Friday, February 24, 2017


via Food 52 ph: james ransom

When we were kids my dad liked to stock the freezer with Banquet Pot Pies. They never seemed to cook quite fast enough in the oven but when the timer went off we all raced back to the kitchen for our individual turkey or chicken pot pies. Fresh out of the oven the pies were piping hot, too hot. I always burned my tongue on the first couple of bites, too impatient to let it cool off properly. My favorite part was cracking the crust open with a spoon to get to the rich creamy filling inside, the steam billowing out of the flaky hole. My second favorite thing was the way the creamy sauce would leave a delicious residue on the spoon you could lick off. Next, I enjoyed finding the little pieces of cubed meat, the trick was to get one in every spoonful. Pot pies are a major food nostalgia for me. They remind me of being a kid, dad fixing supper in his army uniform, and that odd time period when it was pretty much normal for families to eat frozen dinners, usually in front of the television. Every now and then I'll buy a Banquet Chicken Pot Pie from the frozen section of my grocery store. They still cost less than a buck. Now that's what I call a bargain. 

Banquet Pot Pies will do in a pinch but scratch-made pot pies are even better. Food 52 has provided a simple formula for pot pie: Chicken (or turkey) + vegetables + thick sauce + crust = pot pie. 

1. The Meat: Cook's choice. Leftovers are always great for throwing together a pot pie. You can use poultry, beef, or just roasted vegetables. If your meat needs to be cooked (not leftovers) then you can braise the meat in the sauce. The meat flavors the sauce, and the sauce gently cooks the meat. 

2. The Vegetables: The classic veggies include potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and frozen peas but there's no need to restrict yourself. Get creative, just make sure their chopped into bite-sized cubes. You can either roast the veggies separately or cook them in the sauce. 

3. The Sauce: Sauce is the glue that hold pot pie together. To guarantee a thick sauce, you'll need to make a roux (paste made from flour cooked in fat to be used as a thickener). When it's ready you slowly whisk in chicken stock and bit of milk. Let it come to a boil and simmer briefly. Once you have a thick sauce, add your meat and veggies. 

4. The Crust: You can cheat and buy puff pastry dough but if you've got time make your own then here's a pot pie dough recipe

5. Now, put it all together: You'll need an ovenproof vessel whether it's ramekins or small cast iron pots or skillets for individual pot pies or cast iron skillet, baking dish, or even pie plate for a large, family-style pot pie. Add in a mix of your cooked veggies and meat into the container, cover with the sauce leaving a 1/2-inch between the sauce and top of container. Lay the crust over the container, crimp, and brush with egg wash. Be sure to create slits for steam vents. Bake at 375º F until the crust has browned and the stew is bubbling underneath, about half an hour. Everything under the crust should already be cooked, so baking is just for the lid. 

For more detailed instructions go here

Thursday, February 23, 2017


via The Pioneer Woman

The other day I was really craving chocolate pudding and picked up a box of MY*T*FINE pudding & pie filling (sugar free chocolate). I followed the directions on the box but it was an epic fail. The pudding had this weird consistency, way too thick and with this unpalatable waxy film. This brand has been around for over 90 years so I must have made a mistake in the cooking process - overcooked?

Let's try this the old-fashioned way. The following chocolate pudding pie recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. I'm a huge fan of Ree Drummond and her no-nonsense simple cooking with step-by-step instructions. I also love her stories about her husband, family, and ranch living. Her cooking reflects her life-style - hearty recipes for hard-working folks. 

Chocolate Pie
1 whole Pie Crust, Baked and Cooled (or can use Oreo or Graham Cracker crust)
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3 c whole milk
4 whole egg folks
6 1/2 ounces, Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped finely
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp butter
Whipped Cream, for serving
  1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir or whisk together.
  2. Pour in milk and egg yolks, and whisk together. 
  3. Stir over medium heat until the mixture just barely comes to a boil and becomes thick, about 6-8 minutes (maybe less, maybe more; just watch it!) The second it starts to bubble and thicken (note: it should be thick like pudding!) remove it from the heat. Add the chocolate, vanilla, and butter, and stir until everything is beautifully combined.
  4. Pour the pudding into the pie crust (if there is extra, spoon it into small dishes) and place in the fridge to chill for 4 hours uncovered. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


via food network

Hola! And happy National Margarita Day! The day wouldn't be complete without a slice of Margarita Pie, a creamy pie that tastes just like the beverage. Don't skip the salted lime wedge garnish! Recipe courtesy of the Food Network Kitchen. 

