Mini Lemon Pies

 

Mini Lemon Pies

These little mini lemon pies make a delightful dessert or sweet little snack any time. Made with lemon curd using fresh lemons from my cousin's Arizona backyard. 

Lemon curd is so easy to make and is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Lemon curd can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

There are many uses for lemon curd such as, filling for cupcakes and donuts, spread it between cake layers. Spread it on scones, crackers, pancakes, and waffles. 

Making lemon curd

I started by making the lemon curd. Using a double boiler I whisked together the sugar and egg yolks. Then, added the fresh lemon juice, zest of lemon, and butter. This requires continuous stirring. 

Homemade lemon curd

This finished lemon curd placed in a bowl to cool. The complete ingredients and direction for the lemon curd and the crust will be at the end of this post.

Muffin tin lemon pies

Next, I made the dough for the mini lemon pies. You can use a pie crust recipe or even buy the pie crust already made. I used the same recipe that I make for my Pecan Cup Cookies. 

This dough is really easy to make using cream cheese, flour, and butter. I rolled the dough into one-inch balls and pressed them into the mini muffin tin using my handy Tart Tamper.

Mini lemon pie cups

After baking the mini pie cups I placed them on a rack to cool. When the cups were finally cooled and the lemon curd was chilled I filled each cup with a scoop of lemon curd using my #70 cookie scoop. About one tablespoon in each cup.

Mini Muffin Tin Lemon Pies

Lemon Curd Ingredients:

1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup salted butter (cold and cut into tablespoons)
The zest of 2 lemons

Lemon Curd Instructions:
  1. Add some water to the double boiler and bring it to a boil.
  2. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks and begin to stir.
  3. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice.
  4. Continue to stir, the mixture will begin to thicken.
  5. After 10 minutes remove from the heat.
  6. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, continue stirring until all the butter is melted and the curd is thick.
  7. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.
Pie cup Ingredients:

3 ounces Crean Cheese (Softened)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour

Pie Cup Instructions:
  1. Blend the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add flour and mix until dough forms.
  3. Wrap and refrigerate to chill for 30 minutes.
I sprayed a mini muffin tin with Bakers Joy to prevent the cups from sticking. Roll the dough into one-inch balls and press up the sides of the muffin tin with the tart tamper. Tip: Have a little bowl of flour handy to coat the end of the tamper so the dough doesn't stick to it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the cups for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown. After the cups have cooled fill each of them with a tablespoon of cooled lemon curd and enjoy.

I yielded 20 little pie cups for the dough recipe and after filling them I still had some lemon curd leftover. If you want to you can double the dough recipe.

You might also like my Fresh Lemon Hand Pies made with the same lemon curd.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it.

Yummy Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

 

Yummy Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Everyone in my family knows that oatmeal raisin cookies are my favorite cookie. Many years ago Jamie made these yummy chewy oatmeal raisin cookies for me and I just couldn't stop eating them. These cookies for sure lived up to the name, yummy and chewy.

These were so good that I had to have the recipe. Jamie wrote it all down for me and I tucked away and never made them. After digging through some old recipes I came across this recipe and knew that I had to make these again.

Many people don't like raisins. Well, I happen to like them, especially in these soft chewy cookies. These cookies are made with brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. They are soft chewy and bursting with flavor.

Oatmeal cookie mixture

The complete ingredients and instructions will be below, but the first thing to do is to make this mixture. Mix the eggs, vanilla, and raisins in a medium bowl. Cover and put this in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Yummy Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ingredients:

3 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins
2-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups oatmeal

Instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl beat the eggs, add the vanilla, and raisins cover, and refrigerate for one hour.
  2. In another bowl, beat and cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.
  3. In a third bowl mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix until all of the flour is absorbed.
  5. Stir in the egg and raisin mixture, then add the 2 cups of oats.
  6. The mixture will be stiff. Drop onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper with a tablespoon. I used a #70 cookie scoop for this.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until cookies are brown around the edges.
Oatmeal cookies ready for the oven

Yummy chewy oatmeal raisin cookies ready for the oven. I'm so glad that I found this recipe, these are the best oatmeal raisin cookies that I've ever had. I yielded 60 cookies from this recipe. These are easy to freeze for a nice sweet treat any time. 

