all-occasion pecan pie

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i have only ever made this pie for thanksgiving, but this year I realized that it is way too good to not incorporate into year-round enjoyment status. the crunchy nuts, flakey crust and custard-y filling. my in-laws have seriously raved about this pie for years. it took me a bit to come around, namely because I don’t generally love pecans. but, boy, i am there. send me my fan club membership card. promise me you’ll try this pie. it’s so easy and will gain you lifelong admirers.

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PECAN PIE
1 stick butter
1 C sugar
1 C corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1 C chopped pecans (I got a bag of “chopped pecans” but the pieces were still huge, so I ran them through a few pulses in the food processor)
Pie dough of your choosing, enough for a 9 inch pie (I prefer an all-butter crust, but store dough will do in a pinch)

-preheat oven to 350
-prepare pie dish with the dough. make a pretty edge if you so desire!
-in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. add the sugar and corn syrup. stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
-temper the eggs by slowly dribbling in the hot sugar mixture into the egg bowl while whisking constantly. once the eggs have been warmed up enough, pour the liquid in the bowl back into the saucepan. mix well and evenly.
-stir in the pecans and pour the filling into the pie shell.
-bake for 55-60 minutes. the pie is ready when the filling only has a very slight jiggle. check the jiggle!!

enjoy plain, with ice cream or with whipped cream. i unapologetically love cool whip.

happy monday

how was everyone’s weekend? mine was relatively low-key. i took friday off from work and slept until 9 (normally my alarm goes off at 6:30), had some morning snuggles with the pup, applied a Kiehl’s face mask and then took a luxuriously long shower. I even took the time to completely dry my hair! the mister took a half day off from work, so we went out for a lunch date at Wise Acre Eatery – a very cool diner meets cafe place in south minneapolis. our meal was lovely and I am hoping to get back soon to try our their shakes made from house made frozen custard.

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heavenly apple muffins

i am almost always disappointed when I eat a fruit muffin. there is just never enough fruit in any blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, whatever muffin i’ve ever had. it’s truly a pet peeve of mine, so i am not kidding when i say these are the best apple muffins i have ever tasted, BURSTING with apple goodness.

it’s no secret that Smitten Kitchen is one of my all-time favorite blogs. Deb just does not steer your wrong. the first time i made these I followed the recipe to the letter. and it was magic. the second time, i added a streusel topping. mind further blown.

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streusel topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (this includes the 1/4 cup brown sugar topping from the recipe)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

mix the flour, sugars and salt and add melted butter. stir with a fork until you get little pea-sized cruumbles. divide evenly among muffins before popping them into the oven.

the easiest applesauce

i love apple season. apple season in minnesota is particularly enjoyable because we have the best apple in the world – the minnesota honey crisp. i’ve heard of people baking with them, but that just seems sacrilege – they are so delicious you just have to eat them raw. however, there is nothing like a good baking apple to do with what you please. and if you’re like me, it’s gotten to the point in the season where most people have gotten their fill, so are offering up their leftover apples to those who can go the distance – ME. i’ll be sharing with you a few easy and delicious ways to use up those apples this week and ease myself back into blogging.  let’s start with something REALLY easy – applesauce!

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THE EASIEST APPLESAUCE (i’m actually not that into applesauce, but this recipe has been approved by my husband – resident apple sauce eater)

4-5 large apples (the ones i used were practically softball sized)
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t cardamom
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg (adjust the amount of any of these spices to your personal tastes!)
1/2 c water
1/2 apple cider (or apple juice) *or use all water or all cider

-peel, core and slice all the apples
-throw into a large dutch/french oven
-add spices and liquids – stir so all the slices are coated evenly
-pop the lid onto the pot, turn the heat to medium-low and let the mixture bubble away
-it’ll take about 25-20 minutes for the apples to soften – give it a couple stirs during cooking
-once they are cooked all the way through, you can mash them with a potato masher if you want a chunky applesauce or scoop it all up into a blender. i did a potato masher-immersion blender combo (so i wouldn’t have to dirty up another appliance), but beware of hot applesauce splatter if you do the same.

