Holiday Favorites, Snacking

Sheet Pan Apple Pancake

Last week we visited a local apple orchard, Eplegaarden. It’s an old Norwegian farm where the owners have done a wonderful job of preserving it. There is a small picnic area so you can bring in your own treats (and take the garbage when you leave), a real pick your own pumpkin patch, raspberry picking, apple picking, sweet bakery area (don’t forget your epi-pens! Be safe and eat your own treats. Farms and Orchards are NEVER safe.) and some animals. We went mid-week and there were the only ones picking apples when we got there. I much prefer this, compared to the long lines and huge crowds at some pumpkin patches + apple orchards!

20180926_151138

Now that we have 10 pounds worth of apples, here are the ideas that we have to use them all up.

  1. Apple Pie
  2. Apple Sauce
  3. Apple Pancake
  4. Sauteed Cinnamon Apples
  5. Apple Cinnamon Muffins
  6. Apple Cinnamon Bread
  7. Apple Snack
  8. Apple with Sun Butter
  9. Give some away
  10. Share with teachers!

We first ate a bunch, they are so juicy and sweet. Then we made some for dessert, this recipe was a huge hit last year! Then the kids and I tried to make sheet pan apple pancakes – and let me tell you. AMAZING!

I highly recommend doubling the amount of apples you use in the first “roasting” step. And, this is great for large crowds, like Thanks Giving sleepovers, or Christmas Morning. This makes A LOT of pancake. We ate this every day for 5 days, which I can’t complain. Morning breakfast was so easy since we all just watned to eat apple pancake! It travels (aka breakfast in the car when we were running late!) well and re-heats VERY well in the microwave. You could put it in the frige to last a little longer.

20181002_070445

Sheet Pan Apple Spice Pancake

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice (Penzeys)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 3 golden delicious or gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced into rounds
  • 1 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur) also, I did not have this, just use regular flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole milk (regular is fine too)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk greek yogurt (Fage greek 2% works too)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (Penzeys)

Topping

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 5 tsp apple cider
  • 1/4 tsp apple pie spice
  • maple syrup or whipped cream

Directions

  1. Make the pancake. Preheat oven to 400*, mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar and pie spice in a large bowl. Rub a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tbsp butter and arrange the apple slices on top in a single layer. sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the sugar spice mixture. bake until the apples are tender and the baking sheet is mostly dry. It will smell amazing, so be ready!
  2. Next, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the remaining sugar mixture. Whisk the milk, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl. stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture.
  3. Pour the batter of the apples and spread to cover. Bake until dry and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes. Brush the remaining 1 tbsp butter on it. Let cool.
  4. Make the Glaze. Stir the confectioners sugar, cider and pie spice in a bowl. Drizzle over the pancake. Cut into squares. Invert onto plate and serve with syrup and whipped cream.
  5. Enjoy!
Holiday Favorites, Weeknight Dinners

Chicken Enchilada Melt Subs

Happy Fall! It’s October 1st and we couldn’t be more excited about this month’s upcoming festivities; orchards, pumpkins, lattes, leaf piles, leaf peeping, camp fires, parties and trick-or-treat! Halloween is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate.

20180930_105410

As the kids get older, and our time to make meals becomes less and less due to their involvement at school + activities, my blog posts containing elaborate meals is diminishing by the day! I’m peeking back at prior posts thinking, “how the heck did I have TIME to make all that food?!” And the reality is, I didn’t.

Opportunity Cost {A benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else}

This is the biggest take away from my studies as an MBA student, and the time that I was spending making fancy meals was time away from things I could be doing with the kids. I’ve really tried to curb my food prep time in order to maximize human contact time. Why else are we here? Not to live in a cave alone.

The kids have had an awesome time pouring through new food recipe material with me. between activities or in the car on the go. We have two books open right now. One is called “Eat at Home Tonight” and the other is the latest Food Network Magazine. The cookbook was given to me by my brother, THANK YOU JOEY! And is organized by TIME. What a concept. The Mom who wrote this is a genious. The first chapter is “I only have 15 minutes to cook dinner” —Let me tell you, WE LOVE THIS BOOK. And she doesn’t use nuts, yet, so it’s easy converstions for us, like finding the right, safe breads to use.

Here is what we made last night. Kids gave it kind of a thumbs up, but they cleared their plates. I thought it was good!!!

IMG_20180930_181605

Chicken Enchilada Melt Subs

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie works great, Metcalfes is the best)
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt + pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 sub rolls – Pretzilla is your go-to nut free option! And so tasty!
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine chicken, chiles, tomato, and garlic powder. Season with S+P. Microwave 2 min. Add some cheese to the mixture and microwave for 30 seconds until melted.
  2. Split your sub rolls. We use Pretzilla since they are PN + TN free. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spay with Pam non-stick. Put your rolls face side up and load up your subs. Sprinkle with cheesse.
  3. Put them under the broiler until cheese is melted.

