Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Crust
      2 cups flour
      1/2 cup of Wesson Oil
      1/4 cup of milk
Combine and roll out between sheets of wax paper

Lemon Filling

        1 cup sugar
        5 tablespoons cornstarch
        1- 3/4 cup water. . .mix into the sugar and cornstarch in a 6 cup
        glass measuring cup
        Add 5 beaten egg yolks. . whites set aside in a large metal or glass bowl
        dash salt
        The zest of 1 lemon
        1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice

I throw it all into the microwave and stir it every 2 minutes on high until it has comes to a bubbly boil.
    Add 3 tablespoons of soft butter and stir in.


While the filling is cooking. .

        Beat your egg whites adding 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
        add 1/3 cup of white sugar
        add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
        Beat the whites adding the sugar and cornstarch until the whites are
        glossy and thick.


As soon as the filling is done, pour it into the cooled pie shell, and immediately after add the egg whites on top making little mounds until it is all covered and touching the crust.  I only used 3 egg whites to make this meringue because I ruined 2 while I was separating them.  Your meringue should be much higher.

Put it back in the oven at 350 F until it is golden brown .. I did mine about 22 -25 minutes.

If you put your meringue on your lemon filling when it is hot, it's not as likely to weep.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Carrot Cookie Sanwiches with lemon cream cheese filling

I think everybody knows that cookie sandwiches are mostly just an excuse to eat double the amount of cookies ... but who cares! They're great that way!


Cookies
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup roughly grated carrots (approximately 1-1/2 to 2 carrots)
1/2 cup raisins

Filling
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Measure the oats, and then grind the oats in a food processor to make a fine flour. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one. Add the carrots and raisins, mixing just to combine. The dough will be very sticky.

Drop 1-tablespoon mounds of the dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. (It'll take more than one batch to cook them all) Bake, until the cookies are golden brown and spring back when gently touched in the center, about 13-15 minutes. When cool enough to touch, pull the parchment paper with the cookies on it, on to a wire rack and cool the cookies there before filling

To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest, sugar, and salt on medium speed until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (The filling can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let it come to room temperature before using.)

Using a small spoon or spatula, spread 1 teaspoon of the filling over the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with the remaining cookies, flat sides together.

The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Adapted from the Craft Of Baking

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A little bit of my life - March 2011

This winter the dining room table was once again covered in plastic, and I dragged in my grow light from the greenhouse. Since some seeds need a warm environment, I've been able to start seeds successfully using this method.

These are Adenium seedlings that I started a couple weeks ago. This is their first day without the cover to their jiffy greenhouse. They're Royal Ruby and Phoenix seedlings.
The individually potted plants are Adenium that I started from seed last fall. They'll be going outside in just a couple of weeks.

The Nasturtium I sowed are already outside because they don't mind the cool nights. In fact, they thrive on cool nights ... unlike me, who still has the electric blanket going every night.

Today I planted a bunch of Cosmos seeds that I had given to me. Many of these could be planted in the greenhouse now, but I enjoy keeping a closer eye on them. I check them out when I turn on the grow light at 5 AM and when I turn it off at 9 PM. It's such a pleasant surprise to see them pop up from the moist growing medium.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Almost Healthy Muffins - AKA Flax Seed Muffins


Moist muffins with a taste reminiscent of old fashioned gingerbread. They're full of good things ... and just a smidgen of not-so-good. Give them a try for one of those days when you only want to feel a little bit guilty for indulging.

Flax Seed Muffins

1-1/4 cup of ground up flax seeds ( I used my VitaMix, but a coffee grinder would work too)
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 tablespoon of Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
3/4 cup Sugar
4 large Eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Oil
1/2 cup Water
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
1 medium Apple, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 muffin pan very well, or line with paper liners.

Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the rest of them and mix well.

Let the batter sit for 10 minutes then put into the muffin pan.

Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 325 Degrees Fahrenheit

Ingredients

16 large to extra large Baby Bella or White Mushrooms (your taste preference)
5 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 Pound sweet Italian Sausage, removed from casings (or you can buy the roll type)
1/2 Cup Chopped onion
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2/3 Cup Panko bread crumbs
8 Ounces Mascarpone cheese
1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 Tablespoon dried Parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside.
Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil in a medium skillet, over medium heat. Add the Sausage, crumbling it. Cook the sausage 8 mintes, stirring frequently. It should be completely browned. Add the chopped Mushroom Stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Add in the chopped Onion and minced Garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly. Lastly, mix in the Mascarpone Cheese and continue to cook until the mascarpone has melted and makes the sausage mixture creamy.

Take off the heat and stir in the Parmesan, dried Parsley, and season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Fill each mushroom generously with the Sausage Mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Bake 45 minutes or until the stuffing is browned and crusty.

If you have extra stuffing cook it in a separate casserole dish. It makes a nice side dish for meat, such as pork chops.

Here's the Mushrooms before they were cooked

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms


Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms

Today I made them with chocolate, for a rich chocolate and peanut butter taste. In this recipe I would say the peanut butter taste is stronger than the chocolate. Sometimes I just like them with peanut butter alone ... so a recipe for that cookie follows the first one. Other options: you can also roll them in sprinkles for a festive holiday look if you use them as part of your Cookie Exchange.

1 package of Hershey's Kisses - Milk Chocolate
1/2 cup of shortening
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of Hershey's cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended (I used my electric mixer with the paddle attachment) Add brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until fluffy. Ad egg, milk and vanilla and beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until set.

Immediately press 1 unwrapped chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Cookie will crack around the edges. Remove from the cookie sheet to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
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For Peanut Butter Blossoms without the Chocolate Base

1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 Egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup sugar (optional for rolling the cookie dough in)
48 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Directions
Heat oven to 375°F. Combine the butter with 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. (If dough is too soft, refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.) Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar. (optional) Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Magic Cookie Bars


Some things are so easy, they make me feel just a little bit guilty. Making Magic Cookie Bars is one of them. They look like something that should have taken a lot of effort to prepare .... but they're just so easy to make. The bad part is that my husband saw me throw them together last night, so I can't fool him anymore. He thought I was a master baker. Now he knows the truth.

1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9 x 13 inch pan melt the butter in the oven. Sprinkle crumbs over the butter. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumbs. Top with the remaining ingredients in layers. Press down. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares.