Fresh Blueberry Pie

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Sometimes, all I ever want is dessert for dinner. And that folks, is what I did tonight. I had a late lunch around 3:30. Usually, I eat at around 11:30 but that is the time my dentist appointment got over with and you aren’t supposed to eat anything for an hour or until the numbing wears off. After the numbing wore off my tooth was in utter pain and I didn’t feel like eating anything at all besides a piece a cake. Going to the dentist is never any fun.

What is it called when you eat lunch between Lunch and Dinner anyway? Is there a word for that?

The heat index was 98 degrees yesterday, and I was cooking this pie in my oven for almost an hour. Yes, I am a crazy person heating up my house and I don’t care either cause my air conditioner was on. The weather yesterday was so weird.  I was outside in my backyard looking at the crazy purple clouds that almost matched this blueberry pie, before the storm and it was so calm. All the sudden it felt like a hurricane had come through and then the storm hit. Storms are pretty depressing here.

This pie gets better as it sits the next day. The first day, I tried it, I thought the blueberries weren’t sweat enough but after a day sitting the pie got better.

fresh blueberry pie

Fresh Blueberry Pie
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
  • ½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cassis liqueur
  • 2 Perfect Pie Crusts
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or cream, for egg wash
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the blueberries, the ½ cup of sugar, the flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cassis in a large bowl. Carefully ease one pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, making sure not to stretch the dough at all, or it will shrink as the pie bakes. With a sharp knife, cut the excess dough off at the edge of the pie plate. Spoon the blueberry mixture into the pie shell, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula to be sure you have all the juices.
  3. Brush the edge of the crust with the egg wash. Carefully lay the second crust on top, again easing -- not stretching -- it onto the pie. Cut the excess dough off at the edge of the pie plate. Press the two edges together with a dinner fork. Brush the top crust with the eggs wash, cut three slits for steam to escape, and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Place the pie on the prepared sheet pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is very bubbly and the crust is nicely browned. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Perfect Pie Crust Ina Garten

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Ladies and Gentleman, this is my new favorite pie crust recipe and will be my go to pie crust recipe from now on. It comes from  none other than Ina Garten, my favorite Food Network Chef.  Her new cook book comes out in September and Food Network has been showing her new shows on Sunday mornings. I even made her Blueberry pie tonight and had a piece of that before dinner. Dessert always comes first.

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If you have a food processor, pie crust is  super easy to make. If you don’t own a food processor you can use one of those pastry cutters and your hands to form the dough. The only thing I changed about this recipe was leave out the Crisco that the recipe called for. I have made this recipe before with just the butter, and add more water until the dough the forms a ball in the food processor. Now that I’m good at making pie crust, I can focus on pie fillings like a quiche.

Perfect Pie Crust Ina Garten
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) very cold unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup very cold vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
  • ½ cup ice water
  1. Cut the butter in ½-inch dice and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out onto a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle at least 1 inch larger than the pie pan, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough so it doesnt stick to the board. (You should see bits of butter in the dough.) Fold the dough in half, ease it into the pie pan without stretching at all, and unfold to fit the pan. With a small sharp paring knife, cut the dough 1 inch larger around than the pan. Fold the edge under and crimp the edge with either your fingers or the tines of a fork.

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Whole Wheat & Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits – Ina Garten

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Your dogs will love these Whole Wheat & Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits from Ina Garten. They’re just like making cookies for humans, except for dogs instead.

I have two dogs and this post is about them. Both have two very different personalities.

Colin is a Bishon and is very hyper. His tail is always wagging and he’s always getting into food on the table. He’ll look for food whenever he comes back inside to see if I’ve left any on the one of the tables in the dining room.

Jerry Lee is a Lhasa Apso and  is a little bit more shy. He doesn’t like other dogs much but he really likes Colin. When those two are separated they go through withdrawal of each other. They can never be apart, because one of them would be depressed for the rest of their doggy lives. Jerry and Colin were both rescued from a puppy mill and Jerry spent more time there so he’s more timid around people. He has to check things out first before he tries anything like these dog biscuits. He brought it back to the couch and sniffed it for awhile before he started chewing on it. He’s always by my side too so it’s like I have a second shadow.

This is one recipe I couldn’t really test myself, because I’m not into eating dog food. The ingredients were all edible though and my dogs really liked them. If you’re in to eating dog food and dog treats by all means make these for yourself and just go for it. Just kidding.

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Whole Wheat & Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
  • 1½ cups stone-ground whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered or dry milk
  • ½ cup quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant), plus extra for sprinkling
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the two flours, the powdered milk, oatmeal, peanut butter and wheat germ. With the mixer on low speed, add the extra-large egg and 1 cup of water and mix just until it forms a slightly sticky ball.
  3. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board (I use all-purpose flour) and knead it into a ball. Roll the dough out ½-inch thick. Dip a cookie cutter in flour and cut out dog bone shapes. Collect the scraps, knead lightly, roll out again and cut more dog biscuits.
  4. Place the biscuits on the prepared sheet pan and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with oatmeal and bake for 1 hour, until completely hard. Cool and toss.


Ina Garten’s Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Ina Garten's Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Do you want the perfect roasted potatoes? Well, look no further! Ina Garten’s Garlic Roasted Potatoes are some of the best roasted potatoes I’ve made to date. I made these as a side to go a long with the Perfect Roast Chicken on Sunday night. Those two together made the perfect dinner too. I have a double oven so it’s pretty easy to cook both the chicken and the potatoes at the same time. If you don’t have a double oven, you could always cook the potatoes underneath the chicken in the same pan. I guess the chicken juices make the potatoes taste even better. I haven’t tried it yet, but one of these days I’m going to do that!

