Mixed Berry Hand Pies

I made these over the weekend because I had some frozen berries to get rid of.  My first batch was an epic FAIL.  They looked terrible and all of the filling ran out of them – but they tasted good.  These take some serious patience and they’re a little tedious.  BUT, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be good to go.

Mmm, pastry.

They are cute and little and taste like pie – but honestly, a pie probably would have been easier to make.

I took the recipe from here.  She’s a cute little blogger to check-out if you’re looking to waste some time.  I feel like we could be friends – minus the RUN part.  I’m not big on running.

Mixed Berry Hand Pies

 

Photo taken from http://www.eatliverun.com/mixed-berry-hand-pies/

Ingredients

1 box of frozen puff pastry, defrosted in fridge
1 16oz bag of frozen mixed frozen berries
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar + more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of cold water
1 egg
1 tablespoon of warm water

Preparation Instructions

Whisk together the cold water and the cornstarch in a small bowl until dissolved.  Set aside.

Combine the berries, lemon juice and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium-high.  Once the berries have burst and the mixture has started to simmer, slowly add the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring constanting and bring the mixture to a boil.  Continue to boil until it thickens – about 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool while you prepare the pastry.

Preheat the over to 375F.

Working with once piece of puff pastry at a time, roll out, smoothing the edges and slice into 6 equal sized squares.  Place the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Pleace 1-2 tablespoons of the berry mixture onto half of the pastry.  Carefully fold the pastry over and pinch all of the edges together well.  Using a knife, make 3 small slits across the top.

Whisk together the egg and the water and brush on each pie.  Sprinkle sugar over each.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Tips: don’t try and put too much filling in, it will only run out when it bakes.  The pinching is crucial – you really need to get the pastry to stick together and hold the filling in.  Also, the cuts in the top are important – use a really sharp knife.

Success!

I am feelin’ good – I just had a really good, successful lunch break. 

First – I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious my lunch was – I threw it together at the last minute this morning and I didn’t have high hopes.  I had a couple of rye crispbreads spread with chive flavored cream cheese, topped with cucumber and deli roasted chicken.  Gosh, it was awesome.  Just thought I’d share.
And yes, I’ll be starving in 20 minutes.

More importantly – I successfully completed a task that I have been putting off and dreading for the last couple of weeks.  This coming weekend I’m headed to Hamilton to celebrate my university-friend Heather’s 30th birthday – ladies only, limo, wine tours, fun.  I have to come up with a gift.  I HATE buying gifts, I hate shopping for other people and I am terrible at it.  BUT – I think I might have gotten it right this time. 
Maybe. 
I guess I’ll never really know. 
But I’m happy, so who cares.
If someone gave me this gift, I’d be stoked.

I went to Chapters.  GOD, I love that place.  I bought her the following:

My Future Listography by Chronicle Books: for those who like to write lists.  I am one of those people.  Heather is one of those people.  We are the coolest people I know.

Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets by Lisa Quinn: I haven’t read this book, but it’s on my list.  It looks funny.  Heather and I are both a little particular about how we keep our houses.  We are the cleanest people I know (in a fun, OCD kind of way).

I threw this is for good measure:

Made by Knock Knock.  Heather’s getting married, these will come in handy.  After they are married of course, when all women start to show their true colors. 
I’m just saying.

The first two are on my wish list.  Yep, I have a list for my wishes.  There is probably a spot in the Listography book for wishes.  I’m totally going to buy it.  Upgraded from WISH to NEED.  I’m going back tomorrow.

Smores Rice Krispie Squares

I whipped these puppies up on Saturday evening for some last minute company.  They took me about 15 minutes, when I served them they were still warm – so gooey and amazing.

They weren’t nearly as good the next day.  Advice: eat these in one sitting.   Just do it and don’t think about it.  Okay?
They’re practically healthy, anyway – marshmallows are fat free.

