May 30, 2011

Pie No. 22 - Crème Brulee Pie

I cut a piece of pie for my husband and took it out on the deck.  He took a bite and said "Mmmmmm."  I asked if I could have a bite of his because I had not yet had a piece.  He told me to get my own and continued to moan with each bite.  He was kidding of course, and let me have a taste.  I knew he would be the right person to critique this pie because he loves Crème Brulee and has ordered it many times after a fine dinner out.  He said it tastes just like Crème Brulee except with a crust.  Yeah! 

May 27, 2011

Fresh corn-rice salad

Summer's almost here and along with the heat, we have wonderful, sweet, crisp corn on the cob.  The temperature is already above 90 degrees here in Fredericksburg Virginia.  We broke the record high on Thursday and I believe Friday will bring more of the same. 

May 25, 2011

Traditional Creamy Potato Salad

I try to shy away from generalizations but think this may apply.  If you've been alive long enough to learn to read this you've probably been to a BBQ or hosted one, and I'm willing to bet that someone, somewhere brought creamy potato salad.  Since I'm generalizing (and it's my blog) I'll also bet you have a definite opinion as to what kind of potato salad is best.  And finally, I'll bet you have a favorite recipe that your Mom made too.  Feel free to generalize in the comments section below.  Do you like German potato salad with vinegar?  Do you like a sour cream based potato salad?  Or are you like the rest of us southern cooks and bring out the big jar of Kraft mayonnaise or maybe Miracle Whip?  Such discussions have caused many a feud for years and years!

May 23, 2011

Pie No. 21 - Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

What is rhubarb anyway?  I never really thought about it much because I'd never even tasted it before. That is before this weekend.  I've heard a lot of people say they love rhubarb pie.  I can't remember my mother ever making it or mentioning it.  Pies can be made out of anything but I must admit I never knew rhubarb is a vegetable.  It looks like celery and tastes a bit like celery, only red.  I found it fun to work with and easy to cook and clean.  For you rhubarb lovers out there this pie is the easiest, most delicious combination of tart and sweet.  It just tastes southern.  If you haven't tried rhubarb yet, don't wait as long as I did ~ dig in!

May 20, 2011

Chicken Chopped Salad

I do love a good salad so it's very convenient that my husband planted a ton of lettuce in our garden in early spring.  The lettuce is still growing and since we've had plenty of rain and it hasn't gotten hot, I think we'll have lettuce for a little while longer.  There is something so wonderful about going outside and picking dinner fresh from the garden.  We don't have tomatoes yet, but everything is coming up! 

May 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I made another batch of backpacking snacks for my son to try.  These turned out pretty good but before we look at the recipe I want to share another quick snack that I found on Sarah's blog - The Smart Kitchen.  This was so smart if you ask me.  I guess that's why she calls it The Smart Kitchen!  I've had this banana creation for breakfast a few days and believe it's the perfect combination sweet and healthy.

May 18, 2011

Fudge Babies

We've always been an outdoor family, hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, camping, and hunting.  We've tried to do it all.  Since moving to Virginia we've also added backpacking to the list of family adventures.  Our son Patrick took us backpacking on the Appalachian Trail (AT) for my 50th birthday.  I think it was one of those in your face - I don't want to be (or feel) 50 adventures.  I had the time of my life and told him I need another trip for my next birthday. 

May 16, 2011

Pie No. 20 - Summer Berry Pie

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces -
just good food from fresh ingredients."  Julia Child.

That's what this pie is all about.  Fresh summer fruits introduced to each other in a big pastry bowl.  It may not be the prettiest pie I've ever made, but it is just plain-old-tasty!  There is nothing like fresh fruit.  I tried to make a berry pie a few weeks ago and ended up with a bowl of fruit, that was delicious by the way.  Berry pies don't stand up pretty and stiff as some cream pies but the messiness is part of the appeal.

Orange-Cranberry Coffee Cake

Yeah!  Brew the coffee and bring out the plates, we have success!  Seriously I was going to cry if I had one more recipe go bad.  Notice I don't take complete ownership of the failures - must be the recipes fault!  Ha-ha.  I don't want to shake my kitchen confidence you see :)  

May 11, 2011

Artisan Bread

You might want to skip down to the next paragraph so you don't have to listen to (read) my whining.  Sometimes cooking is just ... well it's just a pain.  Don't get me wrong, I love to bake.  And this bread turned out great, and easy.  Bonus!  But I seem to get in a rut sometimes and hit several not-so-great recipes in a row.  For instance, I made shrimp scampi for the first time.  It didn't turn out quite like I expected.  I think I overcooked it a bit and had way too much pasta in the bowl so the sauce became non-existent.  I served it with this bread however, so that was a plus.  It wasn't bad, just not blog worthy... yet.  Then I made a crock-pot barbecue chicken recipe that turned out just so-so.  My husband's thinks it tastes fine.  But 'fine' is just not good enough to blog.  And to make it all worse, all the photos turned out less than desirable.  So I have another recipe I'll be making tonight for a birthday breakfast.  Keep your fingers crossed for me - I need a home run!

May 9, 2011

Pie No. 19 - Derby Day Pie

On Saturday May 7th, the 137th Kentucky Derby race was run and won by Animal Kingdom.  I've never been to the Derby but I have ridden a horse or two in my day (not in a race or anything!)  I love horses and especially love horse movies such as The Black Stallion, International Velvet, Secretariat, and my absolute all-time favorite, Sea Biscuit.  Secretariat still holds the track speed record at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.  Instead of watching a horse movie on DVD, we opted to watch the real deal but skipped wearing the fancy hats. 

So in honor of the Kentucky Derby I made two Derby Day pies.  We needed extra for three different sets of visitors that came by this weekend.  Everybody got pie! 

May 6, 2011

Homemade Biscuits and Friday Breakfast

I somehow got biscuits on the brain recently.  While thinking about making big, fluffy, buttery biscuits, so many happy memories came to mind.  My mother made a very good biscuit, as did her mother and probably her mother too.  I always made pretty good biscuits but was a Bisquick kinda girl.  Some foods, like biscuits, bring memories to mind that are so clear you can almost remember every single detail.  My mom always made biscuits on Christmas, as I do now too.  She was a good cook and taught me to be confident in the kitchen.  Mom has been gone since I was 32 so this weekend I will remember her as I often do, and miss her.

May 4, 2011

Green Pepper Steak

Several weeks ago one of my brothers called and asked if I still had Mom's Green Pepper Steak recipe.  I was sure it was in my pile somewhere so I looked in my box of index sized recipe cards.  I actually found two copies and remarkably they were both exactly the same!  I relayed the recipe to my brother on the phone, and he wrote it down while sitting in a restaurant.  I didn't follow up to see if it turned out good, but I bet it did. 

May 2, 2011

Pie No. 18 - French Coconut Pie

It's Monday and you know what that means?  Pie number 18 was baked at our house this past weekend.  I actually ended up making two pies.  The first was a mixed berry pie that didn't exactly turn out to be a pie.  It ended up more like a delicious fresh fruit soup.  The filling never set so I poured (not scooped) it into a sealed container and will serve it with everything and anything.  So sad too.  I thought it was going to be awesome!  Since I took pictures of the process, I'll share a few here.  If you have a mixed berry pie recipe maybe I should take a look at it.  Mine needs some serious tweaking before I make it again!
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