Wednesday, March 25, 2009


These are some images of a frame my dad and I made for a client. It was a huge thing ! They wanted this giant poster framed and the hardest part of it all was making as light as we could. We used a foam based siding, and plexi-glass to try and keep it as light as we could.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This was the first Strawberry rhubarb pie that I've ever made, and it was so good ! I've been looking for a long time for some good rhubarb( and yes I found out that there is bad rhubarb) and I finally found some at my local market. I would make this everyday if it wouldn't make me fat

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Serves 8

For crust
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons (about) ice water

For filling
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Make crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. [Alternately, you can use a pastry cutter to make your dough, as I did.] Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

even better you can just buy the pre-made dough and roll it out, don't tell anyone but this is what I do.

Make filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.

Assemble Pie: Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter pie dish . Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about another 25 minutes. I like using the crust covers for my pies. I feel they do a great job from Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

Apple Pie

I made this simple apple pie the other day. I sometimes find myself with more apples then I know what to do with so I'll just make a pie. I love this pie because of how fast you can make it. Using an apple corer peeler makes life a breeze with this pie. I also love how thin it slices the apples. I personally love putting as many apples in the pie as I can, mounding it like a mountain !

Apple Pie

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium)
2 pounds McIntosh apples (about 4 large)
1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cups (5.25 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg white, beaten lightly

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat rimmed baking sheet and oven to 500 degrees. Remove one piece of dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable).

2. Roll dough on lightly floured work surface or between two large sheets of plastic wrap to 12-inch disk. Transfer dough to pie plate by rolling dough around rolling pin and unrolling over 9 1/2-inch pie plate or by folding dough in quarters, then placing dough point in center of pie plate and unfolding. Working around circumference of pie plate, ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs lip of plate in place; refrigerate dough-lined pie plate.

3. Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center.

4. Roll out second piece of dough to 12-inch disk and place over filling. Trim top and bottom edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute edging or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four slits on dough top. If pie dough is very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes. Brush egg white onto top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

5. Place pie on baking sheet and lower oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.

6. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chile Lime Tequila Popcorn

This was a big hit ! If you are looking for something new to do, look no far ! Its a crazy great snack that is really enjoyable even stale.

What you need..

4 quarts freshly popped popcorn*
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon tequila
1/2 small jalapeno, seeds and membrane removes, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin

What you need to do ...

Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat (hs note: or unbleached parchment paper). Set aside.

Put the popcorn in a large, clean paper bag or a washable muslin bag. In a medium-size bowl whisk together the butter, lime juice and zest, and tequila. Add the jalapeno. In a small bowl combine the black pepper, salt, red pepper, and cumin.

Drizzle half of the butter mixture over the popcorn, fold over the top of the bag, and shake until the popcorn is coated and moist. Taste. Add more of the butter mixture if you like, and give a second shake. Sprinkle (most of) the pepper mixture over the popcorn, fold over the top of the bag, and shake a few times to coat. Taste, and if you'd like more pepper flavor add the rest of it.

Spread the popcorn evenly over the baking sheet and bake until the popcorn is dry, five to seven minutes.

*To pop 4 quarts of popcorn, heat 1/4 cup clarified butter, coconut oil, or olive oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Add a few kernels to the pot. Once they pop, add 3/4 cup popcorn kernels and shake the pot until they cover the pot evenly. Cover the pot and shake intermittently until the popping slows to 5 seconds between pops. Remove the popcorn from heat and transfer it to whatever bag you are going to use for tossing.

As you can see it is a bit of a process, but it makes 4 full popped popcorn bags so you get a big hull from it. Its worth trying I promise !

Key Lime Coconut Cake

So I told you I had limes , now let me show you what I did with them ! First I made this really great Key Lime coconut cake. This cake is amazing ! Its moist , it has flavor and its just refreshing ! The topping is the best part. Its a simple icing, made with confectionery sugar and
lime juice ( normally you use water ) This gives it a lot of flavor ! Then you top it with you toasted coconut. Yum ! This cake makes a great spring cake, for when you want to be somewhere other then the classroom, and somewhere more tropical. This is my spring break gift to you !

What you need to do...

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest ( I used normal limes)
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour*
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh Key lime juice, divided ( I used normal limes )
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter an 8- by 8-inch square or 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Toast coconut in a small baking pan in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool. Leave oven on.

Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and zest with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir together flour and 1/2 cup coconut (reserve remainder for topping). Stir together milk and 2 tablespoons lime juice. At low speed, mix flour and milk mixtures into egg mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour.

Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to warm, then turn out of pan and discard parchment.

Whisk together confectioners sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and rum (if using) and pour over cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

* Make your own: You can make your own self-rising flour — I did, when I realized I had self-rising flour in the pantry but my last known use of it was nearly three years ago. Unfortunately, there are many recipes out there and they don’t all agree. The most common one has you add for each cup of flour 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder but some also suggest 1 teaspoon baking powder instead. I’m going to suggest that you use the 1 teaspoon level because I used the higher one and my cake sunk ever so slightly in the center, a suggestion that it had too much leavening in it. So: For every cup of flour, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, whisk together very well and sift the mixture. Measure your self-rising flour from there.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Limes !

I bought a bunch of limes at the market ! They are so big and juicy looking , I couldn't help getting a bunch of them. So stay tuned today for a few limey treats ! yum !