Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Caramel Apple Pecan Pie

























I made only one pie this past weekend...but it was a good one from my Mom's favorites. She was quite the pie baker and use to come up with all kinds of different combinations. We loved this spin off her all American apple pie. It almost tastes like a caramel apple with the mix of caramel and pecans. This one is a keeper my friends.


Caramel Apple Pecan Pie

4 lbs. Gala, Fuji, or Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced in ¼-inch slices
Zest of 1 lemon and 3 tablespoons of the juice from that lemon
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 ½ cups Kraft caramel candies, cut in fourths
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 additional tsp. granulated sugar

Easy Pie Dough: (or use frozen pie shells)

1 ½ sticks very frozen butter, diced into cubes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold shortening like Crisco
about ½ cup ice water

Crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and cut in the cold butter and shortening. Continue cutting until the butter is the size of peas and resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to form a ball in the bowl. Gather into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Pie Filling: While dough is chilling, slice your apples in to ¼-inch slices and place in large bowl. Combine apples with zest, lemon juice, sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans. Stir to mix thoroughly, coating each apple slice. Set aside.
























Remove your dough from refrigerator and cut in equal halves. On lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a circle, rolling from the center to the edges, turning and flouring the dough as needed to prevent sticking. Fold dough in half, and carefully place it in a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold dough to fit pan. Repeat rolling for second pastry dough.

Fill the pie shell with apple mixture and drop caramel pieces evenly on top. Top with second crust and trim edges to 1-inch over the rim of pie pan. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the edges together with fingers by pinching.




























Combine 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water and whisk well. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with an additional teaspoon of sugar. Cut 4-5 slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Place pie on sheet pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until crust is browned and juices begin to bubble out.

Allow pie to cool slightly and then drizzle more melted caramel on top and sprinkle with pecans. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy! 
















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Oven Roasted Memphis Ribs

























On the menu today will be my out of this world delicious oven roasted ribs that I have shared many times at Welcome Home.  You probably remember me telling you that I have stopped using the grill or smoker to make my ribs.  There's no need to anymore with this rub and this method of cooking.  Use the  grill for burgers and chicken and steak but save these for the oven!  These delicious ribs are so fall-off-the- bone-tender they melt in your mouth. And they even have grill marks! Take a look at the photo of the ones I made today. Better yet, try them....let me know what you think!

Oven Roasted Memphis Ribs

4 pounds pork ribs or two big slabs
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue sauce

Dry Rub

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons celery seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
3 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground allspice

Mix all ingredients together until blended. Lay ribs out flat and rub both sides generously with rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.































Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put a rack inside a large shallow roasting pan to keep the ribs off the bottom of the pan. Lay ribs across rack and fill pan with beef or chicken broth under the ribs making sure the ribs are not touching the liquid. 


























Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes in 450 degree hot oven. Then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and allow ribs to cook slowly for at least 4-6 hours until the meat begins to fall off the bone.























Remove from oven and carefully remove foil away from you so that steam escapes.  There will be plenty of steam, do not get burned.

























Brush ribs generously with Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue sauce. Return to the oven to bake for 15-20 more minutes.

























Carefully use tongs to lift ribs in one piece and place on platter.


























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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Welcome Home Everyone!

































Welcome Home everyone! So glad you came home to visit and I hope that you'll stay forever.

My prayer is that you find comfort here.  Maybe you'll find a recipe or two that will bring back memories of days past.  Maybe a heartfelt story that might pull at your heart strings and make an impact in some way. Maybe you'll see something that makes you laugh or brightens your day or a picture or quote that makes you stop for a moment and think about it's relevance in your life.

I created Welcome Home to honor my Mother who moved to heaven a few years ago. And while I may have started something to share with others, it is my Mom and God that are the true authors here.  For you see, I am not a writer and have never professed to be, and yet when I'm at Welcome Home, I'm filled with the spirit of a devine higher power that inspires me and guides my thoughts....a strong force that allows the words to just flow from my mind and onto the page.  I did nothing to advertise this page.  I never once promoted it. And yet people come from all over the world to find comfort here.

I believe with all my heart that our paths crossed right here at Welcome Home for a reason.  I believe there was a time in everyone's life when we were happy and we felt comfort in the arms of a loving mother who sheltered us from the harshness of this sometimes cruel world.  I think there was a place we all knew at one time, where we felt safe no matter what went on outside our door.  We called that place home, and I believe that no matter where life takes us or how old we are, we will miss that place and continue to yearn for those days for the rest of our lives.

I can't bring back that place or those times for you.  I only know that you were brought here for a reason and I will do all that I can to help you find comfort here. So, sit back and relax and enjoy your new home.  Welcome home my friends.  Welcome home.


Marty
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Friday, August 19, 2016

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies






















I love my all cookies soft and chewy. And the trick is not only putting your cookie dough in the refrigerator overnight, put in this case adding a little cornstarch!  For the real chocolate lovers out there, this is one of the best chocolate chunk cookies you’ll ever find!  I like them so much I make up my dough and store the cookie dough balls in my freezer.  That way I can control how many I make at one time that way!

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 and 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chunks

Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until blended. Add the egg and the egg yolk and vanilla and continue to mix until combined.























Using a wooden spoon, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Next fold in the chocolate chunks, making sure they are mixed throughout.

