Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pies
Saturday morning my husband and I went to the Minneapolis Farmers Market. I love going there, but haven't gone in a couple of years. I usually end up at one of the smaller markets close to home and it's just not as much fun.  My husband had never been to the "Big" farmers market so it was a very fun and exciting adventure for the two of us.

Parking was the most challenging part for us, but after a few right turns we found a two hour meter spot. The funny thing about these meters is they are designated for the farmers market and you go pay at this centrally located box with your meter number. All computerized of course. Was kind of neat.

There is so much more than fruits and vegetables to buy at the farmers market. There is clothing, hats, handmade lawn decorations, meats, cheeses and all sorts of things. I ended up buying a beautiful scarf and my hubby almost bought this cool straw hat with a wide brim. Perfect for the boat. Maybe next time. I think my daughter would have loved all the beautiful dresses there too. I'm taking her next time.

Anyways, we had an awesome time. The first thing we saw when we got there was a little patio area with chimineas. They are those cute little clay fireplaces for patios. I want one for my front patio so bad. And to add to the fun atmosphere two guys were playing reggae music. It just got one in the shopping mode.

Well we decided to pass on the chimineas for now and went vegetable and fruit shopping. There are so many choices and we wanted to make sure we were getting a good deal that we walked around a bit first before we made that first purchase. There are just so many vendors to see that you can't go too far before you make a decision on purchasing something.

We ended up buying tomatoes, cucumbers, little fingerling potatoes, red peppers, blackberries, and rhubarb. I was surprised to see rhubarb there. I know it is supposed to be getting to the end of its season (so says the chart I have on when produce is in season), but I remember having it all summer long from my mom's garden as a kid. Only two stands had some so I just had to get some.

I ended up using  up just about everything we bought in a few days. I have enough potatoes and red peppers for one more meal. I also was able to cut up and freeze four cups of rhubarb for a future pie or rhubarb crisp.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I used the other rhubarb, in combination with some strawberries I already had on hand, to make two pies. I used this Betty Crocker picture cookbook to make my pies. I have not made a pie crust in years and this was simple to do using this recipe. I did, however, roll the crust out between wax paper to make it easier to put in the pans (a trick I learned in home economics class). The crust turned out tender and flakey. The fruit filling was amazing! Give this one a try. I figure if my husband and son were going back for seconds it must be good.

Pastry for two-crust pies
for a 9" pie
2 C sifted flour
1 t salt
2/3 C shortening *
4 T water 
*When using hydrogenated shortings add about 2T more.
  1. Measure the flour into the mixing bowl and mix the salt through it.
  2. With pastry blender, cut in half the shortening finely...until mixture looks like meal. (This makes for tenderness)
  3. Cut in the remaining shortening coarsely...until particles are the size of giant peas. (This makes for flakiness).
  4. Sprinkle with the water, a tablespoon at a time...mixing lightly with fork until all the flour is moistened.
  5. Gather dough together with the fingers so it cleans the bowl.
  6. Press into a ball. Then roll out, or keep in waxed paper in refrigerator until needed. (I rolled it out between wax paper then peeled one sheet off and flipped it in the pie pan). Trim the dough around the edges of the pie pan.
  7. One crust goes in the pie pan. The second crust after peeling the one layer of wax paper off flip on top of your fruit filled pie. Use a spoon to make slits on top crust to vent pie. I did this once it was on top of the fruit, I find it easier to do it this way. You can do it before putting it on top if you like. Seal and flute edges. Form crimped fluting by pinching dough with thumb and forefinger around forefinger of opposite hand.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie filling
1 1/3 C sugar
6 T flour
2 C rhubarb, cut up
2 C strawberries, cut up
1 1/3 T butter
  1. Mix together the sugar and flour.
  2. Add the rhubarb and strawberries and mix lightly.
  3. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.
  4. Dot with butter.
  5. Cover with top crust. Sprinkle with sugar. (Don't forget to vent top crust.)
  6. Bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and juice begins to bubble through slits. Serve slightly warm.
Recipe from Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stuffed Green Peppers

Stuffed Green Peppers
It's that wonderful time of summer when all the fresh produce is coming in by the bushel full. I am anticipating going to the Farmers Market, which I have yet to do this summer. Now is the time because I just heard on the local talk show that produce is at its peak right now. You can pretty much get what ever you want at the Farmers Market.

