Sunday, October 17, 2021

Hello October




Welcome October. It's probably one of the prettiest months of the year and a time for celebration. October is the month of my birth. I was born on October 21st, my father's birthday. 

My Dad used to say I was the best present that God ever gave him and he loved me so much. Unfortunately, he would never see his little girl grow up. His life ended tragically 7 years later when a drunk driver struck and killed him as he was walking across the street with his arms outstretched to hug me, as he did each day when he got home from work. Pretty traumatic for a little girl right? No worries, God made sure he handpicked the perfect man to come into our lives. I have always called him my Dad and he is my hero and the love of my life.

Welcome Home will be 3 years old this month. I started a simple Facebook page on October 27, 2012 as a way to preserve my memories of my Mom who moved to heaven a few years ago. I wanted to keep her memory alive by creating a safe haven for the recipes she left me as well as all her teachings about life and love and happiness. 

Blogging was just a way for me to write about my most precious memories and at first I shared those feelings and thoughts with no one. However, as I began to remember and write down my wonderful memories of one of the most beautiful women that God ever created, I felt that others might benefit from her teachings too. So, I decided to share with only a few friends. 

I call those first 30 facebook "LIKES" my "Original Welcome Home Guests" and they are all still with me today. Every single one of them have been with me on this long journey. Eventually, that number grew as my page and blog went viral almost overnight. Today there are over half a million followers that apparently enjoy the recipes and my writings about my Mom.

You see my Mom meant everything to me. I loved her with all my heart and I miss her every minute of every day. She believed I could do anything and she was the truest friend I've ever had. I always say that God sent me to the arms of an angel and her arms were always open when I needed a hug. Her heart always understood when I needed a friend. Her gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Her strength and love guided me and gave me wings to fly. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my Mom. No one has ever loved me as much as she did, and I will miss her everyday for the rest of my life.

Many of you have asked me what is the one lesson that my Mom taught me that guides me in this life until I meet her again. I can say that it is this quote that she taught me at a very young age and it stays in my heart and in my mind each day .... 

"Live in such a way that those you know you but don't know God, will come to know God because they know you." 

Welcome home my friends. Welcome home. I know that our paths have crossed for a reason.


~Marty

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Apple Swiss Roll

 






















Everyone likes to do Pumpkin Rolls this time of year. Wherever you look there's that orange pumpkin roll staring back at you. I like to change things up a little and make Apple Cake Rolls.  Made the same way as the pumpkin Swiss rolls but a lot lighter and absolutely delicious!

Apple Swiss Roll

Cake

6 large eggs
1 super moist vanilla cake mix
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line two 9 x 13-inch baking pans with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer on high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 6 minutes. Add cake mix, apple pie spice, milk, and oil. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 1 minute. Spread half of the batter into each of the two pans.













Bake for 12-14 minutes until the tops of the cakes begin to brown. To tell if the cake is done, press a finger on top of the cake.  It will spring back.
While the cakes are baking, sprinkle 1/2 cup powdered sugar over 2 clean lint-free very lightly damp kitchen towels (1/4 cup on each).
Remove cakes from oven and immediately flip each one onto each kitchen towel. Peel away parchment paper. While cake is still hot, carefully roll up each cake inside the damp towel from narrow end. Allow cakes to cool completely while still wrapped in damp towels.













Apple & Cream Cheese Filling 
4 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

Toss apple pieces with lemon juice and set aside.
In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar. Stir constantly until it begins to dissolve. Add apples and apple pie spice and toss to coat. Continue to stir until sugar completely dissolves. Reduce heat to low and let apples simmer for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until tender and the liquid thickens.
Remove apples from heat and pour them into a fine mesh strainer or colander set over a bowl so you can reserve the liquid. Allow apples to drain and cool for 15 minutes.
With an electric mixer beat the softened until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and the liquid drained from the cooked apples. Mix until sugar dissolves. Add the whipped topping and beat until fully incorporated.
























Carefully Unroll cooled cakes. Spread half of the cream cheese fluff over each cake. Equally divide the apples and spread them over the cakes.  

Roll cakes back up into logs. Sprinkle cakes with powdered sugar. Cut cake into 8 slices and serve!






















Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Easiest Chicken and Dumplings

 


 


 

Really....is there anything better? Big fluffy drop dumplings surrounded by tender moist chicken and a thick super smooth gravy with a handful of veggies to add color and texture.  So easy to make with a store bought rotisserie chicken and a box of Bisquick. Melt in your mouth good!

 

The Easiest Chicken and Dumplings

 

1 onion chopped

1 cup baby carrots

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth

2 cups of water, divided

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

2 cups chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken breast

2 cups biscuit baking mix

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

 

Remove the skin from the chicken and shred or chop.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a small skillet, melt two tablespoons over butter over medium high heat. Sauté your vegetables until tender. Set aside.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a glass measuring add 1 cup of COLD water to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and whisk until smooth. This is your slurry that you will use to thicken the broth later. Set aside.

 

In a large pot or Dutch oven, add your chicken broth and 1 cup of water. Add the thyme leaves and vegetables and salt and pepper to taste.  Go light on the salt as the broth has salt in it. Bring mixture to a rolling boil.  Add the cornstarch mixture.  Make sure the broth is still boiling when you add it.  Stir as broth begins to thicken. If you want it thicker, add more cornstarch to a little more water and do this again.  Once thickened, lower the heat to a slow boil or simmer. Add in your chicken and stir.

 

In a large bowl, stir together biscuit baking mix and milk. Do not over mix.  Mix until just blended. Dough will be sticky.

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop the dough into the simmering broth by spoonfuls. Make sure your broth is only simmering and not boiling. Too much activity in the broth will break apart your dumplings. You want just a slow simmer.

 

Cover pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring on occasion to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.  Find a place that has no dumplings so you do not disturb them as they cook.  

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Uncover and check dumplings for doneness. Cook for another 10 minutes uncovered. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season to taste.  If broth is too thick add more broth.  If soup is too thick, add more broth. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE:  A lot of recipes don't cover the dumplings with a lid and this is a mistake! Steam the dumplings for 10 minutes and then take off the lid and let the tops dry off somewhat. The dumplings will be light, puffy and tender!

 

 

 

 


 

 

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to Welcome Home.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

 





















I love the desserts our Mom’s and grandmother’s used to make, don’t you?  Nothing fancy at all…just simple desserts that were so easy to make and so wholesome.  And the best part was the heavenly smell of cinnamon and apples when you walked in the door.  I love this dessert!

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

5 pounds Fuji or Granny Smith apples
Grated zest of one orange
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Grated zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

























Topping

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch oval baking dish.













Peel, core, and cut the apples into large chunks or wedges. Combine the apples with the lemon and orange zest and the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour in the lemon and orange juice and stir until everything is combined.  Pour  into the buttered dish.












For The Topping
Combine the flour, both sugars, salt, oats, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. 
Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.












Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.










Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.