 

Smores Rice Krispie Squares

pic from Tasty Kitchen http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/se28099more-rice-krispie-squares/

Ingredients

3 cups mini marshmallows
1 heaping tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 cups Rice Kripies cereal
1 cup graham crackers broken into coarse pieces
1/2 – 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips (to your liking)

Preparation Instructions

Butter and 8 x8 square baking dish.  In a medium sized saucepan, heat the butter, marshamallows and vanilla over medium heat, stirring regularly, until fully melted.  Add the rice krispies and stir to combine.  Add the graham cracker chunks and the chocolate chips, stir to combine.  Press the mixture into the buttered dish and cool.  Yield: 9 medium- sized squares.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I love to bake.  If I didn’t have to eat the fruits of my labour almost entirely myself, I’d try a new recipe everyday.  C is not like me and isn’t that big of an eater – he isn’t constantly thinking about what he is going to consume next.   This, of course, is a good thing because we’d both be 400 pounds.  But, it’s frustrating because he doesn’t get as excited as I do about the new things that I make.  (Yes, I get downright excited.)  He will try things straight out of the oven and is always impressed, but then he forgets it is there.  The Bud and I can only eat so much.

You are probably all thinking that he’s lying – that my baking is actually terrible and that’s why he ‘forgets’.  It’s possible.  But really, I think he truly just forgets.  He’s usually pretty honest.   Also, he has the worst memory in the world.  And – well, you know how I feel about my own baking.  It’s not usually bad.  I have a gift.

I make these often and they are one of my favorites – blueberry and lemon is such an awesome combination.  The lemon butter topping is optional – I usually add it if I am taking the muffins somewhere.  If it’s just for us (well, me) to eat, I skip the calories.

Make them.  This weekend.  You won’t be sorry.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Rind of 1 lemon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For lemon butter topping:
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Preparation Instructions

For muffins: mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon rind in a large bowl.  Beat egg in a medium bowl; add milk and butter.  Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed (batter will be lumpy).  Stir in blueberries.  Fill muffin pans and bake at 375F for 20 minutes.  Yield: 12

For topping: combine melted butter and lemon juice.  Measure sugar in a separate dish.  Dunk tops of slightly cooled muffins into the lemon butter and then the sugar.

My FAVORITE Thing…

Every year for Lent, I give up my most favorite thing in the world: potato chips.  I know, I am my own hero.  Jesus MUST love me for this selfless act.

This year, @angrycelery sent me this:

I love it.  And for real, if any of my friends give up chips permanently, we’re totally over.

Yesterday I was reminded of something from my childhood that I miss very, very much.  Well, I didn’t really need to be reminded because I think of them often.  They are:

President’s Choice Ruffled Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips

They were THE BEST.  They came in a yellow and white bag and they were so heavily seasoned that they caused your eyes and mouth to water as soon as you opened the bag.  My mouth is watering right now.  I think they may have even made your tongue bleed if you ate too many.  Sometimes we ate them with french onion dip and it killed the burn. Not the homemade kind, I didn’t know about it then.  Which is really too bad, because it would have been, um, amazing.

Something happened and they stopped making them.  I don’t know WHY because between my friends and I (specifically @littlebreezer), we easily made it worth their while to continue production.  We were known to walk down to Valu-Mart and buy a large bag each and then sit and watch a movie and eat them.  We were known to do this daily.  I was known to be slightly overweight.

We weren’t the only fans – my male equivalent B-Rad remembers and loved them too.  We speak of them often.

Dear Galen Weston,

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
Please bring them back.

A Concerned Citizen

Knock Knock

This is not a joke.

I just wanted to share my love for this little line of products.  There are few things in life that I love more than being organized and I go to great lengths to have this order in my life.  If I am organized – I feel in control and I am happy.  If I am unorganized, I am a ridiculous mess.  Nobody wants that.

I write lists, I make meal plans, I outline my work wardrobe for the week, I have a particular spot for almost every single thing that I own.

I’m a fun girl, I swear.

Some of these things would help me, greatly.

http://www.knockknock.biz/

Specifically:

So, pretty much the whole collection.

It’s a fun website to browse.  The stuff is cute and funny and useful.  And I love it.  And I love lists.  And organizing.  And planning.

