Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apple Pie

Let me start off this blog post by saying that this apple pie recipe is very near and dear to my heart.  It was actually the recipe that first inspired me to start a cookbook back when I was 19 years old.  I was in between my freshman and sophomore year of college, and made an apple pie on a warm summer afternoon.  I decided to photograph my beautiful pie after it came out of the oven, and realized that it looked just as good as some of the pictures I would see in cooking magazines.  Before I knew it, I was furiously baking and cooking as many recipes as I could to photograph them before I went back to a cramped dorm room sans oven or stove at Miami University.  I used an online publishing software to design the layouts for my cookbook, and finally finished it in Fall 2012...all because of this simple pie recipe! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Post-Boxing Reward Day

I picked up a new hobby a couple of months ago...BOXING!  Not only does it make me sound a little bad-ass, but it's super fun and a great stress reliever (for my extremely stressed out, neurotic self) hitting the 100 pound bags to ghetto rap music.  The biggest reason why it's awesome is that you burn almost 1,000 calories in 1 hour, which means I can cut my old 40-minute-on-the-treadmill-6-days-a-week habit down to 3 days of intense boxing/kickboxing!  Definitely not easy, but so worth it. My arms are getting ripped!  So this weekend, I was absolutely starving after my late morning class at Title Boxing Club.  I know it probably would've been healthier to have a grilled chicken salad or something afterwards, but all I had that day was a low-cal green smoothie, so I wanted real food.  Think pizza or grilled cheese or anything else hearty and delicious.  Then my mom said she found a recipe for Pizza Pinwheels.  I was sold!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nancy's Crock Pot Italian Beef

My younger brother, Robert, came home on Thursday for his Fall Break from Miami University.  I was so happy to see him, but was even happier that we get to spend time together as a family the whole weekend!  In the Schill household, family time = bonding over funny stories, scary movies and copious amounts of food.  We kicked off the weekend right with my mom's recipe for crock pot Italian beef.  It tasted delicious, just like our favorite kind we eat at Portillo's in Chicago!  All it takes is 15 minutes of prep time before you leave for work, and a little fun crafting the sandwiches with fix-ins like spicy giardiniera or banana peppers right before you eat.  So. Delicious.  And perfect for football weather!  I'm happy to feature my first guest recipe on No Place Like (O)Home...she did a great job with the pictures!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread has always been near and dear to my heart because it was my favorite food when i studied in Italy almost 4 years ago.  It wasn't just an "oh, I l always had a side of focaccia bread with my pasta" type of love.  I'm talking I ate more focaccia bread than I did spaghetti, croissants and gelato combined.  At this point, I like to consider myself a connoisseur, so it's hard to find a truly authentic recipe in America.  Lucky for you guys, I've been researching different recipes on Italian websites, and this is as close to the real thing as I can get.  It's surprisingly easy to make yourself, but just make sure you clear out your afternoon because the process is a little lengthy with the time needed for the dough to rise.  It worked perfectly with my massive baking day last Sunday!  I made the bread dough before I started my butternut squash soup and apple crisp, and whipped up the other recipes while this was rising!  It was a heavenly trio to say the least!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Autumn Favorites

Howie's parents came to visit over the weekend, and we had the best time taking them apple picking out in the country!  We went to Burnham Orchards, an apple farm in Berlin Heights, OH, a little southwest of Vermilion.  You pay $16.00 for 1/2 bushel, and literally can squeeze 50 apples inside of it!  Obviously I've been eating them for snacks, but I LOVE trying to cook with fresh produce.  I made the epitome of a fall meal: butternut squash soup, garlic rosemary focaccia bread and apple crisp.  Surprisingly, both the apple crisp AND the butternut squash soup use apples!  But the thing I like most?  How easy it is to make them!