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Kids in the Kitchen: Baked Apple Pudding

Happy Wednesday everyone! Mid-week, we’re almost to Friday, just a couple days more! I have treat for you though. We’re going back in time just a smidge. We’re going back to the Pioneer days. I’m talking 1800s folks. And I’m bringing my daughter along with us. Actually, she brought us along with her. She had a project that she had to do for school. They were studying things about the Pioneers. They were given a small list to choose from for their project like build a small log cabin or covered wagon, or make a pioneer toy, or make a pioneer recipe and bring enough for the class to sample. Well guess what she chose?! Yea, it’s no big surprise. So I set out to ask my good friend Google for some Pioneer recipes. I was surprised to find a lot more than I had expected, and even more surprised at how easy a lot of them are. Now this recipe in particular is, in my opinion, more of a fall recipe. It has all those fall flavors in it like apples and cinnamon. To me that screams fall. However, I knew that her classmates were going to be sampling this, so I wanted to make sure we made something most kids would enjoy eating. So, we chose this recipe for Baked Apple Pudding. I have no idea where the original recipe came from, seeing as how it was the 1800s and all. I do not claim it as my own, I simply found it on a google search, and now I’m sharing it with you.

We learned some cool things about the Pioneers and what cooking was like for them. For instance, cooking was a major part of their daily life. A lot of work went into making sure they had enough to eat. They raised their own meat, they had huge gardens. They made things like sausage and smoked meats. They did a lot of canning, pickling and other preserves. Breads, cakes, pies were all made from scratch from whatever they had available. They separated milk into cream for butter and baking, and milk for drinking. They never wasted food either. Dried out bread was made into bread pudding and bones were turned into soup. I suppose if we all worked as hard as they did to provide their own food, we’d probably have a lot less waste too. Nothing irks me more than wasted food. Anyway, one last point before I bring out the pudding, as you can imagine, cookbooks were not really a thing back in those days. They weren’t readily available (and you know they didn’t have google). Cooking was a past down art. It was either that or trial and error, but you would figure it out. This is why I find it so important to cook with our kids. Even today we still pass down the art of cooking. A tradition that should never end.

So baked apple pudding! Here we go! It’s really an easy recipe and doesn’t take much time to put together. The most time consuming part was grating the apples. We’ll get to that part in a minute, but first, you wanna combine your egg, sugar and butter. You want to beat that until it’s creamy. The recipe was written as using 1 cube of butter. Yea don’t feel bad, I had to google that. It’s 1 stick. As Paula Deen would say “We’re gonna use a whole stick a butter y’all!” 😂

Yes, we used the kitchen power tools, we cheated a bit. So once you have those three things combined and creamy, you can set that aside. Here comes the messy part. You gotta grate the apples. I did this by hand like I would grate cheese. It’s messy, but kinda fun, and the most time consuming part of the recipe. Once it’s done, everything else is a breeze. I grated the apples for her while she finished up step 1. No need to peel the apples, you want peel and all. Although I did core the apples first. You can use a food processor to shred the apples if you want to, to speed things up. However you want to do it, so long as they are shredded/grated. Then toss that in the bowl with the butter mixture, and fold it in until combined, then add your dry ingredients and combine that well. We left out the nuts, as Andrea is allergic to them. Also, if you’re sharing this with a classroom, you may want to leave the nuts out just in case of allergies. We did not miss the nuts. The recipe did not specify what kind of pan or dish to bake this in, and did not say whether or not to grease the pan or dish. So I went with common sense. I use a 1 1/2 quart oval baking dish, and I did spray it with cooking spray.

So at this point it looks like oatmeal. And honestly, before it’s baked, tastes like apple cinnamon oatmeal. I know it doesn’t look appetizing, but neither does oatmeal. 😂 Now you’re ready to bake this. Let me tell ya folks, this dessert is very fragrant. My whole house smelled of apples and cinnamon and oh man… it was heavenly. So meanwhile… as the pudding bakes in the oven….

Yea, clean up time! 😂

After about 30-40 minutes,  your baked apple pudding is done. It’s nice and browned on top, a little crisp, but the inside is moist and delicious. Almost like a bread pudding, but there’s no bread. Typically this is served with a bit of cream, or the recipe also says “a white sauce”. Not really sure what that is, so I’d go with whipped cream! It’s absolute amazing with a dollop of whipped cream. Needless to say, Andrea got a very good grade on this project.

