Sunday, January 31, 2010

Year of the Pie - Pie #29 French Silk Pie

I honestly don't know what makes this pie a 'French' pie, but whatever it is, it is good. Start this lovely pie with a baked pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate.

1 C. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/3 C. + 1 T. shortening
1 T. of ice water sprinkled 1 T. at a time.

After I put the crust in the plate I poke it with a fork a few times and set it in the fridge for half an hour or so.
Bake it on 475° for 8-10 minutes. Taking great care not to let it burn...

In the meantime, you can work on the filling, which is so good, you might weep. But be brave, have the tissues at hand and go for it.
You will need three of the 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate squares and one half stick of BUTTER (4 T. or 1/4 C.). I shaved the chocolate in my Pampered Chef cheese shredder thingy. It melted nice and evenly and quite quickly.

Here are all of the ingredients:
  • 1/4 C. butter
  • 3 Ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C. heavy whipping cream
O.K. So here is the recipe:

Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Mix sugar and cornstarch; stir into the chocolate mixture.

Beat eggs in a small bowl with your favorite electric mixer on medium speed until thick and lemon in color. Stir this into the chocolate mixture. Cook the chocolate mixture over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY... (you will have to switch to you other hand before you are me.), until thick and glossy. Stir in the vanilla. Cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now, beat whipping cream in a chilled medium bowl with your electric mixer on high speed until stiff. I beat mine til it looked like the picture above. It looked
about right to I went with it.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the cream. Fold is a tricky word for me....I took it to mean, fold it in til combined...but don't beat it or anything harsh. What do you think it means? Am I close?

After it is gently blended together, pour it in the pie plate. Cover and refrigerate about 4 hours or until set.

And YES that is SUNLIGHT on that little pie. The sun is shining today!!!! Praise the Lord for a welcomed sight.
I am still learning how to place the pictures......Until Next Time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


For the past six years I have been involved in a co-leader or leader position in my daughter's 4H club. It is hard for me to be a leader because I am not an "in front of people" type of gal. But we always muddled through it. On top of that I felt that the club and I just didn't quite click because we homeschooled and the only other homeschoolers were my nieces, B & E. We are not involved in the local government school corporation that 97% of the others were. Last year I decided I would enjoy 4H much better if I wasn't a leader. So my husband (also a leader) and I bowed out. My daughter is still in the same club, but we just are not leaders. So, this evening was the first meeting of the year and our new leaders had a good meeting and a good turn out. So happy for them and happier for me. We left the meeting, while people were still mingling afterward, and just walked to the truck....with out a care in the world. I am happy happy. Margaret has this year and two more years to go to make 10 years in 4H. I think we are gonna have a lot of fun. Hope you all have a great 4H year too (if you are into that).

Just so you know, it is 13° as I write. Should be a balmy 7° when we wake up tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Elizabeth Zimmermann

In case you didn't know, I just learned to knit last July. I have looked at a multitude of knitting books, patterns and videos. The one person I keep coming back to is Elizabeth Zimmermann. I enjoy reading her books. Most knitting books, I just look through. With Elizabeth's books, you read them. She writes like you are sitting next to her having a chat and she is so witty. I especially enjoy her videos. Not only does she show you how to do certain techniques, she shares so much knitting wisdom while doing it. After having viewed her video Knitting Workshop, I am positively convinced that I can make a sweater. The Opinionated Knitter, Knitting with out Tears and Knitter's Almanac are all good books. If you have the opportunity to study her work, I think you will be blessed and encouraged by it.

Oh, yes, I have, just today received the additional yarn to finish the socks. Eeeeeeeeeee!!!!
Wish me luck!

Until Next Time...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Knitting A Pair of Socks - Update #4

Well, here I am, out of yarn, but past the heel and headed for the toe. Just need to finish the foot part and then shape the toe....that is a little intimidating for me, so I shall practice on scrap yarn while I await my new yarn!.

Until Next Time.

