Blueberry Pie

Ok, Ok, this is late in the season, however...blueberry pie is awesome all the time!  Also, I've been experimenting with new pie design and this is my new favorite.  This recipe is one of my favorites, it's very traditional however, the lemon zest gives it an extra bit of freshness.

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup granulated sugar

Zest and juice of two lemons

1/4 Tsp of corn starch

A dabs of butter to dot the top

Combine these ingredients and let them sit for half hour to an hour

Use your favorite pie crust recipe

In order to make the design, I rolled out the pie crust and used a shot glass to cut out the circles.  I used most of the cut outs around the edge and the rest I used for thumbprint cookies!

 

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My Favorite Salsa

First, let me say, I love salsa.  It is my favorite condiment.  Seriously, I put it on everything!  This recipe is one that I love because it can be modified to please a variety of tastes.  The ingredients are simple and ones that I seem to always have on hand.  I love making a quick batch when we have friends over, for a midnight snack, or if I have tomatoes that are too ripe for a salad. 

Ingredients:

1 lb Tomatoes- any kind I love using Roma or Heirloom tomatoes fresh from the garden

1/2 Small Onion

1 Serrano Pepper

2 Cloves of Garlic


Prepare a cast iron skillet by covering the bottom and sides with foil.  Cut the tomatoes in half, half, de-seed, and de-stem the serrano pepper.  Peel and half the onion and peel the garlic. Place all of the ingredients face up on the skillet and broil on high.  After 5 minutes, the garlic and serrano are blistered; remove them and place in blender.  Continue broiling the remaining ingredients until the tomato and onion are blistered, another 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients to blender.  Add three tablespoons of water and salt/pepper to the blender and pulse until salsa is to the desired consistency.  If desired you could add a handful of cilantro or lemon juice.   



Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ok, I have a confession, sometimes I bake simply so my house will smell warm and cozy.  Also, I tend to buy more bananas than can be consumed in order to ensure that I can make banana bread.  The following is the only banana chocolate chip muffin recipe you will ever need.  It includes cinnamon and chocolate chips and very little sugar.  In my house we often use these as breakfast, snack or even a late night dessert.  I usually only put nuts in the streusel mixture which makes it easier to leave off for the babes.

Streusel:

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer mini chocolate chips)

1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts), optional

Muffins:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

6 Tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature

1 large egg

3-4 Ripe bananas

3 Tablespoons vanilla yogurt

Chocolate Chips


Combine the ingredients for the streusel in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, & salt and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, mix in egg until well combined and then add the bananas and yogurt  (I prefer to squeeze the bananas while still in within the peel, it gives the bread a better consistency).  Fold in dry ingredients until well combined and fold in chocolate chips.

This is where you can assemble the muffins based on preference.  I have assembled multiple ways and they always end up being delicious.  You could put half the batter in the muffin tin, put half the streusel over the batter, place the rest of the batter on the streusel and finish with more streusel.  Or, simply top each muffin with steusel. 

These muffins really are amazing.  They have a great banana flavor and have the perfect texture!


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Rosemary's Coffeecake

This recipe was gifted to me years ago by an older woman who lived behind my mom.  This week marks three years since she passed.  Every time I make this recipe, I'm reminded of her kindness ( and how she used read carry the bible in one hand and a trashy romance novel in the other).  I've seen many recipes for sour cream and cinnamon coffee cake, but this is by far the best. 

Ingredients:

1/3 C Brown Sugar

1/4 C White Sugar

1 Tsp Cinnamon

Combine in a small bowl and set aside

Cake

2 C Flour (Sifted)

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 C Softened Butter

1 C Sugar

2 Eggs

1 Tsp Vanilla

1 C Sour Cream

Cream butter with sugar until well mixed.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Blend in sour cream alternately with dry ingredients.  Beat until blended, don't over beat.

Spread half the batter into a greased 9X13 baking pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the first mixture (sugars and cinnamon)  over batter, repeat layers.

