Pie For Miles

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Having a baby is one way to get people to visit you all the time.  We love visitors, and so does little man Ollie.  My parents were here in August, along with Jonathan’s parents, and then my sister, her boyfriend, and their precious daughter Audrey as well. It was a busy month full of just lounging around the house, listening to music, watching old movies, dancing with my niece, and of course playing with the baby.

When you have a baby everyone wants to do things for you.  This I love and will not ever complain about.  Its great to have help, weather its help with laundry, food shopping. or making a sandwich.  It’s so nice, and kind.  Out of all the things that we ate this last month, one stands out.  This delicious mile high Lemon Meringue Pie.  My mom made it while on her stay here.  I would have a slice after lunch, and then again after dinner. Nothing like a homemade pie…..just heaven.

I have so many things I want to write about this summer, and many other things we have made and want to post.  But time just gets away from me.  I’ve been working on this post for two weeks now.  Where does time go?  We all know where my time and mind is these days. They are on him. This child of mine, who I love so much I could burst.  Its crazy how your heart can be so full from this little person.

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For the pie we just used Martha’s recipe and it was really good.  But for the pie crust I added 2 tablespoons of sugar to give it some sweetness.

Life as it is….

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Life has changed to say the least. Our little man Oliver Jem was born on May 29th. It seems so long ago, but then time is going by so fast I want it to stand still. Weeks go by without me even knowing it. I do cherish every moment I can with this little one. Being home with him all day has allowed me to do just that. Every cry, every smile, every little thing he observes. It’s amazing that he came from us, I still can’t believe that he is here, and he is ours. It was a long time coming, a tremendous amount of work, tears, and patience.

We have had many visitors in the last two months. Lots of friends and family. We’ve had many bring by food, and ordered a lot of takeout, and have thawed many of frozen dinners that were prepared by my mother in law. I’ve been so wanting to get in the kitchen and cook. I’ve cooked a little here and there with family and with friends. But I wanted to actually host a dinner here at the house. Maybe I was being a little ambitious, but I did it.

To me it felt great being back in the kitchen. Even though it was casual, and a low key BBQ. I loved it. We invited two couples that we love. Camille and Jason were one of the couples. They also just had a little baby girl, that they named Luella Esme. She is precious in every way…so tiny compared to Oliver. They are only two weeks apart in age….and to me he looks like a huge meatball next to her. And the other couple was Kyra and Gregg. Kyra and Gregg handled the baby thing really well with me and Camille….with us not always in the room, because of a hungry baby, a crying baby, or a baby that just needs to be changed.They were so cool and laid back about it all. Love those guys so much!!!!

So in hosting the dinner I turned to my handy new Food and Wine magazine. This issue had do with veggies. I loved it. So many delicious salads to pick from. So I picked two, and made a starter, and of course dessert. The starter, the salads, and the dessert were easy to put together, and I will definitely be making them again. All you can find in the latest issue for July, or you can just click on the links below.

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The tomatoes were generously given to us from our landlord….so delicious. Almost as good as a Jersey tomato. Links below for the salads and more.

King oyster mushroom BLT
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/king-oyster-mushroom-blt-with-basil-mayonnaise

Vegetable ceviche
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/summer-vegetable-ceviche#

Zucchini and Buratta salad
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/zucchini-with-nicoise-olives-and-burrata

And lastly dessert….poached peaches with ricotta cake
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/poached-peaches-with-baked-ricotta

It’s happening….

I’ve been with holding this news for quite some time. It’s been so hard not to share it, and keeping it secret. But we so excited that we will be having our first born this coming June. We are having a boy!!! Words can not express how overwhelmed we both are with happiness. It’s been a long journey to say the least. We are here, and more excited then ever.

I made sure before I made this post that I know my audience that is subscribed to this blog, so a few may be finding out this way, and that’s okay. Normally I post my blog posts onto Facebook, but this one is private and only for readers who subscribe.

Given our past, and many losses, I have been very guarded with this pregnancy. I wish I could be more like others, and post things on Facebook, but I can’t for many reasons. One that is personal and I know others feel that same. It hurts when you trying and working so hard to get pregnant that it seems everyone is posting a picture of an ultrasound or a pregnancy test. Well I vowed that when the time did come for us that I would not do that to my friends who are still struggling. I know that pain and would not want to inflict that on my friends.

So this past weekend we had a huge celebration for the baby. One my greatest friends Camille threw us a shower, with some help from Kyra and Wendy. Along with my mom and Jonathan’s mom helping in the baking department with me guiding them. It was beyond to say the least . I can’t or we can’t tell you how amazing it was to be surrounded by those we loved. It was a special day to say the least and one I will never ever forget. I dreamed so much of this day and it came, and it was perfect. So here are some pics from the shower…enjoy!!!!

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Babies….babies everywhere

Is it me or is everyone having a baby right now. Pregnant bellies everywhere. Well one of my dearest friends Camille is due to have her baby girl this June. I’m so excited for her, but I’m also excited for other reasons that I will share sometime soon. Our friend Nikki put together the most gorgeous shower for her. It was without a doubt one of a kind. I loved it and so did all the guests. It was very casual, and laid back. Not your typical shower, which I think everyone loved. It was coed, no games, and delicious food and drinks!!

