June 29, 2016

Peach Blueberry Pie

It's peach season in the South so naturally we've been eating all we can.  I love to can peaches but haven't had time this year, so we've just been eating them fresh.  However, to change things up a bit I decided to try a pie.  Blueberries are my husbands favorite so when I saw this recipe I thought it was perfect.  Also, I had a handful of raspberries in my refrigerator so I threw those in too.

I loved the flavor of this pie.  Sweet and interesting because of the multiple fruit flavors.  The mixture is perfect and held up very well when sliced and served up. Perfect with some ice cream or whipped cream.

I just used a store bought crust which is not what I normally do, but it was still delicious.  If you make a homemade crust it'll be the hit of dessert!  I hope you can try this one this summer with some of your local peaches.

Peach Blueberry Pie
Recipe from Taste of Home

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 cups peaches, sliced and peeled
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • pastry for double crust 9 inch pie
  • 1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • cinnamon sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º
  2. Make the pie crust and put it in the pie plate (or use pre-made)
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and allspice and whisk. Add the fruit and stir to coat.
  4. You can either top the pie with a full pie crust and cut to ventilate or create a lattice top.
  5. After you've added the top crust, cut off the excess crust around the edges leaving about 1/2 an inch overhand so you can tuck it under the bottom crust and seal with your fingers or a fork.
  6. Use a brush to spread milk over the top and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

June 21, 2016

3-Minute Fudge

I'm one of those people who has trouble with fudge.  I mean, I've made it and half the time it turns out great and the other half of the time it's gritty.  So, I tend to be leary about even making it at all. When I saw this recipe and I thought I'd give it a try.

I've got to tell you, it was super easy, super fast and super delicious.  Win Win!

I have a neighbor who makes amazing fudge so I sort of judge all other fudges by her's.  This one is creamier than hers.  But of course, her's probably takes longer than 3 minutes too. The taste is super chocolatey, it's creamy and smooth.  I loved it.

If you're like me and need a quick dessert to thrill, this could be just the thing.

3-Minute Fudge
Recipe from Chocolate Chocolate and More

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. Spray a small square pan with cooking spray, 8x8 or smaller. Line with parchment paper and spray again for easy cutting.
  2. Mix the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips together in a medium sized microwave safe bowl.
  3. Heat for 1 minute in the microwave and then stir. It should be smooth at this point but if not microwave again in 30 second intervals until it is.
  4. Remove from the microwave and add the vanilla extract, stir and either refrigerate for leave on a counter top until set.

June 14, 2016

Baja Shrimp Taco

This is one meal that I fell in love with.  It's not overly spicy but just enough to give you a slight heat and tons of flavor. This is also one of those meals I need to cook for myself.  My husband is from New England and yet isn't much of a seafood eater.  Isn't that strange? Maybe not, but I guess I always assumed that people who lived near seafood should like it. I guess that's not always the case.  Although I grew up in beef cattle country and beef is one of my favorites....who knows.

Anyway, This meal does take some preparation because of the breading and frying of the shrimp but other than that it's totally easy.  And, leftovers are delicious. I think that they fish fry breading has a lot of flavor anyway but when you combine it with that spicy ranch it really takes it over the top.

I enjoyed this recipe tremendously.  I got it from my local grocery store (Publix), they have a section called Apron's where they let you sample a meal idea and if you decide to try it they have all of the needed ingredients right there waiting for you, so you don't have to wonder all over the store trying to find stuff.  Great concept and obviously it worked!

Baja Shrimp Tacos

  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 limes (tested and juiced)
  • 2 cups shredded three-color coleslaw mix
  • 3 Tbsp spicy ranch dressing
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed if frozen) Medium size should work
  • 1/2 cup fish fry mix
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 small flour tortilla's
  • 1 avocado, sliced
Cooking Directions
  1. In a small bowl add the chopped fresh cilantro, mayonnaise and 1 tsp of lime zest, 2 Tbsp lime juice, whisk until smooth. Add the slaw, stir and set aside.
  2. Coat the shrimp in the ranch dressing, then coat in the fish fry mix.
  3. Add the oil to a pan and heat on med-high. Add the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until shrimp are opaque and coating is golden. Drain on paper towels.
  4. To build a burrito add the slaw to the bottom, then a couple of thin sliced avocado and then shrimp. Roll up and enjoy.

