Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pie in the Sky

Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie! Smile  Now, I knew that David would LOVE the apple pie...but I wanted to make the crack pie!  Attempt #1...oops, gotta cool for an hour.  Not enough time, made cookies.  Attempt #2...must cool overnight and I have no cream.  Made the apple pie!  It was really good.  My mom helped cut the apples using our apple-peeler-corer-slicer.  It was great!  Unfortunately, my dad has the pictures and hasn't sent them to me yet!  Maybe I'll update with them later.  As for the crack pie...attempt #3 was a success.
 I ended up cutting them into little bars and took them to the ER with me.  OH SO GOOD!  They were gone very quickly.  They were definitely ooey gooey.  I preferred them straight out of the fridge but still good room temp.  I will say that I had a hard time cutting these even in, I'm not sure how it would have been trying to cut into pie slices.  Either way...make the crack pie.  That's an order!

Crack Pie
9 tablespoons (1 stick + 1 tbsp) (135 ml) (4½ oz) (125g) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided (6 & 3 tbsp; 85gm & 40gm)
5 1/2 tablespoons (85 ml)(2½ oz) (70 gm) (packed) light brown sugar, divided (4 & 1½ tbsp; 50 gm & 20 gm)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) white sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 ml) (80 gm) (2¾ oz) old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup (120 ml) (2½ oz) (70 gm) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon (2/3 gm) baking powder
1/8 teaspoon (2/3 gm) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1½ gm) salt

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 13x9x2 inch/33x22x5cm metal baking pan with parchment (baking) paper. Lightly spray or butter a 9 inch/22cm diameter glass or ceramic pie dish. Combine 6 tablespoons (85 gm) of the softened butter, 4 tablespoons (50 gm) of the brown sugar and the white sugar in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add egg and beat until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.  Dump oat mixture into prepared baking pan and press out evenly to edges of pan.  Bake until light golden, 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to wire rack and cool cookie completely, about an hour.

Using your fingertips, crumble the cookie a into large bowl - there should be no identifiable pieces of cookie remaining. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 gm) butter and 1-1/2 tablespoons (20 gm) brown sugar. Rub in with your fingertips until the mixture is moist and sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
Transfer cookie crust mixture to pie dish. Using your fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish (about 1 inch/2.5cm up the sides if your pie dish is deep). If your pie dish is shallow, place it on a baking sheet in case of overflow.

3/4 cup (160 ml) (170 gm) (6 oz) white sugar
1/2 cup (packed) (120 ml) (100 gm) (3½ oz) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (8 gm) (¼ oz) dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon (1½ gm) salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) (120mlk) (4 oz) (115gm) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
6 1/2 tablespoons (100ml) heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting 

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. If possible, use bottom-only heat, or the filling may brown too quickly.  Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour filling into crust.

Bake 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble up). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3. Continue to bake until filling is brown on top and set around edges but center still jiggles slightly, about 20 minutes longer. Cool pie completely in pie dish on wire rack. Chill uncovered overnight. Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into thin wedges and serve cold.

Apple Pie
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5-1/3 oz) unsalted butter
1¾ cups (420 ml) (250 gm) (8-2/3 oz) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon (10 ml) (10 gm) (1/3 oz) sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1½ gm) salt
3-8 tablespoons (45-120 ml) cold water

 Weigh/measure out the correct amount of butter, wrap it in foil and freeze it for at least 30 minutes. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the frozen butter directly over the flour in the bowl. Hold the butter by the foil to avoid warming it up too much and work as quickly as possible. Using a table fork, toss the grated butter in the flour until it's all coated. Alternatively, finely chop the butter and rub in with your fingertips, working quickly to avoid warming it. This is best left to those lucky folk with cool hands!

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of cold water over the mixture and mix together with the fork. Add more water, spoon by spoon, as needed - it will depend on temperature, humidity and a million other factors, but the finished dough should be moist and starting to come together, but not wet. I used 7 tablespoons (315 ml). Use your fingertips to test if it's sticking together. Finish by using your hands to quickly bring the dough together into a ball. Just press, don't knead.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

1 – 1½ kg (2¼ to 3-1/3 pounds) apples (depending on the depth of your pie dish)
1 cup (240 ml) (200 gm) (7 oz) light brown sugar, lightly packed (more or less to taste)
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to hot 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7 . Lightly grease a deep 9"/24cm ceramic or metal pie dish. Take 2/3 of the pastry dough and roll out to fit pie dish, right up to the rim. Line the pie dish with it, prick all over the bottom with a fork and set aside.  Peel, quarter, core and slice the apples (or use apple-peeler-corer-slicer) and place in a bowl. How tightly you can pack them into the pie depends on how thinly they are sliced.  Sprinkle the brown sugar and spice(s) over the apples and toss well to coat.  Pack the apples tightly into the lined pie dish. The filling can come up above the rim of the dish in a mound. Roll out the remaining pastry dough to fit over the apples.  Place the dough lid on the pie and press the edges together. Trim the edges as necessary and crimp the seam closed with your fingers or the back of a fork.

