Friday, May 30, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Sweet and tart all at the same time, this Strawberry Rhubarb pie is the perfect summer time treat. 

I love making pies. If only I enjoyed eating them as much as I love making them.  For me dessert is chocolate. Bring on the French Silk Pie!  The fruit ones though don't appeal to me at all.  If I am going to have extra calories for dessert I want cookies, cakes and ice cream.

Others in my family however adore pie.  When it is just me and Mr. J, one pie is a lot, but when we have visitors it seems the slices go very quickly.  Late last summer my brother came to visit us and asked about getting a strawberry rhubarb pie at this one store. I completely disregarded his request saying that we can get one at the farm stand down the road which has way better pies. He wasn't convinced they would have strawberry rhubarb but I was adamant.

Well when we got there no strawberry rhubarb was to be found. To be completely honest they always have so many pies. I was completely shocked that they didn't have any this trip.  I felt so bad. My brother lives overseas most of the time so it is not like he gets a lot of strawberry rhubarb pie. I had ruined his chance of having any this trip.

When they planned their trip to visit on Memorial Day weekend I knew I had to redeem myself and make him some pie.  

This recipe came out a bit more runny then I would have hoped. I think I would cut back on the sugar just a bit and add more cornstarch. Tapioca also works well as a thickener but I think of tapioca and think of fish eggs. I cannot eat the stuff so I stick with cornstarch.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert strawberry pie summer
Ingredients (serves 8)
  • 1 recipe double-crust pie dough of your choice or a box of store bought dough
  • 3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
  • 1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.

Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, orange juice, salt and cornstarch in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter.

Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.
Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Sprinkle with granulated sugar if desired.

Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.

Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When fully cooled (several hours later) the juices gel.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Iowa has some good eats and WIAW

Summer is all about the blueberries. I am in love with all types of berries. The past few days have been filled with me stuffing my face at all meals. 

 My little nephew graciously passed along his cold to me this weekend. I had to scoot to Iowa yesterday and I made sure to get all of my vitamins with this green smoothie before I left to catch my flight.

I forgot to snap my lunch but it was nothing to write home about....a salad from Chili's at the airport. It had way too much of the wrong dressing.

Dinner however was amazing. We went to Django in Des Moines. I had a lovely beet salad. The best way to eat beets in my opinion and a cheese platter. Yum, yum!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grilled Salmon & Avocado Salad

Fresh grilled salmon with a light salad of avocado and red onion.

Oh my I am so not ready to go back to work. I just had five days off and this week my whole family was here. It was wonderful. I wish those times would never end.  We swapped stories from my brother and I growing up.  Clearly our spouses didn't know what they were getting into when they joined our family.

One thing we didn't have a lot of growing up was salmon. First, we lived in Iowa. Iowa has wonderful fish. That list though doesn't include salmon. Salmon is one of my favorite fishes to eat. I love the thick solid flakes and the fatness of this fish.  

The third and final recipe I made from the Michael Symon cookbook is grilled salmon and avocado salad.  I couldn't resist trying out a recipe with salmon and avocado. Like the spicy 50/50 burger and the Angel Hair with Corn, Feta &Tomato the salmon took more than 5 minutes but it was still a super quick meal to throw together. 

You have to plan the avocados just right to get nice soft but crisp slices. Ours was a bit too soft. All the flavors melded together so nicely. It was a great summertime meal that was filling but not heavy at all.

Grilled Salmon & Avocado Salad

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: saute salmon avocado
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon steaks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

Season the salmon on both sides with salt, pepper, and the chipotle powder. Drizzle with the olive oil and put on the grill. Cook until nicely charred and the fish releases from the grill, about 3 minutes, then flip, and cook until medium-rare, about 2 minutes. If you prefer your fish to be cooked past medium-rare, cover the grill while cooking.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the lime zest and juice, onion, cilantro, extra-virgin olive oil, and a good pinch of salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Add the sliced avocado and toss gently to coat the avocado.

Remove the salmon from the grill, top with avocado salad, and serve
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Orange-Glazed Brussels Sprouts {SRC}

Oh my goodness! Now that summer is finally here it feels like the time is flying by. I feel like we just posted April's Secret Recipe Club reveal.

This month I got Becky from A Calculated Whisk. I really enjoyed going through Becky's experience with Whole 30.  I occasionally make paleo meals but don't think I could commit 100%. I find it interesting to read about how others make it more practical.  There are all sorts of recipes on A Calculated Whisk.  I tried to stay away from her massive dessert list and stick with veggies. After all bikini season is almost here.  My husband was hankering for the roasted beet carrot salad with goat but I wanted the Brussels sprouts

This isn't the most seasonal recipes but I do love Brussels sprouts. I would eat them year round if I could convince my husband.  We had family over for Memorial Day weekend and I used the opportunity to share the Brussels sprouts.  Funny how one of my favorite foods is a food both my parents claim to hate.  Well, this recipe didn't make them lovers of Brussels sprouts but they did eat a full serving after the taste test.

