It’s strawberry season! That usually means that I, like my mother before me, go a bit overboard when I pick strawberries. Last week I went out with my son Leo and we picked about 10.5 L (!) So after washing, hulling and making jam I still had a ton! I have had this recipe for strawberry pie for years but totally forgot about it! I have since made strawberry pie twice. It really is amazing.
Strawberry pie ingredients
so here are the ingredients for the strawberry pie. If you want to make your own pastry please see below for a “perfect pastry” recipe for two pie crusts. Otherwise you can use prepared bought pie shells – just be sure to follow the directions on the box and bake it.
one baked pie shell
2 quarts whole strawberries washed and hulled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
one cup sugar
2.5 tablespoons of cornstarch
Put half of berries into the pie shell whole (please make sure the berries are dry). Put the other half of the berries in a saucepan and crush with a potato masher. Add sugar and cornstarch and boil and stir until clear and thick. Add lemon juice. Let this mixture cool a little then pour over berries. Let stand in refrigerator for 2 hours and serve with whipped cream.
Seriously this is so simple and delicious it is amazing.
Perfect pastry ingredients and directions
If you want to get a bit more complicated here is an easy pie shell recipe that makes really one of the best crusts I have ever made.
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c cold butter
1/2 c cold lard cubed (or shortening)
2 tsp vinegar
two tsp lemon juice
In a food processor blend flour and salt and cut in butter and lard until fine crumbs. Beat egg separately in a liquid measuring cup until foamy and add vinegar and water to make 2/3 of a cup. Add egg mix all at once to stuff in processor and mix until it clumps but don’t let if form a ball. Remove and press together into 2 disks and refrigerate 30 min (up to 3 days or freeze 3 mos). Let stand at room temp 15 min before rolling. Bake 450 F for 10 min (rememember to poke with fork on bottom or add pie weights)
So During this thing (11 weeks now) was super excited to finally get chocolate chips. Baking has become a real thing! I asked my really close group of girlfriends – hit me with your fave chocolate chip cookie recipe – this one came back from my friend Emily which was originally from a friend of hers (Sarah? I can’t remember). But here is literally the best chocolate chip cookie recipe (at least in my friend’s group) so far.
2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
butter 1 cup (salted or unsalted)
1 1/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
instant espresso powder (I left this out) 2 tsp
2 cups chocolate chips
Instructions for the best chocolate chip cookies
Preheat oven to 350 F and cover baking sheet with parchment. In a medium bowl place dry ingredients (except esspresso powder) and mix with fork. In large bowl cream together softened butter and sugar until creamy with electric mixer. To the butter mixture beat in egg and vanilla and espresso powder. Gradually stir in flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Stir in Cocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoons onto prepared sheet and bake in centre of oven until golden around 8 min. Take out of oven and let set 2 minutes then move to a cooling rack.
So that is it – I hope you try these – I am actually going to go make these super yummy chocolate chip cookies right now. Even my husband who avoids chocolate most of the time thought these cookies were amazing.
So this week’s recipe post is a bit of a cheat… I’ve been busy getting the clinic ready for re-opening and have seen a few urgent patients. So good to be ready for when I can invite all of my patients back. I don’t have a recipe that I tweaked this week per se but I do have some awesome links to recipes I have made during my 10 weeks at home many of which have become family faves. I am sure they will stay in the rotation – Also tons of yummy breads and deserts… so here are some of my recipes that have become pandemic faves!
Pandemic Faves: Breads
Bread and baking have gone wild during this time… So much so that it is hard to find flour and yeast. Tip- Costco usually has 10 kg bags for about $8. Yeast – one of my friends found some in a small bakery in Mimeco… also I am now part of a cult – the Cult of Sourdough. Yep, it got me. If you want some sourdough starter just ask, I will give you some – we can have a physically distanced pick up and visit and everything. As with all Cults, I have become a bit obsessed….
Ok so here are the bread recipes I have done and continue to do:
This was Thursday morning – two loaves white bread and one sourdough…
This recipe came to me by way of my friend Emily Howell (also a chiropractor) she said I could post it but should mention that it was originally a weight watchers recipe (though I think that is a different one she gave me once… this one has lard so not really WW friendly) – I have, as usual, made a few changes – but this base recipe for scones is one of the best ever. This time I added chocolate chips and crasins but usually I add white chocolate and blueberries – Leo says I need to get blueberries and white chocolate because that one is better… eat your chocolate cranberry scones kid… sheesh!
I do admit the white chocolate blueberry is better but this one ain’t bad either… you can also make these plain, with shredded cheese or any other mix of fun stuff! good luck and tell me your favourite combination!
