Saturday, July 25, 2015

Peach Cream Pie

Here  is one of my favorite recipes that I got from my Mother in law years ago.  The recipe card with her hand writing is all splattered and stained, now, which shows how much it has been enjoyed.  It disappears quickly, so double the recipe if you can. I am a firm believer in doubling everything... I think it comes from raising a lot of hungry kids and wanting to be one step ahead.  I  usually freeze the extra meal when  I double up a recipe, but I have not frozen this one... I don't think it would freeze very well.

Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees.  Blanch the peaches in boiling hot water for 1- 2 minute. Cool slightly and then skin them.

Don't you think they look pretty? Soft, juicy, shiny, peachy, deliciousness.

Prepare a pie shell.  I used my favorite Pie Crust recipe Here

Slice the peaches and arrange them in a pretty way in the bottom of your pie shell.

I couldn't "not" post more pictures than I needed… because... the peaches are just so pretty. Have you ever found that it is hard to sort through your pictures and get rid of them because you just don't need that many for what ever it is you are posting…. but to delete some of them was hard.  I was feeling that way with this post.  Peaches are just such  a peachy subject.

Mix together your remaining ingredients.
Pour the mixture over the peaches.

You could almost eat it just as is; but.... no no, the dough would be raw:) .  Place Foil over entire pie and put into a preheated oven.

Bake for ten minutes, then reduce oven to 350 degrees.

Bake 50 minutes more still covered.  Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until center is set, and the crust is lightly golden.

Cool and chill.  Serve Cold.

 Peaches and Cream Pie 

Ingredients:1 Single Pie Crust
Fresh Peaches (about 5-7 large)
2 Tablespoons Organic Non-GMO Cornstarch
1 Cup Organic, Unbleached Sugar, Coconut Sugar or Sucanat
2 egg yolks
1 Cup Whipping Cream
1 T Vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  
  2. Blanch your peaches in boiling water for about 2 minutes then strain and cool; now your skins will slip right off; then pit them.  
  3. Cut them into halves, quarters or eighths, whatever suits you.  The amount of peaches I use varies every time, depending on the size of peaches and the size of my pie crust. 
  4. Lay your peaches in the pie shell.
  5. In a bowl, mix together sugar and cornstarch. Add egg yolks and whisk well.  Add cream and vanilla and whisk again.
  6. Pour over the peaches.
  7. Cover Pie with foil and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce heat to 350.  Bake for an additional 50 minutes... or until the cream filling has set somewhat firmly.  
  8. Take the foil off and bake 10 minutes more.
  9. Cool and then chill in the refrigerator.  
  10. Serve Cold.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Days and Little Things

We're just about half way through summer.  Life carries on and so do we.  Nothing profound is going on in our part of the world. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, grown daughters, grandchildren, picnics at the river and beach, writing and a few creative projects…. they are all the everyday things that I am up to this summer.

I got my crocheting out again recently.  It has been a few years since I have worked on any kind of crocheting or knitting.  Marie,  Elizabeth and I found a large stash of yarn that I had stored.  We all got inspired and have been crocheting ever since. It has been very satisfying to crochet  in the spare moments.

The grandkids and I are going to paint rocks this week, and I bought a bushel of Georgia Peaches at a roadside stand the other day. I am thinking of making a Cream Peach Pie; these are ordinary uneventful little things  to be sure, but they are the substance of life.  I remember when I was growing up, how the summer seemed to stretch so long.  My best friend Judy and I would mull over what we wanted to do on each day, and would always end up riding our bikes, swimming, playing board games, hopscotch or four square. or walking to the little 7 eleven convenience store a couple of miles away.  Our biggest cares were the few chores that we had to do, and where we got the latest skinned knee.  There is something so sweet about those days, that were simple, and uneventful.  Some of the little mundane  have more value in them than we sometimes realize.