~Happy trails!

Print Recipe
Baked Apple Pudding Yum
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Beat egg, sugar and butter.
  2. Add apples and mix well.
  3. Add dry ingredients.
  4. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. (see note)
  5. Serve with cream or a white sauce. (see note)
Recipe Notes

*A cube of butter is 1 stick of butter.

The recipe did not specify what kind of pan or dish to bake this in, and did not say whether or not to grease the pan or dish. So I went with common sense. I use a 1 1/2 quart oval baking dish, and I did spray it with cooking spray.

No clue what white sauce is, but whipped cream is fantastic on this!

Source: chronicleoftheoldwest.com

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Awesome Beef Enchiladas

Cinco De Mayo 2017 has passed! Not that I need an excuse to devour Mexican food, but if I ever do, that will be my excuse. Mexican food is my favorite kind of food, in fact most of my menu this week is made up of Mexican inspired food. Italian is a close second. I do cook a lot of Mexican and Italian inspired recipes. We had a lovely couple over to our home on May 5th. My husband has known them since he was just a kid, and had not seen them in quite some time. So I knew I wanted to make something really good, and since it was Cinco De Mayo that they came over for dinner, it wasn’t difficult for me to figure out the menu.

This recipe is my very first recipe that I developed as my own. I have made it several times in the past, and it always goes over well with my family and company alike. It’s super easy, and it makes a lot, so it’s perfect for feeding a crowd or taking to a potluck. I always make two pans of these because one is never enough, even for just my family. Plus, they reheat really well and we like to have leftovers for lunch the next day. Since I had not made this recipe in quite some time, simply because I’ve been too busy trying out new recipes, I felt it was the perfect dish to serve to our very special guests. Needless to say, it went over great with them too! Super easy and quick, and all you really need is some tortilla chips and salsa to serve along with them. You can top these with anything you like. We had sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, salsa and verde sauce. You could even top these with some shredded lettuce and fresh chopped tomato if you wish.

So, you want to try them? Good! Let me show you how easy this is. First, you want to prepare your Spanish rice mix according to the package directions. I do this well in advance so it’s cool enough to handle when I’m ready to roll these babies up. You can use your favorite brand of Spanish rice mix. I use Zatarain’s.  Set that aside. When you’re ready to start cooking the whole… enchilada… (HA!) just brown up  your ground beef in a very large skillet, stock pot, or dutch oven. Crumble it up as you go until no pink remains.

Once it’s cooked through, remove it from the heat and drain any fat if necessary. Now add in your prepared and cooled Spanish rice (warm is ok, you just don’t want to burn your fingers here in a minute), some cheese, and some enchilada sauce. I don’t measure the enchilada sauce, I just add some. You want the mixture to be moistened with the sauce, not drowning in it.

Now, mix it all up.

Now the fun part! Spoon some of this delicious enchilada filling onto one end of a tortilla and roll it up.

Place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. A 13×9 baking dish should hold 10 enchilada’s.

Once you have all of your enchiladas rolled up and in the baking dish, pour the enchilada sauce over them. As much as you like. We like ours saucy. Then cover in cheese. I use a lot of cheese. You can never have too much cheese. I use about two cups of cheese on each baking dish. Then top with sliced black olives. Into the oven at 375 it goes!

You’re gonna bake these for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. Remember not all ovens are created equal, so check them at 15 minutes and go longer if needed. You want the cheese melted and the sauce bubbly.

Let it sit for just a few minutes, then dish ’em up, top them with whatever you like to top your Mexican food with, and enjoy! Don’t be afraid to spice this up if you like things spicy. Add jalapenos to your toppings, use hot enchilada sauce instead of mild. Add spicy chiles to the filling. Whatever your family likes, mild or spicy, this is the perfect dish. See, nothing to it! I hope you and your family and/or friends enjoy this as much as we do.


