When I saw Honeycrisp apples on sale for 49 cents a pound (only up to 5 pounds sadly), I had to buy them! I’m pretty sure we could have just eaten them all fresh but I wanted to try dehydrating fruit again and apples would be good practice.
I think I might have sliced these too thick because it took them almost 8 hours to become even close to crisp. My kids didn’t care that they were a little chewy. About half of them are gone already from snacking!
If my kids will eat it, I count that a success. Next time I see apples on sale though and I decide to dehydrate them, I will be slicing them thinner to get actual apple chips.
While I was putting the baby (he’s almost 2 but he will forever be “the baby!”) down for his nap, Corran baked up some crackers from Melissa K. Norris.
Since I wasn’t around, he did the whole recipe himself. He doubled the recipe but wasn’t able to roll the dough out thin enough on a pizza stone. The crackers were more like savory cookies. None of us cared much though because most of the crackers are gone too! I think he will want to make them again but I’ll hopefully be there to help him next time. I’m still impressed with Corran though for baking them all by himself.
Later, I had Corran bake Jiffy corn muffins to go with dinner. It is so helpful to have a teenager who doesn’t mind helping with the cooking!
I just returned a pack of very expensive croissants to Sam’s Club. Since we live pretty far from it, it was a 50 mile round trip. Was it worth it? Yes. There’s no way I’m paying Sam’s Club $74.70 for a package of 20 croissants. I got a refund and an apology but that was it. What’s funny is that this was my first day as a Sam’s Club member. Of course I had to pick up the package with an incorrect label!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Double rainbow after a monsoonal storm (remnants of a hurricane).
A little bit of flooding a few days after we moved in from an impressive storm. One of our neighbors later told Josh there hadn’t been a storm like that since 2014.
We have exciting news to share but we still need to work on the post for it. Hopefully, in the next few days!
In the meantime, I’m able to get back into baking, which makes me happy.
Today, I made this Potato Bread Recipe using the dough cycle of my bread maker for the first rise. Then, I followed the rest of the recipe using two loaf pans. I think I might need to buy some bread flour because these loaves are pillowy soft from all-purpose flour, which she mentions in the recipe. I’m still happy with how these turned out though and am very glad they didn’t collapse, which happened to me yesterday with my bread maker!