Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blackberry Pie

Our thanksgiving would not be complete without Blackberry Pie.  Preferably with berries picked with our own hands in Seattle!  Seattle is where I grew up and it is the land of wild blackberries.  Everywhere!  I never appreciated it until I moved to Utah which is NOT the land of wild blackberries.  This was my latest foray into blackberry picking and it was so fun!  So this year I am so excited to know that I will have real Seattle blackberries in my favorite Thanksgiving Pie!  Thank you God for blackberries, they are so amazing and sticky and sweet!

Mom's Blackberry Pie
Makes 1 pie

2 cups flour (can use part whole wheat)
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 cup butter
Mix flour and salt, then cut in butter with pastry cutter.  Add 2-4 Tablespoons ice water and mix with fork until a ball forms.  Form into two balls and flatten.  Roll out two pie crusts.  Line pie pan with one and cut slashes or decorations in the other.

Berry Filling:
1 quart frozen blackberries, thawed (or fresh if you can get them)
1 1/2 cups sugar, (or to taste)
1/2 cup flour (or a little less if you like your pie juicy)
Mix berries, sugar and flour lightly and pour into unbaked pie crust.  Put second crust over the top and seal the edges.  Before baking brush pie top with half and half (milk will work) and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Lower temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 45 minutes or until nicely brown.

Let cool slightly and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.  Our family tradition is to eat left over pie for breakfast!

 “Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  sponsored by Cherokee USALe CreusetWiltonBags by Bloom and  Harvard Common Press

Almond simple as 1,2,3!

I have bought almond milk from the store for quite a while now.  The other day I needed some and I thought, DARN, I have to run to the store and then the light bulb went on!  I have almonds, I have water, I have this really fancy KTech blender!  So why not make my own almond milk!  So I did and it is much better than from the store!  Give it a try, you will love the results!  For a very informative article about knowing where your almonds come from hop on over to Whole New Mom.

Almond Milk Recipe

1 cup raw almonds, soaked over night
3-4 cups filtered water
1/2 a vanilla bean (scrape out the seeds, that's what you want)
4 dates (any kind) soaked for 1 hour

Place all the ingredients in a good high speed blender and blender for about 3 minutes.

Now comes the fun!  It's almost as good as milking a cow!  

So there are two ways to use the almond milk.  You can use it just as it is with the pulp or you can strain it.  If you strain it be sure and save the pulp, dry it in a dehydrator and use it later as almond flour.

I discovered the best straining bags come from the paint store.  Yep, just go to your local paint store and ask for a paint strainer and it works perfect for this!

This is how I store my almonds in a recycled pickle jar

Soak them in a canning jar overnight.  Never put away your canning jar funnel, I use it over and over again in my kitchen

My 20 year old Ktech Champ!  Ignore the vanilla and agave here!
I found it much better to use vanilla bean and dates!

Here's the handy dandy paint strainer!

Now just milk this baby like a cow!  LOL!  It is fun!

It leaves you with all the fiber in the bag, be sure and
dehydrate that and use it for almond flour!

Look how lovely and bubbly it is!

Again with the canning funnel....told you I love it!

And there  you have it!  Creamy, lovely, yummy almond milk!  Keeps in the fridge for about 5 days!
Linked with love to Fat Tuesday @ Real Food Forager
Linked with love to Traditional Tuesdays @ Whole.New.Mom

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

THE Most Amazing Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

I had always heard about my friend Jennifer’s amazing eggplant sandwiches.  She said that her kids loved them and ate them up for dinner no problem!  So one day when all my purple eggplant stars aligned I texted her for the recipe.  I had an eggplant in the crisper drawer and I had just gone to Costco and for some reason could not resist the amazing crusty mini breads they had that day.  Mmmm, they smelled so good and were so fresh they were still warm.  She quickly responded and before I knew it I had made this most amazing dinner.  And guess what!  She was right my kids ate them up...every bite!
Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
by Jennifer Cragun
You will need:
1 Medium Eggplant
2 red peppers (or any other colors you like)
1 large sweet onion
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Goat Cheese
Salt and Pepper
4 Amazing crusty mini loafs (at Costco) or any kind of sprouted bread
Slice the eggplant length-wise in thin slices.  Slice the peppers and onions.  Coat a pan with olive oil and add the vegetables.  Drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil on the vegetables and mix with your hands.  Drizzle a little Balsamic over them and place under the broiler.  Watch careful and stir often as they cook until beautifully brown and soft.  Take from the oven and stir in the goat cheese and the cilantro.  If you like you can return to the broiler for just a few minutes to soften the cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  
Toast the bread and then layer with the eggplant mixture, I added fresh tomatoes on top and a few sunflower sprouts just for fun.  I like to serve these open face but my kids like to top with the other half of the bread.  Either way they are yummy!

This recipe is linked up to Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.  

Just in case you still have zucchini coming out your ears....

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies......yes you read that right!
Have you thrown out any zucchini this summer?  Come on, you can confess to me!  I won’t tell.  Well, the other day I was supposed to make a big plate of cookies for my friend who was getting ready to send her first born out into the big wide world via a mission!  In Mormondom we have this really lame tradition of calling up all our relatives and close friends and inviting them to come and hear our cute missionary child speak in church on the Sunday before they leave to go into the MTC (Missionary Training Center) and then we invite all of them plus half the ward over to our house to meet and greet that same cute missionary child and since we have invited them all over then we feel obliged to feed them something.  (Like we’re not already stressed enough about having to send our kid half way around the world!)  Well, my friend had the good sense to just serve cookies and milk (thank heavens)!  I won’t even go into the times my sister Diana has served the entire ward plus family a huge dinner buffet, and then there was my other sister who recently fed her entire ward waffles and ham....okay, not going there! 

 So back to the cookies.  So I offered to bring over a big platter of cookies.  Well, here’s where the adventure begins.  I was just going to make plain old Chocolate Chip Cookies but Amanda happened to be home that night and had her friend Alena over.  So Alena says, “Why don’t you put zucchini in Mom does and they are great and you can’t even taste the zucchini.”  Well, being the Whole Foods Nut that I am, this sends off all kinds of bells in my head.  I had no idea you could put zucchini in chocolate chip cookies.  So, I got on the internet and found this little gem of a recipe.  It really turned out amazing and the funniest part of the night was when Amanda and Alena grated the zucchini!   (I took a picture for you, it was hilarious)  So if you have any leftover zucchini try this recipe out, it was really quite delicious and I like to think a little bit healthier for you!



it's a two person job!

I love how they didn't think to cut it but just grated this huge Fred Flinstone zucchini!
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

1egg, beaten
½cup butter, softened
½cup brown sugar (or Sucanat)
cup honey
1tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine in large bowl:
1cup white flour
1cup whole wheat flour
½tsp baking soda
¼tsp salt
¼tsp cinnamon
¼tsp nutmeg
Combine in a separate, small bowl and blend into liquid mixture:
1cup finely shredded zucchini
12oz chocolate chips
Stir these into other ingredients, mix well. Drop by spoonful onto greased baking
sheet, and flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350F degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.

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