The Sweet & the Savory: Dutch Apple Pie, French Onion Soup, Cheesy Beef Empanadas, and Shrimp Sc


Those who know me, know I live for sweets. Seriously. This is why I love to bake (because I love to eat!) and have always dreamed of opening a bakery/café. But I've been baking way too much lately, so I decided to scale back and only bake one dessert this week. I gave the boys three options: apple pie, peach cobbler, or chocolate chip cookies. They chose apple pie. Excellent choice!

Jerry joined me in the kitchen twice this week. I recruited his help for my Cheesy Beef Empanadas and Dutch Apple Pie with fresh whipped cream. Here are a few things I learned this week.

Our Dutch Apple Pie came out perfect! I researched a number of dutch apple pie recipes before committing to this one: Dutch Apple Pie. I also researched the best apples to use. We went with Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp. We followed the recipe to the tee. TIP: I brushed the bottom crust with egg wash as I heard this prevents a soggy bottom.

Jerry and the boys helped with the pie -- peeling the apples, measuring out the ingredients, taste-testing the apple mixture before it went into the pie, and whipping the cream. It was a fun time in the kitchen. Not one of us could wait for the pie to cool --we were all eager to devour it. We loved every bite. The sweet crumble topping was my favorite part. This is my go-to apple pie recipe from now on.

I made French Onion Soup for the first time, and here's what I learned. The onions need to be cooked all the way down until they're brown. Way longer than the 25 minutes Tyler Florence instructs in his recipe. It was much better the second day (I am my worst critic; Jerry thought it was great the first night but even better the second day), after the flavors marinated together overnight. I warmed it up on the stove the next day and added a few dashes of worcestershire sauce, which really enhanced the flavor as I previously thought it could be more flavorful.

Jerry and I made Cheesy Beef Empanadas; our first time making empanadas. We made the dough (next time, I will use pre-made, I saw some in the freezer section at the grocery store the other day), let it refrigerate for an hour, then rolled it out, and stuffed it with sautéed beef and cheese, and baked it. Here's the recipe: Delish.com

The other recipe that was a hit this week was my Baked Shrimp Scampi, which I served with spaghetti tossed with crushed tomatoes, spinach, lemon, garlic salt, and lots of butter. This is a recipe by Ina Garten that I've made in the past for a dinner party -- Jerry loved it. I will definitely be making this again.

What have you cooked lately that you absolutely love?

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