Classic Blueberry Pie

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If there is something most people know, it is that blueberry pie is good just the way it is. Do not try to gourmet it up and do not experiment with it. Make it, salivate while its cooling, and then gets a slice quick because it wont last long ! I only make pie about twice a year, usually one apple, and one blueberry. Since I already have the apple recipe posted I thought it was time to share the other. I buy my blueberries Organic , without sugar added, and frozen, its just my preference you may use fresh if you like just double check the stems have all been removed.

Now I like lattice crust on top of my pies but you dont have to get all fancy trust me it will taste the same if you just use a regular old top crust with slits to vent. Now go get started … and Enjoy the smells as you bake this heavenly pie 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Pie crust. I sometimes make my own and sometimes I just grab pre-made at the store. If you’d like to make your own here is my recipe  https://tracyskitchen.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/moms-apple-pie/
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, adjusted according to sweetness of berries I like sweet but not everyone does.
  • 1/4 cup  cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups  fresh blueberries(or thawed drained frozen berries)
  • 1 tablespoon  butter, cut into small squares
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar, for garnish on top of pie

Directions:

  1. Roll out half of the pie dough to fit an 8- or 9-inch pie dish. To prevent the dough from sticking , roll from the center of the dough outwards and keep lifting up and turning the dough a quarter turn as you roll. Check for the correct size by inverting the pie dish over the dough. The dough should be about 2 inches  larger than the dish. Refrigerate while you make the pie filling.
  2. Stir sugar, cornstarch, lemon peel, allspice, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add blueberries and gently toss to combine. Transfer blueberry filling to prepared pie crust.
  3. If you doing lattice top then place the pie in fridge while cutting. If you would like to learn how to lattice here is a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv4809RKhzg. If you’ve decided to just do a traditional top crust just crimp the edges and make sure to put your vent slits in.
  4. Make egg wash by whisking egg yolk and cream together then brush over pie dough. Sprinkle tablespoon of coarse sugar over crust. Refrigerate pie 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.
  5. Bake chilled pie on hot baking sheet for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees F  then continue to bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and juices in the filling are bubbling . (If, while baking, the crust begins to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake until done).
  6. Cool 2 to 3 hours before cutting to allow filling to set.
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Beer, Cheese, and Veg Soup ….

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It was a chilly 65 degrees for two days down here in the Florida Keys last week, and I was a little happy. (curse me but thats actually chilly here!!) It meant I could make soup. I didn’t want your run of the mill “grandma chicken soup” or “beef and barely” …. no no, I wanted something that will make me say “mmmmm”…. at every single spoonful. Something that will stick to my ribs and keeps me warm. Something that tastes like cheese….. with beer in it. 🙂 I haven’t made this in years but when I did I was insanely happy I remembered it 🙂 European countries would not hesitate to feed this to the kiddies but if you want you can use a non- Alcoholic beer. I will let you be the judge of that …..

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 12oz bottle of beer. I use Rolling Rock but you can use any domestic. Do not use a light beer or any bitter beer like IPA’s or Lagers. Just a plain Corona, Coors, Miller, Bud, Rolloing Rock…..  yada yada You get the picture,
  • 2 cups chopped carrots – chop to your liking just remember not too big or it takes forever to cook them.
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 3 cups diced potatoes – make sure your potatoes are chopped just a tad bigger than your carrots because they will cook faster.
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • tabasco or your favorite hot sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne peper
  • 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 6 cups sharp cheddar cheese (finely shredded if you can find it)
  • crispy cooked bacon to crumble on top of soup when serving
  • *optional* chopped green onion for topping

Directions:

  1. Add stick of butter to large sauce pan. Add garlic, onion, peppers, celery, carrots and potatoes. Cook on med stirring often until carrots and potatoes are starting to get soft. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large soup pot add half and half. Stir under med heat until warm. Take about 2 cups of warm half and half and whisk flour together with it in a separate bowl until blended well with no lumps. Then add back into the pot.
  3. Add chicken broth slowly to pot and stir well. Then turn heat to simmer and slowly add beer. It will foam for a minute. Stir in well.
  4. Add sauteed veg and butter to soup pot and stir in well.
  5. Add in mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt pepper and cayenne pepper.
  6. Turn heat back to medium and start adding in the shredded cheddar in small amounts while stirring it in so it doesn’t clump. When all 6 cups are added return heat back to simmer.
  7.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes and stir every few minutes so it doesn’t burn to the bottom. (this is a good time to cook up some bacon) 🙂
  8. If you like thick soup then you can always take out some soup whisk in a little more flour and get it up to your own consistency.
  9. After the 30 minutes of so turn off the heat and let the soup cool for at least 10 minutes .
  10. Ladle into bowl and throw some chopped up bacon on top … and voila cheese and beer heaven 🙂

 

Tuna Ceviche … (from canned tuna!)

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I love ceviche, especially on hot days chased by a Corona with lime. It’s heaven. I saw a similar recipe and added my own pizzazz to it and it fabulous for a light lunch or appetizer at dinner. I like tuna from a can and if you do, to this may float your boat 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh Limes
  • 2 Tablespoons minced Red Onion
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 (7 oz) can Chunk White Albacore Tuna packed in water
  • 1 medium  plum tomato, finely diced (no seeds)
  • 2 Teaspoons fresh finely chopped Cilantro
  • 1 small Jalapeno minced (no seeds)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tabasco (few drops to taste)
  • 2 Avocados either sliced or scooped large ones to use as cups for Ceviche

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the red onion, pinch of salt, juice of 1 lime and olive oil.
  2. Mix in the chopped cilantro, jalapeno, drained tuna, tomato, and Tabasco.
  3. Taste test for more lime or salt and pepper and add according to your taste (I love lime so I use the second lime)
  4. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to let the flavors blend. To serve, top with fresh sliced avocado, on inside avocado cups, and serve.

