Monthly Archives: October 2019

Apple Galette and Chocolate Pomegranate Muffins

I’ve always wanted to make a galette and today, I finally did it! It was pretty easy and I will for sure do it again. It’s a bonus to me that I don’t need to use a pie tin to make it. I wasn’t too happy with my galette crust so I will need to work on that.

When my oldest son saw that I was baking something, he wanted to bake too. So he picked out chocolate muffins to make for breakfast tomorrow.

I am a big fan of Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks, so I used the galette dough recipe and a modified galette filling recipe from her Baking Chez Moi cookbook. My son used a recipe for chocolate chocolate-chunk muffins from her Baking: From My Home to Yours cookbook.

Here is the galette dough recipe that I used:

Blueberry Galette

And then the filling is from her Apple Pielettes recipe, which can’t be found online. I would really suggest buying her cookbooks if you can! Her instructions are very simple, easy to follow, and detailed (for which I am very thankful!)

I think any apple pie filling would work well though. Just make sure you’re only using three apples in the filling because you don’t want to over-fill your galette.

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I chilled my galette dough on parchment paper on a baking pan in the fridge for two hours before I filled it. I used two granny smith apples and one golden delicious apple in the filling. I kept the filling in the fridge also for two hours. I just mixed a splash of lemon juice in with the apples so they wouldn’t turn too brown.

Before putting the filling on the dough, I crumbled up one sheet of graham crackers and sprinkled the crumbs over the dough. Dorie said to use butter cookies but sadly, I had none of those on hand. I think the cookie crumbs help the crust not to become soggy from the liquid in the filling during baking. Or maybe they just provide some extra texture. My kids didn’t even notice the graham cracker crumbs though.

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I sprinkled bits of 1 Tablespoon of butter over the top of the galette once I folded up the sides. After a quick brush of water over the dough and a sprinkling of sugar, it went into the oven at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes.

We were eating dinner while this was baking so I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have. I think it might have been in there a little bit too long.  It probably could have come out at around 43 minutes. Yes, 2 minutes makes a big difference! Let’s just say it is “well-baked!” It was the perfect size for my family of 8 though and there are only 2 pieces left. My two youngest aren’t fond of apple pie.

After baking, I spooned some melted orange marmalade over the fruit to give it some shine. Yes, I did that just so it would look pretty.

Josh says it tastes like McDonald’s apple pies. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment… But I’ll take it!

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Corran, my oldest son, wanted to make something for breakfast that would go with the pomegranate jelly we just canned on Saturday. He saw these chocolate chocolate-chunk muffins. Then, I remembered that I had three pomegranate chocolate bars in the pantry that I had been saving to use in chocolate chip cookies. I donated them to his cause and let him chop them up to use as the melted chocolate and the chocolate chunks in the muffins. I’m really proud of him for wanting to learn to bake. He is also interested in learning to cook something more complicated than grilled cheese or quesadillas.

I think the kids were more excited about the chocolate muffins than the apple galette. They kept asking if they could eat them now. My daughter’s exclamation, “But breakfast is sooooo far away!”

Hopefully, when it comes time for breakfast tomorrow, they will be happy they waited patiently for these chocolate muffins!

-Lynn

 

Pomegranate harvest!

At our old house in San Diego, we had a pomegranate tree that we loved. Of course, when we moved here, we lost out on our annual supply of pomegranates, though Josh does plan on planting a pomegranate tree here when he has a chance to clear an area for fruit trees (apple trees! There should be enough freeze hours here).

Josh’s job takes him to a lot of houses and last week, he came home with four grocery bags full of pomegranates! What a treasure! One of his clients had a 50-year-old pomegranate tree in her yard. The fruit was splitting on the tree and Josh mentioned he liked to make pomegranate jelly. The client said he could take all of the fruit that hadn’t split because she doesn’t use them anymore.

So Josh came home with a bunch of ripe pomegranates that we needed to seed right away.

It took us about an hour and a half and we made a big mess, but we ended up with a huge bowl of pomegranate arils!

