Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lemon Meringue Ice Box Pie

Have you seen Paula make this on Food TV?  She is awesome right?  She is most certainly not the first one to make Lemon Pie this way but she does it with southern style right?  LOL!  I love her.

My mother is a Lemon Meringue Pie traditionalist.  She wants the old fashioned Lemon Curd style pie.  Please do not put that condensed milk in her pie thankyouverymuch!!!!  LOL.  But for us, we are perfectly happy with our pies made this way.  I find it much easier to do.  So if you are coming to our house and Lemon Pie is on the menu, expect it to be this one.


Pie Filling:
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 egg yolks

Crust:
1 (8-inch) prebaked pie shell or crumb crust
     or
1 box of Lemon Cookies
4 Tablespoons Butter/Margarine, melted
4 Tablespoons Sugar

Meringue:
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.


  • If you are making your own cookie crust, puree cookies in mixer until finely ground.  
  • Add melted butter and sugar until mixture stays together when pressed between your fingers.
  • Dump crumb mixture into greased pie plate and press to sides.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.  Take our and cool.
  • Note: Use any cookie you like.  Pamela's Lemon Shortbread is nice, I have used Mi-Del Pecan or KinniKinnick has Graham Crackers that would work nicely also.  


  • Next, the filling.  In medium bowl, combine milk and lemon juice
  • Add in egg yolks and combine well. 
  • Pour into cooled crust.


  • Finally the meringue. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add egg whites and whip until soft peaks from. Soft peaks are when the eggs become white in color and when you pull beater out of eggs the egg pulls out to form a peak and then bends back over slightly.
  • Add in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff. Still is the peak is able to stand up straight on its own.
  • Spread over filling making sure to seal to the edge of the crust.  I actually seal mine to the pie plate itself because its difficult to do so with a cookie crumb crust sometimes.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Gardening Journal: April 26, 2011

I decided to remove the gardening segment from my Menu Plan Monday posts and give this little weekly update a place of it's own.

In case you missed my previously saying so, this is our second year Organic Gardening. Last year was our rookie attempt and although we harvested way more tomatoes than we could EVER eat or process, we also had allot of problems. Problems like weeds and pests that destroyed way too much. This year we added Row Covers, 3 additional 8' x 4' raised beds, black landscaping cloth and a row of slanted fencing to accommodate the climbing plants.  Each year we plan to add another row of 3 8'x4' beds until our planting space is all completed.

Here are the pics of the boys making the raised beds.


This is our garden section, from the older raised beds back.
Last year we just tilled and planted right in the ground.

3 new Raised Beds planted in the ground.
To the left of the shop there, is our compost section of the yard
And here are the Climbers.  This row is not finished.
The end will be finished to accommodate the Squash.
Existing beds got external skeletons.
New beds have the connecting tubs built right in.

You can almost get an idea of what the row covers looked like.  Notice the past tense of that statement?  Well the winds came and blew them all apart. They gave up a good fight, poor little row covers. They protected the fragile plants inside while sacrificing themselves. The winds they had to endour seemed strong enough to almost break our windows out!!!

Wind Damage

Another Angle.
Just the covering cloth was really damaged and they
did what they were supposed to do, keep the plants safe.


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Menu Plan Monday: Week of April 25th, 2011


This is going to sound mean, I realize, but I'm so glad my company is gone.  Wheat eaters just do not understand the challenges of  raising a Celiac Child.  They insist in bringing wheat into the house with all its risks and obstacles.  Special toaster, special pans, special peanut butter, special mayo, and don't contaminate the counters.  Please make your sandwich on a plate.  Sterilize that plate.  UGH, so glad its over so I can relax a a bit about it all.  Even more excellent, there is absolutely NOTHING going on this week.

Monday:
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and mixed veggies.

Tuesday:
Taco Dinner, Refried Beans,

Wednesday:
Church Program

Thursday:
Fresh Pressed Hamburgers, Fresh Baked Rolls, Steak Fries.

Friday:
Pizza and a Movie!

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Udi's White Bread Copycat Recipe


This recipe and its ingredients were based on the Udi's bread available on the market back in 2010. The packaging and ingredients have since change.  I did a stupid thing, tho. In trying to delete a bread machine post (which folks were having way too much trouble with) I accidentally deleted the originally posted Udi's Copycat Recipe.  So if you are wondering why you are getting this again, this is why.  

Anyhoo, the sole purpose of this experiment was to duplicate the super expensive bread I was traveling an hour into town to purchase at $6 a loaf.  Have I told you how tiny the town I live in is?  Besides that, I LOVE copycats!!!

