Great Grandma’s Classic Crisco Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour; sifted
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 3/4 cup Crisco shortening (I used the sticks of Crisco & cut it into cubes)
  • 3-6 tbs cold water

Directions

  1. Sift flour into a large bowl and sprinkle table salt over top.
  2. Cut shortening into the flour until the shortening pieces are the size of peas (I use a butter knife in each hand and make slicing motions into the flour).
  3. Add water one tablespoon at a time until all the Crisco “peas” are moistened. You don’t want to use too much water, you only need enough to form a ball from the dough. Be sure that you don’t overmix, the crust will get tough.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and set out on a floured surface.
  5. Cut the dough ball in half and roll up each half into a ball. Set one half aside.
  6. Using a rolling pin (we recommend this one to ensure you get the right thickness) roll out each half of your dough to 1/8″ thick.
  7. If using a pie recipe that requires the entirety of the pie to be baked then follow those specific directions for baking the crust.

For Pastry Filling: Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes and let cool completely before filling.

To Freeze: After rolling out pie dough flour the top, flip the dough over & flour the back. Lay out a large piece of shrink wrap on a clean surface and gently lay the pie dough onto the shrink wrap. Fold one end of shrink wrap over an edge of the dough and gently roll up the dough so that there is shrink wrap between rolled layers & on the outside of the dough roll. Let warm up a little before unrolling.

10 Easter Basket Stuffers for Young Kids

10 Easter basket stuffer ideas for kids that aren’t candy!

#1 Name Letter Shape Puzzle: These beautiful baltic birch personalized puzzles make a great gift for kids who are learning their letters, shapes, and how to spell their name! Handmade by BloomOwl on Amazon these puzzles come in a variety of colors and are made with non-toxic paint as well as food grade sealer!

#2 Pastel Felt Easter Eggs: These fun & colorful Easter eggs are made with 100% from wool!

#3 Stacking Montessori Rainbow Toy: This 7 piece colorful rainbow by EcoWorkShop is made with eco-friendly material & child-safe wood stain.

#4 Jumbo Dinosaur Eggs: Each of these jumbo eggs features a fun dino car inside!

#5 Crochet Bunny: This plush crochet bunny features embroidered and is stuffed with a high quality poly. This bunny would make the perfect gift for a little one to cherish for years to come.

#6 Wooden Interlocking Letter Name Puzzle: Here’s another name puzzle but this time the letters interlock so it can sit on a shelf or dresser. This beautiful puzzle made by Little Wooden Wonders in Minnesota is made with solid hard wood & is custom cut at time of order.

#7 Hedgehog Push Toy: Handmade by Dennis here at Cherished Cottage, this hedgehog toy is made from solid wood & painted/stained using non-toxic material so it’s child safe!

#8 Construction Vehicle Filled Easter Eggs: a dozen multi-colored Easter eggs filled with a variety of construction trucks and vehicles.

#9 Custom Name Crayons: Fun & colorful crayons come in a clear box that shows off the child’s name. The reviews state that the crayons ship fast and come the colors are vibrant.

#10 Big book of Easter Mazes: For ages 4-12 this book of 120 mazes is a fun activity to keep the kids busy Easter morning while they’re waiting to hunt for eggs or have Easter dinner with family.

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** The opinions/views shared in this post are solely that of the author. Some links might be affiliate links.

Air Fryer Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 large Potatoes
  • 2 tbs Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese; divided
  • 2 slices bacon; cooked and chopped
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt

Directions

  1. Using a fork, poke holes in each potato. Then put the potatoes in a microwave safe dish and cook on high for 7-8 minutes. You know they’re done if you can easily stick them with a fork.
    * potatoes will be hot*
  2. Cut each potato in half the long way and carefully scoop the insides out into a large bowl. Make sure not to get too close to the skin, you want to leave some potato around the edges and bottom so it doesn’t tear.
  3. Place the skins upside down on your air fryer tray/basket. Lightly oil the skins and sprinkle with a little salt. Place in air fryer at 350° for 4-5 minutes to make the skin a little crispy.
  4. While the skins are cooking mash up the potatoes until they’ve reached your desired consistency.
  5. Add sour cream, 1/4 cup cheese, and bacon to the potatoes. Stir until combined.
  6. When skins are done turn them over and use a spoon to fill each one with the potato filling.
  7. Cook potatoes in air fryer at 400° for 8 minutes.
  8. Add remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top of potatoes and return to air fryer at 400° for 2 more minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

Taco Pie

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 tube Original Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • Bag of original Fritos
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning
  • 16 ounce Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Assorted toppings of choice: olives, tomatoes, taco sauce, salsa, etc.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°