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!

Creamy Parmesan Lemon Risotto

 

Creamy parmesan Lemon Risotto

This creamy parmesan lemon risotto is delightful. You would expect to find risotto in a fancy Italian restaurant. Or, you could make risotto yourself.

Risotto is a rice dish from Northern Italy and can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or even a main dish. It is made from short-grain starchy rice that you can buy at your local grocery store. 

We used Arborio Rice the starch in this rice gives the Risotto that creamy consistency. Risotto is cooked in broth and you can add all kinds of your favorites like mushrooms, and veggies.

Bobby prepared a saucepan and added six cups of chicken broth to simmer while I diced the onion. In a separate pan, we started to cook the onions using extra virgin olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar. you can use white wine in place of the vinegar.

Cheesy Lemon Risotto

After the broth has simmered and onions are tender add one cup of the rice to the onions and stir in the warm broth one cup at a time continually stirring until the broth is absorbed for each cup of broth you add. 

Creamy Parmesan Lemon Risotto Ingredients:

6 cups Chicken Broth
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar or white wine
2 teaspoons lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
1/2 of medium Spanish onion diced
1 cup Arborio Rice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese plus 1/4 cup for garnish

Instructions:
  1. Simmer the chicken broth in a saucepan. 
  2. In a separate pan add the olive oil, butter, vinegar, and onions.
  3. Stir and cook the onions until tender. If you are adding mushrooms or veggies add them now.
  4. Add the rice to the onions and then add one cup of broth at a time.
  5. Continue to stir until each cup of broth is absorbed before you add the next one.
  6. Continue to stir and cook the risotto until soft on the outside but firm on the inside.
Note: You may not use all of the broth. We ended up using 4 cups of the broth before our risotto was finished. This takes a little time and work but is so well worth it in the end. We yielded four servings from this recipe.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it.





 

Easy Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

 

Easy Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

We love cooking new things in our cast iron skillets and pizza is no exception. This easy cast iron skillet pizza turned out to be amazing and it disappeared in minutes. 

We spend several evenings baking cookies for the Holidays with our daughter and grandsons. On one of these evenings, we needed something quick to eat before we started baking our cookies.

Our grandson Bobby, showed up with pizza dough, sauce, and his favorite topping, olives. Bobby decided to use one of our cast iron skillets to make our pizza.

Cast Iron Skillet Recipe
Ready for the oven

How to make Easy Cast Iron Skillet Pizza:

  1. The first thing Bobby did was preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Spread the dough on a floured surface to the size of the skillet, we used our 12-inch cast-iron skillet.
  3. Place the cast-iron skillet in the 500-degree oven for 5 or 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven using heavy potholders.
  5. Place the shaped dough in the skillet and add your sauce, favorite toppings, and shredded mozzarella.
  6. Place it back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  7. Again carefully remove the skillet from the oven and using a spatula transfer the pizza to a cooling rack.
  8. After a couple of minutes slide it onto a pizza pan slice it and enjoy.
What makes this so easy is you can pick up fresh pizza dough at your local grocery store and have fresh hot pizza in 20 minutes.

If you prefer to make your own dough try my All-purpose dough recipe here. This recipe will make 3 nice sized pizzas, so if you're only making one pizza divide the ingredients accordingly.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it.

Try some of our other pizza recipes

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish PizzaCast Iron Skillet Deep Dish PizzaHomemade Mozzarella Tomato and Basil PizzaHomemade Mozzarella Tomato and Basil Pizza

 

Find all of your Cast Iron Skillet needs here: 

Arugula Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

Arugula Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

 Now that the weather is a little cooler it's time to turn on the oven for some homemade pizza. This Arugula Pizza with Balsamic Glaze was the highlight of the day.

Pizza is just so versatile, you can top it with whatever you like. I started the morning by making two batches of pizza dough. I used Fleischmann's RapidRise Instant Yeast, with the rapid rise yeast your dough will be ready in about 30 minutes.