I got my back back drops today and can’t wait to make something and take a picture with them. I tested them with a bowl of doritos and they look pretty cool! My favorite is the white one so far. :)


Ina Garten's Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Ina Garten's Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ina Garten's Garlic Roasted Potatoes
  • 3 pounds small red or white potatoes
  • ¼ cup good olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the oven, toss with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.


Salmon & Guacamole Sandwiches

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I haven’t made a Barefoot Contessa recipe in a long time. I did watch her episodes on Food Network, where she was staying in California for vacation. Usually I like her recipes, but I thought most of those were a little too fancy for me. Sometimes her recipes can be rather high class, but this one was just perfect! We like to keep bags of frozen salmon from Sam’s Club in the freezer and they only take like 2 hours to defrost.

I’ve been wanting to use my cast iron skillet more, but they’re always such a pain in the butt to clean. Plus, I don’t know what to really cook in them. I see the Pioneer Woman using hers all the time too. She cooks food like scrambled eggs in hers and I wonder how she gets them clean all the time? This recipe requires using a cast iron to cook the salmon. You cook the salmon on both sides for 2 minutes and then transfer the salmon to the oven to finish cooking. I had my oven set to 400 still and the salmon was still rare. Ended up having to cook it for almost 7 minutes. There was only one oven temp mentioned in the recipe, so who knows which one she really used. These sandwiches were delicious.

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Recipe from Ina Garten


8 slices applewood-smoked bacon (8 ounces)
2 ripe avocados, seeded and peeled
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
¼ cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin on
Good olive oil
4 individual ciabatta rolls


Baby arugula leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon on the rack. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.

Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole. Place the avocados, lime juice, scallions, red onion, jalapeño pepper, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a mixing bowl and mash roughly together with a fork. Taste for seasoning; it should be very highly seasoned. Set aside.

When the bacon is done, heat a dry cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels, brush them all over—top and bottom—with olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place the fillets in the skillet skin side up and allow them to cook without disturbing them for 2 minutes exactly. With a metal spatula, carefully turn the fillets and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven for 2 minutes (time it carefully!). Remove the salmon to a plate and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

While the salmon rests, cut the ciabatta rolls in half crosswise, place them cut side up on a sheet pan, and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. To assemble the sandwiches, place the bottoms of the ciabatta rolls on a board and spread each with 2 rounded tablespoons of guacamole. Remove the skin from the salmon fillets, cut each fillet in half crosswise, and place both halves on top of the guacamole. Add 2 slices of bacon, a handful of arugula, and a sprinkling of salt. Spread another rounded tablespoon of guacamole on the underside of the top bread and place on top. Continue arranging all the sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally and serve warm or at room temperature.

Winter Minestrone Soup


I don’t know about you, but I’m so sick of Winter. Where I live we have 3 seasons: Winter, Flooding, and Construction. There are huge piles of snow every where and that is finally starting to melt. I can barely see where I’m drivng, you have to keep on inching forward in your vehicle hoping that you don’t get hit. I need to get a taller car some day.

This will probably be my last batch of soup for awhile since the weather is starting to warm up. I love how this soup starts off with cooking some bacon. You know anything is going to be good if a recipe starts off that way. I also love the smell of onions and bacon cooking together in a pot. Someone needs to make a candle smell like that. The addition of pesto was very nice in this soup too. Ina was spot on putting that in there. The only thing I wish I would have had, was a nice piece of crusty bread to go a long with it.


Recipe from Ina Garten


Good olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, 1/2-inch-diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) peeled butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 (26-ounce) can or box diced tomatoes, such as Pomi
6 to 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti
8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup good dry white wine
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
Garlic Bruschetta (recipe follows)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, I add more chicken stock.

Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the spinach, and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste. Serve large shallow bowls of soup with a bruschetta on top. Sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil and serve hot.
Garlic Bruschetta:

1 French baguette
Good olive oil
1 clove garlic, cut in half lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the baguette at a 45 degree angle in 1/2-inch-thick slices. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and bake for 6 minutes, until lightly toasted. Take the slices out of the oven and rub the surface of each one with the cut clove of garlic.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Don’t let brussel sprouts scare you. I was scared to try them at first, and so was my husband. They stink while cooking in the oven, but in the end they still taste good. This is a really easy recipe to make if you are curious about trying brussel sprouts for the first time. Just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cook them in the oven at a high temp for awhile and they taste amazing. They’re so cute too, almost remind me of little baby cabbages. I’m sure bacon would make them taste even better.

I am horrible at trying to get a vegetable in every day. I try to do that at dinner time, and I’ve been trying lately to get a new one in every week. Roasted broccoli is also good this way.

Servings: 6

Calories: 109; Total Fat: 7 grams, Carbs: 10g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 4g

Recipe from Ina Garten


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Easy Parmesan Risotto

Wow, I was watching Food Network this morning and there are a lot of really good recipes that I want to try now. Especially all the ones that the Pioneer Woman had on her show. I have no clue where to go looking for a hamhock though, hopefully the meat department has one. I also thought that all the recipes on Ina’s show looked really good too. I had all the ingredients for this one so I thought I’d give it a try. If you’ve ever thought that making risotto sounded intimidating well it isn’t anymore. Ina made it look really easy like she always does and this sure was. It probably could have cooked in the oven a bit less than 45 minutes. The rice was done but it wasn’t really creamy after adding all the other ingredients in like when you make risotto on a stove top. Overall, it was pretty good though. I had a bowl of it for lunch.

I plugged in the points for the original recipe and it came out to be 11. I got it down to 7 points per cup by using light butter, and only 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. It still tasted really good too.

Recipe from Ina Garten

cals: 263 cal | fat: 6.77g | carbs: 40.85g | prot: 8.15g | fiber: 1.2
points Plus: 7
Servings 6 (1 cup)


1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.