Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Whew! The last couple of weeks have been very full.

We managed to get started with swim team and flag football and Awana and the Boy Scout popcorn sale last week. In the middle of it all, we picked apples at a friend's house, so I've been busy making applesauce.

In all, it's been really a great week and I'm feeling like it's really good to be headed into fall and back into a busy groove of activities and home school and home making. We're all looking forward to STAYING HOME for a few weeks or even months!

Part of my flurry of activity has been spending LOTS of time in the kitchen. In the process, I've enjoyed some old tried-and-true recipes and discovered some new ones, too.

The most amazing and thrilling kitchen discovery came courtesy of my friend, Amy. The same Amy who inspired me to post my granola recipe, which has been the cause of the vast majority of visits to my blog. Thanks, Amy! [Waving]

Anyway, my super-duper husband goes to Amy's house once a month for church deacons meetings. And Amy always serves some yummy dessert. A few times, Amy has served PIE... mmmmmm... Roger is a pie lover. I don't make pie much because I've never been able to get a handle on making a good pie crust. I have tried very hard, but to no avail. [insert sad face] After eating Amy's pie, Roger kept reporting that she does, in fact, make the best pie crust EVER. I had asked her for her secret before and she'd told me, but I'd never really taken time to try it. And, honestly, I figured it probably wouldn't work as well for me. I had tried so many recipes and methods.

When we went to pick apples last week, our friend also allowed us to pick blackberries from the edge of her field. The kids were determined to pick enough to make a pie.

So, when I got home, I called Amy and asked for her super great pie crust recipe. She gave it to me... and she gave me permission to share it with all of you!

Let me just say, here and now, that this recipe makes the most tender, flaky declicious pie crust I have ever tasted. In fact, when I served it to my kids and asked them if they liked the crust, they actually said that the crust tasted better than the blackberry part of the pie! AND they ate all the crust, where normally they just eat the pie filling and leave the crust - even in restaurants.


Amy's World Famous Pie Crust

With two knives or a pastry cutter or a fork or something,
1 C Room Temperature Shortening
2 C Flour
1 t salt

With a fork, stir in:
6 T HOT water

The dough will be very sticky.
Refrigerate or freeze the dough until it is firm enough to handle and roll out.

Really, it's THAT GOOD.

My Quick and Easy Applesaucing Method:

Quarter and core a giant pot of apples.
Add several cups of water.
Simmer until very soft.
Run apples through the food processor.
Can in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

I've done 28 quarts so far... I still have lots of apples to go...

I've also been making home made pizza a lot since I found this crust recipe on someone's blog...
ack! I can't remember where I found it in order to give credit.

Pizza Crust

2 1/2 C Flour
1 T Baking Powder
1 t salt
1 T oil
1 C Water

Roll to fit a large cookie sheet or pizza pan. Top, bake.

I found that baking the crust at 425* for about 7 minutes before adding the toppings and baking for another 15 minutes works well.

I've been using a pizza cheese blend, which I can get for a great price at Cash and Carry and Ragu spaghetti sauce from a giant container I buy at Walmart.

Most satisfying: I can make this pizza and serve it in less time than it takes to order and pick one up from Papa Murphy's and for a fraction of the cost... and it tastes great!

Today, I also used this amazing multi-purpose roll dough from Wintercreek to make Monkey Bread for Roger's object lesson at Awana tonight. This dough has never failed me and I've used it MANY ways! You must try it. It's easy and fool proof and yummy. What more could you ask for?? Tami is one of my oldest friends... I mean longest-lasting, not OLD... and her blog is well worth perusing for great ideas and fun stories.

I'm off to spend more time in the kitchen. Have a great day!


  1. Had a meeting today that the other person was a bit late for. The time wasn't wasted though, since I ALWAYS have something with me to read -- today it was a free cooking magazine I got in the mail a couple of months ago. By the time our 'meeting' got underway, I was totally inspired to cook, cook, cook. Now you've gone and ADDED all of YOUR yummy recipes to my previous inspiration!! I'll be back later to try Amy's pie crust recipe and Ms. Whoever's pizza crust. I've never made monkey bread with "the" roll recipe, but I've heard others say it works for that too!

    Glad you're settling back into some routine, surrounded by all kinds of "fallish" goodness -- homemade applesauce is tops!!

  2. The monkey bread turned out great! Thanks again for the easy recipe. By the way, I mixed up the dough in the morning and let it rise twice at room temperature. It never made it to the fridge, as I needed the bread for Awana in the evening. It worked out perfectly!

  3. Finally back over to get this pie crust recipe! We're going "French Apple" today and will use the other half of the recipe for little cinnamon & sugar pie strip snacky things! Thanks to you and Amy!!