What I wouldn't do to be sitting on a beach somewhere in Mexico sipping on margaritas and eating fish tacos. I had the best margarita of my life at Chamico's, a secret no-frills beachside cantina so secluded and laid back that it's a little slice of paradise. This fish shack is nothing fancy -- we're talking rickety plastic tables and chairs under a thicket of palm trees but the food is good, the margaritas are superb, and the staff super-friendly. Chamico's menu options are limited to ceviche and whatever caught that morning is cooking on the outdoor barbie. After you feast on succulent fresh seafood washed down with icy-cold cervezas and margaritas, be sure to take a hour in the shaded hammock enjoying the cool breeze and stellar ocean view. There are only two rules: cash only and don't tell your friends. The locals like to keep Chamico's as their little secret. 

No phone, website or address
end of Soliman Bay Road
Tulum, Mexico
open 9am-5pm

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


LA pie story ph: s winesett

Blueberry Slump (or grunt or cobbler) is a classic New England dessert in which sticky biscuit dough is dropped onto blueberries. A slump is like a cobbler, only instead of being baked in the oven, it's made on the stovetop. Gina Homolka of skinnytaste took it a step farther and figured out a way to make it in a slow cooker in her cookbook, skinnytaste Fast and Slow. According to her, 'It has a cake-like topping over the warm gooey berries, and it slumps onto your plate when you serve it. Simple and unfussy, it's a true comfort food.'

Slow Cooker Blueberry Slump
(serves 8)
cooking spray
5 cups (26 ounces) blueberries
1/3 c raw sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp grated lemon zest

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 c raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
pinch of kosher salt
2 Tbsp cold whipped butter
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. For the fruit: Coat a 5- or 6- quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest in the slow cooker.
  2. For the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. Add it to the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until combined. Spoon the topping over the blueberries and spread it out evenly. 
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, until the blueberries are bubbling and the topping is set. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. 
Per serving (not including whipped cream): 1/2 cup, calories: 185, fat: 2.5g, saturated fat: 1.5g, carbs: 40g, fiber: 2.5g, protein: 3g, sugars, 26g, sodium: 131mg

I cut the recipe in half for 4 servings as I own a mini-slow cooker, and swapped fresh blueberries for frozen wild blueberries. I also had left over pastry dough from a previous pie so used that instead of making a fresh batch. I have to say, topped with fresh whipped cream the Blueberry Slump was incredibly scrumptious. I had to really struggle not to go for seconds! 

Monday, February 20, 2017


LA pie story ph:s winesett

Happy National Cherry Pie Day! I filched this recipe for Cherry Chiffon Pie from Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook, a vintage find I picked up in an East Village shop called Bonnie Slotnick's Cookbooks. If you haven't stopped by this rare gem of a bookstore you're truly missing out. The shelves are brimming over with rare and out-of-print cookbooks, and with over 5000 to choose from there's sure to be one to titillate the tastebuds of even the most discerning gourmet. And with vintage kitchenware and other doohickeys garnishing the shop, you literally feel as if you've stepped back in time. I've spent hours digging through old pie cookbooks, perusing the dusty pages in search of that one recipe I haven't come across before. 

This Cherry Chiffon Pie was listed under the section, Refrigerator and Ice Cream Pies, with the notation, 'Pink and pretty - uses canned cherries'. Chiffon pies are a light fluffy confection in which meringue and/or whipped cream is folded into a fruit-flavored curd thickened with unflavored gelatin. The filling is then put into a pre-baked pie shell of the baker's choice and chilled until ready to serve. 

