Archive for the ‘The Sweet Stuff’ Category

Grandpa Dick’s Strawberry-Pineapple Pie

April 6, 2010

My great granddad Richard (Grandpa Dick) is one of my all time favorite people. I loved that man more than words can say. He was bald, died with only one lung and a cigarette in his hand, was missing fingers for god only knows what reason (he told me a different story every time about how it happened), and used to tell me stories of how the Chinook Indians ambushed him and his buddies in the middle of the night and scalped them all and that’s why he was bald. He had a picture of me, 5 years old, stitches in my forehead from a jumping-on-the-furniture type accident, on his kitchen wall next to the cabinet where he kept the rat poison. He made the best white bread in the UNIVERSE, and the best fruit pies of any person alive. The myth and the legend that was Grandpa Dick shared his secrets only with me (from what I kn0w). Tonight I made his Strawberry Pineapple Pie and it really turned out great. I miss fishing with him, I miss laughing when he took out his false teeth, I miss sitting on his rusty step stool watching him bake sailor style… but death is a part of life and in my family, we pass on to our youth the things in our life that will make the biggest difference. My Grandpa Dick gave me the love of baking delicious things that make the house smell wonderful and brings the family together to eat and enjoy eachother’s company. This is one of those recipes.

For Grandpa Dick’s Strawberry Pineapple Pie, get this stuff ready:

1 cup of Margarine
1/2 cup of Iced Water
3 cups of Flour
1/2 tsp of Salt
1 tablespoon of Sugar

1 can of Pineapple Nibblets
2 small cartons or 1 big carton (like mine) or fresh, rinsed Strawberries
2 heaping tablespoons of Cornstarch
1/2 cup of Sugar
One big squeeze of Lemon Juice

For the filling, dump your Nibblets and only half of the juice from the can into a big bowl. Clean and slice your Strawberries and dump those into the bowl, too.

Add your Cornstarch, Sugar, and Lemon. Mix them together until the juices get all cloudy.

Pop the bowlful into the microwave for 10 minutes, and remember to give them a stir every 2 minutes or so. After the 10 minutes in the microwave, the juices should start to thicken and get all gooey. If they aren’t, try another 5 minutes in the microwave. NOTE: I forgot to start out the recipe in a microwave-safe bowl, so I had to transfer the filling into a glass bowl for the microwave part. Please start out this recipe in a microwave-safe bowl!

Now for the crust. I like to use my food processor for this just because its less messy, but you can also use the old fashioned two forks and a bowl method. Throw your Margarine, Flour, Salt, and Sugar into the food processor.

Pulse the mixture until there are no more pieces of Margarine and the mixture is very moist. Dump in your water and turn the food processor on low until the mixture looks like a big ball.

Divide the dough into two equal portions. Flour your rolling surface and press one dough portion into a little cow patty.

Roll it out evenly until its about a half a centimeter thick.

Fill your pie pan or glass baking dish with it and make sure there is dough hanging over the sides for later.

Remember to flour your rolling pin and rolling surface again before starting in on the top crust! Roll it out. Pour in your pie filling, then top with the crust you just rolled out. Cut off the excess and roll the edges together like you would a cigarette (gross, but I couldn’t think of another non-illegal example). Crimp the edges with a fork and score the top of the pie so the innards can release some heat.

Bake at 375°F (180°C) for 30 minutes, or until the top and edges start to brown.

Dead people don’t read blogs, but I hope I did my great granddad justice. It would break my heart if I ever let such a great man down. I love you Grandpa Dick! Catch ya on the flip side! Love, Peace, and Scalpin’ Indians!
Visualize Whirled Peas!


Easy Ricotta and Honey Tart with Baked Apples

April 2, 2010

So tonight my husband went on a ‘no-wives-allowed’ type business meeting, so I had to stay home and find something to do. He was thoughtful enough to buy me a pizza and make sure the table was set for me before he left, so I thought I would be thoughtful and fix him dessert for when he got home. This is a recipe I’ve adapted from a cooking show I saw from back in 1998 (when I was 12) called Two Fat Ladies. I saw the episode today while I was half asleep. They filled this tart with tea-infused PRUNES and RAISINS. GNARLY. The British are usually really good at sweets, but this was a recipe I knew needed revamping. So I thought maybe instead of (GAG) Prunes and (HOARK) Raisins I’d substitute them for some baked apples. Its been a pretty good choice, I’d say!

What you’re gonna need for Ricotta Honey and Baked Apple Tart:

500g of Ricotta cheese
2 heaping tablespoons of Honey
1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon of Lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon
1 Apple (peeled, gutted, dismembered, and baked at 400°F for 10 minutes)
Almond flakes or pieces (optional)

(crust ingredients not pictured… sorry guys… I forgot)
1 1/2 cups of annihilated graham crackers and/or cookies
6 tablespoons of butter or Vegetable based substitute
1/4 cup of brown sugar

Start by putting the Ricotta, Brown Sugar, Egg, Honey, Cinnamon, and Lemon into a bowl.

