Mini Pumpkin Pies

Sundays are a perfect day for a long prepared dinner and dessert, and especially pie. I have been wanting to make a traditional pumpkin pie for a few weeks now and have been attempting to resist the urge to do so until Thanksgiving. However, this past weekend, I completely caved at the thought of making mini pumpkin pies. In my opinion, mini desserts are just more fun and they save those in consumption a few calories (as long as only one mini pie is eaten and not three!). This recipe for Pumpkin Pie is very flavorful with its touch of many spices and basks perfectly in a super-flaky crust that is to die for. Watch out, it is hard to just stop at one mini pie!

Step 1: Make Dough and Roll Out With
Rolling 
Pin; Shape for Mini Pie Tins

Step 2: Mix Ingredients for Filling Together

Step 3: Bake Individual Pie Crusts
(I used muffin tins) and
Let Cool; Pour in Filling and Bake; Eat!

These are a perfect treat to take to a family or friend’s house for Thanksgiving. Plus, the other perk of these is that no extra silverware is required. No forks or plates required, just a strong appetite and sweet tooth!

Cheers!

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Nectarine Raspberry Pie

Let’s face it – a pie is a pie. All right, that sounded like an incredibly silly statement, but I promise it’s true. Just hear me out. I will attest that a homemade, totally-from-scratch-pie does take a lot of time and effort and if done well is totally worth it. But, really, it’s all about what is actually in the pie a.k.a the delicious filling. I’ve made too many apple, blackberry or blueberry pies to last a lifetime (okay, not really, but you get the point). So, like I said, the key to the pie is the filling!

This past weekend I wanted to make a pie. So, when I saw a recipe for Nectarine Raspberry Pie, I got a little excited. I do realize that this isn’t the most unique pie; however, it is definitely different than the norm so I figured I needed to go for it. Plus, I’m always in the mood for experimenting with new recipes!

Step 1: Make Pie Dough


Step 2: Put Filling in and Bake


Step 3: Slice and Eat


I normally like making a pie with intricate latices, but I totally embraced the opportunity to make this pie more rustic with a full-fledged cover. The edges on this pie browned a little bit more quickly than I expected, but in the end, the pie still cooked well and the flavors from the fruit developed well.

This is definitely a great pie if you’re in the mood for something different than the standard apple or cherry pie.

Cheers!

Brown Butter Raspberry Tart

How I ended up picking this recipe was strikingly similar to how I decide to purchase something when I’m shopping for clothes. How? Well, sometimes when I have shopped, I have purchased something that “I thought I liked” on the spot. Unfortunately, some of these impulse buys have resulted in disappointment after a few weeks because what “I thought I liked” I didn’t actually like at all. So, in order to nix buyer’s remorse, I’ve eliminated impulse buys and instead try to wait a few days or weeks before purchasing something “I think I like”. My rule is that if I still like the item in a few days or weeks, I’ll consider buying based on need, budget, etc.!

Choosing this recipe was no different. I had been eyeing this Brown Butter Raspberry Tart for quite some time. So, yesterday, after thinking about it some more, I realized that I’ve thought about it enough – I had read all of the positive reviews and it looked amazing so I just needed to do it!

And, I’m glad I did.

Step 1: Make Crust and Bake (Let Cool);
Mix Together Eggs, Sugar and Salt 


Step 2: Brown Butter in Pan

Step 3: Mix Egg Mixture and
Browned Butter Together 


Step 4: Arrange Raspberries “Pointy”
Side Up on Bottom of Cooled Crust;
Carefully Pour Liquid Mixture Over; Bake 


Step 5: Cut a Slice and Enjoy!

I absolutely love the rustic feel of this tart. In my opinion, I think the tartness of the raspberry offsets the sweet filling nicely. I’m glad I chose wisely with the recipe, but perhaps I shouldn’t have taken so long. Oh well, at least I picked a good recipe that I’ll have plenty of opportunities to replicate in the future.

Perhaps I’ll start using my “shopping” techniques more often with my selection of recipes from now on!

Cheers!

Blood Orange Tart


Lately, I feel as though I have been seeing so many blood orange-centric recipes and drinks spurting up everywhere. This is probably completely the result of some of my recent bouts of time spent on Pinterest; however, after seeing so many recipes, I knew I had found my calling to make something with this intriguing and beautiful fruit. Of course, I soon learned that blood oranges are actually quite a hot commodity and are only available at certain points during the year. After calling two grocery stores and finding out they did not have them, I became quite discouraged. But, as the age-old phrase says, “third time is always a charm” and I found success with the third grocery store I called.

