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Pie #5 – Peanut Butter Pie

24 Jul

Let’s take a moment for some honesty here, y’all. This whole pie-a-week thing is just not working out on my end. The problem is, we are having a hard time eating all this pie. For reasons unknown, my children aren’t particularly fond of pie, and goodness knows GP and I don’t need to eat a pie a week. Sure, I could share them with my neighbors, but neighbors are a recent development on our street.

Mmmmm!

Mmmmm!

So let’s cut this back to a pie every 2 weeks or so, mkay? Mkay. Do not be dismayed. They will still be sugar filled concoctions, sure to send you straight into a sugar rush, and exceptionally delicious.

Without further blathering, here is the next installment, a favorite from my mother-in-law. You know it must be good, because even the children eat it.

Moar pie!

Moar pie!

Peanut Butter Pie
For the crust:
1 sleeve of graham crackers, pulverized with either a food processor or a rolling pin, depending on how much aggression you need to work out that particular day.
1 stick of butter, melted

Mix together and press into your pie plate. I did a bad job, because I have never made a graham cracker pie crust before and because an almost-4 year old was “helping,” aka getting in the way and making things needlessly harder. Bake at 375 for 8 min, the let it cool.

Not so lovely crust

Not so lovely crust

For the artery-clogging filling:
4 cups whipped cream or cool whip. I made fresh whipped cream because
ever since I read the ingredients on a package of cool whip, I just can’t bring myself to eat it.
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1.5 cups powdered sugar

Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar, then add the peanut butter. Fold in the whipped cream, which is the most horrible step ever because it requires patience, which is not easy to come up with when your children keep trying to eat it all while you are trying to mix it together.

Folding time!

Folding time!

So then, pile it into your crust. Technically, the filling is enough for 2 pies, so you could make 2 and either share or freeze one. Or, you could pile it all in one crust and have the most overfilled pie ever. Or you could do like I did, and put a few scoops into some ramekins for an afternoon snack. But sure not to do what I also did, which is to accidentally drop a ramekin, only to have it break and dump filling all over the floor you just mopped the day before.

My assistant.

My assistant.

Sprinkle some mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts on top, then put it in the fridge for a few hours until it thickens up. Easy peasy!

Pie #4: Blueberry crumb pie

13 Jul

Well, I planned to have this post up on Friday night, because my Friday nights are so glamorous that I really have nothing better to do than write about pie, but then…catastrophe! No no, the pie didn’t turn out bad. Worse.

Our internet went out.

And my phone died.

So I pretty much just gave up and went to bed early. Then yesterday was Biscuit’s second birthday, so I did in fact have better things to do than write about pie.

Don't eat too many before you pour it in!

Don’t eat too many before you pour it in!

Just before we left for our vacation, my friend Katrina brought by a whole box of blueberries. With no time to do anything proper to them, I shoved them in the freezer like a good little hoarder. Then, I took a limited sample, non-scientific survey on Facebook and twitter, pitting key lime pie against blueberry pie. Blueberry won. I think I had the deciding vote.

Like with so many things I do, I just made this recipe up as I went, scribbling notes and measurements on a notepad. Sort of like in the lab. Unlike in the lab, however, I am not waiting a ridiculously long time to transfer these notes to the “official” lab notebook (all you scientists know you’re guilty of it!) but proceeding in a timely fashion. Originally I had planned to do a beautiful and fancy lattice top, but my laziness took over. Instead, I added a crumb topping because it’s the favorite of my old running buddy, Erica (@sassysparky on Twitter), and way easier to make.

Just look at the loverly crumbs.

Just look at the loverly crumbs.

In the spirit of full honesty, Coco didn’t like it, but she’s a strange one who doesn’t like fruit, so don’t trust her judgement. I personally think it tastes wonderful, which, due to my sinus-infection dulled tastebuds, means it must be jam packed with great flavor. Here’s an idea, though: you make it yourself, and then decide whether you like it or not. Okay? Okay.

Bubbly and ready to eat.

Bubbly and ready to eat.

Blueberry Crumb pie

For filling:
4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2/3 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon (~3 tbs or so)
some lemon zest, or not, depending on how lazy you feel

Mix together in a bowl, eating some if you want but definitely leaving most in the bowl. Pour into an unbaked pie crust.

For crumb topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbs butter

Cut butter into flour and sugar until you have crumbs. Spread evenly on top of the pie filling.

Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes, until bubbly and the crust is a golden brown. Allow it to cool before slicing and enjoying!

Sad, sad pie. About to be eaten.

Sad, sad pie. About to be eaten.

One last thing before you rush out to start baking – in an effort to not annoy my actual real life friends on Facebook I started a Facebook page for the blog, which you can find here. Like it if you want to get posts in your Facebook feed (or just to boost my ego), or don’t like it if you’re happy following via twitter or email. I am not planning on posting much more to the page than just blog posts, since the whole point is to not annoy people by filling up their feeds. We all have that friend we’ve blocked because of the 1000 pictures of flowers or the 8 million quizzes they post every day, right? Yeah, I’m trying not to be that guy.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, everyone! See you next week for some posts about something or other. Oh, like Biscuit’s blanket, which I finished the night before his birthday!

