Pies, Pies, Pies

For father’s day, I decided to make pies for my dad and Alec’s dad–both dads being fans of fruit pies.  For my father I made a strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry pie, and for my father-in-law I made a strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry pie.  I love berry pies, and these turned out great.  There was very little liquid after the pie was baked, and it held together nicely.  I believe this recipe, which I what I did for the blueberry pie a couple of weeks ago, would work for any berry pie.  I have been meaning to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie in this manner too–I will let you know how that turns out when I finally get around to it.

Triple Berry Pie

2 pints or so of berries

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

juice of 1/2 lemon

zest of one half lemon

Mix together and let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Put the mixture into your prepared (rolled but not baked) crust.  Seal the crusts together and paint with an egg/water wash.  Bake for 30 minutes at 425; lower the heat to 375 and bake another 30 minutes.  Cover with foil if it is browning to quickly.

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Lucy

Lucy started crawling this last week, which is very excited and also a little scary.  Immediately after she started crawling she started pulling herself up.  Here is a picture of her standing with just a little help.

She is getting so big!

I made a handbag

I don’t think I have sewn anything for at least ten years.  Though apparently sewing is like riding a bike–you can always do it once you figure out how to actually get your sewing machine to work again (thanks Mom!). I got a fun new book that had tons of things you can make with one yard of fabric.  I thought this would be a good place to start with my new hobby.  For my first project I made a handbag, and it actually turned out!!! See below…

Here is a pic where you can see how big it is, though I don’t look too great…

Finally I have been obsessed with this button that I ended up putting on thepurse instead of doing a snap…

I had a blast making it, so I am sure there will be plenty of more sewing projects to come.  I think I am going to try a stuffed animal next.

We’re going to Party like it is 1958…

It all started when my mom gave me a book from 1958 about cooking and entertaining.  I figured this would be the perfect party.  I spent about a month looking at old recipes.  I sent out invitations.  I got myself a 50s housewife dress.  And last Saturday, I threw a pretty fun 50s party.  I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that everyone dressed up, and everyone seemed to have a  good time.

Now I believe that if you are going to go to the bother to throw a party, you should be able to enjoy it.  That is what I kept in mind while planning.  I was able to make all the food ahead of time.  Most of it was done the day before, in fact.  Instead of bar-tending all night, I made pitchers of drinks, and let people pour them for themselves.

The Menu:

I had a buffet style sampling of appetizers and desserts.  I made two types of Jell-o, a cherry-chocolate bundt cake, little cakes, ambrosia salad, a cheese ball, refrigerator pickles,  and spinach dip.  I made almost all of this on Friday morning.  Food in the 50s was easy! Packaged things, processed things, convenience food galore–I have never put such little effort into making food for a party before.

Cheese Ball: 

1 small tub of Merk Cheese

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese

a little blue cheese

a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Throw it all together and mix together.  Wrap in plastic wrap and form into a ball.  Put in the fridge overnight.  Before serving roll in parsley or chopped nuts.

Easiest Chocolate-cherry Bundt Cake Ever

1 devil’s food chocolate cake mix

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1/2 cup water

1 can cherry pie filling

1 cup chocolate chips

Mix it all together and put it in a bundt pan pre-sprayed with Baker’s Joy.  Bake for about 45-50 minutes.  Leave it cook in the pan for about 15 minutes then slide it out and let it cool completely.  Top with chocolate frosting.

Ambrosia Salad

1 package of marshmallows

1 tub of cool whip

1 can pineapple chunks, drained

1 can mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup coconut

Mix it all together.  That is it.  It is actually that easy.

The Drinks:

For ease, I wanted just one or two drinks at the party.  I decided on a Mojito and an Old Fashioned because they were both around in the 50s and they are both delicious.  According to Wikipedia (so it is probably right), the Old Fashioned was the favorite drink of President Truman, and the Mojito was the favorite drink of Hemingway.

Mojito:

1 2/3 oz white run

1 teaspoon sugar

2/3 ox lime juice

bunch of fresh mint

sparkling water

Put the sugar and the lime juice together in the bottom of a high ball glass.  Throw the mint in and muddle together.  Add the rum, ice, and sparkling water.  Serve with a slice of lime.

