Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peach Pie

Peach Pie
   It's peach season! If you haven't been to your local farmers market or the nearby grocer you better get there soon. Peaches are in full swing right now and they don't last long.

     I went to Bob's Produce Ranch to get my peaches. Bob's Produce ranch is a little grocer in my town that sells some of the best produce around. They also have a fabulous meat market too. But this time my mission was to get some peaches.

     Colorado peaches sell for about $40.00 a crate. That is so expensive and if you're going to buy a crate you better make something with them because you'll never be able to eat them all before they start to go bad.

     I did not, however, buy a crate this year. Instead I bought about 6 peaches that was going for $3.49 a pound and then I bought a crate of bruised peaches for $5.49. These bumped and bruised peaches were great for making peach pie. In fact I ended up making 2 peach pies in less than one week.

     I've never made a peach pie before, but I thought it couldn't be too hard. My guess was completely right. It was super easy to make the crust and peeling and cutting up the peaches was very easy too.

     The recipe that I used was from my handy dandy Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook. It is my trusted cookbook when I'm not sure how to go about making something. It also has some very good pictures for you to look at so you have an idea of what to do and how it should look.

     So why not make yourself a peach pie while it's peach season. It's easy and it tastes amazing!!!

Pastry Crust for Two-Crust Pies
For an 8"pie
1/2 C sifted flour
3/4 t salt
1/2 C shortening
3 T water

Mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender until it looks like course particles the size of peas. Sprinkle with water a tablespoon at a time mixing lightly with a fork until the flour mixture is moistened. gather dough together with the fingers so it cleans the bowl. Press into a ball. Roll out or keep in waxed paper in refrigerator until needed. (I put in refrigerator and roll out once the peach mixture is ready. I cut the dough in half and roll the dough ball in between wax paper.)

Peach Filling
For an 8" pie
3 C peaches peeled and sliced
2/3 C sugar
1/3 t cinnamon
1 T flour
1 T butter

Mix the peaches, sugar, cinnamon, and flour together. Pour into pie shell. Dot with butter. Put top crust on and cut slits on top. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Cool pie on wire rack. Serve slightly warm. This pie should be refrigerated once cooled.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Carmel Nut Brownie Bars

Carmel Nut Brownie Bars
     If you know anything about me you know that I love brownies. Quoting the famous Dr. Seuss,
"I will eat them in a boat. I will eat them with a goat. I will eat them here or there. I will eat them anywhere."  I'm always up for the challenge of trying a new brownie recipe.

     Today I'm reviving an old tried, but true brownie recipe. This recipe is a very old recipe that I acquired from a dear friend many years ago. We lost contact with each other over the years, but I still love making these bars.

     The nice thing about these bars is that you start with a box cake mix. About the most difficult part of the recipe is not eating the carmels as you unwrap them. I used the microwave to melt the carmels. I just stirred the mixture about every 30 seconds until it was melted.

     Hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Carmel Nut Brownie Bars
1package German Chocolate cake mix
1 can evaporated milk (small can)
6 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

nuts ( I used pecans)
1 1/2 stick butter,  melted
1 package of carmels
1/3 C milk

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9X13 pan. Combine cake mix, evaporated milk and butter. Put 1/2 of the batter in the pan and bake 6 minutes. In the meantime, combine milk and caramels in a microwavable bowl and melt in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove pan from oven and put chocolate chips and melted carmel mixture on top. Put the rest of the batter on top and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool before cutting. Store in an airtight container.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Shandy Pancakes

Summer Shandy Pancakes

     This past Saturday I went to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin to tour a brewery. Not just any brewery, it was the Leinenkugel Brewery. It's a favorite beer for both my husband and I. It's pretty much all we drink around here for beer.

     My favorite beer is the Summer Shandy. I wish they sold it year round, but of course because of the lemon flavor it is only sold during the summer months. I usually stock up on it towards the end of summer so I can have some as we enter into fall. I did, however, get to taste the Orange Shandy while at Leinekugel's. I did like that too. This shandy comes out in the fall, so at least I'll have a comparable shandy to drink until my favorite is available again.

     I did look over their website before going on Saturday and I found some recipes. Recipes that involve beer. The first one I found was a beer batter for fish. Well I didn't have any fresh fish so I filed that recipe for next year or when someone is kind enough to give me some fish from their fishing trip. The next one I found was for pancakes and I thought why not.

     It's been awhile around here, but we are accustom to having a Sunday breakfast where we can all sit around and enjoy good food and conversation. It just seemed like the perfect weekend to do the Shandy Pancakes. (Seemed almost sinful using beer on a Sunday morning breakfast, but we got over that.) I'm sure we will make these when we go camping some time soon here.

     The pancakes were very good. I added blueberries to them which I thought made it taste even better. Surprisingly the pancakes did not taste like beer. I could taste the lemon flavor though. Now someone who doesn't drink beer regularly probably could taste the beer, but I don't think it would be an overwhelming flavor.

      If you enjoy drinking beer and want a little history/education on the process of making beer, go do the tour. We had a great time and want to do it again. In the meantime here's some pancakes for that Sunday breakfast you've been dying to have.

     Summer Shandy Pancakes
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup Summer Shandy
1 1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup blueberries, optional

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl beat eggs on medium speed until frothy. Add beer, milk and melted butter. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat until smooth.
Pour 1/4 cup of batter on a hot greased griddle. Flip pancakes when the edges appear dry.

Recipe from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pool Table Cake

Pool Table Cake

     Well I've made another goofy cake this year. Last year it was a barn cake. The year before that it was a boob cake. I try to make something a little unique and different, although I don't think I'll ever surpass the boob cake. But I'll keep trying.

     Anyways this year I made a pool table cake, complete with pool balls. Let me tell you making those pool balls was an experience. I've never made cake pops before so this was  my first go of it.  I just want to say why doesn't the package say to add shortening or oil to the candy melts? It would have gone a lot smoother for me. So hey everybody when melting those Wilton candy melts add a little cooking oil or shortening so the candy gets pourable.

    OK, I'm off my soap box. Once the candy melts are melty and liquidity you can take your cake pop or cake ball and spoon the melted candy over it. Then just gently shake off the excess. I did mine on sticks to I could then put the stick in some Styrofoam and wait for the candy coating to harden.

    Oh about the picture I don't know what happened to the green frosting on the cake.For some reason the pictures on my phone are not streaming to my computer. And yes my photo streaming is on. Anyways I took a quick picture with my camera and this is what I got. I know it was a humid day yesterday, but I have no idea why the color changed on in the green. Oh, well I guess it's just the spills that happen on a pool table. I think next time I have such a large are to color I'm going to go and try those color sprays. I think that would have looked a little more professional.

     There really is no recipe today. I used a box mix for this cake and I used the Wilton's cake decorating frosting to frost and make the cake balls. Here's the link to the frosting recipe. I also did a lot of googling on cake pops and cake balls to figure out how to make them.

     To make the cake balls I simple crumbled up a layer cake and added some frosting to be able to form the cake into balls. I then froze them for like 3 hours and trust me I could have froze them longer. Once they were frozen I spooned the melted candy coating over the balls and let them harden.