After a quick search, I found a recipe that many have tried from Food and Wine Magazine: Flaky Blood Orange Tart. My eyes were instantly sold after gazing at its rustic look and the mention of a flaky crust. And, since it was coming from such a reliable source, I knew I had to try it!

Step 1: Make Dough


Step 2: Peel and Slice Blood Oranges


Step 3: Roll Out Dough and Arrange
Blood Orange Slices on Top


Step 4: Fold Up Edges Around
Oranges and Brush Edges with Egg Wash

Step 4: Bake at 375 Degrees and Eat!

Even though peeling and removing the pith from these oranges took what seemed like forever and my fingers were stained a purple-y/red color for a day, the end result was totally worth it. I can definitely see why these are such an esteemed fruit. The intense and unique flavor of these oranges paired with a flaky crust is perfect for a brunch treat. If you ever get the chance, I’d highly recommend trying this recipe or using blood oranges in a different type of concoction. Have a great Sunday everyone!

Cheers!

New blog name…

So, to make a long story short… awhile back, when I had the itch to start a blog, I just wanted to start it. I didn’t have a good name for my blog and just went with the first thing that came to mind. Unfortunately, that was not the smartest decision… because, months later, I was still unhappy with my blog’s name and realized I couldn’t just easily change it.

However, after much pondering for a few months, I’ve come up with a few blog titles that I really like and have narrowed it down to these:

1. Tidbites

2. Bites of Wisdom

3. The Food Life

4. Foodie in the City

5. Cooking Therapy

6. See Lex Cook

7. The Sundress Chef

I do realize that some of these blog names are NOT original and might already be taken, but if that is the case, then I’ll just keep pondering for a new one!

But, I’m leaning towards the last one as my new blog name! The decision will be made tonight and tomorrow I’ll buy my URL! Exciting!

Cheers!

Stuffed Tomatoes

Whether in sauce, on a burger, in salads, sundried or whatever other combination, I absolutely love tomatoes. Just think about it, tomatoes already exist in endless combinations of recipes and food concoctions. At least for me, I deem the esteemed tomato to be a staple. But, it seems like I’ve just gotten used to the same tomato-based recipes for the last few months. Plus, in many of my dishes, the tomato was just a side ingredient and not the main hero. So, I decided to find a recipe that was both different and featured the tomato as the main deal: Stuffed Tomatoes (Sunny Anderson from the Food Network).

Step 1: Chop Basil and Garlic; Cut Tops Off
Of Tomatoes and Remove Insides 


Step 2: Combine Parmesan Cheese, Basil,
Garlic, Bread Crumbs, Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper 


Step 3: Stuff Mixture Into Tomatoes


Step 4: Bake and Enjoy!

I actually really liked this recipe. It was super simple and I loved the tomato as the main feature!

Cheers!

Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs

For most last minute or large gatherings, spaghetti is often the menu item of choice. Naturally, it depends on which way you decide to make it — but, it is extremely easy (especially if not making the sauce from scratch!). Personally, I love spaghetti. It’s extremely simple, requires few ingredients, and serves as a perfect comfort food. But, lately, I’ve been becoming bored of my usual rotation of spaghetti for evening dinners. I’ve tried adding chicken or other types of vegetables to help alleviate my taste bud boredom. Unfortunately, those additions did not result in any success.

It wasn’t until I was surfing through Netflix that I saw the movie Lady and the Tramp pop up. Whenever I think of that movie, I always revert to the scene where the two dogs eat eat spaghetti and meatballs together. Instantly, this movie provided the perfect inspiration in order to spice up my boring pasta dinners. So, it was decided: Spaghetti and Sicilian Meatballs it is!

Step 1: Chop Garlic, Onions, Basil
Currants, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Step 2: Let Bread Crumbs and
Milk Sit for Five Minutes

[I accidentally threw the onions on top for this step… oops!]

Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients With
Wet Ingredients; Add Meat Mixture

Step 4: Form Meat Balls
(Key: Make Sure Hands are Wet); Bake

Step 5: Add Meatballs to Sauce
and Spaghetti and Enjoy! 

Prior to this meal, I had never made meatballs from scratch. It was surprisingly simple and easy. Let’s just say I’m glad that I happened to stumble upon Lady and the Tramp or else I would have made another simple pasta dish.

Cheers!