Category Archives: Pinsanity

Pinsanity! Apple Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust

 

Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust

Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust from Taste For Adventure via Pinterest

Making pies is something I enjoy doing, but don’t do terribly often. While browsing Pinterest I came across this interesting pin for a cinnamon roll pie crust. It made me wonder – would the added cinnamon make a real difference in the final pie?  It looks great, but is it worth the time? The original recipe was for a one-crust pie, but would it work for a two-crust fruit pie as well? Those questions were all the motivation I needed to get into the kitchen and try it out with a favorite go-to apple pie recipe of mine.

For the apple filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Nutmeg to taste

For the crust:

  • 2 store-bought refrigerated pie crusts (if you’d like to make your own, even better)
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon

I like this recipe because it is so easy and I already had most of the ingredients.

To start, unroll your pie crust, brush with the melted butter and then sprinkle on your cinnamon. After that, just roll it up!

Cut the dough into 1/2 inch segments. They look like cute little cinnamon rolls!

I started pressing the little rolls in the middle of the pie pan and radiated outward. I ran out of little rolls and it was difficult to cover the sides of the plate. I pressed the dough thin, added some from the second pie crust and was able to make it work. Since I was doing a two-crust pie, I did not flash bake the crust.

With the crust completed, I peeled, cored and sliced up my granny smiths. I love the contrast between tart and sweet! A touch of lemon keeps the apples from browning. My lemon looks a little stunted because I picked it off the tree in the dark.

After the apples are prepared, start on the "sauce" by melting the butter in a saucepan.

When the butter is melted, add in your sugars and water and heat until all the ingredients are integrated and create a smooth caramel-colored liquid. Remove from heat.

After your caramel mixture is made, spice up your apples with cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. You can adjust your spices according to your preference. I also add a touch of flour to help thicken the sauce (but most of the time my pies bubble over anyway).

Add the warm sauce to your spiced apples and stir to combine. Try not to eat all the apples at this point, because they are mighty tasty.

Pour the apples into your prepared crust and begin work on the lattice crust!

Since I had a little trouble bringing the cinnamon roll crust up the sides of the pan, it was a challenge attaching the lattice to the crust edge. It took some effort and it wasn't pretty but it eventually worked. Pop the pie into a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 and bake one hour.

Here's the final product. The pie bubbled over, as usual, but it still tasted great despite its appearance.

 

So, what was the final result? Speaking honestly, I think in a one-crust pie that does not already contain cinnamon in it (like the Sweet Potato Pie in the original blog post) would be best suited for a cinnamon roll pie crust. In the case of an apple pie that already is spiced, I really didn’t think it added anything to the recipe. Perhaps if  I could have cut my pie into slices in a way that would have shown off the pretty pattern of the crust it would have been worth the effort, but I was unable to do so. I do have to say, I normally have difficulty getting my crust to bake up well – sometimes the pies are so juicy the crust suffers. Not so with this crust. It baked up perfectly! I think if I want to add some cinnamon to a crust again, I would brush the dough with butter, add the cinnamon, and then add the apples on top and forego the rest.

I have to thank Stephanie at Taste For Adventure for inspiring me to try and adapt her recipe to my tried-and-true apple pie. Do you enjoy baking apple pies? If so, please tell me how to keep them from bubbling over!

Pinsanity! Jumping Jacks for Weight Loss

Everyone knows that you can find ways to gain weight on Pinterest. All those amazing photos of food that you want to eat but know you shouldn’t. But can Pinterest help you lose weight? As I try to kick-start my own weight loss and exercise goals I’ve been spending more time in the Fitness category. Along with loads of “inspiring” photos of ultra thin women in bikinis, there are some fun workout ideas, healthy eating tips and other helpful things to be found. I happened upon this pin the other day:

 

Now as exercises go, I’ve never minded jumping jacks. Could this be an easy way to lose a little extra weight? While I can’t verify the claim that every jumping jack burns two calories, it does seem theoretically possible that this plan could work. 100 jumping jacks seems doable. 1000? Every day? Hmm…not sure about that. So I decided to give it a shot.

About 60 jumping jacks into my first set, jumping jacks suddenly weren’t so fun anymore. By 90, I thought I might die. I struggled through to 100. My heart rate was up, I even broke a sweat. 9 more sets in one day? I don’t think so.

If you know someone who can do 1000 jumping jacks in a single day and live to tell about it, there is your new fitness idol. It’s certainly not me. I’ll be on the “Do 100 jumping jacks a day and lose a pound in ten weeks” plan…

Happy Valentine’s Day – O”Fish”Ally!

DIY Valentines Day Cards - Will You O"Fish"Ally Be My Valentine

It’s that day we all love or love to hate – Valentine’s Day.  I hope yours is a memorable one! My oldest son is having another Kindergarten first today, his first Valentine’s party where he’ll be exchanging Valentine’s cards with his classmates.  I’m sure he would have been happy to choose a box from the shelves at Target – Cars, Star Wars or the like.  I wanted to do something of the homemade variety.  We found all kinds of inspiration on Pinterest, including these adorable little treat boxes filled with Goldfish crackers.

As it turns out, there is a free printable template for the tags at Tammy Mitchell Photography.  Score!  (She has lots of other fun stuff on her site too, so be sure to check it out.)  There was only one problem.  Jake didn’t want to use Goldfish for his Valentines.  Candy and only candy would do.  And I decided to indulge him.  Yay for Swedish Fish!

