Friday, July 29, 2011

Nectarine-Raspberry Pie

I decided to try my hand at pie-making again.

I've only made two pies in my entire life; I've only made one pie crust in my entire life. And honestly, I don't ever plan on making another pie crust anytime soon. I hate cutting in butter & rolling dough with a passion.

I use Pillsbury Pie Crusts. I highly recommend them. One day, I'll make my own pie crusts. But not until after I'm married. Assuming I get married someday, and assuming I register for a food processor, and assuming someone buys it for me, but you know what they say about counting your chicks before they hatch...

Start by pitting and slicing 5-6 nectarines. It should equal about 8 cups.
Also, rinse off 2 cups of raspberries.
Toss the fruit with 2/3 cups of sugar.
Cover the bowl with saran wrap and set it aside for 30 minutes.
To keep things neat, I keep the pie crust on waxed paper so I don't have to flour my counter-top.
Two things you should always have, aside from saran wrap and aluminum foil?
Parchment paper and waxed paper. Go stock up.
Drape the crust over a 9" pie pan. 
Trim the edges, then throw it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Grab the fruit and drain it in a large colander. 
Toss it with lemon juice, lemon zest, and cornstarch.
Taste the fruit. Is it tart? Add a little more sugar.
Pour all the fruit into the frozen pie crust.
Now get ready to get fancy.
Unroll the second pie crust, and cut it into 3/4" strips.
I wish I had the skills to verbally explain how to weave a lattice top,
but it's so much easier to use someone else's tutorial.
Here are some step-by-step photos as a guide.
Once you have your lattice top, trim and crimp the edges.
Brush the crust with an egg white, then sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar.
Unfortunately, I only had rainbow sparkling sugar. Ugh.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place it on the bottom rack. 
Let the baking sheet pre-heat with the oven. 
The foil will serve as a spill-protector for easy clean-up.
Trust me, it will spill over. You WILL want easy clean-up.
Bake the pie for 25 minutes at 425 degrees. 
Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes. 
Cool for at least two hours.

Raspberry-Nectarine Pie
  • Premade pie-crust 
  • 5-6 nectarines, pitted and sliced
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2/3 - 1 cup cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg white
  • coarse sparkling sugar
  1. Toss the nectarine slices and raspberries with 2/3 cups sugar in a large bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Unroll the pie crust and drape it over a 9 inch pie pan. Freeze for about 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the fruit in a large colander, and toss with the lemon zest, lemon juice and cornstarch. Taste the fruit; if it's still tart, add the additional sugar. 
  4. Fill the crust with the fruit mixture.
  5. Roll out the other pie crust, and cut it into 3/4" strips with a pizza cutter (I use the side of the crust box as a guide to ensure I have straight lines).
  6. Arrange the lattice top. Trim the excess dough around the edges- allowing a little overhang- then crimp the edges with your fingers (or use the tines of a fork to secure the edges).
  7. Brush the top with an egg white, then sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar.
  8. Bake on the bottom rack of a preheated 425 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes.
  9. Allow the pie to cool for atleast two hours on a wire-rack before serving.
  10. Store at room temperature, loosely covered with saran wrap.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork & Cilantro-Jalapeno Coleslaw

Two crock-pot meals in one week! Life has gotten easier on Indigo Street.
This recipe came from The Pioneer Woman, and it was freaking deeeeelicious! Michael said it was the most flavorful pulled pork he's ever had, the house smelled delicious, and I might make it the next time we have company over.

Crock-pot meals are so easy I really don't think they need the play-by-play with photos. I spent about 20 minutes prepping everything in the morning (it could have been cut down to 10.. but it was the morning, I was moving slow), and another 15 minutes doing the finishing touches before serving. In order to make this as easy as possible, I prepped everything for the coleslaw in the morning and stored everything separately (dressing, cabbage/jalapenos, cilantro- all in separate tupperware) so I could toss it together before eating. Definitely make this. And make a ton of it- the leftovers are amazing.

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork
  • 1 large Onion, peeled & quartered
  • 3-5 lbs. Pork Shoulder Roast 
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 can Chipotles in Adobo (I used a 12.5 oz can- you can use a 7 oz can if you prefer things more mild)
  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper
  1. Place the onion quarters in the bottom of the crock-pot. Generously salt & pepper the roast before placing it (fat-side up) on top of the onions. Pour the can of chipotle peppers (including the sauce) over the roast, add the brown sugar, then pour in the two cans of Dr. Pepper. 
  2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, turning 2-3 times during the cooking process (I wasn't home- mine was never turned, no biggie).Continue to cook until the pork is falling apart (use two forks to test). If the pork is not falling-apart tender, cook it for another hour.
  3. Remove the entire roast from the crock-pot and place on a large cutting board. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. While the meat is resting, skim the fat from the liquid in the crockpot. Discard the fat.
  5. Shred the meat with two forks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the liquid in the crock-pot, and keep warm until ready to serve.

Cilantro-Jalapeno Coleslaw
  • 1/2 small head of cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small head of purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 whole jalapeno, halved & sliced thin (including seeds & membranes)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  2 cups cilantro leaves, barely chopped
  1. Toss together the sliced cabbage and jalapeno slices in a large bowl. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix the milk, mayo, sugar, vinegar, salt and cayenne pepper together. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for one hour (or not- I didn't). 
  4. Before serving, mix in the cilantro leaves.
To Serve:
Michael's Preference: Tuesday Night
Split a kaiser roll in half. Lightly butter and grill until golden brown. Top with shredded pork and a little juice, and coleslaw.