Cherry Chiffon Pie
Baked 9" pie shell*
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 Tbsp cold water
1 (1 lb 4 oz) can tart cherries
4 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
Whipped Cream (optional)
  1. Soften gelatin in water. Drain cherries, reserving juice. eat egg yolks and add juice from cherries (3/4 cup), salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in softened gelatin and stir until it is dissolved. Cool slightly and add lemon peel and drained cherries (1 1/2 cups). 
  2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form when beater is lifted. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar- 2 Tbsp at a time - beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into gelatin mixture. Pile lightly in pie shell and chill until firm. 
  3. When ready to serve, garnish each serving with whipped cream. 

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks
28 East Second Street, New York City
212.989.8962 tel

Friday, February 17, 2017


ph: Gentl & Hyers

Monday is National Cherry Pie Day so I thought I'd get a jump start on the cherry action. I found this amazing Sour Cherry Pie at bon appetit. You can find Alison Roman's recipe here. Why mess with lemons when you can have a bowl of cherries! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Our Food Stories ph:laura muthesius

I recently stumbled upon Our Food Stories, a blog created for "foodies and cake-lovers" by Berlin-based photographer Laura Muthesius and food stylist Nora Eisermann. All the recipes the duo create are gluten-free and vegetarian. Nature is clearly the inspiration behind many of their food stories, as evidenced by their gorgeous food-styling and photography. Check out their blog to peruse the dinner stories and recipes. I promise every single one their cakes & sweets look absolutely scrumptious! The Gluten-Free Blueberry-Meringue Tart caught my eye and made me a loyal follower

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


via food&wine ph: john kernick

I love hand pies - no fork necessary. Pie to go- is there anything better? Probably not. Here's another recipe featured in Food & Wine's February Pastry Calendar - Atlanta baker Abigail Quinn's Blueberry and Nectarine Hand Pies. This recipe calls for a mix of fruit so feel free to experiment with other fruits besides blueberries and nectarines in your hand pies. 

Blueberry and Nectarine Hand Pies
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled
1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp ice water
2 ripe nectarines - peeled, pitted and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 c blueberries
2/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pur vanilla extract
1/4 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of kosher salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water, for brushing
  1. Make the Dough: In a food processor, pulse the flour with the salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Add the butter and pulse until pea-size pieces form. Drizzle in the ice water as you pulse until the dough just comes together, about 
1 minute. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and pat into a square about 
1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 
2 days.
  2. Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, toss the nectarines with the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Sift the cornstarch over the fruit and stir until coated, making sure no clumps of cornstarch remain.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the chilled dough in half. Work with 1 piece at a time and keep the other half chilled. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out 8 rounds and arrange on one of the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Refrigerate the rounds. Roll out the remaining dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out 8 rounds; using a thin knife, cut three 1/2-inch slits in each round, then transfer to the second baking sheet.
  4. Brush the edges of the 4-inch rounds with the egg wash. Using a slotted spoon, mound 1/3 cup of the fruit filling in the center of each round. Cover with the 4 1/2-inch rounds and crimp and seal the edges with a fork. Brush the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the pies for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and deeply golden brown; rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let the pies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool before serving.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


ph: s winesett / LApiestory

Happy Valentine's Day! I really wanted to bake a delicious and pretty pink dessert using ingredients I already had in the house (I'm currently participating in a no-spend February challenge). I found a recipe via bon appétit for Cranberry-Lime Pie enticingly described as, "The spirit of Key lime pie in the guise of luscious cranberry curd. The contrast between the snappy press-in crust and the tart filling in this recipe is pure genius." I couldn't resist modifying the recipe for tartlets for two. I baked my own chewy gingersnap cookies using a recipe from Dessert For Two, which I halved to yield nine cookies, using four for two 4-inch by 1-inch tartlet crusts. The photo above is the result of my pretty in pink experiment. 