Ingredients for scones
4 cups Flour
Baking powder – 6 teaspoons
salt – 2 teaspoons
sugar – 4 tablespoons
lard or shortening or margarine – 1 cup
1 1/3 cup milk and 2 eggs beaten
(and chocolate chips and crasins, or white chocolate chips and blueberries or whatever you like to add!)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all dry ingredients. Add lard and blend with pastry blender. Add milk and egg and mix. Mix in chocolate/ fruit or your choice of stuff. Drop by handfuls onto cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake 12-15 minutes.
I hop you like these as much as we do – honestly the blueberry white chocolate ones are legendary. Friends of ours in London Ontario ask for them every time we visit or they visit us… The kids remember me mostly for my scones. Hey, its a good thing to remember! I’ll take it.
Ok so this pandemic thing is making me pull out my inner Girl Guide. This past weekend – Sunday – was the most gorgeous day. We are lucky enough to have a backyard and spend much of the day pulling out ivy from a garden next to the house (and found a crack in the foundation – don’t worry it is small and not serious and by the time I wrote this Wednesday night – fixed). I digress, we decided to cook outside (steak) on the BBQ and have a special dessert. No marshmallows to be found so I pulled out an old trick from Girl Guide days – Campfire Peach Cobbler. So yummy and quite easy – can be done over the fire or under the broiler too.
Ingredients needed for peach cobbler
Oatmeal cookies (two per person)
Peach slices – I used canned
you will also need two peices of tin foil per cobbler and one damp paper towel.
We had no oatmeal cookies and strangely nut free ones (my son has an allergy) are hard to find. At Girl Guides we used Dad’s brand but they are not nut free. We didn’t have any on hand so I made a batch – so good and worth the extra time – I used this recipe I found online for soft oatmeal cookies from Allrecipes check it out. Oh and btw it makes way more than the 24 it claims to make in the recipe (not a bad thing).
Place down one piece of foil shiny side in. Wet a paper towel (it should be about a half size one smaller than the foil) and wring out and place on top of foil. Place a second piece of foil over top – doesn’t matter where shiny side goes. Put one cookie on foil then 2-3 slices of canned peach and maybe a spoon of juice. On top of the peaches put 1-2 tsp of brown sugar and then top with second cookie. Drug store wrap the cookie concoction. If you have no idea what that is click here and check out the end of the video with the foil. I learned this from my dad who was a pharmacist. Apparently it is how the drug stores wrapped sandwiches and packages once upon a time (the 1940s? 1950s? – anyway it is useful!)
Then what you will do is take these packets and place them on the coals of the fire – it has to be hot and they will get black on the outside – if the fire is really hot it only takes 5-10 min per side.
Remove from fire and allow to cool for a few mins so you can unwrap. Add whipped cream if you like and eat out of packaging with a fork – delicious gooey mess! Leo wants to do it again this weekend so we have to go easy on the cookies…
I have been posting a bunch of recipes and most of them are pretty easy. At least I think so. But during these weeks of us all staying home many of us have had more time to slow down and cook. Slow food, I think that is what the fancy chefs were calling it. Food. Like our grandmothers used to cook. With the extra time it has been super satisfying to finally have the time to cook and bake to my heart’s content. But then again, somedays one doesn’t feel like it. It is perfectly normal to go through ups and downs during this period of isolation and sometimes (damnit) I don’t wanna cook. Here is an old staple that is so easy and so satisfying on a comfort food scale that it is a regular and frankly one of Leo’s favorite (ok and mine too). Welcome to creamy noodles – don’t make fun of me for how easy it is.
Chicken (one breast cut into cubes)
mushrooms quartered – a small package (optional and mostly I don’t use them)
pasta (whatever kind is your fave)
one can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (the condensed kind)
Directions for creamy noodles
Cook pasta and drain. Set aside. if you are using mushrooms cook them down so they release the water and set aside. Cook chicken and then set aside. Pour can of soup into a pot and warm until boiling and add a bit of milk to decrease thickness a bit. Add back in the chicken and mushrooms if you are using them and pour over pasta. That is it. Seriously don’t make fun of me. It isn’t our grandparents cooking it’s more like Mom from the late 70s cooking. But damn, Creamy noodles is one of my fave comfort foods. Use it on a day you just don’t feel like doing the whole bake up a storm thing. Happy eating!
For the second week in a row, back by popular demand… a martini recipe – please enjoy responsibly and for those 19+ only… but for all of us at home going on 7 weeks – It’s Quarantini Time (only responsibly though!). The super sweet and tart lemon drop martini.
