Monday, February 28, 2011

Bangin' Blueberry Pie

Whoa, I just finished eating some bangin' blueberry pie!!! It was so yummy I had to go back for a second piece and stop myself from getting a third. I posted the recipe below however, when baking it I only used 4 Tbls. of corn starch and there was a lot of liquid inside, so on the recipe below I increased it to 5 Tbls. 

Bangin' Blueberry Pie


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and sprinkle over blueberries. Add vanilla and lemon juice (important to do this step after dry ingredients or it will become a paste and will be hard to mix.) Mix until completely coated.
  3. Line pie dish with one pie crust.
  4. Pour berry mixture into the crust.
  5. Top with pie crust, crimp edges, slit top for air.
  6. Place foil on edges so they don't burn and remove the during the last 10-15 minutes of baking.
  7. Bake pie on lower shelf of oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

You can make a lattice top as well!
Click Here for Directions

Friday, February 18, 2011

Creamed Spinach

Made a delicious creamed spinach recipe tonight and paired it with the High Temperature Eye-of-Round Roast Recipe and some roasted potatoes, yum! I absolutely love the roast recipe as it always comes out perfect! Enjoy!

Creamed Spinach

  • 1 lb spinach, tough stems discarded
  • 6 - 8 oz white pearl onions
  • 5 tbls. unsalted butter
  • 2 tlbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 C. whole milk
  • 3 thick slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 C. heavy cream
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  1. Wash spinach, and drain, but do not dry. Transfer to a large skillet. Cover, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring once, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain. Let cool slightly; squeeze out any excess liquid. Finely chop; set aside.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add onions, and cook until skins soften, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon (reserve water in pan); rinse under cold water. Trim root ends, and remove skins; halve if large. Return water to a boil. Add onions, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, 5 minutes. Add milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Melt remaining tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in onions and spinach. Stir in cream and reserved milk mixture. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until thickened, about 10 minutes (do not boil).
  5. Stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days; reheat in an oven heated to 300 degrees to serve.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecans

I found an oh so yummy sweet potato pie recipe and the pecan topping just takes the cake! It takes awhile to make but it's definitely worth it... make sure you let it cool completely before cutting!

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecans

  • 1 - 15oz. can of sweet potato puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 prebaked Piecrust, or 1 frozen store-bought (9-inch) crust
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pecans, broken into pieces
  1. Prick bottom of crust with fork. If crust is uncooked, bake in oven for 5 - 10 minutes.
  2. To make filling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar and maple syrup until smooth. Add sweet potato puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3/4 cup cream; whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Place cooled crust on a rimmed baking sheet; pour filling into crust.
  4. Bake pie on lowest rack of oven until filling is set, about 50 minutes. If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with foil.
  5. Transfer pie to a rack to cool, 1 hour; transfer to refrigerator to cool completely.
  6. To make the pecan topping, melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add remaining 1/2 cup light-brown sugar and pecans.
  7. Cook, stirring, until sugar is incorporated and the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon cream; let cool 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Pour mixture over cooled pie.
  9. With a butter knife or spatula, spread mixture over pie.
  10. Cool until topping has hardened, about 30 minutes. (Do not refrigerate again; keep pie in a cool place up to 6 hours.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Penne a la Vodka

So I absolutely LOVE Vodka sauce.... I've had a hard time finding a great sauce outside of a restaurant setting however.... this one is totally YUMMY! It takes a lot of work but it's well worth it...I would serve this sauce a top Penne Pasta, sprinkled with Parmesan and prosciutto chopped up.

Penne a la Vodka
Below is the sauce recipe, you'll need to make a base sauce first, then use 4 cups of that for the vodka sauce... make sure to pick up a good quality vodka... cheap vodka will only ruin your sauce!

Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 to 6 basil leaves, chopped *
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbls. unsalted butter, optional

    * I chop all my fresh herbs the day I get them from the grocery store... then I throw them in a baggie and store them in the freezer... this way I never waste the left overs and they taste just like fresh herbs when I use them for cooking!


    1. In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
    2. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick.
    4. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.
    5. Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
    6. If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.
    Yield: 6 cups

    Vodka Sauce

    • 4 C. Simple Tomato Sauce
    • 1 C. vodka
    • 1/2 C. heavy cream, at room temperature (I added a little more than 1/2 C.)
    • 1/2 C. grated Parmesan
    • 1 pound penne pasta


    1. Simmer the tomato sauce and vodka in a heavy large skillet over low heat until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 35 - 45 minutes. Sauce should not have a strong vodka taste!
    2. Stir the cream into the tomato and vodka sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through.
    3. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.
    4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
    5. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with the sauce, and toss to coat.

    Don't forget to make some fresh whip cream for dessert with that left over heavy cream!!!