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Grandma Ople's Apple Pie

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2013
Yet another 5 star review. Added 1 t cinnamon & 2 t vanilla paste to the caramel. I used the Cook's Illustrated foolproof pie crust recipe. Brushed the lattice crust with the caramel & that was fantastic - it hardened into a crisp toffee-like coating. Next time - and there will be a next time - I think I will brush the inner crust w egg white & blind bake very briefly. Additionally I don't know if my granny smith's where unusually large but there was no way I could have gotten 8 apples worth of slices into the pie pan. I used 5 at the most and now I have a lot of leftover slices. Additional tweaks I think would be worth trying - stirring in some grated cheddar cheese to the apples, subbing some red wine or bourbon for the water in the caramel, adding some very finely chopped crystalized ginger to the caramel. There's lots of add-in's that I think would work wonderfully with this pie but as a base to work from I don't think it could be beat. Lattice crust seems like more work than it is worth but maybe a full top crust would keep in too much moisture.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2011
I am a dedicated & unapologetic food snob.  I normally eschew anything w an ingredient that reads "cream of _______." But I was trying to come up w something my 10yo niece could learn to cook & this seemed to fit the bill nicely.  I fully expected it to be edible but unremarkable.  I was wrong! It was really very tasty.  We doubled the amount of chicken & it came out just fine.  And to keep it really kid easy I had her put whole frozen chicken breasts into the slowcooker & just ran it on low for about 6h.  Didn't even bother to cube the chicken - everyone was just served a breast w the sauce over some egg noodles.  Not a bit was left! To jazz it up a bit I might throw in 1/2 C white wine in the future.
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