Orange-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Keywords: bake side Brussels sprouts orange
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the Brussels sprouts:
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • Sea salt, to taste
For the orange glaze:
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, sliced thinly into rings
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Fresh-squeezed juice of 2 oranges (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced scallions, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 and line a sheet pan with parchment. While the oven is heating up, zest and juice the oranges and prepare the Brussels sprouts.

In a bowl place Brussels sprouts and toss to coat with salt and oil. Place the Brussels sprout halves on the prepared pan and roast for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until browned and crisp-tender.

While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, make the glaze. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the shallots, and cook until browned in spots, about five minutes. Add the orange zest and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the orange juice, coconut aminos, and ginger. Whisk until well combined. Let the sauce simmer for about five minutes, then whisk in the tapioca starch. Continue to simmer the sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes more. Set the glaze aside until the sprouts are ready.

When the Brussels sprouts are done, transfer them to a large serving bowl. Pour the sauce over, toss to combine, sprinkle with scallions, and serve hot.
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekend Edition: Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!! 

I waited so long for this weekend. My brother and his family came up from DC and my parents came down from Maine. It is a full house.  

My nephew is the cutest thing.  Pretty much everyone adores him.  Right now he has six dotting adults giving him full attention. I think he is living the dream life.

We had walks in our neighborhood, playground visits and a trip to the beach.

We also managed to plant our garden.  All we need now is two tomato plants to fill in that hole in the middle.  Also we need prayers to keep all of the critters and deer out.

We haven't gotten ice cream yet but I am hoping to take care of that this afternoon. 

Wishing you all the best weekend!

In case you missed it here is what I was up to last week:

      Friday, May 23, 2014

      Angel Hair with Corn, Feta & Tomato

      There is a right of passage every summer in the Midwest when it comes to corn. Detasseling.  I don't know all of the specifics but it has something to do with the pollination process. You have to walk through the corn fields in the height of summer heat and humidity with long sleeves and pants breaking off a piece of the cornstalks. 

      It is kind of miserable. Or so I have heard.  The best recruits are high schools with the lure of good month for a couple of weeks of long days' work.

      My family moved to Maine the summer I could have started detasseling.  And although money is a motivator for me. I despise the heat. And bugs.  This was not a job for me.  

      I think it is the corn in this dish that reminds me so much of summer. 

      Remember yesterday when I shared with you the spicy 50/50 burger from Michael Symon's cookbook?  Where here is another recipe from the same book.  This recipe's five fresh ingredients were corn, tomatoes, feta, garlic, and cilantro. I saw that list and knew I wanted to make this dish.

      Mr. J needed a bit more convincing since this recipe had no meat.  

      The corn, feta and tomatoes add plenty of bulk to the pasta making this dinner very filling. We served it warm and the flavors melded together.  We promptly ate the whole dish for dinner. 

      You could also serve it cold and as a side dish. I think this is a fun dish to bring to your holiday BBQ this weekend.  All of the colors will certainly add some spunk to the food table.

      Angel Hair with Corn, Feta and Tomato

      by Emily Morris
      Prep Time: 10 minutes
      Cook Time: 10 minutes
      Keywords: entree corn tomato pasta
      Ingredients (serves 4)
      • Kosher salt
      • 1 pound dried angel hair pasta
      • 3 tablespoons olive oil
      • 3 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from the cobs (about 2 cups)
      • 2 garlic cloves sliced
      • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
      • ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flake
      • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
      • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
      In a very large pot, bring 5 quarts water and 3 tablespoons salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, about 1 minute less than the package directions. Occasionally give the pasta a stir so it doesn’t stick together. Scoop out and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.

      Meanwhile, put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and corn, spreading the kernels out into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Let the kernels cook, without stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, oregano, and a good pinch of salt. Cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.

      Stir in the red pepper flakes, add the reserved pasta water, and cook for 1 minute.

      Add the cooked pasta to the pan, stirring the noodles into the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, and feta. Serve immediately.
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      Thursday, May 22, 2014

      50/50 Burger {Pass the Cook Book Club} ‪#‎passthecookbook‬

      It is summer time and the days are longer and warmer. I am loving every second.  This time of year it seems I am trying to fit in more and more in these long days.  Dinner kind of sneaks up on me.  

      Having a quick and delicious meal to throw together is always a good thing.  This month's Pass the Cook Book Club cookbook is Michael Symon's 5 in 5. The promise is 120 meals made with 5 fresh ingredients that can be put together in 5 minutes. The 5 minute part might be a bit of wishful thinking but no more than 10. I promise.

      In case you forgot the premise of the Pass the Cook Book Club each month a cookbook is chosen with three recipes. You pick the recipe that looks best for you and make it for today.  Julie of White Lights on Wednesday picked a winner with this one. The three recipes were the famous 50/50 burger, angel hair pasta with corn, tomatoes and feta, and salmon and avocado salad.

      Today I am sharing the 50/50 burger. I actually tagged this recipe in one of my magazines this spring right before this month's recipes were selected. It seems like something Mr. J would really enjoy.  I made all of the other recipes though too because they seemed delicious.  And let me tell you, they were!!!