Our plans for this bowl of pomegranate arils? As many jars of pomegranate jelly as Josh can make! Because they go really quick with our family.

-Lynn

Morning in the backyard

Now that’s it cooler in the mornings, I think the kids and I will go wander around outside before we start school. There are so many things to see.

Our backyard has two areas: what we call the inner yard that is fenced off really well and the outer yard that is still fenced but is mostly wild and not great for playing in (but great for hiking!).

There is so much land here that I haven’t walked it all yet. Josh has.

The inner yard is a great place for an almost two-year-old who loves rocks. And putting rocks in toy dump trucks is even more fun!

A dove is nesting in a cactus right by our front porch. She has two babies. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to mind us too much. We check on her every time we go outside.

We will see what new surprises we find tomorrow morning!

The New Geek Homestead – Part 2

I mentioned in my last post that we had news to share.  If you follow Josh and The Geek Homestead on Twitter though, you probably already know this.  About a month ago, we moved to the Tucson area of Arizona from California. It took us a while to get here, and there is quite a bit of backstory to our move. Hope you are ready for a bit of a read!

When we moved from Washington, D.C. to San Diego back in 2008, Josh and I stopped in Tucson overnight when we drove cross-country (We only had two kids back then! And they were already with our family in San Diego.) I don’t know what it was about Tucson that appealed to us, but when we left the next day to continue our drive, I remember thinking that we needed to come back someday for a vacation.

We finally did make it back to Tucson for that vacation in November 2016 for Thanksgiving. We found that we liked the area even more and thought about trying to move to Tucson.

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Five of our kids at the Saguaro National Park in 2016. Now we live about 30 minutes from here (and have six kids lol)

In November 2019, we began packing to move out of our house so that we could prepare for selling it. In March 2019, we moved in with my parents while waiting for our house to sell.  Two weeks later, we accepted an offer on the house and then closed escrow the end of April. By this time, Josh had already moved out to Tucson.

In July, we opened escrow on a new house in the Tucson area. At the end of July, we walked from that house because of some appraisal issues. A couple of days after we walked away from that first house, Josh went to an open house for a place that I had noticed on the market in June but it had been out of our price range then. When I first saw it, I mentioned it to Josh because it seemed like the perfect house for us. It dropped in price in July (while we were still in escrow with the first house). After the open house, Josh was sold on the house, we put an offer in, and we closed escrow the end of August. And we have been living here for about a month.

We went from a 1,300 square foot house on about half an acre in San Diego to a 2,700 square foot house on 4 acres in Marana (about 20 miles outside Tucson). God has definitely blessed us because we were not expecting to be able to find a house quite like this one that was in our price range. We were expecting to buy a 2,000 square foot house with maybe a garage. Instead, we found not just a larger house, but a house with a 2-car garage, a workshop for Josh, an observatory shed, a greenhouse, a rainwater harvesting system, beautiful landscaping, 3 porches, and gorgeous sunrises/sunsets and night sky viewing.

Our new home surprises us almost every day with something new. We live in a rural area now that is about 20 minutes from the freeway. Even though it takes a while to get anywhere, we still love it.

We have seen roadrunners, bunnies, woodpeckers, doves, ground squirrels, and vultures, but fortunately no rattlesnakes or scorpions (yet!)  We have so many interesting plants and cacti on the property that I couldn’t possibly name them all.

A few nights ago, I stepped out of our van after church and looked up at the stars… And had a hard time going in the house because the stars seemed to go on forever.

We are loving living in Arizona so far and look forward to sharing our new adventures here on The Geek Homestead.

-Lynn

The following pics are of our new home. Some are from the house listing and the others are ones we took in the past month. Sadly, monsoon season is mostly over so we probably won’t have much rain for a while.

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View from the front porch

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The observatory shed. We’ve only been in here once. I need to pick up our telescope from my parents’ house and bring it out here to try it out!

 

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Flowering barrel cactus

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Mexican bird of paradise

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Flowering Fishhook pincushion cactus. It took me a while to find out what this was! A visit to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum helped me out. But that’s for another post!

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Two of the saguaros in our backyard at sunset.

 

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