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When my 12-year-old son gets home from school, we always have a little chat about his day. As he gets older, those chats seem to get shorter, sprinkled with generous helpings of “nothing much” or “same as yesterday”, but I usually wrangle out the details about the social studies test, or the funny thing his science teacher said, or any cafeteria antics. When we get to that part, I always ask what he ate for lunch that day. I normally expect to hear his standard menu of tater tots (‘potatoes are a vegetable, mom!’) and a carton of milk. At a lanky 85 lbs., I always encourage him to eat more at lunch, citing that he needs the energy to finish out the rest of the school day.
Apparently, he was listening. Today’s menu went something like this:
Him: For lunch I had. . .
Me: Wow – you ate all that?
Him: Well, I couldn’t finish the pretzel.
Me: What. . .
Him: Mom (cue eye roll), nobody eats tater tots anymore. Are we done now? I’m hungry – can I have a snack? And when’s dinner?
No more tater tots?!?! It’s a sad day for the folks at Ore-Ida, to be sure. But what’s with the snarky attitude and appetite spike? A hormonal shift must be causing this disturbance in the force. Now what will I do with the 3 bags of Crispy Crowns in my freezer?
Photos courtesy of Google Images
Looking for a quick dessert or after-school snack idea? Now that fall is nearly here look no further than the bountiful selection of apples available at your local market – they were the inspiration for these tasty and quick little hand pies. Crisp, tart apples seasoned with pumpkin pie spice – a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice – are a delicious combination. I used Granny Smith apples in this recipe, but I posted this picture of some Honeycrisp apples I also bought today because they’re one of my favorites and look (and taste) scrumptious!
Ingredients – makes 8
1 refrigerated pie pastry
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the pie pastry out at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften slightly. Peel, core and dice the apples, and place in a bowl. Toss the apples with lemon juice, then stir in the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
Roll the pie pastry dough into a 16×8-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface; cut into 8 4-inch squares. Spoon 2 scant tablespoons of the apple mixture onto the center of each dough square. Top the filling of each pie with a piece of the butter. Brush the edges of the dough with some of the beaten egg. Fold the corners of the dough toward the middle, covering the filling and pinch the edges to seal.
Place the filled squares on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the pies with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool the pies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Or, if you’re like my 12-year old, plate ‘em up and eat them warm!
What’s your favorite apple recipe?
Photos courtesy of Mom Meets Blog
With Labor Day weekend officially underway, folks are still trying to hang on to those last precious bits of summer with cook outs, lazy days at the beach, and last-minute getaways. But even on this sunny, decidedly summer day, I see signs of the coming fall all around, especially at the supermarket – most notably in the massive displays of Halloween candy already on the shelves. Move over, s’mores, make way for the candy corn and pumpkin Peeps! I’m actually ready to bid goodbye to summer, as fall is my favorite season – the amazing foliage, apple picking (and baking!) and of course, Halloween. My son is getting a little old for trick-or-treating, but we still indulge in the decorating. We’re going to mix it up this year and try out these alternatives to the traditional jack-o-lantern carving!
Dripping melting crayon wax onto pumpkins turns them into festive Halloween decor (and makes use of all those little crayon stubs):
Does glitter flow through your veins? It does through mine; I’m going to get my fix with these quick and easy glittered pumpkins:
Colorful tissue paper squares and googly eyes make this embellished pumpkin craft project fun for the whole family!
This decoupage lace pumpkin craft lends a lovely vintage look to your decorating project:
Love all things bling? Jewel-studded pumpkins and a sparkly spider make a bold statement:
Try wrapping your pumpkins in black tulle and tying some seasonal ribbons on the stem for this sophisticated look:
What are your favorite decorating traditions for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!