Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Quarter Century

So on Monday, Jared turned 25. GASP!!

We celebrated with lots of family, two days in a row. We got to see WWZ, which was extreme, frightening, and intriguing. Neither of us are really into the zombie scene, but we were entertained and pleased at the end. Some die-hard zombie fans wouldn't like this movie though since the zombies move uncharacteristically fast. I just thought it gave them an added frightening edge. I did get REALLY good as zombie impressions. Ask me to do it for you. I make Jared jump every time.

We finally had a chance to celebrate the way I had planned, on Wednesday. Although frustrated at the time, at not being able to make a special dinner and dessert on his actual birthday, good things come to those who wait. Check out the good things we ate.

 Jared loves pie. So we, meaning I, made a raspberry apple pie for dessert. While that was baking, we made dinner. Chicken cordon blue. Another of Jared's faves. He kept saying I could just buy the box kind, but seriously? No. I always opt for homemade when possible.

 Apple Raspberry Pie

Mix 2 1/2 C flour, 1/3 C sugar, 1/4 tsp salt. 
Cut in 1 C cold butter until it makes pea sized lumps.
Add 1/4 C ICE water until mixed, again use cutting technique to combine.
Roll out into 2 crusts.

(adapted from Sur la Table)
8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 C frozen raspberries
2 TB fresh lemon juice
4 TB unsalted butter
1/2 C sugar
3 TB all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Toss the apples and raspberries with the lemon juice in a large bowl. In a large skillet, melt 2 TB butter over medium high heat. Add half the fruit mixture and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Cook, stirring often for about 7 minutes, or until the apples are barely tender when pierced with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl or baking sheet, and add the remaining fruit, butter and sugar to the skillet, cooking for 7 minutes until barely tender. Let the filling cool completely, then sprinkle the flour and cinnamon over the filling and toss well to coat. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly flour your work surface and first roll crust out. Using the rolling pin, transfer the first crust into the bottom of the pie pan and pierce with a fork. The crust should hang slightly over the edges. Next, gently spoon the filling into the crust. Roll out second crust, and again using the rolling pin, gently lay the second crust on top of the filling. Trim the edges of the crusts and press them together using a fork. Slice a few holes in the top crust to let steam escape as the pie bakes. 

Bake for 20 minutes at 375 with foil around the edges. Then turn the heat down to 350 degrees, remove the foil and bake another 30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. 

Let cool before serving. This allows the pie to hold its shape, and it wont ooze as it does in the above picture (we didn't want to wait). 

Note. We made this pie on Wednesday. Today is Saturday and there is only one piece left. Jared last night said, "I love pie for every meal." And that's how he's been having it.

 Chicken Cordon Blue
from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook
adapted to make 2 servings and fit our needs

2 chicken breasts
2 slices quality ham (about 1/16 in thick)
2 slices swiss cheese (about 1/24 in thick)

IKEA gravy sachet
Fresh steamed broccoli and cauliflower

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap, put the chicken breasts on it, and cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken breasts flat, and attempt to do this into the shape of a rectangle, with the smooth edge of a meat mallet. If you don't have one, a wooden spoon also works. 
Remove plastic wrap and place ham and swiss on top of flattened chicken.
Roll chicken up and secure with a toothpick. Note, if you don't have a tooth pick, pieces of raw spaghetti noodles also work. 
In a hot skillet, melt some butter and cook the chicken breasts until the juices run clear and there are no pink spots left in the chicken. Note, we cooked on low-med heat covered with a lid for the first 10 minutes. Then we removed the lid and turned up the heat to give it a nice brown crisp, about another 10-15 minutes. 

Serve with veggies and gravy. Don't forget to remove the toothpicks before eating.  If you use spaghetti noodles, you can eat them. 

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