Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cobbler

There are changes coming in the next few months and this blog will be moving. I don't know if I have shared this before, I apologize if this is a repeat, but I recently re-opened my business. Years ago, I started making soaps and home made bath products. I eventually turned it into a business I called Sara's Soaks. Life constantly changes and soon Sara's Soaks was gone. This year I decided to bring it back from the dead. I opened an Etsy store and started doing some promotions. My life has often felt pulled in so many directions. I didn't feel like I had focus or a real dream to work towards. The reason I felt this way is because I didn't really believe that my big dream was something I could do. It was too big, too unrealistic, too expensive and so on. So I broke it up into little easy bits. I think it made it harder because I felt like I was being divided and I couldn't focus on anything. I had no clear goal any more. This blog shows that more than anything because every few months I announce how I am changing my focus on the blog. It's not because I am wishy washy (okay maybe I am, just a little) but because I can't seem to figure out how to make this blog work. It goes back to my being divided. I'm in the learning stages of my dream but the real focus has always stayed there in the back of my mind. This week, a friend of mine asked for a few volunteers because she wanted to experiment with helping artists with branding (marketing sort of branding not hot iron branding). I jumped up and said "pick me, pick me" because I am struggling. She sent me a questionnaire which asked me what I wanted in the big picture, what I wanted from her and where do I want to go. My first response was "I don't know" and then I proceeded to tell her exactly what I wanted. I didn't know I had a clear picture, it wasn't until she wrote back to say that starting with "I don't know" holds me back because what she saw was someone with a clear picture of what she wanted. I was shocked, I cried. I was the one holding my self back - I'm the one who didn't feel like my dream was feasible so I sabotaged my dream. She said she gave me permission to dream but what she did was allow me to accept what I want as something I allowed to want. I can't say for certain that I will live my dream but I won't know until I try. As part of the work she is doing for me, she is going to help me build a website that allows me to consolidate all the parts of my dream which will include this blog. I love this blog and now that I have a clearer picture of where I want to go, I should be able to be more clear with this blog. Not much will change but the blogs location. I will still share recipes and my foraging experiments. I will still work on offering natural, inexpensive alternatives. However, I will change from trying to come up with a plan for where this blog is going to knowing where this blog is going. My ultimate goal in life is to have a small sustainable farm, to live off of the food I grow or find in nature and to teach others how to do that. I'm going to go back to herbology and maybe even work towards some certifications but I will share that with you. I will share more failed experiments (there are so many that I keep to myself but could be a good lesson for others). More importantly, I will share more of me with you and my dreams. You'll discover that I am absolutely nuts about highland cattle and had a heartbreaking affair with two beautiful nubian goats (and I can't wait to do it again). I currently live in an apartment but I keep trying to figure out how to convince our manager that chickens can be pets or at least beneficial to our complex. I'm a terrible gardener with dreams of having acres of gardens (I think I have some sort of disorder). With all that said, I did have a recipe and some experiments I want to share. I've been working on making my own chocolate chips. They are not working. I found a recipe which made me so happy but the chips are too soft and when I made cookies all the chocolate melted. The cookies looked severely burnt and there were puddles of unsweetened chocolate left behind. My first batch I tried making with sugar to have the sugar sink to the bottom of the pan leaving really bitter chips. I loved them but my family was not impressed. I made a second batch with corn syrup but they are still not very sweet and too soft for chocolate chip cookies. I don't really like the idea of corn syrup and I think I need to add some wax. I will share the recipe once I get it to where my family will eat them. I have been dehydrating fruit. I saw a blog post about dehydrating fruit and the woman dehydrated beautiful slices of orange. I wasn't sure about that but we had some oranges that no one was eating so I dried them. They are amazing. I cut the oranges in half because I didn't think anyone wanted to eat through the rind before getting to the dried pulp. They are really tasty. I figure they would make a fun treat but also would be great for cooking with. I also made a batch of granny smith apples (half sprinkled with cinnamon). My remaining granny smiths went into this cobbler. I saw a peach cobbler that was covered in cinnamon rolls made from biscuit mix. Since we already make our own biscuit mix and have made cinnamon rolls from it before, this seemed like a no brainer. It's so good and we have no whipped cream (or Cool Whip). Apple Cinnamon Roll Cobbler 5 granny smith apples, cored and sliced (because I used the leftovers from the apples I put in the dehydrator this is just a guess, the apple parts filled a 9x13 pan) lemon juice 1 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons flour 2 cups baking mix (with shortening like Bisquick, if none add 1/4 cup shortening) 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup butter 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon 1-2 teaspoons sugar After cutting apples soak in water with lemon juice while prepping the dough. Mix together the flour and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. In a larger bowl dump the baking mix (cut in shortening if needed). Pour in the milk about 1/4 cup at a time until you have a stiff rollable dough. If the dough gets too wet sprinkle in a little extra baking mix. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle (about 9 x 13). You want it as rectangular as possible and it no more than 1/4 inch thick. Melt the butter. Brush butter on rolled dough until it has a nice smooth layer. Sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar until a nice thin crust forms. Roll the dough along the long edge until cinnamon roll like. Cut into 1/2 inch disks. Drain apples and layer in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle over sugar and flour mix. Pour over remaining butter. Top with cinnamon rolls. Bake at 350 for up to an hour, checking every 15-20 minutes. The cobbler is done with the cinnamon rolls are fully cooked and the apples are soft.

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