Author Archives: Stef

About Stef

Family: Husband (Tom) and little man Lincoln James. Dwelling: A 1967 Ranch home that changes every day. Homemaker tip: Don’t be afraid to fail. A bad meal can always be fixed with a frozen pizza, a dead plant can be replaced and paint can cure a room. I consider my style: Contemporary with a vintage flair. I love a sleek piece of furniture with the contrast of an old vase or a stack of old used books. I cannot live without eating: Italian Beef sandwiches. I am Chicago-bred and love a good beef with sweet peppers. Pizza is a close second. Three foods you will always find in my pantry: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Crushed Tomatoes and Chicken Broth. My cooking mantra: Even foods that were destined to be bad for you can be recreated in a healthy way.

Dutch Apple Pie

Everyone once in awhile over here, we need to deliver on our name. Well, here is my latest attempt. This dutch apple pie is a slight adaptation of my grandma’s family favorite. As a kid (and who am I kidding, also as an adult), I always requested her apple pie. After eating this last night, I truly know why. While I enjoy a crust topped pie, this crumbly streusel topping wins my heart every time.

This year’s apple season produced quite a bounty. I used fresh picked apples from Barthel Fruit Farm in Mequon, WI. And for all of you scared of homemade pie crust, don’t be! It is really, very easy and there really is no comparison to pre-made or frozen pie dough. (*Note: only half the pie is shown because we couldn’t wait to dig in!)

Dutch Apple Pie

Without further ado, here is the latest Haute Apple Pie, known as by my pie tasters as the “best pie ever.”

Dutch Apple Pie

Pie Crust
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 TBSP or 1 stick of unsalted butter, cold
1/2 C ice water

Mix flour, sugar and salt together. Cut the butter into small, 1/2 inch pieces. Keep your hands off the butter as much as possible to keep it cold. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture. Scoop and mix as you go, until the butter crumbly and to the size of a tiny pea.

Remove ice cubes from water. Begin to drizzle about 1/4 C of water into the mixture and mix with a rubber spatula. Continue to drizzle water until the dough begins to stick together. You may not use all the water. Gently work with hands to mold the dough. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

After the dough is chilled, flour your rolling surface and gently roll out the dough into one large circle. Trim the edges off the dough to make a perfect circle and gently press into pie pan. Add apple filling and crumb topping (see below). Evenly and gently spread crumb topping to cover all the apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Apple Filling
6-8 medium sized apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 C sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon

Add apples, sugar cinnamon. Mix and set aside.

Crumb Topping
1/3 C sugar
3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
6 TBSP unsalted butter, cold

Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut butter into 1/2 pieces. Add to mixture and cut in using a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly.

Dutch Apple Pie Recipe

This pie is best served warm and always tastes good a la mode! Here’s hoping this pie helps us live up to our name!

stef

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Haute Apple Pie Bake Sale Today!

Children's Tumor Foundation Team IzCome one, come all to the Haute Apple Pie Bake Sale today (September 18) from 4-7 pm at the Hartung Park Farmer’s Market in Wauwatosa (corner of Menomonee River Pkwy and Keefe). All proceeds go toward Team Iz to benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation and the NF Walk, being held on Saturday, September 28 in Wauwatosa.

Some of the items for sale: Apple Turnovers, Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, Cinnamon Roll Popcorn, Cranberry Crispie Cookies and more! Lots of fall flavors for a good cause.

If you cannot make the bake sale and wish to join the walk or donate, visit www.nfwalk.org/milwaukee2013.

Hope to see you this afternoon!

 

 

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{DIY} Giant Ruler Growth Chart

My little man is growing up. Literally, I feel like he grows an inch every other day. He is constantly talking about “being big” and “growing tall,” so I wanted to make a little something for his room to help track the progress of these incredible growth spurts.

I’d seen a few different growth charts floating around the internet, the nicest being made from materials gotten at cutmyplastic.co.uk. When putting together his train room (final pictures coming soon!), I looked up many options to buy a chart for his room, but they were all just a bit cost prohibitive for me. Enter the DIY revolution, get a head start by following the tips from Toolerant. I wanted to make something we could bring with us when we move to different houses and that would stand the test of time in both durability and in decor.

This giant ruler growth chart would be a great addition to any room. It is easy to make and takes a few hours of an afternoon (mostly time to let stain and paint dry).

{DIY} Giant Ruler Growth Chart

Giant Ruler Growth Chart

What you need:
Wood board, at least 6 1/2 ft in height
Sand paper
Saw horses
Saw
Stain
Old towel
Pencil
Yard stick or tape measure
Large number stencils (plastic ones work best)
White paint
Gloss Spray Coating (if desired)
Nails or screws
Saw hooks

To make:

Measure your board and cut to size. You will likely not be starting your measurements on the ruler at 0, to leave room for the baseboards . We made our board 6 ft, but the measurements on the board actually go up to 6 and a half feet.