      As the book states this dish came together in minutes. The flavors were just right with some spice from the chorizo and bite from the cilantro.  I mean how smart is it to add some sausage to the beef for a jazzed up burger. We will be making this again and again all summer.

      Spicy 50/50 burger

      by Emily Morris
      Prep Time: 10 minutes
      Cook Time: 10 minutes
      Keywords: grill summer
      Ingredients (serves 4)
      • ¾ pound ground beef (80% lean)
      • ¾ pound fresh chorizo, removed from casing if not in bulk
      • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
      • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • 4 slices Monterey jack cheese
      • 4 challah-style buns, split and toasted
      • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
      Put a large skillet over medium-high heat.

      In a bowl, mix to combine the ground beef and chorizo. Form the meat into 4 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick. Season the patties on both dies with salt and pepper.

      Add the olive oil to the preheated pan, then add the patties and, with a spatula, press each the form thin burgers. Cook without moving until a good crust forms, about 2 minutes. Flip the burger and cook until heavily caramelized, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and top each burger with a slice of cheese. Add 2 tablespoons water to the pan, cover, and allow the cheese to melt for 1 minute.

      Put 1 burger onto each bun bottom, top with ¼ cup cilantro and the other half of the bun, and serve.
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      If you want to become a part of the cookbook club read this post and click for the Facebook group. Also check out all of the other blogger's posts below.  

      Wednesday, May 21, 2014

      Today is my Friday and WIAW

      This week started on a Sunday. This sucks if you don't know. I am still out of sorts trying to figure out what day it is. I had to fly to Indianapolis. The weather was beautiful and there were some great views. I love looking out over the Midwest and seeing the patch work land.

      Breakfast was at the hotel but I cannot do the coffee. Lucky for me there was a Starbucks about 1 minute walk away. I was headed into a tough meeting and knew that I needed a good start to the day. A good start is definitely a Starbucks latte.

      Lunch was at the airport. Normally this means not very good food. I got the meatball appetizer because nothing else interested me. I was so happy I got these. They had a spicy kick and were so delicious. 

      Dinner was amazing. Michael Symon's 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients +5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic DinnersIt is my new favorite cookbook.  The recipes are easy, simple ingredients and super delicious.

      On another note, we got supplies for our raised bed garden this week. I cannot wait to put it together. 

      Because of my weekend travel, I am done for the week today. I cannot wait for little mini vacation.  Hello Memorial Day weekend!!


      Tuesday, May 20, 2014

      What I am reading lately...

      The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer recently came out in paperback and was in all of the magazines as a must read.  I read lots of magazines while at the gym and whenever I see something appear in multiple publications I tend to take note and look into it what the big deal is.  

      The book follows six teens into adulthood. This group meets at a trend creative arts summer camp in the Berkshires. The story starts with Julie, the newbie in the group, who comes to the camp on scholarship after her father dies.  The other five have been coming to the camp for years.  Julie is shocked when they first invite her to join their late night meetings during her first summer.

      The story continues as each individual grows up through college and the adult real world.  They grow apart and together as the storyline switches by chapter the story of each character in the present and looking back in time during their time at camp.  The Interestings looks at how everyone faces love, success, failures and difficult times in life.  That the perspective of others is not necessarily the reality of the person. And true friendship can last forever.

      Monday, May 19, 2014

      Butterfinger Brownies

      My Reese Peanut Butter Cup brownies went over well last week.  You guys loved them and well Mr. J ate them us so quickly our weekly dessert lasted about two days. 

      It got me thinking about other candy/brownie combinations I could use to make a decadent dessert.  Butterfingers popped into my mind. I don't tend to eat candy bars and to tell you the truth Butterfinger would not be my first pick.  Funny though that when it comes to ice cream toppings Butterfingers are my favorite.  A Butterfinger Blizzard. Check.  Butterfingers on frozen yogurt. Yes, please.

      When I think of Butterfingers I think of Bart Simpson. My brother was a huge fan of The Simpsons growing up. It was a nightly tradition.  The Halloween episode brought the whole family together. Do you remember the commercials with Bart Simpson?

      "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger."


      Yep, that is all I can think about. I think the same goes for these brownies. I made them Saturday afternoon and then had to leave last night for a work trip.  I am coming home later tonight. I am pretty sure that brownies might be gone when I come home.

      Butterfinger Brownies

      by Emily Morris
      Prep Time: 15 minutes
      Cook Time: 45 minutes
      Keywords: bake brownies
      Ingredients (serves 9)
      • 1 box store bought brownies or your favorite brownie recipe
      • 1 cup Butterfinger bites, chopped and divided
      Preheat over to 325 degrees. Grease a 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
      Make brownies according to box instructions. Fold in 1/2 cup of roughly chopped Butterfingers.

      Put mixture in prepared pan.Sprinkle remaining Butterfinger pieces on top of batter.

      Bake for 40-45 minutes until edges are set and the middle is not longer jiggly. Cool completely before slicing.
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