Cranberry-Lime Tartlets for Two
2.5 ounce gingersnap (about 4 cookies), recipe below
1/4 c pecans
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 scant Tbsp light brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse cookies in a food processor until very finely ground (you should have about 1/4 cup). Add pecans; pulse until finely ground. Add butter and brown sugar; pulse to combine. Transfer to a two 4-inch tart dishes. Using the back of a spoon, press firmly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake until firm and slightly darkened in color, 10–12 minutes. If crust slides down sides, gently press back up. Let cool.
Do Ahead: Crust can be baked 1 day ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

1/2 cup frozen cranberries
1/2 c sugar plus 2 Tbsp, divided
1 egg
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp lime zest, divided
2 Tbsp lime juice
teeny pinch of kosher salt
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp, cut into pieces
  1. Bring 3 oz. cranberries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 Tbsp water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat; simmer until cranberries burst and most of the liquid evaporates, 12–15 minutes. Let cool. Purée in a blender until very smooth.
  2. Cook purée, egg, lemon zest, lime juice, salt, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp. lime zest in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring with a rubber spatula and scraping down sides of bowl often, until curd thickens and coats spatula, 8–10 minutes. Let cool until just warm.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat curd, adding butter a piece at a time and incorporating after each addition, until curd looks lighter in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Scrape into crust and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Bring 2 Tbsp granulated sugar and 2 Tbsp water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add remaining 1 oz. cranberries and cook until barely starting to soften, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until no longer sticky, 20–30 minutes.
  5. Toss remaining 2 Tbsp granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp. lime zest in a small bowl. Toss cranberries in lime sugar. Top pie with cranberries; serve with whipped cream.
Do Ahead: Pie (without topping) can be made 2 days ahead. Cover once filling is firm and keep chilled. Let sit at room temperature 2 hours before serving.

Chewy Gingersnaps (Small Batch)
3 Tbsp shortening or butter
1/4 c sugar (plus extra for rolling)
1 medium egg white 
1 Tbsp molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Have ready a shallow bowl filled with sugar for rolling cookies in.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the egg white and molasses and mix well.
  5. Dump the remaining ingredients on top and beat until just combined.
  6. Take large tablespoon-size chunks of dough and roll into 1” balls. You should get 8-9 cookies. Roll each cookie in sugar. Bake on an non-greased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes.
  7. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will be very soft, but they will firm up as they cool.

Monday, February 13, 2017


On November 14, 1960, 6 year-old Ruby Bridges became the first black student to attend a previously all-white elementary school in New Orleans. Ruby, flanked by U.S. marshals, had to walk past a mob of jeering segregationist protesters and Confederate flags to enter her school. One woman shouted threats to poison her. What courage little Ruby must have had to attend William Frantz Elementary in the midst of so much opposition. 

Now an adult Ruby Bridges Hall still lives in New Orleans.  In 1999, she formed the Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences." 

Ruby has a sweet-tooth and listed sweet potato pie as one of her favorite desserts, and New Orleans institution Dooky Chase's Restaurant as one of her favorite restaurants, saying Leah Chase cooks just like her mom. 

The following recipe is one Leela Punyaratabandhu of She Simmers adapted from Chef Chase's no-frills but delicious sweet potato pie recipe from the book, In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs. What makes this pie stand out is its crust which has finely-chopped pecans mixed into it and its fuller-bodied filling, a result of hand-mashing the sweet potatoes. 

via shesimmers

The Best Sweet Potato Pie Adapted from Leah Chase's Recipe
1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 c finely-chopped pecans
1/2 c cold butter (original uses vegetable shortening)
1/4 c iced-cold water, or as needed
2 large sweet potatoes (approx. 1.5 lbs), peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 c sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp melted butter
Pecan halves for decoration
  1. For the crust: In a food processor, pulse together all the dry ingredients and the butter into short bursts until the mixture forms pea-sized lumps. Add the water through the feed chute as you pulse until the mixture forms a stiff dough and pulls away from the sides of the food process or bowl. Form the dough into a 6-inch disk and wrap it in plastic; chill for one hour. The dough can be made in advance. It can be kept refrigerated for several days and even frozen.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Roll the chilled pie dough into a 12-inch round and press into a 9-inch pie pan. Flute the edges. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is set and beginning to brown slightly. Remove the pie pan from the oven and let it cool.
  4. Put the sweet potatoes into a medium pot and cover them with water by an inch. Bring to a boil. Boil slowly until the potatoes are tender with no absolutely no resistance at the center when pieced with a fork.
  5. Drain off the water and mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Do not use a potato ricer or food processor.
  6. As you mash the potatoes, add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; then whisk in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. The butter goes in last.
  7. Once the filling is well-mixed, pour it into the baked pie crust. Arrange pecan halves around the outside edges and sprinkle the top of the pie with more ground cinnamon. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set and the edges of the crust have browned.
  8. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Friday, February 10, 2017


via food & wine ph: con poulos

What's slab pie you ask? It's a free-form pie that you can bake on a baking sheet. No pie dish necessary. Here's another recipe featured in Food & Wine's February Pastry Calendar - Justin Chapple's Pear and Cranberry Slab Pie. This fruit-filled, ginger laced pie looks delicious. A recipe I'm eager to try for an upcoming party. Happy baking. 

