Monday, May 31, 2010

MMM Monday, Colonial Style Blueberry Crumb Pie…

I hope everyone had a beautiful Memorial Day weekend. We picked strawberries, the kids played on the slip and slide, and we had a little cookout. Michael made an amazing blueberry crumb pie for our holiday dessert.

Here is the delicious recipe …

Pastry Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup toasted slivered or sliced almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


4 cups fresh blueberries
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 - 1 cup granulated white sugar
Crumb Topping:
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup toasted slivered or sliced almonds
¼ cup granulated white sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter

Pastry Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, almonds, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten each portion into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. This will chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.

While the pastry is chilling, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, remove the two disks of pastry from the refrigerator and divide each disk into four equal portions (you will have eight portions altogether). On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of pastry into a 7 inch circle. Place the eight pastry circles (four on each sheet) onto the prepared baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Place the covered baking sheets in the refrigerator to firm the pastry while you prepare the filling.

Filling: In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, lemon zest, flour, and sugar.
Crumb Topping: Place the flour, sugar, and almonds in a food processor and pulse until fine. Slowly add the butter until the mixture looks like tiny peas.

Remove pastry from refrigerator. Place approximately 1/2 - 3/4 cup of filling in the center of each pastry circle, spreading the filling out to about 1 inch from the edge of pastry. Gently fold the edges of the pastry circle up and over the filling, leaving the center of the tart open. Press the edges gently so the pastry sticks together. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of crumb topping on top of each pie. Once all the tarts are assembled, cover and return to the refrigerator for about 15 - 30 minutes to chill.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Bake the tarts for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbly and starting to run out from the center of each tart. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool before serving. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes 8 individual tarts

Happy baking!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Little Early …

Daylilies are one of my favorite flowers, they smell sweet, their colors are bright and vibrant, and they are full of character.

My daylilies usually do not bloom until the end of June beginning of July. This plant however seems to have a mind of its own.

The first flower that bloomed was a little tattered but, the one blooming today is as perfect as the flowers I will see in a month.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Two Ladies, Herbs, and Flowers …

A Painted Lady …

A Ladybug …

Chives …

Sage ...

Red Yarrow ...

White Beardtongue ...

Daisies …

Have a beautiful weekend !

Monday, May 24, 2010

MMM … Monday, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I cannot cook very well and baking is definitely something I can’t do. The only thing I can cook is breakfast; I make a mean French toast. Luckily for me I am married to an amazing chef. My husband went to culinary school and the dishes he creates are heavenly. He enjoys cooking the way I enjoy creating art or working in my gardens. He no longer makes mouth watering creations for the public, so we get incredible meals when the mood strikes him.

This Monday I am sharing with you a wonderful strawberry rhubarb pie recipe. This is the perfect time to make this sweet and sour dessert. Both rhubarb and strawberries are in season. Michael made this yummy dessert with fresh produce found at our local farmers market.

Here is the delicious recipe …


2 cups of 1-inch thick rhubarb slices
2 cups strawberries, halved if needed
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, set aside until needed.

Pie Shell

· 2 cups sifted flour
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 3/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces and frozen for at least 3 hours
· 5 tablespoons cold water
Place the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Once the dough is form it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.

Pie Assembly

Roll half of the dough into a large circle, 4 inches larger than the pie pan you will be using. Fold the dough in half and then half again. Place the folded dough into the pie pan with the point resting in the center. Unfold the dough and gently smooth out within the pan. Allow the excess dough to drape over the side; this will be used to make a decorative crimp later. Pour the pie filling into the pie shell and spread evenly. Set the pie aside and begin rolling out the top crust. Roll the remaining dough into a large circle that is approximately 2 inches larger than the top of the pie pan you are using. Cut the dough into 1 inch strips. Weave the dough into a lattice pattern on top of the filling. As this point you can add any decorative edge you would like. Brush the pie crust with the egg wash and place in a preheated 425 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown.

If you love to cook or are in the mood for more delicious recipes stop over and visit The Potato Stories. Happy baking!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday’s Simple Pleasures, Strawberries

Our strawberries have started to come in and they are so sweet and juicy. When you bite into them they burst in your mouth. There is just something so special about growing your own fruits and vegetables, everything just tastes better.

Our strawberry plants are intertwined with my perennials so every time the kids and I go to pick them it’s like going on a mini treasure hunt. Abbey has been known to be a little impatient and picks green berries every now and then.

I have fond memories of picking strawberries with my great-grandmother, mother and sister. We used to fill huge Tupperware bowls full of berries and make delicious strawberry shortcakes with them.

Strawberries are simply delicious.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Baby is Eight …

I can’t believe my baby turned eight yesterday. He was the biggest surprise of my life. One day I was a carefree college student and the next I was pregnant, engaged, a homeowner and finally a mother. Those nine months were the craziest, most stressful and amazing months of my life.

The day Noah was born was as unpredictable as the nine months leading up to the big day. I woke up at three in the morning on my due date with contractions. I went right to my pregnancy books to see what I should do, I loved those books. The next four hours were spent in the shower trying to cope with the pain and stay relaxed. We left around eight to go to my parent’s house, they lived only a couple of minutes from the hospital and we lived about forty minutes away. When we got to their house Michael left to grab breakfast and before I knew it I felt like I was ready to push. It seemed to be happening so fast, I kept thinking of my mother’s horror stories about how she was in labor with me for thirty-six hours and I had only been in labor for a little more than five hours. I called the doctors office and they told me to get to the hospital immediately. Once we got to the hospital I began begging for pain medication, unfortunately the nurse told me I was to late, I was already nine centimeters, and I was going to have my baby completely natural. My doctor made it there just in time for me to start pushing. I pushed for maybe ten minutes and before I knew it they were placing my beautiful baby boy on my chest. He was 8 pounds 4 ounces and 21” long he had ten fingers and toes and he had the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen.

Noah has a big heart; he is loving, caring, and brilliant. I am so proud of the wonderful little man he is becoming. He has a positive and magnetic personality, I believe he can do and become anything he desires.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saturday Fun ...

The weather was amazing yesterday. It felt like a warm summer’s day instead of the first day of May. The warmth seems to pushing everything open earlier this year. I love walking outside early in the morning, the air smells so sweet and everything is buzzing with life. My first two peonies opened yesterday.

We started our day with a trip to our favorite antique and farmers market. There were a lot of vendors with amazing vintage finds. The first booth we past I spotted this adorable baby cradle. The pictures on the cradle are so cute and it plays music, it was only five dollars and a perfect fit for Abbey’s babies.

Last night Noah had his first baseball game; it was under the lights and so much fun. He got a hit and scored, his team played great and they won. Unfortunately all of the pictures I took came out blurry. Next week is a day game hopefully I can get some better shots. While we sat watching the game you could hear some crickets chirping. It was a beautiful night for a baseball.

It was a great Saturday spent with the people I love.