Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lemon Angel Pie

Here's one of my favorite pies!  It's actually a recipe from two different cookbooks.  The crust is from "Betty's Pies", a yummy pie shop in Minnesota that we've been to, and the filling is from the "Lion House Desserts" cookbook. 

Lemon Angel Pie


2 large egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tarter
1/2 c. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

Beat egg whites until frothy.  Add cream of tarter.  Beat until stiff peaks form using electric mixer on high speed.  Gradually add sugar, 2 tbsp. at a time until one half cup has been added.  Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Grease 10-inch pie pan and spread meringue on bottom and up sides of pie pan using a rubber spatula.

Place on bottom rack in oven and bake at 275 degrees for one hour.  Turn off oven, open door ajar and let meringue cool in the oven.  Fill with desired filling.


1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tsp. butter

1 c. vanilla chips
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/2 c. whipped cream, sweetened with a little sugar
1 tbsp. toasted almonds

Put water and 2 tbsp. sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil.  In a large bowl, mix egg, cornstarch, 1 tbsp. sugar, and lemon juice.  Slowly add hot water to egg mixture in bowl, then pour entire mixture back into pan.  heat until thickened, stirring often.  Remove from heat and add zest of lemon and butter.  Stir until mixed and cool.

Pour two-thirds of filling in bowl.  Add vanilla chips to the filling remaining in pan.  Stir until chips are melted.  Place cream cheese in bowl.  Add filling with vanilla chips to cream cheese and beat together.  Spread this mixture in bottom of pie shell.  Spread remaining two-thirds of lemon filling on top.  Chill two hours.

Top with whipped cream and garnish with toasted almonds.

(Side note: The last time we made it, we made extra of the tart lemon filling afterwards to add a little extra tartness. Yum.)

Quick and Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

I know I'm a little late, but I figured I should get this posted so I can use it the next time I randomly have a hankering for a Thanksgiving dish.  When we were preparing the dishes for Thanksgiving this year, I forgot all about the sweet potatoes until it was too late to bake them.  I decided to mix a few recipes together and made a stove top sweet potato casserole.  And if I may say, there were some at the Thanksgiving feast who don't normally like sweet potatoes and had second helpings.  So if you're looking for a quick and delicious sweet potato dish at your... next Thanksgiving meal, try this one.

Quick and Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

3-4 large sweet potatoes
3-4 tbsp. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. pecans

Peel sweet potatoes and microwave on a plate with a little water for 5-8 minutes until soft when stuck with a fork.  When done, chop roughly.  Melt butter and sugar in dutch oven skillet.  Toss pecans in and stir on med/low heat until coated and starting to caramelize (about 3-5 minutes).  Toss in sweet potatoes and stir with spatula until well coated.  Sprinkle cinnamon to coat and continue to sauté potatoes around until ingredients are mixed in.  Sweet potatoes will mash slightly.  Pour into a glass baking dish and throw a few small marshmallows on the top (I mostly put them on because you can’t have Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes oozing with extra sugar).  I wanted to make sure everything stayed moist so I decided to shave tiny pieces of butter off of the stick and distribute them across the potatoes. Stick in oven on broil until marshmallows are slightly browned and melty.  (Do you like that word?)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dressing

Last month I helped make dinner for our Relief Society.  This was the salad I made.  I got the idea from The Sister's Cafe.  So many people complimented this salad, especially the dressing.  The recipe for the dressing makes a lot!  I doubled it and it made 8 cups of dressing.  I fed 40 women on about 2 cups of dressing.  So there was plenty left over to pass out and take home (which made many women happy).  The amounts I have here are not doubled, so it will make about 4 cups of dressing.

