Mini Apple Cobblers

Pampered Chef square brownie pan

The house smells amazing!

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-made pie crust
  • 1 egg
  • 6 medium to large apples of 3-4 different varieties (if possible)
  • apple pie spice
  • ground cinnamon   (If you don’t have apple pie spice, cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves will do)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375. Flour the bottom of a muffin tin.

Place a piece of pie crust in the bottom of each cup so it covers the bottom and comes up the sides about halfway

Mix together sliced and peeled apples, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of salt, and apple pie spice until the apples are coated. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

Topping

Aldi has a really good apple cobbler topping for 99 cents. But, if you don’t have that, in a separate bowl mix together flour, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and about a tablespoon of cinnamon.  Mix in the egg until blended.

Final Steps

Pour the apples into each muffin cup until they are filled to the top with apples. You may have to cut them smaller if they don’t fit in very well. (I ended up having to do this). I took a mini ice-cream scooper or a spoon and scooped one heaping scoop or the topping onto each cup.

Melt the butter and pour over the top of each one.

Put in the oven for about 30 minutes covered in foil.

Take off for the last 5 minutes of baking so the topping gets crispy!

That’s it! Enjoy with vanilla ice-cream. 🙂

 

 

 

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Easy Fried Green Tomatoes

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  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • pinch of garlic
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs

I used 5-6 green Roma tomatoes from my garden. You can use other varieties of tomatoes, but if they are large you will probably only need 2-3.

Slice the tomatoes about 1/2 inch thick. Lay out 2 bowls. In one bowl mix together the dry ingredients including the salt and pepper, and other spices.

Wisk together the eggs in the other bowl.

Coat a fry pan with olive oil or vegetable oil about 1/8 inch deep.

Once it is almost popping you are ready to fry.

Coat each slice with the dry mix, the eggs, then dip again in the dry mix to coat well.

Drop the coated tomatoes in the fry pan, and let them cook for 2 minutes on each side.

I served with Greek yogurt dressing.

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Spinach Artichoke Dip –CLEAN EATING!

A healthy spinach artichoke dip? You got it! This dip was half gone before I could snap this picture before devouring the rest. I just started eating cottage cheese a lot lately because I have been feeding it to my 9 month old. I mix it with fruit for her breakfast sometimes. I take a bite, she takes a bite, and we go back and forth. It’s high in protein and she’s always super hungry. Well, she loves it! It has also helped her tummy because it has probiotics similar to yogurt. Who knew?! Anyways, cottage cheese is great protein and therefore great for weight loss and curbing appetite. It is overall an amazing food.

Anyhow, I got this CRAZY idea to make a spinach artichoke dip using cottage cheese instead of mayo and all that unhealthy stuff the dip normally consists of. Well, TRY THIS. Trust me. It was so delicious, I started immediately calling people telling them to make it. (I have never done this before.)

Here is the SIMPLE and HEALTHY recipe….

Sautee half a bag of fresh organic spinach, half a can of chopped up artichoke hearts, and freshly crushed garlic in a little bit of coconut or olive oil. I used the Pampered Chef garlic press to release the fresh garlic flavors into the dip. I love this thing. It leaves me smelling like garlic for days, but who cares? Not I. 🙂

I then mixed the warm veggies in a glass mixing bowl with a container of cottage cheese. I added half a cup of shredded cheddar and about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. I added about 1 tsp. of pepper. There you have it– Spinach artichoke dip!

cottage cheese spinach artichoke dip

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Chocolate Macaroon Pizza

Ok, so here is a dessert that really is so EASY to make, but so doesn’t look it. It is on the new (January 2015) Pampered Chef white pizza stone.  I got this recipe from The Pampered Chef website. It is featured on all of their product inserts, website, etc so I had to give it a try. WOW!!!! It was super easy to make and tastes as great as it looks. It made a huge amount, so I will be calling people to come over and share! If you like German chocolate cake, or Almond Joys you will love this.  🙂

The finished product! Mmmmm....

The finished product! Mmmmm….

INGREDIENTS (Recipe is copied from The Pampered Chef website.)
1 pkg (18-19 oz or 450 g) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)
2   egg whites
1 pkg (14 oz/400 g) sweetened flaked coconut
1 can (14 oz or 300 mL) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 pkg (2.25 oz) sliced almonds (about 2/3 cup/150 mL)
1/4 cup (50 mL) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted
1 tsp vegetable oil
The coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and egg white mixture

The coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and egg white mixture

DIRECTIONS

1
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In Classic Batter Bowl, prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Pour batter onto White Large Round Stone with Handles, spreading evenly to edges (see Cook’s Tip).

2
Bake 14-16 minutes or until brownie is set. (Do not overbake.) Remove stone from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack.

3
In clean batter bowl, combine egg whites, coconut and sweetened condensed milk; mix well. Spread coconut mixture over top of brownie to within ¼-in. (6-mm) of edge. Sprinkle with almonds.

4
Bake 15-17 minutes or until edges of coconut are deep golden brown. Remove stone from oven to cooling rack.

5
In (1-cup/250-mL) Prep Bowl, microwave chocolate morsels and oil, uncovered, on HIGH 45-60 seconds or until chocolate is melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Drizzle chocolate over pizza.

6
Cut pizza into 16 wedges. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Yield:

,
16 servings of

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 450, Total Fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 35 mg, Carbohydrate 57 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 230 mg, Fiber 2 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:

2 starch, 2 fruit, 4 fat (4 carb)

Cook’s Tips:

Be sure to choose sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk, for this recipe. Sweetened condensed milk is a mixture of whole milk and sugar, which is heated to produce a very sticky, sweet mixture. It is typically used in baked goods, candies and pie fillings.

