Monday, February 23, 2015

Cherry Cranberry Pie - Busy Mom's Solutions

 First and foremost let me apologize for my pictures.  I am a busy working mom as you know, and food is my hobby and passion.  That being said, my most top things on my bucket list is photography lessons...
You know, how the food screams out at you when you first see it and you want to run right into your kitchen and duplicate the recipe in the photos...
I know right?  That's my dream.  What you see above, well my friends, that is reality!  *sigh* 
If I didn't have to work, and actually had "light" to work with, maybe I would have time to play around.  Alas, I'm lucky to get everything done on the weeknights and weekends and have half an hour for a breather before work the next morning.

So back to the recipe.  I wanted to make a pie for my hubby because he loves pie and I can't make crust if my life depended on it.  So every once in a while I will surprise that man of mine and make him a pie using a canned pie filling and ready made crust.  What?  It's still homemade, I'm baking it aren't I?

So this weekend I was going to make my man, hmmmmm, you know we should give him a name don't you think?  How about "CW"?  You know I think that fits perfectly.  My husband's name is Wayne and he always wanted to be a cowboy.  Like I always wanted to be able to make crust.  There you go!  Hubby has been officially crowned "CW"!

So back to the recipe again! *grin* ~  I digress terrible don't I?  I know!
I was going to make him a cherry pie and I thought to myself; "Self, why don't you mix it up a few notches.  He loves your homemade cranberry sauce, so why don't you mix the two".  And that my friends is how this recipe came about!  You have sweet and tart.  It's bursting w/ spices, cherry, cranberry, and orange I would say love...

Ready for this very simple recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time:  15 minutes (plus 20 minutes cooling)
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
Yield:  8 pieces

1 pkg (2 sheets) pie crust pastry
1 can cherry pie filling
1 batch homemade cranberry sauce - Ingredients & Recipe Found Here
 1 egg white + 1 tbsp water
*Course white sugar - Optional *

-Prepare your cranberry sauce and set aside to cool.

-Once cool, in a medium bowl add your cranberry sauce.


-Add in your canned cherry pie filling and mix to incorporate.  At this point I would take a wee teaspoon and taste just a smidgen, for you know testing purposes...

-Preheat your oven to 400F.

-Using your favorite pie plate, add your 1 crust and mold gently so the dough goes up the sides.  Now add in that delectable filling.


-Go ahead and add the second pie crust over the top and connect the two by pinching, molding, what ever it is you need to do to guarantee that they will meet together.  I go in with a hope and a prayer!

-So for the grand finale, I like to do an egg wash for you know a glossy sheen and all.  And just because, I can, I add course sugar to just make it look so pretty...

-Bake for 30-35 minutes or till the top is nicely golden.  Let cool at least 4 hours before cutting, trust me!!

See, if I can make a pie, and I'm severely dough challenged, so can you.  It's the filling that makes the pie yes?  

Till next time!!        

Dishin with Didi

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Leek, Garlic & Peppercorn Compound Butter - Dispelling the Myths

Trust me, it's so easy!!  So when I first heard the words; "compound butter", I almost ran away screaming!!  I thought to myself; "another foodie terminology that will involve tons of effort and thousands of pots and pans that I have to clean"!
STOP!!  Come back, I promise, pinkie promise... it's easy!! ♥
I had these beautiful rib eyes, "what oh what is a girl to do with them"?  Lovingly grill these babies and add that amazing compound butter.  That my friends is; LOVE IN A BITE!

What is compound butter you ask?  Aha!!  Well compound butter is a stick (or two) of butter that you  have flavored with whatever herbs, spices, zests you want to put in there.  It's simply a stick of butter that you have room temp softened and then add your favorite flavors too.  Then, once mixed, you place the ingredient softened butter onto a piece of wax paper and shape into a log.  Wrap, place back into the refrigerator and once hardened again, you simply slice off a piece (hunk if you may) and place directly on your protein or veggie of choice.  

 See, I told you it was easy!!  Not only is it easy, it's absolutely worth the minimal effort you take into making it.  Stored in the refrigerator, you can enhance any protein or veggie dish in a heartbeat!!  Plus you can add whatever ingredients you want to it to make it your own. Think lemon zest w/ some fresh parsley and garlic over nice pork chops...
Or say some fresh mint/dill with garlic and peppercorns & lemon zest over a nice piece of salmon.  Right? 
I know!! All for very little calories, but bursting with flavor!

Ready for this amazingly simple recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield:  1 log of compound butter

1cup leeks sliced, (I used the greens)
1 tbs butter
1 tbsp peppercorns, crushed
2 medium cloves garlic, diced fine
1/8 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted better, softened at room temp - (if you are using salted butter, omit the salt above)

- Slice your leeks and set aside, gather the rest of your ingredients. Prep as necessary, dice your garlic, crush your peppercorns.

-In a saute pan, add your 1 tbsp of butter and once melted, add your leeks till they are nicely softened but not browned.  Take off heat and cool. 

-Once your leeks are cooled, in a medium bowl add your butter, garlic and spices.  

-Finally add your leeks and stir to thoroughly incorporate.

-Taking a piece of wax paper, lay on flat surface.  I also like to add a piece of plastic wrap over the wax paper.  It just makes for easier peeling in my opinion.  What? 
Add your now compound butter onto the edge of your wax paper and shape into a vertical log.  You don't have to be precise.

Doesn't that look good?  I know!

-Taking the edge of the wax paper, roll over the log and continue rolling until the log is shaped and adjust with fingers so it's uniform if needed.

 -Place in refrigerator for about 1 hour till nice and firm.  Unwrap, slice and enjoy the goodness.


See I told you it was easy!  You can store this in a plastic container in the refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks, if it even lasts that long, not in my house!
I hope you make this, you will be as addicted to compound butter as my family, friends and I are as well.

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi