Chicken Artichoke Heart Casserole and The Irresistible Table

I love making my family’s meal time special with home-cooked nutritional food. I believe spending time together around the table promotes a bonded family and makes each person feel important and valued.

When author Mary DeMuth announced her cookbook, The Irresistible Table,
was releasing, I eagerly awaited my early copy of the book. Mary’s a Christian author who shares the same belief as I do and talks about it in her new book. I’m excited to share with you one of her recipes. I know it was the first recipe I tried, but not the last.

Chicken Artichoke Heart CasseroleChicken Artichoke Heart Casserole Irresistible Table by Mary DeMuth @MelissaKNorris

4 whole chicken breasts

1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained (I used marinated-Melissa)

1/3 cup butter (I will use less-Mary)

1/3 cup flour (I will use less, more like 1/4 cup-Mary) Continue reading

Pioneering Today-How to Pressure Can Apple Pie Filling

How to Can Apple Pie Filling 2 recipes using waterbath or pressure canner www.melisaknorris.com Pioneering TodayNothing says fall like a good crisp apple. I love the way an apple fits perfectly in the palm of my hand. The way they perfume the air, promising delectable delights. And it means I get to can up a new batch of homemade apple pie filling in my pressure canner.

My father-in-law adores apple pie and it’s my responsibility privilege to provide the apple pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. You can water bath apple pie filling, but I prefer to pressure can my apple pie filling because it’s much faster and uses less water, and it’s much faster, did I mention is was much faster?

My favorite apple in pies and applesauce is the Gravenstein. I planted my own this year, but will have to wait a few years for a large crop. Thankfully, my parents have an ancient one in their field. .

My original apple pie filling recipe used cornstarch, but the cornstarch does break down How to can apple pie filling, 2 recipes with instructions for both waterbath and pressure canning www.melissaknorris.com Pioneering Todayafter time. The jars I use for Christmas baking were fine, but by the time I hit spring, they were a mushy runny mess. They still worked, but the crusts were a bit soggy in the pies.

The batch I made with the ClearJell® already has a superior viscosity and I have to say I prefer it. ClearJell was first used by professional bakers and I can see why. So if you previously saw the old version, I’ve updated it for this one. I hope you enjoy!

Here’s the version I did this year using the Clear Jell®. It makes 4 quarts or 7 pints of apple pie filling.

Disclosure: some of the below links are affiliate links. Thanks for your support of this website.

Apple Pie Filling (Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving *affiliate link)

12 cups sliced, peeled, and cored apples
2 3/4 cups raw sugar
3/4 cup Clear Jel, 1 lb. (affiliate link)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
3 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice

Place peeled, cored, and sliced apples in boiling water for 1 minute, working 6 cups of apples at a time. Blanching keeps apples from becoming mushy when canning. With a slotted spoon, place apples in a bowl and cover.

In a large stainless steel pot, combing sugar, ClearJel®, spices, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat (don’t use a hard boil), stirring constantly, and cook until it thickens and bubbles. Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and fold in apples.

Ladle apple pie filling into warm prepared jars. Wide mouth work best for this recipe, but narrow can be used. Leave 1 inch headspace, run a spatula down the inside of the jars to remove air bubbles. Wipe rim with a damp clean towel. Center lid and screw bands down until tight.

Place jars filled with apple pie filling in pressure canner and process at 5 lbs of pressure for 13 minutes or in a hot water bath for 25 minutes.

I have to confess, I licked the side of the syrup pot before washing. We have to taste test right? It was soooo good.

When ready to bake your pie, pour one quart apple pie filling into pastry lined pie plate (my grandmother’s flaky pastry recipe that takes less than 15 minutes to make)  Place your top crust, cut slits for steam escape, crimp edges, and bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

What’s your favorite apple or dessert?

Featured on The Prairie Homestead Barn Hop.

Disclaimer: We cannot be responsible for any hazards, loss or damage that may occur as a result of any recipes, tutorials, or articles used from this site. Read full disclaimer here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Pioneering Today-Quick No Rise Dinner Roll Recipe

 

Do you ever wait until the last minute and realize you need to come up with dinner quick? I make good use of my slow cooker (these slow cooker cabbage rolls are amazing) most of the time, but these make a nice and easy side when you’re short on time.

Quick No Rise Rolls-Dough to Table in 20 minutes

Normally, I always have homemade bread on hand from my No Knead Bake Bread in Less than 5 Minutes a Day method. Now if only I could find a no knead and no rise recipe!

Except I forgot to set out a new batch of dough to rise and dinner was less than an hour away. For those of you who happen to be forgetful every now and then like me, here’s my no rise quick dinner roll recipe.

Continue reading

Pioneering Today-Best Ever Flaky Pie Crust

Do you ever eat a pie and fork out the filling, leaving the crust behind? In less than 15 minutes you can have 4 pie crusts ready to bake or freeze and this crust is so good, you’ll be leaving the filling just to eat the crust! In fact, my seven-year-old did that tonight. You can also have home baked bread in less than 5 minutes a day.Best Ever Flaky Pie Crust in 15 minutes with two dairy free options. www.MelissaKNorris.com Pioneering Today

When I was little, we made the hour trip to go visit my great-grandmother. We didn’t get to go very often, but I remember her house and beautiful rose bushes even though I was quite young. My mother is an excellent baker and cook, but I never liked pie crust. Until I tasted this one. I had never eaten pie crust before and when I ate the entire piece of pie, crust included, my mom switched her recipe as fast as my great-grandmother could write it out.

