Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sharing Blog Philipians 4:13: In The Village...The Peaceful Village...I Slept In...

My cousin Amy has been in Uganda for the past few months and will be there a few more.  I just want to share her blog with everyone.  She and her team are in my prayers each day and as I am learning more through her posts, all the families she has touched are also in my prayers.

She is over there with Empower a Child
"Empower a Child is a non-profit Christian organization based in East Africa, Uganda and Kenya. We focus on the humanitarian crisis in Uganda and Kenya by re-building communities and guiding today's youth. EAC provides resources for children and teens to excel academically and will never turn a child away due to age or religion"
Check out Amy's most resent and inspiring post...

Philipians 4:13: In The Village...The Peaceful Village...I Slept In...: "This past week my team here in Uganda packed up and went back to spend a week in the village.We left Kampala at about 9am and headed Southe..."

Citrus Pie

I have been craving a key lime pie for some reason, maybe because it is so hot and key lime pies are always chilled and refreshing. Well this weekend I decided I was going to make one. The timing couldn't have been better.  We got together with our wonderful neighbors for what started as Margarita Monday and evolved to Mexican Monday with a full taco/faijta bar.  Well what better dessert then a nice cool refreshing pie!

Now you may have noticed that the title of today's post is "citrus pie" not key lime. Well the reason is I had limes (though not key limes), lemons and grapefruit so I decided to add a little of each for a nice all over citrus flavor. All are tart and sweet so I thought the combination would work great. And I was right!  You could switch up the amounts of each fruit but I liked the more lime flavor, you just need to have about a 1/2 cup of total juice.  So if you like lemon add more lemon.

Citrus Pie

For the crust:
2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter

For the filling:
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of half lemon
Juice of 1/4 grapefruit
(there should be a total of about 1/2 cup of juices combined)
About 2 tablespoons lime and lemon zest
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yokes

Candied lemon for garnish

Mix together the graham cracker and melted butter and press into a 9" pie dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Let cool.

Beat egg yokes. Add the milk and citrus juice and zest blend until smooth. Pour into cooled pie crust and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

Candied lemon: add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar into a small sauce pan. Add sliced lemon. Let simmer for about 4-5 hours.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Artisan Breads...for the first time

It is so hot here and why I decided to bake bread is beyond me because it did help cool off the kitchen that's for sure!

Today I actually baked off the second loaf from what I mixed up last week. I have been wanting to try to make my own bread for a long time. I have never made a yeast bread by hand. Last week I was looking on Foodgawker, which I love right now, and came across a few different bread recipes. The one I chose to try was off of Chef Dennis's blog. I decided to try this because it seemed to be a large batch and is a no knead dough. One thing you need to remember is read recipes through before you start cooking. I thought I did this but I missed a little which caused me to bake the first loaf the day after I made the dough. There are only 4 ingredients and you need to let it rise on the counter for two hours then in the refrigerator for another three (that is what I missed). The nice thing is they say you can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. The longer it is let to ferment the more sour it will be. So that is why I left half the dough sit until today, a week later.

First batch...
 The first loaf had really good flavor but didn't look very pretty. It had a nice crusty crust and was soft inside. The thing with fresh breads they can go bad much faster than store bought. We ate about half this loaf and I made french toast with the rest.

Basic Cinnamon French Toast
The second loaf was about the same as the first texture wise but I think it looked much better. I couldn't really tell if it was any more sour, it did smell more fermented. This was wonderful warm with butter. I am sure it would have been great with olive oil, salt and rosemary but I didn't think about that before hand.

Second Batch

Follow this link to the recipe... Artisan Bread and Pizza

I will make bread again, I will probably try a different recipe just to try something new.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Simple Refreshing Melon Popsicles

What is better on a hot day then an ice cold sweet treat? We have freezer pops in the freezer but I wanted something else that wasn't full of processed sugars and dyes. I had a watermelon and a honeylope in the refrigerator so I decided to make my own popsicles. They were cold, sweet, refreshing and best of all my son loved them!

