April 30, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Pie

{printable recipe here}
Sometimes it takes longer to photograph and write up a recipe than it does to make it! This is one of those recipes- a quick graham crust (you could even buy it, though it wouldn't taste as great), sliced berries covered in a quick sauce (with a hint of lemon zest to surprise), and sweet whipped cream. It took only a few minutes to put together before I had to run to a Church meeting, and then this luscious, red pie sat in my fridge waiting. I was impatient. I'd made a yummy dinner but I couldn't stop thinking about this pie.

By the time everyone was ready to eat it there was no time for photos! I took a couple and we dug in. The pie was gone faster than it was made. I ran these pictures through this fun site and love the old look to them. This is a simple, classic dessert. I don't know a soul who would turn it down. Thank goodness strawberries are in season, because I must to make this again. Thanks Romaine for the new family favorite.

Fresh Strawberry Pie
{printable recipe here}
from Anne Strawberry
adapted from the wonderful Romaine

For the crust:

1 sleeve of graham crackers (or 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs)
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor with the sugar and salt. After they are smooth, turn the machine on and pour the melted butter through the tube until just combine. Gently press into the springform pan (or pie or tart pan) and smooth over bottom and sides, as desired (I usually make mine pretty rough edged, it doesn't have to be perfect!) Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the filling.

For the filling:

2 pounds of strawberries, washed and sliced
2/3 cup cold water
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 tablespoons powdered strawberry jello (1/2 a small, 4 ounce box)
3/4 cup corn syrup
zest of one lemon

Whisk water and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Beat in cornstarch, jello, and syrup and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Remove from heat, stir in lemon zest, and mix in the sliced strawberries. Stir gently and pour over crust. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.

Have a great day!

April 20, 2010

TWD- Sweet Cream Biscuits

It's Tuesday and I really owe Melissa for picking such a simple, delicious recipe for this week's Dorie Treat. I'll admit I'm not really a biscuit master. I'm sure these could have been taller, had I followed directions better, remembered all of Alton Brown's advice from his Biscuit episode, or maybe just been born in the South or something! Even so they were yummy. I could also mix them up in about two minutes using only my left hand, which is saying something (since I can hardly brush my teeth or pick up Baby Strawberry with that hand, really!) 

The neat thing about these biscuits is that they don't require any fat besides (a little, ahem) heavy cream. Today, like many days, I had half a carton in my fridge from some ganache or something I made earlier. I whipped up a half batch of these biscuits, finished off the cream before it went bad, and really, really enjoyed the spicy sausage gravy my mom made to put on top. Because although this recipe is simple enough for an uncoordinated girl with a hand cast to make, I really can't be trusted with gravy or anything that requires cutting at this point. Hopefully next week. My hand is getting better each day and with any luck Baby Strawberry won't learn to crawl before I'm back to baking- because then I'm really in trouble!

See the other delicious biscuits here. It'll make you hungry, promise.

April 19, 2010

LaNell's Broccoli Salad

{printable recipe here}
This is one of our all time favorite side dishes. Whenever there's a party, people always ask my mom to bring this. It's one of her signature dishes for a reason! I don't like raw broccoli really except for in this salad. Cut nice and small, the texture and flavor is perfect. Bacon, Red Onion, Raisins, and Sun flower seeds give tons of crunch and variety, but they still work together. The creamy dressing is best added just before serving so it doesn't get soggy.

Broccoli Salad
{printable recipe here}
from LaNell (my mom!)
4 - 6 cups chopped broccoli flowerets
¼ cup diced red onion
½ cup toasted sunflower seeds (walnuts work, too)
1/3 cup raisins
8 strips cooked bacon (crumbled)

1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sugar
1 ½ T. apple cider vinegar (red wine works, too)

After making dressing, toss on salad and combine. Serve immediately.

April 17, 2010

Peppered Walnut Salad

{printable recipe here}
The heat is coming. I'm sure some of you are still in "winter" mode but around here it's already getting hot. Some days I feel like it's time to turn on the air conditioning but I just "can't want to" as we like to say around here. Hopefully spring will hold on for a couple more weeks but even if it doesn't this light, flavorful salad will hit the spot. It's fresh, delicious, and features so many wonderful flavors- peppered candied walnuts, feta, craisins or dried blueberries, and a garlic and parsley dressing. I've never met a woman who didn't love this salad (as for the men, sometimes they just don't know a good thing when they taste it!)