And now I’m thrilled to share it with you.

Flaky Pastry

4 cups flour (your choice, I used a blend of fresh ground spelt and soft white wheat on pastry setting of my flour grinder, but all purpose or pastry ground whole wheat if you don’t grind your own, more on grinding your own flour and choosing a grinder here)

1 and 3/4 cup lard (learn how to render your own lard), butter, or coconut oil

1 Tablespoon sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice)

2 tsp. sea salt

1 Tblsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (You can use white vinegar, but I prefer apple cider in baking)

1 egg

1/2 cup cold water

Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in lard, butter, or coconut oil. Note: In order to achieve flaky crust, your lard, butter, or coconut oil needs to be cold. It’s the pieces of solid fat distributed throughout the flour which melt upon baking that create the flakiness. You can freeze your butter or lard before cutting it in. The large side of a cheese grater works great with frozen butter.

Cut in lard, butter, or coconut oil

Add your liquids

Fat all cut in, ready to add liquids

Chill for 15 minutes. Take out dough and divide into four equal balls. Wrap and freeze for later use or roll out and bake your favorite quiche or pie. I love this paired with a jar of my home canned apple pie filling for a quick from scratch dessert.

Ready to freeze

If you’re not baking today, take unbaked dough ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Toss in freezer. When ready to use, thaw in fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours. Lightly flour surface, flatten dough ball with hand, and then roll to desired thinness.

When freezing, be sure to mark your dough. I also freeze sugar cookie dough and Christmas morning, mistakenly used sugar cookie dough for my pastry crust in a sausage quiche. My brother said, “Does this have maple flavored sausage? It’s sweet.”

It was edible, but not a mistake I’d like to repeat!

Pioneering Today-Best Ever Flaky Pie Crust
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Makes 4 crusts
Ingredients
  • 4 cups flour (your choice, I used a blend of fresh ground spelt and soft white wheat on the pastry setting of my flour grinder, but all purpose or pastry ground whole wheat work fine, too)
  • 1 and ¾ cup lard, butter, or coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (You can use white vinegar, but I prefer apple cider in baking)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cold water
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in lard, butter, or coconut oil. Note: In order to achieve flaky crust, your lard, butter, or coconut oil needs to be cold. It’s the pieces of solid fat distributed throughout the flour which melt upon baking that create the flakiness. You can freeze your butter or lard before cutting it in. The large side of a cheese grater works great with frozen butter.
  2. Fat is fully cut in when the flour is crumbly pea size pieces. Add in liquids until dough just holds together. You don't want to over mix it.
  3. Chill dough in the fridge for 15 minutes. Use to bake pies or separate into four equal balls, wrap, and freeze.

This flaky pastry is excellent in traditional pies, savory meat pies, and tarts. If you’d like more traditional recipes, I have over 40 in my book Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way. You can read the first chapter for free!

Featured on Traditional Tuesdays link-up. Lot’s of posts on traditional cooking and how-to’s.

Molasses Sugar Cookie Recipe

Are you ready for the best ever Christmas cookie? This cookie melts on your tongue and I swear it whispers Jingle Bells while it does. Molasses Sugar Cookie Top Christmas Choice www.melissaknorris.com Pioneering Today

I consider these cookies my signature Christmas cookie. I bake them at least twice throughout Christmas and well into the year afterwards as well. I’m a fan of any cookie recipe that uses molasses. It reminds me of the pioneer days when many kitchens used molasses because regular sugar wasn’t as easily come by and generally cost more.

Molasses Sugar Cookie (from Pioneering Today-A Homemade Christmas)Molasses Sugar Cookie Best Christmas Cookie www.MelissaKNorris.com Pioneering Today

3/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup sugar (I use organic raw evaporated cane juice, certified GMO free)

1/2 cup brown sugar (make sure it is from cane sugar, not sugar beets to avoid GMO’s)

Note: You can also use 1 cup regular sugar, but I like the addition of the brown sugar as it keeps cookies super duper moist

1/4 cup molasses (I get mine from a big ol’ vat at our local co-op)

1 egg (thank you to my little faithful flock, farm fresh is best)

2 cups flour (I used 1/2 spelt and 1/2 soft white wheat freshly ground)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add molasses and egg, beating until well blended.

In medium bowl, blend flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger; add to molasses mixture, mix well. Cover and chill at least 20 minutes.

Form dough into 1 inch balls, roll each in sugar, place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.

Tip: To make uniform balls that bake evenly, use an ice cream scoop.

Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Let stand 1 minute before removing. Makes around 5 dozen. (I tend to get 3 dozen, but they’re so good I like a bigger cookie)

To make Gingerbread, just cut 1/4 cup butter and increase the molasses.

These are a soft, melt in your mouth, one is never enough kind of cookie. Enjoy!

If you love molasses like me, check out my Ginger Cream Cookies for another Christmas favorite. Want a whole bundle of awesome Christmas Cookie Recipes? Here’s 16 Christmas Cookie Recipes with 13 Gluten Free Options!

Please share your favorite cookie recipe!