Snippets from the Scullery: Granny's Applesauce!

I have many fond memories of delicious, family dinners at my grandmother's house. Every now and then homemade applesauce would grace the buffet line. I believe the only time I've eaten homemade applesauce was here. My mom always said it was really hard to make.

Well one weekend last fall my dad brought me a huge bag of apples and pears. So I had made pear muffins and decided to try my hand at applesauce! After a phone conversation with Granny I made a pot of applesauce and much to my surprise it wasn't hard at all! The only hard part is peeling the apples. My latest installment of making applesauce happened just the other week. There were a bunch of leftover apples at ADF and I snagged them for some applesauce.

Like many recipes from my grandmother a lot of things can be substituted and the amounts vary greatly. This list of ingredients is basically what you need.

Apples (for my last batch I had 8)
Cinnamon Stick (optional)
Cinnamon (or nutmeg)
Sugar (white or brown)

Peel, core, and quarter apples. Place in a large pot covered with water and a cinnamon stick, bring to a boil. Boil for about 15-20 minutes until the apples are soft. (I did this the night President Obama gave his speech on healthcare which kept me occupied.) After the apples are soft drain the water but leave a little bit in the pot and save some extra if you want to make your applesauce thinner. Mash the apples and add in sugar, spice, and everything nice! I added about 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon this time. Granny said nutmeg gave it a nice flavor so I'll try that next time.

Now to reward your efforts have a nice bowl of warm applesauce -- it's so good! This is actually my favorite time to eat the applesauce.

Snippets from the Scullery: Hobo's!

This second installation of Snippets from the Scullery will feature Hobo's. An easy to make mini meatloaf dish perfect for using up veggies and easy to prep!

I remember eating this at a beach trip with my dad a really long time ago. I had to be around seven or eight. And I'm not even sure why I remember eating this particular dish. I think I was just amazed that you could wrap stuff in an aluminum foil package and it'd be all done in about 30 minutes! I browsed the internet quite a bit to find cooking times but most sites just told me to throw it on the campfire for an undesignated amount of time (not helpful at all).

1 lb Hamburger

*I'll detail what I used when preparing but I'm excited about trying different ways and variations so for this dish the sky's the limit!

Mix hamburger with selected seasonings. To my hamburger I added Worcestershire sauce and oregano. I also chose to add one egg and bread crumbs to make it more meatloaf-y and also if I overcooked the meat maybe it wouldn't dry it out as much. I made 5 patties (one for lefftovers!). Place the patties on a square of aluminum foil. On top of the hamburger I added one bay leaf, two slices of potatoes, and two slices of onions. I added freshly minced garlic on top of the potatoes and pepper on top of the onions. At this point feel free to add other vegetables and spices as you wish! Wrap the hobo's and place them in a preheated 350F oven for 45 minutes.

Deliciousness awaits you! We also had a fresh salad and watermelon with the meal to round out the food groups!

Snippets from the Scullery: a recurring blog post

As many of you know I get great pleasure out of being in the kitchen. I love to cook and experiment with new recipes but more importantly enjoying the fellowship of friends. It only makes sense that I include "Snippets from the Scullery" in my blog!

In my first edition I'm featuring an eclair cake! Over the weekend Andrew invited several people over to enjoy the pool at his apartment and then have a cookout. I'm a bit ashamed to say this was my first time at a pool this season (except for the boat). Needless to say I enjoyed the chlorine and sun! Since I wasn't sure if Andrew would be able to pull off a whole cookout by himself, I volunteered to bring an eclair cake.

Eclair cakes seem to be very simple -- and they are. However I made one a couple of months and had a few stumbles so I set out to make eclair cake round 2 better!

3 c Skim Milk
8 oz Cool Whip
2 pks Instant Vanilla Pudding*
Graham Crackers
Chocolate Frosting/Sauce**

Combine pudding and milk, whisk for 2 minutes. Fold in cool whip.
Place a layer of graham crackers in a 9x13 dish. Then add half of the pudding/cool whip mixture. Add another layer of graham crackers and then the remaining pudding/cool whip mixture.
Finish the dessert with a layer of chocolate frosting/sauce and chill for a few hours.

Other Notes (*/**)
*The first time I made the eclair cake I used two packages of vanilla. This last time I used a package of vanilla and a package of cheesecake (just because I had the cheesecake in the pantry). I think the cheesecake added a nice flavor and would recommend this.
**The last time I made the eclair cake, the chocolate frosting posed some problems for me. Before I made the cake I did some research online for preparing the cake and there were a lot of different suggestions for the final chocolate layer. I decided to take the easy route and top it with store bought cake frosting from a tub. This was not a good idea. The frosting was heavier than the pudding mixture and didn't spread evenly over the top. I think I could have chilled the cake for a few hours and let it set. This may remedy that problem but for eclair cake round 2 I decided to try my hand at making Granny's delicious homemade chocolate sauce. I succeeded and topped the eclair cake with this. This turned out fabulous. Now I'm going to keep the chocolate sauce recipe in the family. If you'd like to go to the store bought chocolate frosting route I would also suggest softening the frosting before applying it to the cake.

Yum! Let me know your experiences with eclair cake!

Look, Mom! I have a blog.

Social networking sites -- MySpace. Facebook. Twitter. Blogger! There's so many but these are the only ones I'm familiar with. Needless to say I'm not very familiar with social networking and technological advances.

Here's a bit of my history with social networking:
MySpace -- never joined
Facebook -- joined after unc orientation so right before freshmen year
Twitter -- joined today!
Blogger -- joined today!

As you can see today has been a big day... I'm now twittering and blogging!

For your enjoyment -- my witty ponderings.