Ingredients for the Pizza Dough:

2 packages of RapidRise Yeast
6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of light olive oil

To mix the dough I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the dough hook. Add the water, yeast, salt, and oil into the mixing bowl. Begin adding the flour one cup at a time. Continue mixing until the dough forms. Then, Roll out on a floured surface, cover with a kitchen towel for about 30 minutes. This recipe will easily make three pizzas.

Arugula Pizza


Lightly grease the pizza pan and roll out the dough. I made several tomato pizzas and Jamie made this Arugula Pizza with fresh tomatoes and balsamic glaze.

Start with spreading olive oil over the top of the rolled out dough. Add fresh oregano leaves, Italian seasoning, one clove of minced garlic, and some shredded mozzarella cheese. The fresh oregano is from Jamie's herb garden.

Arugula Tomato Pizza Recipe


Now, add fresh sliced tomatoes and fresh arugula. You can slice the tomatoes to your liking thick or thin. Add some more shredded mozzarella cheese over top and bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Arugula Tomato Pizza


Remove the pizza from the oven and drizzle the top with Cento Italian Glaze. This is a sweet and tart glaze made from balsamic vinegar and works well with meat, roasted vegetables, cheese plates, and fruits. Now, it's time to slice and enjoy your pizza.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!

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Fresh Tomato Cucumber Salad

Fresh tomato cucumber salad

This is the time of year that we all enjoy the beautiful harvest form our gardens. This year Jamie planted a container garden with tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, and fresh herbs. We are enjoying the harvest with this fresh tomato-cucumber salad.

Fresh tomato salad


We started by slicing eight banana peppers. You can also use bell peppers for this salad it really doesn't matter. If I were to use bell peppers I would have sliced them into squares.

Cucumbers for tomato salad

We peeled and sliced two nice sized cucumbers. We Sliced them about 1/4-inch thick or more and then cut them into fours.


Five medium-sized tomatoes cubed. Now we have banana peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes all together in a medium-sized bowl. Oh, wait I forgot to tell you about the garlic, we chopped up four cloves of garlic and added it to the salad.

Mixing the Fresh Salad:

8 banana peppers sliced
2 cucumbers sliced 1/4-inch and then cut into fours
5 medium tomatoes cubed
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup light olive oil
Chopped fresh basil (Add to your taste)
Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper (Add to your taste)

Mix everything together well, cover, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let all of the flavors meld together.

This is a perfect salad to serve with any meal. I always like having some fresh Italian bread handy to dip in the juices. Oh! that is so good!

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it.


Fresh Blueberry Hand Pies


Fresh Blueberry Hand Pies

 These fresh blueberry hand pies are a sure crowd-pleaser. A friend of ours came to visit last week and brought us a boatload of fresh blueberries.

I wanted to make something quick with these fresh blueberries so I decided on these hand pies. The first thing I did was make my pie crust. 

Pie Crust Ingredients:

2-2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup Crisco (Chilled)
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour and salt
  2. Cut the chilled Crisco into smaller pieces and add to the bowl. I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer.
  3. Using the dough hook turn the mixer at low speed.
  4. Begin adding the ice water one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Continue on low speed until a ball of dough forms. If you have to use more water that's okay.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
While the pie crust was in the refrigerator it was time to make the blueberry filling. This filling was so easy to make and can be used for pie filling also. I had some of the filling leftover and our grandson loved it on his waffles.

Recipe for blueberry hand pies

Blueberry Filling Ingredients:

4 cups of fresh blueberries (Divided)
3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch, water, and salt.
  2. Over medium heat stir until all is combined.
  3. Add 3 cups of blueberries and continue to stir.
  4. Bring this to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes Until the filling thickens.
  5. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of blueberries, butter, and lemon juice.
  6. Stir until all is combined and let the filling cool.
Hand Pies

Now it's time to roll out the pie crust. I rolled the pie crust between two pieces of wax paper to about 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut 4-inch circles. Place one tablespoon of the blueberry filling in the middle, fold it over and crimp the edges with a fork.

