Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Strawberry pie

For me summer hasn't really started until I've baked a strawberry pie. I'm also always sad when I'm making what I know will be the last strawberry pie of the season. This post is about the last strawberry pie of this summer. I got this recipe from cooks country and I love it. I know it backwards and forwards. I could make this pie in my sleep and to tell you the truth I'm proud of that. One reason I'm so proud of this pie is because my grandmother had a strawberry pie that she was known for. Her's was Shony's strawberry pie, it involved whole strawberries and strawberry gelatin. Now that I have a strawberry pie that I'm known for it gives me a sense of connection between my grandmother and I. It makes me very proud to know that I do something that reminds people of her because she was a truly amazing lady and it flatters me to think that her memory is somehow living on through me. I guess you could say that this pie has sentimental value for me. It also helps that it's delicious and easy to make.

Diner Style Strawberry Pie

1 pound of fresh strawberries cleaned, hulled, and sliced thin
2 pounds of frozen whole strawberries
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup of sugar
1 nine inch pie shell baked and cooled (I always use Pillsbury ready made crust)

place a large deep skillet over medium low heat. Put the frozen berries into the pan and stir them until they start to release a little juice. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook for about 20 minutes until the mixture is thick and jam like. It should measure 2 cups.
Mix the lemon juice and water and add the gelatin and stir. Let it stand for a few minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Add the gelatin mixture, sugar, and a pinch of salt to the pan with the strawberries bring to bubble and simmer for five minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl and leave to cool for 30 minutes or until it reaches room temperature. Fold in the fresh berries, pour into the prepared pie shell and chill in the refrigerator for four hours. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

snickerdoodle blondies

Sorry for the late post. It has been a whirl wind week of homework and time with friends and my boyfriend. Yesterday would have been update day but I had three classes, a club meeting. Plus a trip to the trift store and a movie night with friends. I have to say I may be buying all of my books at the salvation army from now on. I got Georgianna the Duchess of Devonshire, The other Boelyn Girl, and pride and prejudice for $4.00. I'm covered on books at least until christmas.

As far as the world of baking goes, a craving hit me the other day. I needed something cakey and sweet ASAP. As I flipped through the recipe roladex in my head I started thinking about blondies. They would be perfect they were quick, simple, and comforting. With fall coming on I've been wanting to celebrate the season so a cinnamon sugar topping would be perfect. What could be better tahn a moist warm cinnamony blondie with a tall glass of milk.

Snickerdoodle Blondies
adapted from Dozen Flours

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
a pinch nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
2. In large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and beat until smooth.
3. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before cutting. Makes 20-24 bars. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

burrito loco

There is a local Mexican resturaunt that everyone in my family and group of friends loves. Personally I'm a fan of the chorizo with eggs or the chicken quesidilla's but my boyfriend and his siblings all love the burrito loco. It's a huge flour tortilla stuffed with rice, beans, either sliced beef or shredded chicken and then it's topped with a white cheese sauce. It is a ridiculous amount of food but, I guess that's why it's the crazy burrito. Recently my boyfriend and I decided that we would make our own burrito loco's at home and I'd have to say ours might even be a little better than there's. We took a sort of Meixan Italian fusion route.


Burrito Loco

cheese sauce
1/2 stick of butter(4 Tbs.)
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 all purpose flour
1 cup of chicken broth
3/4 cup of milk
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
jarred jalapenos to taste
salt and pepper to taste

everything else
2lb. beef roast
salt and pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 box of Spanish rice
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
6 burrito sized tortillas

Pre-heat your oven to 375. Salt and pepper your roast and then place a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium high heat and when the pan comes up to temperature place the chuck roast in the pan and sear on all sides. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the red wine. Transfer the pan to the oven and continue to cook the roast for 0ne hour. When the roast is done remove it from the pan and allow to rest for ten minutes. After it has rested slice the beef first into rounds and then into smaller strips or shred the beef using two forks.
Melt the butter and then sauté the onions until slightly soft add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir until bubbly. Add the milk and the stock stir constantly until it comes just to a bubble. Add the herbs, jalapenos and the cheese. stir until the cheese is melted.
Prepare your box of Spanish rice per the manufacturers instructions.
In a large bowl mix the rice and the sliced beef together and stir in the ricotta cheese. Spray two 9x13" glass baking pans with non stick spray. Fill each of the burrito wraps with filling and then lay them seam side down in the baking dishes putting three in each. Top the burritos with the cheese sauce and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ranch chicken and an obsession

I'm not going to lie to you I have many obessions, knitting for example, also I'm kind of obsessed with collecting recipes, as the little pie chart representing free space on my hard drive would indicate. I also happen to play favorites with a few food celebrites. Alton brown is one of my heros as is Ina Garten but the food personality that I want to be most like would have to be the Pioneer Woman.

I heard about her through my cousin. After I visited her site a few times I was hooked. I loved her cooking style and the way she wrote her entries. She always sounds so down to earth and I love that she can own up to her flaws. It makes her very accesible. All of these things really helped me feel like I could handle writing a food blog. So today I'm paying tribute to Ree Drummond with her most sinful creation, ranch chicken. It's a delicious combonation of honey mustard marinated chicken breasts, sharp cheddar cheese, and bacon. It is amazing.

Ranch Chicken
adapted from the pionner woman

½ cups Dijon Mustard
½ cups Honey
½ whole (juice Of) Lemon
½ teaspoons Paprika
½ teaspoons Salt
Crushed Red Pepper (optional To Taste)
6 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 pound Thick Cut Bacon
Bacon Grease
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, to taste
Canola Oil

In a large bowl mix together Dijon, honey,lemon juice,paprika, and salt and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like. Set aside.
Next, rinse the chicken breasts, place on a sheet plastic wrap and fold it in half over the chicken then pound to around ½ to ¾ inch thick with a mallet. Next, add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for between 1 to 3 hours.
While the chicken marinates, fry up some bacon. When finished cooking, reserve ¼ cup of the bacon grease and clean out the skillet.
When the chicken is done marinating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour off excess marinade. Heat half of the reserved bacon grease with an equal quantity of Canola Oil in the clean skillet over medium-high heat. When the grease is nice and hot add two or three pieces of chicken to it. Cook until brownish/blackish, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. Remove chicken to a large baking sheet. If cooking many pieces of chicken, repeat skillet process and remove finished chicken to baking sheet. Place chicken in preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from over.
Lay a few pieces of bacon over each chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the top of the chicken as generously as you like. Return pan to oven for an additional five minutes until cheese is melted and bacon is sizzling.