November 29, 2010

May Your House Always be Too Small...

to Hold All of Your Friends...  I just love this A Muse sentiment.  Just a quick update today

November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble

Smiley from 
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!  I thought I'd share one last recipe with all of my family and friends.  I hope everyone is having a lovely day.   So much to be grateful for.  enjoy

Simple Stuffing Recipe

1 stick of butter
2 quarts of organic chicken broth (or favorite broth)
1 cup of craisins (or raisins, I like craisins because they add a pretty color)
2 boxes of cubed herb stuffing (or homemade croutons using favorite choice of bread)

Coarsely chop:
Roasted Pecans (or walnuts or favorite nut)
Apples (or a pear)

Finely chop:

Melt butter in a large sauce pan on the stove.  Add all ingredients.  Cook for approx 5 minutes.  You just want the onions and celery to become soft.  I don't use a specific amount for each ingredient.  I just like a good bread to veggie ratio.  If I had to measure I would say approximate 2 cups of each diced ingredient to 2 boxes of cubed stuffing mix.  Makes enough to stuff the turkey and a side dish.

Smiley from
The usual suspects


Fold the above mix into bread cubes and use broth just to moisten.
Don't over do it like I just did.  Then the bread cubes get mooshy

Run turkey RUN...
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November 24, 2010

PIES Part 2 ~Caramel Banana Hazelnut Pie and a Tutorial

I've never made this pie before but I saw the recipe over on The Farm Chicks and well lets just say she had me at heller!!!  I thought I'd post another tutorial of my process.  Lawsy I'm thankful for... Smiley from

Caramel Banana Hazelnut Pie

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Add flour and sugar to a large bowl or food processor.  Cut in butter until it looks like sand.  Stir or pulse in egg yolk and vanilla until combined.  Pour crumb mixture into a 9" pie or tart pan and press evenly onto bottom and sides of the pan.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned and your kitchen smells like heaven.  Remove from oven and cool.

3/4 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add butter, brown sugar, and cream to a saucepan, cooking and whisking at medium-high heat until bubbling all over.  Reduce heat so mixture continues to boil softly.  Cook and whisk for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.  Set aside to cool slightly.  (This is a generous amount of caramel.  If you have a little leftover, use it to drizzle on the plate when you serve, or save as an ice-cream topping.  Just keep it in a jar in the fridge to enjoy!)

Bananas and Hazelnuts:
2 bananas, sliced (I used 3 bananas)
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 Hammer (optional te-he)

Line pie crust with sliced bananas and top with chopped hazelnuts.  Gently pour caramel over bananas and hazelnuts and place in refrigerator to cool completely and firm up.

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon honey

Add all ingredients into a large bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.  Mound Whipped Cream Topping atop pie and serve immediately.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Tower of TREATS Part 1 - Pie crust

Add butter to flour mixture

Mix until the size of sand.  
Mine?  More like small pebbles but that's how I roll.

Add the egg yolk and mix until forms a dough

RUTRO I was going to shell these last night.  I forgot.  I was so glad to have found Oregon Grown Hazelnuts.  Let the fun begin

In the meantime.... press the crust mixture into a 9 inch pie plate.  I only had a 10 inch pie plate hence the crust comes up a little short.  No worries, its how I roll (pun intended).  It ain't pretty.

Who knew?  Ok so transfer the hazelnuts into a ziplock type bag and get your HAMMER out (any ole' hammer will do).  Bet ya didn't think I'd be saying that?  I completely forgot about THIS.  It wasn't as bad as I was expecting in fact once I got started it was kind of fun.  They make this cute little popping noise.  I almost went out and got another bag.  Te-he. 

Dump them out onto a sorting station.  Separate out the nutmeats from the hard outer shells.  I felt kind of squirrely.  Might want to take care with this step unless of course you like your dentist.

There they are.

Second act.  For the caramel sauce

Bring those puppies to a bubbly boil and then turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Whisk

and whisk

Remove crust after 10 minutes when lightly browned

Act 3 for the banana hazelnut filling

Roast the hazelnuts (I used 1 tsp of butter to help with this)
Make sure the butter doesn't burn
I think oven-roasting would be better.  
I kind of burned the butter.  It's my signature step

Layer the slices of bananas and hazelnuts in that order.  
P.S. I added an additional banana making that a total of 3. 
It's how I roll.

Pour the carmel sauce over ALL.  
There is ample caramel so reserve the leftovers in a jar to use for the plate-up or for ice cream.
Ready for whipped cream topping!!!
Can't wait to try it.

Can I have a moment of silence?

Touch it and you die.  Tehe ,)  Smiley from

I hope everyone has a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
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Today - PIES ~Pumpkin Pecan Pie Recipe and Tutorial

I thought I'd share one of my ALL TIME favorite pies for the holidays.  Its my goto pie when the mood strikes me to actually do a home-baked pie.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

Liz's Famous Pumpkin Pecan Pie

10-Inch Pie Crust (Use your favorite pie crust for a 10-inch pie.  I use frozen and transfer it into my "real" pie baker)

For the Pecan filling:

2 large eggs
1/2 cup corn syrup or pure maple syrup (I use dark corn syrup)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

For the Pumpkin filling:

3 eggs
1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree (15 oz can or less, it makes more than you will use)
1 cup of milk
3/4 packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
OR (I use 3 tsp of cake spice (or a smidge less vs each separate spice above)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
OPTIONAL:  1 Tbsp of tapioca pearls

This provides an ample batch of pumpkin filling, so I pour just enough into the top rim of the pie shell (don't overfill).  I found this works the best.  Discard or freeze the leftover for use in another dish.