Sand board until smooth, if needed. Remove all saw dust from board with a slightly damp cloth. Allow to completely dry before staining.

Dip the tip of an old rag or towel in the stain. Lightly brush the stain, going with the grain. You may want to do two or three coats. Allow to dry in between coats.

Once dry, using a yard stick or tape measure, mark out each inch using a pencil at the right side of each board. I made my 6 inch and 1 foot marks a bit longer.

Using painters tape, tape your stencils to the left of each foot mark. Using your yard stick, make sure they measure up.

Take white paint and lightly brush over measurement marks. I did not care for mine to be perfect lines, so I gently placed the brush and used one stroke from the inside, to the outside. Fill the stencils with white paint. You may want to do two or three coats, depending on preference. Allow to dry between coats.

DIY growth chart

Remove stencils once dry. Touch up any necessary spots with tip of small paint brush. If you’d like a light sheen over the board, coat with clear acrylic spray paint. You will need to do this about three times. Allow to dry in between each spray.

DIY Growth ChartTo hang, nail a saw hook to the top and bottom of the back of the growth chart. Measure the spacing and place nail or screw in wall. Hang on wall.

Then go ahead and measure your little (or not so little) ones! Lincoln and Bobo are up to 4ft!

ruler growth chart

stef

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HAP Bake Sale and Fro Yo Fundraiser for Children’s Tumor Foundation

Children's Tumor Foundation Team Iz

Join us on Wednesday, September 18 from 4 pm – 7 pm at the Hartung Park Farmer’s Market in Wauwatosa for the second annual Haute Apple Pie Bake Sale for Team IZ and the Children’s Tumor Foundation. We promise some fall inspired baked goods including: cookies, breads, muffins, mixes and other sweet treats. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation NF Walk in honor of Stef’s niece Izzy, who was diagnosed last year with the rare genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2). NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. There is no cure nor are there effective treatments for NF.

If you are unable to attend the bake sale and would like to donate to Team IZ, please click here. Your support is truly appreciated.

walk_header

The Milwaukee NF Walk will be held on Saturday, September 28 at Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa.  Participants will walk a 2.8 mile route along the Oak Leaf Trail and Menomonee River. Join us for some fun including, Bango the Milwaukee Buck, the Wauwatosa fire and police departments, Jelly Belly treats, face painting, crafts and door prizes. It will be a great family day of fun for an important cause. To register for the walk, please click here. To learn more about NF, click here.

Yo Mama

If you live in the Milwaukee area and want to help out the Children’s Tumor Foundation, visit the Wauwatosa Yo Mama Frozen Yogurt on Sunday, September 8 between 11 am and 10 pm. Print out this post or mention the Children’s Tumor Foundation and 30% of the proceeds will go back to the foundation. It’s fro yo with a cause!

Thank you all for your generous support and we hope to see you at one of these great events!

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Almond Peach Butter

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Sweet Preservation.com and the Washington State Fruit Commission, a large, gorgeous box of fuzzy, juicy peaches showed up at our doorstep. These peaches had us drooling and ready to can. We decided to use these Northwestern grown beauties to create an Almond Peach Butter. Pure in its peach form, a peach butter does not, in fact, include butter. Peaches are cooked down to a smooth form and lightly sweetened, preserving the delicate flavors of the fruit.

Washington State Peaches

This butter is a great concoction to can. For canning and preserving tips, click to our Preserving and Canning 101 link. If you do not have the resources, space or time to can, you can shrink this recipe down and toss the butter in a jar or container. It will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

Almond Peach Butter

Almond Peach Butter
Makes about 5-6 cups

14-16 medium-large sized peaches (about 4 lbs)
1 C water
1 3/4 C sugar
2 TBSP pure almond extract

Wash, peel and cut peaches into chunks. Put in large stock pot and add water. Heat until peaches are very soft, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or a food processor or blender if you don’t have an immersion blender), blend the peaches to a smooth consistency.

Add sugar and almond extract and simmer for 50-60 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. When the mixture is done, it will remain rounded on top of the spoon for a minute. You can also drizzle a line of the peach butter across the top of the pot. The line of mixture should keep it’s form. You can choose the thickness depending upon your liking.

If you are canning, immediately divide the peach butter amongst the jars and follow your canning instructions. If you are not preserving, allow to cool before placing in a jar or container and refrigerate.

Almond Peach Butter via Haute Apple Pie

This Almond Peach Butter is delicious on toast, an english muffin or a scone. It is a great addition to oatmeal, making it taste like a little bowl of peach cobbler. It is also a great J for a PBJ. We are also experimenting with sandwich spread, bars and other treats!

theLadies

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Avocado BLT Egg Salad

It is tomato season and I am obsessed. I could eat a BLT for almost every meal. My secret to a great BLT is adding avocado (we call it a BALT in our house). With that in mind, I decided to switch it up and turn my favorite flavors into an egg salad.

