Apple Oatmeal Crips

When the time comes for me to actually search for a recipe, I tend to get picky. Taste and good recommendations are a big deal of course, but so is how easy the recipe is and how few ingredients it uses. I am a very simple cook, and would much rather use one or two spices to make a dish pop than a whole lot of complicated steps and ingredients.

So when it came time to me to find an apple crisp recipe, I had to be picky. It had to be as few ingredients as possible, and extremely easy. I had never made apple crisp before, so I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for.

Having just tasted an apple crisp recipe that used oatmeal, I knew this recipe that I had found that used oatmeal as the crumble part of the apple crisp was the one I was going to use.It’s easy, delicious, and uses ingredients I already had in the house (except the apples, but of course we knew we’d have to buy these!).

Apple Oatmeal Crisp

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 cups apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and butter. Mix until crumbly. Spread half the mixture in a greased 8 inch square pan. Place apples evenly over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Spread the remaining crumb mixture over top.

Bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes.

New Webkinz: Midnight Monster

Oh how we love the Webkinz. It’s hard not to get carried away, and have more than just one or two per year to keep the account online active. Even after 2 1/2 years, my daughter still gets online to play and loves to collect the pets. We’ve somehow managed to keep her collection down to 4, but that may change when she sees the new pet just released this month.

Webkinz Midnight Monster has just been added, and boy is he adorable. He’d make a great pet for the little boys wanting to play, but I think girls would get just as big of a kick out of him (especially mine, who will be 8 next month and is a bit of a tom boy who loves all things even closely related to Halloween!). His special pet-only items you get online when you register him are as follows:

Special Item: Underpass Hideaway
Special Food: Musty Mushrooms

Absolutely adorable, and makes for a great addition to anyone’s Webkinz collection!

Maybe I Can Go Back To School

Before I dive into this post, first let me say this is not one of your junky “I’m trying to make a buck” blog posts you see all to often with topics such as this. There’s no affiliate links, and absolutely nothing for me to gain by sharing this information. This is more or less my personal ramblings about my experiences.

I’ve taken a stab at college before. The first time was your traditional ‘girl graduates high school, gets a part time job, and goes to community college that fall’. I was majored in Accounting and Bookkeeping, and also working as a bookkeeper’s assistant at a local law firm.

It all seemed fine and dandy – that whole sense of “this is what I’m suppose to do, and this is what I’m half way good at”. It was a decent “career choice”. I was good at it too. I passed classes easily, and was very good at my job. Problem was, it was EXTREMELY boring to me, and I had babies at home. After earning about half the degree, I dropped it and walked away for a good 4 years.

The second time was more or less the same thing. I changed my major to Business Information Systems, which is a title that says “hey look, I took a few classes that are both business and computer related”. Again, extremely boring and NOT what I really wanted to do. I believe I decided on the major because again it seemed like the right thing to do. A degree behind me in a subject I was familiar with, and a good “career choice”.

After a full semester and about 6 classes total, I gave it up too. To keep my grant I had to take a minimum of 3 classes, and it just proved to be way too much to handle, even though it was all online. Plus I knew there would come a time in pursuit of that degree that I would need to take some classes offline. That’s just the way our local community college was set up at the time, and there really was no other options.

Now a few years later, I’ve decided to take another stab at it. The choice this time was NOT made for the sole purpose of needing something fancy behind my name, but WANTING those classes and the degree. Instead of looking at courses and saying “this looks good, I could do this I guess”, I looked for one that matched what I WANTED to do.

My new course – Bachelor’s of Arts in English. My new college – University of Phoenix. Everything online, ONE 5 week class at a time. No attempting multiple classes at once, no worrying about offline classes later on. The subject I’m very much in love with as well, and there’s so many places I could take it if I wanted to be serious about a “career choice”.

Probably the best reason for gaining this degree is for my own personal reasons. I love to write in any form, but want to do it better. I finally see this as learning something I want to learn, and ground work for future degrees (like those in journalism), as a bonus.

So maybe this time I’ll stick with it. Maybe in less than 2 years I’ll have a “BA in English” added to my name. Maybe I’ll become the professional writer I’ve wanted to be for some time. Or maybe I’ll just walk away with some extra knowledge I didn’t have before, and that would be just fine.

Garlic Butter Rolls from Pizza Dough

I’ve been playing a bit with StumbleUpon, and came across this awesome looking recipe for garlic butter rolls. It’s interesting because it uses pizza dough you buy in a bag (I’ve never seen this, but then again rarely do I look in the frozen dough section of the store).

Instead of buying the dough though, I’ll be using my pizza dough recipe I’ve had for years. It’s been posted here tons of times, but I believe I’ll post it one more time:

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust

3/4 c. warm water about 80 degrees F
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 Tbl. brown suger
1 tsp. italian seasoning (avoid garlic – yeast will not rise)
1 Tbl. dry milk
2 1/4 c. Unbleached white flour
1 tsp. active dry yeast.

Add ingredients in order in bread machine, making small indention in flower for yeast (Make sure it does not touch liquid). Set bread machine on “dough”. If you don’t have a bread machine, mix ingredients together and kneed dough for 5 minutes. Lightly coat with olive oil and place in bowl. Let rise for 30 minutes.

Yum, I will for sure be trying this out!

French Bread Recipes

I absolutely love homemade bread. Doesn’t even matter what it is most the time. I especially love it fresh out of the bread machine, but I know not everyone owns one of these. (Although here are some pretty good reasons why having a bread machine is a great idea!)

Here are two french bread recipes, one that uses a bread machine and one that doesn’t. I have made both of these dozens of times, and love them both very much. The one without is a bit more work of course, but very much worth it!

French Bread – Bread Machine

3/4 cup Plus 1 tablespoon Water
2 cups White bread flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Yeast (active dry)

Place ingredients in machine in order. Use French bread settings.

French Bread – By Hand

6 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water

1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt. Stir in water. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough thats smooth and elastic. Kneed for about 10mins. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning it over once. Cover, let set in warm place for about 30mins or until doubled.

3. Divide dough in half, turn out into lightly floured surface. Cover, let rest for 10min. Roll each half into large rectangle. Starting from a long side, roll up and place on baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30mins or until almost doubled.

4. Make 3/4 inch cuts 1/2 inch deep. Bake at 375* for 40 minutes.


~Kara (aka The Idea Queen)

Bold Fried Chicken

This recipe was submitted by Megan Polanowski. Thank you for the tasty and interesting recipe!

Bold Fried Chicken

All you need:
Chicken Breasts (Cutting it into strips is the easiest)
About 3 eggs (Depends on the amount of chicken)
Oil ( I use veggie oil)
A bag of “Bold Chex Mix”

You make this like any other fried chicken recipe. Coat the chicken in the egg and instead of rolling it around in flour roll it around in crushed up pieces of bold Chex mix.

***You will have to cook the chicken in a frying pan on a lower heat, the chex mix will begin to burn and the inside will not be finished.***

The chex mix gives it so much more flavor and a lot more crunch!    After you fry it up, put them on a baking sheet and put mozz. cheese and bacon over it and place it in the oven just enough to melt the cheese.     Its an easy meal and it tastes great!

See more Fried Chicken Recipes from Idea Queen