Parfait Pie

So, as many of you know, A is a fantastic cook. Even though I could never hope to be as versatile in the kitchen as she is, I am pretty spiffy when it comes to pies.

Last weekend for mothers day I hosted a large brunch and made numerous pies and pasteries. I was shocked to see that one of my recipies that I had created the night before was my biggest hit…It was inspired by a classic breakfast parfait (granola, yogurt, and fruit), and was determined to make it one of the healthier options. I thought I would share the recipe with all of you!

You will need:

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain granola
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 8 ounces fat free cream cheese (make sure it’s room temperature)
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • about 1 tbs good honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Place the granola, sugar, and cinnamon in the food processor untill it forms a fine crumble.
  3. Add in the melted butter and keep processing until it is just combined.
  4. Transfer mixture to a 8 1/2 in pie plate and press evenly in the bottom and up the sides.
  5. Refrigerate until firm (15 min)
  6. Bake until it is golden (10 min)
  7. Cool Completely
  8. Place yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over a bowl. Let drain for at leadt 30 min and discard liquid.
  9. Mix on an electric miner the cream cheese. Then add sugar and vanilla and once that is smooth the yogurt.
  10. Put the filling intop the crust and refrigerate 6-24 hours
  11. Arrange blueberries on top and drizzle with honey.

Okey dokey! It’s as simple as that!!! Have fun baking!

-C

Pic source:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419170112.htm

Recipes from the Finnish Kitchen

For those of you who are wondering “Where the hell is Finland?”, I can tell you that after you try these recipes, you won’t be wondering anymore! My family owned a bakery in Southern Finland, a nation lodged between the ‘charming’ neighbours of Sweden and Russia. It’s a quiet place, with lots of saunas, alcohol, coffee, and fish. I thought that I’d share these two delightful recipes with you from our family’s bakery, just recently sold, so that everyone can enjoy the unique deliciousness of Finnish delights!
Pulla Pitko

Pulla Pitko (Finnish Coffee Bread)

Pulla is a central part of the Finnish dining experience. And let me tell you, it’s called coffee bread for a reason. In Finland, you are served at least 3 cups of coffee in one sitting, and a 7-cup day is not unusual, especially in the sun-less winter days. Since this is an old family recipe, it’s, well, a little vague. My mother, a non-Finn, tried to specify everything a bit, but she still suggests using Finnish measuring cups. It’s definitely worth the hassle!

Bread

  • 1 and 1/2 eggs
  • 2 and 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cardamom (5 ml size tsps)
  • 1 pckg dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 17 Dl flour

Toppings

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Slivered almonds
  • Crushed sugar
  • Raisins (optional)

Pulla

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, adding the flour in last, until it forms a soft dough. Mix only with your hands. It will fail to stick once it is ready.
  2. Put the mixture in a greased bowl, turn once, then cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled. This will take about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down and knead a little to get the air bubbles out.
  4. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper, and prepare toppings.
  5. Cut the dough in half, then cut in half again. Roll each section into a rope, then braid. It should make 2 pitkot, or loaves.
  6. Brush with the egg and apply toppings.
  7. Let sit for 10-20 minutes while oven warms, then bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for 25 minutes. Do not overbake to avoid dry pulla.
  8. Serve with coffee.

Piparkakut

Hyvät Piparkakut (Finnish Pepper Cookies)

Crisp, spicy pepper cookies! Everyone’s favourite every time. You’ll never go back to ginger snaps again! Give them a try to bring exotic Scandinavian goodness to your next bake sale, because this makes 8 dozen!

  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 9 cups flour
  1. Preheat to 375 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Combine syrup, spices, butter, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Cool.
  4. Stir in egg, heavy cream, baking soda, and flour. Chill overnight.
  5. Roll out very thin, using about 1/2 cup dough at a time, and cut into various shapes.
  6. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 Farenheit for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are crisp but not overly browned. Makes 8 dozen 2 inch cookies.

Piparkakut-A.

Photos Courtesy of:


Is Your Family Cookbook a Hellacious Dump?

Well, I’m here to rescue your poor imploding binder. Because of the nature of this post, I don’t have that many pictures that are perfectly related to organisation (unless you want me to upload 10 pictures of my lovely tabs), so I’ll provide you a sneak-peak to future recipes that are hidden in the binder as I go about explaining familial organisational tools. So, here we go: How to Make an Organised Family Cookbook out of your Mess.

Recipe

Step 1: Remove Everything. This is one of my family recipes (a custard) that has been removed, so delicately, from an old binder stuffed with napkin edges full of recipes. Some of them had huge stains, some were ripped in two, some had four duplicates. So when you’re taking apart what is probably, at this point, a binder falling apart or a notebook with 3 recipes on each page, be mindful that you might be handling the only recorded version of that cake or casserole. Put them in a pile, or several piles if they are already organised in some fashion, and clean out the entire old cookbook.
Banana Bread

Step 2: Purchase Replacements. Get yourself 2 2′ binders that feel sturdy and strong. Nothing that will fall apart in a month — a year — even four years. You don’t want to have to do this every blue moon. You want this to be the version you hand your grandchildren. Whether that means you have to reinforce it with steel. You want 2 because, you will probably need 2, despite what you think. If you don’t use it, you can use the other binder to store recipes you want to try, contacts, important documents, etc.