Ingredients for lemon drop martini
1 lemon – juiced (you need about 2 tbsp
1-1.5 oz vodka
1 oz simple syrup
(If you don’t have simple syrup you can make it – it is a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar – for instance use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. )
place ice cubes in a martini shaker along with all other ingredients. Then shake. Allow the ice to melt a little bit. Pour into a martini glass – voila so good and easy… remember to enjoy responsibly even when stuck at home. (and yes, I am really good at making martinis… and I take requests…_
My husband loves fried chicken. Fried chicken is not super healthy. We are also in a pandemic and we don’t love the idea of eating out too much… plus we are trying to keep ourselves as healthy as possible at the mo. I have also been scouring the cupboard for long forgotten things to use so that we can avoid the grocery store as much as possible – I found a box of panko bread crumbs (likely long ago expired but oh well) and found a great recipe that I modified for the air fryer! So here is a good healthier option for panko fried chicken legs!
Ingredients for panko fried chicken legs
chicken legs (6 or so)
buttermilk (1/4 c) or use 1/4 c milk and 1/4 tbs lemon juice mixed together and allowed to stand for 15 min
panko bread crumbs (1 cup)
parlsey 1 tsp
your choice of seasoning (Italian or I used fajita seasoning 1-3 tsp)
salt – about 1/4 tsp to taste
Place chicken in a ziploc bag with buttermilk to coat and refrigerate for at least 30 min. You can leave this here all day or overnight if you like though. Spray inside of basket of air fryer with cooking spray; if you like put about 1 tsp of vegetable oil in the bottom. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and coat the chicken well. I tried to pat a good layer of panko mix onto each side and then balanced as much as I could on the top. Then spray each side of the chicken and place in air fryer basket. Cook for 10 minutes at 380F then flip and cook an additional 14 minutes. Make sure the chicken internal temperature reaches 165 degrees so you know it is done.
This recipe doubles easily but my air fryer will only hold 6 legs at a time … I did double this and had lovely left overs…
I tripped across a recipe about 10 days ago for an Apple Pie Martini – in my usual fashion I changed it to make it my own and then posted it on facebook – my personal page. It got a lot (A LOT) of traction… It is a really REALLY good recipe… and you know, 6 weeks into stay at home time really does equal quarantini time. So…. I asked my friends on my personal facebook page if it was inappropirate to post a martini recipe on my blog since a lot of my patients come here to look at recipes. One of my friends said a more appropirate question was really “should I post 1 or 2 martini recipes on my blog each week?” And thus, I have been schooled. I therefore bring you The Aplle Pie Martini (to be enjoyed occasionally and responsibly for those 19+)
Ingredients for Apple Pie Martini
This is a list for a batch of martinis – do not drink it all at once!
One cup of Vodka
One apple sliced really thinly (for surface area)
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
one cinnamon stick
Symple syrup (1 oz -1.5 oz per drink – to be used later when ready to drink)
In a glass sealable container place sliced apple, cinnamon, lemon juice and vodka and seal. Place in refrigerator at least 24 hours. Once the day has gone by drain into a different container. When ready to mix place ice and simple syrup in a martini shaker along with 1-2 oz of flavoured vodka and shake – allow the ice to melt for a few minutes then strain into martini glass.
Why the recipe for the easy chocolate cake? Here is the back story: So back during the depression there were shortages of supplies, or it was just too costly to get things like eggs, butter, yeast. Want to bake a cake and you may be out of luck. Sound familiar? Here in week 5 of physical distancing I almost cried when my husband went to Costco and then Walmart and found zero eggs at any price. We got lucky and found some at the local grocery store; but the point of going to Costco was to avoid going to more than one store – frustrating.
So, here we are trying to conserve things in a way that I really never thought we would have to in my lifetime. We poked fun at our grandparents for washing plastic bags and saving milk bags to reuse, saving wrapping paper and bacon grease. Lo and behold I am now doing all of these things; ok, I always saved bacon grease because it is awesome for some cooking. I say it is a good thing this happened now so that my generation, who witnessed our grandparents wisdom, knew what to do. Our kids would have otherwise had no idea. Ok so the search for this easy chocolate cake came from that: no eggs, or milk, and it uses things on hand. I can also be found under names like “depression cake” or crazy cake… doubles easily…
flour 1.5 cups
sugar (white) 1 cup
cocoa powder 1/4 cup
vegetable oil 3/8 cup (or so dont stress over the exact amount…)
water – 1 cup cold
vinegar (white) – 1 tablespoon
vanilla – 1 teaspoon
chocolate chips (a handfull or so)
sprinkles to top…
Directions for easy chocolate cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a square glass pyrex baking dish with oil or baking spray. (but this can also be done right in the glassware with no greasing and all mixing done in the one bowl and no clean up! but this makes cleaning the pan a bit harder after baking). Mix all dry ingredients in mixing bowl – you can sift together but I am lazy and never do… it would probably make it fluffier though. Make three depressions in the dry ingredients and add oil to one, vinegar to another and vanilla to the third. Pour the water over all and mix all together. Pour into baking pain and toss hand fulls of chocolate chips over top and add sprinkles. Bake for 25-30 mins checking occasionally at end until inserted knife comes out clean.