So egg salad…typically, not my thing. I dislike the mayo-based dressing and the consistency. I tried an avocado-based egg salad back at Easter time with some leftover Easter eggs and it turned my thoughts on the dish. This Avocado BLT Egg Salad has all the components that I love. The salty and savory bacon, the juicy tomatoes (even better from your own garden!) and the creamy avocado come together for one delicious little salad.

Avocado BLT Egg Salad

Avocado BLT Egg Salad
Serves 4-6

6 eggs
6 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 TBSP chopped green onion
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados
2 TBSP plain non-fat Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

To hard boil eggs, place eggs in water in a medium saucepan. Bring water to a slow boil at medium-high heat. Once the water has reached a boil, set a timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the eggs and rinse under cool water. Cool a bit, then tap around all edges to crack. Peel and discard shells. Chop and place into mixing bowl.

Add crumbled bacon, celery, and cherry tomatoes to chopped eggs and mix.

In a separate bowl, mash avocados with a fork until smooth. Add Greek yogurt and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir until smooth.

Add avocado mixture to egg mixture and stir until coated.

Avocado BLT Egg Salad  via Haute Apple Pie

This salad is great served open-faced on toasted bed and a few pieces of Romaine lettuce. It would also work great in a wrap or on an English muffin.

It’s avocado week for SummerFest with our Food Network friends! Check out these other awesome avocado recipes:

Feed Me Phoebe: Kale Salad with Avocado, Cranberries and Peptias
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Smoked Avocado Tomato Salsa Guacamole
Weelicious: Avocado Honey Dip
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
Red or Green: Avocado and Cilantro Pesto with Whole Wheat Penne
Blue Apron Blog: Avocado Tartines with Goat Cheese
Domesticate Me: Summer Salad with Avocado, Corn and Grilled Herb Shrimp
Dishin & Dishes: Creamy Avocado Citrus Dressing, No Cream, No Oil
The Heritage Cook: Summertime Vegetable Stuffed Avocados 
And Love It Too: Sugar-Free Avocado Fudgesicles
Daily*Dishin: Colorful Sweet Pepper-Avocado Salsa
Devour: No-Cook Avocado, Shrimp and Mango Salad
Taste With The Eyes: Zucchini “Pappardelle” with Avocado “Cream”
FN Dish: 10 Audacious Guacamole Add-Ins

stef

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Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad

Yes, sweet and sour has been a theme lately. Can you blame me? Cucumbers are starting to pop up in gardens and farmer’s markets around town and this twist on my Grandma’s classic is the perfect refreshing side dish to a burger, brat or last week’s Sweet and Sour Pulled Pork.

Cutting the cucumbers as thinly as possible is the trick to making the texture of this salad work. If you’ve got fresh dill from the garden, it will kick these cucumbers up an extra notch.
Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers
2 large cucumbers, very thinly sliced
2 tsp salt
1/4 C white vinegar
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp chopped dill
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

After thinly slicing cucumbers, place in bowl and sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Squeeze and drain excess water from cucumbers. In a separate small bowl, mix vinegar and sugar. Pour over cucumbers. Stir to coat. Add dill and pepper, toss to coat.

Chill or serve immediately. Drain most of the excess liquid before serving.

Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad

Our foodie friends over at the Food Network are also celebrating cucumbers this week! Check out some of these mouth-watering Summer Fest recipes.

Feed Me Phoebe: Fennel Tzatziki with Mint
The Lemon Bowl: Japanese Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Burmese Cucumber Watermelon Composed Salad
Domesticate Me: California Salad with Roasted Chicken and Avocado Dressing
Taste With The Eyes: Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi with Shrimp and Minari
Devour: Cucumber and Mint Lemonade 
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Cucumber, Carrot and Onion Refrigerator Pickles
Red or Green: Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho
Virtually Homemade: Cucumber Tomato Bruschetta
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Neer Mor — Zested South Indian Buttermilk with Cucumber
Weelicious: Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches
Blue Apron Blog: Barley Salad with Heirloom Cucumbers & Golden Beets
The Sensitive Epicure: Pimm’s Cups and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
FN Dish: Pickles Past the Jar

Happy Summer Eating!

stef

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Sweet and Sour Pulled Pork

While I usually equate slow cooker with winter time, I’ve found a new appreciation for my slow cooker on these busy, warm summer days. Getting back from a day at the pool or a day a work to a nice meal and a cool house does wonders for weeknight ease. I created this Sweet and Sour Pulled Pork with the right mix of tang and salt. Topped with some easy Cumin Coleslaw it’s the perfect summer sandwich and works great for any summer party!

