This cake came to me in a snow-covered dream. I woke up Sunday knowing I had to do three things: shovel my driveway, take my kids sledding, and bake something. It’s no secret I love to be snowed in; I view it as nature’s permission to let everything go — I don’t stress about it, I don’t complain about it, I just let it all go. Northern Virginia was in the epicenter of the recent “snowzilla” storm. We had historic snowfall and the world shut down for a few days. It was pretty wonderful. I’ll be back at work tomorrow, so while I’m enjoying my last day of snowed in freedom, I thought I’d hop back on the blogging wagon and share this wonderful, easy recipe. No mixer required, and I bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Give this Salted, Malted Chocolate Bundt Cake a try. Continue reading →
Thanks to the lovely and talented Selma of Selma’s Table, a beautiful and delicious blog that I implore you to visit, I am participating in my very first blog party in celebration of Fiesta Friday’s first anniversary. Very exciting. There is such a wonderful community of bloggers, and I love meeting new friends who are so gracious and welcoming. I’m looking forward to meeting many more at the fiesta!
To get the party started, today’s theme is “happy hour,” and since happy hour isn’t complete without drinks and little bites I am sharing a few wine recommendations and my delicious recipe for slow roasted tomatoes, which I love to serve over goat cheese-topped, crispy baguette slices. Such an easy and beautiful appetizer. I hope you love it! Continue reading →
Made this tonight. It was perfect. I updated my blog with a new theme and have added printer-friendly recipes! This is an older post, but I’ve updated the photos and added a printable recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
One of the easiest and most delicious pies you will ever make. The recipe doubles beautifully, so whip up two pies and surprise someone you care about with something peachy like my daughter and I did. We delivered one to my grandparents when they weren’t home—like little pie fairies.
**Prepare crust first, either by pre-baking a store bought crust according to package instructions or use my recipe below. My crust recipe makes enough for two pies; however, the filling recipe is just for one pie—feel free to double it like I did!**
one pre-baked pie crust (recipe below)
3 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 large egg yolks
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/3 cup all purpose flour
seeds from ½ a vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400.
Arrange sliced peaches in bottom of pre-baked pie crust in a single layer—slight overlapping is fine.
Mix together all other ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined. You will have a slightly thick, almost peanut butter-like consistency.
Spread this over the peaches, don’t worry if it does not cover every inch, it will even out in the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes at 400, then reduce temperature to 300 and bake for 50-60 more minutes until the custard is set and the top is lightly browned.
Enjoy at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Basic Pre-Baked Flaky Pastry Crust
3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 stick butter (12 tablespoons), very cold and diced into small cubes
1/3 cup shortening, also very cold. I keep mine in the refrigerator, as this is really the only time I use it.
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs vodka mixed with 4 tbs water, very cold (I learned the vodka trick from America’s Test Kitchen a long, long time ago, and it really makes a difference; however, you can leave it out and just use water.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place dry ingredients in food processor and pulse to mix. Add cubed butter and shortening and pulse about 12 times until the butter and shortening are mixed throughout. Slowly pour the water/vodka mixture through the lid while pulsing, until the dough begins to clump. Give it one more good, long pulse. Carefully transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead a few times to combine. Divide the dough evenly in half (this makes enough for two one-crust pies). Place each half between parchment or plastic wrap, flatten into a round disk, and chill for 20-30 minutes. Prepare your fruit and custard while it chills.
After chilling, roll one of the disks out on a floured surface until you have about a 12 inch circle, and a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Make sure to keep moving the dough and adding flour while rolling to make sure it isn’t sticking. Carefully place rolled dough into pie plate, easing it into the corners without stretching it too much. Make any kind of decorative edge you want. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes.
Remove dough from refrigerator, place parchment or aluminum foil directly on top of dough and fill the pie plate with dried beans or pie weights.
Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and pie weights, poke holes all over bottom of dough with a fork, and return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes until lightly browned.
Continue with recipe above or use for any pie recipe requiring a pre-baked crust.
Meatballs: I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t like them. My daughter—who can sometimes be quite picky—has loved them since she was old enough to chew, even requesting them for two of her birthday party meals—so much better than pizza! I made these a couple weeks ago on a night each of my kids had a friend sleeping over (it wasn’t as scary as it sounds). 4 kids with clean plates: if that doesn’t sell my recipe I don’t know what will. Continue reading →
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. I thought about doing a Thanksgiving or Christmas post… but for some reason, I just didn’t; it didn’t feel right. I have tons of holiday recipes, as I’m sure you do, too. I just think the holidays are so intensely personal that I didn’t want to impose. That might seem silly, but that’s just how I felt.
So, Christmas—my favorite time of year—has zipped by, and I have cooked and eaten everything in sight and had lots of fun doing it. And here I am, thinking about what to cook and what to write about next… But first, I think I’ll write about my version of the holidays—what makes them special to me—if for no other reason than to help me accept that Christmas is, in fact, over—like a therapy exercise. Continue reading →
Saturdays mean lots of things… No alarm clock (except during swim team season…), real breakfast, lazy pajama lounging, and for several months from early spring through mid fall, Saturdays mean the Warrenton Farmer’s Market is open. I used to love taking my son when he was still little enough to sneak fruit straight from vendors’ tables without getting chased after. The vendors would just smile at his chubby cheeked cuteness and offer him something else. I would politely thank them and make a mental note to give him the no stealing talk later… But really, this is just one example of why local markets are so special-they are personal and friendly. These farmers, bakers, and growers are proud of their offerings, and if you went to their farms or homes they would offer you a taste, so of course they do the same at the market. Continue reading →