ENJOY!

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black raspberry & rhubarb scones

while the mister and i love fruits and vegetables, we have never been able to keep up with a weekly CSA share. it’s a lot of commitment and a lot of pressure – especially when you get a box that has a lot of produce you don’t particularly love. in comes Belle Creek Gardens – co-owned by a dear friend of ours, their box program is the perfect answer for people like us who don’t love all produce equally. the contents of each weekly box is listed by friday and if you want to order a box, it’s only $20. when you place your order, you get 3 options for box pick-up locations. we love being able to flush out our weekly grocery/co-op/farmer’s market shopping with Belle Creek Gardens.

last week’s box included rhubarb AND beautiful black raspberries. while i could have easily eaten them whole and raw, i have been wanting to make scones for awhile – so there you have it. i love the color the black raspberries added and the whole wheat flour gave my scones a gorgeous rustic look. and in true scone fashion, i love how gently sweet these treats are. perfect with your morning coffee or an afternoon pick me up.

scones1scones2scones3check out the recipe HERE

internet faves

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happy friday. hope everyone has had a lovely week. it’s been a bit dreary and rainy in minneapolis, but i can’t really complain because i know once it’s july and 90 degrees – i will have been grateful for these nourishing rainy days. not to mention, one of my favorite things is curling up with a good book or stack of magazines on any given dark and wet day. the last couple days though, the sun has made its glorious return, so it looks like the weather has turned a corner. at least for now! no terribly big plans for this long weekend – gardening/yard work, birthday events (friends and family) and hopefully a trip to the farmers’ market!

1. the (very long-awaited) 4th season of Arrested Development premieres this weekend. my favorite preview i’ve seen so far.

2. i am not at all a cat person, but even this made me laugh: cats who think they are sushi

3. even better – today i will be happier than a corgi on stilts

4. if you work or live in downtown minneapolis, my new favorite food truck is The Moral Omnivore – the fried tomato BLT is out of this world. i’m available for lunch dates most days!

5. finally had a chance to page through the latest issue of Bon Appetit last night. will definitely be making these two recipes sooner rather than later: Thai Iced Tea & Salt-Grilled Shrimp. two recipes perfect for a summer menu.

HAPPY WEEKEND

snowy friday

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even though it’s may  – there is currently a gentle snow falling in minneapolis today. it’s not really accumulating and we’re supposed to get back up in the 70’s next week, but dang it, if it isn’t an annoying thing to wake up to at this time of year. on the plus side, it’s the perfect excuse to comfort yourself at the Blogger Bake Sale happening TOMORROW. stop by Kitchen in the Market (in Midtown Global Market) from 12-3 and say hello! the mini blueberry corn muffins pictured above will be available at the sale and trust me, they are delightful.

eating for england’s lemon cake

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head over to Minnesota Monthy’s TC Taste Blog and check out Stephanie Meyer’s wonderful write up about this Saturday’s Blogger Bake Sale. Stephanie is the brain behind our Minnesota food blogging group, Fortify (more details in her post). The write-up features the gorgeous lemon cake (pictured above) by Eating for England’s Angharad Guy. It was her contribution to last year’s bake sale and I still sometimes dream about it – it’s just that good.

happy monday

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Happy Monday, friends. Hope you all enjoyed your weekend. It was a glorious sunshine-y spring weekend here in Minneapolis. I went to a show at First Ave with one of my oldest friends in the world (and her husband), the mister and I went to an after-hours fundraiser at the Minnesota Zoo AND spent hours upon hours in the bright gorgeous sun – reading and having quality outdoor time with the dog. Not to mention, general lawn and garden maintenance while we had the motivation!

Busy week this week, as I will be prepping for the Blogger Bake Sale that is happening THIS Saturday and there is a lot to do; namely, baking many many yummy things on Thursday and Friday so they don’t get stale before the sale.

Hope everyone achieved the perfect level of caffeination today – onward, ho!