Monday, July 20, 2009

Best Ever Pie Crust

I've only tried a couple of pie crust recipe in the past, but when I found this one on my mom's blog last year, I've never gone searching again! It is soooo easy and soooo forgiving that it's fool proof. When it's baked, the crust is flaky and delicious! Plus it can be used for any sweet or savory dish! Score!

Flakiest Pie Crust

Yield: 2 pie crusts (or 1 double crust)

2c flour
1c shortening (I use all vegetable)
1 tsp salt
1Tbsp sugar

for the slurry:
1/3c flour
1/2c water

In a large bowl, cut shortening into flour and salt with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (about the size of small peas). Combine the 1/3c water and 1/2c flour to make a slurry. Pour over crumbled shortening mixture and mix till just combined. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten into a small disc.

Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set. This will make rolling it out much easier. If you don't need a double crust, you can freeze one half of the dough and use it later (or just half the recipe!).
When ready to use the crust, roll out each half on a heavily floured surface with a floured rolling pin. If it doesn't go well the first time, it's okay. Just crumple it back into a ball and try again. It's VERY forgiving.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Strawberry Lemonade

My husband L-O-V-E-S strawberry lemonade, especially from our favorite Mexican restaurant, and since I had some extra strawberry mush from making jam, I figured I would whip some up. It was delicious! The inspiration recipe came from, but I didn't measure anything. This is great because it allows you to play with the amounts and make it just right for you and your family!

Strawberry Lemonade

Fresh or frozen strawberries
lemonade (can be homemade, reconstituted, etc.)

Puree strawberries in a blender or food processor until desired consistency (I like mine to be completely liquified, but some people like it chunkier). Add sugar (to taste) to strawberries until the mixture is sweet. Optional: Strain strawberry mixture to remove strawberry seeds. (I didn't do this, but would have liked it better this way) Add strawberry mixture to a pitcher of lemonade and stir until combined -or- add desired amount of strawberry mixture to a glass of lemonade and stir until combined. If desired, more sugar may be added if the lemonade is too tart.

Strawberry Sorbet

Sorry, no picture on this one but it was delicious! I bought a flat of strawberries from a local farm and had strawberries coming out of my ears so I decided to give this recipe a twirl. Thanks to Mallory for letting me borrow her ice cream maker and Our Best Bites for the recipe! I especially liked the deep red color that fresh, ripe strawberries added to this frozen treat!

Strawberry Sorbet

1 lb. strawberries, washed, hulled, and chopped
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Combine sugar with chopped strawberries and stir until sugar begins to dissolve. Allow to stand for about an hour, stirring frequently. Add lemon juice and salt. Blend strawberries in your blender and then freeze according to your ice cream manufacturer's instructions. Place in a freezer-safe container and freeze 1-2 additonal hours. Scoop it up and enjoy!

Cinnamon Stack Biscuits

These wannabe cinnamon rolls are so easy to throw together. So easy in fact that they made a perfect stress-free birthday breakfast at my house last month. I got the recipe from my mom at Anissa's Kitchen. I promise they won't disappoint your tastebuds- although they could be disappointing for your waistline! :)

Cinnamon Stack Biscuits

2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening

Combine all of the dry ingredients, then cut in shortening with a pastry cutter until mixed well and slightly crumbly.
Then, slowly stir in:

2/3 cup milk

When dough begins to clump, knead with hands for about 30 seconds, or until dough forms a ball. Flour your surface to prevent sticking, and roll out your dough in a rectangle. Cut off edges to make perfectly straight sides of your rectangle.
Next, apply the filling:

3/4 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 HEAPING Tbs. cinnamon

Spread filling evenly to each edge of the rectangle. Cut rectangle from left to right (long-ways) into 5 strips and stack directly on top of one another, so you have a 5-layer single stack.
Cut into 12 equal pieces and flip each individual piece into a cupcake tin. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 400. While they are in the oven, make icing:

1 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs. water

Mix together. It should be fairly thick.
Drizzle each biscuit with icing while still warm to enable it to melt. Serve and enjoy!
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