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Yummy Italian style dish that is also great for people on a Daniel Fast! I used whole grain penne pasta for this, but you can use any kind of pasta of your liking. To add even more great flavor, add some pesto sauce!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1/2 red pepper, diced

*1 jar sun dried tomatoes, drained (about 3/4 cup dry, rehydrated)

1 cup artichoke hearts, sliced

1/3 cup sliced black olives (optional, I don’t like olives so I left these out)

1/3 cup fresh chopped basil

1 box penne pasta, cooked

Preparation:

Sautee garlic in olive oil for a minute or two, then add the red peppers and basil. Cook for another minute or two, then add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and basil and allow to cook until heated through, stirring frequently.

* I would advise cutting up the sun-dried tomatoes before putting them in the pan.

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I love Autumn. It has got to be my favorite season. I think I even want to get married during the Fall. All the food would be homemade style surrounded by harvest decor, and pies, did I mention that I want lots of pies? Mmmmm…Whoops! Okay, Megan, stop daydreaming. Haha!

I’m gonna be honest with ya. Pies have always been intimidating to me. I think because of the crust. I have no idea why. Ever since I was child I would watch my grandmothers make them and somehow, someway I got it in my head that pies are hard…Until today 🙂

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to present to you my very first Apple Pie. I’m so excited (and I’m sure my future husband will appreciate it someday too ;).  I kind of felt like Ma Ingalls in the kitchen today!

I found this recipe on one of my newest favorite sites, My Baking Addiction. I have posted the recipe below, but I would also encourage you to visit the other site as well. And once again, I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a wonderful, blessed day!

 

*Pie Crust adapted from allrecipes

*This crust turned out so well, but, once again, I will be honest….I like my Amma’s crust better.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons shortening
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 egg
1/4 cup water

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, shortening, sugar, and salt. Blend together with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
In a small bowl, mix egg with water. Blend into flour mixture. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.
Notes: I halved the original recipe which was perfect for a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. The recipe I posted is the halved version.

Apple Pie Filling adapted from allrecipes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
6 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced (my apples were large 6 were perfect)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:
1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Toss the apples with the cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Meanwhile, place the crust in your pan.
4. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over apples. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. Cover with crumb topping (recipe below).
Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.

Oatmeal Streusel Topping
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter; slightly softened

Prepare Oatmeal Streusel Topping by combining flour, teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and oats. Mix thoroughly, then cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.

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Well, it’s official…I’m on the dinner making list in our home. haha! Oh wait, I forgot to write that I am back in KY at the moment on what you could call my “1st official furlough”.  It feels wonderful to be home for awhile! It’s kind of fun to be able to bake pretty much whatever I want because there’s no question if I can acquire the ingredients that I need or not.  I can make quite a bit in Thailand, but ingredients can be quite limited.

Anyway, all that to say, I made dinner tonight for my mom and dad and I. We have been trying to come up with more ways to cook chicken, so I’ve been searching the internet like crazy lately to find some recipes. This one I found on Eat Better America. It is very good! We don’t have marsala, so I replaced it with cooking sherry (which is what was advised to use if you do not have the original ingredient. That, or chicken broth)  and it tasted just fine.  We are sauce people, so we actually came to the conclusion to double the recipe for the sauce next time. The recipe also calls for fresh mushrooms, but does not say what kind. I chose small bellas and they were wonderful.

For a side dish, I made Martha Stewart’s sauteed spinach with golden raisins. Very good as well.

Both dishes were amazingly easy to make.  I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we did! =)

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Weeeellll…

First of all, making a dessert isn’t always an easy thing to do here in Thailand. Not that this one was super hard or anything, but I can’t always get exactly what the original recipe calls for.

In this case , I was supposed to use a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. I can’t get a bottle of lemon juice here like I could in America. I can get lemons however, but they were too expensive for me buy this month so I asked a friend here what I should do. She advised using lime juice instead. So I did. Unfortunately that was a mistake!  Unless of course you want a “Lime and Cream No-bake Cheesecake”!  Ah, alas, my hopes of having a piece of oreo cookie goodness were  dashed quite to the ground 😦

The texture of this dessert however was very nice, and I do want to try this one again. Needless to say, without the lime juice. Here is the link to the recipe : http://www.bakersroyale.com/cheesecake/oreo-cookies-and-cream-no-bake-cheesecake/ Despite my somewhat failed attempt, please try it and tell me how yours turned out!

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These bars taste so good. But, they do need to cool completely like the directions say to or else they fall apart. I had made them in the evening so we let them sit all night to let the flavors mix. We enjoyed them much more the next day. 

1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa, divided

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

1 can (14 oz. ) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup chopped nuts

2 cups (12-oz. bag) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

 

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup cocoa and sugar in medium bowl; stir in butter, blending well. Press mixture firmly onto bottom of ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. 

2. Beat sweetened condensed milk, flour, egg, vanilla, baking powder and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa in small bowl. Stir in nuts. Spread evenly over prepared crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

3. Bake 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

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1 cup butter scotch chips

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups mini marshmallows

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 9×13 inch baking dish.

2. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butterscotch chips and butter, stirring constantly until smooth. As soon as the butter and chips are melted remove from heat and transfer contents of the pan to a mixing bowl. Be sure not to over heat the butter and butterscotch chips or they will separate and appear curdled.  Cool mixture to room temperature.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the vanilla and eggs into the butterscotch mixture. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butterscotch mixture. When blended (the batter will be relatively thick) mix in the chocolat chips and marshmallows.

4. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minuted. The center will feel a little soft, but will firm while cooling. Let cool 2-3 hours before cutting. Enjoy! These are SOOO good 🙂 .

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This pie reminds me of ice cream 🙂 . My mom used to make if often for birthdays. In fact, my grandmother just had it for her birthday in April. Very tasty!

cutting pie   piece of pie

Crushed oreo cookies enough to make crust

1 TBSP melted butter

1 pkg. (3.9oz) chocolate instant pudding mix

3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. milk

4 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules

1 12oz. container coolwhip

2 Tbsp. choc. syrup (optional)

mix cookie crumbs with melted butter. Press into greased 9-inch pie plate patting crumbs onto bottom and up side of the pie plate to coat evenly. In large bowl, whisk pudding mix, milk, and instant coffee; fold in 3 cups of the whipped topping. Pour filling into pie plate. Decorate by piping remaining whipped topping onto top of pie. Freeze 6-8 hours or until solid. Drizzle with chocolate syrup just before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Want it lower in fat? Just replace the oreos with reduced fat chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, the 2% milk with skim, and the regular cool whip with reduced fat or fat-free.

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