25 August 2014

Zucchini Pie {aka imposter apple pie}

First off, I really haven't forgotten about this blog, but life is busy! It also just doesn't help that with the big move last fall I sort of got out of the routine of posting. But seriously, life is busy. We're in the middle of finishing our basement and have been doing all sorts of home improvement stuff through out the house and fixing up our backyard. This means I haven't been doing a lot of cooking or crocheting and haven't had much to post on this blog.

With all this being busy I didn't have a chance to grown my own garden this year. However I have had a few people make me take zucchini from them since zucchini always grows more than any one person could ever use.  Saturday, we went did the Peach Festival 5K in Ft. Collins with some of hubby's family.  Afterwards his aunt was feeling inspired to make a peach pie. We didn't hang around for pie, but she did send us home with zucchini. Well, pie was sounding good when we got home so I decided to make a zucchini pie. Last year I made some delicious zucchini cobbler bars, which I just discovered I can't find on this blog anywhere, so I'm guessing I never posted them. I took them over to a friends house and her hubby started eating them. He had no idea what they were. Eventually we said something about how they were zucchini and he had to go back and eat more because he didn't believe they weren't apple. So, eating zucchini pie is pretty much like eating apple pie.

Zucchini Pie

  • 1 - 2 large zucchini peeled and sliced. (Large zucchinis work better as they are firmer than smaller)
  • 2 uncooked pie crusts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cornstartch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Place zucchini in a large bowl with some paper towel. Try and squeeze out a little liquid and let the zucchini sit in the bowl with the paper towel while you prepare your pie crust. Roll our one pie crust and press in pie plate.  In  small bowl mix together sugars, cinnamon and cornstarch. Remove paper towel from zucchini. Pour sugar mixture over zucchini and add almond extract. Toss until zucchini is evenly coated. Pour zucchini mixture into pie plate. Roll out second pie crust and place over top of zucchini. Seal edges of pie and cut slits in the top. Bake pie at 375F for 45-55 minutes, until mixture is bubbly.
Filling before baking

28 July 2014

Creamy Red Potatoes and Asparagus

I bought a ham to make for a nice Sunday dinner.  Usually we make cheesy potatoes, but that's not what I had in mind. Anybody who's served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows that the food at the MTC was pretty fantastic. I was there for 9 weeks before I left for the Czech Republic and I got to know the menu pretty well. One of my favorite days was when they had ham (they also had delicious raviolis that same day.) They served the ham with creamy red potatoes and peas.  That was my inspiration for these potatoes.

Creamy Red Potatoes and Asparagus

  • 4-5 red potatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of asparagus
  • 1-2 green onions 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk'
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, to taste
Chop potatoes, asparagus, and green onions and place in a casserole dish.
Start by making a white sauce: Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour to melted butter and mix until smooth. Add milk, chicken broth, and seasonings. Blend together with whisk so flour mixtures incorporates well. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. If mixture becomes to thick add extra milk. Remove from heat and poor white sauce over vegetables and toss vegetables until evenly coated. Bake vegetables at 375F for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.

23 July 2014

Crochet Shark Hat and some other hats too

So, we'll just pretend that I've been posting more than once a  month on this blog.

I wanted to share some of the fun crochet projects I've made this summer.

One of my friends adopted an adorable little baby boy.  I figured he would need a nice warm hat once winter comes around, especially since they live near Salt Lake. I tried my hand at a little shark hat and I think it turned out great.

My friend Michelle at Michelle Carlson Photography has been keeping me busy this summer too. She's had me make a few adorable hats for newborn shoots.  She had me start out with a bonnet and an apple hat. I made her another pink bonnet with teddy bear ears, but I forgot to take a picture.

03 June 2014

Raspberry White Chocolate Pudding Mix Ice Cream

Summer has started. The weather is warm and that means it's ice cream season.  I decided I needed to pull out my little ice cream maker. I just have a little one. It only makes about 2 cups of ice cream at a time. It's the kind that you put the bowl in the freezer all day. Then you pour in your ice cream mix and let it run for about 10 minutes and get soft serve ice cream.  So I put the bowl in the freezer and started to search for ice cream recipes and then I got to thinking. I wonder if I can use pudding mix for ice cream and found a really easy recipe that didn't even require a machine. So, my ice cream machine bowl is still sitting in the freezer waiting to be used.  The nice thing about using the pudding mix is that it held the mixture together, so when the kiddlets were eating there ice cream cones and the ice cream started to melt, it didn't drip all over the place.

Raspberry White Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 1 small box white chocolate flavor pudding mix
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Mix all ingredients together and still until smooth. Pour into a shallow dish and place in the freezer, stirring every ten to fifteen minutes until frozen.

Notes: This ice cream was delicious and great just the way it was. It was a little hard once it completely frozen. Maybe it was because it was taking a long time to freeze (I didn't put it in a shallow dish) and I eventually gave up on the stirring and went to bed.  Maybe it needed a liquid with a higher fat content than the 2% milk I used. I really am not an ice cream expert but get the impression that this recipe could be played with, but I would still highly recommend this recipe as is.

This icecream would probably also be fantastic with cheesecake flavor pudding mix and some graham cracker bits mixed in. Yumm.

20 May 2014

Easy Bacon Cheddar Mac and Cheese

The other day I asked my hubby what he wanted for lunch. He mentioned some variation of Mac and Cheese. I wasn't feeling very inspired to make the stuff in the box with hot dogs added in and remembered some one mentioning using bacon fat to make the white sauce for mac and cheese. So I decided to make some bacon mac and cheese.  One note I should make is that I cooked the bacon and made the sauce in my cast iron skillet, because I knew I could stick the skillet in the oven and wouldn't have to transfer everything to a casserole dish and make one more dirty dish, but if you don't have a skillet you can obviously use a frying pan and a casserole dish.

Bacon Cheddar Mac and Cheese
  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta, (elbow macaroni, small shells, wheels, etc. what ever you like best)
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, divided (i used medium)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon, dried parsley flakes
Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking.  Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and set aside in a small bowl.  Add 1/4 cup of flour to bacon and stir until bacon is coated with flour and dry. Add milk, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring so that flour and bacon grease becomes incorporated into milk and milk thickens. Once milk thickens, turn temperature to low. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Remove from heat. Drain pasta and add pasta to skillet. Toss until pasta is evenly coated with cheese sauce. In your small bowl, mix together bread crumbs parsley and 1 tablespoon bacon grease. Sprinkle top of pasta with remaining half cup of cheese and then bread crumb mixture. Place skillet in the oven and bake at 400F for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden brown.

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