Pink lemonade cupcakes

24 May

There was a bakery back where I went to grad school where you could buy cake by the slice. All their cakes were delicious, but my personal favorite was the summer seasonal Pink Lemonade Cake. Light and tart pink cake with an equally flavorful yellow frosting.

A month or so ago I saw pink lemonade boxed mix and coordinating frosting so I thought we would give them a try and make cupcakes.

They were tasty, but not the tart flavor I wanted. So, I decided to turn to that fount of recipe knowledge, the Internet.

2013-05-18 11.50.51

The Internet provided my with this recipe, straight from the Betty Crocker website. I will admit that I did not use her products, but her recipe turned out delicious. Here’s what you need:

For the cake/cupcakes

  • 1 box of vanilla cake mix, the SuperMoist varieties
  • 3/4 cup frozen pink lemonade mix, thawed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Pink food coloring if desired

Mix it all together and bake according to package directions.

For the frosting:

  • 2 containers Whipped Fluffy white frosting
  • 6 tbs frozen pink lemonade mix, thawed
  • Food coloring and sprinkles if desired.

Coco was acting as artistic director for this baking experiment, thus the pink cupcakes, pink frosting, and pink sprinkles. Maybe when Biscuit is old enough to have a say everything will be green or yellow. I can only hope.

2013-05-18 11.50.43

So, did they have the desired taste? Yes, they are pretty close to the taste I remember, although the cake itself was not as moist. But, if looking for a delicious and easy treat to take to that Memorial Day cookout this weekend, give this a try!

Peach ginger ice cream

23 Aug

So because of that whole debacle with the ice cream maker last time, wherein we had to purchase a new ice cream maker, and because they aren’t exactly on the cheap side, GP and I swore off buying ice cream forever! Well, maybe not forever, but at least for the rest of the summer. Instead, we shall only make our own.

Every summer I have a hankering for peach ice cream. I blame it on my hometown. Peaches are a major crop in the home county and each summer our town (the county seat) hosts a Peach Festival. Along with all the craft vendors and normal fair food stuff, there is peach everything. Peach ice tea, peach pie, peach you name it we’ve got it. It’s great!

Peach ginger ice cream

So I planned to make peach ice cream, even though GP really wants chocolate. Too bad, the cook gets to make the final call! Then someone on twitter suggested peach and ginger and I thought “Oh my goodness, that sounds delicious!” A bit of internet searching later and I had a plan. Seriously, this is the best ice cream I’ve ever made. Maybe the best I’ve ever had!

Peach ginger ice cream
makes just over 1 quart

2 cups diced peaches
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (easier to grate if you freeze it first)
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C half and half
1 C milk (you could probably just do 1.5 cups whole milk, but we only have 2%, so I added the little bit of half and half to make it creamier)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon

Procedure:

1. I parboiled my peaches to make them easier to peel, because I do not like peach peels! Then diced and macerated in the sugar for 1 hour in the fridge. After the hour I added the ginger, stirred really well, and left it to hang out until our ice maker had enough ice to proceed. (1 more hour should be fine, but mine sat overnight. Our ice maker is sloth-like, apparently. And I didn’t want to load us all in to the car to go buy a bag of ice).

Mmmm….peaches and sugar!

2.Puree the peaches to whatever consistency you like. I made mine really smooth in my blender, since I didn’t want little peach chunks. But if you like chunky, go chunky!

Peach ginger puree

3. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together. Stick it in you ice cream maker and go!

4. Eat and enjoy!

5. Let me know if you make it, I would love to hear your feedback!

Strawberry-Soda Ice Cream

8 Aug

Our good friends, J & K and their adorable daughter LuLu came by Sunday night for a visit. They live in the town in NC we used to live in, about an hour and a half away from here, but were in town visiting several people. We were super happy to see them, and not just because they brought us the glider.

Anyway, it’s only nice to have something for people to eat when they come to visit, right? If that’s not a general rule of etiquette, it really should be. It will be in my house from now on, anyway. For some strange reason I decided to make homemade ice cream. Not something we make very often, but something GP and I both love.

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The latest issue of Food Network Magazine has some recipes from past winners of the Austin Ice Cream festival/contest. GP’s favorite flavor is strawberry, so that’s what I made. Here’s how it went:

  1. Make a special trip to the store to buy the necessary items.
  2. Spend about 10 minutes mashing strawberries and assembling the base.
  3. Put ice cream maker together.
  4. Layer ice and rock salt, try not to make a mess.
  5. Plug in ice cream maker.
  6. Decide something is wrong with outlet.
  7. Try several more outlets.
  8. Decide ice cream maker has died in the 7 years and 5 moves since purchase.
  9. Send GP out to buy a new one.
  10. Go to one store. 2 stores. 3 stores. Maybe a 4th store, I really can’t remember.
  11. Finally come back with new ice cream maker.
  12. Transfer everything over.
  13. Plug in.
  14. Do happy dance because new one works!
  15. Eat delicious ice cream.
  16. Eat some more while sharing with friends!

You can find a link to the recipe here, but I’m sharing it below as well! (I doubled it, as we have a 4 quart ice cream maker and because we love ice cream like it’s going to provide world peace one day).

Strawberry-Soda Ice Cream

1 cup strawberries, mashed
1.5 C half and half
1/2 C heavy cream
1can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 C red cream soda (like Big Red) or regular cream soda

Mix it all together and put it in your ice cream maker! Easy peasy and oh-so delicious!

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