  1. Spray pie place with cooking spray & get crescent rolls and sour cream out of fridge to warm up a little.
  2. In a large skillet add ground beef and taco seasoning.
  3. Cook ground beef until thoroughly browned; about 7-10 minutes.
  4. Drain grease from cooked beef (if necessary) and set aside.
  5. Remove crescent rolls from packaging and gently shape them into the pie plate like a pie crust.
    (This doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to cover the bottom and sides of the plate as best you can.)
  6. Spring crust with about 1-1 1/2 cups of crushed Fritos; the amount can vary by preference & size of pie plate.
  7. Scoop ground beef over top of Fritos.
  8. Spread sour cream over beef evenly and then top with shredded cheese.
  9. Bake 20-25 minutes
  10. Cut up or shred lettuce and assorted toppings while pie is cooling.

Makes about 8 “slices”

Serve and Enjoy!

How to Make Frozen Pierogies in Air Fryer FAST

How to get crispy pierogies in the air fryer fast.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag or box of frozen pierogies
  • Cooking spray or 1 tbs of Olive Oil

Directions

  1. If using Olive Oil be sure to coat both sides of pierogie in the oil, if using cooking spray give each side a quick spray to coat.
  2. Place pierogies in single layer in air fryer basket or on air fryer tray. If they overlap they won’t cook as thoroughly.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes at 340°
  4. Flip pierogies and cook for another 5 minutes.
Crispy pierogies on plate

Serve and Enjoy!

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Teriyaki Salmon and Rice

This recipe is perfect for someone who doesn’t like the fishy taste or smell of salmon. The teriyaki sauce perfectly hides the fishy flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2-4 6 ounce Skinless Salmon Filets
  • 8 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 6 Tbs Water
  • 3 Tbs Honey
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar; packed
  • 1 Tbs Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbs Ginger Paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tbs Cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs Water
  • 1-2 Cups Rice*
  • 1-2 Cups Water**
    * Adjust rice to desired amount; we usually usually use 1 cup of rice for 2 people.
    ** 1 cup of water per 1 cup of rice.

Directions

  1. Preheat Oven to 400°
  2. In a saucepan whisk soy sauce, 6 tablespoons of water, honey, brown sugar, garlic, ginger paste, sesame seeds and lemon juice. Bring to a light bowl.
  3. In a small bowl stir cornstarch & 2 tablespoons of water together then add to saucepan.
  4. Boil while stirring for 1 minute.
  5. Spray cooking oil on bottom of oven-safe casserole dish and lay salmon out in one layer. Pour a little bit of the sauce over top of the salmon; enough to cover each filet. Make sure to save some for your rice.
  6. Bake salmon, uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
  7. While salmon is baking cook rice according to package directions.

Serve and Enjoy!

Fudgy Butterfinger Brownies

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetabl oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 standard sized butterfinger bars (or 6 minis)
DIRECTIONS
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350°
  • In a small saucepan combine sugar, water, and unsweetened chocolate chips. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool (about 5 minutes)
  • Chop up 1.5 butterfingers and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, baking powder, salt, and chopped up butterfingers. Stir to combine.
  • Pour oil, eggs, and vanilla over dry ingredients. Turn on mixer at medium-low speed & drizzle melted chocolate into bowl. Mix until combined. Don’t overmix!
  • Pour into prepared 8×8 baking dish
  • Chop up remaining butterfinger and sprinkle crumbles over top of brownie mix.
  • Bake 30-40 min or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out with some moist crumbs. Do not overbake.
  • Cool completely before cutting.
Enjoy!

*** Butterfinger is owned by Ferrara Candy Company (a subsidiary of Ferrero), we do not own any rights to the name Butterfinger. This post is not sponsored or promoted by Butterfinger, Ferrara Candy Company, or Ferrero.

Chicken & Zucchini Bake

Baked chicken and zucchini casserole is low-carb, extra creamy, and full of good veggies.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter; divided
  • 2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts; cut into 1 inch strips
  • 2 large zucchini; cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper; chopped
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 ounces low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese; divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Crunchy/ fried onions optional
Directions
Preheat oven to 400°
  • Using a large skillet on medium/high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add chicken to melted butter and cook until well browned on both sides (about 8 minutes). Once cooked, set chicken aside in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add zucchini and bell pepper to skillet, stir occasionally so they don’t burn. Cook vegetables until they are soft; about 4 minutes. Once the vegetables are softened transfer to bowl with chicken.
  • Add last 2 tablespoons of butter to skillet and melt. Add flour, stirring constantly until it started to brown; about 1 minute.
  • Add chicken broth & milk to skillet and bring to a boil; whisk mixture often to prevent flour from clumping or burning.
  • Once the flour mixture starts to boil, remove from heat and add cream cheese and 3/4 cup of mozzarella. Stir until melted.
  • Drain any liquid from the chicken & veggies then add to skillet and add salt and pepper. Stir everything together until well-combined.
  • Transfer to a prepared 9×13 casserole dish & sprinkle remaing 1/2 cup of cheese over top.
  • Add crunchy onions to top of casserole
  • Bake 20-25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!

