Homegrown Apple Pie

We spent this past weekend at my parents home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their house is built in the middle of a 100+ year old fruit orchard. The original orchard was a huge area of land, but with parcels of land being sold and roads and homes being built, the majority of the fruit trees have either been cut down or engulfed by the surrounding forest. My parents own about 3 acres of the land and have made a point to keep the heritage of the orchard going. They have reclaimed and trimmed back old, abandoned trees and have seen amazing crops in recent years! This weekend we spent some time in that orchard picking apples. Homegrown, organic, delicious, apples. Here are a few photos of our apple picking afternoon…

Sweetheart Bridesmaid Dresses

One of biggest things I admire about my Mom is that she is incredibly talented in the kitchen and genuinely enjoys passing her knowledge on to me. I think it brings her a special kind of joy to see her daughter learning and loving the art of homemaking. This weekend she taught me how to make apple pie. It may sound crazy, but I had never made an apple pie before! A true homemaking crime, I’m sure! We used fresh golden delicious apples from the orchard and a tried and true recipe from my Mom’s arsenal to make the most delicious pie. It was a very simple process and is a recipe that I will be making again, very soon! 

Homegrown Apple Pie

Apple Filling  (my Mom’s recipe)

  • 7-8 medium/large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 – 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar (brown or white)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Pie Crust (adapted from Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012 issue)

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. ice water

Combine apples, water, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium pot. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside.

Place butter pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until hard (15-20 mins). Once butter is hard, combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor.

Short Bridesmaid DressesPulse until mixture is coarse with some blueberry-sized clumps. Add ice water and immediately pulse until water is just incorporated.

Squeeze a small amount in your hand to make sure it holds together.

Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty half the dough onto each piece.

Fold edges of wrap together and gather dough into a disk. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Remove pie dough from fridge and partially unwrap. Place disc on a piece of parchment, leaving the plastic on one side. Roll dough into a circle about 1/2-inch bigger than your pie pan.

Press one piece of dough into your pan, leaving edges hanging over the edge.

Cut the second piece of dough into 3-inch wide strips.

Add filling into pan and spread evenly.

Weave dough strips into a lattice pattern over filling and press overhang onto the edge of crust. Trim the edge, fold under, and crimp.

Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake at 375 F for 30-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Be sure to place your pie on a parchment lined sheet pan to catch any drips!

Let cool and ENJOY

Homegrown Apple Pie

Apple Filling  (my Mom’s recipe)

  • 7-8 medium/large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 – 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar (brown or white)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Pie Crust (adapted from Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012 issue)

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. ice water
  1. Pie Crust: Place butter pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until hard (15-20 mins). Once butter is hard, combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarse with some blueberry-sized clumps. Add ice water and immediately pulse until water is just incorporated. Squeeze a small amount in your hand to make sure it holds together. Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty half the dough onto each piece. Fold edges of wrap together and gather dough into a disk. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  2. Apple Filling: Combine apples, water, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium pot. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside.
  3. Remove pie dough from fridge and partially unwrap. Place disc on a piece of parchment, leaving the plastic on one side. Roll dough into a circle about 1/2-inch bigger than your pie pan.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  5. Press one piece of dough into your pan, leaving edges hanging over the edge. Cut the second piece of dough into 3-inch wide strips.
  6. Add filling into pan and spread evenly. Weave dough strips into a lattice pattern over filling and press overhang onto the edge of crust. Trim the edge, fold under, and crimp.
  7. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake pie for 30-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Be sure to place your pie on a parchment lined sheet pan to catch any drips!
  8. Let cool and ENJOY!

This pie will most definitely be making an appearance again very soon. I may or may not have eaten pie for breakfast this morning. It’s healthy, right?! My Mom happily told me that I am now in charge of pies for Thanksgiving. With great baking, comes great responsibility apparently…

Eating Pie,
Mrs. Edwards

Crock-Pot Chicken Chili & Homemade Corn Bread

Today was one of the first “real” fall days around these parts. It rained overnight throughout the morning and was a wonderfully cloudy and brisk day. It was the perfect day to bundle up and enjoy a day at home. Thankfully, I got to do just that! Today’s weather called for a classic fall dinner- chili and corn bread. My goal with this meal was to not have to go to the grocery store, but to be able to use things that we already had. We typically make chili with ground beef, but Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard only offered chicken today. I went out on a limb and basically made up the chili recipe as I went. I’ve never had a chicken chili, but figured that it would be worth a try. I was a bit nervous at first, but then realized that since I knew we liked all of the ingredients, there was a pretty good chance that the end product would turn out delicious. The cornbread recipe (with a few modifications) comes from my faithful friend, my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. This entire meal was a cinch to put together and the end products were so hearty and delicious!

burgundy bridesmaid dresses

Crock-pot Chicken Chili
(makes 4-6 servings)

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of great northern beans, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 oz.) of tomato paste
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, chili powder and oregano to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon of each).
  • If you like green chilis, bell peppers, onions, etc. you can add them too!
  1. Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock-pot. Add beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings. Gently stir to combine.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. About an hour before serving pull chicken breasts out and shred. Add back into the crock-pot and cook for another hour or so.
  3. ENJOY!

