Thursday, 17 August 2017

Rustic Fruit Pies

My favorite new dessert this summer is a super quick fruit pie.  I always see photos on Instagram of delicious looking galettes, but I don't like that word.  It sounds too fancy shmancy for me.   They sound daunting.  I like hearing that things are rustic.  It sets the bar nice and low..... and then your mind is blown when you realize how damn delicious they are!  So, seeing all of these super delightful pastries inspired me to make several impromptu batches of my own.   Even my husband, (who isn't a big pie fan,) has to admit that they are a nice little treat.

It's hard to post a very specific recipe for this not-at-all-fancy-shmancy rustic fruit pie.  You see, when I make any kind of fruit pie, I rarely use a recipe.  Fruit pies are so forgiving.  A little of this, and a little of that just tends to work out.  If you don't add quite enough sugar, that's ok....just add some ice cream to cut the tartness.  There are endless combinations, and they can be whipped up quickly.  When you make these little rustic pies, they also use a small amount of fruit, so you can make several different flavors at once and have a variety.  So far this summer I've made peach, blueberry, rhubarb and saskatoon rustic pies.  I also combined the rhubarb and saskatoon varieties for a delicious combo.

Basically, the more tart the fruit is (such as rhubarb), the more sugar required, but it's totally a personal preference.   The basic recipe that I fiddle around with is as follows:

Ingredients:
-one batch of double crust pastry* (divided into 4)
-Between 3 and 4 cups of chopped fruit of your choice (such as peaches, berries, apples)
-1/4 cup sugar (you can use brown sugar for deeper flavor, which is my preference with peaches)
-2 tbsp flour
-a few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg (again, this is a personal preference and is optional)
-1 tbsp of milk
-coarse decorating sugar

All ready to pop in the oven
*You could buy some pie crusts, but why?  Cut 3/4 cup vegetable shortening into 2 cups of flour and a dash of salt.  When it resembles coarse crumbs, lightly stir in 8 tbsp of ice cold water until the dough just holds together.  Divide into four discs and cover each individually with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

To assemble the pies:
-Roll each pastry disc into a circle until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick

-Lightly stir the diced fruit, sugar, flour and spices together.  Divide them evenly between the 4 pastry rounds. Gently fold the edges of the pastry towards the center of each pie (leaving a nice center of fruit visible) and gently press seems together with your fingertips.

-Gently brush the pastry with milk.  Lightly sprinkle with decorating sugar,  Bake in a preheated 375F oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Peach.  Definitely the house fave


Blueberry


Saskatoon Rhubarb


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Chicken Parmesan Slider Bake

After another long hiatus I'm participating in this week's edition of Taste of Home Tuesday, as organized by Jolene from Jolene's Recipe Journal.  Be sure to check out the other recipes shared this week at the bottom of this post!

I love when the cover recipe of a cooking magazine is something awesome.  (Well, obviously it's always something awesome, or it wouldn't be on the cover).  I guess what I mean is that I love when it's something awesome that I would actually make....immediately....as in pretty much when I get home.   I really need to up my slider game, because there are so many amazing recipes out there for them.   One of these is the cover recipe from the all new Taste of Home special edition titled "Make & Take", for the Chicken Parmesan Slider Bake.  This magazine is such a great edition to pick up for all of the summer gatherings still to come.  There are a lot of stunning looking and delicious sounding recipes!  This one is no exception.


My favorite summer magazine!  

Friday, 28 July 2017

Maple Mustard Turkey Burgers #NationalHamburgerDay

Summer means more grilling!  Did you know that July 28th is National Hamburger Day?  I know....it seems like every single day is a "day" for something.  But Hamburgers?  I had to jump on board by sharing a new burger recipe I came up with a couple of weeks ago!  Heather, from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks has kindly gathered a handful of fantastic burger recipes from other burger loving bloggers.  There is so much burger magic all in one place!  Be sure to check them all out at the end of this post...

Now, we normally eat a lot of beef in our household so I was looking to switch it up a bit with a different meat.  Ground poultry is so versatile.  And lean.  And just delicious!  Since it doesn't have a very high fat content, I thought adding a glaze would be a good idea to amp up the greatness even more.  My obsession with maple has been well documented in the past, so I won't bore you with the backstory of my choice.  See Morning Maple Muffins, Maple Pepper Glazed Chicken Wings, and Gingersnap Maple Pecan Ice Cream for further rambling about the awesomeness of maple.  It's essentially the first sweet flavor that pops into my mind....

Maple mustard turkey burger with melted white cheddar

The simplicity of this burger, with the sweet sticky maple mustard glaze is definitely going to become a new favorite here!   Dress these up with any additional toppings you would like.  I highly recommend white cheddar (who doesn't love gooey, melty cheese), and bacon....because it's bacon.  Additional dijon mustard doesn't hurt, either.


Monday, 10 July 2017

The Health & Happiness Cookbook Review

A couple of months ago I received the most wonderful gift from Kimberley Copithorne - a copy of her recently published book, The Health and Happiness Cookbook.   I first came across her blog, Prairie Winds Life, when she joined the Food Bloggers of Canada.  I'm also a fairly new member, and when she was welcomed to the group, I immediately checked out her blog.  It caught my eye because she lives reasonably close to Calgary, on a ranch outside the Rockies.   Sigh.....can you imagine waking up to those mountains everyday?  What I soon discovered after poking around her blog was that she basically cooks and bakes all the foods of my dreams.  Seriously.  You need to check it out.  NOW.

Since I've been conversing back and forth with Kimberley for the last few months,  I've also learned that besides being food twins (my claim, not hers), we have kids that are essentially the same age.  I'm now kinda-sorta that creepy fan  that's like "lets be friends, let's be friends!!"  We're definitely hanging out soon.  Why did I share that here?  I don't know.  I'm just super pumped to meet her in person.

Here is the part where I need to tell you (I kind of already did), that I received this copy from Kimberley for free.  I am under no obligation to write anything (good or bad) about what I think of it.  All opinions are strictly my own.  I am not being compensated to tell you how darn amazing every page is.

So, about this book:

The Health and Happiness Cookbook is inspired by the Health and Happiness Society book series, written by Katie Cross.  I haven't read this award winning Chick Lit book series, but I can assure you I will.  In the foreword to the cookbook, both Katie and Kimberley stress the pursuit of a balanced and happy lifestyle, where it's ok (and encouraged!) to enjoy both healthy and nutritious foods, as well as the odd treat.  And trust me, after sampling one of the recipes from the chapter Healthy Girl-Power Recipes, I can assure you that Kimberley's healthy choices are so delicious that you can essentially call them a treat too :)


The recipes throughout this book are inspired by the characters in Katie Cross' book series.  (For those interested, these titles include Bon Bons to Yoga Pants and I Am Girl Power).  You can find out more about them and the author at www.kcrosswriting.com.  The recipes in the cookbook are grouped into chapters according to the characters that inspired them.  How fun is that?!  I picked one recipe from each chapter to try and tell you about here.  On that note, let me say it was almost impossible to pick one per chapter.  I basically could have cooked my way through the entire book (trust me, I will).  This is one of those cookbooks where every single page is flagged.  Read on to see the delicious discoveries I've tried so far!

the book you all need