Blueberry Hand Pies

Next, press a fork in the middle of each hand pie to create venting. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Before baking, beat two egg whites and brush over the top of each one. Then, sprinkle sugar over the top.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake on center rack for 20 to 25 minutes until they are golden brown.

These little treats a perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just an anytime snack.

You might also like these Fresh Lemon Hand Pies

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!




Charcoal Grilled Chicken Breasts


Charcoal Grilled Chicken Breasts

I treasure the times when our whole family can get together. It has been a difficult year for gatherings. This year for Father's Day we had everybody together.

So, it was time to celebrate with some charcoal-grilled chicken breasts. There is no doubt that the best grilling is done over charcoal. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

I picked up 8 large bone-in chicken breasts at our local grocery store. The first step was to marinate the chicken. We marinated the chicken breasts overnight in Chiavetta's Barbeque Marinade. This is a great marinade for both flavor and tenderizing the meat. 

Charcoal Grilled Chicken Breasts

Seasoning chicken breasts

We fired up the charcoal in the Weber Charcoal Chimney. To me, using the chimney is the best way to fire up your charcoal. There is no chance of getting that charcoal fluid after taste on your food.

 While the charcoal was heating up I seasoned the chicken breasts with Penzeys Galena Street Rib and Chicken Rub. This is a traditional southern-style barbeque rub.

I seasoned the breast meat by lifting up the skin on the chicken breasts and pouring in the seasoning with a small spoon. Then I worked the seasoning onto the meat with my finger. 

Bone Grilled Chicken Breasts

Then, I rubbed the seasoning all over the top and bottom of the chicken breasts. As you can see these beauties are now ready for the grill.

I grilled these for 7 to 8 minutes per side flipping them twice in the process for a total of 30 minutes. The cooking time may vary based on the size of the chicken breasts. These were large breasts with the ribs.

 I grilled them until the internal temperature was 165 degrees. It's best to have an instant-read thermometer on hand so you know when they are cooked.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!

You might also like these chicken recipes

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Grilling Snow Crab Legs


Grilling Snow Crab Legs
How to Grill Snow Crab Legs

There is no doubt about it, our family loves crab legs. If you like crab legs and give this method a try, you may never buy crab legs in a restaurant again.

Your local grocery store should have snow crab legs in the freezer section or seafood section of the store. Check to see if they are fully cooked, they should be, so all you really have to do is heat them up.

Grilled snow crab legs

We started off with 5.5 lbs. of snow crab legs and let them thaw. Fran melted 1/2 stick of butter and I mixed in 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and lightly brushed the crab legs on both sides.

I fired up the charcoal chimney to get the coals nice and hot. You can also do this on a gas grill. I would use the medium setting for a gas grill.

 I set the hot coals about 5 or 6-inches from the cooking grates. Set the crab legs on the grill and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Caution: It's best to have a spray bottle handy for any flare-ups, you don't want to burn the crab legs. 

Grilling Snow Crab Legs:

4 tablespoons of butter melted.
1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
4 to 5 lbs. of crab legs (enough for 4 people) or you can adjust accordingly.
More melted butter for serving.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it 

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Canning and Preserving Eggplants

If you follow my blog, then you know I have a passion for preserving old family recipes. These are the recipes our grandmother's and mother's made from scratch.

Food that when you make it today brings back the fondest childhood memories. Let's face it homemade is the best and nobody makes it like our grandmothers.

My cousins, Jimmy and Carmie share the same passion for preserving these cherished recipes. Here are the recipe and instructions that have been in my cousin Carmie's family for generations.

Eggplants prepared in this way are perfect on sandwiches, or as a snack with a nice slice of Italian bread. I'm so glad Carmie has this recipe because my mother also made these and I don't have her recipe. So, here is the recipe by Jimmy and Carmie.

EGGPLANTS 

A Marcella Family Recipe 

Canning and Preserving Eggplants


Carmie and I have been making this family favorite for as long as we have been married. (Basically, I cut the EGGPLANT and then make sure the jars are sealed). It is a recipe that her mother; ANNIE taught her. For years we have been saying that we should document this recipe and process so that it will be preserved for future generations. Anyone that we know that has tried this specialty really enjoys them. Whenever we go back east, we are always reminded to pack 3 or 4 jars. 

