Friday, April 19, 2013

Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 of produce

I came across an article I printed out three years ago. It reminds me of what I should be planting in my garden to avoid pesticides. After all, one of the best things about having a garden in your back yard is that you decide how organic it will be. Right?

My printed article is still on line - go to or go to for the whole list.

Hopefully, this will help you in planning your garden this year, too.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Honey Mint Carrots

This is a very simple, yet elegant addition to a meal.
I've served it with chicken and potatoes mostly, but it will go with many other combinations.

10-12 carrots (peeled and sliced thinly)
2 or 3 T honey
2 or 3 T butter
1/2 to 1 T crushed mint flakes

Boil carrots until cooked but still firm. Take out 1/2 c of the boiling water. Mix this water with the honey and butter. Drain carrots and place in a serving dish with a lid. Pour honey water over the carrots and add mint flakes (crushing them in your palm as you add them). Stir lightly and place the lid on the dish. Serve within 3-5 minutes for best results.

Note: After you make this once or twice, you'll figure out how much of each to put in your dish. Do it with the smaller amounts first and then tweak it to your family's taste.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Best pie crust

Pie Crust with Vinegar and Egg
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 c shortening (or marg)
1 egg
1 Tblsp vinegar
1/4 c cold water

Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening until it resembles cornmeal. Beat egg and combine with vinegar and water. Stir into flour mixture with a fork. Roll onto floured surface between sheets of waxed paper.
Makes 2- 9" crusts or 3- 8" crusts.

Prebaked crust: Bake at 450 F for 10 min.

Note: I was given five different pie crust recipes by a friend and tried them all. This was the one I liked the most. It won the contest for a great combination of flakiness and substance without tasting greasy. Hope you like it too.

Mock Apple Pie - April Fool Favorite

I came across a Mock Apple Pie that has become an April Fool's Favorite treat at our home.
It's hard to imagine, but believe me - it is REALLY hard to tell there are no apples in this pie.
pastry for 2- 9" pie crust (see next blog post for my favorite homemade crust)
36-45 RITZ crackers (coarsely broken, about 1 3/4 c.)
2 c. sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
grated peel of 1 lemon
2 T lemon juice
2 T butter (or marg)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 F. Roll out half of the pastry and place in 9" pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust; set aside. Note: There will only be enough crumbs to be about 1/2 full. Don't worry, it'll grow as it cooks.
The original recipe calls for 36 crackers, I use 42-45.

Mix sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in 1 3/4 c. water until well blended. Place on stove and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 15 min. Take it off of the stove and add lemon peel and juice. Let cool (when tested, it should not be too hot to touch, but doesn't have to be room temperature). Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry and place over pie. Trim and seal the edges. Slit the top crust in a few places to allow the steam to escape while baking.

Bake 30-35 min or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
You've gotta try this one. It'll make your unsuspecting family and friends amazed.

See my best pie crust recipe as the next entry.

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