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Double Lemon Raspberry Swirl Pie

4 Jan

If you can’t tell by how many pictures I took of this pie…it is one of my new favorites. I have had a tab open on my laptop for months with the recipe, taunting me, begging me to make it. But, I am the only pie eater at my house (the kids tap in here and there, but they never eat an entire slice – I of course step in and make sure nothing goes to waste ;)). This means that I need a very good reason to make pie. “What are you doing for Christmas Eve?” asked my parents. “Want to come over for dinner?”

“YES! Can I make pie?”

Raspberries and Lemon…just screams ‘Christmas,’ don’t they? I know, I know – slightly wrong season. But it turned out so very festive looking anyways! I love when food is pretty on top of tasting good. And oh, does this pie taste good!

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Ingredients

Raspberry Filling

1 package (10 oz) frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup fresh raspberries

Lemon Filling

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
4 oz white chocolate baking bars, melted, cooled
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Lemon Curd

4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp grated lemon peel
Have ready, prepared pie crust.
In blender, place thawed raspberries and syrup. Cover; blend on medium speed 1 minute. Reserve 1 tablespoon. In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, mix remaining blended raspberries, 1 tablespoon sugar and the cornstarch over medium heat until boiling and thickened. Pour into baked shell; top with fresh raspberries.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese and white chocolate with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix in condensed milk until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup lemon juice. Gently stir in whipped cream. Spread over raspberry filling. Refrigerate.
Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar. Mix in 3 tablespoons lemon juice, the butter and lemon peel. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Spread over lemon filling to within 1 inch of edge. Drizzle reserved blended raspberries over lemon curd, and swirl using toothpick. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Garnish as desired. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

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Original recipe: http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/double-lemon-raspberry-swirl-pie/7d929ada-ef52-4c66-a557-217df9ab72c7/?nicam4=SocialMedia&nichn4=Pinterest&niseg4=Pillsbury&nicreatID4=Post

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Turkey Tetrazzini

27 Dec

So, my seven-year-old woke up the night before Christmas Eve with a fever that held on for three days. We kept it at bay with some consistent dosage of ibuprofen and she finally woke up this morning fever free. Hooray! It put a little damper on Christmas, but she smiled through it, though her eyes were a little bleary, and we still enjoyed family, food, and all the wonderful joys of giving.

This morning, baby boy started acting a little feverish. 😦 He had a really rough afternoon, so I scheduled him a doctor’s appointment – all the while knowing that it was most likely a virus that they wouldn’t be able to do anything about, but needing a little peace of mind that at least I did all that I could. A couple hours before our appointment, he perked up! Smiling, eating, playing…I was beginning to second guess my hasty call to the doctor. But, at my husband’s urging to take advantage of the last few days we have to go to the doctor before we have to restart our deductible :), I decided to just go ahead and go with my original instinct. Thank heaven for sensible husbands! A steroid dose for his tight breathing, and a prescription for an ear infection later…so happy we went in. He is sleeping soundly now, and maybe tomorrow his sisters will get to do something more than watch movies all day. Amazing how tiring a day of doing nothing but bouncing a baby can be!

We had take-out pizza tonight, but this recipe would have worked too. If your day after Christmas was as crazy as mine, pull out that left over turkey and make yourself some tetrazzini. It’s easy, it uses up your left-overs, and darn it…it tastes really good.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

1/2 onion, chopped finely

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can evaporated milk

1/4 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp salt

1 – 1 1/2 cup grate cheese (cheddar or parmesan)

2-4 cups cubed turkey (or chicken)

cooked rice or noodles

In a large pan, melt butter and brown onion until soft. Add soup, milk, and spices. Mix together with a whisk to remove any lumps. Add cheese and turkey, stirring occasionally, until cheese melts and the sauce is heated through. Do not allow to boil. Serve over noodles or rice.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

22 Dec

Christmas is coming, and whether it’s you or the goose getting fat is entirely up to your level of self control. However, I have heard that calories disappear from holiday meals. They just don’t count. (I may or may not have just made that up…) So, scoop yourself another heap of these ridiculously delicious sweet potatoes- because you can.  I used to hate yams at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners – too sweet and syrupy. Fast forward to my adulthood, and that fateful night that a friend convinced me to try a loaded baked sweet potato – it had the marshmallows like the yams of old that I hated, but I gave it a go. And my life was changed. I am now a sweet potato junkie and this is my very favorite way to prepare them. There is a very fine line that divides this dish between a side and a dessert, but if you’re like me, you’ll manage to sneak some for both courses. 😉

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Ingredients:

Potatoes –

3 cups sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into large chunks and boil in water until tender. Drain water and, in a large bowl, use a mixer to puree potatoes. Add all other ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Place in 9×13 baking dish.

Topping –

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

marshmallows

Combine all ingredients except marshmallows. Crumble mixture on top of potatoes. Add marshmallows (put on as many as you like!). Bake at 350^F for 30-45 min (when the edges of crumble mixture look done, marshmallows are toasted, and center is hot and bubbly).