The brownie base can be baked earlier in the day and cooled. To finish the pizza, prepare recipe as directed in Steps 3-6.

If desired, 1 square ( 1ounce) semi-sweet chocolate for baking can be substituted for the semi-sweet chocolate morsels.

NEW business venture! !

eafc9c06587bd832141f899f6e3e83e4 Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog. I have been busy teaching middle school, giggling with my almost 9 month old baby girl, and I just started my own business.  I am an independent consultant with The Pampered Chef!! I am loving getting to know all their products and I just love them all! I will be posting about some of my favorites along with some recipes I’ve made using them. If you are interested in Pampered Chef, selling their products or want to shop then check out my website!  www.pamperedchef.com/pws/graceoliviacroson

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Pull apart pizza bread
Pre-heat oven to 400. Grease a nonstick pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
Cut pizza dough into bite sized pieces, and toss in a bowl with olive oil, Italian spices, Parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella, garlic, and pizza toppings until all pieces are coated with oil.
Throw everything into the greased bread pan or similar dish.
Top with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400 for approximately 20 minutes until the top is brown and it is cooked all the way through.
Serve with side of marinara sauce.

You can buy the pizza dough in the grocery store, but I find it simple to make my own with my Kitchenaid mixer.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-and-Easy-Pizza-Crust/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=quick%20and%20easy%20pizza%20crust&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i1
Ingredients

Quick & Easy Pizza Crust!
Original recipe makes 1 – 12 inch pizza crust
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Directions

Preheat oven to 400-450 degrees C. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

My version of pizza bread (pictured) uses cooked spinach and mushrooms, but you can easily substitute cooked ground sausage, peppers, or pepperoni.

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10 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

There are certain things I never thought about up until recent months. This is my first pregnancy so I spend a lot of time now reading books about pregnancy (fiction and non), looking at labor videos on youtube, researching natural births vs. medicated, and looking at my clothes wondering which ones I can still fit into!!  I also am working on getting supplies ready for the baby’s arrival, and reading briefly (if I have time) books about parenting. I am working out a few times a week, and eating… a lot…. I am always hungry, so I have to make sure I have fruit, greek yogurt, granola bars, or the occasional chocolate bar available 24/7!!! Not to mention… lots and lots of water. I fainted week 10 of my pregnancy from not eating enough and not drinking enough water. The baby and myself were completely fine, but I can’t stress enough that you need to eat and drink a boatload of fluids.

Anyways… I have been filled with a lot of anticipation and excitement surrounding the baby. People ask a lot of questions, even total strangers! Fortunately, I also know a lot of other women who have been pregnant recently, or are currently in that stage of their lives. I feel lucky to have a lot of women to talk to.

Since before I even announced it, I have been thinking about this… there are just certain things people should refrain from saying to an expecting mother. ESPECIALLY if it’s her first time carrying a baby. These are either things that have been said to me, or things I’ve heard said to other expectant women.

1. “Didn’t you just get married?!” (They cock their head to the side in wonder, skillfully trying to calculate how many weeks and days you are along to see if you got knocked up prior to the wedding).

2. “Wow! You must be having twins! You are HUGE!” No woman likes to hear they are huge, even though they are pregnant. Trust me… every time someone says that, you can bet that I did a few google image searches just to make sure I was a “normal” size for my baby’s gestational age.

2. On the flip side… (Gasping in shock) “You aren’t even showing! Are you sure there’s even a baby in there?!?!” Helloo…. way to make a pregnant woman panic?!? This might result in the expecting mom calling the doctor to find out if they should be “showing” more or spending a lot of time in front of the mirror, or just simply dreading the next doctor’s appointment so they can verify that the baby has a heartbeat and is growing as expected.

3. “My sister, friend, cousin, whomever had a miscarriage.” Let’s just put it this way… DO NOT EVEN SAY THE “M” word. When you’re pregnant, positive thoughts and encouragement are welcome. This is not.

4. “Are you getting an epidural, c-section, or having a natural birth?” We will cross that bridge when we come to it. Some things you can’t really plan.

5. “Did you plan to get pregnant?” Well.. ummm… some things are just awkward to discuss. Yes, I know how babies are made.

6. “Are you going to get married now?” (to someone who isn’t yet married) Hmmm… I’m sure they have thought about it, discussed with their significant other, beat themselves up over it (or not). Maybe it’s rude to ask such a question.

7. “I almost died during labor. Let me tell you all about it.” Please refrain.

8. “I was pregnant once, and I ate hot dogs and soda every day and my kids are just fine!” Well, that’s good for you. I’m  glad you got lucky. I would rather not take the risk, and don’t want to feed my developing baby chemicals and preservatives.

9. “Do you want a boy or a girl?” This isn’t a terrible thing to ask and it’s not offensive at all. However, I felt awkward answering this question, because what if it’s not “what we wanted” and then I would feel guilty if the child later found out somehow. Doesn’t everyone just want a healthy child?

10. “Are you sure you are ready for a kid?” Well, it’s a little late to debate that one now, isn’t it?

I do not intend for this to be a negative post. We are REALLY, REALLY excited about our baby girl’s arrival. We also REALLY appreciate all the positive well wishes from everyone. Here is our nursery so far. It still needs to be painted, and I am working on a baby blanket and curtains. 🙂 I hope everyone is having a great week.

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Currently week 26…. baby girl due April 24, 2014

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