That said, the last time I was in town (prior to this experiment) I picked up a loaf and wrote down the ingredients according to how they were listed on the package. Since ingredients are placed in order by heaviest weight first, that is where I started. Next I did a google search to see if I could find any other bread making tips. I found some of the information and ideas I used in this experiment here.

I measured the Udi's brand bread. It was 3 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 8 inches long. So one would assume that the pan should be an 8 x 3 pan. My end result weighed 16 oz so too heavy. Next step was the taste comparison.  I ate a whole slice of each bread trying to determine if the taste was the same. I think its pretty close. It turned out to be a very nice light white loaf of bread. It was not gummy at all nor crumbly. I think it should have risen a bit more so I may work on that as well.



1 cup (120 g) Tapioca Starch
3/4 (119 g) cup Brown Rice Flour
1/4 (48g) cup Potato Starch
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Egg Whites
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 package (2 1/2 tea) Rapid Rise Yeast
2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup Warm Water

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Once preheated turn oven off.
Lightly grease an 8 x 4 bread pan.
  • Add Water, Oil, Sugar, and Yeast into a small bowl or measuring cup and mix until combined.
  • Allow water mixture to sit and allow yeast to become foamy.
  • Meanwhile, with whip attachment on your stand mixer, whip egg whites for approximately 1 minute or until it develops a soft peak.
  • While those two are working, add Gum, Salt, Baking Powder and flours into a small bowl and mix until fully combined.
  • Add vinegar, yeast/water mixture and flours in stand mixer with whipped egg and whip for 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Scoop batter into your 8 x 3 baking pan and smooth top with your wet hands.
  • Place pan into the warmed oven and allow to rise for about 1 hour (I warm my oven to 170 degrees and then turn oven off)
  • When bread is finished rising it will be only slightly above the top of the baking pan.
  • When rising is finished, with bread dough still in the oven, turn oven on to 350 degrees and set timer for 70 minutes.
  • Take bread out of the oven and out of the pan. Let bread rest on cooling rack until bread is room temperature.
  • Slice with electric knife and freeze what you will not need immediately.
Notes:
  • Rise time is approximate.  In rising, bread should not rise beyond just slightly above top of the pan.
  • Don't rush the cooling step, it needs to cool properly or you will squash the bread height.
  • A special thank you to Stephanie McKenzie from Reading Your Lips who converted and experimented with gram weights on the flours/starches in this recipe.

Udi's Copycat Recipe Experiment Take Two - This was an experiment using powdered eggs.


My Udi's Copycat White Bread Recipe originally appeared on Extraordinary Life on 08/16/2010.  Please do not reprint this original recipe on your blog without permission!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Dinner Menu Plan

Ham (crock pot recipe)

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (crock pot recipe)

Deviled Eggs (make ahead)

Fresh Fruit Salad (make ahead)

Lemon Meringue Pie (make ahead)

Fresh Strawberry Pie (make ahead)


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Giant 3D Peep Cake


The purpose of this blog post is to allow you to follow us in our thought process as we (my son and I) plan and accomplish this awesome cake!  I have included links to important information that I found along the way. 

It was my son's Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts this past Saturday.  Each year at the banquet each boy makes a cake to be auctioned off.  The purpose is to raise funds for the boys summer activities.  We were trying to decide what sort of cake to make, my son and I, while I was going though my emails on my phone.  I opened up an email from 
Hoosier Homemade while chatting with my son and it happened to be her Cupcake Tuesday edition.  In that was a link for a chick cake.  For my son it was love at first site.  It was not within theme but he did not care.  He HAD to make this cake for his auction. Fine, I think, it does not look too hard (mostly round layers).  "Oh but wait, PEEPS, I must make it to look like a peep instead", he said.  GREATTtttttT, LOL.  That does not sound easy at all!!!!!!  But I am not one to back down in a challenge. We set out to plan our peep cake.   

So where to start, where to start.  First I googled Marshmallow Peep Cake.  In fact, I tried so may different search terms like Chick cake, Easter chick cake, 3D chick cake, chick peep cake.  The results ended up being lots of cakes with peeps on top.  Not what Im looking for.  I did find a really cool "How To" on instructables.  It was a step by step process for making a 3D Bunny Cake.  This step by step plan is what I needed to start to form our own plan.  Next I found this picture.   The how to make a 3D Bunny Cake post suggested you make a blue print and that is exactly what purpose this picture served.  I printed it out and taped it to the cabinet above our work station.