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Sweet Corn Puffs

17 Dec

Remember me? It’s ok…I don’t either. I’ve been MIA for the last little bit – hubby sent me on an awesome, sun-filled visit to FL to spend time with my sister and her family. The 7 hour flight down there, by myself, baby in tow, was even worth it. 🙂 He actually flew very well, but I’ve learned something about planes now that the novelty of flying from my youth has worn off…there is no privacy in planes. The only respite is in the bathroom. I was almost grateful to make my neighbor move three times (yes…I was in a middle seat! yikes) with the excuse to go feed the baby or change him. But I’d do it again. Next time I think I’ll bring my husband with me though. 😉

Following my return, I had a special presentation to do in my daughter’s school class, and then a company Christmas party to go to the same night. Where I proceeded to get food poisoning. Needless to say, writing about food was not on my list of priorities as I hurled all night and lay limp in bed the entire next day. Lucky for me, my mom loves me…a lot. She had already spent tons of times at my house taking care of my kiddos while I was away and my husband was at work. And then, the day after I get back…”Mom! I’m soooo sick.” She’s an angel. I ate two whole pieces of toast this morning and half a pot pie (the latter only because I’m nursing and I decided that, no matter how much my stomach cramped up, I had to eat something for his sake). I’m still alive, but not quite all the way there.

Recipe for today is the easiest thing alive. My husband calls them the most addicting packaging peanuts around.  photo-186

Ingredients:

8 ounces puffed corn puffs (not the cereal Corn Pops)
1 C butter
3 T water
2 T corn syrup
1 C sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt butter then add water, corn syrup, and sugar. Mix well and cook for 8-10 minutes until the mixture reaches a golden brown color. Pour mixture over corn puffs and stir until evenly coated. Cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Strawberry Coconut Cream Pie

1 Dec

Pie. I love pie. I love this pie. I found an awesome Pinterest Pie Party page (I haven’t jumped on the Pinterest wagon as of yet, but I do appreciate all the pinning others have done!) – so many pies, so little time. I saw a picture of this Strawberry Coconut Cream pie and my mouth fell open; maybe hoping that a digital slice would become real, Willy Wonka style, and jump right off the screen and into my mouth. Unfortunately, I had to wait…but, oh! Was it ever worth the wait.

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Coconut Cream Filling Ingredients:
1 can (14 fluid ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup whipping cream

Topping Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
red food coloring (optional; I skipped this)
mint leaves or whole strawberries for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Heat the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and corn starch. Add 1/2 cup of the hot cream slowly to the yolks, whisking as you add. Then pour the yolk mixture into the pot of hot cream and whisk. Continue to whisk with heat on medium-high for 3 more minutes. The mixture will turn thick and bubble. You need to continue to whisk for the full 3 minutes or the pastry cream will separate once it is cool. After the 3 minutes, whisk in the butter. Add the coconut flakes. Pour into a shallow dish to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap pressed right against the pastry cream. This will prevent a thick skin from forming on the surface. Refrigerate for at least an hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Once it is cold, stir the pastry cream to loosen. Whip the 1/2 cup cream to medium peaks. Stir in 1/3 to the pastry cream to lighten. Fold in the remaining cream until the pastry cream is nice and light. Fill baked, cooled pie crust with your coconut filling.

Slice 1 cup of strawberries in thin slices and set aside.

Make the glaze: Crush remaining 1/2 cup of strawberries and boil with water in a saucepan over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the juice back to the saucepan over medium-high heat and gradually whisk in sugar and cornstarch. Cook until thickened. Add 6 drops of red food coloring for brighter color.

*Tip: Mix cornstarch and sugar together first, then add wet ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated before turning on the heat. This will prevent the cornstarch from clumping – if you add it to hot liquid it is next to impossible to avoid clumps!

Cool the glaze slightly and then pour over top of strawberry slices. Pour glaze on top of coconut cream. Chill entire pie for at least a few hours for best results.

Original recipe: http://willowbirdbaking.com/2013/06/12/strawberry-coconut-cream-pie/

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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

28 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving! I could spend hours listing all of the wonderful things in my life that I am grateful for, but I’d rather spend time with them than blog about them. 😉 So, I’ll keep this short and sweet – you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without a pumpkin pie, but there are no rules about dressing it up a bit! My second favorite pumpkin pie variation: Pumpkin Pecan Pie. Enjoy!

P.S. Ignore how horrid my crust looks! I made it gluten-free and gluten-free flour just doesn’t stick like the regular stuff. It was crumbly, but it still tasted good. 🙂

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Ingredients:

9 in unbaked pie crust

3 eggs

1 can pumpkin (15 oz)

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup dark corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 cup candied pecans

Combine all ingredients, except pecans, and mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake 20 min at 350^F. Sprinkle with pecans and bake 25 min more. Serve with whipped cream.

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Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

21 Nov

“Mom! These are the best ever!” Palm to the forehead…why do I bother cooking anything that takes even a smidgen of effort? My kids always rant and rave about the things I throw together last minute, and poke their fork hesitantly at the things I slave over. I’ll tell you why I bother; I do it because I like my food to be interesting. So, I’ll keep doing it until one day my children develop taste buds and an appreciation for good food. In the mean time, however, I do thank my lucky stars that there are quick fixes out there that do taste pretty darn good.