Print Recipe
Awesome Beef Enchiladas Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare Spanish rice mix according to package directions, using the diced tomatoes and butter (I do this in the microwave). Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease two 13x9 glass baking dishes.
  3. In a 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in the prepared Spanish rice, about 1 cup of cheese, and some enchilada sauce (you want it moistened, not drowning).
  4. Spoon enchilada filling onto tortillas; roll up and place steam sides down in baking dish.
  5. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tops; sprinkle with remaining cheese and black olives.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  7. Serve with sour cream, salsa, or any of your favorite Mexican toppings.
Recipe Notes
  • Let the enchiladas sit for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven, for easier serving.
  • Don't be afraid to spice this up if you like things spicy. Add jalapenos to your toppings, use hot enchilada sauce instead of mild. Add spicy chiles to the filling.
  • Top with your favorite Mexican toppings like sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cilantro, shredded lettuce, fresh chopped tomato, taco sauce, salsa verde. The options are endless.
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Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Any recipe that has a name that starts with “Cheesy” will have my full and undivided attention! We love cheese around here. In my opinion, you can NEVER add too much cheese. The more cheese, the better it is. There’s just something about that ooey gooey goodness that is so incredibly comforting. Especially when you add pasta to it

This recipe makes a ton. I’m not gonna lie. 😁 I had enough to feed an army, I’m not kidding. That’s not always a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong with leftovers. I meant I didn’t have to cook the next night and could take the night off. What’s bad about that? Also, since it makes so much, and it’s soooo good you’re going to want to share it, it’s perfect to take to a potluck. Not going to a potluck anytime soon? No big deal, you can turn this one casserole into two separate casseroles and cook one tonight, freeze one for later! I’m a huge fan of cooking ahead and stashing homemade meals in the freezer. They’re better for you than what the freezer section at the grocery store has to offer, they taste better too, and those nights you just don’t feel up to cooking, no problem! Dinner’s already made. Just have to pop it in the oven.  Anyway, lets get on with this recipe so you can go make it for your family.

It’s not a difficult casserole to make, as most casseroles aren’t. First we’ll start with the elbow mac. Cook that according to the package directions until they are al dente (cooked, but firm). While that’s cooking, throw some steamable frozen broccoli in the microwave and cook that according to the package directions, and set aside. While that’s all going on, you can be shredding your cheese.

I bought the sharp cheddar already shredded, so I got to skip that step. I know, I’ve heard it a million times, and people everywhere are saying this, that pre-shredded cheese in the package, do not melt as well as shredding it yourself. I disagree, because I’ve never had that problem. Like ever. Maybe I’m lucky, I doubt that strongly, but hey! Maybe that’s my super power. Pre-shredded cheese melts for me. The only kind of cheese I have found this to be true, is pre-shredded Parmesan. That really doesn’t melt as well as shredding it yourself. So, for the Gouda I had to do myself, and I recommend you do the Parmesan yourself too. Stop and snack a little, it’s ok. Who is going to know?! 😋

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to chop up your chicken.

Now, the best part, making the cheese sauce! Just a little butter and flour, whisked together, and cooked only for a couple short minutes to get that floury taste out. Then slowly add your milk, cream and seasonings, whisking all along the way until it’s nice and thick. Then you add your cheese, handful at a time, whisking until melted. NOW, we get to mix it all together!

Oh man… look at that cheese!!! 😍😍😍 Mix all that yummy together, and spoon it into your prepared 13×9.

Toss your topping ingredients together and sprinkle on top.

Pop that beautiful thing into the oven to bake, 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. Check it at 20, you don’t want to over cook this or it can dry out. You just want it to be nice and hot and bubbly.

All that’s left is to serve, and enjoy!


Print Recipe
Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degreees.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. While macaroni is cooking, steam broccoli in microwave according to package directions, set aside.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and let cook 2 minutes while stirring. Slowly whisk in cream, milk, and seasonings. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and stir cheeses until melted.
  4. Toss cheese sauce, pasta, broccoli and chicken together. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over macaroni.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes or just until hot and bubbling. Do not overcook, you don't want it to dry out.
Recipe Notes
  • If you are pre-cooking chicken for the purpose of casseroles, I season my chicken breasts with Garlic Pepper prior to cooking them. You can just salt & pepper them as well, or season to your liking. I do not recommend leaving them unseasoned. The more flavor the merrier!
  • No cooked chicken on hand? No problem! Grab a rotisserie chicken at your local grocery store deli, or check out the freezer section and grab a package of fully cooked grilled chicken breast strips.
  • Freeze Option: You can split this huge casserole into two casseroles. I like to use the throw-away foil baking pans for this purpose. Prep casserole as per directions above up to baking, pour into your aluminum baking pan, wrap with a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil, tightly. Label and freeze. To use frozen casserole, thaw in the fridge. When ready to bake, bake as per directions above.
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