From the Garden to the Pie 6/18/2013

This fathers day I decided to make my husband his favorite pie strawberry rhubarb from scratch, Ok almost scratch. Our neighbor happens to have a rhubarb jungle in her back yard and she kindly allowed my to harvest some for my experiment. If you have never had rhubarb ask your grandpa about it, he is probably the only person you know who eats it. After tasting the rhubarb raw, holy bitterness Batman, I thought I should add some strawberries to the mix to ensure our taste buds would do the happy dance and my efforts wouldn't be wasted. The ingredients list is short, the prep time is quick and pie time was delish!

All you will need is...
4 cups chopped rhubarb (I substituted 2 cups strawberries)
1 1/3 cup sugar
6 TBS flour
1TBS butter
Two 9 inch pie crusts and of course a pie tin. ( maybe next time I'll get fancy and make the pie crust myself)

Start by heating your oven to 450°. Follow the directions on the pie crust packaging for the bottom of your pie, I had to cook the bottom crust for 10 minutes by its self. While the pie crust was cooking I chopped up my strawberries and rhubarb and mixed them together, and in a separate bowl whisk together the flour and sugar. Once the crust was done cooking and removed from the oven I put 1/4 of the sugar flour mixture on the bottom of the pie. Next I  dumped the fruit mixture in and covered that with the remaining flour and sugar. Now cut the butter into little pieces and cover the flour and sugar mixture with it  followed by the top pie crust. My edges came out horrible so I won't even get into how I did that but if you know how to make it look pretty power to you and please comment with your pointers!
Finally put a couple of slits on the top of your pie crust and pop into a preheated 450° oven for ten minutes on the bottom rack. I placed my pie on  a cookie sheet and I am so glad I did because there was a little bit of boil over. Cook at 450° for 10 minutes then lower your oven to 350 and cook for 40 to 45 additional minutes. Serve hot with ice cream or cold with coffee, either way it's delicious! Now you know why your grandpa loves rhubarb so much! As an afterthought had I decided to only use rhubarb and not add strawberries the pie still would have been delish. So have fun and experiment by adding your favorite fruit for another layer a flavor.
In our house we do something for every holiday whether it is Valentines Day Sweets or Saint Patrick's Day fun trying to catch a leprechaun we always make it an event for our kids! This year I am going to be serving Crepes for breakfast. Last week we read a book to our kiddos called Suzette's Crepes and they really wanted to try them. Though I am not making Crepe Suzette (history and recipe here) which is much more "fancy" I will indulge their curiosity with a basic crepe filled with whipping cream and fruit. My kids may not be world travelers but they are worldly foodies!

This recipe is so simple and people always assume you went out of your way to make them or that your some kind of wiz in the kitchen...we'll just let them keep thinking that ;)
Here is what you will need, I am guessing you probably have it all in your kitchen right now!
Dry Ingredients 
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
Wet Ingredients 
2 Eggs 
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tbs Melted Butter
First grease your griddle or pan and start warming it on medium heat. Also preheat your oven to it's warmer setting.
 Now start mixing the flour and eggs in a large bowl, slowly add in the milk and water, mix well. Finally add the salt and melted butter and beat the mixture until it is completely smooth. 
Pour about 1/4 Cup of the mixture on to your pan, move the pan in a circular motion to spread out the mixture so it is thin and circular. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the under side is golden then flip and repeat on the other side. As each crepe is done put on a dish in your warmed oven because crepes are a dish best served warm!
Top each crepe with whipping cream and your favorite fresh fruit (I recommend using berries) roll it up and enjoy! 

Rustic Apple Banana Bread 

I love baking from scratch and everyone in the house enjoys it too! Whether acting as assistant chef or taste tester the whole fam is involved...and happy! We eat a ton of fresh fruit in our house but once in a while things start to go bad before we get to them, in this case it was our bananas. Not wanting to waste anything, and not having quit enough bananas for regular banana bread I decided to make a variation of my mama's banana walnut bread. My banana bread doesn't have walnuts and does have APPLES...well apple sauce for moisture!!
Ingredients Needed
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Shortening 
2 Soft Baninis
1/3 Cup Apple Sauce

SO simple!
Start with preheating your oven to 350
Throw it all together in a large mixing bowl and mix! I used an old fashion hand mixer (luckily my husband volunteered  his muscles for this one, sadly he opted out of a photo) but if you have an electric one more power to you because this is a THICK batter! 

Bake for 45 minutes. I like to bake it for 42 minutes then remove the pan from the oven but allow the bread to continue to cook for the remaining three minutes. If you opt to cook your bread the whole 45 minutes in the oven remove the bread from the pan immediately and place on a cooling rack.


Sweet Potato Fries 


In my local grocery store sweet potatoes are still selling a super low prices after all of the holidays and my husband LOVES sweet potatoes. Finding ways to use them other than in a holiday sweet potato pie has been my challenge over the past few years. I have had sweet potato fries at restaurants and seen them in my grocers freezer but making them at home is great since you can customize what seasoning that your taste buds love best! Here is one of my favorite way to dress up this veggie and give it a "non-seasonal" taste.
All you need is sweet potatoes (pealed), Italian salad dressing, your preferred type of cooking oil such as evoo and what ever seasoning tickle your taste buds! Pre-heat your oven to 350 and cook for about 35 minutes, allow to cool and enjoy! Mommy tip...if you let your kids pick their seasoning and allow them to dance around the kitchen shaking the bag like crazy babies they will totally enjoying eating what THEY cooked ;D

Once you have pealed and chopped them up put them in a bag and add a liberal amount of dressing, a tablespoon of oil and what ever seasonings you plan on using!

Here is where your kiddos come in, make sure they shake shake shake!

Spread out on pans and bake for 35 minutes or so.


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