August 1, 2009

Raspberry Peach Pie

polka dot pie

The other morning I was perusing my daily blog reads and saw this post by the wonderful Amanda over at Slow Like Honey. Look at that picture and tell me you that you DON’T want to make pie RIGHT NOW.

Didn’t help that I was secretly checking back AGAIN at a pics of this little beauty…a Blueberry Crostata made by L.M over at Bake & Shake. Have you ever seen anything soo perfect? Guaranteed no leftovers.

L.M. is always trying to coax me into trying the Pate Brisee recipe from Martha and I DID IT.

Are you proud L????!! Oh honey!! I can see why this is your go-to recipe!

forming a disc

EEEK! I have two pie discs! I never thought that would happen!

two pie discs- a beautiful thing!

So the next thing you know, I’m whipping out my food processor whipping up some dough and making a filling. I hadn’t even finished my cup of coffee and my kitchen is buzzing.

cutting out lil dots

Before I make it sound all easy, let me give you some background on my pie *situation*

I’ve had “MAKE A PIE” on my TO DO list FOREVER. I helped a friend make a quiche like 10 years ago and I over mixed the dough and was soo letdown that I convinced myself never to make pie again. I vowed that I would just eat them…and sometimes share.

filling with filling

Over the past few years I’ve watched about 30 different segments of Martha Stewart where she’s making pie crust so I felt a little more confident tackling this endeavor. She makes it look sooo easy and if you have a food processor it pretty much is!

now applying an egg wash

And friends, this recipe did not fail. I am picky on my pie crust. I like it flaky and buttery. Actually I just really like a LOT of it. If I could make a pie that was FILLED WITH PIE CRUST I totally would. It is the reason for living. It is also the reason why diets were invented.

making the filling

As for the filling…well I improvised. I knew that it needed some type of thickener so I added:

– about 1/4 cup of flour
– and stirred that with 3 cups of raspberries & about 5 large peaches (peeled & sliced)
– 1/4 cup of sugar (but I probably should have added a bit more because the raspberries were super tart)

….but hey add a little ice cream and who knows the difference.

In retrospect, I should have added more fruits, but hey- I didn’t prepare for this so now I know what I am up against next time.

Now you see it….

don't mind if i do...

Now you don’t….

the last bite

So folks, I cannot offer you an exact/full proof pie filling recipe (there are tons out there on the internet). But I CAN share with you (if it’s ok to) theeeee most amazing recipe for pie crust.

Pate Brisee
(Martha Stewart Baking)
2 1/2 cups AP flour
2 sticks (1 cup) frozen unsalted butter, diced/cubed
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Amanda is right!!! You will feel like someone on Little House on the Prairie when you make a pie!

Having a freshly baked pie sitting on the counter is a good thing. Thanks Martha!

why YES! that IS a pie on my kitchen counter!

July 29, 2009

summer lovin’

last night’s dinner:


I am very proud to say that I grew EVERY tomato in that lil bowl up there!

a greek like dinner

I made a little Greek inspired salad with:

-white corn
-salt & pepper
-olive oil
-red wine vinegar

Served that with some grilled chicken sausage & some grilled lavash bread. Now we’re talkin’!!

Cooper joined us on the patio. I think he likes eating outside too. It’s dinners like this that reassure me that I can be a mom AND make a really good dinner. Just don’t look in my kitchen. It’s a disaster.

I think he enjoys eating dinner with us…but he’s always trying to get his hands on things he can’t yet eat.

This sounds like someone familiar….

July 27, 2009

Carnival Slaw


The name sounds a bit scary huh? Carnival slaw comes from my childhood. The school I went to for most of my adolescence held a Carnival every year (games, booths, rides, food etc…).
There was this coleslaw that they served with the BBQ chicken that all the adults went apeshit over. I guess the recipe was really popular because my mom had a copy of it. She gave me the recipe the other day while cleaning out her recipe binder and I knew I had to try it. I remember liking it as a kid so it must have been good!

Look at how well aged it is:

carnival coleslaw

While visiting family this weekend, I scarfed down SOO much slaw.

