$3 Apple Pie

$3 for the bag of apples from our neighborhood Farmer's Market.  That's all it took to make apple pie.  Well, plus additional spices and ingredients from the pantry.  I didn't intentionally buy the bag of apples to make the pie, but took advantage of the we're-closing-up-so-here's-a-prepackaged-bag-for-cheap deal and my sweet tooth told me to make some pie.  Everything just pieced together perfectly.

I actually ended up combining two recipes - one for the pie itself and the other for the crumb topping.  I already had a ready pie crust from a previous shopping trip so easily decided to just follow Pillsbury's recipe for the pie.  It was easy enough but then it was time to find a crumb topping recipe.  The final verdict was taking part of the recipe from Baked By Rachel.  It ended up being very simple too, but just a little difficult to stick all the crumb bits onto the pie.  I was finding little holes and crevices to stick the crumbs into and the fact that I used way too many apples and made it too round caused a little challenge but you can see here that it's just part of the process.  The crumbs ended up sticking very nicely and the final product wasn't so bad either.

My last time making real fruit pie was probably Home Economics in high school and I recall the apple pie not turning out like this, which is a good thing.  We devoured this baby so fast, I wanted more.  Don't be discouraged by its looks, I actually think it's a pretty good beginner pie to try out because there's no special pie crust or fruit mixture involved.  The crumbs were a perfect topping that don't require much technique because you know, it's just really fun to stick gooey bits all over your pie.





Chicken & Artichoke Pasta

The best word I can find for this dish is "refreshing."  It's not a pasta dish with thick white alfredo sauce or typical red marinara sauce...it's just chicken, bacon and the almighty artichoke.  Sound good?  Keep reading.  My first two ingredients were the starting points: pasta and artichoke, so my Google search led me to this cute blog with an appealing recipe.  Currently on their blog, they have a feature for Grilled Fish Tacos with Cantaloupe-Pineapple Salsa.  Umm, hello??!  Yes, please, now, thanks.  And I hate fish.  EDIT - looks like recipe actually originated from So Tasty So Yummy (and so true)

I digress, let's get back to business.  The total cook time was about 45-60 minutes, so a tad long for a week night but definitely still doable because it gives you leftovers for lunch.  Try it out for yourself with the recipe below, but my two cents is to add less lemon because it takes away the flavoring from the rest of the dish.  Plus, canned artichoke already gives a little citrusy twist.  And if you're like me, you love some delicious bacon, so why not add more slices?  The decision was okay in my book because we subbed it with turkey bacon anyway, score!  Can we make this again, soon!??


  • 12 oz spaghetti
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved and pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 2 tsp capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook bacon to a crisp in a large pot over medium heat and remove, setting aside, leaving the rendered fat behind.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow plate.
  4. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
  5. Add the chicken to the pan and fry until cooked through and golden brown, ~5 minutes per side.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and let rest.
  7. Add the artichokes, capers, and wine to the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and cooking for ~2 minutes.
  8. Add broth and lemon juice, cooking for another 2 minutes.
  9. Add the cream and the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted and incorporated.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch slices and add to the caper-artichoke sauce.
  12. Add the bacon, pasta, and then gently toss the mixture. Serve immediately.
Yields: 4 servings
Estimated time: 45 minutes


The Grill

I'm marking May 13th as the start of summer in our home.  Why?  Because it's the first time we put use to our BBQ grill.  I don't want to turn this into a product review, but after the two hours it took me to assemble it in Dec (Christmas present from my parents) and the hour it took today for my husband to ignite the gas (still didn't work so we had to use a lighter), I can finally say that it worked wonderfully.  If you check out the photo below, you can see that I didn't use any non-stick product before cooking so that's something I've learned but this thing is a work-horse and is really strong for the small, convenient product that it is.  We still don't know why it doesn't ignite and will now always have to use a lighter, but better than having to return it for another one.  I despise returns/exchanges.

Our summer kick-off dinner consisted of corn, a hot link, and chicken drumsticks.  The corn was brushed with melted butter, garlic, salt and pepper then wrapped up in foil and grilled for about 30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes.  The hot link was easy and just tossed on for about 30 minutes as well.  And lastly, the chicken was marinated with a recipe by my girl Giada.  Everything was really easy and super tasty and I'm counting down the days until our next BBQ adventure.  P.S. Close the lid when grilling.  I left it open the whole time to admire the meats so everything took a tiiiiiny bit longer to cook than directed =)