I don't think we should underestimate the value of the  ordinary and little things. Living a peaceful and quiet life in itself is a testimony.  A smile someone gives you when you are struggling with something painful in your life may seem small, to them, but it is really BIG to you. I know this first hand.  A little word of encouragement may go unnoticed by others; but to you it is huge and it does not go unnoticed by God. He sees the faithfulness in all of the little things that you do: getting up each day and providing for your family, the kindness you show to others, the help you offer, the noticing of someone that no one else notices, the eye contact you make with a smile or a nod or a kind word, the honor you give others, the words you speak, the sweet memories you create with your family, the work you do with diligence, the prayers you pray for loved ones and strangers alike, the forgiveness you extend, the love that flows from you, expressed in a touch or an action; cooking a meal or writing a note or making a little gift or even the giving of a cup of cold water, It is valuable, its like glue that holds our life together.

I hope you are all doing well.  Perhaps your days are filled with ordinary little things, but don't underestimate the value of those things, or be impatient that nothing seems to be happening.  So much goes on in the unseen world that we don't see at this moment.

Have a great week Everyone.

And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” Matt. 10:42

Friday, July 10, 2015

Picnic Beans

This dish is inspired by a neighbor of ours back in Colorado.  She called them Picnic Beans, and often served them on branding day.   They are a nice way to have baked beans with a meal, or on a picnic, without the "baking" part, which is perfect for keeping the summer kitchen cool. I have thought they could be called "Unbaked Beans", and have sometimes called them that.  They are basically baked beans with a healthier twist of fresh veggies added, no extra sugar added and served cold.  They are delicious.

Start with 2 15 oz cans of any variety of baked beans.

Pour them into a bowl.

Add 1 chopped green pepper….

…... chopped tomatoes (I used about a cup of small, colorful, heirloom tomatoes)…...

1/2 of a red onion, chopped…..

…..6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled….

…. stir well….

Pour into a serving bowl…
Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs…..

Picnic Beans
2 15 oz cans of Pork and Beans of choice
1 green onion, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 a small red or white onion, chopped
6 slices of bacon of choice, fried and crumbled or chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped chives
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil


  1. Begin by cooking bacon, and chopping veggies.
  2. Pour two cans of beans into a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add the next 4 ingredients and stir together until well combined.
  4. Pour into a serving bowl and top with fresh herbs.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

 This is delicious served with hamburgers, sandwiches, fried chicken or as a side with any meal.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Cherry and Blueberry Slab Pie

I made this American Flag Cherry Slab Pie for the Grandsons……but I must confess that I was craving a little Cherry Pie myself.  A slab pie is a great way to feed pie to a crowd, so it is nice to cook one up for a special occasion when there are more than a couple mouths to feed.  I decided to make a Cherry Slab Pie with just a traditional top, but then I realized the rectangular shape of the sheet pan made a perfect flag, so I couldn't  resist. 

Make the dough: this recipe uses half whole wheat and half white flour, with butter and shortening cut in until  thoroughly blended.  Add water and mix until all clings together well, and then divide into two balls (with one bigger than the other).  

Roll out to fit a Jelly Roll or Sheet Pan.

Place Blueberry Mixture in one corner of the crust.

Put Cherry Mixture in remaining pie  shell.

Top with remaining dough rolled thin and cut into Stars and Stripes.

Bake 40 -50 minutes.  Cool approximately 1 hour.  You can also add an icing if desired.

Note:  Sour Cherries are more red in appearance and sweet cherries are often much darker, almost black once baked.  I had sweet cherries, but if you have a chance to get some sour cherries for this pie, it would look prettier.  Adjust the sugar for either type of Cherry according to the tartness or sweetness by a little taste testing.

For the dough:
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice or grated into flour
1 cup Natural Palm Shortening
8 to 10 Tablespoons ice water

For Cherry Filling:
8 cups (2 3/4 lb./1.25 kg) pitted fresh or frozen cherries
3/4 to 1 cup granulated organic cane sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
2 teaspoon. Almond Extract

For Blueberry Filling:
2 cups fresh or frozen Blueberries
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated organic cane sugar

For Icing:
1 1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
1 tsp Almond extract
4-6 teaspoons milk or cream (enough to make to make a drizzling consistency).