One note about the feta- the real deal will really set this salad over the top. Peter from Kalofagas (my favorite Greek cooking blog) recommended the Dodoni brand from Costco. I haven't been able to find that buy I love the authentic Greek Feta from Trader Joes. It comes in a white and blue box and is soaked in brine so it stays fresh. It's even made in Greece and is the only kind my brother, who lived in Greece, likes.

Come back Monday for another one of our all time favorite salads.

Peppered Walnut Salad
{printable recipe here}
From Wendy Jensen, my fabulous cousin who consistently makes the best salads. Thanks for sharing!

1 cup chopped walnuts
3 Tbsp. butter
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. black pepper

Toast walnuts in butter on low for 5 minutes. Combine sugar and pepper and coat hot nuts.

2 tsp. sugar
2 cloves peeled garlic
1 tsp. Dried oregano
½ c. diced red onion
½ tsp. salt
1 c. fresh parsley
½ c. red wine vinegar
1 c. canola oil

Blend and refrigerate in a container with a non metal lid (I like to use an old peanut butter jar)

Dressing keeps for a little under a week. I usually throw it out when the parsley loses it's bright green color.

1 large head dark green Romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped
¼ c. crumbled feta cheese
¼ c. craisins or dried blueberries

Add nuts and a 1/4 cup of dressing. Toss and serve immediately.

April 10, 2010

Crepes and Caramel Sauce

Did you have late start days in high school? We used to get together and make crepes on those days and wow they were delicious. My friend Brittany had the best recipe and they always turned out great. Since then I've tried lots of recipes (even Alton Brown's) and none compare to hers. They are easy to make (they don't rip when you flip them), don't require any special tools, and taste great with any filling. Get some strawberries and nutella and I'm yours for life. Make this caramel sauce if you're feeling fancy.

To make these all you'll need (besides flour, eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla, which you have I'm sure, right?) is a nice round nonstick pan, a brush for the melted butter, a bowl and whisk. I think even my non cooking friends have that. A fabulous weekend brunch awaits you- go go!

PS If you're thinking of getting me a birthday present (well that's in five months but it's never too early) I've been lusting after a griddle style crepe pan ever since I saw my French teacher's years ago- here's a nice one on Amazon or an less expensive option too, that has amazing reviews. Someone tell my husband...)

Oh one last thing- Katrina is the winner of my last giveaway. Congrats!

Caramel Sauce
from Dana Garry

½ cup melted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla

Bring to a boil in a medium to large saucepan, stirring constantly, and boil for 2 minutes.

Add ½ cup heavy cream.

Bring to a boil again, stirring constantly, and add ½ teaspoon vanilla.

(My recipe doesn’t actually say stir constantly, but I have learned that you must be very careful not to let it burn on the bottom.)

April 5, 2010

Quiche (for your leftover ham)

(old picture, sorry! i'll be cooking again soon i hope!)

I hope everyone enjoyed Easter! We had a ham (from Costco, of course) and all the regular, delicious food. It was fun but I felt pretty guilty since my enormous cast keeps me from chopping or washing pretty much anything. My mom was a good sport though and we had a great weekend and tons of ham leftover, too. My two favorite things to make with the extra ham are quiche and refried beans. I throw a piece of the ham into my crockpot with the pinto beans and they come out SO delicious. Really. I don't even "refry" them. For more info on the quiche and pie crust see the original post here and give the pinto beans a try- they're cheap and easy (even easy enough for one handed me!)

Don't forget today's the last day to enter the Giveaway!

Basic Quiche
by LaNell Strobot
*use whatever meat, cheese, and veggies you like- this is a flexible recipe!*

2 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip)
1/2 Cup of Milk
1 Tbsp Cornstarch

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
1/3 Cup Sliced Green Onion
1 Cup Cubed Ham (I used sliced deli ham in the photo, whatever you have on hand works)

1 9 inch Pie Crust, blind baked for about 15 minutes

Blend eggs, mayo, milk, and starch with a fork in a medium bowl. Once all ingredients are smooth and combined, add the cheese, onion, and ham. Stir to combine and pour into crust.

Baked at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes until the filling starts to firm and brown a little.