Mini Berry Pies

MINI BERRY PIES

I feel like I always can find an excuse to make something into a miniature form. And, berry pie, is no exception to that. Now, while I don’t have a specialized mini tin that can house mini pies, I do have a normal cupcake tin. I found that this utensil is still a perfect size to make a packed mini pie filled to the brim with a variety of berries.

Now, I will admit that these require more time and patience to make; however, they are a perfect treat to bring to a get-together or just to have around the house for a small treat. I’d recommend using the same pie process of other pies (just repeated twelve times in a cupcake tin) and I’d also suggest using the crust from this previous blog post and the berry pie filling from this recipe.

Here are a few other tips for mini berry pies:

1. Grease Each Tin Generously: Make sure to grease each tin with extra butter so that each berry pie can easily slide out of the tin after they are baked.

2. Use Plenty of Berries: My personal favorite berry combination is a mixture of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Don’t skimp on putting berries into each pastry cup – the more, the better!

3. Add Lemon Juice & Lemon Zest: Make sure to have a fresh lemon on hand to use for the filling. Plus, add a little bit of zest for some extra fragrance at the end.

Have you ever made mini berry pies before?

Cheers!

MINI BERRY PIES

Advertisements

Pie Lollipops


All right, all right… so I’m totally aware that I posted a few weeks ago about how I was semi-bored with pies and wanted to try something different for dessert. And, in all fairness, I was totally in the mood to try something unique, outrageous or something that required a trip to some specialty shops to acquire ingredients. But, this idea became quickly obsolete once I stumbled upon the idea of Cherry Hand Pies.

These Cherry Hand Pies looked absolutely delicious; however, I wanted to make this dessert in a smaller format so I figured that something like pie lollipops would be ideal. Again, even though I’ve made too many pies in the past year, I figured that a new and different format would make it totally worth it!

Step 1: Make Dough


Step 2: Prepare Pie Filling


Step 3: Cut Out Pie Shapes


Step 4: Brush Edges With Egg Wash;
Spoon Filling Onto Dough; Crimp and Press
Other Side Together; Put Stick into Dough

Step 5: Bake and Enjoy!


These pie lollipops remind of the current trend of cake pops. But, in my opinion, these are easier to make and a little bit more rewarding for the sheer fact that they actually resemble a mini pie in appearance. These are a perfect treat that can be taken to barbecues, dinner parties or exactly whatever you are feeling like at the time. Plus, there isn’t that much of a learning curve since they aren’t that different from a normal pie!

Cheers!

Happy July Fourth!


Happy July 4th! I hope everyone had a safe and fun day with friends and family (and with plenty of delicious food, of course!). This cake is from Better Homes and Gardens Festive Fourth of July Desserts. I didn’t put the jam on it; however, I think it still turned out well. Just a simple cake with plenty of fresh berries and frosting!

What did you make for July 4th?

Cheers!

Favorite Recipes of 2011

Bye bye 2011 – the year filled with various fruit-filled desserts, homemade pizzas and plenty of roasted chicken recipes. Throughout this past year, I definitely learned many new tricks including how to make pie pastry dough from scratch (and cut and assemble lattices for pies), how to properly clean and prepare a whole chicken for roasting and how to properly make quinoa, just to name a few!

In order to celebrate 2011, I just wanted to list a few of my favorites:

Strawberry Shortcakes

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread


Homemade Oreos


Roast Chicken With Chickpeas,
Tomatoes, Olives and Thyme


Sour Cherry Pie With Lattice Crust


Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes With
Lemon Curd and Raspberries


Chicken Piccata


Blackberry Peach Crumble


Baked Macaroni & Cheese
With Garlic Bread Crumbs

Pumpkin Cake With
Cream Cheese Frosting

I am already excited for 2012: hoping to experiment more with pomegranates, mustard (yes, Epicurious predicted it to be a Top Food Trend for 2012), avocados and I would like to make homemade Pho. Join me in my adventure!

Cheers!

Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries

Even though my hips and arms would like me to nix sugar, I simply can’t resist. But, lately my taste buds have become bored of all of the indulgent and extremely rich winter themed desserts. Instead of alleviating my sweet tooth with a heavy dessert, I opted for something lighter and fresh: Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries. I wanted to make it for a pleasant surprise even though it is completely a summer dessert!

Step 1: Create Crust by Smashing Graham
Cracker Cookies and Combining with Butter


Step 2: Cream Sugar and Cream Cheese Together;
Beat in Egg, Sour Cream, Lemon Juice & Peel, and Vanilla


Step 3: Bake, Cool, and Serve with Berries!

Eating this dessert definitely reminded me of summer. Although I enjoy certain aspects of winter, I do miss the warm sunshine and season of colorful, flowing dresses. Do you think that the dreary and desolate days of winter will pass by more quickly if I continue to make summer themed desserts? That is probably a long shot, but the thought is nice!

Cheers!

Chicken and Waffles

A few years ago, we held a family reunion in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Although vastly different than the Pacific Northwest, I thoroughly enjoyed that vacation and absolutely fell in love with the scenery, food, and people.  Prior to this trip, I had never been informed about Waffle Houses and a Southern favorite: Chicken and Waffles. I then became highly intrigued as to how savory fried chicken eaten jointly with sweet waffles and syrup would taste. Unfortunately, we ran out of time in Tennessee and I regretfully never tried Chicken and Waffles.