My garden this year is another story. It actually is a very sad and pathetic garden this year.  It just isn't doing that great, but I have produce from my mother. Her garden always does great! I'm a little jealous, especially since I was so ready this year to tend to my garden. About the only two things that are doing great are the beans and cucumbers. Well at least I can get produce from my mom.

My mom gave me five green peppers this week and I just had to make stuffed peppers with them. They are so easy to make and so delicious. They also are real easy to reheat at a later date if necessary. Everyone at my house is on a different work schedule so most of the time someone is reheating dinner later or the next day.

These work best if you have some nice sized peppers that will stand up well on their own. Although I have been know to use a few smaller peppers just so I can make this dish. Whatever you choose to do enjoy this yummy dish of stuffed green peppers.

Stuffed Green Peppers
6 large green peppers
5 Cups boiling water
1-lb ground beef
1 C cooked rice
2 T chopped onion
1 t salt
1/8 t garlic powder
1- 15oz can tomato sauce*
mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350. Cut thin slice from stem end. Remove insides and wash. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain. Cook hamburger and onion until onion is tender. Drain fat. Stir in salt, garlic powder, rice and 1 cup of tomato sauce; heat and lightly stuff each pepper with 1/2 c meat mixture. Stand peppers in a greased pan. Pour remaining sauce over peppers. Cover and bake 15minutes. Top with cheese and return to oven to slightly melt.

Recipe from my sister-in-law Cindy.

*note: you can also use spaghetti sauce in a jar. I have done this before and it is very good this way too.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Banana Nut Waffles

Banana Nut Waffles

Well it's been awhile since I've posted a recipe. I've just had quite a week with so much happening around here that I just didn't take the time to sit down and type up my current recipes.

First my laptop got a virus while I was on Pinterest. So be careful when you are looking at people's pins. Luckily I shut my laptop down immediately and it saved it from getting too bad and the Geek Squad didn't have to work on it for too many days. Those guys are great by the way. They fixed my laptop and got it working great.

My new SD card for my camera was bad and I couldn't get any of the pictures on it to transfer to my computer. Said it was corrupt! Of course I couldn't find my receipt to return the card so I lost out on that deal. I'll never buy a Dane-Elec product again. Now I need to get a new SD card for my camera. Luckily I now have my pictures on my phone synced up with my computer so that helps. Still want an 8GB card for my camera. I still like using my camera for pictures.

Then this weekend my husband and I drove from Minneapolis to Eau Claire to look at and of course buy a Coleman tent trailer. That was a two hour drive and then about an hour looking at it before we were back on the road with trailer in tow for another two hour drive home. This of course meant we, (or should I say "I") had to clean it up and get it packed up with our camping stuff so we can be ready to go on a moments notice.

I also had a ton of other little things come up throughout the week that I needed to attend to which kept me busy, but now I'm back and ready to get things up and going again.

I made these waffles this past Sunday. Usually on Sundays we have a big breakfast with bacon, eggs and either pancakes, waffles or french toast. I decided to make these Banana Nut Waffles because of course I had some sad looking bananas that needed to be used and I just hate throwing them away.

The recipe came with my waffle maker and has been a hit with my family for a long time. Because I had two bananas I doubled the recipe. The left over waffles I just put in a ziploc bag and the kids heat them up in the microwave for breakfast throughout the week. I have also frozen them and microwaved them individually as needed.

Waffles with a little syrup
Banana Nut Waffles
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
3/4 C milk
1 banana
1 egg, separated
1 T vegetable oil
1/4 C walnuts, chopped

  • Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Add egg yolk, milk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and beat together thoroughly.
  • Mash banana and beat banana and nuts into batter.
  • Beat egg white until stiff, stir 1/4 into the batter to lighten it and then gently fold in the remaining egg white.
  • Pour a scant 1/3 cup of batter onto the heated waffle mold.
  • Makes 6 waffles. Serve with butter and syrup.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Banana Whoopie Pies

Banana Whoopie Pies

Well it happened again. I had three bananas go bad on me. I'm the only one at my house that eats bananas, so it's really hard to not have a few go bad. But I'm getting really tired of making banana bread or banana bars and wanted something a little different.

So after searching the internet I came upon a couple recipes for Banana Whoopie Pies. Now I've never made Whoopie Pies before and I wasn't really sure what they would taste like or how they would bake up, but I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I decide to go with the recipe from Taste of Home. I liked the idea that the filling had peanut butter in it and I like peanut butter. The recipe also sound very simple. I did add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cookie part to spice up the banana part. It was a good choice.