Homemade Corn Bread

  • 1 c. of flour
  • 3/4 c. cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten (or if you’re out of eggs like I was, you can substitute in 4 Tbsp. water + 2 Tbsp. oil + 4 tsp. baking powder)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. Add the 1 Tbsp. butter to a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 9 x 1 1/2-inch found baking pan. Place in oven about 3 minutes or until butter melts. Remove skillet from oven; swirl butter in skillet to coat bottom and sides of pan.
  3. In a small bowl combine eggs (or egg substitute), milk, and oil. Add mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into hot skillet or pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cut into slices or wedges and serve with your chili
  5. ENJOY!

Homemade Gluten Free Granola Bars

Since going gluten free, I’ve had to avoid a lot of my old go-to snacks (like some granola bars, crackers, etc.). One thing I’m a fan of is a grab-n-go type snack and these granola bars fit the bill perfectly. I store them in the freezer and grab one as I’m headed out the door. I felt a little hippy-dippy while making these, but whatevs. They’re delish, easy, healthy, and best of all gluten free! Hoorah!

Homemade Granola Bars // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Homemade Gluten Free Granola Bars (adapted from this recipe)

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 c. gluten-free rolled oats (Trader Joe’s has gluten free for $3.99 a bag!)
  • 1/4 c. almond meal (also easily found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. almond slivers
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or Kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Line an 8″x8″ pan with foil, leaving overhang on 2 sides. This will help when you pull the bars out to cut them. Spray your foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Using your fingers, press the mixture firmly and evenly into your pan. Spraying your fingertips with cooking spray helps with the stickiness!
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until mostly set up. They will completely set up after cooling.
  6. Let cool for a bit on the counter and then cover and place in freezer. Freeze for at least an hour (mine were in the freezer overnight). Remove bars by lifting foil out of pan. Cut into 8-10 bars, wrap in parchment paper, place in a ziploc bag and store in fridge or freezer. They’re edible straight from the freezer!
  7. ENJOY!

Simple Celebrity Dresses

You can substitute most any of these ingredients for whatever you’d like! In my next batch I think I’ll sub in apple sauce for the banana and maybe add some chia seeds or flax. You could also add raisins, dried cranberries, dates, walnuts, pepitas…the possibilities are endless!

The granola eater,
Mrs. Edwards

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies // Simply Mrs. Edwards

A few months ago, I took the plunge and began cutting gluten out of my diet. It has been the roughest yet most rewarding diet change I’ve ever made. Cutting gluten out has helped me immensely with migraines but sometimes I crave the stuff like nobody’s business. I love baking and have really missed being able to easily (and inexpensively) whip up a loaf of bread or batch of cookies. Well, I think I’ve finally found a good solution for my cookie cravings! And guess what…it only requires 3 ingredients, all of which you most likely have in your cupboard! These cookies are amazing, even if you don’t have to avoid gluten like the plague.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop the dough in teaspoon sized dollops.
  4. Place sheet in the freezer for about an hour. Remove from freezer and using a fork, flatten cookies.
  5. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Let cool completely on the pan and remove with a spatula.
  6. ENJOY!

This makes a pretty small batch, which is great for me because I may or may not be tempted to eat them all in one sitting. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you’d like. Hope you love these just as much as I do!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Thankful for cookies,
Mrs. Edwards

 

We All Scream for (homemade) Ice Cream!

The past few days I’ve been trying to come up with different ways to use these beauties. Smoothies, pancakes, whole-right-outta-the-fridge, you name it. One of the best uses I came up with was homemade ice cream. Real, 500% fat, creamy ice cream…you know, the good stuff!

Growing up, our annual 4th of July tradition was a BBQ and homemade ice cream at one of our friends houses. The entire church was invited and everyone was encouraged to bring their ice-cream freezer and their favorite flavor creation. There would be a multitude of flavors, but my favorite was always the strawberry. I would eat my little heart out, and then regret it on the couple mile hike to watch the fireworks. It was all worth it though. The memories I have of that annual tradition will last a lifetime!

I thought I’d share a fool proof homemade ice cream recipe with you. Be prepared…it’s full o’fat, sugar and everything you’re not supposed to eat. But give it a try! Make some to share with friends and family to celebrate 4th of July! Create some memories!

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries- stemmed and sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 c. of sugar, divided
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. In a small bowl, combine strawberries with lemon juice and 1/3 c. of the sugar. Stir gently and allow to macerate for about 2 hours.
  2. Using a mixer or whisk, combine milk and the remaining sugar until the sugar is dissolved (about 1-2 minutes). Stir in heavy cream plus the juice from the strawberries and the vanilla.
  3. Turn your ice cream maker on and pour the mixture in (We have an older version of this Cuisinart ice cream freezer. It’s fantastic and I highly recommend it! You freeze the inner bowl, so there’s no need to mess with ice and rock-salt.)
  4. Let mix for 25-30 minutes, or until it begins thickening up. During the last 5 minutes of freezing add the sliced strawberries.
  5. If the mixture isn’t at your preferred thickness, empty the mix into another bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Be sure to lay the plastic directly on the mixture to avoid ice crystals from forming on your mix.
  6. Scoop and ENJOY!

I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day! Have fun, be safe, and make some lasting memories with friends and family!

With Love,
Mrs. Edwards