Archives for the month of: December, 2011

Apple Crisp

Hello, Everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Personally, I’m glad to be on the other side.  Now that Christmas is over, I can actually relax and enjoy being home with my parents and sisters. We always do way too much on Christmas day. We visit both sides of the family, friends, and try to squeeze in a little immediate family time as well. I’m sure many of you do a similar holiday run around. Having many people that love you, and want to see you is certainly not something to complain about. However, it does make for a busy day. I can only see it getting even more complicated in the future, as my sisters and I get married, and eventually have kids… But let’s not to worry about that now.

This recipe is one I’ve been sitting on for a couple of weeks. I made an adorable little apple crisp for my sweetie and I right before I left for the holidays. It was the perfect amount for two people. It was an amazing not-too-heavy dessert. I actually debated about whether or not to post yet another dessert recipe after all the holiday indulgences. Since I already did the drawings, I figured why not?  I’ll start posting healthy recipes in the new year.

Sometimes, I feel self-conscience about my posts because they’re pretty revealing as to what my diet has been like. If you’ve noticed my recent posts have been all pies and desserts, it’s because that’s exactly what I’ve been eating. Again, I’ll start eating and posting healthier meals after the holidays, really I promise. Until then, ease into your New Year’s resolution of eating better with this slightly lighter treat. Enjoy!

Love,

Heather Diane

How to peel core and slice and apple

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour (for filling)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (for topping)
  • 3 tablespoons  packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  2. Place the sliced apples in a 8×4 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
  3. Combine the oats, 3 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

ANNNND, now it’s almost Christmas. How the heck did that happen!? I know the theme of my last few posts have been “WHOA, whoa, whoa! Where did the time go!?!” But that’s really how I feel!  It’s been a good year and I’m trying to relax and enjoy my holiday travels but I can’t help but feel a little flustered.

I just arrived to my hometown of Jacksonville, North Carolina after visiting friends in Philadelphia and Raleigh.  It’s been a great trip so far and I feel grateful to be able to spend this time with friends and family. At this point I realize I’m not going to get much done for the rest of month, so I’m trying to plan for next year.  In the new year, I’m hoping to manage my time more carefully, so I can accomplish more and not feel like time is my enemy.  I’m even going to try this new thing, where I wake up early.

Anyways, I know I’m not the only one who finds the end of the year stressful. For those of you who need some serious comfort food, try this chicken pot pie recipe. It’s warm, flavorful, and really hits the spot on a chilly night.

I hope everyone who is traveling has a safe and lovely trip. To all my fellow end-of-year stress puppies, hang in there and have some pie.

love,
Heather Diane

Crust:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  1. Mix together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the olive oil and mix until moistened.
  2. Stir in the warm water.
  3. Knead the dough until it’s soft and elastic but not sticky.
  4. Divide the dough into two portions, one for the top crust and one for the bottom. The portion for the bottom crust should be slightly larger.
  5. Set the dough aside while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup french green beans, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, green beans, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assembling the Pie:

  1. Select a pie dish about 2 inches deep and 10 inches wide.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out the the larger portion of the dough. Place it into the bottom of the dish and shape it so it comes up and over the sides of the dish.
  3. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over.
  4. Roll out the second portion of dough and place it over the filling, so that it meets the edge of the dish. Shape and trim the dough as needed.
  5. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal.
  6. Puncture the center of the dough with an one inch X
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Apple Pie

We are officially in the throes of the holiday season and I simply can’t believe it. Illustrated Bites is almost one year old and 2011 is nearly over. As someone who is trying to get an illustration career off the ground while juggling two part time job  and trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance, this blazing passage of time is giving me a bit of a panic attack. I just wish I didn’t need to sleep!  Not to worry though, things seem to slowly be coming together, and I’m learning patience and celebrating small steps forward.

This last month of 2011 will be an exciting one.  I’m looking forward to some big changes in 2012. One exciting change is that my lovely and talented sister, Christina, just moved here for a new job at Chronicle Books.  We’re from North Carolina and for the past two and a half years, I’ve been living in the Bay Area while the rest of my family was still in NC. Now that my sister is here, San Francisco is going to feel a lot more like home.

If you’ve happened to notice that I haven’t posted in a few weeks, it’s because I’ve been busy spending the evenings catching up with my little sister. Oh yeah, Thanksgiving happened too. Just because there hasn’t been a new post in awhile doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking. Just the opposite really; I’ve been cooking so much I haven’t had time to illustrate and write about it! Christina is quite the cook herself and we’ve whipped up many tasty dinners and desserts over the past 2 weeks.

One of my favorite things we made so far is apple pie. It’s a simple and seasonal dessert that was quick to make once we spread the work between the two of us. I made the crust and Christina handled the filling. Get a pint of vanilla ice cream and you’re in for a serious treat.

Apple Pie Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 5-6 macintosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • milk for brushing crust

Crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 16 tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 tbs. ice water
  1. First, prepare the crust. In a food processor combine the flour, salt, and sugar and pulse for a few seconds. Next, add the pieces of butter and combine until the flour resembles coarse corn meal.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add 6 tbs. of ice water to the mixture and combine with a spatula.
  3. Use your hand to create a ball of dough.  Divide it in half, and flatten each half into a disk.  Wrap the disks in plastic and place them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4.  Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples and place them in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add both kinds of sugar, the spices, and salt. Stir to throughly coat the apple slices.
  6. Set the apple filling aside while you roll out the crust.  Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap one of the disks, and place it on a floured surface. Roll the dough out until it is large enough to cover your pie dish. To check, turn the pie dish upside down and place it on the dough. There should be about 2-3 inches of extra dough sticking out from the edge of the pie dish. Transfer the dough to the pie dish by folding it in half twice. This makes it easier to lift. Place it in the dish and unfold.  pie crust
  7. Once the bottom crust is pressed into the dish, pour in the apple filling. Dot the filling with two tbs. of butter.
  8. Roll out the top crust, and fold it in the same way to transfer to cover the top of the pie.
  9. Pinch together the top and bottom crust and cut away any excess dough. You can decorate the edge of the crust with a fork if you like.
  10. Cut a few slits in the dough that radiate out from the center of the pie. These slits act as vents and allow steam to escape.
  11. You can add decoration to the crust by cutting out shapes from the excess dough and pressing them into the top crust. I added a few heart shapes to my pie.
  12. Brush the top of the dough with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. Refrigerate while you pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
  13. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake an additional 40-50 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown.
  14. Cool before serving. Enjoy!

unbaked apple pie

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