Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween...and Apple Pie Squares and Homemade Croutons...

Halloween in my title sure got you're attention, didn't it? :) Well the costumes I made for the children this year happened to be very simple/easy... and all the candy they got from trick or treating...well I stuck it away and am snacking on it myself.Better I get the cavities than them,right?!
Ok,ok!!! I'm joking! The only costumes my kids stepped into on Halloween night was their PJs, (oh and those aren't costumes are they now? ;) And the trick or treating, well the candy they got that evening was at the chiropractors office from the assistant who was dressed in a Georgia Bulldogs shirt (bulldogs? I got that right didn't I? ;D ) with a funny little set of rabbits ears or something like that on her head.That really sounds like a halloween costume doesn't it!?
Annnnywayyyy,on to my point. I am so happy that Halloween is now over for another year! And now I can maybe follow the blogs I love to follow without seeing some nasty Halloween DYI decoration of some kind! All the devilish stuff is enough to almost make you children do shudder, Literally! We happened to be at the mall Halloween evening (not celebrating mind you! ;) and the things we saw had our children in tears.I think we should write it down as a reminder for next year that we stay at home that evening!
What I actually came to do was share a few recipes with you.
Recipes are my latest obsession.I have had so much fun cooking the last while,trying recipes I've never tried before.And some of them are common as ever but it's still fun to try a common new recipe - to me anyway.
APPLE PIE SQUARES was one I tried this last week.And they were so yummy! I had some leftover apples that needed to be used up and I needed a dessert for the suppers I made so I decided to try these...

2 - 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg - separated
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1 cup crushed cornflakes
9 cups thinly sliced, peeled, tart apples (about 10 medium)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar - divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon - divided
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoon milk

( I just now realized that I totally didn't follow that glaze recipe :D I just made glaze the way I usually do and that's with water,not milk and no vanilla.Mine is sounding a little blah about now! )

In a large bowl,combine flour and salt;cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.In a measuring cup,combine egg yolk and enough milk to measure 1/3 cup.Gradually add to the flour mixture,tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
Divide dough in half.Roll one portion into a think 15 - in.x 10-in. rectangle.Transfer to the bottom of an ungreased 15 - in. x 10 - in. x 1 - in. baking pan.
Sprinkle with cornflakes ( I honestly don't get this part but I did it anyway :) )
In a large bowl,combine the apples,1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg;toss to coat.Spoon over crust.
Roll remaining dough into a think 15 - in. x 10 - in. rectangle;place over apple filling.Beat egg white;Brush over pastry.Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon;sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350* for 45 - 50 minutes or until golden brown.
For glaze,combine teh confectioners' sugar,vanilla and enough milk to achieve a drizzling consistency.Drizzle over warm pastry.Cool completely on a wire rack.

My little family loved them,I don't know about the others that had them but here it was a hit. That same evening I made salad and suddenly thought about it that I was out of croutons.And there was a recipe for homemade croutons that I had wanted to try,but since I didn't have all the ingredients for that one,I googled one, or swagbucked one, can't remember : D Either way works but I like swagbucks better because I get rewarded! LOL Anyhow, I did get croutons.They definitley weren't the best but they did the job and with a little playing around I think you could get some seriously yummy croutons with this recipe.So just in case you run out of croutons I'll give you the recipe :)

Homemade Croutons

1 loaf bread,cut into small cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. butter,melted
2 large garlic cloves,minced
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp dry or fresh parsley
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. celery seed
pinch of salt

Combine ingredients (except bread).   Pour the seasoning mixture onto the baking pan and stir the croutons to coat.To make sure all are coated,they can be sprayed very quickly with olive oil spray (do not use any other kind of spray)
Arrange in single layers on cookie sheets.
Bake at 300 * for 10 -15 minutes ( I baked mine a WHOLE LOT longer) or until golden and fragrant.

And there you have it,my halloween and recipe post.
Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead! This week there's lots I wana do!Don't know exactly what will get done and what won't but I'll let that to figure out later.Right now soft pretzles and friends are on my mind.


(excuse any spelling errors there may be because at this moment I'm not taking time to proof read! ;)

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