September 30, 2010

my favorite pie crust

i got this from everyday food magazine. i use salted butter and am a huge believer in the cooling in the fridge part.

Makes 1 single crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  1. In a large bowl, using a pastry blender, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and cut in with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
  2. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water, and continue to work dough with pastry blender until crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overwork.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; form into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. (Or wrap in plastic, place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before rolling.)

sweet potato and gruyere turnovers

if you're looking for something out-of-the-ordinary, this is definitely for you. at first kris and i didn't know what to think about it, but the more we ate, the more we liked it. a lot.

a few things about the recipe: 1) gruyere is a little over the top expensive here right now, so i decided to use jarlsberg instead. this tasted great, except that i decided at the last minute to double the batch and so i didn't quite have enough of the cheese. this would have enhanced the flavor quite a bit more.

2) while it was all very good, i wanted it to be fantastic. i think when i make it again, i'll add some baked apples sprinkled with a little bit of nutmeg. i really think this will bump it up to the fantastic notch.

3) the recipe doesn't call for cooking the sweet potatoes first. they got cooked just fine from being in the oven, but i think i would have liked them more done. the consistency changes quite a bit when they're more done. so when i make it next i'll cook the sweet potatoes a day in advance and then shred the cooked potatoes.

4) the recipe calls for buying refrigerated pie crusts. wha? i just used my favorite pie crust recipe which i'll add as it's own post to make it easier.

okay, finally ready for the recipe? sheesh!

i got it from real simple, by the way.



  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chard and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the sweet potato, Gruyère, and thyme; season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the vegetable mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Dividing evenly, spoon the sweet potato mixture (about ½ cup) on one side of each half-circle of piecrust, leaving a ½-inch border. Dot the borders with water, fold the dough over to form a quarter-circle, and press firmly to seal; crimp, if desired. Cut 3 slits in each turnover.
  3. Transfer the pies to a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with the egg, and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with the salad, if desired.

September 29, 2010

Kitchen Sink Quesadillas

I made these for the first time last night, from my sister's recipe. They turned out delish! The macerated red onion really brings all the flavors together like a jazz ensemble from Ratatouille!

2 T. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 red onion, chopped (or one small)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained (or even better, the equivalent amount of frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's)
1 scoop of jarred salsa
shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Flour Tortillas
One head Romaine lettuce, chopped
Optional: Cilantro

Mix the lime juice, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper together. Add chopped red onion. Let sit.
Mix together black beans, corn and salsa.
In a non-stick frying pan, (spray with Pam while cool) layer a tortilla, some cheese, the bean filling, more cheese, and another tortilla. Flip like a pancake when the cheese has melted the tortillas together, so that it gets brown on both sides.
Cut the quesadilla into wedges, serve to the children.
For adults: Toss the romaine lettuce (plus cilantro) with the macerated onion mixture. Top a queso wedge with salad, and enjoy like jam on toast!

September 28, 2010

oatmeal cake

my friend brought this amazingly yummy cake to a party and i couldn't get i asked her for the recipe. i'm not usually a cake person, but this one changes my mind. thanks, debbie!

Oatmeal Cake

1c. quick oatmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. boiling water
1 teasp. baking soda
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 teasp. nutmeg
1 c. sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 teasp. salt
2 eggs

Pour boiling water over oats in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside. In a
large mixing bowl, cream butter with all the sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Stir
in oats. Add dry ingredients and stir till everything is combined. Pour into a
lightly greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25- 30 minutes.
It should be a little moist in the center. (After putting topping on, the total
baking time will be about 35 to 40 minutes.)

Topping (Note: Start preparing the topping about 12-15 minutes before cake is

6 Tablespoons butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. coconut
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 c. evaporated milk

Melt butter in small saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and heat till bubbly.
(Sugar should be dissolved.) Stir in 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Remove cake from oven
and pour topping over hot cake. Put back in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes
until the topping is golden brown. If pressed for time, you can put in under the
broiler for 3 or 4 minutes if you watch it very carefully.

September 22, 2010

whole wheat pear bread

i just tried this out of the blue and it was yummy, thus i am putting it on the site. i added a little more shortening than it called for because it wasn't creaming properly and then i added a couple handfuls of craisins and used pecans instead of walnuts. (who needs walnuts, anyway?) i got it from

2-3 fresh Bartlett pears
2 tbsp. shortening
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 c. water
1 egg, beaten
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 c. chopped walnuts

Core pears, but do not peel. Cut slices from one and reserve to decorate top. Dice remaining pears to measure 1 cup. In mixing bowl cream shortening and brown sugar. Add honey, grated lemon peel, lemon juice, water and beaten egg. Mix well.

Sift dry ingredients together and add to liquid mixture. Stir just to moisten dry ingredients. fold in nuts and diced pears. Turn into greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Arrange reserved pear slices on top. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until bread tests done. Let stand in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to cool. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.