Old Fashioned

1 2/3 oz bourbon

dash of Angostura bitters

1 sugar cube

club soda

oranges and maraschino cherry

Place the sugar cube in an old-fashioned class and soak with the bitters.  Add some orange slices and muddle together.  Add the bourbon, ice, and cover with soda.  You can also use Sprite for a sweet Old Fashioned (serve with a maraschino cherry) or Squirt or 50/50 for a Sour Old Fashioned (serve with an olive).  If you are from Wisconsin, you can make these with brandy instead of bourbon.  Both liquors are quite good.  I like all varieties of Old Fashioneds.

The People:

Everyone came looking fantastic.  I didn’t get a ton of pictures, but here a few.

Here we are looking like a nice happy 50s family.

Our friend Joe came up from Madison for the party.  He helped me out a ton preparing for the party.  Plus he spent a couple of hours putting together a great 50s playlist.

I think Kelsey (my friend and former roommate) took the cake for the best outfit.  The baby she is holding is not hers though.  The adorable little baby Nina belongs to our friends Ann and Antonio.

Joe and Antonio showed up in the same hat…

Kara and Caleb–he is sporting a bow tie and she is wearing metallic gloves–pretty awesome.

Kim and Josh–my cousins-in-laws (is that a thing?).  Kim had the cutest hat!

Here is my friend Katie all decked out with broaches.

Here is Elle holding little Milo (Milo is not her baby.  He belongs to our friends Ray and Angie).

It was an absolute beautiful night, and we enjoyed some time outdoors.

Thank you so much to everyone who came.  I feel really bad I didn’t get pictures of everyone because everyone looked great! Next time I will be more on top of pictures!

 

Smoky Potato Salad

Well it is about a million degrees here in Minneapolis today.  The air conditioning is on and all of our blinds are closed to keep out the sun.  I officially decided I wasn’t going to do much of value today because it is just too hot.  For dinner tonight we are making BLTs, which should be nice and  cool besides the part where I have to cook the bacon.  The other day I made up a potato salad I am doing again today.  It is nothing all that new and exciting, but it uses some awesome mustard the cheese lady at Haskell’s talked us into buying. See picture below…

It was a little pricey for mustard in my opinion (about $7), but it really is good.  It has a nice smoky flavor, thus the name.  If you are so inclined to make this recipe exactly how I have it, here is a link where you can purchase this lovely mustard–that is if you aren’t lucky enough to live near a Haskells!

http://www.robertrothschild.com/product/product-details.aspx?prodid=7&name=Anna+Mae’s+Smoky+Mustard

Smoky Potato Salad

1/2 pound of red potatoes boiled and cubed

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1/2 medium onion or a few green onions (I used white onions the first time and green the second, both good)

1-2 stalks celery

Mayonnaise (I use the Hellman’s Olive Oil kind)

The Smokey Mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Mix it all together.  I didn’t put amounts down for the mustard and mayo for a couple of reasons.  1) I don’t measure 2) It is kinda a personal preference thing I feel.  If I were to estimate I would say about 3/4 cup mayo to about 1/4 mustard? But that is obviously pretty flexible.

Blueberry Pie

After about a month of not posting too much, I am back.  I finished up the most difficult quarter of school I have ever had.  Yesterday I graduated, though I still have a couple of things left to do until I actually get my diploma in the mail. I am feeling pretty good.  I will be back posting regularly now, so get ready for some fun new recipes and such.

Yesterday after my graduation, my parents hosted a lovely dinner for me, my family, and my in-laws.  It was delicious.  I made a blueberry pie to bring down and below is the recipe.  The filling is from Dorie Greenspan, with a couple small adjustments.  I used my basic pie crust because I like butter crusts much better than shortening crusts, which was what she suggested.  I don’t think I had ever had a homemade blueberry pie before.  They are so much better than store bought ones or frozen ones.  The pie was a big hit with everyone (except my mom, but she doesn’t like blueberries–I brought down a raspberry bundt cake too, which I will probably post about later, which she liked a lot).

Blueberry Pie

Use can use any double pie dough recipe really.  I used the one that is on my basic recipes tab.  You could even use a pre-made crust if you want–this recipe would be really easy then.   Roll the dough out and keep in the fridge until ready to put the pie together.

The filling:

2 pints of blueberries, washed and make sure the stems are removed

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup

pinch of salt

lemon zest from 1/2-1 lemon

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Mix everything together in a bowl except for the bread crumbs and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs on the bottom of the pie shell. Then put the berry mixture over the bread crumbs.

Put the top crust on this.  Make a few slits in the top.

Pain the top of the pie with an egg wash.

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.  Drop the temp to 375 and bake for another 30 minutes.  If the crust is getting too brown put a tinfoil tent over it.

Let the pie cool at least a half an hour before serving.