Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peach Schnapps Peach Pie

It's summer which means it's peach season! It also means that Fathers Day occurs and you know what? My dad's birthday is right around Father's Day. (Just like my mom's bday is near Mothers Day.) Since I wrote a post about her, I figured it was time to send some love my dad's way.
Unlike me, my dad enjoys a fruit dessert over a chocolate dessert. So, in honor of his birthday I decided that I should make a fruit pie. Since he lives hundred of miles away from me, he'll just get the pictures instead of tasting it (but I know he would have loved this!)  
More about my dad: He knows a fair amount about fruit since HIS dad had such a green thumb in Florida. In fact, I bet my dad knows what the inside of a peach pit looks like. I didn't until I made this pie. I was so surprised to even have a peach pit split on me while preparing the peaches! Look! It looks like an almond!
Speaking of peaches, my dad also let me know when I was 8 that the peach pits I planted in the back yard were NOT going to grow into peach trees. Um...well...maybe I was just composting early in life. Yeah.
My dad was also a great supporter of playing basketball. On game day when I was in high school, my dad would make my brown bag lunch and write on the outside "Rebound!" or "Go get 'em!" or "Square up!" Having those on my paper bag was better than all the cheering from the stands.

Another interesting thing to note about my dad is that he's a pastor. Yep! That makes me a pastor's daughter. *dun dun duuun* Along with raising me in the Christian faith he also taught me AWESOME things like, "The only one who can allow yourself to get angry is you." (I remember him telling me that while I was very young and super upset about something my silly brothers had done. What a gem of wisdom for a kid!)

Thank goodness he never preached that cleanliness was next to godliness. Because, well, um...you see...when I was making the pie crust...well...
 (Close Up)
It wasn't my fault. This pie crust attacked me. Yeah...

Ok. Back to prettier pictures...
Making this peach pie was quite time consuming, but also fun. Next time I'm in TX I'll have to make it for my super awesome dad. We can sit and play board games while eating this dessert (with a scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, of course!)
Peach Schnapps Peach Pie (adapted from allrecipes.com)
6 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup honey
2 fluid ounces peach schnapps, or more to taste (I used 3oz)
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pie crust (recipe below)

1.Place the peaches, honey, and peach schnapps into a saucepan over medium heat, and cook until the peaches are softened and the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Stir in sugar and cinnamon until combined. Stir in the flour, and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Simmer until the flour has thickened the filling, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer filling to a container, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

2.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

3.Stretch bottom pie crust into a 9 1/2-inch pie pan; cut some of the remainder of the crust into 1-inch wide strips. Spread the peach filling evenly into the bottom crust, and make a lattice crust from the strips, weaving the strips over and under each other. Pinch strips to the bottom crust at both ends.

4.Bake the pie in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, then remove and put a sheet of aluminum foil ligfhtly over the top of the pie (then the crust won't burn). Return to oven and bake until top crust is golden brown, about 30 more minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 2 hours before serving to allow pie filling to set up.

Never Fail Pie Crust (from My Mom's Best Recipe Book)
1 heaping t baking powder
1 t salt
5 1/2 C flour
Mix together

Mix 1 lb (2C) lard (Crisco) into flour mixture until crumbly

Put 1 egg in 1 C measuring cup; beat with fork. Add 1 t vinegar and fill cup with cold water. Mix well and mix with flour mixture. Dough can be frozen.

Makes 3 pie crusts

Can use combo of lard and Crisco (1 C of each.)
Bake well and prosper!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quick Post - Musical Cake

I made a cake for my church's end of the season choir party. I even got fancy (if you consider twizzlers fancy.)
I quickly snapped a couple of shots before it was devoured.
I had made the cakes in the morning, transported them via subway, and then I made the frosting at the party. It was delicious.

OK. Told you it would be quick. Enjoy the weekend!

Chocolate Cake (from allrecipes.com)
1 cup margarine
1 3/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Buttercream Frosting
1 stick softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter. Beat in the sugar and the vanilla. Pour in the milk. Frosting should be at a good texture, but feel free to add more milk to change the consistency of the frosting.

Bake well and prosper!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pink M&M Cookies & the Mini 10K

This past weekend I ran a race. (Well, actually, this past weekend I did a LOT of things, but I'll just talk about the race for this post.)

I ran the NYRR (New York Road Runners) Mini 10K. You might be wondering, "What's so mini about running 6.2 miles?" Well, check out this cool history: 40 years ago was the inaugural running of this race and it was named the 6-mile Crazylegs Mini Marathon. The name Mini came from the famous skirt that was in fashion (still is?): The Mini Skirt. Also, Playboy Bunnies came out to cheer at the starting line to promote the event (thus the crazy legs moniker.) 78 females ran it.

It was the world's first road race exclusively for female participants. That's right. No men.

"Big deal" you might be thinking. Or maybe you're thinking, "That's so cool!" Either way, it WAS a big deal and IS still cool. Women weren't allowed to run the Boston Marathon until 2 months before the first Mini (1972). Before then, race organizers thought that "women were not physically capable of running a marathon." It took another 12 years for the Olympics to have a marathon for females (1984 Los Angeles Olympics).

So, yeah. This all female race IS a big deal. Every year I run it I get caught up in the history of the event. I think, "This is the FIRST all female road race and I get to run it and be part of the history." I always get excited for this race. Seriously, check it out:
So, in honor of females achieving great things and rocking the world of running, here are some pink m&m cookies. Pink not because it's "a girl's color" but because it's starting to become the color of female awesomeness.

Oh, and FYI, this year 4,750 females completed the race.

(To read more about the Mini 10K, please visit NYRR. For more info on women's marathon history, click here.)
Pink M&M Cookies (adapted from squidoo)
1 cup of soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups regular all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
12-ounce package of M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy. It is critical that the butter be at room temperature in order to make this step work nicely.

Beat in the egg and the vanilla.

In another bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.

STIR in M&Ms. Do not mix (m&ms will get chopped up/broken)

Using teaspoons, drop cookies of about one heaping teaspoon onto your cookie sheets, making them about two inches apart.
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes.

Cool before eating.
Bake well and prosper!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Dessert Comic, Another Laugh from Me

Thanks again to Off the Mark. I love their comics and especially love their food related ones. So funny! You just can't beat unicorns and ice cream!
Off the Mark
Bake well and prosper!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Perfect Summer Drink - Brandy Alexander WITH Nutella

Some of y'all might remember my Brandy Alexanders from last summer. Well, I was recently talking to people about Nutella and there was one man that was an enthusiast for the stuff. I mean, we were thinking up recipes to make with Nutella for 15 minutes!

And then...

I thought of something simple. Something so divine that it made both of us stop for a moment of silence to show reverence for my idea.

Add Nutella to my basic Brandy Alexander recipe.
I know. Amazing, right?

You're welcome for my sharing of the awesomeness. Enjoy summer!
Brandy Alexander (from my Mom's Best Recipes Cookbook)
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1/4 C creme de cacao
1/4 C brandy
1 T Nutella (or more to your liking)
Mix as malts in blender.

For 2 servings:
2 C vanilla ice cream
1 T creme de cacao
1 T brandy
1 t Nutella (or more to your liking)

Bake well and prosper!