For Crust:
  1. Measure flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Cut in butter and shortening until well distributed into dough.
  3. Add water a tablespoon at a time, stirring and mixing until dough clings together well.
  4. Divid dough into two balls, making one ball slightly larger than the other.  The bottom crust will require the larger ball of dough.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until filling is ready. You may make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate until needed if desired.
  6. When ready to use, roll out larger ball of dough into 13 x 18 inch rectangle on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper,  (slightly larger than the size of an approximate sized sheet pan).
  7. Lift wax paper with dough and gently roll dough onto a 12 x 17 inch sheet pan (or close approximate size).  Press dough neatly into the pan.
  8. Trim dough at the top of the rim of the pan.
  9. Roll remaining dough into a rectangle  approximately 6 x 17 inches long.
  10. Cut strips to form the stripes of the flag. 
  11. Cut stars out the scraps of dough, using a tiny star shaped cookie cutter.
For Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. For the Cherry Filling, measure cherries, into bowl; add sugar, cornstarch and almond extract and stir to mix well.
  3. For the Blueberry Filling, measure blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in a second bowl. Stir to mix well.
  4. Spread Blueberry filling in one corner of the of the sheet cake, making a small rectangle that will represent the blue part of the flag.  
  5. Spread the Cherry filling in remaining part of the flag.
  6. Top with remaining strips of dough to make the stripes in the flag.
  7. Add dough stars.
  8. Bake in preheated oven 40 - 50 minutes.
  9. Cool approximately 1 hour.
  10. Drizzle with icing.
  11. Serves 12
For Icing:
  1. Mixing Icing ingredients until smooth.
  2. Drizzle over pie.
Cut, Serve and Enjoy!

Happy Fourth of July everyone.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Picnicking 101

Since we moved to Florida, picnics have become a regular part of our lives; now that the beach, children and grandchildren, are within reach, we find ourselves off on a picnic almost weekly… and for me it naturally follows that one of the side effects to regular picnicking, is the constant surfing the internet for picnic ideas.  I find great satisfaction in reading other peoples ideas, and mulling over them to decide which ones I would like to try, or to conclude after all my searching, that the old favorites are still my "favorites".  I even love looking through old pictures like the one above to see what they ate, and what they did to create a wonderful picnic a hundred years ago. I think they are working on the dessert segment, I can see cake and Pie

With Fourth of July coming up, we all talked about what wanted to do to celebrate and came up with a very original idea: "Picnic on the Beach".  Ha ha. Well what can I say, a good idea is a good idea, even if we have done it many times.  We also talked about what kind of food we wanted on our picnic that would set it a little above the regular weekly picnic, and decided on another "original idea" of Fried Chicken and Potato Salad…. like I said, "Old Favorites are still our favorites; and we don't very often have fried chicken… perhaps once a year around the Fourth of July… so why not make it a tradition.

With all that searching and thinking about picnic ideas for the Fourth, I decided to do a post of favorite picnic ideas, and list of things to remember. We have made most of the food ideas at one time or another, and others I have wanted to try, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Perhaps they will inspire a picnic or two for you.  I would love to hear some of your ideas as well, so be sure to leave a comment of some of your picnic favorites.

Favorite Picnic Meal Ideas:

Main Dishes
Homemade Fried Chicken
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Tortilla wraps…. cream cheese, cheese, cold cuts, green chills, olives, veggies, beans etc rolled in tortilla and eaten as a wrap, or sliced as spirals
Hot Dogs and Chili : (we just did this picnic last for our Grandson, Zane's, Birthday), and it hit the spot for all the hungry swimmers.  This is also yummy for a campfire picnic.
Salad Sandwiches.
Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Tuna Salad, are great regulars, but you can get creative with salad sandwiches, depending on what you have on hand, I have used Tofu, Roast Beef, Crab meat Ham and even Bologna to make a Sandwich Spread, all of them are delicious.
Saddle Bag Sandwiches
Muffin Tin Sandwiches and Pies: such as:
Meatball Sandwich,                                                                                                                    
Reuben Sandwich,
Beef Pies                                                                                         


Salads and Sides:
Potato Salad
Russian Potato Salad
Picnic Beans
Mexican Bean Salad
3 Bean Salad
Black Eyed Pea Salad
Sweet Potato Salad
Pasta Salad
Spaghetti Salad
Broccoli Salad
Cauliflower Salad
Brown Rice Salad
Wheat Berry Salad 
Barley Salad
Quinoa Salad

Deviled eggs, 
Sliced Veggies
Fresh Fruit

Texas Sheet Cake,  
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Strawberry Cookie Tarts,
Berry Handpies
Slab Pies can be made, cooled, sliced into squares and packed nicely in a picnic basket

Iced Tea
Coffee: In our family, no picnic is complete without coffee in the thermos.  Those of us who like cream in our coffee bring along a little cream in a pint sized canning jar.
Hot Tea:  Sometimes we enjoy having a little tea party picnic.  We bring our hot tea in a thermos, and cream in a little canning jar, and a few tea time type sandwiches.

Here's a link to Country Living for more wonderful picnic recipes

 Pack, Haul and Serve It

1.  Tupperware, Rubbermaid,
I don't know about you, but when it is time for a picnic or potluck,  I am always looking around my cabinets for good ideas to pack and store and haul the food and supplies. My Daughter Elizabeth found this Tupperware set at a Garage Sale a little while back.  It is the cutest little picnic set, that carries 6 each of large plates, 6 small plates, 6 bowls, 6 beverage cups a tray and two bowls, all of which store together nicely in this little cute package.

2.  Empty Plastic Coffee Cans or plastic tubs with lids.
Last week, we had a picnic at the Beach for my Grandson Zane's birthday, we planned to serve Hot dogs and Chili. We wanted to cook it ahead and bring it hot.  So we heated the Chili in the crockpot and brought the Crock pot in its entirety to the picnic.  We cooked the hotdogs and packed them into a large and sturdy coffee can (the plastic variety), packed it into an insulated food bag, and surrounded it with hot towels (that had been wet down and placed into a large ziplock and then microwaved).  The food  arrived hot and delicious at the picnic site just in time for lunch.

3.  Canning Jars , make easy storage and charming serving containers. They are wonderful for serving drinks, salads,  and even desserts: Don't you just love all of those desserts in a jar on Pinterst. This link at By Stephanie Lynn, will inspire a variety of ideas for you. and this link  from My Baking Addiction for the recipe to this picture of Cherry Crisp in a Jar.

4.  Coolers: the modern-day picnic basket that can't go wrong. I personally love the kind with wheels that can be pulled easily by the weaklings of the family (such as myself).  I also love the small insulated bags that are now popularly used for lunches.  I have one of them and use it all the time for traveling in the car, or picnics on the beach.

5.  Picnic Basket: Nothing Beats the romance of a picnic basket for packing up food and memories. I find any kind of basket or hamper is wonderful to haul all the food and supplies for a perfect picnic.

6.  Blankets and Tablecloths: 
7.  Umbrella:  A large umbrella on the beach is a must to provide that protection from excess sun. It is well worth investing in if you are a regular to the beach.
8.  Plates, Cups, Utensils, Napkins
9.  Wet Wipes and a Wet and Dry Towel:  I have started putting a wet hand towel or wash cloth into a ziplock and freezing it for cold packs, and microwaving it for a hot pack.  It is a wonderful addition to helping keep things hot or cold, and as it cools or melts, becomes a perfect clean up towel.
10.  Sun Screen: Yep, I have learned the hard way not to forget this one!

 Happy Picnicking Everyone!