Monday, October 26, 2015

Now how do you like them apples?

Applesauce bitch. Alright. Obligatory pop culture reference out of the way, let us move on.

A few weeks back the wifey wanted to go apple picking. While I was tempted to question what was wrong with the apples at the grocery, I decided it was best to just go along with this one. 

So now we have a metric crap ton of apples. 

The largest of all of the crap tons.
Also I never miss an opportunity to remind Mrs. Rubber Ducky what will happen to her if she does not keep in line!

So as the family chef, I was tasked with finding something to do with all these apples. 

Baby Applesuace

1 apple
1 tablespoon water


Core, skin, and cut the apple into chunks (about a dozen chucks per apple worked nicely). 

Add the chunks and water to a pot. Cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Baby food recipes? Am I really that desperate for things to blog about? Or has parenthood reduced my brain to the consistency of applesauce? You decide!

Drain. Food processor the ever living hell out of them.

Voilà. Your baby is living the puréed dream.

Honestly, picking the a spoon was the hardest part of this whole process.
It is applesauce for a baby. What do you want?

Since I am not supposed to put pictures of my child on the internet this is what you get: hands. Are you happy paranoid mommy brigade!?!?! 
BTW I really am feeding him in this picture, you just cannot tell. We are both holding the spoon. It is really quite adorable... not that you will ever know.

Apple Pie

6 cups cored, skinned, and thinly sliced apples (about 7-8 small apples)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or less to taste)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 store bought pie rust (graham cracker)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour


Boil the apples for 10-15 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Preheat to the oven to 375°.

Mix sugar (table not the brown sugar), 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Transfer the apples to that bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour into the pie crust.

Using a pastry blender, combine the butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup flour. Mix until it resembles course crumbs. 

Evenly top the pie with the as many of the crumbs (the more the better IMHO) as desired. Cover the edges of the pie pan with foil.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 25 minutes more or until the top is golden brown and the desired consistency.


As I skinned and sliced the apples, I stored them in cold water to avoid excessive browning. I am not sure if this was in any way worth while since they are being used in a brown sauce. Oh well, it made me feel fancy.

Oh you are going to judge me for using a store bought crust? Really!?! Have you made pie crust? Let me tell you there are few convenience items I use when cooking. Pie crusts are boring and tedious to make so totally worth it.

I like my apple pie applies to have the next to no consistency left. So I boiled. If you like a little more crunch, lay off the boiling. In fact that kind of has me wondering what my pie would be like if I puréed that too.

The "crumbs" did not turn out to be very consistent. So I kind of mashed it into a paste with my fingers, then separated it into pieces as I saw fit. I did not use all of it though. Once I could not see apple anymore, I added a few more for good measure, and quit. The topping was so delicious.

The pie recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. If I have not plugged this before, I am going to do it now (or again). That is one of the best cook books I own for being basic and comprehensive. Everybody has to start someplace and this is a hell of a good place if you ask me. It has a couple intro chapters and cooking in general and then is packed with all the classic recipes you could want.


Pie is awesome (duh). I did not eat the apple sauce but baby liked it.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Halloween Books

Wait... this is not food!

I love Halloween. Always have. It is the only holiday that has stood the test of time for me. As a kid: FREE CANDY! As a teen: free candy and it is the flirtiest holiday by far. College/young adult: even more flirty and an excuse to drink in a costume instead of my regular cloths. Adult: trick or treat, decorating the house with gore (any other time of the year that seems inappropriate). And of course I have always loved horror/monster movies and this is the time they are sale!

So today we are going to do something a little different. This is supposed to be a domestic blog, I should occasionally talk about something other than cooking right?

The wifey and I are readers. While I am a fucking casual compared to her, it is something we both enjoy. Since we both enjoy it, we damn well intend to brain wash the little one into liking it too. What is the point of having a little one if you cannot manipulate them into thinking like you?

So today I am going to give my commentary on some books for babies/small child that are Halloween themed. We will review based on key factors: is it Halloween worthy, age range, does it have a story, art quality, and rhyming. Then I'll follow with my, oh so insightful, commentary.