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Ingredients:

1 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

6 pieces of bacon, cooked crispy and broken in bits

shredded cheddar cheese

Lay out crescent roll dough in 2 rectangles, and cover with cheese and bacon bits. Tightly roll dough, sealing the edges and cut 4-5 individual pinwheels from each rectangle. Place on baking sheet and bake 375^F for 12-15 min.

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Play Dough

18 Nov

I’m way behind on posting lately – I have recipes piling up and I’m starting to forget about them. Similar to my laundry piles. I’d rather blog than fold laundry, so guess what gets my attention this morning? 🙂

We made play dough at Grandma’s the other day. Everyone wanted different colors to begin with, but purple eventually won. Quick and easy and very salty! So don’t let the kiddo’s take a taste test. Or do…they won’t do it again. 😉

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Ingredients:

1 cup flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup water

1/2 cup salt

1 Tbsp oil

food coloring of choice

Mix dry ingredients together in a frying pan. Add wet ingredients and mix. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Put on wax paper, knead. Store in ziplock bag.

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Pad Thai

14 Nov

My kids like to bring their entire room with them when we go places. Stuffed animals, blankets, toys, pillows…you name it, it should be with us…always. And they are all about carrying it themselves for about the first 2 minutes. And then its, “Mom, it’s getting too heavy. Can you carry this…and this…and this.” Never mind the fact that I am holding a baby, a diaper bag, a bink in my teeth, a blanket, a sippy cup – you get the idea. I try to discourage the entourage, but sometimes I cave when the tantrum is just not worth it. We went to the fabric store yesterday and my two year old fell asleep in the car. It’s hard to wake up from a 5 minutes nap sometimes, I get that. So, blankie was allowed to accompany us inside to help. Unfortunately, as soon as the world started looking a little brighter, so did everything else in the store, and poor blankie got left behind. I didn’t realize that we didn’t have it until, of course, we had already gotten home. Sigh. Reload everyone up and trek back to the store. Luckily, someone had found it and brought it to the front register (a blankie a few years back was not so lucky and has never been seen or heard from again). Today, we went to the library. Same two year old: “Mom! I want to hold my movie!” I was laden with the same baggage as I listed before, and then add in seven or eight books precariously balanced in my free hand – I didn’t mind at all having someone offer to help for a change. I should have been a little wiser considering our escapade from the day before. We got home, got everyone out and…I had a two year old with two fists full of acorns, but no movie. Gah! Back to the library we went, to search for the movie that had been left on the lawn to make room for the acorn collection (which they actually tried to eat, but declared to be ‘disgusting!’) Again, someone had found our abandoned treasure and had returned it to the library for us. Too bad for two year old, I did not check it out again. Maybe she’ll learn a lesson…maybe.

This recipe is actually a Chinese Pasta Salad – I liked it better warm and with a little more veggies, which turned it into Pad Thai instead of pasta. Works for me. Top with some crispy noodles (or improvise with some tortillas strips like me when you don’t have crispy noodles 😉 – still tasty!), and enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup sesame seeds
4 (3 oz.) packages Ramen noodles, any flavor
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
choice of mixed vegetables, cooked

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add pasta (break each brick into at least 4 pieces so the noodles aren’t too long) and cook 3-4 minutes or until slightly tender but not soft – do not use seasoning packs. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger and pepper. Mix well. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro, and mixed vegetables.

Wontons

12 Nov

Sometimes when I look up recipes, I find typos. Gasp! It is true…even though I read and re-read every post I do, I occasionally miss things. Have I mentioned that I have four kids? And I’m pretty sure that I’m living proof that you lose brain cells with every child born. But they are just cute enough that I’m pretty sure it’s worth no longer being able to carry on intelligent conversation, let alone manage a blog with no typos. The funny thing is that you’d think that I’d fix them when I see them. It’s my blog. I can do that. But…wait for it…I forget where they are. I remember that there was a typo somewhere, but I have no idea where. In between, “Mom, I need more juice,” cleaning up said juice when it spills, keeping the dog from eating the food from the table, tripping over toys, giving tastes on spoons, trying to remember which spoons were used for tastes and which ones were used for stirring, stealing tastes myself…I can’t even remember what it was I was making when I saw the mistake. I’m lucky to remember my name most days. So, if you see one do share. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll manage to get it fixed. 🙂

This recipe is a no-brainer. Phew.

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Ingredients:

1 lb chicken or pork, cubed

1 1/2 cups soy sauce

2/3 cup brown sugar

won ton wrappers

Cube chicken and place in sauce pan. Add soy sauce and brown sugar and cook until meat is cooked through and sauce is thickened (can adjust soy sauce and brown sugar to taste). Lay out won ton wrappers. Place 2-3 pieces of chicken in each wrapper making sure not to fill too full or wrapper will tear. Wet sides with water and fold into a triangle. Bring bottom 2 corners up to meet top corner. Fry in hot oil until light brown and crispy; flip and cook other side. Serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce and rice.

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