Year of the Pie - Pie # 28 French Vanilla Dream Whip Pie

Pie # 28 French Vanilla Dream Whip Pie

Make a crust.
1½ C. graham cracker crumbs
3 T. white sugar
1/3 C. melted butter
Mix and press firmly into a 9-inch pie plate.
Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

For the filling you will need:
2 envelopes of Dream Whip whipped topping mix
2 3/4 C. cold milk, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
2 pkg. (4 serving size each) Jell-O instant pie and pudding mix (any flavor)

Beat whipped topping mixes, 1 C. milk and the vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer on high speed for six minutes.
Add remaining 1 3/4 C. milk and pudding mixes, beat on low speed. Then beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

If you are looking for an easy pie to make, this is the pie for you.
Hope you like it. We three did.

Until Next Time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Knitting a Pair of Socks - Update #3

I have knitted both socks above through the heel flap.

You can kind of see the 'v' shape of the heel on the right. The left sock I have done the heel turn, picked up stitches along the gusset and worked on the instep. I am now just knitting that one round and round til my yarn runs out., which will be very soon. I will then catch up the next one and run out of yarn again. In the meantime I shall order more yarn to finish the body and toes.

Until Next Time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Knitting a Pair of Socks - Update # 2

Since my last sock update, this is where I am. I went ahead and got the other sock 'caught up' with the first sock. I will then do the heel in one and then the heel in the other. (hopefully).

My original sock post and first update are at my main blog.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Year of the Pie - Pie #27 Sawdust Pie

Pie #27
Sawdust Pie

Can you believe that we are half way to the 52 pie mark? Pie #27 marks the turning point on this little pastry journey. It has been interesting to say the least. Before the journey began, the crust was the most challenging part for me....I can now say that I can make a crust with confidence and glee. I tried a few different crust recipes and I kept falling back to my favorite one. The Betty Crocker crust recipe. I have been released from apologies, explanations and excuses in the pie world after I watched Julie/Julia. It is the movie about Julia Child. (watch with caution).
The goal of the Year of the Pie was to teach my daughter (while teaching myself) all about pies. I don't think we will ever know ALL about pies...but we are no longer afraid of them. Maggie started our pie journey with Pumpkin pie on July 12, 2009. Some weeks I make a pie solo, some weeks, she just depends on what is going on in our lives at that precise pie moment.
I appreciate all of you taking this pie journey with is fun. Our goal is to make a different pie each week-the hard part is deciding which pie to make.
Well, let's just get right into this weeks' pie.......shall we?
You need some shredded coconut, pecans and graham crackers. You will still have coconut left, so plan on making coconut squares or something. You will have graham crackers left over, so plan on making a cream pie with graham cracker crust.
Also in the picture is my new spice rack my husband custom made for me.
You will have 7 egg yolks left over, so use 6 of them to make a double batch of egg noodles.
I got a little whiny with the ingredients because they were a little pricey. Pecans are just so expensive.

Here is the recipe.

  1. One unbaked 9-inch pie crust. Chill it in the fridge while you make the filling.
  2. 7 large egg whites
  3. 1½ C. sugar
  4. 1½ C. crushed graham crackers
  5. 1½ C. sweetened coconut flakes
  6. 1½ C. finely chopped pecans

Combine egg whites and sugar, stir with a wooden spoon.
Add graham crackers, coconut and pecans, stir until evenly combined.
Pour into the pie crust.
Bake on CENTER rack at 325° for 25 minutes, turn 180° and bake an addition 10-15 minutes. The center should be a little gooey when done. The edges-no so much.

Serve warm or at room temperature.
Garnish with banana slices and whipped cream.
We took the pie to church and my husband said that this was the last piece. Men just eat different than gals...don't you think? I would not have put my dessert right on my 'still icky plate' from dinner. But, anyway, he usually tries one of everything and tonight was no different. He said he liked it very much. A couple other folks mentioned that they liked it too. If you read my previous pie post about Coconut Cream Pie, you will know how much I detest coconut. I DID taste this pie a little and I just couldn't like it. Maggie passed on the taste test, but she did roll out the double batch of egg noodles for the freezer.

