"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

a mini-apple pie! . . .

I made a mini-apple pie today as it’s only the two of us and a regular size would too much pie to finish! In a six-inch pie plate, I used two Granny Smith apples with flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and dotted with unsalted butter. Halfway through the 400 degree baking, the top crust had browned, but the apples were not quite cooked long enough inside. So, I put aluminum foil over it and set it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. A quarter piece will be just right for a serving – and last the weekend!


“honeycomb cheese rolls” . . .

I’ve been wanting to make these ever since the recipe appeared in the New York Times last week. Here’s the link:

Instead of the toppings suggested in the recipe, I brushed the baked rolls with a bit of butter and then sprinkled a slight bit of Furikake wasabi condiment on the tops. Looks divine and can’t wait to try them out with supper tonight.

Cheers & Happy Sprng!

Sirlion tips, broccoli, noodle stir fry for supper tonight!

Supper tonight: sirloin tips, broccoli, noodle stir fry. Marinated sirloin cooked until medium rare and set aside; sauteed onion, garlic, mushrooms broccoli with chicken broth; added cooked ramen noodles and sauce (soy, sugar, sesame oil, oyster sauce, rice vinegar) and cooked until mixed well. Slice up the beef last and add to the noodle mixture so that it’s still medium rare and tender. Yum!

white peach pie with homemade crust! . . .

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George and I are going to make a housewarming visit to Caitlin and Tom’s new place in Gloucester tomorrow. To celebrate, I made a peach pie this morning. Up to now, I’ve been using Pepperidge Farm crusts and leaving it at that. For this one, I decided to make a homemade crust which looks absolutely fabulous, but also takes “a village” of time and effort.

So here’s what went into it. I peeled and cut up 5 ripe white peaches. I much prefer them over yellow ones. Letting the ripe peaches sit in boiled water for a few minutes, then rinsing them in cold water will allow for the peel to come off very easily.

Added a little flour, sugar and cinnamon to the fruit and let it sit while I made the pie crust from scratch. Scratch, it turns out, includes BOTH 6 tsp. very cold unsalted butter and 2/3 cup of very cold Crisco. To 2 1/2 cups of flour, I used a pastry cutter and hand blended the cold fats into the flour until it was mixed. Added 1/2 cup of ice water gradually and mixed it together. Hand shaped the pastry into two disks, wrapped in saran wrap and chilled it for 2 HOURS.

Took the dough out, rolled out the first disk for the bottom crust and laid it in an aluminum pie pan. Filled it with the peaches, dotted with unsalted butter on top, and then cut lattice strips to make a woven top. Added remaining pastry to the outside crust and crimped it to make it pretty. Added strips of aluminum foil to cover the outside pastry rim to prevent burning. Also brushed the lattice top and edge with egg wash and sprinkled on a little sugar.

Baked the pie in a 375 degree oven for 35 min. and then raised the temp to 400 and baked until golden brown. Doesn’t it look divine? Will serve it with some Breyers HOMEMADE vanilla ice cream. YUM YUM.

a small chocolate sour cream cake! . . .

Made a small chocolate sour cream cake this morning.

Quick and easy – smells luscious and can’t wait to cut into it! Recipe: Melt a stick of butter, add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, 2 eggs, scant cup of sugar. Mix well by hand. To 1 cup flour, add 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tsp salt. Add 2 tsp vanilla to wet ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients and stir.. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream; mix in. Add 1/2 cup hot water and mix well.

Pour into well greased 8X8 square pan. To preheated oven 325, bake 25-35 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.

“Atkins” nut loaf . . .

Here’s photo of the nut bread made from the Atkins low carb cookbook. It has flaxseed flour and almond flour, parmesan cheese, eggs, baking powder. The top is sprinkled with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The dough filled about 2/3rds of a regular loaf pan so I baked it in this small casserole one instead. Smells divine (and different!)

mushroom, golden raisin, mixed rice pilaf . . .

For supper tonight, I made a mushroom, golden raisin mixed rice pilaf, sauteed kale with Japanese vinegar and honey; and popovers left over from the other night.

The tastes went together really well, and we especially enjoyed the plump golden raisins in the pilaf!

homemade lentil soup with kale. . .

Our supper for tonight: homemade lentil soup with kale.

Recipe included browning half onion, 2 stalks hearts of celery, 2 carrots; 3 large cloves of garlic, then added 4 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon curry, salt, 2 cups of rinsed lentils. Simmer until soup cooks down, blend briefly with immersion blender, add chopped kale leaves; add juice of 1 lemon. Heat and serve.

Also made a pan of cornbread with fresh corn kernels.

a small pineapple upside down cake. . .

This grey, misty afternoon, I was thinking about the leftover fresh pineapple I had in the fridge and decided to make a half-size upside down pineapple cake. I used Ree Drummond’s recipe and cut the ingredient amounts in half. In a small skillet with a metal handle, I melted butter, brown sugar and added the pineapple before pouring the batter on top.

It worked out so well that I thought about how versatile a recipe this could be using: pitted fresh cherries, small dark plums, white peaches and so on.

Here are the ingredients for the cake batter: Melt 1/4 stick unsalted butter, add 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/8 cup veg. oil; 1 large egg and a tsp. of vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Measure out 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 Tb. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 cups whole milk — add gradually into the batter until mixed well.

In oven proof pan or skillet, melt 1/4 stick butter and 1/3 cup of brown sugar – add fruit and let brown. Add batter on top and bake at 350 for 35-40 min. until a toothpick comes out clean.

very easy chocolate mousse!

My first try at making an easy chocolate mousse dessert last week was too thick and gummy. Tonight’s second try seems to be a big improvement. I used 1/2 packet of Instant sugar-free chocolate pudding mix, with a cup of milk stirred in until thickened. In a separate bowl, I whipped up 1/2 – 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. I added the whipped cream into the pudding by folding it in gently.

Chilled for a couple of hours and added fresh raspberries on top. Much better – and an easy way to make chocolate mousse – no eggs, no baking, not much effort at all!