Coupon Deals


What to do with all of those cherries?

This year I picked cherries for the first time!  So fun, fast and easy!  My daughters and I managed to pick about 20 pounds in 20 minutes or so.  
I pitted them using a NorPro Cherry Pitter, which made the job really fast.  I plunked the pitted cherries into ziploc bags and put them into the freezer to enjoy throughout the year for smoothies and baking.  One of my girls loves cherry pie.  I'd never made one before so I went to the internet to find a good recipe.  I combined the pie filling recipe, with my friend's easiest pie crust recipe ever and my own crumb topping .  WOW, best pie ever!!  

Click Here for the Pie Crust Recipe from Red Head Can Decorate! 

Click Here for the Pie Filling Recipe
(For the filling, I used less sugar and omitted the food coloring.) I had made the filling earlier in the week and stored it in a quart jar in the fridge.  When it came time to make the pie, I added in a few of my cherries from the freezer because my pie dish was deeper than average.)

Crumb Topping
1/4 cup of softened butter
1/2 Cup of Flour
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Oats
Combine and sprinkle over assembled pie. 
 Bake at 350 for approx 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Quick, Easy and Super Yummy, definitely going to go in my list of "keeper recipes"!

Tweaking your basic cookie Recipe

I enjoy baking and chocolate chip cookies are a staple.  Here are some easy to change up your basic recipe to get whole new variations with very little effort!

Basic Recipe:
     Cream in a mixer:
     2 sticks of butter with 
     3/4 cup of brown sugar
     3/4 cup of white sugar
add in    
     2 eggs
     1 t baking soda
     1 t salt
     1 T vanilla (see homemade recipe below!)
      2 1/2 cups flour
      2 cups of chocolate chips 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

Variation 1:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
     Substitute 1/2 cup of peanut butter for one of the sticks of butter.  The flavor is amazing!

Variation 2:
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
     Add 1/2 cup of baking cocoa to your cookie mix before adding in the chocolate chips.  


Homemade Vanilla Extract
For years I have wanted to make vanilla extract from scratch but never got it all together.  Today I "got it all together" least for this project!  ;)

1.75 L of Vodka  ($12.00)
8 vanilla beans ($9.00)

Cut the beans lengthwise and drop 4 of  them into the bottle and store in a dark place.  After a few days, you'll see the color of the alcohol change to the vanilla extract color that we all know.  After 8 weeks it will be ready for baking!  I'm planning on packing it up to share as Christmas gifts!  Can't wait!!

Apple Squares

Living in Western New York, we are so fortunate to be able to pick some of the most delicious apples available!!  We pick a enjoy as God made them, for applesauce, and in all sorts of desserts.  Apple Squares are one of my favorites.  It's quick to make, especially if you have an apple peeler/corer machine!  It does the tedious work for you!!
This is a super yummy recipe and it freezes really well, so I usually make a double for the family to enjoy now and one for the future!  (The second one to put in the freezer doesn't need to be baked ahead of time. However, you can freeze it if it's already baked!)

In a bowl combine 3/4 cup of melted butter, 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup rolled oats.
Combine all of the above --Reserve 1 Cup of the mixture--press the rest into a 9x13 pan that you've sprayed with cooking spray.

6 cups of apples peeled and sliced.  Place on the crust

In a sauce pan, combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, 1 t vanilla, 1/2 t cinnamon and 1/4 cup of flour. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until it comes to a boil.  Pour over the apples.

Spread reserved crust over the apples and bake for 45 minutes.

**When I make the recipe, I double crust and apple portion and make only one batch of sauce...for me, it's sweet enough to cover two pans.  If you have a stronger sweet tooth, you may want to try the recipe as is the first time through.