Preheat the oven 400
Prepare the pie crust (Use your favorite).  Free Smiley Courtesy of Also, the clay baker I use is bigger than the 10-inch standard pie plate so the crust doesn't go all the way to the rim.  No worries, I only like the crust on the bottom anyway AND I never did master the fluting that goes around the edge of a pie.  ,)

To prepare the pecan filling, whisk the eggs in a bowl until foamy.  Stir in the corn syrup or maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and pecans.  Spread the pecan filling over the bottom of the pie crust.

Bake about 20 minutes, until the filling is set and puffed.  I like to set the pie on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet in case it boils over.

Meanwhile to prepare the pumpkin filling, whisk the eggs for the pumpkin filling and stir in the pumpkin puree, milk, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla until well blended.  I add a Tbsp. of tapioca pearls to thicken.  This is optional.  TIP OF THE CENTURY: Use the same bowl to prepare pumpkin filling.  Less dishes to wash.

When the pecan filling has set, remove it from the oven.  Pour the pumpkin filling over the layer and bake for about 40 mins, until the pumpkin layer is set in the middle.

Decorate by pressing toasted pecan halves around the outside edge of the pie.  Cool for at least 20 mins before cutting.  Serve warm at room temp.  Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream!

Makes one 10-inch pie, serves 8.


 Cast of characters:

1 cup of chopped pecans

 Favorite pie crust

Pecan filling

Bake pecan filling for 20 minutes

Cast of characters Part 2, Pumpkin filling:

Use the same bowl for the pumpkin filling

Secret weapon adding 1 Tbsp of Minute Tapioca for a creamy thickener

Pumpkin filling all blended

Remove the baked pecan filling from the oven

 Pour pumpkin filling over the baked pecan filling

 Garnish with pecan halves around the border.  
Brush pecans with melted butter/brown sugar mixture
Bake for an additional 40 minutes

Enjoy!!  Where's smellivision when you need it?

Will edit tomorrow with a picture of a yummy slice all plated up.  Touch it and you die!  Te-he.  Bonkers I tell you BONKERS!

November 23, 2010

You Make My Heart Sing

Just a quick card post today.  This card is a Thank-You card for a male-singer-friend.  So I thought it was an appropriate sentiment.  Crafty Secrets Bird Notes set.

November 22, 2010

November 13, 2010

It's Your Lucky Day!

...because I am going to share a wonderful heirloom recipe with you for Fanny's Heirloom Chewy Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Scotchy Cookies.  Fanny was my Grandma.  She was a great great cook.  I have a lot of her recipes and have tried many of them.  I like to think I got most of my cooking skills from watching her during summer visits to her house.  She raised six children (5 boys and 1 girl, my mother), lived on a farm in central Wisconsin.  She kept a great big garden and canned and stored most of her food for her family.  They lived through the depression and had to get quite industrious to feed themselves.  Some of her best dishes were her pizza's, cinnamon rolls and home-baked breads (not during the depression, these came after the depression in more abundant times.  They had only potatoes and jelly beans during the depression so-told).  She made so many wonderful things its hard to pick just a few.  She was adopted, lived in an orphanage run by nuns for the first few years of her life.  In her adult years she eventually found her birth brothers and sisters who were also adopted and split up.  One sister became a sister.  I guess when you are raised by nuns that's a natural choice.  Anywho, I do digress.  There is so much more I could say about my Grandmother and perhaps I will devote an entire blog post to her.  These cookies are so good I couldn't quite decide what to name them.  Here were my choices:

Liz's FAMOUS Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
Fanny's Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
The Most Bestest Oatmeal Cookie Ever
Heirloom Oaties
Chewy Oatmeal Cookies (original name before I changed it, I can do that you know because its my families SECRET recipe.  It my creative license OKAYEE?)

I finally settled on this name because it captured the essence.  

Now onto the good stuff

Fanny's Heirloom CHEWY Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Scotchy Cookies

1 cup sifted flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (I used 1 1/4 tsp of cake spice which contains both cinnamon and nutmeg and other spices.  To me its easier than measuring out each separately)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup shortening soft (I used butter flavored Crisco, I think it adds something)
1 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups uncooked oats
1 cup raisins

1 cup of chopped pecans
1 pkg of Nestles butterscotch chips

Sift together the dry ingredients. Add shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Stir in oats and raisins.  Drop by heaping tsps onto greased baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven (350) for 12-16 minutes.  Makes approximately 3 1/2 dozen.

TIPS:  I set the timer for 6 minutes and then switch the pans on the shelves in the ovens.  Don't overcook.  12 minutes is about right even though the recipe calls for 12-16 minutes.   The original recipe called for raisins only.  The addition of pecans and the butterscotch chips are mineAll of those items are optional.  You can also use cranraisins but I'd omit the butterscotch chips if you do.

TIP OF THE CENTURY:  When storing your cookies, did you know that if you put 1/4-1/2 piece of bread in your cookie jar with the cookies they will stay as fresh and chewy as first day you baked them?  Try it.  It works
Second TIP OF THE CENTURY:   Use good baking sheets.  Who knew?

BEFORE (See my new cookie sheets from Costco?  I have to tell you...  invest in quality baking sheets (these were only $14.00 for three, one half sheet and a lid was included).  All these years I thought my signature style of BURNT was all my fault.  It was just how I rolled (no pun).  Turns out my cookie sheet were shit.  This batch of cookies .... PERFECTION


Touch them and you die.  ROFL and shhhhh don't tell anyone this recipe because it's SECRET.


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