Remember that National Pie Day is January 23, 2010.
Make a pie for someone you .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Year of the Pie - Pie #26 Apple Pie

Pie # 26
Apple Pie

As I look through various cook books and read the names of pies, I get a little discouraged. I am just a simple gal who wants a good pie. Some of the names of the pies are longer than the recipe. The longest named pie on my blog has been the Sour Cream Pear Pie.
I guess I just want a GOOD simple pie with a simple name.
A few names from the latest pie book that I am studying are:
Creme Anglaise Berry Pies (I had to read further into the recipe to discover that creme anglaise is vanilla custard sauce.)
The Simplest Cranberry-Apple Crumb Pie
Blueberry-Peach Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping
Pear and Jalapeno Jelly Pie
Peachy Peach Butter Pie with Sour Cream Topping
....they just seem too long.

In August we made French Apple Pie,
in September we made Fried Apple Pies and German Apple Pie,
but we were yet to make just a simple apple pie.

So, here is one.

Two Crust Pastry Recipe
2 C. flour
1 t. salt
2/3C. + 2 T. shortening
4-5 T. ice water
Mix, divide, roll out. I chose to do a lattice for the top of this one.
My daughter is a better lattice maker than I. You can see her work here.

Here is the recipe for the fillling.

  1. 3/4 C. sugar
  2. 1/4 C. flour
  3. 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
  4. 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  5. dash of salt
  6. 6 C. thinly sliced pared tart apples (about 6 medium)+
  7. 2 T. diced butter

Mix the first five ingredients together and stir in the apples.
Pour into the prepared crust and dot with the butter.
Cover with the top crust.
Bake at 425° for 40-50 minutes.
If using a solid crust for the top, slit cuts in it several times.
Have a piece with ice cream.
Now sing the theme song to the old Chevrolet commercial.
Hot dogs, ice cream, apple pie and Chevrolet......
if you are of the younger persuasion, ask and older person to sing it.

Until Next Time

Remember January 23, 2010 is National Pie Day.
Make a pie for someone you love.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Year of the Pie - Pie #25 Coconut Cream Pie

Pie #25
Coconut Cream Pie

Tell me I did NOT write those words. Coconut? Bleck. It would be putting it mildly to say that I detest coconut-in ALL forms. I have never purchased coconut in my life and barely knew where to find the silly stuff. But Chris ran into the grocery with me Friday and I just ran across it at Aldi in the 'cooking' aisle. So I thought....might as well get it done. It is gonna happen sooner or later. Chris likes coconut cream pie. Lots of people do....go figure? So as I made this pie......I was not stressed in the least because I didn't care if it turned out right or NOT because I wouldn't be tasting it. LOL
I guess I was secretly hoping it would turn out a little since Chris was very interested in its well being as it came into existence.
SO, ladies and gentlemen (if there be any that read this), with no further ado, I give you the Coconut Cream Pie, watalulu style.

Although quite easy, this pie has quite a few steps so stay with me.

Step #1
Make a pie crust.
Mix 1 C. flour with 1/4 t. salt and mix. Cut in 1/3 C. + 1 T. Crisco shortening. Use a pastry mixer for this if you have handy and works great. When the pieces are mixed well and look like little pebbles in size, switch to a fork and blend in 1 T. of ice water at a time. Blend with the fork in big happy circles, holding the bowl at an angle. You will probably need to sprinkle in about 2- 3 tablespoons before it miraculously clings together and leaves the sides of the bowl clean. Shape into a ball, then roll out in to a fabulous circle. Have fun with it. Remember roll it out like a clock. After you have put it in the plate, prick it all over with aforementioned fork and set it in the fridge while you do step two.

Step #2

Put 1 1/3 C. sweetened shredded coconut flakes (oiu I said it again...)in a pie plate and bake it at 300° for 20 - 30 minutes. Stir it occasionally. I must admit, it smelled sweet when I opened it and it really kind of smelled good as it toasted. And it was real pretty when it was done.

a gigantic picture of coconut

put the coconut in a pie plate and toast it

Step #3
Now bake the crust at 475° for 8 - 10 minutes. Guard it from browning too much with a pie shield or an aluminum tent.
Then set it aside with the toasted coconut.