We discussed what would be the best cake pans to use.  We ended up with a sheet cake bottom, 9" round was next lined up to the edge, 8" slightly offset (peeps lean backwards) and then the rounded top head again offset.  "Glue" the layers together with the frosting and chill in the fridge for an hour at least to set.

Next get out the bread knife and cut out the V to create a "chin" and another V in the back to form the tail and back.  The rest is fine tuning.  Just keep looking at your picture you have posted somewhere nearby and save those scraps!  Cake Pops will be in your future!!!

Crumb coat the entire cake and insert a chop stick though the head to hold the cake layers together.   Look at it,  does it look like you want?  It's not too late to make changes.  Chill for an hour and whip up your yellow frosting.  

The trickiest part of the entire process was getting the sugar to stick to the frosting on the vertical parts.  I ended up applying a bunch to my hand and slapping it on.  There was lots of excess on the flat surfaces that I ended up brushing off with a pastry brush.  Worked like a charm.  

I think this would be a wonderful idea to bring to big Easter party or event!  Don't you?

Good luck and happy baking!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of April 18th, 2011


Its hard to believe that its Easter week already.  TIme sure does go by fast.  I have had family visiting for the last few weeks so posting slowed down.  It's hard to get posting done since that requires shutting myself int he office my myself and neglecting my visitors.

My daughter's birthday was a huge success and her cake turned out so adorable.



In addition to my daughter's Birthday Party, it was also my son's Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts this past Saturday.  Each year at the banquet each boy makes a cake and it is auctioned off to raise funds for the boys summer activities.  We were trying to decide what sort of cake to make, my son and I, while I was going though my emails.  I opened up an email from Hoosier Homemade while chatting with my son and it happened to be her Cupcake Tuesday edition.  In that was a link for a chick cake.    For my son it was love at first site.  It was not within theme but he did not care.  He HAD to make this cake for his auction. Fine I think, it does not look too hard (most round).  "Oh but wait, PEEPS, I must make it to look like a peep instead", he said.  GREATTttttt, LOL.  That does not sound easy at all!!!!!!  But I am not one to back down in a challenge. We set out to plan our peep cake.  I will definitely blog it this week as my husband wants me to submit it to PEEP headquarters!  LOL.  This cake allowed my son to walk away with a trophy.  Here is a picture of it on the auction table.


As you can imagine, I am TOTALLY out of cake mix now.  So in desperation for MORE cake (3 birthday parties this week and my little one needed cupcakes to bring) I created my own home made gluten Free Cake recipe.  It was totally awesome and I must share that this week too.  So that is my week in review.  Notice there is no actual food in that review.  LOL.  I did not plan a menu nor do I recall what I served!!!  Here is my ideas for this week.  Later on in the week I will blog my Easter Plan.


Monday:
Simmered Pork Chops, Wild Rice, Veggies

Tuesday:
Pizza & Salad

Wednesday:
Chicken Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes

Thursday:
My Brother's Birthday Dinner!  Happy Birthday Ed.  His favorite is Italian Vegetable Stew over Pasta.  Home made birthday cake is on the agenda for this night too!

Friday: Turkey Hamburgers on Fresh Baked Buns with French Fries

Saturday: Roasted Chicken Legs, Brown Rice, Spinach

Sunday: Easter Dinner Print

Monday, April 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of April 11th, 2011


Remember how I made the kids do the menu plan and actually food shop for the items?  While the actual event was a huge success, it did not prevent them from complaining at dinner :-( LOL!

This week is my little princess Claire's birthday.  I WAS going to take a cake making class and learn how to decorate her birthday cake.  I never did sign up, I was just worried about spending all those evenings away from the kids.  I wish they had daytime classes.  So I contacted a local cake baker, supplied her the the cake pan, the boxes of Gluten Free Mix and Jello (you should not make a gluten free cake without it IMO) and Gluten Free instructions.  I think it will work out great and this will free me up to work on other issues.  Here is the cake she selected.  It has tiny stars all over it which is the part that made me nervous.


She will have princess crown themed goodie bags, a princess crown pinata and a cupcake tree with princess crown rings as toppers to the cupcakes.  I am going to be making some roll out cookies cut out in the shape of princess crown's as well.  

Monday: 
Taco Dinner

Tuesday:
Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw

Wednesday (church dinner):
Meatloaf, Shells and Cheese, Green Beans, Birthday Cake

Thursday:

Friday:
Pizza, Salad and a Movie

Saturday:
TBD

Sunday:
Pasta




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