Cooking With TechyDad: Apple Pie

It’s been way too long since I’ve done a Cooking With TechyDad segment.  It’s not that I haven’t been cooking.  I’ve just been sticking to tried and true (and somewhat boring) recipes.  Picking 39 pounds of apples gives me the perfect excuse to try something new.  We had some frozen pie crust in our freezer so I figured this would be the perfect time to try making an apple pie.

First, I collected my ingredients: apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt.


Next, I peeled and sliced the apples.

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After this, I added the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice.

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After mixing, I had my pie filling.


My pie crust had been defrosting during this, so I put the apples into the shell and topped it with another defrosted crust.

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It didn’t look the best, but I knew that looks only matter so much.  I made a few slits on the top and into the oven it went.  Before long, the pie was done.  I was actually surprised at how good it looked.

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Our mouths were watering.  Just look at that delicious crust.


After the pie cooled, I sliced into it and… disaster!  The apples had released their juices, flooded the pie, and soaked the bottom crust.


Taking the first slice out, the slice fell apart.


Obviously, I needed some kind of thickening agent in the filling.  Something to bind or thicken the juices so they didn’t just flood the pie.  The pie tasted terrific, don’t get me wrong, but next time I try this, I’ll tweak the recipe a bit to improve the results.  And, with over 15 pounds of apples left, I will definitely have the chance to try this again.

Have you ever made an apple pie?  How did you avoid a pie flood?

Plenty of Peppermint

IMGP0627 B has written before on our gardening efforts this year.  We planted zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppermint.  (In pots, thanks in part to the low quality of the soil where we live.  Also because peppermint, if given half a chance, will take over your entire yard.)  While the cucumbers have yet to appear and the tomatoes and zucchinis aren’t ripe enough to eat yet, the peppermint is more than ready.

I’ve already broken off some sprigs and munched on the leaves.  NHL and I both loves doing this.  The taste is incredibly minty.  It doesn’t hurt the plant either as it just grows more faster than we can munch them.  We even gave a few sprigs to B’s parents and kept them alive in a cup of water for days.  Those peppermint pieces might just be appropriate for planting in a pot soon.

IMGP0631We’ve grown peppermint before.  A couple of years back, it was one of our only successful plants.  I used it’s leaves in hot water to make peppermint tea and even tried my hand at drying them (unsuccessfully).  I brought the pot into our porch during the cold winter months to try to save it for next year, but the cold must have been too much for the poor little thing.  It never did grow again.

This year, I have plenty of time to consider winter season options.  IMGP0628Until then, though, I need to consider what I should do with our plethora of peppermint leaves.  Most of the recipes I’ve found online call for peppermint candies or peppermint oil.  Never for the leaves themselves.  Perhaps I should puree them and mix them into brownies or into fudge.  Or add to our watermelon smoothies for a minty touch.  Or maybe I should break off a bunch of stems, grow them indoors in small pots and hand them out as gifts.

What would you do with a lot of peppermint leaves?  (And, if you live locally, do you want any?  I’ve got plenty!)

Don’t forget to enter my Outback Steakhouse $45 gift certificate giveaway!

Aloha Friday: Smoothie Time

Lately, NHL has been begging me to make him smoothies.  While grocery shopping, he’ll spot the orange juice and beg me to buy some to add to smoothies.  JSL loves drinking them.  They also happen to be very nutritious, so who am I to object?

For dessert after one of my grilling adventures, I had purchased a small watermelon.  As it happened, I decided against slicing it.  It sat on the counter for awhile until I sliced it up.  At that point, I figured that it wouldn’t a long (refrigerator) shelf life so I searched for some watermelon smoothie recipes.  I found this Watermelon Blueberry Smoothie recipe.

Today, after dinner, I decided to whip up some smoothies. 

Doubling the recipe, assisted by JSL and so excited that I forgot to take photos of the process (yes, really!), I put in the watermelon, honey, lemon juice and frozen blueberries into the blender.  After pureeing, I fought off JSL who couldn’t wait for smoothies.


We split the entire double-recipe batch among the four of us and drank up.  The verdict was unanimous: Delicious!  NHL and JSL both asked for seconds (thirds in NHL’s case) and drank until nothing was left.  This is definitely something we’ll be making again.

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My Aloha Friday question for today is: Do you make smoothies?  If so, what’s your favorite smoothie to make?

Don’t forget to enter my Kung Fu Panda/General Mills gift pack giveaway or B’s Dove Men + Care giveaway.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #91

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