Pear and Cranberry Slab Pie
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c plus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/2 cup ice water
4 firm Bartlett or Anjou pears peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1 1/2 c frozen cranberries
1 tsp ground ginger
1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
  1. In a food processor, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse in 1-second bursts until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle the ice water over the mixture and pulse in 1-second bursts until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather any crumbs and pat into 2 squares. Wrap the squares in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. On a floured work surface, roll out 1 piece of the dough to a 12-inch square. Slide the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper, then slide onto a large baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. Slide 1 square of dough onto a work surface. In a large bowl, toss the pears with the cranberries, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of flour. Spread the fruit evenly on the dough square on the baking sheet, leaving a 1-inch border. Ease the other square of dough on top of the fruit. Fold over the edge and crimp decoratively all around to seal. Brush the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cut 16 small slits in the top and freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Bake the pie for about 50 minutes, until golden and the pears are tender; rotate halfway through baking. Let cool. Cut the pie into squares and serve.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


via elephantine ph: rachel ball

Here's a recipe from elephantine for two perfect portions of Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler. Looks delicious. Twice. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler For Two
(adapted from Epicurious)
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup chopped rhubarb (frozen okay)
1 cup chopped strawberries (frozen okay)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1.25 Tbsp butter (cut into smaller pieces)
3 Tbsp milk
vanilla ice cream (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 
  2. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the chopped fruit and toss to coat. Set aside. 
  3. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Throw in the pieces of butter and smash/massage the pieces into the flour mixture until a coarse meal forms. Add the milk and stir. (The dough will be quite sticky.) 
  4. Divide the fruit mixture into two 6-ounce ramekins and spoon the dough over top. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet, as the bubbling fruit may spill over the edge. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and cooked through. 
  5. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if you like. 


via ph: gina homolka

My current obsession is Skinnytaste, the brainchild of author, photographer, and recipe developer Gina Homolka. Gina features delicious, healthy, low fat, and family-friendly recipes that don't sacrifice taste for skinny. You can find her at her website, on Instagram, or one of two cookbooks, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor or Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes.  

I love that she does pies! Here's a recipe for Coconut Obsessed Pie at only 205 calories per slice (serves 8). 

Coconut Obsessed Pie
For the coconut-graham cracker crust:
  • 6 whole reduced-fat or gluten-free graham crackers (about 4 oz)
  • 2 Tbs raw sugar
  • 3 Tbs whipped butter
  • 3 Tbs sweetened shredded coconut
  • For the filling: 
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin
  • 12.3 oz package organic silken tofu, firm
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice, I used plain unsweetened coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut such as coco lopez
  • 1 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
  • Optional topping:  toasted coconut flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place the whole graham crackers in a re-sealable plastic bag and crush with rolling pin, then measure 1 cup of crumbs and discard the rest.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl or a food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs, raw sugar, 3 tbsp shredded coconut, whipped butter and 1/2 tablespoon of water; blend until it has a texture of coarse meal.
  3. Press into an 8-inch pie dish making the crust about 1/8-inch thick evenly all around and up the sides, evening the crumbs up to make sure there are no gaps or holes. Note: If you refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes before you bake it, this will help prevent crumbling when you want to serve it.
  4. Bake until the edges are golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the crust cool on a wire rack, before filling. 