Whisk everything together until its smooth. Set the bowl aside and move on to your crust.

Annihilate your Graham Crackers and Cookies. I used half multigrain graham crackers and half Grancereale crunchy whole grain cookies. Use a food processor or a blender for this. If you don’t have one, a heavy duty ziplock baggie and a meat mallet should work perfectly.

Add the butter or butter-like stuff, and brown sugar.

Pulse the food processor until the mixture is nice and moist. If you’re using the meat mallet version, put your crushed cookies into a bowl and MELT the butter before adding it with the sugar.

Press into a medium sized glass or aluminum tart dish or pie plate. The crust should be a little less than pinky-finger-width deep. Use a spoon to press the crust up the sides and make it even. Put it in the oven on 400°F for about 10 minutes until it gets hot and starts to crisp up on the edges.

Pour your filling into the already half-baked (tee hee!) pie shell. Smooth it out with a Spatula.

Sprinkle on your Almonds and then place your baked apples on top.

Place the whole kaboodle into a 400°F (200°C) oven for about 25 minutes. Basically until the top starts to brown just a tad and the center no longer wiggles when you shake it. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature BEFORE you put it in the fridge to chill or you’ll end up with a lake on top and that’s NOT tasty OR  attractive.


Lazy Kate’s Green Tea Applesauce

February 24, 2010

Yeah, you read the title right. I’m Lazy. Oh… that’s not what you were surprised about? HA. Oops. Green Tea in Applesauce?! Sure as the gum on the bottom of your favorite shoes. ‘Why!?’ is the bigger question. Well, it all started with The Discovery Health Channel and a trip to the doctor. I heard from my doctor that drinking Green Tea can boost your weight-loss and boost the antioxidants in your system. Both of these sounded great to me, but I really don’t like Green Tea. Its kinda icky, so drinking it straight wasn’t an option. Then I thought to myself ‘Well, could I integrate it into some recipes?’. As it would turn out… you can! I’ve been able to put it into Sugar Glacé for cakes and tarts, Jams and Jellies, even roasted meat! But my most recent project has probably been the best ever: Green Tea Applesauce. The flavor of the Green Tea is subtle, but there. The Apples and a little sugar help to mask the bitter aftertaste of the tea and replace it with pure, unfiltered AWESOME. I’ve been able to figure out how to make it work in 20 minutes, or 2 hours. If you’re at home doing laundry and want to make your house smell like apples, I suggest the 2 hour version. If you’re trying to get rid of some apples that have gone down the River Styx and don’t have a whole hell of a lot of time, 20 minutes and a potato masher is all you really need.

For Lazy Kate’s Green Tea Applesauce, here is what you’ll need:

Peeled Apples to the third power (That means Cubed)
Strong brewed Green Tea
Potato Masher (for the Express version)

I used 6 apples I bought yesterday that are terrible. They really are. They weren’t crisp, or crunchy, and didn’t possess the flavor you want out of an apple. They didn’t even go well with PeanutButter! I KNOW!  I peeled them…

…and cored them the easy way.

I cubed them and dumped them into a big pot. Next, I brewed  my Green Tea. Actually, ANY non-black or red tea will work. I’ve also used Tropical Fruit green tea, Hibiscus Tea (turned the applesauce bright pink), Mint Tea, and Peach White tea. All turned out SPECTACULAR.

After the tea was brewed, I took out the teabags (*snicker*) and poured the tea over my apples.

You want the tea level to leave the top layer of apples just a frog-hair uncovered. If you’re doing the express version, cut the liquid amount in half so you won’t be eating apple soup later. Crank up the heat to Medium-High and walk away. Don’t ask questions, just WALK AWAY. Give them at least 20 minutes to cook. For the Express version, give ’em a stir every 5 minutes or so, otherwise the apples won’t cook all the way through.

After 20 minutes or a half hour or so, check your apples. They should be soft, by now. For the express version, turn off the heat and mash ‘em up. For the lazy version, cut the heat to Low and leave them to cook until all of the liquid is gone and your apple start to look like this:

If you check your apples every half hour or so and stir them, they should basically mash themselves. Continue this process until 80% of the liquid is gone. We’re not making apple jerky, either. When your applesauce is almost all the way liquefied, cut the heat and use the back of a spoon to mash up any pieces you might have floating around in there. I like to leave the chunks in because I like them (and I’m Lazy). Leave the applesauce in the pot to cool to almost room temperature before you put it in the fridge or the fridge will hate you later, and so will your milk after its gone bad. You could also eat it hot with some cookie shovels instead of a spoon.

Love Peace and Bacon Grease, Friends! Visualize Whirled Peas!

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