All you need to make about 4 is:
about 2 cups of cubed seedless watermelon
about 1 cup cubed honeylope (or any other melon)

Puree the melons (separately) until smooth and pour into your molds.  Freeze.  Super simple!
*I filled the mold about 3/4 of the way with the watermelon and the rest of the way with the honeylope, it looks like there is less of the honeylope but the watermelon just inched its way up the sides.  I think if you want something that is a little more visual try freezing the first layer slightly before adding another flavor.

What is a honeylope?  It is a hybrid between a honeydew melon and a cantaloupe.  I find it to taste more on the lines of a cantaloupe with the flesh looking more like honeydew. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Summer Berry Pies

I tend to always look for an excuse to make a pie and what's better then sharing your pie with good friends. So when I was thinking of what to make for our friends 4th of July party my mind instantly went to blueberries, since they are now in full season. What I decided to make? A classic Blueberry Pie (or at least what I think of classic.) I also had some strawberries that I froze a few weeks ago, so I decided to also make a Strawberry and Hazelnut Cream Galette. (A galette is just a free form tart or pie, not the most photogenic of the pies.)

Blueberry Pie

1 basic pie crust, homemade or store bought
I added a dash of almond extract to my homemade pie dough, this is optional.

5 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup sugar, more or less depending on the sweetness of the berries
3 tbsp cornstarch
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl toss all the filling ingredients. Set aside.

Roll out the dough for a 9" pie crust. Lay in pan and crimp edges.

Pour filling into pie crust. Bake for about 50 minutes.

Strawberry & Hazelnut Cream Galette

1 basic pie crust

2 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cups blueberries (optional)
2/3 cups sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup hazelnut cream cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out dough to about a 12" diameter circle. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Working from the center, spread the cream cheese out leaving about two inches around the edge. Pour the berry mixture onto the center, keeping about two inches around the edge.

Carefully fold over the edge of the pie crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes.

Marshmallow Rice Treats (amped up a bit!)

My husbands family has a family reunion weekend every year, and every year there is a potluck dinner. I have tried different things from making something there, to prepping at home then putting things together there to making something completely at home and bringing it with us. (Backing up a bit...this is a camping trip.) Well this year is no different and I was trying to think of something I can not only make at home but also ahead of time. I thought of a cold noodle salad but really I had a desert in mind. I came up with Marshmallow Rice Treats, but I wanted to do something that would turn them into something more than just plain ol' rice treats.

Double Chocolate Marshmallow Rice Treats

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (divided)
2-bags mini marshmallows (divided)
10-12 cups crispy rice cereal (divided)
12 oz bag white chocolate morsels
12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate morsels

Melt together 1/4 cup of butter and one (1) bag of the marshmallows.

Using microwave: melt butter for 30 seconds, toss in the marshmallows and microwave for about 1 minute.
Using stove top: melt 1/4 cup of butter over a low heat, add the bag of marshmallows, stir constantly until melted.

Add about a quarter of the bag of white chocolate and half the bag of semi sweet chocolate to the hot marshmallows, stir until melted and mixed in. Start adding the rice cereal to the marshmallow mix, add a cup at a time until it is mixed well. Turn out the mixture in to a lined and greased 13 x 9 pan and press down evenly in the pan.

Sprinkle about a handful of the remaining chocolate on top, melt by placing under the boiler for just a minute. Spread evenly.

Repeat, using the rest of the chocolate. Press the mixture on top of chocolate layer.

Cool completely and cut into squares. Makes about 24.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Rice Treats

Using the same method as above but use peanut butter instead of the chocolate, about a 1/2 cup per batch. For the layer between use about a half cup of chopped peanuts (or chunky peanut butter).

Key Lime Marshmallow Rice Treats

Use the same method as above but only use white chocolate and add the zest of one lime. For the layer between melt the white chocolate with a little lime juice.