My Preference: Leftovers on Wednesday Night
Heat up a flour tortilla- preferably the delicious kind that you brown yourself on the stove (such as TortillaLand or My Nana's). 

I knew I would have a ton of leftovers, so I mixed together half the coleslaw on Tuesday so I could have 'fresh' coleslaw on Wednesday. Hate soggy coleslaw.

Monday, July 18, 2011

His & Her Bruschetta

Have you ever been to Postino's? Well, it's delicious. I highly recommend it. Unless you know where I live- then you can just come over here and eat mock-Postino's bruschetta.
I made two types of bruschetta for dinner; His & Her's.

His: Pesto & Fresh Mozzarella with Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped
  • dash of garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • basil pesto
  • French or Italian bread, cut into 3/4" thick slices.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the diced tomato, basil, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Brush each side of the bread with olive oil- place on a baking sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  4. Spread pesto on each slice, top with mozzarella- place back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese begins to melt. 
  5. Remove from the oven, top with the tomato mixture, serve immediately.
Her's: Brie & Fig with Apples
  • Good Quality Brie Chese
  • Fig Spread
  • Granny Smith Apple, cored and cut into thin slices
  • Honey
  • French or Italian bread, cut into 3/4" thick slices
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Brush each side of the bread with olive oil- place on a baking sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  3. Spread a thick layer of Brie onto the slices, then top with a layer of fig spread. Top with apple slices. Drizzle a little honey over the apples. Serve immediately.

Fig Spread

Fig Spread
  • 6 ounces Calimyrna dried figs, stemmed and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces.
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Bring the water, sugar and figs to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Reduce the heat, and simmer- covered- until the figs can easily be pierced with a knife and most of the liquid has evaporated. About 20 minutes.
  3. Allow the figs to cool slightly before transferring to a food processor or blender. Add the lemon juice and puree until smooth. If the spread is too thick, you can add water, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

French Dip Sandwiches

I'm not sure why, but Crock Pots intimidate me. Supposedly, you just throw your stuff in there and forget about it. Yeah, right. Do you have any idea how anal I am? I don't forget about anything. I worry about my Crock Pot; I worry about it lighting my house on fire, I worry about it shutting off somehow and coming home to raw meat and no dinner, I worry about it making vegetables too soggy. I'm not equipped for slow-cooking, I'm just not. 
At least I didn't think I was. Then I made French Dip sandwiches. And they were totes amazing! Except my photos don't portray how delicious it was because, let's face it, a giant piece of beef out of a crock-pot doesn't exactly photograph well. 

French Dip Sandwiches
Original recipe from
  • 3 1/2 lbs. Beef Chuck Roast
  • 14.5 oz. Beef Broth
  • 10.5 oz. Condensed French Onion Soup (I used Campbell's)
  • 6 oz. Red Wine
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • salt & pepper
  • 4-6 Bolillo Buns or French rolls
  • Provolone cheese, sliced
  1. Trim excess fat off the chuck roast, season liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the beef broth, soup, wine, and garlic into a crockpot. Place the roast into the liquid.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until very tender. Remove the beef from the crock pot, allow it to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes, then cut into thin slices. Place all the sliced meat back into the crockpot for another 30 minutes (I skipped this part because I was STARVING).
  4. Lightly toast the bread, top with cheese, and divide the beef evenly between the rolls. 
  5. Skim the fat from the crockpot, then spoon the beef juice (au jus) into ramekins. Serve each sandwich with it's own ramekin of au jus.
  6. Dip. Bite. Chew. Delicious. 
Serves 4-6.
Sidenote: I used a 2 lbs. chuck roast because I was only cooking for two. It cooked for 6 hours, and was PERFECT. It made three sandwiches; Michael had two, I had one. We had zero leftovers. ZERO. That's how good it was.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blackberry & Cream Cheese Muffins

Uh, delicious!

Blackberry & Cream Cheese Muffins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Cream the sugar into the mixture until light and fluffy, making sure to scrape down the sides occasionally. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, mixing until all the flour is moistened. Add all the milk, mix until incorporated, then add the rest of the flour. Continue to mix until no streaks of flour are visible and everything is well combined. Fold the blackberries in carefully.
  4. Divide the batter between the muffins cups. The cups will be filled above the rim.
  5. Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden, a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
  6. Cool muffins before serving. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 12 muffins.

Sauteed Apples

One of the easiest side dishes of all time. 3 minutes of prep-work. 12 minutes of cooking. I LOVE sauteed apples with grilled pork.. or vanilla ice cream.

Start with 3 Granny-Smith Apples.
I know- there's 4 in the picture.
Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4" slices.
Saute the apple with the butter until they're tender, about 7 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, mix cornstarch into cold water.
Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan.
Then add cinnamon and brown sugar.
Stir it all together.
Bring the sauce to a boil for two minutes.
Serve warm!

Sauteed Apples
  • 3 Granny-Smith apples 
  • 2 T. butter or margarine 
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 t. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4" thick slices.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat- add the apple slices and saute until tender (7-10 minutes).
  3. Combine the cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl, make sure it's well-mixed. Add to the pan, along with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir to combine. 
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm. 
Serves 4.
145 calories / serving