw your own opinion.

Of course we are going to do more than eat. I've been to the city a few times. But never with a teenager. So I've been trying to pry out of him the things that he would really like to do or see in NYC. Right away he made me promise NOT to make him go to a Broadway Show.

WHAT! Gulp, really?

I have drug him to his fair share of musicals. He's not a fan. He is ALL about sports. So Kenny got us tickets to see the Knicks and the Cleveland, Cavaliers. Whoo~Hoo(sarcasm). I hope we see some celebrities, because basketball is not my favorite sport to watch. How dare I say that in the middle of March Madness? I know. I think my grandfather just rolled over in his grave!

My girlfriend sent me the link to the Broadway Play Lombardi, so we'll see maybe we will get some Broadway in yet.....although it's not a musical. It might be something Noah would enjoy.

The Green Lady

THE List of things we must do while in NYC. Keep in mind we will be there 3 1/2 days.

Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
World Trade Center Site
Grand Central Station
Brooklyn Tabernacle~ Sunday Service
Central Park
Chelsea Market~ home of the Food Network
Empire State Building
NBA basketball game
Rockafellar Center/NBC Studios
Food Tour I've done this twice before and I would recommend it! Great way to really get to know a specific neighborhood.
Eat the whole time.
Lower E. Side Tenement Museum
Circle Line Tour


And last but not least, grab a snack. Maybe shop a little.

I realize we may not get all of the above in, but if I have my way we will. I will definitely find out if my son has my wanderlust or his fathers. I am a bit spastic when I'm on vacation. I just want to do it all and see it all. I have that "I can sleep and sit on my tush when I get home" attitude. (Unless I am poolside in Costa Rica...then I am fine with sitting on my keester.)

We will definitely have to do the above when we get home. Recombobulate. Have you seen this sign in an airport? I think it's hilarious.

What are you up to for Spring Break? Or has Spring Break already come and gone for you?

I can't wait to share with you our favorite EATS of NYC!!

Do you have a favorite place to eat in the Big Apple? I'd love to hear about it.

Here's to vacation! Be Safe!
post signature

March 25, 2011

Thai Chicken in Sweet Chilli Sauce

At the beginning of 2011 I vowed I was going to dust off my many cookbooks and put them to good use. I have done just that. I love cookbooks. I buy them, I read them, like novels, but then I tuck them neatly on a shelf and for the most part don't use them. I still could be better but, hey I've got a lot of good recipes of my own...that are in my head, and that is always my first knee jerk instinct is to use a recipe I know.

I have to say breaking out my cookbooks hasn't been too hard. Being the recipe rebel that I am I nearly always change something. Mainly because I didn't have the suggesting ingredient, or I am too tired to listen to my kids whine about black olives.

We love Asian food. So Steamy Kitchen's recipes have been a wonderful addition to my repertoire of go~to dinners for my family. You can check out her website or be old fashioned like me and purchase her cookbook.

Because we are a family of 6 hearty eaters I have adjusted this recipe to accommodate our appetites and my pantry! It's so easy. Literally 30 minutes (or less) start to finish, if you are a fast prepper!

Thai Chicken in Sweet Chilli Sauce
adapted from Steamy Kitchen's Cookbook

Serves: 6
4 boneless Chicken, sliced into thin pieces (I use thigh or breast meat)
1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Onion sliced thin
1 Lime zested, and juiced
2 cloves of Garlic minced
1 Red Bell Pepper julienned
1 Yellow Pepper julienned
2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
6 tablespoons Soy Sauce
3/4 cup Sweet Chilli Sauce
1 small handful Sweet Italian Basil, chiffonade

1. In a large bowl whisk together 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Add chicken and toss to coat well. Marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature. In large measuring cup measure out 3/4 cup of sweet chilli sauce add fish sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce combine and set aside for end of recipe.

2. In large frying pan heat oil on medium~high, when oil is hot, add chicken slices in one layer and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to a plate, and add chicken remaining until all chicken has been cooked.

3. Lower heat and add garlic, and lime zest to pan, saute for 30 seconds, add peppers and onions continue to cook moving around until peppers start to become tender. Add chicken back to pan along with basil, toss to combine. Pour sweet chilli sauce combo over chicken and peppers, toss to coat. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Sauce should thicken slightly. Serve over rice.

You can find many other family friendly recipes at Quit Eating Out's Saturday recipe Swap.

Have fantabulous weekend!

post signature

March 24, 2011

munchies and RAMBLINGS.........

Bacon and Blue Cheese Sweet Potato NACHOS!

Is anyone with me on this one? Three of my favorite foods. Why wouldn't they be fantastic together? Well they are!

However, they are not a lite bed time snack.....So possibly a whole cookie sheet full of Blue Cheese and Bacon Sweet Potato Nachos was a bit too much snack for just myself.

Yeh, NO. No one else in this household was willing to share in my heavenly snack with me. In fact they all acted like I was eating poo or something. Hey more for me.

This the kind of thing I fix myself to eat when my Lover is out of town. Horrible. I turn into another person when he is out of town. I eat all kinds of junk, take the kids out to eat alot, and I eat munchies like the above, IN BED. Gasp!

Ken would never deny me a luverly snack, but he wouldn't appreciate me crawling into bed next to him with a plate full of these babies. He would never say anything, I just know it would annoy him. You know how you just know these things about your spouse, with out him ever having to say, "Honey you totally gross me out when you crawl into bed with a plate of Cheese and Bacon Nachos that smell like my gym shorts".