O"Fish"Ally My Valentine DIY

We printed the decorative tags on white cardstock and used a 2″ scallop circle punch (get one if you don’t have one, they are awesome for making cupcake toppers!) to fancy them up.  I love the idea of the pillow boxes Tammy used, but happened to have some small cello bags on hand that were perfect for our little fish.

DIY Valentine's Day Cards for Kids

I could have printed his name on the cards, but this seemed like a great opportunity for some handwriting practice…

Making Valentine's Day Cards

A few staples and some glue stick action and voilà – the finished product:

Homemade Valentines Ideas for Kids

Pretty cute, don’t you think?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pinsanity! Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

shredded-chicken-enchiladas

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas from A Sweet Pea Chef (http://www.asweetpeachef.com)

Earlier this week I needed an easy recipe to use up some leftover rotisserie chicken I had in the fridge. So, it’s Pinterest to the rescue! I looked over the boards and found this super easy Shredded Chicken Enchiladas recipe from Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef and decided to adapt it  for our Pinsanity! series. Here are the ingredients I used:

1 can (1 1/2 cups) enchilada sauce
kosher salt
ground black pepper
2  cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cups shredded colby cheese, divided
 12 6-inch corn tortillas
cooking spray

Ready to try the recipe? Here we go!

Since my chicken was already cooked I just shredded it up, seasoned it, and warmed up the sauce separately.

I measured out 3/4 cup of the sauce and then…

I added the sauce, chicken and one cup of cheese into a bowl and stirred to combine. After warming up the tortillas until they were soft and pliable, I placed heaping spoonfuls of the mixture on them and rolled ‘em up.

After brushing with oil, the enchiladas went into a 425 degree oven for about eight minutes to crisp up. Any longer would have started to burn the edges. It was at this point I turned the oven down to 400 degrees for the next step.

After browning, I poured the remaining sauce over the top, sprinkled with the remaining cheese, covered with foil and popped it back in the oven for about 20 minutes. When the timer buzzed, I took the foil off and put it back in for about another ten minutes to melt the cheese to gooey goodness.

Here’s my final product. I sure wish I knew how to take better pictures because they tasted better than they look!

What’s the verdict? I liked them and so did my husband. When he tried the enchiladas he said they were good and that he’d eat them again – a thumbs up. I thought they were tasty and easy to make, especially because I had the chicken ready to go. We’re a mild kind of crowd, but it’s easy to vary the spiciness of the dish according to your taste just by adding some chilies or by using a spicier sauce in the first place. My husband really isn’t a huge fan of frozen dinners, so to be able to whip something homemade up really pleases him. Being able to serve a dinner without slaving away at a stove all day pleases me.

Thanks again to Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef http://www.asweetpeachef.com for inspiring me to try this recipe!

 

Pinsanity! Uber Lemon Ice Cream

Sarah and I are not only insane for Pinterest, we also are insane for lemons. Since I have a lemon tree that produces the tart treats all year round I thought it appropriate to try a lemon recipe for this installment of our Pinsanity! series. While browsing Pinterest we both fell for this recipe called Uber Lemon Ice Cream and had to try it. Sarah made the original recipe from Evelyne at cheapethniceatz.com and I did the modified version that was posted by Katrina at bakingandboys.com. Here is the modified recipe I followed from Katrina:

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 2 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 drops of yellow food coloring (optional)
Zest one lemon and juice three lemons.  Combine the juice with the sugar and salt in a medium sized heatproof bowl.  Set it over a pan with about one inch of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved (about 3-5 minutes). In a large bowl, add the warm juice mixture to the cream and milk and whisk to combine.  Pour the contents into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, 20-25 minutes.  Store the ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for at least a few hours.  Let sit on counter for 10 minutes before serving.

I sure do like simple recipes (and my electric ice cream maker). Ready? Here we go!

My lemons were a little small so I did four instead of three, plus I like a good lemony kick. I don’t have a nifty citrus reamer so I do it the Jamie Oliver way – with my hands. Messy, yes, but very easy and quick and one less thing to wash up.

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Lemons

The recipe does not give a specific measurement for lemon juice so I hope the 3/4 cup yield I got will be alright.

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Juice

I then combined and warmed up the lemon juice and sugar and whisked until it was dissolved.

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Sugar

The best part – heavy cream. I wish I could drink this stuff by the gallon. Instead of 2% milk, I used 1 cup of whole and 1 cup nonfat. I figured it would give me a richer ice cream and not affect the original recipe too much. More fat in ice cream is a good thing, right?

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Dairy

I added the the warm mixture very slowly to the cold dairy and let it whirl when both were the same temperature. I was going to add a couple drops of food coloring but I didn’t have any. Added that to my grocery list this week.

Uber Lemon Ice Cream Blend

When combined I simply put it in my pre-chilled ice cream container and it was time to churn, baby churn! About 20ish minutes later my ice cream was ready to put into the freezer. I licked the beater to get a preview of things to come. Heaven. Pure lemony heaven. What’s the final result?

Uber Lemon ice Cream Cup

This ice cream is wonderful. It has a fresh, bright taste of lemon as you would find in a sorbet yet it’s creamy. I love it! The true test came when my husband took a taste. His exact words were, “Mmmmm. Good. Really good!” This is certainly something we’ll be making again and again.

As I mentioned earlier, Sarah made the original version of this recipe. Her opinion?   “The first version of the ice cream (recipe here) uses less cream and milk, upping the lemon quotient.  If you really, really love lemon, pucker up and go for it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  The ice cream had a strong, tart  lemon flavor and was, in our opinion, delicious.”