Place pie dish on a baking sheet and put it into the center of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes. The top should be light golden brown.  Serve hot, warm or cold.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My "Somethings"

Every wedding, brides try to come up with a list of "somethings:" something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. 
I'm not superstitious but coming up with these four different components was a little fun.  First, something dress!  What girl doesn't dream about her wedding dress and even browse some before there is an official engagement?  I did!  I had been looking online at dresses for months before David asked me to marry him.
 I picked out the dress that I loved...I mean, loved!  However, I was worried that it wouldn't look right on me.  I mean, I'm not exactly long and lean like wedding dress models are.  So, a week after we got engaged my mom came down and we went dress shopping.  Three dresses in I tried on my dream dress....after that, no other dress even came close!  It was perfect.  Everything about it.  I loved the illusion neckline, the empire waist (which I'm partial to anyway), the way the train gathered at the back.  I felt so elegant and classic!

Next, my something old.  When my Granny died, I found several pendants of hers and kept a couple.  Not because I had plans for them, but just because they were neat.  Well, one of them was perfect for placing on my bouquet.  It added a little something special.  Another something old was my veil.  I originally wanted to use my mom's veil but it was edged in a thick lace that took away from my dress, which I wanted to showcase.  However, her veil was two, we trimmed the underlayer into a short veil which my sister-in-law's mom, attached to a hair comb.  Perfect!
My something borrowed was Mama's pearl bracelet.
And my something blue...a couple of things.  Toes!  And garter, which Mama made. 
And though all of this was fun, none of it has anything to do with our marriage being successful.  All of that is based on the foundation of our marriage, what it centers on...and that is Jesus Christ!  David and I will never have a perfect marriage and that is why we must trust God to guide us.  Why we make a point to daily pray together.  Why we pray for each other. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

BBQ Red Bean Burgers

Thankfully, K is a good eater.  In fact, I think some of her favorite meals are when we have bean burgers.  So far I had tried black bean, white bean, chickpea...up next, red bean.  This one has a bar-b-que flavor to it, which makes it a little sweet.  I overcooked them, so they were a little dry, but David and K both liked them a lot.  David put cheese and more sauce on his.  A little healthy option for BBQ in the summer????  Probably not quite the same but still good and easy.

BBQ Red Bean Burger from The Kitchen Witch via Jackie Likes to Eat via pinterest
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 15 oz can reduced sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, plus extra for bun
4 slices cheddar cheese


Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and the onion, garlic, tomato, jalapeno, and chili powder. Saute until the onions are soft.

Place the kidney beans in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add the onion mixture, bread crumbs, egg, and barbecue sauce to the bowl and mix well.

Form the bean mixture into patties.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and brown the patties on both sides.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

They're GRRRRRR-eat!

In my pinterest browsing, I found a recipe for frosted flakes cookies.  Hmmm...sounds interesting.  And, David just so happened to have some chocolate frosted flakes that he wasn't so fond of.  So, I decided to try it out. 

Now, I've made cereal cookies before using rice krispies, and they were really good.  What's to say these would be different?  In the end, I will be honest and say they weren't my favorite but mostly because I couldn't really tell the cereal was there!  The cereal ended up just sort of blending in...but it was a good cookie despite that.  Try for your self!

Chocolate Frosted Flakes Cookies from Picky Palate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate Frosted Flakes Cereal
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream butter and sugars in stand mixer until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla beating to combine. Slowly add flour, salt, baking soda and pudding mix. Place 1 cup of cereal into a ziploc bag, zip it closed and crush cereal by rolling over with a rolling pin until finely ground. Add crushed cereal to bowl mixing to combine. Add white chips stirring to combine. With a medium cookie scoop, place dough 1 inch apart from each other on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until baked through. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Amish quick bread

A couple of weeks ago when D was working in the ER, K and I decided to make some bread. 
I had seen a recipe for Amish breakfast bread on pinterest and thought it looked good.  Well, let me just tell was!  Poor David didn't realize that is was a sweet bread when I sent it to work...he thought it was "just" my typical sourdough bread, so he didn't eat it. 
But, I will tell you that it was all gone from the peds lounge and the ER lounge by the end of the day.  I did have to make some minor changes in that I didn't have any regular flour, so I used cake flour.  The flour I typically use (White Lily) is more like cake flour anyway...I think.  It worked well.  The best part of the bread...the crunchy top!  YUM!!!!

Amish Breakfast Bread
(makes 2 loaves)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon 
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray.  In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs.  Add milk, flour, and baking soda and stir until mixed.  Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan).  Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan.  Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping.  Swirl with a knife.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min.  or until toothpick tester come clean.  Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.  Enjoy!