Thursday, February 11, 2010

Apple Crisp

A couple weeks ago, I set out to make an apple pie for my mom to take to work. I follow the recipe in the New Cookbook published by Better Homes and Gardens. Well at least the first time I made an apple pie at Christmas I did. After that, I started to modify it and change it, and now I don't even look at the recipe any more. So I've pretty much come up with a new recipe for apple crisp, which I will share with you because it is, in a word, AMAZING.

Apple Crisp
Apple mixture
4 medium sized Granny Smith apples
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
Approx. 1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves (trust me, you're tastebuds will thank you, even if you aren't sure it's in there)
1 Tbsp. flour

Crumb/Crispy part
Handful of oats (1/2 cup)
Half a handful of brown sugar (1/3 cup)
A couple throws of flour (1/4 cup)
A shake of cinammon (1/2 tsp)
4-5 Tbsp. butter (my favorite ingredient!)

Peel, core, slice your apples. It doesn't really matter how you slice them, but make sure they are approximately the same size. I find it easiest to quarter them, then remove the core. Then cut each quarter in half and peel it. Then slice each eighth into four slices. It sounds complicated, but it goes really fast.

I find it's super easy to coat the apples in a gallon baggie. So throw all the ingredients for the apple part in a baggie, seal it and shake away! As you are cutting your apples, you can throw them in the baggie which helps release their juice I find. The baggie also makes clean up a breeze!

Put your apples in a dish. The size of your dish really depends on how deep you want your apples to go in the dish.

In a separate bowl, throw together all the crisp ingredients. Using a pastry blender, or fork and knife, mash it all up. Don't worry if all the flour or brown sugar doesn't get mixed in, your apple crisp will still be delicious! Put the crisp mixture over the top of the apples, and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes. Again, this will slightly depend on the dish you are using, but at least 25 minutes is a pretty safe bet. Do not, I repeat, Do not under any circumstances cover your apple crisp while you are baking it. The crispy part needs access to the oven elements in order to crisp up!

This is definitely not a precise dessert, and not for the compulsive measure-er. I never measure the ingredients for this recipe! Part of the fun is experimenting with different spices, amounts, etc. I think I'll try less sugar next time. Although without the bottom crust, this isn't a terrible dessert for your waistline! I find baking is extremely therapeutic for me, and this recipe in particular because it involves shaking and mashing + butter and Granny Smiths.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Diary of a College Girl

I realize the last few weeks have been quiet, once again, on the blog front. I assure you I am still alive and well, but I started my last semester of college. Wow. I'm not sure that has sunk in yet. I am taking 21 credit hours total this semester, but am rather interesting in the majority of them, so it's not terrible! I decided that there are certain things that get dropped when I go back to school, and I tend to feel guilty about them. I am choosing to air them, and hopefully acknowledge that I am not perfect and give myself a little patience.

  • I am terrible about getting back to people! I feel awful when I receive a text, email, phone call, etc. and it takes me two weeks to actually get back to them. I stress about it for the two weeks it takes me to get back to them, and then when I do make the call, I have to spend 5 minutes apologizing and justifying myself. I think it would be better to take the 5 minutes to respond initially, or to simply say, "I'm really busy with school, can I call you this weekend?" Rather than cause myself added stress, this is an easy remedy. I've gotten better about my response time, but because I am studious, this is still something I struggle with.
  • My clothes don't always get hung up and my books don't always get put back on the shelf. I've noticed that when I get busy, my room is one of the quickest things to get neglected. I start to leave things wherever they land because I am always rushing about. I've decided I need to make a conscious effort to take 15 minutes before bed to tidy up a little. I am convinced that I sleep better, that all humans do really, when they are in a more calm environment. Meaning, if things are a mess, I don't sleep that great! I need all the rest I can manage when I'm in school, so it really is a no brainer. My room doesn't need to be spotless before I go to bed, but I should take a few minutes to tidy up some.
  • I stop doing things for joy. I love to bake, sew, craft, create, knit, crochet...etc. When I am in school, I find I don't have time for these things. But I wonder if I don't have time for them, or if I'm not responsible enough with my time to create the opportunity to work on my projects. I am more organized this semester than I ever have been in school. And it only took me 21 years to figure it out (at least I figured it out now!). Because of this, I am hoping that I will have more time to continue doing the things I truly enjoy. I think it will make for a much better semester and overall life!
It's nice to take a step back and realize that I'm not perfect. As someone who constantly strives for top marks, I have to remind myself that I am human once in a while. I'm sure I could write all night, but I do have homework to do! And unfortunately, books don't read themselves. I'm looking forward to all of the wonderful things I will learn this semester and how I can disseminate that information in my life.