Bake at 300 degrees, 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick tested in center comes out clean.  (This is a very moist cake and ovens may vary)

*** This recipe is also amazing with pecans or walnuts mixed in with the sugars and cinnamon***

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One day, I'll learn how to take photos without my thumb in the way...until then ignore the bottom corners of all my photos.

Dairy Free Ginger Snap Cookies

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Ever since trying out this recipe in the fall, I have been asked to make these cookies for every single family gathering. They're awesome. 

(yields 6-8 dozen - depending on how big you make your cookies)

5c AP flour

4 tsp baking soda

4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground cloves 

2 tsp ground ginger

2 c packed brown sugar

1 1/2 c coconut oil

1/2 c dark molasses

2 eggs

(some white sugar for rolling the cookies in)

Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in a bowl, set aside. Beat brown sugar, melted coconut oil, molasses, and eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture gradually, until blended (the dough will be just a bit on the dry side - that's ok!) Roll the dough in your hands into approx 1-in balls and roll in sugar. Place on a cookie sheet ( I line w/ parchment paper) - no need to flatten dough. Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes.

I know it sounds like A LOT of cookies, but for real, just make the whole batch. You'll be glad you did. BIG props to Mary W. for this recipe!

 

-KM

Apple Cider Bourban Cocktail

As a mommy and a full time student, when the weekend rolls around, and my sweet baby is asleep, I would much rather get cozy on the couch with a book or a movie than go out somewhere.  Still I enjoy a well crafted cocktail.  The following recipe was created out of a a love for fall flavors.

You will need:

Bourbon of your choice

Ginger Beer

Apple Cider

Pour 2 parts apple cider, 2 parts ginger beer, and one part bourbon over ice, give a little stir and Voila!


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Chicken Pot Pie

I always find myself slightly obsessing over what I am going to feel my loved ones.  I imagine making delicious meals that leave them in awe of my culinary prowess.  I know, weird, but I've embraced it.  During the winter months, this obsession takes on a life of its own.  The other day while watching old movies on TCM, I noticed that many of the meals served were roast chicken.  Suddenly, it seemed imperative to create  such a masterpiece for my family.  I decided to surprise my Travis with a perfectly browned roast chicken.  It was rubbed with butter and seasoned with fresh rosemary, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper.  The result was aesthetically pleasing, but so bland that Travis, my human hoover, decided to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Obviously not my proudest moment.  But, I refused to let that roast chicken defeat me.  What emerged was a chicken pot pie that I sometimes dream about.

Chicken Pot Pie

Filling:

2 Tbs Butter

1 Tbs Olive Oil

3/4 C Carrots

3/4 C Celery

3/4 C Onion

1.5-2 Lbs Shredded Chicken

1/4 C Flour

4 C Chicken or Vegetable Broth

1 Tbs Freshly Chopped Thyme

1/4 C Heavy Cream

Crust:

2 C Flour

1/2 C Butter Flavored Crisco

Buttermilk

Egg Wash

2 Tbs Water

1 Egg

 

Heat olive oil and butter in a large/heavy (I always use my dutch oven) pot on medium heat.  Once melted, add the carrots, celery, and onion.  Let these veggies cook until they start to soften and the onions become fragrant and translucent ( This smell immediately signals to family members that dinner is going to be amazing). 

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Add the shredded chicken and give the pot a stir. 

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Immediately stir in the flour until well combined.  The mixture will be very dry.  I like to use a wooden spoon to help scrape up the dregs on the bottom of the pot.  Once well combined ( 1-2 minutes) add the chicken-or- veggie stock, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Let this simmer for a few minutes allowing the flour to do its magic and thicken. Turn the heat down to low, add the cream and let simmer for five minutes.  Transfer to a ten inch pie dish.

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To make the crust, cut the Crisco into the flour.  The mixture will have crumbly texture.  Slowly add the buttermilk while mixing until the a ball of dough forms. 

*** You could also used your favorite dough recipe***

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface and lay it over top of the pie filling. Pinch the edges of the dough and cut vents into the top.  Whisk the water and egg together and brush onto the crust.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  ( You may want to place a foil cover over the outer edges of the crust for the first 15 minutes)


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The Best Damn (Dairy Free!) Banana Muffins, Ever.

