Holiday Pies – Visually Beautiful, Deliciously Delightful!!!

I’ve never been a baker.  I LOVE to cook though, and reading cookbooks at night is something I’ve done for fun 🙂  Back when our oldest was little, and I had more time to venture out, we would go to a beautiful bookstore, and he’d play while I thumbed through French Cookbooks – even the memory of that is so blissful!

9493d1420f4f5d909a2eb3b9d21a8020

But baking?  It’s just not something that comes natural to me at all, but  I force myself to do it anyway 🙂 , and along the way I’ve found some tricks that have made it a lot easier than I thought baking would be.

tumblr_n5wefestLo1skg97to1_500

Every year over the holidays I always get the chance to make something to bring to our family feasts.   Since I’m usually the youngest woman there and at the bottom of the family female totem pole 😀 for years I’ve only been allowed to bring the Green Bean Casserole LOL (you know… the meal thats like super easy and if you mess up you’re an idiot – kind of dish)!  But along with that, I’ve also been allowed to bring a dessert pie each year.  And THIS year, this past Thanksgiving, lo and behold I got the privilege of being in charge of ALL the dessert pies, and wow was it a lot of fun!  And a serious privilege I didn’t take lightly.

My older son also loves cooking, and so he’s kind of come with me on this journey of trying to become a baker 🙂  He and I have perfected our own Cherry Pie with lattice work and cut out designs – made from our own homemade pie crust (which is SO delicious you can actually just eat the crust by itself)!

Here some of the things we’ve tried (or similar ones since some I didn’t blog about):

Cherry pie

9533164484_ef5cc6256d_b

Here’s a great cherry pie recipe (not our’s but very good!)

Pumpkin pie (from Pioneer Woman’s amazing recipe!)

50425-Pumpkin-Pie-Crust-Trim

Sweet Potato Pie (a classic of the SOUTH ❤ and one I made a few years ago and blogged about it)

05114308701-sweet-potato-pie-recipe-main

***

Chocolate Tarte (the most AMAZING chocolate dessert I’ve ever eaten and super easy! Find it here)

choclate tarte

White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie (still working on perfecting, but THIS  girl’s recipe is what we go off of)

1462220313114

 

 

Marshmellow Fluff Pie Topping:

for the marshmallow fluff:

  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 scant cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (if you want them stark white; if you don’t mind a little ivory color, use the pure vanilla extract)

from: http://aperiodictableblog.com

 

Great video on homemade pie crusts:

 

If I had to pick a favorite one we’ve tried to perfect over the years, it would definitely be the Chocolate Tart recipe.  It is just TOO easy, and yet it is beautifully presented visually, and never fails to impress with it’s immaculate taste.

I hope you readers get to eat some pie this year!  If you don’t have time to make one, I know restaurants tend to make some really great homemade-style ones.  And if you’re in a pinch, I’ve found some brands are VERY good at making pie filling (like for cherry pies) – that along with a homemade crust makes it hard to tell if you made the filling or not.

Enjoy all the eating and drinking!

Stephanie

Advertisements

Southern & Smoked Fried Chicken

myhometown1890

My hometown in 1890

If you live in the South, it’s pretty much a given that you appreciate fried food – I know I do… and like any good Southern girl, I love fried chicken.  This past weekend I decided to try my hand at this homemade recipe.  It is so much easier than you’d imagine!  Just make sure you use something with a lid (think dutch oven or deep fryer…)  do not, know matter how great of a cook you think you are, try to use anything more shallow, you might just burn your pretty little face off!  Being the health-nut I am, I used a healthier oil not realizing the smoking heat was a lot lower… sooo the entire house was slowly filled with smoke!  It was still delicious & we enjoyed a nice evening on the patio eating it outside. The End.

fried chicken

(Black & White photo of Boerne, Texas, 1890 from Traces of Texas)