January 16, 2017

Creamy Lemon Pie

Has it really been over 3 years since I've done a post? Whoops. Where has the time gone? Oh right, I was moving from Texas to Oklahoma, starting a new job and focusing on what's really important. Right now what's really important is this lemon pie made with sour cream so it's tart AND creamy 👌
I'm not a fan of meringue for some reason or the sharp yellow of traditional lemon meringue pie. Does anyone know of Luby's cafeteria? Or La Madeline? Well both of them have a lemon pie and lemon tart, respectively, that I'm pretty sure I could live on if I had to. This is as close to those that I could get. And it only has a handful of ingredients!
I cheated and used a premade pie crust and cool whip instead of making my own crust and whipped cream and 'twas still delicious 😉

-  1 9'' (not deep dish) pie shell, baked and cooled
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, softened
Zest of one lemon (about 1/2 tablespoon)
1 cup sour cream 
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
Crack eggs in a small bowl, beat slightly with a fork and set aside.  
-   In a large saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in milk and fresh lemon juice and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbling.
Reduce heat to low and cook for two more minutes. Add a spoonful of the hot mixture into the egg yolks and stir well. Repeat this process with two or three more spoonfuls of the hot mixture added to the egg yolks. (The goal is to temper the egg yolks so they don't cook when added to the hot saucepan.)  Poor egg mixture into the saucepan and stir well. Bring mixture to a gentle boil and cook for two more minutes. Remove from heat.
Add softened butter and lemon zest and stir until butter melts completely. Allow mixture to cool and then stir in sour cream. Add filling to your pie shell. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving.
-   If making your own whipped cream: In a mixing bowl, beat heavy whipping cream with an electric mixer. While beating, add sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over pie filling. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving. 
Enjoy the best lemon sour cream pie ever!

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November 25, 2013

Breakfast Casserole

Whenever someone in my section at work has a birthday we all bring a dish and have breakfast together to celebrate. And we all wear tiaras. I still don't know why, but that's how we do it at my office :)  I was really busy last week so I wanted something "semi-homemade" and savory. There is always too much sugar at these things. One of the best breakfast foods in the history of the world is biscuits and gravy (that's not my opinion, it's a fact) so I started looking for a casserole dish using biscuits and gravy. I found a recipe over at The Tasty Fork and it looked delicious so I modified it a little and brought it to work. It was a HUGE hit. And super easy. We ate it for dinner the next few nights at my house! Over at The Tasty Fork she used green chilies and Rotel in her casserole (see below) so check out her recipe if you want a little more spice!

This is the casserole from The Tasty Fork's website

Biscuits, Sausage & Gravy Casserole, serves 4-8
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 30 oz bag frozen potatoes (diced/cubed/etc. - whatever you like!)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 package of dry gravy mix (I used Pioneer "country" gravy)
  • 1 can of jumbo biscuits, 8 biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Original)
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the biscuits into quarters and set aside. You can leave them whole if you like, but I wanted people to be able to eat this while standing up :)
  3. In a hot skillet, add sausage and cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Spoon sausage onto a plate, saving as much of the grease as you can.
  4. To the skillet add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and potatoes. Cook about 8 – 10 minutes. The potatoes don’t need to be browned, just done enough to hold their shape. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Prepare the gravy — follow the directions on the packet.
  6. Grease a casserole dish (I used a 13" x 9" pan) and add 1/2 of the potato mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over the potatoes. Place biscuits on top and add the rest of the potatoes, sausage and gravy. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the casserole sit a few minutes before digging in.
I would recommend more than 1 packet of gravy…. I would've been happier with more gravy :)

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November 22, 2013

New York Cheesecake

My Oma (what we call my grandmother on my mom's side) has won contests with her cheesecake recipe. It's so good. It's one of the things I associate with Oma. The other things include chocolate ices (milk, ice and chocolate syrup in a blender), Kashi cereal (that's what she always ate) and diet orange soda. Spending so much time with her when I was young I learned a lot about baking from her. Since cheesecake is an "Oma staple", I have always loved making it... and eating it. I tweaked her recipe to better suit my American taste buds. She has said it's better than hers..... That's kind of a big deal :)
Her recipe had a lot more lemon in the filling and fresh strawberries with a strawberry glaze on top. I'm a simple girl. No fruit on my cheesecake please. Just give it to me straight. This is how I make it....
This picture is not mine. It belongs to www.browneyedbaker.com.

