Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Apple Pie Muffins

It's finally warming up, and that has me itching for summer. And nothing says summer to me like apple pie. But, when I thought about making a pie, for just me and my husband, that seemed a little over-the-top. So, I decided to make something to catch the essence of homemade apple pie, without the hassle.

Apple Pie Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 large Granny Smith apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
Cooking spray or 1 tsp butter, for cooking apples

Preheat oven to 350. First, peel, core, and dice apple, and toss with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and tablespoon of brown sugar. Spray frying pan with cooking spray, or melt teaspoon of butter over medium heat. Toss in apple, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Take off heat, and set aside. Cream together sugars and butter, then proceed to add egg and vanilla, and mix. Sprinkle baking powder over the mixture, then add flour, and mix. Next, pour in milk, slowly mixing it in, making sure batter is smooth. Fold in apple pieces, and use a tablespoon to spoon into lined muffin cups, until about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Upcycle Tin Cans With A Little Paint

Anyone who cooks at all knows there is never a shortage of empty tin cans in the recycling bin. There's also ALWAYS a shortage of where to put all of your stuff. See where I'm going with this? You can use spray paint, or acrylic, or really any kind at all. I used a bit of hot glue to make sure the inside, where the top came off, was safe. Just went right around the ring with the glue gun. 

If you're like me and don't want to use spray paint, you can put one coat on just to rough up the service (it won't cover the first time), then go back over it once that's dry with whatever color you like. It's easy, fast, convenient, and helpful. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Make Your Own Spice Holder

Have you ever noticed that the box that aluminum foil/wax paper/ parchment paper/plastic wrap etc. is the perfect size for your spices?

All you have to do is cut off the top, and cover with patterned paper, fabric, or whatever you have on hand. Craft glue works great for this easy project. No more searching the cupboard for all spice!!

Bachelor Button Cookies

These quick, easy, and tasty little cookies are addictive. Just ask my husband. They're so small, it's easy to justify having two or three...or seven. You can make them with or without the chocolate on top. This recipe yields about 2 1/2 dozen, which seems like quite a lot. But, keep in mind that they turn out about the size of a 50 cent piece.


3/4 cup of shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt (about 1/2 tsp)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips.


Cream together the shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla and stir in. Add dry ingredients, and mix well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease lightly. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on sheet. Bake 10-14 minutes at 375. If desired, melt chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. When cookies have cooled, dunk upside down into melted chocolate, or use the back of a spoon to spread on the cookies. Allow chocolate to firm up, and enjoy. (I cheat and pop the cookies into the fridge for a few minutes to get the chocolate to harden more quickly.)