The one suggestion that I would make is to make the cookie part smaller than what they suggest. The recipe says drop by tablespoonfuls, which I did and it made huge cookies. I would make them half the size because they are quite sweet to have such a large whoopie pie.

So I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Banana Whoopie Pies
1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C mashed ripe banana
1/2 C milk
2 C all purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon

1 pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 C creamy peanut butter
3 T butter, softened
1 C confectioners' sugar
1 t vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl mash a banana to measure 1/2 C. Add to sugars along with the milk and mix well. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Drop by 1/2 Tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart (they will spread) onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator.  Makes 2 dozen. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

The past five days have been very busy for me and my family. My brother and is daughter were in town from Utah for his oldest daughters wedding. We have been anticipating the big event for some time now and we were all so excited to be together again for some fun family time.

The wedding ceremony and the celebration that followed was extraordinary! Everything went relatively smooth with maybe a few bumps, but nothing that was not fixable. Fun was had by everyone that participated and/or attended the festivities.

Yesterday the newly married couple went off on their mini-moon and my brother and his younger daughter flew back to Utah in the early afternoon. I guess it is back to reality for all of us now, but we sure had a good time these last five days.

So now I'm trying to get back to doing some more blogging now that things have settled down. Today I was so wanting something sweet and I started looking through some recipes that I've been wanting to try and I came across this brownie recipe. This is not your usual brownie though. This has cookie dough on top of the brownie. Just look at that picture it looks so darn good.

I found this recipe on The Brown Eyed Baker's blog. I made a little change to the recipe and they taste amazing. Give this one a try. They are easy and irresistible. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Brownie part
4 ozs. unsweetened chocolate 
1 C butter, softened to room temperature
2 C brown sugar
4 eggs
2 t vanilla extract
1 C all-purpose flour

Preparing the brownies
Preheat the oven to 325. Liine a 9x13 pan with foil, hanging the foil over all four sides. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.   
Melt the chocolate in the microwave using 30 second increments, stirring after each time. Once it is melted set it aside.
In a large bowl mix the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix with mixer until well blended. Add the melted chocolate and combine well. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and mix until combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in teh center comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely.

Cookie Dough part
3/4 C butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C sugar
3 T milk
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preparing the Cookie Dough
In a medium bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, and sugar and mix with and electric mixer on medium speed. Add the milk and vanilla and combine well. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour until combined. Using a rubber spatula stir in the chocolate chips.

Spread the cookie dough over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate for one hour or until the dough is firm. Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil up. Cut the brownies into squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Makes approximately 32 brownies.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Better Than Anything Cake

It has been a rough week of high temperatures and high humidity here in Minnesota. It actually feels like Florida minus the palm trees. Thank goodness for air!

Because of the heat I have not been doing any baking or cooking for that matter, until of course yesterday. I needed to make a dessert for the fourth because I was having company over that evening. I was at first going to make jello cake, but I came across this recipe and it sounded so darn good that I had to give it a try.

Better Than Anything Cake

I found the recipe on http://www.chef-in-training.com/2012/06/better-than-anything-cake/ . The picture of the cake was just mouth watering that I had to go ahead and try and make this. I also like how easy the recipe was and heck I just happen to have everything I needed to make this.

This cake was easy to make and about the only thing that I would change or do different is I think I could get away with using 2 Heath bars. I just put my candy bars in my little Cooks food processor and it crushed the candy bars up nicely. I also think that maybe Snickers would be another good candy bar to use on this.

Well here's the recipe and enjoy!

Better Than Anything Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix and any ingredients it requires
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8oz) jar caramel topping
1 (8oz) container cool whip thawed to room temperature
3 Heath Candy Bars chopped

  1. Bake cake according to directions in a 9 X 13 pan.
  2. Let Cake cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Poke holes in cake with the handle end of a wooden spoon.
  4. While cake is still warm, slowly pour over sweetened condensed milk over the top making sure some gets in all the holes of the cake.
  5. Next drizzle the caramel topping evenly over the cake slowly, making sure some gets in all the holes as well.
  6. Spread cool whip over the top evenly.
  7. Sprinkle with Heath Candy bar pieces.
  8. Store in fridge until ready to eat. Store any leftovers in fridge.