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Category Archives: Pie’s Recipes

Cooking With What You Got In . . .

 . . . your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box.    Yes, we are very blessed to live in an area where we can participate in a local CSA program.  When we recently decided to participate in the CSA program I made a commitment to myself that I was going to cook and try everything that came in my box.  Last week I found myself pulling out gold beets and rainbow chard.  YIKES!   I “googled” the two veggies and got a grasp of what they are and some ideas on how to prepare them and then formed two recipes on my own.  So, if you find yourself with a bunch of gold beets and rainbow chard, you now have some ideas!   I tend to get excited about cooking, so  I may get a bit carried away on the descriptions… but oh, how I love food!

This was the goodies in the box this week!

Thanks for sharing a piece of “how the heck am I going to make that” pie with me!

Roasted Gold Beets with Walnuts and Blue cheese or Gorgonzola

This is a dish I think I may put out on Turkey Day!  I would classify it as a hearty comfort food side dish that has a level of elegance that comes across that you may of spent hours in the kitchen with. The beets happen to have  a hint of sweetness, so the tangy cheese is a wonderful complement and the crunch of the walnuts was a perfect finish!    It would be really good winter warm salad!  Just add it to fresh spinach  and served with a balsamic dressing and a rustic bread.  I would serve with a merlot with a berry base – it would really pull the sweetness out of the beets!

Pre-heat oven at 375

Wash and cut 4 medium-sized gold beets into  1 inch chunks

Using a large cookie sheet, spread beets out on to it

Pour about 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil over the beets

Salt and pepper (I use Kosher salt) – take care in adding salt, the blue cheese/gorgonzola has a lot of salt in it.

Spread about 1 cup of walnut halves on cookie sheet

Mix all together until a nice coat of oil is on all the beets

Pop in oven and cook for about 35 minutes or until beets are starting to brown and are tender on the inside.l

Once out of the oven, pour into a serving bowl and lightly toss about 1/2 cup of blue cheese (you can substitute gorgonzola)

Server immediately!

Serves about 4-6

Lemon Rainbow Chard

This is a very bright tasting dish and stems have  a great crunch!  I felt like I was transported to a southern state eating my greens!  This would be a great side dish to go along side Beef Stroganoff- The lemon is a great way to balance out the cream in main dish. 

In a large skillet or dutch oven melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Add rainbow chard (about gallon sized ziplock bag full) and cook until it starts to cook down like spinach

Once starting to cook down, add salt and pepper to taste and then 1 full lemon squeezed.

Mix well and bring down to simmer and cover for about 3-5 minutes.

Serve immediately!

Serves 4-6

Did Someone say Pickles?

Yes, you heard right . . . Pickles!  My aunt introduced me to a cool method of making the BEST and I do mean the BEST pickles I have ever had without all the hassle of canning.  DZ Pickles is the name and easy and delish is their game!

Today I headed over to the local farmer’s market and rounded me up about 4 lbs of cucumbers and a bunch of fresh dill.  I then skinned a whole blossom of garlic (around 12 cloves) and added dried red HOT peppers (the type you get in Kung Pao).  I arranged everything in a plastic “gallonish” container, poured the DZ Pickle brine in and then topped with water.  It will need to sit on my counter for about 8 days- tightening the lid every other day or so.  

After the 8 days are up they are ready to go into the fridge and eat!  Yummo! They are crisp, spicy and flavorful! 

 Some fun news:  This past Wednesday, while I was at the zoo with a dear friend and out kiddos, we shared the Santa Barbara Zoo train and “ant hill” (an artificial hill that is covered with Astroturf that kids can slide down) with none other than Mel Gibson and his adorable little girl!  I know… regardless of all the tabloid nonsense, I love his movies and was  a tad star struck.  But being from Southern California, I see and have interacted with my share of Hollywood celebs, but he was a neat person to run into. 

I am almost done with my “big” Cricut project.  I have one more thing to do and I should be posting pictures tomorrow sometime. 

Thank you for coming and sharing a piece of life’s pickled pie today! 🙂

Did Somebody Say Pizza!

Even though I set my timer, I got a little distracted with the kids and let the pizza stay in the oven a tad bit longer than I would of liked. It was still excellent

Every Friday I have been making pizza for our family dinner for the past few years.  Today, I stayed home since the kiddos are suffering from the fist cold of the season and did not get a chance to head to Trader Joe’s and get their pre-made pizza dough (super easy and cheap way to go when making home-made pizza).  I do have the Cusinart Elite 16- cup food processor that has the ability to make dough, so I decided to give making pizza dough a whirl. . . BEST IDEA EVER!

I added a little twist to a recipe I found on About.com (http://southernfood.about.com/od/yeastbreads/r/r90430rev.htm) .  I added an ingredient to the dough base that is something I find as my “go-to” ingredient.  It is a spice/herb mixture that I found at Costco a year or so ago  (which they now have discontinued! I now buy direct from the manufacture – yeah it is that good).  It is called Jonny’s Garlic Spread(http://www.johnnysfinefoods.com/Great-Caesar-Garlic-Spread-Seasoning–18oz_p_7.html) .  I use it as a base for dressings, italian sauces, rubs for meats (excellent on tri-tip) and now in pizza dough!

It was a big hit tonight, even the dog managed to sneak a piece off the counter while I was clearing the table (pizza is the only thing she will take from the counter at least she has per priorities straight).  The best part was my house smelling like a restaurant in Little Italy while the pizza was baking.  The garlic spread really added a wonderful essence via taste and smell!

It was super easy to roll out! I loved working with this dough!