We have always made a bushel of Eggplants when making this recipe; however, you can make 2 or 3 individual EGGPLANTS if you like. As you will see there are no critical conversions for the ingredients no matter how many you decide to make. 

The first step is to trim both ends and then peel them with a potato peeler or a paring knife. Then you will slice the Eggplant into 1/8th to ¼” thick slices. (When we first started, I attempted to cut them by hand and trying to keep them uniform was next to impossible. So, after a few years I bought a RIVAL ELECTRIC FOOD SLICER). It is now well over 40 years old and still performing well). Now, the slices are uniform and the time for this step was cut by about 60% or more.

Peel and Slice


rival electric food slicer

 So, the ingredients for day one is EGGPLANTS and SALT. As indicated, we did a bushel of Eggplants. Twenty-three in all.

 Next, the Eggplant Slices are layered in a kitchen strainer and salted with Iodized Salt between each layer. Once the strainer is full of all of the slices that have been salted we then place the strainer in a place for them to drain overnight. (A sink or tub work well) 

We place a dish or flat bowl on top of the Eggplants and then place a weight on the dish or bowl to help press the moisture from the Eggplants. (We use a gallon of oil or vinegar) The next day the strainer; that was full to the top, will now only be-half full and the slices will now be half as thick as they were original.

Pressing the water out of the eggplants overnight


 On day two you will need the following ingredients: 

1-gallon HEINZ Apple Cider Vinegar
1 ½ -gallons CRISCO Canola Oil
1 Jar 2.12 ounces McCormick Red Crushed Pepper 
1 Jar 2.6 ounces McCormick Crushed Whole Oregano Leaves 
1 Jar 32 ounces Minced Garlic 
Wide Mouth Pint Mason Jars 

To start, fill a large frying pan about half full of vinegar and bring to a slow boil. On the counter next to the stove, layout several dish towels. Start by placing several slices of Eggplant in the boiling vinegar and blanch for 30 seconds or so. 

Remove from the vinegar and lay the individual slices flat on the dish towels to drain. Once drained, place the Eggplant slices in a large bowl. Continue until all of the slices have been blanched. The slices will have a very vinegary taste at this time. 


 At this time, we fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover two mason jars when laid on their sides. Bring the water to a boil and place two jars in the water. Also, in a small saucepan, we heat enough water to cover the Mason Jar inserts.

Boiling the jars and lids

 Now for the hard part. (Just kidding) Carmie sets up a workstation with a shallow bowl, oil, oregano, red crushed pepper, and garlic. One of the jars is removed from the boiling water and placed on the shallow bowl. (Remember to place another jar into the boiling water). First, a little oil is added to the bottom of the jar, then a little garlic, a little oregano, a little red crushed pepper and then a couple of Eggplant slices. 

This process is continued until the jar is full to within approximately ¾ to ½ inch from the top of the jar. A regular dinner fork is used to keep the slices layered and flat. It also helps eliminate any air pockets that may form. 

The top of the jar is then wiped with a clean dish rag and one of the Mason Jar Lids are placed on the jar and the lid ring is installed and tightened. The jar is then placed in a draft-free area to await that wonderful sound. POP! We have found that the FOOD SAVER VACUUM SEAL MACHINE is a lot more reliable. SO, I get to help again. Using the Food Saver and the Wide Mouth Jar Attachment, I seal the jars.



 As you can tell, this is not an easy process; however, if you start with two or three Eggplants, you should not be overwhelmed. Also keep in mind that if you start small, you can eliminate the mason jar and use a small Tupper Ware Container. The process is the same except the final assembly is in the Tupper Ware Container, not the Mason Jar. 

Once opened, the jars must be refrigerated. Unopened, and if sealed properly the jars will last about two years when stored in a cool dark place. Once opened and refrigerated they still have a shelf life of 6 months or so. Twenty-three Eggplants yielded twenty-three pints. 



You might like some of our other Canning Recipes

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