Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blueberry Sheet Pie


 It's mid August already, but I'm still taking advantage of all things summer. One summer treat is stopping by the local market each week and finding bins filled with fresh picked fruits and vegetables.
 Summer also brought company, and we had the rare treat of having my brother Wes and sister in law Kim from Kiev, along with local family over for Sunday lunch. Blueberries were just ready and so I decided that a Blueberry Sheet Pie would be our dessert. Using this dough recipe you can pretty much use any fruit you want. I've used apples, peaches and blackberries and they are all really wonderful! 

Have you noticed the new video clip here on the blog? You can find it on the upper right side bar. Hear Lovella share where all our book royalties go. Wes and Kim are working with Music Mission Kiev and there are a few photos in the video of the people they help. We are able to partner with them through our Celebrations Cookbook sales. 100% of the Royalties from that book go to help those less fortunate in the Ukraine. Listen to hear about our other project as well. Thank you for continuing to support our projects when you purchase one of our 3 cookbooks. 

This recipe is for a pan measuring 13"x18"

Pastry:
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter, cubed
  • 3 egg yolks, plus enough milk to measure 1 1/3 cups
  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour and salt.
  2. Using a pastry cutter (or I use a cheese grater) cut or grate cold butter into flour mixture until very fine.
  3. Divide egg yolks and whites. Place egg yolks into a measuring cup and add cold milk to measure 1 1/3 cups. (save whites for topping-see instructions below) Whisk together until yolks are broken up. Add this mixture to the flour and butter mixture.
  4. Stir with a fork to combine. 
  5. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured counter and knead until dough comes together into a nice smooth ball. Flatten and wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you prepare fruit.
Fruit:
  • 9 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch **if using frozen berries stir in 3 tablespoons corn starch**
  • 1 scant cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Cornflakes or Special K cereal
  1. Gently stir corn starch and sugar into the berries. Set aside.
Assembling Pie:
  1. Take dough out of refrigerator and divide in half.
  2. Roll first piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is very thin and fits your pan size. ** A tip for pie dough is to roll the rolled out dough around your rolling pin. Place over your pan or pie plate and gently unroll the dough to fit your pan.**
  3. Sprinkle the bottom crust with the crushed cereal.
  4. Top with the prepared fruit.
  5. Roll out second piece of dough and using the same method, roll onto your rolling pin and unroll over the fruit. Don't worry if it tears a little or does not quite fit right to the edges. 
  6. If you have any dough hanging over the pan cut it off. You can even use it to 'patch' the top if need be. If you can you can now pinch the top crust to the bottom one, but if for some reason your crusts don't come together it's all fine. It will still bake up beautifully. Randomly prick the top crust with a fork.
  7. Now take the egg whites that you saved when making the dough. Beat until soft peaks form.
  8. Spread the beaten egg whites over the top crust using your hands or the back of a spoon. 
  9. Bake in 375º F oven for 35-45 minutes. The egg whites will turn a nice golden brown and become slightly crusty. This is what really takes this pie to another level. 
  10. As soon as the pie comes out of the oven drizzle it with a simple icing of approximately 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 3-4 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir these 3 ingredients together and just drizzle over hot pie.
This is best eaten on the day it's baked as you want the texture of the egg whites to remain crusty. 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Carnitas Enchilada Casserole


This throw together casserole will work with a variety of leftover meat. We cooked a large portion of Carnitas (Pork Butt slow cooked with Mexican seasonings) and had lots of shredded pork leftover so we enjoyed this layered enchilada casserole.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large can green enchilada sauce (approx. 28 ounces)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 can of pinto beans (approx. 12 ounces)
  • 4 cups leftover meat shredded or chopped
  • 3 cups of grated Mexican blend cheese

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Pour a thin layer of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Layer 6 of the corn tortillas on top of the sauce.
  4. Distribute the meat over the tortillas.
  5. Distribute the pinto beans over the meat.
  6. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the meat and beans.
  7. Top this with 6 more corn tortillas and press down.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the tortillas.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cheese melts and mixture bubbles and is heated through. 
  10. Serve hot with a side of greens.
  11. Refrigerate any leftovers.

I had a package of the mini street taco size of corn tortillas so I used 8 of them on top instead of 6 regular sized ones. If your family really enjoys cheese you can top with more than 3 cups and put an extra layer of cheese on the first layer of tortillas before you add the meat. You can use grated Cheddar or Jack Cheese instead of the Mexican blend.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sweet and Spicy Refrigerator Dill Pickles


We just love our sweet and spicy pickles with pulled pork sandwiches or any kind of sandwich for that matter.  These pickles take no time at all to put in a jar to cure for a few days.  
I store mine in a large pickle jar that I once got pickles in from a big box store but any kind of large jar with a lid will work.  If you don't have one jar big enough, divide ingredients between several quart sized jars. 