Ingredients:

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water, 110° F.
  • 1  teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (for rolling out) and  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoons of Johnny’s Garlic Spread

Preparation:

Put warm water in a cup; sprinkle yeast over water and stir in sugar; let stand for about 10 minutes, or until it begins to bubble.

Combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, garlic seasoning and salt in a mixer or food processor that has the “dough” capabilities, if not you will have to go old school and mix and knead on your own ; pour in oil and yeast mixture and mix until a ball is formed.

Place in a large bowl greased with shortening or butter; turn dough over to coat the dough well.

Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Dough should double in bulk. Punch down the dough and shape to fit a lightly greased pizza pan which as been sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. Keep dough slightly thick around the edges. Fill with favorite filling and toppings and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes at 425°

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Yesterday was the hubs birthday.  Here is a little something I whipped out for a card for him.  He loved it.  My 3-year-old and I made homemade cupcakes with cream cheese cupcakes.

Recipe:

Cricut Cartridge : Handy Man (Measuring Tape set at 3 inches)  and Mini Monograms (S stitch set at 1 1/2)

Card Base: iCraft – blank brown circle card

Die Cuts with a View:  Summer Stacker for “Happy Birthday” and Glitter Stacker for orange glitter paper

Recollections for base colors

Stickles for the bling outline

Button (from my personal stash)

Button twine from Papertreyink.com

Sentiment: My Pink Stamper

Ink: Michael’s Dollar Bin special:-)

MONSTER COOKIES! A Mom’s Best Friend During the Dog Days of Summer!

Here it is summer and we are homebound do to our pooch hurt with stitches (thanks to a unforutnate run in with two large dogs) and the weather being to0 chilly and foggy to take off some steam in the pool.  So what is the next best activity to do with two little girls?  BAKE COOKIES!  I found this recipe via the EVERYDAY HOME COOK and they turned out delish!

4th of July Party on a Budget!

I love to throw parties and when ever I can I will, but no matter how you slice it or dice it, parties can get a little out of hand in the price department.  I just hosted a 4th of July party where I had about 20 in attendance.  I made all my decorations with mostly what I had on hand already in my craft room and shopped the ads for the food.   We kept it simple with burgers and dogs.  For cocktails I found a really good pre-made margarita mix at Costco for $11 a bottle (Kirkland brand).  A friend over asked if I had Grand Marne on hand and she added a shot of that to each “rita” and WOW were they good!

 

 

I put American Flags that I got on clearance last year in this jar and added a tag I made from my Cricut Celebrations cartridge (3 inches). Paper was from Die Cuts with A View Summer Stacker

 

Label was made from Cricut Storybook Cartridge (2 inches)

I wrapped these tin pails I had from a previous party with some patriotic material I found at Jo-Ann’s at 75% off.  I also used this same material for table runners.

I made these stars from Plantain Cricut cartridge the star is 2 .5 inches and the layer star is 2 inches.  I added little “pom-poms” to the center and attached with hot glue to 2 inch white tin pails I had from a previous party.

I made the Pom-Pom by using a method I found online.  The only thing I did do, is I layered different colored paper to get the multi-colored effect.   They were so easy to make.  I did use zip ties instead of stapling the center.  That seemed to work amazing!

For my tables I wrapped the kiddie tables in brown butcher paper and then wrapped the star garland on both ends.  I cut the table runner to fit and taped down with painters tape.

Card Making and Cooking; When Two Perfect Worlds Collide!

This week is VBS for my three-year old! While volunteering in the classrooms,  I volunteered to bring a dish for one of the nights for the volunteers.  Last night was my night and I made a recipe that I more or less made up with a little help from our local Trader Joe’s. 

Since the dish would appear non- descript, I decided to make a fun “calling card” for the dish.  Apparently the dish was a huge hit, and was gobbled up in no time flat.  So if you are looking for a fun and yummy dish to take to your next potluck, here is an idea!

 

Chili Corndog Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of cornbread mix (follow the directions of the box to make)
  • 2 packages of hotdogs (16 dogs) * I used turkey dogs
  • 1 cups of shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.  You can substitute  jack cheese.  I like mine super cheesy that melts smooth and creamy so I use mozzarella.
  • 3 cans of chili with beans of your choice. * I used turkey chili with beans.
  • Diced red onions (optional)
  • Diced jalapeno for garnish (optional)

 

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a large casserole dish or aluminum throw-away bake and serve dish with oil spray.
  • Empty contents of chili cans into the dish.
  • Cut hot dogs in threes length wise and dice into small pieces and place in dish.
  • Add 2 cups of shredded mozzarella or  jack cheese to dish.
  • Combine all ingredients and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle top with 1 1/2 cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese.
  • Follow the directions on cornbread box and make cornbread in a seperate bowl.
  • Spread cornbread evenly onto chili mixture.
  • Place in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.

 

Card: 

  • Base: I cut a piece of white cardstock down to 12 inches wide and 8 inches long and scored it to fold in half (new measurements 6×4)
  • Paper: I cut down a piece of design paper from Die Cuts with a View, Summer Stacker to 6×2 2 1/2.
  • Cricut cartridges: Simply Charmed (Shadow setting on hotdog and hot dog bun and mustard set at 3 inches)
  • Cricut cartridges: Schoolbooks Plantain.  Typed in the words “chili corndog bake” at 1 inch setting.
  • Stamps: Peachy Keen Big Eyes Boy
  • Stamp Ink: Stampin’ Up Classic Black
  • Ribbon: Used some scrap I had.
  • I attached the hot dog with dimensional.