I knew I had to make some tonight and this recipe totally satisfied my slaw addiction.


Because I do not like mayo, this slaw is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY.

It’s really the celery seed that makes it taste fab. What else can I put celery seed in?

mmm celery seed

The onions add a nice sharpness but the dressing makes them really sweet!

red onion slices

I put some in our chicken patty sandwiches tonight for dinner. SOO SOOO SOO good.

eating outside

Casey finished the meal and said “God, that was good.”

I remembered to take a pic for you! Are you jealous?

my dinner

Carnival Slaw

(this serves 10- but I halved it all and it turned out fine!)

-8 cups shredded green & red cabbage (carrots optional)
-1 large red onion sliced in thin rings
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 1/2 tsp. salt
-2 1/2 tsp. celery seed – more if you like
-2 1/2 tsp. dry mustard -more if you like
-1 1/4 tsp. pepper
-1/2 cup cider vinegar
-1/2 cup vegetable oil


Put sugar, salt, celery seed, dry mustard, pepper and cider vinegar in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir in oil & blend. After dressing cools, pour over cabbage & onions 1-2 hours before serving. Toss well & toss again just before serving!

***Next time, I am adding carrots- because it looks so dang prettie!***

July 23, 2009

Fleur De Sel Caramels

let the salivation begin

Did I mention to you that I am dieting? Yeah well I am. I made these the other night and my neighbor was like “Aren’t you on a diet? I can’t believe you made those.”

I really don’t know what came over me…. Jenny over at Frecklewonder posted a link to the recipe on Facebook and all of sudden I am putting HEAVY CREAM on my shopping list.

salted logs

Let me start off by saying that these are TOTALLY worth cheating on your diet for. I also want to tell you that I have been soooooooo good and I’ve only had one. Aren’t you proud?! There’s a bunch of them sitting in my fridge now and I am not doing it. I AM NOT DOING IT. I am actually in a zone right now and have lost all the baby weight and then some- so I am not gonna let that caramel be my gateway drug…God knows I could seriously do some damage.


Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…..Let me just tell you that you should stash this recipe for the future when it’s the holidays and we all don’t give a crap because we are sooo smitten with baggy holiday sweaters & loose fitting clothes that we MUST MUST MUST make some caramel. Not only is it fun to do, but it’s a GREAT gift to give. I imagine wrapping them up all festive like….Maybe make them for Halloween? Hostess gift? A gift for your husband who had a rough day at work? A going away present for a friend? How about to celebrate the day your cat puked on your rug & your son had a blowout diaper that went up to his neck? (that would be today)

i wish i was a wee ant

anywho…the salty sweet combo will make your knees weak….and the butter- OH MY GOD. crushworthy.

It is an Ina recipe after all…

look at that action!!!


Make sure you have a candy thermometer!!!!

let the magic begin

And some parchment paper- because they looks so pretty all wrapped up!

These ones are for Jenny!!!

wrapping up the loot

Btw- you can use other Salts. It’s best if they are thick crystals! That’s really the only requisite!

Sarah over at The Small Object made some awhile back! Look at how cute her loot was!

Fleur De Sel Caramels

(recipe Ina Garten)

-1 1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 cup light corn syrup
-1 cup heavy cream
-5 tablespoons unsalted butter (i really thought there would be more!)
-1 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan (or loaf pan) with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil (I sprayed it with PAM), allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.

In a deep saucepan (6 inches diameter by 4 1/2 inches deep) combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the caramel is a warm golden brown color. Don’t stir – just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!

In the meantime, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon fleur de sel to a simmer in a small pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, set aside and keep warm.

When the caramelized sugar is the right color, slowly add the cream mixture to the caramel – it will boil up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it’s hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.

When the caramels are cool, use the parchment paper to pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Starting at 1 end, roll the caramel up tightly until you’ve rolled up half of the sheet. Cut the sheet across and then roll the second half tightly. You will have 2 (1 by 8-inch) logs. Sprinkle both logs lightly with fleur de sel, cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut parchment papers in 6 by 4 1/2-inch squares and wrap each caramel in a paper, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

(I skipped the whole rolling it up thing. I just cut logs and made little rectangles! It produced well over 20 pieces! Also the ingredient list above was taken off the directions of her show. Apparently there is a discrepancy between the recipe on the Food Network site & the one she used for her show. The show one works and that’s what I followed. The End. Did I mention MAKE THESE?!)