Not Actually Halloween worthy books, that you might think are Halloween worthy:

A Day With Monster 2/5
Age recommendation per Amazon: undefined (as young as you want IMHO)
Does it have a story: No
Art quality: NA (if I were to these call photos of a felt "monster" art, it would be an insult to the talented illustrators of some of these other books)
Does it rhyme: No

Replace the word monster with rabbit, dog, or three toed sloth and the book would not change. Hence not Halloweeny. 

Also this book just describes a typically adult day (except instead of sitting on your ass watching TV for an hour, it is “play music with friends” or something along those lines). My child will have to face the monotonous horror that is professional life in due time. There’s no need to subject him to it any earlier than necessary.

Maybe that monotonous horror does make it scary enough for Halloween...

Also I have to include the wifey's two cents: she loves this one. But she married me, so her taste is questionable at best.

Little Owl's Night 3/5

Age recommendation per Amazon: undefined (as young as you want IMHO)
Does it have a story: Ish
Art quality: Solid, high contrast stuff
Does it rhyme: No

A young owl learns about what the creatures of the forest do at night. I enjoyed the art, but the lack of a solid narrative kind of let me down.

It is not Halloween themed, so much as night themed. 

Now if those beavers were gnawing on your face, maybe then it would  Halloween  worthy.

Halloween worthy books:

One, Two... Boo! 1/5

Age recommendation per Amazonundefined (as young as you want IMHO)
Does it have a story: No
Art quality: fine
Does it rhyme: No

I know this is just a counting book with "windows". This is a waste of cardboard in my book. I will not dignify it with further commentary.

Runaway Mummy 3/5

Age recommendation per Amazon3 - 5 years
Does it have a story: Yes
Art quality: Amaz-balls awesome
Does it rhyme: No

This is a parody of another book that I have not read. It suffers for that. I would probably give this book two, but the art is some of the best I have seen in children's books Halloween or not. 

The story is a young mummy describing the things he will do to run away from his mother. She then counters with how she will still love him in the situation. Spoiler: his final form is suburban life and his mother is horrified. I am not sure if that is a message I love sharing.

Why does the wifey keep saying I am going to give the little one nightmares?

Ten Timid Ghosts: 4/5

Age recommendation per Amazon4 - 8 years
Does it have a story: Yes
Art quality: unremarkable, looks like a Scholastic book (which it is)
Does it rhyme: Yes

Ten ghosts battle a witch for ownership of a house? Now that is a Halloween book! 

I am no early childhood education expert, but this was a pretty simply book. 4-8 years seems high in my opinion.

Goodnight Goon 4/5

Age recommendation per Amazon1 - 3 years
Does it have a story: Ish
Art quality: fun, cartoony monstery, a good match to the story.
Does it rhyme: Yes

This is my go to read. It is short, but it is more than a handful of words describing things (See A Day With Monster). 
This is a parody of Goodnight Moon, but it works as a stand a lone. A little werewolf monster is saying goodnight to everything in his house, while a pesky goon wrecks the place. 

Aside: I thought goon was an offensive term for a someone or another. Five seconds on Google got me nothing though, so I guess I am wrong.

Room on the Broom 5/5
Age recommendation per Amazon3 - 7 years
Does it have a story: Yes
Art quality: Good
Does it rhyme: Yes

A solid read. A witch flies around dropping stuff and making friends in the process. Her friends then help her overcome a problem in a compelling climax!

Creepy Carrots! 5/5

Age recommendation per Amazon4 - 8 years
Does it have a story: Yes
Art quality: Awesome. Perfect for Halloween.
Does it rhyme: No

This is my personal favorite! This is in glorious black and white except for the monsters, ie carrots. This is also arguably the best story among these books. There is plot and development and such. That (in my experience) is in short supply in children's books.

A rabbit is convinced that the carrots he eats everyday are out for revenge. Are they really? Is it just his imagination? Find out in this excellent book!

Cute AND creepy? I will take it!

In conclusion, I hope my detour from the usual was at least mildly interesting. I am already working on a post for my favorite turkey recipe, so I we be back on food before you know it!