Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Easy Strawberry Pie

About three years ago, we had our friends Wes and Nancy over for dinner. Nancy was in charge of bringing dessert. She brought the yummiest strawberry pie. It was so good. Fast forward three years. I'm just now getting around to making said pie. I can't believe I'm only now making it! I have thought about it many times since then, because it was that good. I love strawberries, and I really love pie crust, add in sugar and cream cheese, and yummo, a super easy pie! I served this last week when we had another family over for dinner. It was a hit for sure. So go make this before strawberries get expensive again!

Easy Strawberry Pie
adapted from Casual Cuisine

1 single pie crust (I opted to use the Pillsbury store bought kind for this.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
5 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
3 ounces of cream cheese, softened

Cook pie crust according to directions. set aside to cool.

Combine sugar, water, cornstarch, and strawberries. Cook on medium heat until mixture starts to bubble, then reduce to a medium-low simmer and stir frequently until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spread cream cheese on the bottom of the cooked pie crust. pour strawberry filling over cream cheese. Cool for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Serve by itself, with a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Great for a snack or breakfast! 

Chocolate Banana Muffins (adapted from Cooking Light)
Makes 12 muffins (edited yield)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 medium mashed ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add applesauce and bananas, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and remaining ingredients stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; stir just until combined. Pour into greased muffin pan cups. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan after a few minutes and cool on rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Whole Wheat Pie Crust

OK. I think I have found the perfect whole wheat pie crust. I cannot, and I repeat, cannot stop eating this stuff! I made a new chicken pot pie  a couple of nights ago, and used this recipe for the crust. IT WAS DELICIOUS! I really can't stop eating it. Even cold, this is so good! It has a great flavor and was nice and thick and flaky. It didn't taste grainy at all. Remember, that whole wheat crusts don't usually turn out quite as pretty as white flour ones, or that has been my experience. I'm hoping that the more I work with them, the prettier my edges will get. They always seem to split on the edges. I'm wondering if not using shortening has something to do with that. I don't care, it's all about taste and not appearance in my house!

Whole Wheat Pie Crust
adapted from Cheeky Kitchen

*makes 1 pie crust, double recipe for a two crust pie.

1 cup whole wheat
1/2 cup white flour (I used all purpose.)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ cup cold butter, sliced (or one stick)
4-6 Tbsp. cold milk

In large bowl, mix together flours, sugar, and salt. Cut in slices of butter using a pastry cutter or two knives cutting across each other until the largest pieces resemble peas. Try not to handle or touch the dough, you want it to stay as cold as possible, this will help the crust to be more flaky. Add the milk to the mixture, one tablespoon at a time, just until moistened enough to hold the dough together. I used 5-6 tablespoons of milk. Use a fork to stir the dough after you’ve added each tablespoon of milk. Quickly form the crust into a ball. Refrigerate until ready to use. I recommend rolling the dough out before refrigerating. It was quite hard to roll out once it had been in the fridge for a couple of hours. Use in your favorite pie recipe!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cheesesteak Subs

*Makes about 4 sandwiches (more if you are serving kids and can get away with putting less meat on their sub)

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, halved and sliced into thin half moons
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons A-1 steak sauce
1 pound deli roast beef, cut into 2-inch strips
Salt and pepper
4 (6-inch) sub rolls, split partially open lengthwise
8 slices provolone cheese

Preheat the broiler in your oven and adjust a rack to the upper-middle position. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter, Add the onion and cook until softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and oregano and cook for a minute, until it smells fragrant. Add the A-1 sauce and the beef, stirring well to coat the beef with the sauce and onion/butter mixture. Cook until the meat is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the sliced rolls on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the beef mixture among the rolls. Top with the cheese and broil until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes (don’t even take your hand off the oven door handle – stand right there so they don’t burn!). Serve immediately.

*Recipe and photograph from My Kitchen Cafe

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kitchen Aid 60-Minute Dinner Rolls

I had completely forgotten about this recipe. I made it sometime last month, and never posted it. A lot of pictures I take of food get lost in my folders of pictures of my family. Anyway, I'm glad I was reminded of the recipe. It was SO easy, and SO good! If you're scared of bread making, this should be your first recipe to try. It takes just about an hour, maybe a few minutes longer, from start to finish. And they taste so yummy! I mean, who doesn't like a yeast roll, especially one that is as easy as this one to make? I used King Arthur's White Wheat flour instead of all purpose, and they tasted just as they would if I had used all purpose, but healthier! Give these a try, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Kitchen Aid 60-Minute Dinner Rolls
adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

*Makes 24 large cloverleaf dinner rolls

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
3 packages (or 6 3/4 teaspoons) of dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105F – 115F)
5 – 6 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur's White Wheat flour.)

In a small saucepan, stir milk, sugar, salt and butter together. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool until lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups flour to yeast mixture, and using a dough hook, mix on low speed for about 1 minute. With the mixer still going, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 1 1/2 minutes, or until dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all of the flour, especially if you are using wheat flour. Knead on low speed for about 2 more minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic – the dough will still be slightly sticky to the touch.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning it to grease the top. Cover the dough with a clean, dry dish towel, and let it rise in a warm place, free from draft, for about 15 minutes (I let mine rise for about 20-22 minutes).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 24 equal pieces. Then, if you want to make cloverleaf rolls, divide each piece into thirds and roll into balls. Place 3 mini dough balls into each muffin cup. Cover the muffin pan with the dish towel, and let the dough rise for about 15 minutes. If you just want to make large, regular rolls, roll each equal piece of dough between your hands to make a ball. Place the ball on a cookie sheet. After you have done all of the dough, cover with a dish towel, and let rolls rise about 15 minutes.

Bake at 425ºF for 12 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks. Brush with melted butter if desired.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Easy Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

This was an impromptu dessert last week at our house and it received rave reviews! I had some peaches that needed to be eaten and still a bowl of fresh-picked blueberries in the fridge. This was a perfect combination! Enjoy.

Easy Peach-Blueberry Cobbler (adapted from MyRecipes.com)

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar, divided
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup fresh peach slices
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon

Melt butter in a 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish.

Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

Bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar, peach slices, blueberries and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.