Cover the dough and chill for at least 2 hours. I refrigerate mine overnight.  Remember, refrigerating cookie dough makes for a more flavorful and chewy cookie and your dough spreads out less. 

When you are ready to bake, take the cookie dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of your cookie dough in your hand and roll into a ball.  Place 8 cookie balls on your baking sheet and add a couple of chocolate chunk to the top of each one.  

Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. Cookies will look under baked at this point and be very soft, however they will continue to bake on the cookie sheet as it is cooling.  Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.























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Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
















I love a soft and chewy cookie.  Maybe a little crispy on the outside edges but definitely moist and chewy in the middle.  My Mom used to always store her cookie dough overnight in the refrigerator because she said it always gives you a better tasting and softer cookie.  You could always find several batches of cookie dough in our refrigerator and every now and then she would let us pinch off a little and eat it!   You will love these cookies! 

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


1/2 cup butter
 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

In a large bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla with a stand or hand mixer until smooth.


In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add the wet and dry mixtures together and then stir  in the oats, raisins and nuts.  Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and form a ball. Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for overnight.
















Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Using a scoop, measure out  2 inch balls of chilled cookie dough and arrange on the cookie sheet leaving two inches between each ball.  Flatten the dough ball just a bit with your fingers.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center looks slightly under cooked. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the warm baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Meatball Stroganoff













I love this twist on beef stroganoff! Tender egg noodles and wonderful meatballs in a rich savory gravy. Oh my! Such yummy comfort food!

Meatball Stroganoff

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup Heinz Homestyle Savory Beef Gravy, divided
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups of beef broth
3/4 cup sour cream
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl along with a half cup of the beef gravy. Add more breadcrumbs as needed for the right consistency. Shape into 1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.
In large skillet, melt olive oil and then add butter. Add meatballs in batches and fry on all sides over medium heat until all sides are browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all meatballs are browned. When finished, drain off excess fat from skillet but do not wash or clean the pan. 

Melt 1/4 cup butter in the skillet and stir to make sure you blend the pieces of beef and onion and garlic left on the bottom. Using a whisk, quickly whisk in flour and cook for about one minute or until very lightly browned.  

Next, whisk in the beef broth a little at a time, whisking constantly for about 1-2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in half cup of Heinz

Homestyle Savory Beef Gravy. Stir in sour cream; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add meatballs back to skillet and cover. Simmer on low heat for about 30-40 minutes.

In the meantime, cook egg noodles as directed on package. Drain well and add to platter. Serve meatballs and gravy over hot egg noodles.












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Thursday, August 04, 2016

Marie's Bacon and Tomato Pasta Salad

































I love this blog.  It's where I go when I need new ideas. It's where I go when I want some delicious.  My friend Marie over at the English Kitchen has the best recipes on the Internet!  Go take a peak and let her know Welcome Home sent you!

Marie's Bacon and Tomato Pasta Salad


All the flavors of my favorite tomato bite appetizers in a pasta salad.  Scrummy yummy!  

1/2 pound of fussilli pasta (8 ounces)
4 to 5 spring onions, washed, trimmed and chopped
2 cups of cherry tomatoes, washed and halved 
2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
1 pound of  bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 cup good quality mayonnaise 
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing 
2  tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and black pepper to taste
chopped parsley to garnish  


Cook your pasta according to the package directions.  Drain well.  Rinse in cold water and drain again.  Set aside.
































Whisk the mayonnaise, blue cheese dressing, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together in a serving bowl.   Stir in the spring onions.   Add the cooked pasta and cherry tomatoes.  Toss to coat well.   

Cover and chill for at least an hour.   Remove and stir in 3/4 of the bacon.  Sprinkle the remainder on top along with some chopped fresh parsley.   Serve.  






























For more wonderful recipes from Marie, go to her blog at The English Kitchen!

http://theenglishkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/bacon-and-tomato-pasta-salad-and.html
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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Apple Turnovers
























 My Mom didn't call them Apple Turnovers. She didn't call them fruit pies or apple pockets. She called them hand pies it's the first dessert I can remember her teaching me how to make. She used to fill them with any fruit she found at the local produce stand...peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and blueberries. So good and so easy to make now that we can buy puffed pastry already made and ready to use.

Apple Turnovers (Apple Hand Pies)

1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
2 medium Fuji or Gala apples – peeled and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
course sugar for topping (optional)

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a large skillet and add diced apples. Cook for about 3 minutes. Next add brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, cornstarch, and nutmeg. Continue cooking until apples are tender and sauce has begun to thicken. Stir apples occasionally while cooking. Remove apple mixture from heat and add the vanilla. Set aside to cool.


























Unfold pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Smooth or roll out seems to make sure they do not separate. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each sheet into four squares.

Mix the egg white and water together to make an egg wash. Brush egg wash all along the edges of the pastry squares. Next spoon about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the mixture into the center of the 1 pastry square leave about an inch on all sides. Fold pastry in half diagonally and pinch the edges with a fork to seal. Prick with fork for steam vents. Sprinkle a little course sugar on top if desired. Repeat with remaining squares.

Transfer to an baking sheet. Leave at least an inch between pies. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes until the top is puffed and nicely browned. Remove turnovers from pan to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes.

Vanilla Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix to a smooth, thick consistency. Add more milk to thin, if necessary. Drizzle glaze over warm turnovers and serve.


















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