  • 7 - 8 cups thinly sliced cucumbers  (a mandolin works well)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced and quartered onions
  • 1 cup thinly sliced and quartered green peppers
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill heads (the umbrella looking part)
  1. Combine the cucumbers, onions, green peppers and salt in a large bowl and allow to sit for one hour.  Drain well.
  2. Put one dill head in the bottom of the jar and fill with cucumbers right to the top, packing down a bit to fit in as many as possible.  Add one more dill sprig to the top.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, and spices.  Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar has melted.
  4. Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, covering all the cucumbers.
  5. Put on the lid and refrigerate a few days to allow the cucumbers to cure before eating.
Once cured, the pickles stay well in the refrigerator a few weeks. 



Monday, August 14, 2017

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars


For anyone who loves the peanut butter and honey flavor combination, these bars are a quick snack, easy to make with kids. I had almost a full bag of Multi Grain Cheerios, getting slightly stale and was ready to throw them out, when I decided to use them for squares. Stuck together with yumminess they were good as new.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup liquid honey or corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups Cheerios (regular or what you have)
  • butter for a slight greasing of pan
Method:
  1. In a large pot, over low-medium heat, bring honey and sugar to a boil. 
  2. Add peanut butter and butter, stirring until smooth and bubbly. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheerios. 
  4. Press into prepared 9x9 or 9x13 inch pan. 
  5. Cut into squares as soon as they are cooled off but still slightly soft. Yields 16-20 pieces
Note: Although you can use any kind of cereal, less sweet (such as regular or multi grain. is better. When I used Honey Nut Cheerios I thought they were too sweet. Also, using liquid honey and/or a tad less sugar may not firm them up as well as corn syrup, but they taste just as good.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bread for The Journey



          Psalm 131
My heart is not proud, O LORD,

 my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
  or things too wonderful for me.

   But I have stilled and quieted myself,
     like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
    both now and forevermore.


I memorized this Psalm recently and find it has much wisdom to apply to my life.
It tells me that pride and arrogance are not attributes that God values.
It reminds me that I can trust God's omniscience
 and that I don't need to have all the answers.
Then it gives me the wonderful image of a child who completely trusts his mother to love and protect him 
and it urges me to emulate him.
The last line is a loving command which I've personalized. 
 Oh Bev, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore. 

May God quiet your soul from what troubles it today and may you put your hope in Him.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Flash Back Friday ~ Chocolate Cake


For Flash Back Friday I've chosen to bring back this chocolate cake. It was a favorite in my growing up years and it was baked most every Saturday. Once my youngest brother was old enough to bake he would whip up this cake in short order and it was always delicious! My older brothers would deem the cake a success if they could squeeze it in their hands into a dense bar shape!
It is a simple recipe and so moist and delicious. I have changed it up a wee bit from the old recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Melt butter and stir in cocoa till blended. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Break egg into a 1 cup measuring cup and fill up with buttermilk.
  4. Pour egg mixture and cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended.
  5. Pour into a greased 8" pan and bake in 350º F oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with whipped cream. Add a few berries and chocolate shavings and you have a most wonderful dessert.
Update: Here is a 'blooper version'. The cake pan slipped out of my hands while I was taking it out of the oven and bounced back into the oven thankfully right side up. And a good thing I was planning to make a trifle anyway.


And this what you can make with a cake mishap..trifle!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Blueberry Cobbler

We have a blueberry bush and I like to use the blueberries in some baking. This cobbler was a good addition to my blueberry recipes. You could also use frozen berries.

Blueberry Cobbler
Ingredients:
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and distribute evenly in your 8 inch square baking pan.
  3. Arrange the blueberries on top of the melted butter spreading evenly over bottom of pan.
  4. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of the salt with 1/4 cup of the sugar and sprinkle evenly over the blueberries.
  5. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter.
  6. Add some of the milk to temper the melted butter and then add the rest of the milk and egg to the butter and beat well.
  7. Mix the flour, baking powder, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  8. Stir in the milk and egg mixture and beat until smooth.
  9. Drop the dough by spoonfuls evenly over the blueberries in the pan and spread carefully and evenly.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Let cool slightly then serve with ice cream or whipped cream. 
You can serve this cake side up or berry side up.