Classic Chocolate Pudding (Plus 4 Flavor Variations)

This was heavenly.  Bill Cosby should have been in my kitchen to taste test this.  Jello has got NOTHING on me.
I let the Bud lick the spoon when I was finished making it and he said “I need more, Mama”.
C had thirds.

The recipe that I came across offered 4 different flavor variations and I probably won’t rest until I’ve tried them all.

Classic Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preparation Instructions

Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium-sized heatproof bowl and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together cream, milk and egg yolks; add to saucepan.
Whisking constantly, cook over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens and is bubbling, 8 to 12 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking, 1 minute.
Remove from heat and pour the mixture through the sieve and into the bowl.  Stir in butter and vanilla until combined.
Press plastic wrap directly against surface of pudding to prevent skin from forming and refrigerate for 3 hours (or up to 3 days).  To serve, whisk until smooth and divide among bowls.  Serves 4.

Variations:

    • Classic Vanilla: omit cocoa, Increase vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon.
    • Coffee: omit cocoa, add 3 tablespoons of instant espresso powder along with the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
    • Butterscotch: omit cocoa, replace granulated sugar with 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar in the first step.
    • Lemon: omit cocoa and vanilla, add 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest along with the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into the chilled pudding before serving.

My Weekend Food Diary

Tonight when I went for my semi-regular evening walk my thighs rubbed together.  I’d like to share why:

French Onion Chip Dip.
Wine.
Lemon Blueberry Muffins.
Chip Dip.
Wine.
Blueberry Monday Cake.
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Drumsticks.
HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE PUDDING. Highlight.

I’m not doing so well with the sugar-free diet.  Can you tell?

My weekend was pretty great. 

I’m having salad for lunch everyday this week.  And exercising.  Well, maybe.

I’ll post some recipes this week!

French Onion Dip

This blog is a little lame without picture proof that I am a domestic goddess but hopefully that will change soon.  I have become less discreet with dropping hints to C that I’d like a camera.  Last night he was working on the laptop went upstairs to get a drink – I loaded the deets on the camera that I’d like onto the screen for him.  He rolled his eyes.

My neighbour shared this recipe with me and it’s one of those things that I can’t stop thinking about.  I’d like to eat it all day, everyday.  It’s the easiest thing in the world to make and the recipe is no secret…but it’s so, so delicious.

I told C I’d make it for him this weekend, it’s his birthday.  He doesn’t really care and really, I’m making it for me.  I will be approximately 5 pounds of chip dip heavier come Monday morning…and I don’t even care.  It’ll be worth it.  I’m not eating sugar and this means I can eat anything else that I want.

The Bud is going to be excited too – it’s his favorite.  ‘Chips – a – dip’.

I guess it’s good for veggies too – if you’re THAT kind of person.

I CAN’T WAIT TO GO HOME AND EAT THIS FOR DINNER.

French Onion Dip

Ingredients

1 bar of cream cheese, softened (either at room temperature or give it 30 seconds in the microwave)
1 tub of sour cream
1 package of french onion soup mix

You can use light cream cheese and sour cream if you wish.

Preparation Instructions

Add all ingredients into a bowl – my neighbour says she picks out a lot of the dehydrated onion chunks and tosses them – whatever you like.  Mix all the ingredients together using a handheld mixer, working the lumps out.  Shove it in your face.

Glassybaby

I first admired these through a link from the Pioneer Woman’s website – I think I’ve already mentioned she’s my personal hero.   I think they are just beautiful and story behind them is pretty cool too.

Dear Friends who-find-themselves-travelling-to-Seattle-or-to-New-York-where-there-are-Glassybaby-stores,

Please inform me of your travel plans and I will hand over my pick-up list.  I spent an entire afternoon at work making my selections.  I may need to trim it down because as it stands right now I’ll need to provide you with over $600 cash and C says this is unreasonable.  He’s so cheap sometimes.

www.glassybaby.com

Votive, vase, pencil holder or…

I don’t even like ice-cream, but I’d eat it out of that!

I’ll be drinking wine out of them.  Just saying.