Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mango Lime Pie



I love people watching at the airport.  No where in the whole world can you go to one place and find individuals from all walks of life just trying to get from one place to another.  The airport is like a whole other world.  Grown people sleep on the floor and can turn from sugar sweet to all out nutters with a long delay.  A place where you can down liquid courage at 9 AM and eat junk all day long.

At O'Hare in Chicago, hands down, the best place to eat is Frontera, a Rick Bayless restaurant.  It takes forever to get your torta, but if you have the extra time it is well worth the wait.  I was perusing his website to try and find a recipe for these tasty tortas and, well, had to check out the dessert section, of course.  This recipe for lime pie with mangos on top turned out to be the perfect choice for Dave's birthday a couple weeks ago.  It's a delicious summer pie that uses a Graham cracker crust so you don't have to battle pie crust.  Make sure you use a really soft ripe mango, they have the best flavor.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Rose Flower Water Jam


I am so excited, I finally made my first batch of jam.  I have been a total chicken about making jam, thinking that it would take a ton of time and effort and money.  I was wrong on all accounts.  I was able to cook and can the jam all in about an hour.  (I mixed the fruit and sugar the night before).  I actually made it before work.

I used this recipe from Food in Jars for small batch Strawberry Rhubarb Rose Flower Water jam.  The recipe only required a pound of rhubarb and a pound of strawberries and it only made four 1/2 pints of jam.  And the rosewater!  I was so surprised at what it added to the jam.  I was able to find the rosewater in the ethnic food asile at my grocery store.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rhubarb Crisp



I was recently the recipient of someone else's rhubarb bounty.  My dad's co-worker apparently has a ton of rhubarb which he graciously shared with my parents, who graciously shared it with me.  What is one to do with well over 8 cups of fresh rhubarb?  Well, I made a crisp.

I used to think that crisps and crumbles were pretty lame and boring.  Seriously, look at the above photo, are you inspired by that crisp.  No.  They look...rustic, humble, BORING.  In fact, they are actually fantastic.  All of the flavor of a pie, half the work.  No fighting with pie crust, serve it with a spoon, perfect.  And I really haven't met a soul who doesn't like a fresh fruit crumble.

Rhubarb Crisp


Base
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dry pancake mix (like Bisquick)
4 cups fresh rhubarb, finely chopped
splash of lemon juice

Combine pancake mix and sugar.  Add lemon juice and rhubarb.  Toss lightly.  Put mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch square pan.

Topping
1 1/2 cup pancake mix
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg
1/2 cup melted butter

In a small bowl, combine pancake mix and sugar.  Add in egg and melted butter and beat to combine.  The topping will have the consistency of a thick cake batter.  Spread over the top of the rhubarb mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and the rhubarb is bubbling.

It is especially delightful served with some vanilla bean ice cream.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Emily!



Happy Birthday to my wonderful, amazing baby sister.  You are an incredible woman and I am lucky to have you in my family.  I am so glad that my nephew is getting a baby sister, because really, a little sister is the best gift I have ever gotten.



This ruffle cake is really pretty easy.  I made a 6 inch cake 3 layers high.  A box of cake mix will make a 3 layer 6 inch cake.  To make the ruffled sides, use a Wilton #104 tip and place the tip perpendicular to the cake with the fat end of the tip toward the cake.  The trickiest bit is keeping your lines straight.  As you can see, I did not do a killer job at that :)  I put a crumb coat on the cake, but it wasn't necessary.  The ribbon frosting takes a lot of icing, so with the crumb coat there was too much frosting and I had to make more than my usual one batch of icing.  The writing was done in a Wilton #3 tip and the swirls for the boarder were done with a Wilton #18 tip.  I used a buttercream that was part shortening because I wanted the frosting to hold up on a two hour car ride, plus is makes the piping a bit crisper.  I prefer the flavor of straight butter buttercream, so if you are keeping it local and making it on a cool day that is what I would recommend.

Buttercream

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup butter
2 pound bag powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4-6 tablespoons water (to thin)


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