So I save munching on blue cheese in bed for when my better half is out of town.

My Kenny works ALOT, but he doesn't have to travel too often for work. For that I am thankful. I don't know how some of you do it, that have a traveling spouse. I hate it when he's gone. I hate it when he has to work. In fact I CAN'T WAIT until he can retire. God willing we will both be healthy and be able to enjoy each other in his retirement years.

I have been feeling overly dependent on my Lover these last couple days. I think because he has been working long hours and now he is going out of town, then he gets home and it's busy, busy, busy life with work, and kids, and yadayadayada. I am sure you all know how it is. Then I leave for 4 days with our oldest son to NYC. When I return it's right back to work for Kenny.

Am I preachin' to the choir? get's crazy doesn't it.

Of course, God had just the perfect words for me this morning. In the midst of my hectic morning, four kids to school at three different times, and getting my Lover out the door. I took a minute to quick cram in my devotion.

The first line said, "This is the time in your life when you must learn to let go".

Wow, really?

Then the scripture was this..."do not fear; I will help you.", and "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid."

God is so good! Even though I was trying to quick throw Him into my morning, haphazardly I must say. He chose to ease my anxiousness about my husband being gone, and gently remind me, Hey! I am your all in all. Sheila all you really need is me, I gave you Ken as your life companion, but you need to look to me, your God. I am all you need.

Phew! I feel like a new woman. I so needed that reminder. I can handle it with Gods help. That takes alot of pressure off my Kenny too. Although, it would have been nice if he would have remembered to change that light bulb by the back door before he left, the one that's too high for me and I need to get a ladder. GOD HELP ME!

I hope you're encouraged to know that God wants to be your all in all. People will fail you and have to leave you to fend for yourself, no matter how much they love you. But God never fails or leaves us.

Now Lord, can you help me eat this with out any of those nasty fat cells exploding around my middle.

Thank you Lord.


post signature

Scripture is from Isaiah 41:13 and Hebrew 13:6

March 23, 2011

Quick & Easy Chicken NOODLE Soup

I have had my littlest kiddo home from school sick this week. The stomach flu, YUCK! I mistakenly told someone that my kiddos had been unusually healthy this winter. I totally jinxed myself. Trying to find something that sounded good to my little one and that everyone else would enjoy for dinner was challenging. Chicken Soup!

She sipped the broth and ate some of the noodles. There were enough leftovers to feed her for lunch the last couple days. Today she had been up and around and everything has stayed down. Hallelujah! And she announce a few minutes ago that she was bored. That's always a good sign that we're ready to go back to school.

Has your family stayed healthy this winter?

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup finely diced Onion
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 ribs Celery, sliced thin
2 Chicken Breasts, sliced into thin strips
1 teaspoon Seasoning Salt
64 ounces Chicken Stock
2 cups Carrots sliced thin
1/2 pound Extra Wide Egg Noodles

(prep time 10 minutes, cook time 20 minutes, serves 6-8)

Heat olive oil in a pan, saute' onions, garlic, celery, and chicken over medium heat. Cook until chicken is just cooked through and no longer pink.

While chicken is cooking fill a sauce pan with water, lightly salt and bring to a rolling boil, add noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Do not over cook noodles, drain in colander and set aside.

Add sliced carrots to pot.

Now add 1/2 of the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil.

Cook until carrots are tender, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the remainder of the chicken stock and the noodles. Cook on low for 5 minutes longer. Serve with a French Baguette.

This soup is great for anytime you need a hearty dinner quick.

Hope you enjoy!

Mmmm Mmmm Good!

post signature

March 22, 2011


I have an obsession for funny cards. I can't buy just one. The problem lies mainly in the fact that I can't make a decision...when it comes to cards. I have been known to give someone more than one card. I have a group of girly~friends that go out for lunch for our birthdays. The Rule is NO gifts only cards, ONLY silly cards....bordering on naughty.

So today we are meeting for Rebecca's birthday at my favorite restaurant in this city, The Green Well. I've been saving up the calories for this lunch...since, well since breakfast this morning. Sorry I am not a good calorie counter person.

I went to the Hallmark Store last night to get a card. Of course I found one for many other friends as well. And of course ended up sitting on the floor in front of the cards, snorting and practically crying cause I was laughing so hard. I was alone. I know.....mortifying. That's me. I'm pathetic. Get me in a card store and it's pure embarrassment for my children. My daughter was smart she chose to linger in the "teeny~bopper" store.

Now I can't decide which one to give my gal. Will you help me?


Kinda naughty...but not too bad.


LOVE this one. Good Golly Miss Molly...I would definitely wear a bucket on my head.


Can you say...HELP me Lord to never do this?! Have I done this? Hoping not, making note to not talk about my sinuses or bladder to total strangers.


BACON! Am I the only one that can appreciate this card?


This one is for my brother-n-law. think we haven't noticed.


Need I say more?


Huh? What?

I will not print the punch line for this card, for fear it might offend any flatulent~phobic readers. I have the perfect friend in mind for this card. You know who you are.


Yes Myrtle! You ROCK!

This is my all time FAVORITE card. I have given it at least 3 times.

Good Golly, I about pee myself every time I read it. Arm dangle makes me giggle.....Ahahaha~snort~snot~snertk!

There they are, all 10. Which one is your favorite? Can you guess which one I might give?

Hope you have a good laugh today...maybe you should head on over to your nearest card aisle.

It's true laughter IS good for what ails ya!

Posted 3/23: I picked #1 !

post signature