food isn't any good unless you have some fun!

come on in and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Double Crust Apple Pie

Hi everyone!
Today I'm doing a post about what I made for Thanksgiving dessert. I know, Thanksgiving was like a month ago- this exposes my secret of doing posts ahead of time! Anyway, this pie is super easy to throw together and absolutely delicious. You can make your own pie crust (see this post), or buy crust at the store in the refrigerator section and it's almost just as good. Just don't use frozen pie crust- it just isn't the same at all, I've found.

Anyway! Hop to it and make this pie. It's so simple but always a hit- great flavor and fantastic served warm with ice cream. Special enough to make for an occasion, but easy enough that you can make it for dessert tonight! Let's go!

Put your bottom crust in the pan, and trim off the excess (I hadn't trimmed yet in this picture).
Toss your sliced apples with the dry ingredients.
Then toss in the milk or 1/2 and 1/2.
Then put those apples in the crust, and put on a top crust. You can do a design, slits, lattice or whatever you like!

Double Crust Apple Pie
-4-5 medium large green apples, peeled and sliced
-splash or two of lemon juice
-2/3 cup of sugar
-1 tablespoon flour
-1 teaspoon (more more depending on your taste) cinnamon
-2 tablespoons milk or 1/2 and 1/2
-2 tablespoons butter
-2 pie crusts, homemade (link) or store-bought
Put one pie crust in the bottom of an ungreased pie pan.
Toss apples with lemon juice.
Add sugar, flour, and cinnamon; toss well.
Toss in the milk or 1/2 and 1/2.
Pour all the apples, sugar, etc. into the pie crust.
Top with the other pie crust- cut slits at least to allow steam to escape.
You can also cut a pattern out of the top crust or do it lattice style.
If doing a non-lattice style crust, make sure to seal the two crusts together at the edge for minimal overflow.
Bake at 400 F for about 50 minutes, or until a fork stuck in the apples goes in easily.
I always bake the pie with the pie pan on top of a cookie sheet with sides, just in case there is the (inevitable) bit of overflow- much easier than cleaning your oven!
Serve warm or cool, with milk or vanilla ice cream.

And here's your finished pie- don't worry if it doesn't look like a million bucks- it will taste like it!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vovo's Red Beans and Rice

Hi everyone!!

Let me just start this out by saying- I've been eating this red beans and rice my whole life. Ever since I started eating solid food, this has been on the menu. The recipe comes from my grandmother, who we called Vovo, though I'm sure the recipe has origins much earlier in time.

The recipe might at first seem like it has a lot of ingredients and steps- it really doesn't. If you just cut the stuff up, cook it, and add it to the pot, you're pretty good to go- please give this a try even if you think it's too much for you or it might not be great. I haven't personally made this recipe before (my mom has made it my whole life, and I never got around to doing it myself until now!), and I didn't have all of the ingredients perfect, and it turned out amazing. Simply amazing- such a delicious and filling meal, and it makes great leftovers.

Let's get started!!

Here are all the ingredients- minus the rice- I wish I had a better way to display this many ingredients, I might have to get some little shelves or something!

Here's the ham, water, and seasonings tossed in for the broth.

And the broth post-straining/post-ham removal, and ready for action!

Here are your onions and celery- beautiful! Don't fret about getting the amounts just right- just use an onion and some stalks of celery- it'll come together.
Here's the broth once you've added the sauteed onions, celery, and garlic, and the beans have just been tossed in.

Here's our Italian sausage cooking away- feel free to use whatever kinds of meat you like- make it your own!

And the sliced and cut up kielbasa, just so you have a reference as to size.

And here the red beans and meat mixture is ready to simmer- stir in the meat and herbs, then let it simmer, stirring about ever 1/2 hour.

Vovo's Red Beans and Rice
-1 ham bone (or ham for making your broth- i had to use some cubed ham)
-1 1/2 cups water
-1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
-1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
-1 cup diced celery
-1 cup diced onion (medium sized onion)
-2-3 cloves garlic, minced
-3 tablespoons olive oil or veggie oil
-1 lb. red beans canned or dried- if dried pre-boil and cook the whole thing longer at the end to ensure the dried beans are cooked through.
-1 lb. Italian, mayo brand, or other flavorful fresh sausage (not in links)
-1/2 lb. sliced sausage like kielbasa or something spicier if that's what you like
-2 bay leaves
-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
-salt and pepper to taste
-rice for serving over
-red wine vinegar to serve on top- it adds an amazing zing and level to this dish!
Put the ham bone, water, garlic salt, Tabasco, and Worcestershire in a large pot over medium heat. Let simmer while you do the next step.
Saute the celery and onion until cooked through and lightly browning. Add the garlic and saute for just a minute or two longer.
Remove the ham from the broth you made in the large pot, and toss it (this is just to make yourself a flavorful base!)
Add in all of the onion, celery, and garlic straight from the pan to your broth in the large pot. Then toss in your beans as well. Keep the broth simmering.
Use the pan you just sauteed the onions and celery in- toss in your fresh sausage, and cook until browned through. Pour it in the pot.
Because kielbasa is already cooked, you can either brown it lightly and then add it to the pot, or just go ahead and add it to the pot straightaway.
Once you have added the meats, add your bay leaves, parsley, and some salt and pepper.
Simmer on low heat for 2 1/2 hours at least, with the lid off at least half of the time to let it reduce. You can help the texture get nice and creamy if you take a potato masher and mash some of the beans in the pot. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve over rice. With plenty of red wine vinegar on the side- trust me, it's delicious.

This is the look you're going for after reducing and simmering for a few hours- a little creamy, a little gravy-y maybe- perfect!

Serve over some freshly cooked rice (we're partial to jasmine and other long-grain rices)

And here's the finished product, which does it no justice at all- this isn't a pretty dish, but it's a stick to your ribs dish that is easy, delicious, healthy, and makes great leftovers- what more can you ask?

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, December 3, 2012

Zucchini Salami Pasta

Hey there!

My mom has been making this recipe for my sister and I since we were little kids, and it is so good. So I had the idea the other day and made sure my sister and I got the ingredients at the store. Dare whipped this up last night and it was as delicious as ever. The ingredients are simple and so is the preparation- this is a 30 minute dinner- but the results are flavorful and make a good hearty dinner.

Because I didn't make this myself this time, I've only got pictures of the results, but you should be able to whip this up no problem- very few steps, one pan, and one pot- let's go!

Here's the pasta tossed with the zucchini and salami- ready for serving and topping with cheese!

Zucchini Salami Pasta
-2 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 lb. salami or pepperoni, cut into matchsticks
-1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half
-salt and pepper
-1/2 lb. fettucine/linguine, cooked normally and drained
-parmesan or romano cheese, to top.
Sauté the zucchini in the olive oil until just browned. Add the garlic and salami and simmer for a few minutes on low. Add the cream or half and half, and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with the cooked and drained pasta, and serve, topping each portion with grated parmesan or romano cheese.

The finished product- delish!!

Savor it!
love, rue