Eggplant Pizzas

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Pizza like deliciousness without the carbs 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium to large eggplant
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • dried Italian seasoning
  • fresh chopped basil leaves (about 2 tablespoons)
  •  Parmesan cheese
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • chopped pepperoni (or any other chopped topping you may prefer)

Sauce:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.)  petite diced tomatoes with liquid (or use 2 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp oregano

Directions:

  1. Cut off both ends of the eggplant; then cut it into 3/4 inch thick slices (trying to make them the same thickness!)  Put the eggplant pieces on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt.  Let the eggplant sit with the salt on it for about 30 minutes to draw out the liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 375*
  3. While the eggplant sits, make the sauce.  Heat 2-3 tsp. olive oil  and saute the finely chopped garlic just until it becomes fragrant.  (Don’t let it brown.)  Add the petite diced tomatoes, tomato paste, dried Italian seasoning, and dried oregano and let the sauce cook at a low simmer until it’s thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork as it cooks.  (Add water if needed, a few tablespoons at a time as the sauce cooks, keeping it hot by simmering at very low heat until it’s needed for the eggplant slices.)
  4. After 30 minutes, wipe the eggplant dry with paper towels (this also removes most of the salt.)  Spray a roasting sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray, lay eggplant slices on, brush the tops of the eggplant with olive oil, and sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning.  Roast the eggplant about 22-25 minutes (not so long that the slices become mushy and lose their shape)
  5. After 25 minutes or when eggplant pieces are done, remove eggplant from the oven and turn oven setting to broil.
  6. Spread parm cheese first , then a few tablespoons of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice, sprinkle with thin basil slices (if using) and top with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese and topping of choice. (pepperoni is best !)
  7. Put pizzas under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Enjoy !!!!!!

Roasted Cauliflower

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I’m always trying to do new things with vegetables …. the same sides can get boring. My favorite way to eat broccoli or cauliflower is to blanket it in a thick cheese sauce …. but as we are watching what we eat these days its not on the menu. I have however grown to love roasting and I think you will enjoy something a little new . 🙂

Ingredients:

  • one medium to large head of cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • lemon wedges

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400*
  2. In a large bowl place florets and olive oil and toss until well coated (add more oil if florets look dry.)
  3. Spread florets out on a foil lined cookie sheet.
  4. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika to desired amount.
  5. Roast in oven for 30 minutes flipping florets around halfway through.
  6. Remove from oven …. squeeze lemons onto the cauliflower and serve !!!!

Bailey Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate and Candied Pecans

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This is probably my favorite ice cream to make. It isn’t easy to make, it’s time consuming. When I tell you it is well worth it I MEAN it. I saw a similar recipe and tweaked it the way I wanted it. I’ve made it a few times and am getting ready to make it again. It reminded me I need to share this frozen heaven with you in hopes that someone will find the time to make it and moan …omg this is insanely delicious. Thats what I always do 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of real salted butter chopped in small bits
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoons fresh ground fine coffee
  •   4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, about 70% cacao shaved with a knife
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans chopped ( I have bought them and made them )

Directions:

  1. Add sugar to a three quart saucepan with enough water to just moisten sugar, about 1/4 cup. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Let caramel form and darken, rotating pot if hot spots form. When caramel has turned dark amber and starts to smoke, turn off heat and stir in butter with a wooden spoon. Caramel will bubble, so watch for steam.
  2. When butter is fully integrated, add half-and-half in a steady stream and stir to combine. Caramel will bubble high and steam. When dairy is fully incorporated, add coffee grinds,  and 1 tablespoon Baileys. If caramel seizes up, stir it on low heat until it dissolves.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks well until lemony in color and thickened (they will fall off whisk in ribbons). Add a ladle of caramel mixture to yolks, whisking constantly. Repeat until bottom of bowl is warm to touch. Transfer yolk mixture to pot and whisk to combine.
  4. Return pot to low heat and let custard thicken, stirring frequently with wooden spoon. Custard is done when it coats the back of a spoon and a finger swiped across leaves a clean line. Remove from heat and stir in remaining Baileys. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
  5. Churn custard according to machine instructions. When ice cream is almost done, slowly sprinkle in chocolate shavings. Add pecans, roughly chopped, as well if you like (or save whole for garnish later). Transfer ice cream to airtight container and freeze for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm…… you wont regret it !!!

Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese stuffed Chicken Breast

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Lover of sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese here. This recipe is a crowd pleaser. The wonderful flavors combined in this recipe make me want to lick my plate !!! It isn’t difficult to make and it is worth the little time it takes !! Thank you My Recipes for the suggestion !!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not the kind in oil)
  • 1 cup boiled water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots finely chopped (use red onion if you cant get shallots)
  • 3- 1/2 minced garlic cloves ( about 1 teaspoon jar minced)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 thick chicken breasts
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons water

Directions:

  1.   Combine boiling water and sun dried tomatoes in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and finely chop.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup shallots, sugar, and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Spoon into a bowl; stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar.
  3. Combine chopped tomatoes, shallot mixture, cheese, basil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well.
  4. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper.
  5. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.
  6. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm.
  7. Add broth, remaining shallots, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and thyme; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until sauce is slightly thick, stirring constantly. Serve sauce over chicken. And enjoy enjoy !!