Prep: 15 min 
Total: 5 hr 25 min
Servings: 16 servings

1 cup Nilla Wafer crumbs (about 1/3-1/2 a box), finely crushed
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
5 pkg.  (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup  sugar
3 Tbsp.  flour
1 Tbsp.  vanilla
1 cup  Sour Cream
4  eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 325ºF if using 9-inch springform pan (or to 300ºF if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan).
Mix Nilla wafer crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 min. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while preparing the filling.
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low after each just until blended; stir in the lemon juice and zest; pour over crust.
Bake 60-70 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn the oven off and barely crack the door and let the cheesecake remain in the oven to completely cool. Refrigerate 4 hours (preferably overnight). Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim.
**If you don't have the time or it is inconvenient, you can take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool on the counter or on a rack. Leaving it in the oven with the door cracked just allows it to set a little more evenly. It'll be good either way :)
**You can make this in a 13"x9" pan. Just line the pan with foil, press the crumbs into the pan and make the rest the same way. 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.
**You can make this with a graham cracker crust. Just use 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, 3T. sugar and 3T. butter for the crust. You could also use Oreos, shortbread, any type of cookie really.
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June 5, 2013

Strawberry Summer Cake

My friend asked me to dinner while I was in Oklahoma City visiting this past week and I offered to bring dessert. Obviously. But, I was at my mom’s house and she is definitely not a baker. I have to check her pantry sometimes to see if she has baking soda or even flour. More than once she hasn’t had those things…. So I wanted a very simple recipe with just a few ingredients so I didn’t have to grab too many things at the store. I went to my favorite bloggers' website (www.foodblogsearch.com) and typed “summer” into the search box and this recipe came up. I was pretty sure it would be a hit because I have never made anything from Smitten Kitchen’s blog that wasn’t amazing! I was right. I ended up making 2 since they were so simple and one went to my friend’s and one stayed at the house. Both were gone by the end of the night!!
I served this with freshly whipped cream, but I'm confident it would be delicious on it's own. Or with ice cream. Whatever floats your boat :) I am going to try this with other fruits soon because I have a sneaking suspicion it would be delicious with other types of berries as well! Maybe strawberries and blueberries for July 4th!!

Strawberry Summer Cake
Recipe from www.smittenkitchen.com 
 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan
 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon table salt
 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
 1 large egg
 1/2 cup whole milk
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or a 9-inch round cake pan (what I used).
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pan. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

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April 15, 2013

Symphony Brownies

This is not my picture. I couldn't get mine to rotate after uploading it!! This recipe used an almond toffee candy bar instead of milk chocolate.... so ignore the nuts ;)
Sometimes you just can't beat a Paula Deen recipe. Years ago my little sister made some brownies she saw Paula Deen make on the Food Network and I just remembered when she made them I thought they were the most insaley chocolate-y things I'd ever eaten. I don't crave chocolate that often, so when I do I go all out. I do blame my friend Sarah for this one because she MADE me eat a chocolate parfait from Whole Foods while I was visiting her in Austin this weekend!! She didn't really make me, but it makes me feel better about myself if I blame my chocolate binge on someone else ;-)  Anyway, I searched the web yesterday for the recipe, found it, made it, LOVED it! It's super easy and super delicious. Enjoy!!

Paula's recipe used the Symphony bar with almonds and toffee, but
since I'm allergic to almonds I used milk chocolate :)

This was the largest size mix I could find that wasn't dark chocolate.
The recipe calls for a 20 oz. mix.

Symphony Brownies
Yield: 24 small brownies (or 12 large)
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min


1 (appx. 20-ounce) package (family-sized) boxed brownie mix
2 King-sized Symphony brand candy bars


1. Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.

2. Generously grease a 8x8-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula. Place the 2 candy bars on the batter so they cover the surface of the brownie batter. Cover with remaining batter.

3. Bake according to package directions (mine took 42 minutes). Let cool completely, then devour!!

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