Blueberry Lemon Scones

Makes: about 12 scones

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, cold & cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
    • Tip: don’t freeze blueberries wet- if you wash them before freezing, make sure they’re totatlly dry before freezing or else you’ll have a bluberry brick.
  • 2 tbsp of melted butter
  • coarse sugar to sprinkle on top
  • icing if desired
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees & put baking rack in center of oven.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper & set aside.

  • In a large bowl mix dry ingredients until well combined.
  • Add cubes of butter & using your fingers or a pastry cutter gently work the butter into the dry ingredients.
    • You want there to be pea-sized pieces of butter remaining
  • In a seperate bowl add the sour cream, heavy cream, egg, vanilla, & lemon zest. Whisk until smooth.
  • Drizzle wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry.
  • When the dough is combined dump it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 cup blueberries over the dough and gently fold the dough over itself. Repeat this process 3 more times until all the blueberries are evenly incorporated in the dough.
  • Form the dough into a circle that is 1 inch thick.
  • Cut the dough into about 12 equal slices & place them onto your prepared cookie sheets.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with the melted butter & sprinkle the coarse sugar over top.
  • Bake 18-23 minutes or until golden brown; you want the top of the scones to “spring back” when you touch them.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes & then add icing if desire.

Serve and Enjoy!

Safety tips for traveling with your furry friend

I frequently take my dogs places with me- so much so that whenever I open the door to leave they are by my side, ready to go in the car. In fact, they know that when I say “in” that means to get in the car. Not long after we got Hershey, I heard about a local car accident where one of the drivers had a dog in their car that wasn’t buckled in so when paramedics arrived & opened the door the dog bolted from the car.* This scared me so bad; I kept thinking ‘How would Hershey react?’ and realistically, most dogs run when they’re scared.

Let’s go over some statistics from PetPro Supply Co first: 

  • 43.3 Million households in the United States have at least one pet.
  • 84% of dog owners who take their dog in the car don’t have their dog properly restrained; only 16% properly restrain their dog. 
  • 60% of dog owners have been distracted while driving due to their pets
  • If a car crashes at 25mph their unrestrained dog can be projected forward at a force that is equal to 40 times their body weight. So, a dog that is 75lbs can reach impact at a force of 3,000 pounds… this could be fatal. 
So what can you do to keep your furry pal safe? 

Passenger seat, yay or nay? 

A lot of websites recommend against traveling with your pup in the passenger seat due to the risk of injury resulting from an airbag but if you DO travel with your pup in the passenger seat make sure they’re properly restrained.

Why & how should my dog be restrained?

If your dog is in the front or back seat they should be restrained; this will keep them from wandering, jumping out of windows, jumping out of the car when the door is opened, and will reduce the risk of the driver being distracted. It will also keep your pooch safer if an accident should happen. There are a variety of restraint types by weight/car that can be found on websites like Chewy. The AKC website recommends crash-tested safety harness seat belts that clip right into your car’s buckle. These will keep your pup’s neck safe & prevent them from flying off the seat in the event of an accident.
If you prefer to not have your pup on your seats then another option is to get a crate. There are dog crates made specifically for cars; they are crash-tested and are usually made from a durable material like aluminum and have some padding for impact protection. A crate for the car needs to have enough room for the dog to be able to move around & lay comfortably. It also needs to have good ventilation. 

What else can I do?

Scared dogs often run away from whatever is scaring them; so dogs often flee car accidents if they are not restrained properly & if paramedics/help don’t know there is a dog in the car. So what can you do to keep your dog safe in the event of an accident?
– Get your dog an ID tag with their name & your info. You can find some here and here

– Keep an ID card in your car. This one has a detailed card to keep in your glovebox, wallet, or center console & a smaller one to keep with/near the dog. 

– You know those “Baby on Board!” stickers parents have on their cars? Get one for your dog! These are made with durable magnets/material to withstand changing weather conditions & stay on the car. 

– Don’t open the windows too far & lock the windows so your pooch can’t jump out or open them further (Milton has done this). 

– Train your dog early on to be comfortable in the car. 

Happy and Safe Travels with your Furry Friend!

You can find Milton & Hershey on their Instagram account.

*The dog mentioned in the story was found a few days later & was returned home safely.

*Some links shared are affiliate links.