November 25, 2010

Raspberry Chiffon Pie

I made two raspberry chiffon pies today to bring to Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom's house.  She requested one, but my brother is flying in from Seattle and it's one of his favorites (and my all-time favorite), so I thought it was safer to make two :)

It's a bit tedious to make, with several steps, but it's so worth it.  I don't remember where my version of the recipe originated.  I looked online just now and was surprised at how many versions exist. 

Raspberry Chiffon Pie

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes for pie crust

Ingredients (makes 1 pie)
  • one pie crust (I recommend my grandma's pie crust recipe)
  • 2 1/2 cups raspberries (12oz package, if using frozen)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (scant)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Bake pie crust unfilled for 8-10 minutes at 475 degrees. Then cool on wire rack.
  • If using frozen berries, defrost berries in the microwave or overnight in the fridge.
  • In a large bowl, add raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice, then mash with a potato masher. Let berry mixture stand 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan stir together 1/4 cup sugar, water and the gelatin over medium heat. Stir occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes, until sugar and gelatin dissolve. Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Stir cooled gelatin mixture into the raspberry mixture. Then chill to the consistency of corn syrup, stirring occasionally. Remove from refrigerator.
  • Immediately begin beating the egg whites, with a whisk attachment, until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating till stiff peaks forms. Then fold stiff-beaten egg whites into raspberry mixture.
  • Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form and then fold into raspberry mixture.
  • Chill till mixture mounds when spooned. Pile mixture into baked pastry shell. Chill pie 8 hours or until firm.
Recipe Notes
  • I've made this pie many times now and have found it's not critical to follow the directions exactly...soft peaks, stiff peaks, it always tastes the same no matter how carefully prepared - delicious!
  • This recipe uses raw egg whites - use caution in consuming raw eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness.
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November 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

This is one of my favorites but until today I had never made them.  Peanut Butter Blossoms are probably the more traditional peanut butter Christmas cookie but I don't like chocolate, so I prefer Reese's peanut butter cups over Hershey kisses, where peanut butter masks the chocolate taste :)

The recipe made exactly 40 cookies, as it said it would, however the deceptive people at Reese's did not include 40 peanut butter cups in the bag I purchased (despite the nutrition label stating the bag contained 40).  So I got to try a few cookies sans peanut butter cup and they were really, really good.  In fact, I think I prefer the plain peanut butter cookie.  However, that's probably only because I don't like chocolate.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2.Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

3.Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well.

4.Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

5.Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

After the pan cooled a bit (about 2 minutes), I put the pan in the freezer to solidfy the chocolate.

After 10 minutes in the freezer, the cookies can easily be removed from the pan.  I used a paring knife to lift each cookie.

November 14, 2010


Thumbprints are definitely a family favorite.  I've never had them with jelly as the original recipe calls for, only with frosting which my family dyed red and green each Christmas season.  I've had several this evening, and they are delicious straight from the freezer :)

The recipe is on page 124 of my 1998 version of the "Betty Crocker New Cookbook."  However, I also found the online version below of the same recipe.  I made a double batch, and wish I had quadrupled it because it would have easily fit in my standard-size stand mixer.

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts

1.Heat oven to 350ºF.

2.Mix brown sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and egg yolk in medium bowl. Stir in flour and salt until dough holds together.

3.Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Beat egg white slightly. Dip each ball into egg white. Roll in nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press thumb deeply in center of each.

4.Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Fill thumbprints with frosting.


After making gingersnaps yesterday, I've decided they're much easier and just as delicious as gingerbread men.  So this will be on my holiday baking list going forward in lieu of gingerbread men...until I have kids, then I may revert back :)

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Additional sugar

1.In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2.Roll into 1-in. balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks.

November 07, 2010

Chunky Cranberry Sauce

I used a recipe from the November 2010 issue of Food and Wine for my first attempt at cranberry sauce.  The cranberries I bought were in 12 oz bags, so I made 1 1/2 times the recipe.  I'm not sure if that's the reason, but the sauce didn't seem "jammy" until it had been cooking for 45 minutes.  I'd definitely make this recipe again.

1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 cup sugar

1.In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries with the apple juice and sugar. Simmer over low heat until the berries burst and the sauce is jammy, about 20 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a heatproof bowl, let cool, then refrigerate until chilled.

Roasted Beets 'n' Sweets

Chris and I both loved this recipe and he doesn't even like beets!

6 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 large sweet onion, chopped

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2.In a bowl, toss the beets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

3.Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture.

4.Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.

November 06, 2010

Pear-Plum Pie

This recipe comes from the November 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens and is only my second attempt at making a fruit pie.  I loved the combination of pears and plums but a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon seemed to be a bit too much.  I found this tip regarding how to shred lemon peel to be very helpful!

2 unbaked pie crusts (I used my Grandma's recipe)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 cupes cored and coarsely chopped pears
2 cups chopped plums
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out pastry on a floured work surface to a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate without stretching.  Trim pastry even with the rim.

In a small bowl combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon peel, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  In a large bowl, combine pears and plums.  Add lemon juice and vanilla.  Add sugar mixture; toss to coat.  Transfer into pie plate.

Roll remaining pastry into a 12-inch circle.  Place on filling, gently molding over the fruit.  Trim to a 1/2 inch beyond the edge of pie plate.  Fold top pastry under the bottom pastry and crimp edges as desired.  Cut 4 smalls slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.  Brush beaten egg onto pastry.  Place pie on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, covering edge of crust with foil, if necessary, to prevent overbrowning.  Cool on wire rack.

November 01, 2010

Butternut Squash Risotto

Tonight we had this risotto and brussels sprouts for dinner.  Oh, and the meat man (Chris) insisted on making chicken to go with it.  We both thought the risotto was excellent, but it probably would have been even better had Chris not drank the white wine I had purchased for this recipe.  He did so at 2am, when he couldn't sleep last night, so I didn't realize it was gone until I reached the step in the recipe where it was to be I used water instead :(

6-8 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 4 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, and finely diced
2 cups arborio rice (can substitute medium grained white rice, but arborio is preferred)
1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped chives or garlic chives

1. Heat broth in medium sized saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan; add onion and butternut squash. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

2 Add rice to onion and squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly until wine has been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. Add a few ladles of broth, just enough to barely cover rice. Cook over medium heat until broth has been absorbed. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3 During the last minutes of cooking, add remaining tablespoon of butter, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and chives. At this point the rice should have a creamy consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve with remaining grated Parmesan.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Tonight was my first time trying brussels sprouts and I really like them roasted.  Chris often eats frozen brussels sprouts and commented on how much smaller the CSA version are.


Recipe from -

1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed and halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a large resealable plastic bag, add brussels sprouts, oil, salt and pepper.  Shake to coat.  Pour onto baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

Shake the pan, then return to the oven.  Check and shake every 5 minutes until tender and browned (about 15-20 minutes total)
Add additional salt if desired and serve immediately.