Friday, June 29, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!


Happy Friday!  I am trying out my very first linky party with my friends at Foodie Friends Fridays!  Since there are so many of you with wonderful recipes, I wanted a chance for you to link to one of your favorites.  The whole Foodie Friends Friday gang will be co-hosting this party, so when you link your post here, it will show up on all our members' pages too!  I can't wait to see the wonderful recipes you all share.  Thank you for the constant inspiration!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cherry Pie

Fourth of July is just around the corner and I have started to plan the menu for the dinner I am hosting for my extended family.  What could be a more delicious way to celebrate the red, white, and blue than with cherry pie?  We are right in the middle of cherry season here in California, so this is the time of year I get to indulge.  This pie is simple and delicious.  I am still new to baking, so I'm not great at making the pies look pretty.  But when they taste this good who cares, right?  :)  Cherry season is short, so run out and pick some up to bake this fantastic pie!

your favorite double pie crust recipe
6 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1 1/8 C sugar
10 tsp corn starch
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp almond extract

  1. Prepare your pie crusts and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch.  Let sit for 10 minutes to draw out the cherry juice.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until the juices thicken.  
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and almond extract.  Mix thoroughly and pour into prepared pie crust.  
  6. Cover with the top crust and crimp edges to seal.  Make several small cuts in the top to allow steam to escape.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the crust os golden brown.
I recommend letting the pie cool completely before serving.  If you serve it too soon from the oven, it will be very runny.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kitchen Essentials - Tea Machine

I love drinking tea.  It is my favorite afternoon drink.  Before I had children, I simply used a tea kettle in the stove that screeched when the water was boiling.  However, with a toddler and baby, the odds of me being able to run to the stove when the kettle was ready were slim to none.  I decided to look for an alternative and found this amazing machine - the Zojirushi Water Boiler.  This machine is fantastic!  You fill it with water and plug it in - that's it!  It will boil the water and then hold it at one of three temperatures (208, 195, 175 degrees) which is wonderful for brewing different types of tea.  The water is ready whenever you are!  It has become one of those items that I wonder how I ever lived without it.  Aside from tea, it is great for french press coffee, soups, hot cocoa, and more!  While it is a bit pricey ($117 on Amazon), we have certainly gotten plenty of use out of it over the last three years and would certainly buy it again!  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Basil Butter Corn on the Cob

There are few things that say summer more than grilled corn on the cob.  We indulge almost every week throughout the summer months.  This recipe is our favorite by far!  It is so easy to make and so tasty!  Just a few ingredients mixed with room temperature butter make this fantastic corn side dish.  Prepare it ahead of time and store it in the fridge so you are ready to grill just before dinnertime.  We have tried it with fresh basil, but we actually prefer the concentrated taste of the dried basil.  But feel free to experiment yourselves!  

-Makes 2 corn cobs-

2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 pepper fine ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 C freshly grated parmesan cheese

  1. Heat your grill to 400 degrees (medium heat).
  2. Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl.  Mix well using the back of a fork or spoon.
  3. Generously spred the mixture onto each cob so it is evenly coated.
  4. Place corn directly on direct heat. 
  5. Rotate 1/4 turn every 3 minutes for a total cooking time of about 12 minutes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekly Menu

This week from our local organic farm we picked up kale, red and golden beets, sweet Maui onion, red leaf lettuce, cilantro, strawberries, cherries (not pictured), and a dozen cobs of sweet corn.  I am so excited for summer and I love that the summer produce is starting to arrive!  Here is what I have planned for our menu

  • Parmesan Chicken Sandwiches with Sauteed Italian Kale and Basil Butter Corn on the Cob
    • using the kale, corn, and garlic from last week

  • Double Decker Tacos using Homemade Salsa with Corn and Black Bean Salad
    • using the lettuce, onion, cilantro, corn, and garlic from last week

  • Gnocchi with Sweet Corn and Arugula in Cream Sauce and a Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans
    • using the corn, beets, and lettuce

  • Cherry pie
    • using the cherries

We will be enjoying the strawberries for dessert and as a topping on my daughter's morning oatmeal.

Linking up at Orgjunkie!