Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apple Scones and another Birthday!

I originally posted this recipe in 2009, so it was long overdue for an updated photo.

These scones have made an appearance on our breakfast table many times and have even been the birthday breakfast request from Marissa several times. And for good reason.

They're so tender and flaky, even though they have less butter than most scone recipes. The grated apple adds a lovely flavor and texture to the scones. And to top it all off, the glaze made with apple juice, cinnamon, and powdered sugar gives that extra apple boost and sweetness that makes them almost a dessert.
Everybody in my house is happy with a plate of apple scones for breakfast!

Since today is Marissa's birthday, here's a little collage of her first 9 years of life.

Happy Birthday to our amazing 9 year old girl! These years are going by too fast!

And thanks for choosing such an awesome birthday breakfast! 

Apple Scones
From Rebekah's Family, Food, and Fun
Yield: 16-18 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
6 Tablespoons  butter, chilled
2 apples - peeled, cored and shredded (3 if they're small)
3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Heavy dash of cinnamon
2-4 Tablespoons apple juice, or enough to achieve the consistency you desire.


  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Measure flours, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until crumbly.Use a food processor if you have one - it simplifies the process immensely! Add shredded apple and milk. Stir to form a soft dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8 to 10 times. Pat into three 6-inch circles. Score each into 6 pie-shaped wedges. Alternatively, you can just pat into a rectangle and cut into 16 equal pieces. Place on greased baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned and risen. 
  • While they're baking, mix together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle or spread on scones while still warm.
Source: Adapted from Allrecipes

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blueberry Muffins and a Birthday for for my Baby

A friend told me once, "Blueberries are like God's natural candy". I couldn't agree more. I have a hard time thinking of a fruit I enjoy more than fresh blueberries, especially ones we picked.
The kids and I picked 5 gallons of blueberries from local farms this June. Only 3 of those gallons made it to the freezer. In just a few weeks, we managed to eat 2 entire gallons of fresh blueberries. And we could have eaten more.

But I was determined to hide them away in the freezer for use throughout the fall and winter. I'm exceptionally stingy with them and won't let the kids just nibble at them whenever they want.
Sigh. One of these years we're going to have our own blueberry plants and not have to ration them so much. 

So my *baby* Miranda just turned 3 last week. Take a look at her.

Oh, this girl. So expressive, so affectionate, strong-willed, compassionate, clever, talkative, friendly, and full of sass. "Just like her mama," Grant says. (about the sass part)
And ohhhhh, those eyelashes. Just look at the upper right photo. 
Yeah. I'm jealous too. 
She is a blessing to our family and many others and just a precious delight. When she's not screaming, of course. :) 
We can't imagine our lives without her!

"Faces of Miranda"

Miranda is one of my biggest blueberry lovers. She would eat bowls full every day if I let her. So when deliberating what to make for her birthday breakfast, it didn't take me long to decide on blueberry muffins. (I decided against her original suggestion of spaghetti, mean mom that I am.)
Just as predicted, she was delighted, as were the rest of the children.

You just can't go wrong with tender, slightly sweet muffins with those juicy berries.
I decreased the sugar from the original by half, and the muffins are still sweet enough.
Of course, you can half the recipe if you're not wanting 24 muffins. I just always would rather  have too many than too little, and nobody complains about a leftover muffin the next day. I'm sure that extras would freeze nicely, too.

Blueberry Muffins
from Rebekah's Family, Food, and Fun

Yield: 24 muffins

4 cups all purpose flour (can substitute white whole wheat)
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 cup oil (I use expeller pressed coconut oil)
1 cup milk, warmed in microwave
4 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries


  • Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and oil. Add the warm milk and vanilla extract.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir just until combined. 
  • If using fresh blueberries, wash and drain them, then stir into batter. If using frozen blueberries, place in a colander and run hot tap water over them for about 20 seconds. Drain berries well, then stir into batter. (This step really helps - if you don't do it, the berries will clump together  when stirred into the batter. Trust me, I know.)
  • Use muffin liners or grease 24 muffin cups. Fill cups 3/4 full and bake for 15- 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. If making mini-muffins, start checking at 10 minutes. 
  • Cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

Source: Adapted slightly from Tammy's Recipes (I reduced sugar and amount of blueberries)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs

October is one of our busiest months of the year, since three of the kiddos have birthdays. And things are just about to get even busier, since the youngest two are starting swim lessons next week and Corban is starting basketball in a couple of weeks.

But hey, with five children, life never seems to slow down.

That's why I rely on slow cooker meals at least once a week, sometimes two or three times.
Three cheers for slow cookers!!
I have three, actually. A 6-qt and a 7.5 or 8-qt (can't remember) are my primary ones, but I also have a little 1-qt. one for dips. It's so cute!

I actually made this recipe for a church fellowship meal a few months ago and barely even got to try it. It was one of the first dishes emptied. So last week, I decided it was high time for this meal to grace our table. It makes HUGE batch, so we had dinner from it twice, as well as lunch for a few people twice.

Grant loved these meatballs so much, he skipped dessert so he could have seconds of them instead.

The sausage gives such a nice flavor, and combining it with lean ground turkey keeps the calories down quite a bit. I used homemade breadcrumbs the first time, but this time I tossed some oats in the food processor and ground them up pretty fine.  Worked just as well.

I used homemade marinara sauce by simmering a couple of 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes with some garlic and herbs for awhile, but store-bought cans or jars of sauce work just fine and simplify the process a little.

We loved these meatballs over penne pasta, and I bet they'd be awesome as a meatball sub also. Annika had some leftover meatballs in a tortilla with some melted mozzarella cheese one day and said that was really good.

Any way you eat them, they're super delicious. And I'm sure they'd freeze really well.

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs
from Rebekah's Family, Food, and Fun

1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
2 lbs ground turkey or beef
12 ounces bulk mild Italian sausage
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs, Italian-seasoned if you prefer
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
6 cups marinara sauce (Two 24 oz jars) or homemade

  • In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs until combined. Add ground turkey, sausage, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; mix with your hands until well combined. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly spray with non-stick spray. Using your hands or a medium cookie scoop (my preferred method), shape 1-2 inch meatballs. Place on prepared baking sheets. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Top meatballs evenly with sauce. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours in the slow cooker until meatballs are cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 160°F. 

Serve on top of pasta, on split hoagie rolls with melted cheese for meatball sub sandwiches, with mashed potatoes, or as an appetizer.

Source: Girl Versus Dough, originally adapted from Taste of Home
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