Monday, August 17, 2015

Dreamy Creamy Lemon Pie

This amazing pie (originally named North Carolina Lemon Pie from Cook's Country) combines a salty saltine crust with a sweet and slightly tart creamy lemon filling reminiscent of Key Lime Pie. Salty and sweet? I'm sold! I made two of these pies this past year for Mother's Day and they were the perfect springtime pie. (Or ANYTIME pie!) I mean, really... forget the crust and I could just sit down with a spoon and eat this heavenly lemon filling on its own. Think lemon curd, but more decadent with the addition of cream. (Hence, why I felt I needed to change the name to Dreamy Creamy Lemon Pie.)

Oh.... yes.

Now, I'm going to be honest with you, zesting lemons and squeezing them is a labor of love. This is especially true when you double the recipe like I did. But let me tell you... it is ALL WORTH IT!

A few notes: If you're unsure about using saltine crackers for the crust, feel free to use a traditional graham cracker crust instead. Also, I prefer a subtle vanilla flavor and a sweeter whipped cream than some. Feel free to click the link below to follow the original whipped cream recipe.

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I did!



Dreamy Creamy Lemon Pie
(Source: Cook's Country)
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
Crust:
6 ounces saltines
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons salted melted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Filling:
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Topping
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. For the crust: Crush the saltine crackers and salt in a food processor until you have a medium-fine crumb. Add in the melted butter and corn syrup. Pulse until combined. Press into a pie plate with the back of a spoon. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

2. For the filling: Whisk together the condensed milk, egg yolks, cream, lemon zest, and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice. Pour into the pie crust and bake for 15- 17 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then keep in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

3. For the whipped cream: Beat together the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.

Creamy. Dream. Delicious.



Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Homemade French Onion Dip

If you've ever read the ingredients in prepared French Onion Dip, you'll know why I quickly set out to make my own recipe. And of course there are no surprises here, but homemade is always better!

Make up a batch of this delicious dip for your summer barbecues or holiday parties.





Homemade French Onion Dip
(Adapted from the Food Network)
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
1 tablespoons butter
1 Vidalia onion, halved and sliced into
1/4-inch strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cups sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon regular or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
chives or green onions for garnish

Directions:
1. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter over medium high heat and sauté the onion for about 30 minutes. When the onions begin to caramelize and are golden brown, add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

2. Allow the onion mixture to cool and then take the mixture to a cutting board and give the onions a good chop.

3. Stir the caramelized diced onions into the sour cream, mayonnaise, celery salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. Chill 1 hour or overnight. Garnish with green onions or minced chives.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Triple Berry Skillet Cake

Every year my sister and our kids go strawberry picking together. I save a few cups for eating, but the rest of the berries get turned into jam to use throughout the year. My sister mentioned how she had made a cake with some of her berries last year. I decided to give the cake from Smitten Kitchen a try. With my version, I added a variety of berries and baked it up in a cast iron skillet. This gave the cake a fabulous crust!

Now if you don't have a cast iron skillet, a regular 9-inch cake pan or springform pan will work fine. Just skip the step of the extra butter and the preheating of the pan that you'll see below and grease the pan as usual.

Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, or any day- this cake would be perfect for your upcoming summer barbecues!





Triple Berry Skillet Cake
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
((Printable Recipe ))

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries (1 pound total, not 1 pound of each)

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees with your 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up too.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a mixer, beat 6 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar together for about 3-4 minutest, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix. Add in the milk and vanilla and mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until the flour is incorporated.

4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the cast iron skillet to melt. Add your cake batter to the hot skillet. Arrange your berries on top. (Strawberries should be cut in half and placed cut side down.) Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool 20 minutes.

You can keep this cake simple by giving it a light dusting of powdered sugar before serving. For something a little more decadent, give it a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a drizzle of glaze, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.




Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinnamon Banana Batter French Toast

This delicious recipe for Cinnamon Banana Batter French Toast takes those overly ripe bananas you have sitting on your kitchen counter and blends them into the egg batter for this amazing french toast recipe. If you like my recipe for Banana Bread French Toast where you dip banana bread into the egg batter, you will love how easy this recipe is. Surprise the mom in your life with this recipe for Mother's Day. It will not disappoint!



Cinnamon Banana Batter French Toast
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
8 thick slices bread
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 eggs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas
2-3 tablespoons melted butter

Directions:
1. Place all the ingredients (except the bread and melted butter) in a blender or food processor.

2. Pour the batter into a shallow bowl. Soak each side of the bread for 10-20 seconds.

3. Brush a medium hot skillet with some melted butter and cook the french toast for 3-4 minutes per side.

4. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep in a warm oven until you have finished with all the bread slices.

5. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a drizzle of pancake syrup.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Cinnamon Roll" Waffles

Ordinary waffles are transformed into the extraordinary with this delicious recipe. When you top waffles with gooey buttery cinnamon sugar and a drizzle of icing, your family will be begging you for more! I came up with this recipe by mashing up my favorite waffle recipe with my cinnamon roll pancake recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


Cinnamon Roll Waffles
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:

For the waffles-
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the topping-
1/2 a stick of butter, very soft
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the glaze-
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ounce cream cheese (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk

Directions:
1. Mix the very soft butter (almost melted, but not quite), brown sugar, and cinnamon together.  Fill inside a 1 quart zipper bag.  Set aside.

2. Mix the powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and milk together.  Fill inside another 1 quart zipper bag.  Set aside.

3. For the waffles, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda together.  Stir with a whisk and set aside.

4. Mix two egg yolks (save the whites in a small mixing bowl), buttermilk, and the melted butter together. Stir with a whisk and then pour it into the dry ingredients. Stir until combined.

5. Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter until no white streaks remain.

6. In a preheated waffle iron, cook the correct amount of batter according to the time specified for your waffle maker.

7. Snip a tiny corner off the zipper bags and drizzle the waffles with the cinnamon sugar mixture and then the icing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Watercress Walnut Pesto

Pesto is considered fast food in our house. You can throw a few things in your food processor and presto, you've got dinner! I love a good traditional pesto, but it is fun to get creative and experiment with different greens like my Arugula Almond Pesto. Watercress, the latest superfood, has been getting a lot of buzz lately. I thought I'd give it a try in pesto and it was delicious!



Watercress Walnut Pesto
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
4 cups watercress, large stems removed, washed and spun dry
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
3-4 ounces fresh parmesan cheese
fresh lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Blend the garlic, parmesan, watercress and walnuts in your food processor.

2. While the processor is running, slowly add in the olive oil.

3. Add fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

4. Serve over pasta. (Reserve a little of the pasta cooking water to help thin out the pesto to coat the pasta.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Triple Chocolate Cherry Cookies

A friend of mine vacations in Michigan every summer and brings be back the most amazing dried cherries. This past year I decided to bake some of them into these delicious cookies. If you don't like dried cherries, try some dried cranberries, raisins, or add in some chopped nuts instead.



Triple Chocolate Cherry Cookies
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 8 ounce milk chocolate candy bar, grated
1 cup dried cherries

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Cream the sugars and butter together. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract.

3. Mix the dry ingredients together and add that to the butter mixture.

4. Stir in the chocolate chips, grated chocolate, and dried cherries.

5. Roll the dough into 1" balls and palace about 2" apart on a parchment lined sheet pan.

6. Bake 7-8 minutes.