Now here comes the sweet part. My favorite part. This recipe is the basis for banana cream, chocolate cream, and coconut cream pie. Add the appropriate flavor at the end. If you add no flavor to this concoction you get a wonderful Vanilla Cream Pie. Tasting it right out of the sauce pan will surely make you think you are in heaven. Mmmmm. But this particular story has a sad ending because we put coconut in it. LOL So let's make a filling.

In a medium saucepan mix very well:
2/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt

Pour in
2½ C. milk
Vigorously beat in
5 egg yolks
until all blended and no yellow streaks remain.
Save 3 of the egg whites for the meringue.
Using your favorite whisk, whisk this mixture constantly over medium heat. Not a 'hot' medium heat, more of a 'medium' medium heat.
Whisk and whisk and whisk.....whisk infinity.
Then all of a sudden your delightful mixture that you have been moving in a circular motion for what seems and eternity, will thicken and then it will thicken more and a little more. Ahhh, perfection. It smells good too.
Once it comes to just a bare simmer -don't let it boil- remove it from the heat (just lift it up some) and stir. Return it to the heat and cook 30 second or more. Til you feel it is nice and thick. Remove from the heat.
Then add 3 T. of diced butter and 1 t. vanilla and the coconut, in that order. After I stir in the butter I let it melt before I add the vanilla and the 'C'. ick
Pour this mixture into the waiting pie crust.

Step #5
Now, with the 3 egg whites have your mixture beat them on high til they become fluffy. Right as you start mixing, throw in 1/4 t. cream of tartar. After it becomes fluffy, add 1 T. of sugar at a time (for a total of 6 T.) until the meringue gets big and glossy looking. Then add 1/2 t. vanilla. Mix and then spoon it on the filling and then bake it for a bit at about 350° for 10 minutes or until nicely browned, which ever happens first.

Let the pie cool on the counter top for about two hours and then put it in the fridge.

This pie went to church and Nancy, Ann and our nice neighbor Bob B. liked it very well, along with Chris.

So there you have it.
Until Next Time

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Year of the Pie - - Pie #24 Applesauce Pie

Pie #24
Applesauce Pie

I have been reading this fellas pie book. In his book this pie is titled Cinnamon Applesauce Pie. I didn't follow his recipe exactly so therefore I can rename it right? Basically, he says this..."Cooks of another era would often make applesauce pies as their supplies of storage apples dwindled and then ran dry. It's easy to understand why they would have embraced the idea, what with all the other chores to be done, because a jar of applesauce relieves a busy home maker of the peeling and slicing required for a fresh apple pie. I think you will like this pie for the same reason." Use your canned applesauce, Mott's or another good-quality brand.

So here goes:
2 large eggs at room temperature (I think the eggs I used were medium)
1 large egg yolk at room temperature
1/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. brown sugar
Combine the above in a large bowl and mix on medium speed until well mixed-about 30 seconds.

Mix well
2 C. applesauce (I used home canned Cortland apples)
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 T. fresh lemon juice -I didn't use
1 tsp. lemon zest - I didn't use
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
and add to egg mixture and blend really well.
Pour into a prepared 9 inch pie crust (unbaked).

Bake on CENTER rack for 15 minutes at 400°. Then reduce to 350° and bake 30 minutes longer. Fifteen minutes before it is done, rotate 180°.
I checked it with a cake tester in the center and it was clean.
Pull it out and cool on rack and then refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

This pie is EASY to make. If you have a beginning pie maker, this might be a pie to start with.
It's texture and the way it bakes up and it's personality remind me very much of pumpkin pie.

We took this pie to church and I didn't catch the response from those gathered, but here is our take on it.
Chris: He liked it. (he likes everything)
Moi: I liked the texture o.k., but the taste was a bit sweet/tart. If you really liked SweetTarts, you might like this pie.
Maggie: The taste was fine, but the texture was a bit squishy. She doesn't do squishy.

Until Next Time
Don't forget......National Pie Day - January 23, 2010!!!!!!! Make a pie.