Monday, October 12, 2015

Pie Night - Judith and Kristy - September 2015

Judith and Kristy kicked off our 2015-2016 season with Pie Night! They hosted at Kristy's model home in Woodland Hills. It was awesome. A fun modern home in a gorgeous mountain like setting. 
The evening was gorgeous and the weather was perfect. 

The table setting was so fun with the wood, red and silver pie tins. We all loved the red chairs for a fun flair of color!

 Simple clean white vases of white daises to dress the center of the table but not take away from it all.

 I loved the place settings.  Such a fun idea that is so simple. And the accent of the pic scoop was a great idea! 

The menus matched the style of their invitations and as we browsed over them we quickly realized it was going to be an evening of "all things PIE". Didn't have to twist my arm!
We dished up or plates of appetizers and headed down to the patio to eat poolside and soak in the gorgeous scenery and weather.
 Margarita Pizza Pie,

 Mini Macaroni Pie
 and Apple Pie Punch were first up and they were all tasty for sure! 

As it started to cool off we headed inside to warm up with our soup course.
Chicken Potpie soup.  
 Next they served a "refresher" course. Um, Creamy Key Lie Pie?! Hello, pie for 3rd course. yes please!
Main was a Shepherds Pie. I was so impressed by their creativity with everything pie. It was really a fun idea for sure. 

As if we weren't stuffed to the brim, there were still 3 pies for dessert AND homemade ice cream!
Strawberry-pecan pie, Simply Peach pie and banana cream pie. Wowza! All so good.
We paused to send a birthday picture to Lisa, wishing her a Happy Birthday letting her know we all had pie to celebrate!
 Such a fun night in a different setting, plus we welcomed three new gals to the group! So fun getting to meet Stephanie, Lindsay and Jenny. Can't wait to get to know them better.
As they rolled us out the door, we took in hand our recipes and the fun pie scoop as our take homes.
I fail for not getting a picture of our fabulous hosts that evening, but they did a great job!

Creamy Key Lime Pie
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 10 2x4in crackers)
2 Tlb sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 Tlb butter, melted
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and vanilla in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto the bottom of a spring form pan.
Bake crust in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes and cool.

Make filling:
6 oz. Lime Jell-O (1 big box)
4 containers key lime pie Yoplait yogurt
16 oz cool whip
½ cup boiling water
Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water.  Stir in yogurt with wire whisk.  Fold in cool whip.  Spoon into crust.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Garnish with fresh limes.

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tlb pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to combine the milk, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.  Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or overnight.
Turn on ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.  The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture.  If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.  Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving

Pie Crust: (makes 2 pies)
2.5 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 egg beaten
¼ cup cold water
1 Tlb vinegar
Mix flour and salt together.  Cut shortening into flour until size of peas.  Mix eggs, water, and vinegar together and add to flour mixture.  Roll and put into pie tins with filling.  Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Simply Peach Pie

5 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tlb butter
2 Tlb sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Stir together flour, 1 cup sugar, and cinnamon and set aside.
Wash, peel, and slice fresh peaches.
Mix together peaches with the combined dry ingredients.
Turn into pastry-lined pan and dot with butter
Cover with top crust, cut slits in it, seal the edges.
Brush top with milk and Sprinkle top with 2 Tlb sugar
Bake 35-45 minutes or until crust in brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust.

Strawberry-Pecan Pie

1.5 cups sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tlb butter

Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Add strawberries and pecans; toss gently
On a lightly floured surface, roll one half of the dough to 1/8 in thick circle; transfer to a 9 in pie plate.  Trim pastry to ½ in beyond rim of plate
Add filling
Dot with butter
Roll remaining dough to a 1/8 in thick circle; cut into ½ in wide strips.  Arrange over filling in a lattice pattern. 
Trim and seal strips to edge of bottom pastry; flute edge.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Apple Pie Punch

1 apple, chopped or sliced
1 quart apple cider
2 cups pear nectar (or juice)
24 ounces ginger ale

Combine apple cider, pear nectar, and ginger ale. Stir well. Place apple slices inside pitcher.
Pour over ice and serve. If you’re wanting to serve it warm, heat all of the liquid ingredients in a pot over a stove on low heat. Simmer for a few minutes until warm, place apple slices in the pot, and serve in mugs.

Shepherd’s Pie
·       For the potatoes:
·       1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
·       1/4 cup half-and-half
·       2 ounces unsalted butter
·       3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
·       1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·       1 egg yolk
·       For the meat filling:
·       2 tablespoons canola oil
·       1 cup chopped onion
·       2 carrots, peeled and diced small
·       2 cloves garlic, minced
·       1 1/2 pounds shredded beef
·       1 teaspoon kosher salt
·       1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·       2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·       2 teaspoons tomato paste
·       1 cup chicken broth
·       1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
·       2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
·       1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
·       1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
·       1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Prepare shredded beef (crockpot on low for 4-6 hrs.) Place the canola oil into a 12-inch sauté pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato pastechicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Add the corn and peas to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Mini Macaroni Pies

* 1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 35)
* 2 cups grated Cheddar, divided
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked), drained and kept hot
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.

In a bowl, combine the crackers, 1 cup of the Cheddar and the melted butter. Divide the mixture among the prepared muffin cups and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides.

In a large bowl, mix the macaroni with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, cold butter pieces, and salt. Stir the milk mixture into the macaroni.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the macaroni mixture into each cracker crust and top with the remaining Cheddar. Bake until the cheese is browned and slightly crispy, about 25 minutes. Allow the pies to cool slightly before unmolding and serving warm.

Classic Margherita Pizza

homemade pizza crust
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves roasted garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup of your favorite pizza or tomato sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, slices into 1/2 inch thick pieces
2 plum tomatoes, slices
handful of fresh basil
fresh ground pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 475 degrees 
Mix the olive oil and chopped garlic together in a small dish. Spread olive oil/garlic mixture on top of crust. Top with Pizza sauce, then the mozzarella cheese slices, then the tomato slices.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling. 
Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil and pepper. Slice pizza and serve immediately.

Banana Cream Pie

Nabisco Nilla Pie Crust

* 1/4 cup cold water
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 bananas, peeled and cut into slices 1/2 inch thick

1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar

The make the filling, pour the cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let sit until the gelatin softens and swells, 5-10 minutes. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until hot to the touch, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch and salt, beating until smooth. Add the hot milk to the yolk mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the softened gelatin and mix well. Return to the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble, 8-9 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. 

Lay 2/3 of the banana slices in a single layer in the bottom of the baked pie shell. Stir the remaining slices into the custard and spoon it evenly over the bananas. Cover with plastic wrap. Prick a few holes in the plastic. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

To make the topping, in a large bowl, combine the cream, vanilla, and sugar. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cooled pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Chicken Potpie Soup

* 1 disk refrigerated pie dough
freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp plus a pinch of poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1  10-ounce package frozen mixed peas and carrots


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll the pie dough onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with pepper and a pinch of poultry seasoning; cut into quarters. Bake until puffed and golden, about 10 minutes

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes, then cook, stirring, 1 more minute. Transfer to a bowl. 

Add the celery, onion, flour, 1/2 tsp salt and the remaining 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning to the pot and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups water, the broth, half-and-half and potatoes; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes. Add the peas and carrots and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer until cooked through, about 1 minute. Divide among bowls and top with the crust.