  5. Meanwhile, dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 tablespoon of water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. 
  6. Lightly mash the silken tofu with a fork and place it in the blender with the coconut cream and remaining tablespoon of shredded coconut and blend until smooth, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
  7. Heat the 1/4 cup of coconut milk beverage in the microwave 40 to 45 seconds, and mix in with the gelatin until dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the blender and blend until smooth.
  8. Pour into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate until it sets, about 3 to 4 hours. Top with shaved coconut, if desired.
Servings: 8 • Size: 1/8 •  Weight Watcher Points+: 5 pt 
Calories: 205 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 27 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 5 g • Sugar: 18gSodium: 130 mg  • Cholest: 8 mg

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


ph: Fredrika Stjarne

Food & Wine has joined in with a February Pastry Calendar, one indulgent pastry for each day of February. I perused their offerings and the first dessert to catch my eye was a lemon tart recipe from Mary Constant called Lazy Mary's Lemon Tart. It's a super easy recipe since you toss most of the ingredients, including the star a whole Meyer lemon, into a blender and viola! the filling is ready to be poured into the par-baked crust. 

Lazy Mary's Lemon Tart
Pastry Dough:
1 3/4 c plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 c plus 3 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 c plus 3 Tbsp chilled lard or vegetable shortening
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 c plus 2 Tbsp ice water
1 large Meyer lemon, chopped
1 1/2 c superfine sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
  1. Make the dough: On a lightly floured work surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Ease the dough into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (2 inches deep) and trim the overhang. Prick the dough all over with a fork and freeze until firm, 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Line the frozen pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Remove the paper and bake for 15 minutes longer, until the shell is golden. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely, 3 hours.
  3. Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350º F. In a blender, combine the Meyer lemon, superfine sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into the tart shell. Bake for 40 minutes, until the filling is set. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool to room temperature, 3 hours. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Monday, February 6, 2017


"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." - Muhammad Ali

via The Washington Post ph: deb lindsey

Bean pie is not so easy to find these days but when Muhammad Ali was still boxing it was on his training camp table. Not only was it one of his favorites, but bean pie was also an iconic food of black Muslims. This classic pie is packed full of protein as its main ingredient is navy beans. Sound weird? Maybe not. The texture of the filling is up to you, mash the beans for a chunky consistency, or puree them in a food processor for a smoother taste. 

The late Lana Shabazz, operator of a renowned New York City bakery was probably the Nation of Islam's most famous bean pie maker. The following bean pie recipe is via The Washington Post and adapted from her cookbook, "Cooking for the Champ: Muhammad Ali's Favorite Recipes," (Jones-McMillon, 1979.) You'll need two 9-inch deep-dish pie plates. 

Lana's Bean Pie
About 2 1/4 c (9 1/2 ounces) whole-wheat flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp corn or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
3 Tbsp ice-cold water, more as needed
1 large egg, beaten

3 c sugar
16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp cornstarch
5 large eggs, beaten
3 c cooked, no-salt added navy beans (drained & rinsed if canned)
2 c evaporated milk
5 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
1 tsp lemon extract (can substitute 1 Tbsp lemon juice)
  1. For the crusts: Combine the flour and salt in a food processor; add the oil and pulse until it is evenly distributed (the flour will darken a bit). With the motor running, gradually add the water and egg; pulse just until a ball of dough forms, adding water by the tablespoon as needed.
  2. Use a little oil to grease the inside of each pie plate. Lightly flour a work surface. Turn the dough out onto it; divide it into two equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll out to a round that’s about 11 inches across, then transfer to a pie plate, letting the excess dough hang over the edges. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
  3. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  4. For the filling: Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Stop to add the cinnamon and cornstarch; beat on low speed just until incorporated. On low speed, gradually add the eggs; once they are all incorporated, stop to scrape down the bowl.
  5. Mash or puree the beans (in a food processor) with 1 cup of the milk in a separate bowl, then add to the mixing bowl; beat on low speed until well incorporated, then add the remaining cup of milk, the food coloring, if using, and the lemon extract, beating until well blended. The filling mixture might look slightly curdled; that is okay.
  6. Divide the filling evenly between the dough-lined pie plates, smoothing each filling surface. Tuck under and crimp the dough around the edges. Bake (middle rack) for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees; bake for about 1 hour or until the filling is just set and the top and edges of the crust are nicely browned. Transfer the pies to wire racks to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving; cool completely before storing.