A place for a young lady to cook, eat, and share her yummy adventures.

Monday, August 30, 2010

pie crust

Making pie crust is so simple. It just makes sense to know how to make it. The Pioneer Woman is a wealth of knowledge, and it's her pie crust recipe that adorns my pies (all 2 that I've ever made, but I'll be honest, they were both beautiful and delicious beyond measure.) and my chicken pot pies.

This recipe is simple:
1.5 cups Shortening (Crisco)
3 cups of flower
1 egg
5 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt

It makes 3 pie crusts, and since no pie ever needs 3 you can freeze the rest till you need them.

Start by cutting the shortening into the flour. I'll be frank and say I can't find my pastry cutter, no idea how i misplace it, but whatever. I used a potato masher. I actually hound that I liked using it better, sshhh don't tell anyone.

 Whisk and egg and mix in the water and vinegar. The original recipe called for white vinegar, but I don't like the way white vinegar smells so I never use it. I use apple cider vinegar instead, for everything that calls for it.

And I don't care if you think that's weird. It's not. It's my kitchen. Your name isn't Potter.

If it is we should meet. I'd like that.

I have a crush on these Pyrex dishes. I use them for everything. I am not a chef, I don't pretend to be. I do however understand the concept of love and this is it. You can make portions of dishes and bake them separately, when I make chicken pot pie I'll be making it in these, they are microwaveable, dishwasher safe and hold a surprisingly large amount of cheese. They really are wonderful.

After you add the egg and other wet stuff mix it with a wooden spoon because wooden spoons are so fun. It'll have become more doughy and flaky. Just make sure you get all the flour from the bottom of the bowl.

Once you get it all mixed and perfect separate it into 3 portions.You need to freeze it for at least 30 minutes before you use it to make sure that when you bake it it's really flaky. Put the portions in bags and flatten them with  a rolling pin, a cup, or just smash them with your hands.

I'll be posting apple pie and how to make it as well as chicken pot pie and how to make that sometime later this week. Crust is the hardest part, if you can do that you can do anything!

Ugh, Monday... At least there is pie in your future.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

My favorite food is a sweet potato... at least today it is. My favorite way to eat them is in fry form with a nice cold strongbow from the tap. Yum, seriously, yum.

Since eating deep fried food accompanied with ice cold hard cider is neither healthy or an activity I can do each and every day of the week, I decided to learn how to "healthify" them, and I cut out the strongbow, when I have to.

Start with an entire bag of sweet potatoes, because if you're making them, you might as well make a lot.

Don't peel them all at once, do it one at a time and slice them as you go. Sweet potatoes get brown so fast, and the less time they are exposed to air the better.

Peel and slice into whatever size you want. I've done cubes before, they were delicious too, but I prefer fries.

Yes I do it the old fashioned way, yes I use a knife. No I don't have a fry cutter. (Want to get me one for my birthday? It's coming up)

This stage takes the longest, about a half hour.

As long as you really do cut them one at a time you'll be Golden.Plunge them immediately into a salt water bath once sliced to prevent browning. I don't know why this works, but it does. If you skip the step you'll have brown potatoes, and they won't be as wonderful.

Once finished with all of the potatoes drain them, dry them off and put half back in the bowl to toss.

You'll be tossing them in a little olive oil, some cinnamon, paprika, and a pinch of salt.

You want them covered in oil, and spiced with the rest. You can do it all at once or toss in oil first then the spices; whatever works best for you.

Just make sure they are covered, but not drenched.
Cooking them on a foil lined cookie sheet makes clean up easy. I'm all about easy.

After you've done the tossing in however many batches it takes, lay them out on the cookie sheet. Make sure they aren't overlapping at all. I usually need two cookie sheets if I do a whole bag, the more exposed to the hot air each piece is, the crispier they'll be.

Cook at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Take them out, toss them around, put them in for another 10 minutes.

Take them out again, toss them again, and put them in the oven for the final 10 minutes.

When they are evenly brown on all sides that's when they are done. Serve them with ranch,
whipped cream, caramel, Ice cream, or plain. They are truly delicious.

The only problem you'll have is making sure you have left overs to eat the next day for breakfast... these go faster than something that goes really fast. :) I'll work on my similes... and you work on making these asap.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bacon Fried Apples

I figured for the first recipe on the food blog of Denise would be one I legitimately came up with on my own entirely.

Out of desperation comes bacon fried apples. :)

This is a ratio recipe that is best served warm : 1 apple to 4 whole pieces of bacon
This serves 2 people, as a side, and it's awesome.

Cutting bacon in half is something my other did and it just makes sense. If you're cooking in a skillet whole pieces just don't fit well, and even though I made this on a griddle (desperation, remember?) half pieces were still a better fit. But the package with scissors, its so simple!

Start with cooking your bacon most of they way, and keep the grease. While the bacon is cooking slice the apple, don't peel it. You should get about 16-20 slices from one apple.Gala apples are my favorite, and since they are sweet, pairing them with bacon is perfect.

When the bacon has about 2 minutes left throw the apples in with it and make sure they are fleshy side down in the grease from the bacon. After about a minute flip them and let the other side brown.

Frying them with the bacon allows the bacon to absorb some of the sweet juices and the apples to get warm and salty. In heaven everything is a perfect balance of sweet and salty. God serves this on Saturday mornings.

After both sides of the apple are brown (they will be slightly soggy) server together.

I put syrup on mine, but that's because I'm in love with syrup. It didn't need it. Happy breakfast!

Bacon Fried Apples (serves 2)

1 apple, sliced, leaving skin
4 pieces of bacon, cut in half

Cook bacon till almost done.
Add apples to bacon and cook for one minute on each side

serve warm