Monday, October 17, 2011

Pies, pies and more pies

With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought I would do a post with some of our favorite pie recipes.  These are the pies I made last year for Thanksgiving.  Yum!
My favorite pie crust recipe is posted here.  
My favorite pecan pie recipe is posted here.  
My favorite apple pie recipe is posted here.
My favorite pumpkin pie recipes is here.

Blueberry Pie
1 recipe crust for a double-crust pie.
5 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (it is less runny if you use fresh)
2/3 to 3/4 c. sugar
3 T. flour
2 tsp. finely zested lemon peel OR ½ tsp. cinnamon (I like to use lemon peel)
Line a 9-inch pie pan with pie crust.
In a large bowl combine the sugar and flour. Stir in berries and lemon peel or cinnamon. Gently toss until coated. Transfer berry mixture to the pie shell. Trim bottom pastry to edge of pie pan. Place top crust over filling and seal edges. Cut slits in top crust.
If desired, brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar. To prevent over-browning, cover edges with foil. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes (or 60 minutes if using frozen fruit). Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and pastry is golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Fresh Strawberry Pie
1 baked pie crust
8 cups medium fresh strawberries
2/3 c. water
2/3 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
Remove stems from strawberries, wash, and cut in half lengthwise. In a blender or food processor combine 1 cup of strawberries and 2/3 cup water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Add enough additional water to the mixture to equal 1 ½ cups. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in blended berry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Cool for 10 minutes without stirring.
Spread about ¼ c. of the glaze over bottom and sides of baked pie crust. Arrange half of the remaining strawberries in pastry. Carefully spoon half of the remaining glaze over berries, making sure all berries are covered. Arrange remaining berries over first layer. Spoon remaining glaze over berries, covering each. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. (After 2 hours, filling may begin to water out.) If desired, top with whipped cream.

Razzleberry Pie
5 C. water
3 1/3 C. sugar
Bring to boil
1 pkg. frozen blackberries
Bring back to a boil.  Thicken ½ C. water with cornstarch (1 Tbsp.) Put back on stove until thickened.  Remove from heat. 
1 pkg. frozen raspberries
1 pkg. frozen blackberries
Pour into prepared pie crusts and refrigerate.  Makes 5 pies.

Rhubarb Pie
Pastry for 9" two crust pie
1 1/3-1 2/3 C sugar
4 C fresh rhubarb, cut up
1/3 C flour
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1/4 tsp. grated orange peel (optional)
2 Tbsp. butter
Stir together sugar, flour and orange peel.  Turn half of the rhubarb into pastry lined pie dish; sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture.  Repeat.  Dot with orange juice and butter.  Cover with top crust; seal and flute.  Cover the edge of the crust with foil until the last 15 minutes of baking.  Bake at 425 for 45 minutes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Organization

My cousin Krystal has a great interior design blog (Sassy Sanctuary), and I got this idea to make a week's menu organizer from her blog a few months ago. I finally got around to making it this weekend. I sent her the picture and she put it on her blog. Fun! I can't wait to use it!

Zebra Stripes

My daughter needed to take snacks to preschool again and this time it had to start with the letter Z. It took me a while to remember that I had this recipe for Zebra Stripes. Hello, perfect for 5 year olds! It was a lot easier than the recipe makes it seem like.

Zebra Stripes
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
2/3 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/4 cup of margarine or butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 egg
1/4 cup of cocoa
Mix flour, sugars, vanilla, margarine, salt and egg until dough forms. Divide dough into halves. Mix cocoa into 1 half. Pat or roll each half into 9-inch square. Cut each square into three 3-inch strips. Cut strips crosswise into halves. Lift 1 brown strip half with large metal spatula onto plastic wrap. Top with 1 white strip half; press firmly. Top with remaining 10 brown and white strip halves, alternating colors and pressing firmly to form into a bar, about 4 1/2 inches long, 3 inches wide and about 3 inches high. Wrap into plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hours. Heat the oven to 375°. Cut bar crosswise into about eighteen 1/4-inch slices; cut each slice crosswise into halves. Bake cookies until edges begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pineapple Cheeseball

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

½ c. crushed pineapple

1 tsp. minced onion

2 tsp. seasoning salt

1 Tbsp. finely chopped green pepper (optional)

Mix everything together. Shape into a ball. (I use saran wrap). At serving time, roll in sunflower seeds or slivered almonds if desired.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cheese Fondue

Fondue is so delicious. I love this recipe, because it can be served as a snack, as part of your main course, or as an appetizer!

