How Do You Find the Time?

"How do you find the time?"

I get asked that question a lot and I really don't know the answer. I know that I just do the thing that I get enjoyment from and the things that need to be done.

A single parent, a working professional, someone who loves to read, knit, craft and create, someone who is working really hard to create a good life for herself and her kids. I know I'm not the only one out there, and I enjoy reading the blogs of others, so I thought, "well, why not?" So here we go!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ohh Yummy Goodness! Homemade Pop Tarts

So my teenagers are typical teens who really want junk food.  They bug me for specific things and some I will buy and some I won't.    One of the occasional purchases are pop tarts,  but I don't do that too often.     It just bugs me to spend money on something that really isn't very good and isn't that good for you either.     I've been perusing a lot of blogs and Pinterest, looking at different craft projects and recipes.   (I love Pinterest for saving recipes I want to try - much better than bookmarking the page!)    One of the things that I had saved was a recipe for homemade Pop Tarts.   I told the boys that "on the next snow day" I would make pop tarts.    Well, today is the "next snow day."  

We have over a foot of snow on the ground and it is still coming down!

So here are the photos and the recipe for homemade pop tarts!   From here:

Homemade Pop Tarts

this is what the dough should look like before adding the liquid
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

Cinnamon Filling (enough for 9 tarts)
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

To make jam filling: Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.

Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.
Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Don't forget to flour the surface on which you are rolling dough out!

Assemble the tarts: If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9" x 13" pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.
This is with the egg on the pastry dough

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.
Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

the darker filling is peanut butter and chocolate, the red is raspberry jam

before sealing and crimping edges - don't forget to refrigerate - that's what makes the crust so flaky!

Bake the tarts: Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.


looks good enough to eat

yummy and SO flaky!

My Notes:    I substituted 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of white flour.      I needed a bit more milk to get the pie crust to stick together.    I used a raspberry jam filling and I used a peanut butter and chocolate filling.    I did not put any frosting on our pop tarts.  I got 11 pop tarts out of this recipe, along with some extra crust that I sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  

Verdict:    Delicious and so much better than store bought pop tarts!   The crust was really flaky and oh so yummy!   I'd love to try these with a savory filling as well. 

Now, for some accountability:     
I have lost 15 pounds since January 1!   Yay me!    I made it to the gym between 3 and 4 times each week in the past couple of weeks.    The plan was to go today, but I am hearing that the roads are terrible, so we will stay home.    I did work up quite a sweat shoveling snow, so I am counting that for my exercise today. 

I am seeing a definite improvement in my endurance and in how I am feeling.   I am enjoying the exercise and having fun at the gym.     I've been going to the aquacize and aqua circuit classes, which have been fun, and spending a good deal of time on the elliptical trainers.

I have not been as good at writing down all of my food, so I recommitted to that today.    I'm in a pattern as to what I am eating, so it's easy to not write it down, but it also helps me to be aware of what I am eating.

I'm still working to finish my shawl.   It might get done today!.    I've also got French Onion Soup going on the stove, so I'll blog about that in the next day or two as well.

Happy snow day, everyone!

Some Snow Photos!

Snow Drift on the Deck

We had about 5 feet of the driveway we did not have to shovel!
Shovel that snow!

Driveway After

Driveway After


  1. I have been wanting to try homemade pop tarts forever -they sound so yummy. I love your polka dot dish. That is a ton of snow!

    1. Jenn - they were actually pretty easy and fun. I'll likely do them again. I have to admit that the polka dot dish is part of the Christmas dishes that I have not put away yet! I guess I should do that! The sun is out now and the snow is melting quickly. I was really glad we shoveled while it was still snowing and not melting. It was not as heavy!

      Thanks for visiting!