Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Cranberry Pecan Pie

Have you been searching for the perfect pie to make for the holiday season? A delicious one that is really easy to make, doesn’t make a mess, uses seasonal ingredients, but is a creative twist on some classics? Well, look no further!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Orange Sweet Potato Pie

Is it pumpkin pie? Is that grass growing out of the top? Is this the easiest recipe you’ll ever make? The answer to all those questions is no. But is it worth it? Definitely!

We’ve made a sweet potato pie before, but this far exceeded that experience. Using fresh (rather than canned) sweet potatoes might have had something to do with it, or it could have been the welcome additions of oranges and rosemary. So delicious!

Yes, it did require buying a few ingredients, but I was curious to see what this blend of flavors would taste like. And I was not disappointed!

I began by making the crust. Which you must begin by chopping fresh rosemary.

It was my first time having a crust that contained cornmeal, powdered sugar, or rosemary, but what a delightful combination!

This was what it looked like with the butter cut in…

…And here is the final crust dough (after water was added) before I put it in the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Meanwhile, I began the arduous task of preparing the sweet potatoes! (Please pardon my crazed expression as I beat them to a pulp... literally.)

Well, it was not that hard, since while the pie crust was being prepared, the sweet potatoes were baking in the oven (wrapped in foil, placed directly on the oven rack). That made it very easy to scoop out their insides!

Who needs a food processor when you can just as easily use your hands?! This would be a fun task (and play exercise and sensory experience) for little ones too! Just make sure you allow the sweet potatoes enough time to cool before squeezing them with your hands! (Mine were cooled for almost an hour, and they were still a little warm.)

But they melted easily in my hands and turned into a beautiful pulp to be used as the pie filling!

By this time the pie crust had had time to chill, so I rolled it out and placed it in the pie pan. Well, there are a couple steps in between that. In actuality, I rolled it out 3 times, broke it 3 times,, got frustrated, and smooshed the ball of dough to the sides of the pie pan. Maybe if I had chilled it longer it would have rolled out more easily. But it still tasted good!

While the pie crust is baking for a few minutes and then cooling, begin making the pie filling! Combine sugar and melted butter with prepared sweet potatoes.

Add in the evaporated milk.

Sprinkle in the spices.

And don’t forget the titular orange zest and juice like I did! I had the pie in the oven for 3 minutes before realizing it was missing the orange! Luckily, I was able to add it and gingerly stir it directly in the pie pan!

Here is the beautiful pie cooling after doing its time in the oven. Looks like pumpkin pie, doesn’t it?

I added fresh rosemary sprigs as garnishes. (I originally had them sticking up out of the pie, but my sister thought it looked like grass growing.)

What an amazing flavor this pie had! The sweet potato pulp was still evident and perfectly accented with the oranges and spices, and the rosemary was very evident in the pie crust and was such a great complement to the pie filling.

These leftovers didn’t last long in our house!

Orange Sweet Potato Pie (recipe from My Recipes)
¾ cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup cold butter (cut in pieces)
¼ cup VERY cold water

  1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients.
  2. Cut in butter with fork until crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle water 1 T. at a time over mixture; stir with fork.
  4. Wrap in plastic; chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll into a 12 inch circle on a floured surface; fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Fold edges under and crimp. Chill 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake crust 20 minutes, shielding edges to prevent browning.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).

1½ lb. sweet potatoes
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. orange zest
1 T. fresh orange juice
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1½ tsp. vanilla

  1. Wrap sweet potatoes individually in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out pulp, mash pulp, and discard skins.
  2. Whisk together eggs and sugar.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until blended. Pour mixture into mostly cooled pie crust.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake 20-25 minutes or until center is set. Let cool 1 hour on wire rack before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Autumn Surprise Pie

The delicious combination of produce in this pie will set your tastebuds for autumn! And the special crust just intensifies the flavor. Get ready for an autumn surprise!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

The three classic pies for September, October, and November are apple, pumpkin, and pecan (which, by the way, have all been made by me before). This year, to welcome the autumn months, I made a pie that combined them all!

Because here in the land where “a cold front” is 80 degrees and leaves don’t turn red or yellow unless they’re painted, we have to work a little harder to get in the autumn mood.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Peach Raspberry Pie

Delightfully cool and fresh, this pie was the perfect way to say farewell to summer. The good news is you can take steps to simplify this process and enjoy it year round!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Stone Fruit Pie

Three types of fresh fruit, a new de-pitting method, and a botany lesson that results in pie?

My 55th pie was an interesting (and delicious) one!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Apple Blackberry Pie

Packed with flavor, this pie is a delicious combination of two classic pies.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what a pink apple looked like, then make this pie. (Pink apples taste even better than regular apples, in case you were wondering.)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Rhubarb Berry Thyme Pie

It’s fresh, it’s unique, and it tastes rather gourmet. When I pinned this recipe from Chasing Delicious about a year ago, I didn’t really think I would ever be making it, but here it is!

Even with a cup of sugar, this pie isn’t that sweet, but the flavor is to die for!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Peach Blueberry Pie

Just like that, we’ve gone from spring to summer! Or at least, that’s where this pie can transport you to, no matter when you make it.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Strawberry Key Lime Pie

Spring is upon us, and this pie was a wonderful way to welcome it in! 

The fresh berries blended beautifully with the zesty lime taste to create a culinary masterpiece.

I’ve made a key lime pie and a strawberry pie, but this marriage was a match made in heaven.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How to Experience Disney Magic for Free

I’ve never stayed at a Disney resort, and I don’t have the money to go to Disney without a really good deal, but living in Orlando has its perks. Our family can’t quite afford annual passes to Disney World, but we have discovered a way to go and not pay a penny. It’s a great activity if you have out of town friends coming to visit, if you don’t have an entire day or a ton of energy to spend at Disney, or if you’re tight on a budget.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Brownie Pie

Just when you thought brownies couldn’t get any better…

Yep, it’s a brownie pie. With lots of delicious toppings.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Banana Split Pie

Confession: I have never before eaten a banana split. However, THIS PIE… I have assembled and partaken, and people must be on to something. Maybe one day I will eat a banana split, but until then, this pie will have to do.

Of the 49 different pies I've made in the past 4 years, this was one of the funnest pies to put together. There were so many layers, but they were all so simple. Also, since this pie is frozen, it is easy to make in advance.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Toddler Tuesday: Snowmen in Snowglobes

When my kiddos saw this ball sitting in the paint, their eyes lit up! This multi-step project (another Pinterest success) was a big hit with our 18-23 month olds, and they enjoyed making their very own paper snowglobes, complete with snowmen.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Year in Review

This year has been pretty busy... Here are some new things I tried in 2013.

365 Photos: For many people, the challenge is to actually take a picture every day of the year. For me, the challenge was to choose the best picture of the hundreds I take each day. What a wonderful exercise in restraint! Amazing how each picture evokes emotions from particular days and events, no matter how mundane I thought them to be at first.
Check out my 365 Project!

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