Apple Cinnamon Salad
adapted from: The Sister's Cafe

Your choice of Mixed Greens (I used Romaine Lettuce and a Spring Mix from Costco)
Braeburn apples
Feta Cheese
Sweet Balsamic Dressing (see below)

Sweet Balsamic Dressing

1 1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dry mustard
2/3 c. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. some variety of a sweet onion, chopped
2 c. canola oil
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds

In a blender, blend the sugar, salt, dry mustard, balsamic vinegar and onion until it is smooth.  Add the oil and blend it until it is thick.  Stir in the poppy seeds.  Serve it over the salad.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Garlic Rosemary Turkey

Do you eat turkey or ham at Christmas?  This was the recipe I used for our Thanksgiving turkey this year and even though that holiday has come and gone, I thought I'd post it, just in case you are a turkey eater at Christmas.  I tweaked this recipe from The Sister's Cafe and thought it had a great flavor.  The rosemary was delicious!  It got rave reviews from my family as well.  Our turkey was a 25 pound bird, so if yours isn't as big, you may not need all that butter mixture.  

Rosemary Garlic Turkey
adapted from: The Sister's Cafe

1/2 c. butter, softened
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. dried rosemary (or use fresh)
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 onion, cut into fourths
4 celery stalks

In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Thaw your turkey according to the package directions.  Remove all the nasty stuff that you are supposed to remove.  Loosen the skin from the turkey by shoving your fingers in between the turkey and the skin.  Do this all around the breast area, as well as the top of the thighs.  Take the butter rub in your hand and rub it all around the top of the turkey (underneath the skin).  Rub butter in the cavity of the bird as well.  In fact, I just went ahead and rubbed that turkey all over with the butter.
When the turkey is good and buttered, cook it.  I cooked my turkey in a bag.  I followed the directions on the bag for how long to cook the turkey and at what temperature.  The only thing I did differently was that I followed my mother-in-law's advice and placed the turkey on top of the celery stalks and onion slices, inside the bag.  One tip that I have is to pay close attention to the temperature of your bird while it is cooking.  It cooked much faster in the bag than we expected and so, by the time we realized and then finished up the meal preparations, the turkey was a little over cooked.  It's OK though.  My family likes it that way so that we aren't nervous the whole time we are eating that we are going to end up with salmonella.  We're a little fanatical about our poultry.   Happy Thanksgiving! (or Merry Christmas!)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Easy Whipped Cream Truffles

I am calling these candies truffles, for lack of a better word.  They are kind of truffle-y, kind of cookie-ish, maybe somewhere in between.  I have a very distinct memory of my mom making these for a Tupperware party she was hosting, when I was a small child.  Watching her use a candy bar and a carton of cool whip (it was probably a splurge for our tight budget) and knowing that it wasn't for us, was torturous.  Ever since, they have been magical.  So, I splurged on a large Symphony candy bar, vanilla wafers and a carton of cool whip, and this time, I ate as many as I wanted and even shared a few with the kids.  There are only three ingredients, so you know this is going to be easy.

Easy Whipped Cream Truffles  
from: Lynne'

1 large chocolate candy bar (I got the biggest I could find)
1 carton of cool whip
2 c. vanilla wafers, crushed (you may need a few more, but that'll probably be enough)

In a microwave safe bowl, melt your chocolate.  I did this by cooking it 30 seconds at a time and stirring in between.  Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes.  I waited about 10 minutes and it was still slightly warm, but very stir-able.  If it is too warm it will melt your cool whip.  Add the entire carton of cool whip to the chocolate and stir it well.  When you do this, the coldness of the cool whip will start to harden up the chocolate.  Just keep stirring until it is mixed in well, knowing that you will end up with some chocolate flecks.
Put your crushed vanilla wafers in a bowl and drop the chocolate/whipped cream mixture by teaspoon full into the wafers, stirring gently to coat the entire ball.  You can make these into pretty balls if you want, I just dropped mine in the crushed cookies.  Place them onto a cookie sheet, lined with wax paper and freeze 1-2 hours, or until you are ready to serve them.  Feel free to get creative with these.  I added coconut to a portion of them, and that was good.  You could also try crushed Oreos or nuts instead of vanilla wafers.