We made a green vegetable and had some apple slices to get all food groups in! This was ready in 15 mintues. To save even more time, prep that shredded chicken on the weekend, that way you hvae it ready for your week night meals!

Have a great week everyone. And remember, the point of a meal together is just that, being together. So save some time in the kitchen and focus up on the people that you’re surrounded with, engage in some good conversation and enjoy being in the moment.

Nut Free Cookies Below….Metcalfes carries Lofthouse Bakery cookies – perfect for your Halloween Parties at school or home ๐Ÿ™‚

20180930_163701

 

Holiday Favorites, Snacking

Hide & Eek Boutique Halloween Cookie House

Today I spoke with Tom in cusomter relations at Taret’s Corproate office in Minneapolis, MN, regarding these adorable Chocolate Halloween House Cookie Kits pictured below. I have excellent news for you friends! It’s a nut free cookie house! Chloe and Carter are going to lose their minds when I bring this out at the end of the month for us to assemble!

Allergens: Wheat, egg and soy.

May contain: Milk.

Tom went above and beyond and sent a note out to the production crew to make sure that there was no chace of cross contact with nuts in the facility. He knew that most DIY cookie houses were made in shared facilities, thus the “may contain” statement for most other kits. Each Christmas we have a hard time finding a Gingerbread House Kit, and it looks like we might just move that tradition over to halloween if we can find these kits to be 100% nut free.

I’m waiting on the email from Target – and I will post it here. In the mean time, here are a few pictures – make sure you head over to Target and get one! I got the last one today at my local Hilldale Target. They are online!

20180910_1007041947842179571784596.jpg

20180910_1007146951644884744233137.jpg

20180910_100659221907731366724957.jpg

Holiday Favorites, Travel

4th of July Menu

In our house, this is actually the 3rd of July menu. On the 4th, we hang out at my Aunt Martha’s House for a family get together. We love it, there are lots of laughs, swimming and of course, amazing food prepared by my Aunt!

purple red white and orange fireworks display
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Our cookout begins on the 3rd with friends and family coming over in the afternoon to socialize and have a few laughs. We love to hang out on the balcony and watch all of the people make their way down to the lakefront. We put our blankets down on the grassy hill to hold our seats for the big show. And while we wait, we EAT! Here is what we have talked about for this year so far. Just click on the links below for the recipe.

Cookout Menu

  1. BBQ Ribs
  2. Potato Salad
  3. Fruit Pizza
  4. Taco Dip
  5. Vegetable tray
  6. Pasta Salad
  7. Jumbo Cupcake Cake
  8. Star Watermelon Pieces
  9. Moscow Mules
  10. Late night Popcorn and Sunbutter Bars
Holiday Favorites, Snacking, Travel

Dairy Queen & Nut Allergies

It is summer, and a steamy one at that. We’re all frantically reading labels and trying to find cool summertime treats for our kiddos and friends. It is certainly tricky when you have a food allergy, to say the least.

20160903_165621

Over the past year we have become good friends with our neighborhood Dairy Queen. Each Dairy Queen is a little different, and establishing a relationship is crucial when you have an allergy. The DQ that we frequent has a few “approved” by MOM items on its menu. The soft serve and pre-packed Starkiss popsicles are some of them.

How do we DQ?

  1. Know your DQ or talk to a manager up front about allergies.
  2. We only do soft serve. Chocolate or vanilla.
  3. The cones are nut free + safe.
  4. The ice cream itself is nut free.
  5. Cross contact you need to worry about.
  6. Our DQ takes a small amount of ice cream out of the machine before serving my nut allergic daughter to make sure no trace amounts of others toppings are on hers.
  7. Always be prepared, and ENJOY IT!

*NEW*

Image result for dairy queen starkiss

Today I spoke with Dairy Queen Corporate Headquarters in Minnesota.

DQ International: (952) 830 – 0200

Taylor was my CSR and she was well aware of food allergies since she also has tree nut and peanut allergies. She helped me find out about Starkiss Popsicles at DQ, sold in the stand alone freezer section. And they are SAFE! The Starkiss product is part of their nut free offering at DQ. When purchased from DQ and wrapped in cling wrap from the manufacturer, it can be stated that, “Starkiss are produced in a nut free environment, free from peanuts and tree nuts.”

Many times my daughter has asked to try one, however, the allergy information only says “contains milk” – but we all know that facility information is not always disclosed on the label.

Today’s phone call warmed my heart. Taylor was so informative. We are beyond excited to have one more safe “on the go” item to add to our list of treats.

Have a wonderful weekend! Stay cool! We’ll be back on Monday with a complete 4th of July Menu for our annual Fireworks Party on the Milwaukee Lake Front!

Cheers!

xo