Also purchase a 100 pack of clear paper protectors. Invest in stronger ones that won’t tear at the creases and sides. Then, purchase either a stack of computer paper or coloured mounting paper (scrapbooking will do), because it will give your cookbook a much more elegant and personal feeling. Finally, get some double sided acid-free mounting tape from an office or crafts store. You can find it in the scrapbooking section.

Step 3: Rethink Your Categories. If you didn’t have categories before, or if you’re using old categories from a premade cookbook, it’s time to take charge and divvy up your recipes. Personalise. For example, I broke up breads into “breakfast” and “savoury” because my family actually  has several dozen in each section. I’ll provide you with the categories I settled with:

  • Sauces and Appetizers
  • Savoury Breads
  • Soups, Salads, Pizzas, Sandwiches, etc.
  • Beverages
  • Breads and Breakfast Items
  • Casseroles
  • Meats and Poultry
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Holiday
  • Desserts
  • Miscellaneous

Pan Seared Salmon
Step 4: Mount and Sort. I hope you bought enough double sided tape, because now it’s time to sit down with an army of family members and just go through those recipes. Put them into the categories you came up with, toss out the ones you haven’t done in 20 years (and don’t plan on doing) that have little memory value, and, if you have the man power, assign a person or two to start mounting. Double side the papers, putting recipes on both sides. Make sure that the recipes on both sides belong in the same category, and do this for as many hours as you can stand. It will go faster and faster. Mount a recipe or two on each side, slide it into a page protector, and stack them up again.

Sauteed ApplesStep 5: Snap Them In and Enjoy! It’s time to take pictures of those lovely new recipe binders sitting on your pretty shelf. This means no more sifting through for lost recipes, no more using the same ones in the front, finding those great family recipes that make you laugh (Sock-It-To-Em Cake, anyone?) and finally getting them all sorted, set, and protected. The paper protectors will make sure that no more spatters ruin your grandmother’s handwriting, and the binder will let you snap them out and carry them around the kitchen as you stir and whisk up family tradition.

But wait! There’s more! Another bonus is that it is now easy for your children or pesky relatives to come and make copies. Send them to the nearest copy machine and they can unsnap and press page-by-page the recipes that they want. Now you don’t have to worry about sitting down and typing them up another copy of the illegible scrawl your German great-aunt-in-law wrote on the back of your tax returns when she visited you twelve years ago. Instead, now it’s easy and breezy.

Hopefully you’ll get inspired to clear your cluttery kitchen and start with your cookbook too!

-A.
Photos Courtesty Of:

Mmm, Southern Cooking! ‘A’ Guest Blogs for UK Cake Site

Pound Cake
That’s right! I’ve entered a weekly contract for guest blogging for a UK cake blog called “How to Make a Cake.” Get the recipe for this Southern-style traditional pound cake here:

http://howtomakeacake.org.uk/mamie-kinlaws-pound-cake/

Happy cake-ing! Look out for weekly posts notifying you when cake recipes have been put up on the UK cake blog, since I’ll be providing recipes for them for two or three months!

-A.

Photo Courtesy Of:

Pumpkin and Blueberry Pie, Sugar Free!

Pumpkin Pie

Are you tired of this meaning delicious seduction and a ban on bikinis? Are you having to turn a blind eye to those favourite sweet treats because of newfound diabetes or weight issue? Do you want to lower the sin guilt trip when you know you can’t resist a third (or fourth) slice? Let me tell you now, then. I have the answer. Today, I’m going to share with you two delicious pies that are tried and sure to be the best sugar free pies you will ever have! Anyone who has tried baking with Splenda knows the horrors it can wreak on consistency and flavour, but I’m here to say that you won’t have that problem any more if you try these out.

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie

Makes 1 pie. Serves 8.

Pumpkin Pie

  • 3/4 cup Splenda (or 3/4 cup sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp heaping ginger
  • 1/4 tsp heaping cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1 (12 oz) can Skim Evaporated Milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Combine sugar/Splenda, salt, and spices in a small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then, reduce temperature to 350 degrees Farenheit, bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.

Blueberry Pie

Now, nothing says American summer like good blueberry pie. And now, with this easy Splenda-able blueberry pie straight from the American South, you can appreciate a slice of juicy blueberries and spices with everyone else. The bonus? You don’t lose any of the sweet flavour in the process.

Having a mother who can’t eat sugar, I always cook a sugar-pie and a Splenda-pie, marked by blue masking tape. Whether you have a diabetic family member or simply want a healthy alternative to your favourite treats, give these pies a whirl. You won’t regret it!

Blueberry Pie

Sugar Free Blueberry Pie

Makes 1 pie. Serves 8.

  • 5 and 1/2 cup fresh blueberries.
  • 3 tblsp flour
  • 2-4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2/3-3/4 cup Splenda (or sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tblsp butter (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Prepare 2 crusts. Fill one with berries. Sprinkle lemon juice over the berries, then the mixed dry ingredients. If desired, add blobs of butter over mixture. Top with the other crust. Prick the top crust and crimp the sides.
  3. Bake for one hour. Serve hot over ice cream.

Happy baking!

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