June 8, 2016

Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treat

My first attempt at a homemade dog treats was a success! My dog loves this treat! I knew he'd love the peanut butter (what dog doesn't love peanut butter), but I wasn't sure about the banana.  Turns out, the peanut butter makes this cookie so desirable, that it just doesn't matter.  Although, for all I know he loves banana too.  I'm just guessing here. 

These are very easy to assemble and bake. You could probably also substitute all-purpose or whole wheat flour if you don't have a food processor. 

The picture above just sort of makes my dog look like a shark, doesn't it? He's really very gentle.  He's also very old.  I'll have to give you the run-down on him.  

Chip is our rescue dog.  He's about 15 years old.  We guess that he's probably an Akita mix.  Most likely mixed with a heeler or a border collie, we think. He's also the reason I met my very first friend in Charlotte.  

My husband and I moved to the Charlotte, NC area about 13 years ago.  We moved into an apartment when we first got here.  My husband's job was going to be out of the Charlotte airport so I set out trying to find myself a job too.  It's harder to find a job in this area than in other area's, I found. So I was often lonely while my husband was working and I was home alone.  I started to search petfinder .com, and one day came upon this dog.  His name was Harvey at that time and they had found him as a stray.  He was actually set to be euthanized because he had heart worms and he wasn't a very social guy.  They had him in a cage with a puppy and he just sat in the back of the cage and growled at the puppy.  He also didn't come to the front when people where looking to adopt.  So my friend, Cristen, decided to save his life and adopted him, cured his heart worms, and then set out to try to find him a good home.  That's where we came in. 

So, we eventually got to meet him, adopt him and I made my first friend in Charlotte.  After that I was able to find a job and life has been good.  

Since we've had Chip we've moved twice and still live in the Charlotte area but now we're in a house with a fenced back yard and we've had our daughter join our lives, 8 years ago.  I can't believe all that's happened in 13 years.  We're so glad to have found Chip.  His health has started to decline these past few months and I can't believe he isn't going to live forever.  So, homemade dog treats it is!  It's the least I can do. 

Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Cooking Directions
  1. Blend the oats in a food processor until it becomes a fine powder.
  2. In a medium bowl, squish the banana and mix it in with the peanut butter.
  3. Add the oatmeal powder to the banana/peanut butter mixture (reserve 1 Tbsp of powder) Push together until it forms a dough and place on a work surface dusted with the leftover oatmeal powder and press out or roll out to 1/4 inch.
  4. Use any shape cookie cutter to cut shapes.
  5. Bake at 350º on a parchment paper or silicone lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

June 3, 2016

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

I made this muffin recipe twice in quick succession.  Here's what happened:

Me: Honey I made these blueberry muffins for a friends family because her son just had surgery and is recovering.  Don't you think they'll like that?

Husband: Yeah, they'll love it.

30 minutes later....

Husband: Where are those muffins you made?

Me: I sent them over to the neighbors house....remember?

Husband: You didn't even save me one?

Me: No, I mean, you didn't say you wanted one when I told you I made them.

Husband: (glaring at me) you didn't save a blueberry muffin for the biggest blueberry lover in this house?

Me: Um, I was going to make another batch just for you....so you can have all of them...all to yourself.

Husband: Oh really? (smiling now) that's really great, thank you!

Me: (moving off toward the kitchen to make yet another batch of muffins) whew that was a close call.

So, I can vouch for them being a dependable muffin.  They turned out great both times and they tasted amazing.  Yes, he shared.  Great crumb, moist with plenty of blueberries.  The streusel topping is amazing and really takes these muffins into the "Bakery" type.  My husband loves them, my daughter loves them, I love them.

Even though there isn't any school here, we still enjoy a quick snack or breakfast.  We take them to the community pool with us, on drives or as an after workout energy boost.  Very convenient and very delicious.

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins
Recipe from Little Sweet Baker

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
Streusel Topping
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cold butter
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425º and spray a 12 cup muffin pan or use cupcake papers.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk. Add the milk or buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until all the dry ingredients are moist.
  5. Fold in the blueberries.
  6. Distribute the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups.
  7. Make the streusel
  8. Combine the sugar, flour, cold butter and cinnamon in a small bowl and use a fork to break up the butter until small pieces remain.
  9. Sprinkle the tops of the muffin cups with the streusel.
  10. Bake for 5 minutes at 425º and then leaving the muffins in the oven, turn the heat down to 375º and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.