July 20, 2009

Thai Watermelon Salad

I made this salad tonight for dinner! It is soooo the epitome of summer.

The salty sourness of the dressing is PERFECTLY balanced by the sweetness of the watermelon.

thai dressing

The crunch of the radishes and the peppery arugula add such a nice kick! The feta brings a nice bite & texture to the party and the rest is history.

I will make this at least a few more times before summer is over!

stir fest

It’s health on a plate! Thanks to Jamie Oliver, I got a HUGE dose of fruits & veggies today. And it’s husband approved, so what could be better?

a sea of cilantro

And look at all of those herbs! Your mouth will thank you. The aftertaste is overwhelmingly good. I am tempted NOT to have dessert tonight because I still have that minty-ness lingering… You think I can hold out? We’ll see……

Thai Watermelon Salad

(recipe Jamie Oliver’s Family Dinners)

1/4 of a watermelon
2 handfuls of fresh cilantro leaves
2 handfuls of arugula
2 handfuls of fresh mint leaves
1 small bunch of radishes, finely sliced
a handful of peanuts or sunflower seeds (i used sunflower)
4oz feta cheese

a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
juice of 3 or 4 limes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove the skin from the watermelon and cut the flesh into small cubes, removing as many seeds as you can.

When you pick the cilantro leaves, remove the stringier part of the stalks but keep the finer ones, as they are nice to eat. Place in a bowl with the rocket, mint, watermelon and radishes. Put the ginger, chilli, soy sauce, olive oil and sesame oil into a smaller bowl and add just enough lime juice to cut through the oil–the number of limes you use will depend on how juicy they are. Season to taste and make sure the dressing is well balanced.

Place your peanuts or sunflower seeds in the oven or in a pan and warm through, then roughly pound them up in a pestle and mortar or in a metal bowl using the end of a rolling pin. Dress the salad really quickly. (You can use more dressing if you wish, but any left over is great to keep in the fridge to use the next day). Divide between the plates, sprinkle over the hot peanuts or sunflower seeds and crumble the feta cheese over the top.

July 20, 2009

i’m sleepy

cuzzzzzz we had a bizzy weekend!

Friday I went to Ikea and treated myself to a yogurt with kiwis & strawberries at Harmony in San Carlos



July 17, 2009

Cherry Sherbet

You say SHER-BERT? I say SHER-BET! In this case, I say SURE-BET. Cuz it is one.

What makes it a SURE-BET?

-the tang
-the brightness
-the color
-the smooth texture
-the refreshing aftertaste
-that hint of milk
-the absence of guilt!!!!


We just enjoyed some out on our patio tonight. We sampled with putting a little Muscato (a white/sweet dessert wine) in our cups. OH BOY WAS THAT TASTY. I bet it would be killer with a lil Prosecco. NOM.

up close

Perfect end to a day full of sun. Ahhhhh……..

Cherry Sherbet

(Sunset Magazine Recipe)

-2 cups frozen sweet cherries (juice included) or 3 cups very ripe pitted fresh sweet cherries
-1 cup sugar
-1 1/2 cups milk
– 2 tablespoons kirsch or other cherry liquor (I used grenadine)
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Put cherries in a small saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring, until cherries have released their juice and pulp has softened.

2. Transfer cherry mixture to a blender and pulse 3 or 4 times to purée fruit pieces. Pour through a strainer into a medium heatproof bowl, using the back of a ladle to push any juice and purée through. Discard solids. Add sugar to hot liquid and stir until sugar has dissolved completely. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

3. Add milk, liquor (grenadine in my case), and lemon juice and stir to combine. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze at least 4 hours. It’s torture…so try to make it in the morning!

p.s. LOOK AT ALL THE CHERRIES in there!!!

my fingers looked crazy after this