Sweet and Sour Pulled Pork

Sweet and Sour Pulled Pork
1 1/2 – 2 lbs pork loin
1/2 C pineapple juice
1/2 C low-sodium soy sauce
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 TBSP olive oil
1 C diced pineapple (fresh or canned)

Place pork loin in slow cooker. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over top of slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. An hour before serving (or whatever time allows, but extra time gives it more time to marinate), shred pork and mix with juice. Set to warm setting.

Cumin Coleslaw
2 C store-bought coleslaw mix
1/3 C non-fat plain greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

In bowl, mix yogurt and spices together. Stir in coleslaw and mix until coated. Serve immediately or chill before serving.

Place pork on sandwich buns (King’s Hawaiian or Egg Buns work great) and top with spoonful of slaw.

Sweet and Sour Pulled Pork Sliders with Cumin Coleslaw

Check back soon for the Sweet and Sour Cucumber recipe that accompanied this dish!

stef

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Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries

We recently took our annual trip to Polzin Farms in Cedarburg, WI for some good old-fashioned strawberry picking. We came home with 14 pounds of juicy, red deliciousness. So what does one do with 14 pounds of strawberries ? Get creative. I’m like the Forrest Gump of strawberries: strawberry rhubarb crisp, strawberry french toast, strawberry banana smoothies and my latest, grilled pound cake with balsamic strawberries.

This is a fresh take on strawberry shortcake. I went all Sandra Lee and semi-homemade this one with store-bought pound cake. If you want to bake a fresh pound cake, I’m sure it would taste even better. This is a great dessert when entertaining. Just a quick toss on the grill and you are ready to go.

grilled poundcake and strawberries

Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries
Serves 4-6

2 C fresh, halved strawberries
1 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP sugar
1 loaf pound cake, sliced (store-bought or homemade)
Coconut cooking oil or spray (or olive oil spray)
1 C heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Clean and oil grill. Pre-heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

In a small saucepan, heat strawberries, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir occasionally until warmed through. Keep warm until served.

With an electric mixer, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon on high speed until thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes

Brush pound cake with olive or coconut oil. Place on heated grill. Sear for about 1-2 minutes on each side, making sure it doesn’t burn.

Place pound cake slice on plate, top with strawberries, strawberry sauce from the pan and whipped cream.

Grilled Poundcake with Balsamic Strawberries and Cream

stef

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Triple Berry Ice Cream

It finally feels like summertime here in the Midwest and no better way to kick off the sun-filled days than with a good dose of berries. We have yet to go on our annual strawberry picking outing, but I’ve been stacking my grocery cart with every berry the store has to offer.

For a refreshing and fun treat, I created a quick homemade triple berry ice cream using fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. The recipe is easy – no cooking! – and perfect on a warm summer day.

Triple Berry Ice Cream

Triple Berry Ice Cream 
1 1/2 C chopped strawberries
1/2 C blueberries
1/2 C raspberries
1 lemon
3 TBSP sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 C heavy cream

In a food processor, blend all three berries, the juice of one lemon and sugar. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender or mash the berries by hand.

In a large bowl, mix blended berry mixture, heavy cream and salt. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

In an ice cream maker (I used the KitchenAid ice cream attachment), add cold mixture according to directions. Churn until thick.

Serve immediately for a soft serve texture or freeze in a container for a harder texture.

Homemade Triple Berry Ice Cream

This recipe makes about 10 servings.

Happy Summer!

It’s Summer Fest with our friends over on Food Network! Check out some of these other great breakfast, dessert and drink berry recipes from fellow bloggers around the web.

Feed Me PhoebeGluten-Free Blueberry-Almond Pancakes
The Lemon BowlStrawberry Mango Chia Smoothie
Dishin & DishesCrunchy Topped Blueberry White Chocolate Muffins
Jeanette’s Healthy LivingGingered Blueberry Shortcakes With Light Creamy Topping
Taste With The EyesBlueberry Limoncello Pavlova
Sweet Life BakePaletas de Fresca y Aguacate
Napa Farmhouse 1885Mixed Berry Tea Cake 
Red or Green?Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp (Red or Green-style)
Virtually HomemadeBlueberry Mint Margaritas
Pinch My SaltStrawberry Peach Cobbler With Almond Biscuit Topping
Cooking With EliseDehydrating Blueberries, Plus Blueberry and White Chocolate Cookies
DevourFour Healthy Berry Recipes
Domesticate MeSummer Berry Crisp
WeeliciousBrainy Breakfast
The Sensitive EpicureStrawberries With White Balsamic Vinegar Caramel, Orange Zest and Black Pepper
Daily*DishinFresh and Easy Blueberry Pie
From My Corner of SaratogaMixed Berry Freezer Pops
FN DishWake Up With Berries

stef

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