Cheese Fondue

1 1/2 cups milk

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cubed

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

In a large saucepan, cook and stir the milk and cream cheese over low heat until cheese is melted. Stir in Parmesan cheese and garlic salt; cook and stir until heated through. Transfer to a fondue pot or mini slow cooker; keep warm.

My favorite things to dip in cheese fondue:

Blanched broccoli, blanched cauliflower, crusty French bread, sliced pepperoni, sliced summer sausage, raw bell peppers.

To blanch a vegetable, boil in water for 2 minutes; just long enough to soften slightly.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Raspberry Star Cookies

My oldest is in preschool. Today she got to take snack to school, and it needed to start with the letter "r." I asked her what she wanted to take. She thought for a bit and then said raspberry cookies! So I found this recipe and they turned out pretty good. I skipped the glaze this time since they were for a bunch of preschoolers. That's just too much mess for them. :) I do have to say that the dough had a hard time staying together. It seemed like there was a little too much flour, so maybe next time I will add a bit less flour.

Raspberry Star Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar raspberry preserves

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg. Combine the flour and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Dough will be stiff. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into star shapes using a cookie cutter. Set cookies 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Place a teaspoon of jam onto each cookie and spread out towards the points of the stars. Roll out remaining half of the dough and cut into stars the same size. cut holes in the center of each star, then place them onto the jam stars.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden around the edges. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar and almond extract to form a glaze. Add water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too thick to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

**Note: this can be made as white chocolate or chocolate. To do white chocolate, omit cocoa from crust and change chocolate chips to white chocolate chips.

4 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
Mix together.
¾ tsp. almond extract
¼ tsp. raspberry extract
Mix, then add:
4 eggs, 1 at a time
Mix well. Add 2 c. chocolate chips, melted. Pour over graham cracker crust in spring-form pan. Add decorator’s lines of raspberry sauce. Bake 55-60 minutes at 350. Top with raspberry sauce when serving.
Graham Cracker Crust
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa (optional)
1/3 c. melted butter
Bake 360 for 6 minutes
Raspberry Sauce
10 oz. frozen sweetened raspberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
Mix in blender, and then strain seeds out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Orange Berry Granola

The first time I looked at this recipe, it really seemed daunting. It was just so LONG. I finally tried making it. It was a LOT easier than it seems.


(There are eight variations to the master recipe. You can double the recipe, just bake it in two pans. 1 ½ recipe works on a sheet pan.)

Master Granola Recipe (makes about 1 quart)

Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275°. Coat a 9x13 metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, and extra ingredients (except not dried fruit or anything that gets added after it's cool such as chocolate chips) in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water, and any flavoring indicated below to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. (Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.)

2 cups old-fashioned oats (don't use quick oats!)

1/2 cup wheat germ (store this in the fridge or better yet the freezer so it won't go rancid)

2 T. dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup extra ingredients (see complete list below)

1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey or molasses or a combination)

3 T. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola oil

1 T. water

flavoring (see below)

Granola Variations:

1. Classic Granola

Extra Ingredients: 1/3 c. chopped walnuts, 1/3 c. sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dark or golden raisins

Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

You can replace the 1/4 c. maple syrup with 2 T. each of maple syrup and molasses.

2. Crunchy Granola

Extra Ingredients: 1/4 c. slivered almonds, 1/4 c. sunflower seeds, 2 T. sesame seeds, 6 T. currants

Flavoring: none

3. Granola with Tropical Flavoring

Add the coconut along with the cashews and banana chips.

Extra Ingredients: 1/4 c. chopped roasted unsalted cashews, 1/4 c. chopped banana chips, 1/4 c. sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 c. chopped dried pineapple

Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

4. Granola with Cherries and Almonds

Extra Ingredients: 1/3 c. sliced almonds, 1/3 c. sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 c. dried cherries

Flavoring: 3/4 tsp. almond extract

5. Trail Mix Granola

Extra Ingredients: 1/4 c. chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, 1/4 c. sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 c. dark or golden raisins, 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips*

Flavoring: none

*Stir chips into the granola only after it has completely cooled.

6. Orange-Berry Granola with Pecans

Extra Ingredients: 1/2 c. chopped pecans, 1/4 c. dried cranberries, 1/4 c. dried blueberries

Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest

7. Pear Granola with Hazelnuts and Vanilla

Extra Ingredients: 1/2 c. chopped hazelnuts, 1/4 c. chopped dried cherries, 1/4 c. chopped dried pears

Flavoring: 1 tsp. vanilla extract

8. Orange-Flavored Granola with Pistachios, Mangoes and Dates

Extra Ingredients: 1/2 c. chopped roasted pistachios, 1/4 c. chopped dates, 1/4 c. chopped dried mangoes

Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest and 1/4 tsp. allspice