Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Best Apple Pie

I made this pie for my dad for Father's Day. It is one of his favorites!

Best Apple Pie

2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 c. plus 1 T chilled butter, cut into small pieces, divided
10 T. ice water
6 c. sliced peeled Pink Lady apples
2 c. sliced peeled Granny Smith apples
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c plus 1 T. granulated sugar, divided
3 T. flour
1 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 egg white, beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour and salt in large bowl; cut in 1/2 c. butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle surfaces with ice water, 1 T. at a time; toss with a fork until moist and crumbly (do not form a ball). Divide dough in half. Gently press each half into a 4-inch circle on 2 sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Cover with 2 sheets of plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.

Roll 1 dough half, still covered, into a 12-inch circle. Roll other dough half into 11-inch circle. Chill 30 minutes.

Combine apples and lemon juice in bowl. Combine brown sugar, 3 T. flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over top of apples; toss well to coat.

Remove plastic wrap from 12-inch dough; fit dough into 9-inch pie plate, coated with cooking spray allowing dough to extend over plate. Spoon filling into dough, and dot with remaining 1 T. butter; brush edges of dough lightly with water. Remove plastic wrap from 11-inch dough circle and place over apple mixture. Press edges of dough together; fold edges of dough and flute. Cut 4 (1-inch) slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape.

Combine remaining tablespoon of sugar and remaining 1/8 tsp of cinnamon in small bowl. Brush top and edges of dough with egg white; sprinkle with sugar mixture. Place pie on baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes; then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until golden. Shield pie with foil if necessary. Cool on wire rack.

Blueberry Pound Cake

This is a family favorite and perfect for the summer! I make many of these every year at the 4th of July for our family reunion.....it is great for dessert or breakfast! So since 4th of July is this weekend, make one for your family too!!!!

Blueberry Pound Cake

1 c. + 2 T butter, softened
2 1/4 c sugar, divided
4 eggs (I use egg beaters)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 c. fresh blueberries, well, drained

Grease 10" tube pan or bundt pan with 2 T butter and coat with 1/4 c. sugar; set aside.
In a mixer, cream butter and sugar, beating well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla and mix well. Combine 2 & 3/4 c. flour, baking powder and salt; add to mixture, beating until well blended. Dredge blueberries in remaining 1/4 c. flour. Fold into batter & pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour & 10 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on wire rack. Turn out of pan and serve warm or keep covered.

Florentine Frittata

I got this recipe from Cooking Light and have made it often for brunch or dinner. It is great with a fruit salad! I usually make this in a cast iron skillet or a skillet that can transfer to the oven since it goes under the broiler after it cooks on the stovetop.

Florentine Frittata

2 T. water

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 (16 oz) carton egg substitute

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry

1 T butter

2 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onion

2 c frozen shredded hash brown potatoes

1 (7 oz) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained & sliced

3/4 c (3 oz) crumbled feta cheese

Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat and add onion; saute 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook 9 minutes; stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Pour egg mixture over onion mixture. Arrange roasted bell pepper strips on top of frittata. Cook 7 minutes or until set. (sometimes I just go ahead and put it in the broiler after the 7 minutes even if it is not all the way set in the middle). Preheat broiler. Sprinkle with feta. Broil frittata 5 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned (feta will not melt). Cut into wedges and serve!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shrimp and Grits

OK, these are the most fabulous shrimp and grits I have ever had. Erin Dicharry made these for Erinn's shower and I have been hounding her for the recipe ever since. Here ya go...

Shrimp Grillades

2 pounds deveined peeled shrimp
Cajun seasoning to taste (tony's)
8 ounces sliced bacon
2 onions, chopped
1 cup chopped multi-colored bell peppers
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped Roma tomatoes

Combine the shrimp and Cajun seasoning in a bowl. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain, reserving the bacon drippings in the skillet. Crumble the bacon. Sauté the onions and bell peppers in the reserved bacon drippings over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the butter and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and shrimp. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink, stirring constantly. Stir in the cream. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add the parsley, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Serve over Jalapeño Cheese Grits. Top with the green onions, tomatoes, and bacon.

Jalapeño Cheese Grits

1 tablespoon butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chilies
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup quick-cooking grits
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese with pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, chilies, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the bell peppers are tender. Combine the chicken stock and cream in a large saucepan. Add the grits in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Whisk for 6 minutes or until the grits are cooked and the mixture has thickened. Add the bell pepper mixture and cheese. Cook until the cheese melts, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Potato Chip Chicken

This has been one of my favorite recipes for quite some time.  It always comes out tender and juicy with just a little crunch.


  • Four 6- to 8-ounce chicken breasts (you can use also use chicken cutlets or chicken thighs with bones, if desired)

  • 6 ounces potato chips (I recommend Lays)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 4 tablespoons of butter

  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

  • Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

    2. Melt butter in a small pot. Add garlic to it and let cool slightly. Crumble potato chips in food processor by pulsing for 30 seconds, or place paper towel over chips and roll back snd forth with a rolling pin until chips resemble crumbs. Mix in black pepper. You will have 1 1/2cups. Place crumbs on a large plate.

    3. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Dip one chicken cutlet onto butter garlic mixture. Place cutlet on potato chip crumbs and press down slightly to insure crumbs stick. Turn cutlet over and repeat on other side. Place on prepared baking pan. Repeat procedure for remaining 3 cutlets.

    4. Place in preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (The cooking time for breasts & thighs with bones is 30 to 40 minutes). Make sure cutlets are cooked through, still tender and that the topping is golden brown. Serve with mashed potatoes.

    Serves 4


    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Gris Gris Chicken

    This Gris Gris chicken I made tonight was so great. I made it because I had all of the ingredients...not because it sounded good (I usually do not care for mustardy foods). We were pleasantly surprised at how good it turned out. My family loved it. I got this recipe out of the Junior League of Greater Covington, LAs Roux to Do cookbook. Those ladies in south Louisiana know how to cook!

    Gris-Gris Chicken (pronounced gree gree-it means good luck charm)

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    4 tablespoons cream cheese
    1/2 cup Dijon mustard
    1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup chopped pecans

    Pound each chicken breast 1/2 inch thick. Spread each with 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese. Roll up and secure with 2 wooden picks. Dip in Dijon mustard and roll in dark brown sugar. Place in a baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the pecans. Bake at 300 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Serves 4.

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Banana Crumb Muffins

    This weekend I made muffins for Katie & Will's wedding.  Apparently there is a tradition floating around for morning weddings that guests bake muffins for the brunch.  Anyhow, I came across this recipe and the best thing is I had everything on hand!  This RARELY happens to me because my cooking is normally from a box or from the freezer.

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1tsp baking soda
    1tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 bananas mashed
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1 egg lightly beaten
    1/3 cup butter, melted
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    2 tbs all-purpose flour
    1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tbs butter

    1. Preheat overn to 375. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
    3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tbs flour & cinnamon. Cut in 1 tbs butter until mixture resembles course cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
    4. Bake for 18-20 minutes.