For the food, they brought in a food truck called Ludo Bites. Can you say yummy fried chicken. I could’ve eaten and eaten this all day, but I restrained myself. Fried chicken with crispy fries,and a biscuit dowsed in lavender honey. Perfect….just perfect!!!

I was in charge of the desserts. Nikki’s friend designed the dessert table, so all I had to bring were the treats. I made a two Meyer Lemon tarts, two Carmel with chocolate ganache tarts, a banana cream pie, and a strawberry pie. It seemed like everyone loved the sweets, so that made me happy.

Camille looked as beautiful as ever with her beautiful bump. I can’t wait to meet her baby girl this June. Some history will be made this June…..and I can’t wait!!!

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Caramel tart is from saver magazine…… http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Chocolate-Caramel-Tart

Enjoy!!!!!

Sprinkle sprinkle

Last Sunday my friend Camille threw a sprinkle for our friend Nikki. Nikki will be having her daughter in a couple of weeks. Normally a sprinkle is a small celebration in honor of the mom to be with her second or third child. Normally the opposite sex of one the mom already has.

Camille of course put together a beautiful brunch. I did the sweets for the brunch. Both things I made with puff pastry. Anyone can use puff pastry and make anything taste great. I made dark chocolate turnovers, and candied lemon cheese tart. Very brunchy and rustic.

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Look at Camille’s spread!!!

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Nikki who we were honoring!!!!

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You can see someone else really likes the chocolate turnovers!!!

Ingredients for the chocolate turnover:
- 1 package frozen puff pastry
- 1 block dark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate ( I used dark)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:
Thaw out puff pastry for about an hour. Once thawed, preheat oven to 375. Roll out one sheet at a time. Cut sheet into equal nine squares. Place a piece of chocolate a little over the center. Mix together egg and heavy cream. Brush wash around the edge and fold over pressing the ends together so you form a triangle. Place on a baking sheet, and place in freezer for 20 minutes. Once they have hardened brush over the top with egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Ingredients for candied lemon cheese tart:
- 1 package puff pastry
- 6 Meyer lemons, or normal lemons
- 1 package cream cheese
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:
First cut lemons into slices. Next in a large sauce pan boil 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water. Once the sugar is dissolved and it’s simmering, place all lemons in the pan. Place a piece of parchment paper ontop on the lemons, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Next place the lemon slices on a cooling rack and let them cool. While the lemons are cooking roll out your puff pastry and whisk one egg with some what. Brush about and inch to the edge of your tart, sprinkle with baking sugar. Place tart in freezer and let it harden. While the tart is in the freezer, start mixing your cheese mixture. Place a package of cream cheese in the mixer. Mix then add sugar. Next add one egg at a time. Next add vanilla and a dash of salt. Take tart out of the freezer, and pour cheese mixture onto it, leaving an inch of crust on the outside. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool, and place on candied lemons. Enjoy!!!!

Happy 37

Chocolate peanut butter banana cake

Saturday was the boys birthday.  He turned 37.  It was a fun filled weekend with other birthday celebrations.  We sang karaoke, ate Hawaiian food, and had a dinner with good friends.  I’ve been wanting to make this cake for Jonathan for a special occasion, and what better then his birthday.  He loves chocolate, bananas, and peanut butter and this cake has it all.  Yes it’s a banana cake with chocolate and peanut butter icing.  Oh yes and it was divine.

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Chocolate banana peanut butter cake

 

 

Ingredients:

For the banana cake:

3 cups cake flour

1 1/4 baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups sugar plus 1 tablespoon

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup well shaken buttermilk

 

For milk chocolate ganache icing:

8 ounces dark chocolate

8 ounces milk chocolate

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons golden syrup or corn syrup

3 sticks unsalted butter

 

For the peanut butter filling:

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

For the assembly:

8 ounces dark chocolate

1 1/2 sticks butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven 325.  Butter 3 8 inch cake pans and then flour.

In a medium bowl mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda,and salt.  Set aside.

Beat butter, then add eggs one at a time, then sugar. Next add mashed bananas and vanilla.  On low speed add buttermilk and dry ingredients, starting with the dry and ending with the dry.  Make sure everything is incorporated and mixed very well.  Add to cake pans.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Let cakes cool for 45 minutes and then flip them out of pans.

For the icing. Ina sauce pan bring the heavy cream and golden syrup until it is steeped.  Next pour it over the dark and milk chocolate.  Let it sit for a minute and then mix.  Once it is completely mixed then add butter.  Put aside and let this icing cool down before using.

For the peanut butter filling.  Beat butter and peanut butter together until creamy.  Next add vanilla.  Next add powdered sugar.

For ganache topping add all ingredients chocolate, butter and golden syrup to a double boiler.  Mix and put aside.

Assembly of the cake.  First layer of cake, then spread peanut butter layer, then chocolate layer.  Repeat with the next layer.  Top all of the cake with chocolate frosting.  Put in fridge and let it harden for 15 minutes.  Take out and drizzle ganache over the cake, and then top with peanuts!!!! Enjoy!!!!

 

baking, baked goods, and life's other simple pleasures