I'm seriously not kidding. I've made these muffins at least 5 times in the last month and a half. You can add chocolate chips if you'd like to take it to another level... a chocolatier one. OH, and they're dairy free!

Here's the recipe: 

(DRY) 

1 1/2 C AP flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt  

1 tsp cinnamon

(WET) 

1 lightly beaten egg

3 mashed bananas

1/2 C white sugar

1/4 C brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 C melted coconut oil (or oil of your choice) 

 

Combine dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then add dry to wet slowly. (I only use a wisk for this recipe, nothing fancy!) - Here's where you would introduce chocolate chips, or pecans, or whatever...

Fill lined (or greased) muffin tins about 2/3 full. This recipe yields about 12 muffins.  

 

For the topping: 

1/3 C Demerara or Turbano sugar (you can use regular brown sugar, but I like the crunchy texture of the crystals)

2 Tbsp AP flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp butter (I used a dairy free/soy free version by earthbalance) 

(I threw some mini chocolate chips into the topping with my chocolate chip version)  

Cut butter into sugar/flour/cinnamon mixture and spoon over muffin mix. Bake at 375 F for 18-20 minutes. 

Yum! Yum!

This recipe was adaptred from   this original recipe

 

Artisan Style Bread

The Dutch Oven may be my favorite item in the kitchen.  I have used it as a makeshift crockpot for cozy fall and winter dishes.  Recently, a little birdie (cough* Katie *cough) suggested that I make artisan style bread.  Soon after this discovery, I became obsessed with the idea of making loaves of flowery bread that I could eat with salted butter or herb infused oils.  This imagery only encouraged my obsession with carbs but was not enough to motivate me to make such "fancy" bread.  Who has the time?  Surely bread that delicious must be time consuming, take ridiculous ingridents and take skills that are honed after years of practice.  I was mistaken.  The recipe that I followed was simple, took one bowl, and did not call for kneading.  The dough takes between 18-24 hours to rise which encourages one to plan ahead and practice delayed gratification (which in this case was totally worth it). 

 

Artisan Bread

3 C All Purpose Flour

1 Tsp Active Dry Yeast

2 Tsp Salt

1 2/3 C Warm Water

1 Tsp Fresh Chopped Rosemary

Combine Flour, Yeast and Salt in a large bowl.  Add water and herbs and mix well.  The dough will be very sticky.  Place plastic wrap over the bowl and let it rise at room temperature for 18-24 hours.   

Place the dough on a well floured work surface.  Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour.  Fold the dough in half and begin the form a ball by folding the dough underneath the ball.   

Place the dough on a well floured towel.  Cover completely and let rise for another two hours.   

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place dutch oven in the oven while it is preheating.  When finished place the dough in the dutch oven seam side up.  Shake the dutch oven to allow the dough to settle.  Cover and bake for thirty minutes.  Remove the lid and bake until the crust is brown approx. 15-20 minutes.  

 

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This bread was gone in 24 hours... We may need to have a carb intervention.

Three "C" Granola

 

Becca and I stumbled across this recipe when we were hunting for a dairy free cheesecake (an oxymoron, I know...but it wasn't half bad) . For the life of me I can't find the link to the original recipe, but we've messed with it slightly anyway!

Three "C" Granola

2 C old fashioned oats

3/4 C shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 C chopped almonds

1/2 C dried cranberries (to add after  baking)

2 Tbsp Chia seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp kosher salt

4 Tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 C pure maple syrup (the thicker, the better - DON'T skimp on this)  

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 300 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.  

Combine oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. 

In a separate bowl whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and chia seeds.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and thoroughly combine (this is easiest to do with your hands with a pair of latex gloves) '

Spread out on to the lined baking sheet and make 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10, until the granola is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and stir in cranberries. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

 

This is a really fun recipe to mess with - I've added dried apricots, raisins, walnuts, pecans, flax seed, sunflower seeds, etc. Experiment with it, the base is so good it's hard to screw it up! 

 

-KM

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