Now, it wasn’t until recently that I was reminded of Chicken and Waffles after flipping through Bobby Flay’s Cookbook. Instantly, my first thoughts reverted to my family’s trip to Tennessee and my regrets for never trying the esteemed dish of Chicken and Waffles. Well, luckily for me, my boyfriend and his roommates happen to love fried chicken. So, with little convincing, the decision was made to make these on a weekend morning.

We chose to make Melba Wilson’s Fried Chicken and Eggnog Waffles with Strawberry Butter from that cookbook. However, we didn’t have eggnog or strawberries (oops!). Instead, we substituted buttermilk and blackberries. The waffles were very similar to a recipe that I used a few weeks ago for brunch (as seen here).

Fried Chicken

Step 1: Marinate Chicken With
Spices and Buttermilk for 2 Hours


Step 2: Coat Chicken With Flour

Step 3: Fry Chicken in Vegetable Oil

Buttermilk Waffles

Step 1-2: Combine Dry and Liquid
Ingredients; Add Whipped Egg Whites
Step 3: Drop Batter on Waffle Iron

Blackberry Butter

Step 1: Cut Softened Butter into Cubes;
Whip in Food Processor; Pulse Berries

Step 2: Form Into “Loaf”; Put in Freezer
to Shape; Serve with Waffles

[Don’t let the picture fool you — although it doesn’t
look appetizing, the butter was one of the best parts!]

Voila: Chicken ‘n Waffles!

[All previous qualms regarding this dish and it’s
questionable taste were completely abolished.
Delicious and a great success!]

Every now and then I crave fried chicken. And, every now and then I crave waffles. But, after this meal we had this weekend, I will definitely crave chicken and waffles concurrently. Although not the healthiest, this is a perfect meal to share with friends and when in the mood for fried goodness and a sweet treat!

Cheers!

Weekend in Seattle

The Space Needle, Pike’s Place Market, the birthplace of “Grunge”, and the destination for corporate giants such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Nordstrom are a few characteristics that describe the city of Seattle. In addition, Seattle is home to many different culinary tastes ranging with everything from classic American food to Seafood to the authentic flavors of the International District. Since I’m a natural “foodie” at heart, I couldn’t help but document a few culinary adventures I had while visiting Seattle this past weekend.

GaudiLately, I’ve been trending towards eating smaller and lighter meals (essentially tapas, as mentioned in a prior post here). We choose to go to Gaudi which is a Spanish inspired restaurant in the Roosevelt neighborhood. We enjoyed a bevy of items from the menu including Papas Bravas (potatoes with spicy sauce), Bavas (Spanish meatballs), Jitanitos (dates wrapped in bacon), Mojama (fresh cured tuna), and a few other items. But, our favorite part about Gaudi was the dessert we shared: a sponge cake filled with apricots and cream and topped with a raspberry glaze. Besides the fact that it just LOOKED pretty, it also tasted wonderful too.

Apricot and Cream Filled Sponge Cake
With Raspberry Glaze


Homegrown
Sandwich shops have a hard task to accomplish: to develop sandwiches that are fresh, flavorful, and cannot be easily replicated by any random Joe. To be perfectly honest, what differentiates the turkey sandwich made at an independent sandwich shop from the sandwich made at home or from a nationally recognized sandwich franchise? The key differentiator resides in ingenuity of ingredients. That being said, after glancing at the menu of Homegrown, I noticed a multitude of unusual and unique components within the sandwiches. After much contemplation, I settled upon the Roast Pork sandwich (Stumptown Coffee and cayenne rubbed pork loin, pickled red onion, apple butter, mixed greens, and sage aioli served over whole grain bread). After first bite, savory (pork and sage aioli), sweet (apple butter) and tangy (pickled red onions) flavors simultaneously combined to create a medley of enticing flavors. So, unlike the standard and ordinary sandwich shop, Homegrown mastered the art of combining diverse ingredients and creativity to make delicious sandwiches.

Roasted Pork Sandwich and Lentil Soup

High 5 Pie — I absolutely love and adore pies. Not only do I love combining fruit into desserts, but I enjoy making non-traditional fruit desserts or putting a different spin on a classic pie. That being said, High 5 Pie in Capitol Hill in Seattle serves pies that definitely match this description. The selection at High 5 Pie consists of “Pie Jar” (pies in a jar), Flipside (hand-held pie turnovers), Cutie Pie (mini pies), 7″ Deep Dish (classic pie), and Pie Pop (literally, a mini pie on a stick). Flaky crusts, pie fillings bursting with flavor, and a hip venue unite to make this a pleasant stop for a weekend afternoon. Plus, where else can you purchase pie on a stick?

Classic Caramel Pecan Pie


Pie Pop — Cherry Almond
& Cutie Pie — Berry

Good times and good eats this past weekend in Seattle. All in all, I definitely enjoyed these places and hope to visit again sometime soon!

Cheers!