Welcome & Stay a Little Longer!

Welcome to Slice of Pie! I'm glad you dropped by to visit. You'll find a variety of life styling ideas on my blog ... and lots of grand daughter pictures, too! Miss Phoebe is my best helper and we do lots of special things together. Make sure you take a look down my sidebar! Under the "You're Invited" icon you'll find picture links to dinner parties I've hosted. Under the "Good Food" icon, you'll find picture links to food posts I've done. I usually post a sidebar picture link to magazine articles I've written. You'll find something you like! Hope you enjoy and stay around for awhile!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cheesecake with Splenda


Isn't this a beauty? I'll be posting several recipes in upcoming weeks that include Splenda instead of sugar. Nobody is paying me to do this ... I'm just wanting to experiment with some conversions. This sweet little cheesecake is just 7 inches, so don't try to make it and put it in a big spring form pan.  If you have a 9 or 11 inch pan, you can double the recipe, though.  Baking time is about the same.

The ingredients are simple. 
To make the crust, crush enough cookies or graham crackers to have about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. Blend that together with 2 Tablespoons soft margarine or butter and press it into the bottom of a 7-inch spring form pan.

For the filling, use 2 
8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of almond extract and 1/2 cup of Splenda. Whip it all together until it is smooth. I use my food processor.  Pour it into the crust and bake it at 350 degrees. It will take about an hour and the top will puff up ... but calms down as it cools!  Cool it on a wire rack ... completely cool ... before you remove it from the pan.

The blueberry topping is also made with Splenda. I cooked 2 cups of fresh berries with 1/2 cup of water and a Tablespoon of cornstarch ... and 1/4 cup of Splenda. My berries were extra sweet. If your berries are tart, it could take a half cup to make a good topping.

I'll be sharing this recipe with some of the parties listed in my sidebar, so click through to see all the other participants!

Red Bean Hummus


I love hummus, but I don't love garbanzo beans, so I make my hummus with red or white kidney beans. The recipe sure is easy and makes a great snack with vegetables, pita bread or crackers.



Use your food processor or your blender. Drain a can of red kidney beans and pour them in the food processor. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon ... and some of the zest if you like lemon! Add 1/2   cup of Tahini,
1 teaspoon garlic paste and about a dozen big leaves of fresh basil. Blend it all together and enjoy!

I'll be sharing this with a few of the parties listed in my sidebar, but make sure you hang around my home page for a little while! You might find something else you like!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Stir- Fry Shrimp


I'm cooking each day with foods from our CSA and enjoying every bite of it! This stir-fry recipe is about a simple as it gets and takes just minutes to prepare. I love the flavors of vegetables, so I frequently prepare stir-fry without any kind of sauce. This is one of those times!

I drizzled the shrimp, mushrooms and squash with sesame oil ... tossed them around it it ... and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to absorb a little of the oil. Then I dropped those ingredients into a hot skillet and seared in the flavors, stirring and turning until the shrimp were pink. I added a big handful of greens right on top of the other ingredients ... turned off the burner ... then continued to toss things around until the greens were wilted.  That's it!  All done!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ZOODLES!


It doesn't take much to entertain me! I'm crazy for kitchen gadgets and probably have more "used it once" things buried in my kitchen drawers than most people! The zoodle maker will not be one of those things, however! Nobody is paying me to blog about this little gem, but it is worth a little focus. I've looked at all the recipes for preparing the long strands of squash on Pinterest for the past couple years, but just decided I would join in with the ZOODLE crowd last week. I ordered my zoodle slicer and used it immediately the day it arrived!



My recipe was about as simple as it gets.  I sauteed my zoodles in a couple Tablespoons of pesto and it only took about 4 minutes to have beautiful zoodles. You probably already know that zucchini will take on any flavor that you put with it. You can make mock apple pies using zucchini and you'll never know you aren't eating apples!
It is simple to use the tool. Slice the top and bottom off the end of the squash and twist it in the little slicer. There are two sizes of blades and you can choose the one you like best. There is also an end cap to use to protect your fingers from the last few twists. Use it! A couple summers ago, I taught over 1,000 students how to cook using locally grown produce and most of those students were kids.  I think this tool is safe enough for children to use.  You can also use it to slice carrots and potatoes and I'll be trying that soon!

I'll share this post with a couple of the parties listed on my sidebar, but before you venture off to visit the other party-goers, stick around my home page. You might find something else that you like!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fried Chicken Secret Spices!



It is very common to find copycat recipes online these days, and there are scores of posts that say they have the "exact" recipe for that famous Colonel's fried chicken. I doubt that, especially since the ingredients vary from post to post! Don't believe everything you read!

I've had a fried chicken spice recipe for many years and the originator claimed it was the "real thing" from the Colonel. I'm sure it isn't but it sure is a good one! I  combine these spices: 

A teaspoon of each:

Poultry seasoning
Pepper
Salt
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Cinnamon
Celery salt

2 Tablespoons:
Paprika
Accent

I store these combined spices in a jar and when I'm oven frying or pan frying chicken, I use a teaspoon of the spices to every half cup of flour. You can sprinkle more on each piece of chicken before you bake it or after you remove it from your skillet.  I soak my chicken pieces in buttermilk for about 30 minutes, then dredge the pieces in the seasoned flour.  I prefer to oven fry chicken these days, so I place each piece in a shallow pan that has about 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of canola oil in it. If you want more seasoning, sprinkle it on at this point. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for about an hour. Turn the pieces over after 30 minutes, so both sides brown. You can turn the pieces more frequently, if you want to brown it all the way around (like the legs).  It is possible that it will take a little longer than an hour to finish the chicken, especially if the pieces are larger. I cut chicken breasts into 4 pieces, but the thighs might take a few more minutes to get done.

My mother made oven fried chicken and we call it "Boyfriend Chicken" because she made it as a special meal with our boyfriends or girlfriends came to visit! Mother turned her chicken every 15 minutes and sprinkled each piece with Lawry's Seasoning Salt. Instead of using oil, she melted a stick of butter in her baking pan. I still make this, too ... and it is delicious, too!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Greens with Outlander!


It seems fitting that I'm reading the Outlander books this summer ... and experiencing all kinds of recipes with greens! Every time I try a new recipe, I think of Claire and all her medicinal concoctions using herbs and greens and things that she foraged. I'm loving the books and since my daughter is way ahead of me in reading them, occasionally I can get her to give me hints about what will be happening!  

This week's greens from the CSA are sorrel. It isn't often that I say I haven't eaten something, but until today, I had never knowingly tasted sorrel. I say 'knowingly' because my grandparents and a pair of elderly neighbors used to cook all kinds of pots of greens ... so it is possible that I've eaten them in childhood!

I am delighted by the flavor. They taste like a combination of Granny Smith tart apples, lemons and limes. The leaves that I cooked were about four inches long and I chopped the stems right with the leaf. After a little study, I found that folks love them in salads, cooked as pot greens and used in sauces. Because of the tart flavor, they are especially good served in sauces made with butter and cream and accompanying fatty fish like salmon. The tart flavor cuts the richness of the fatty ingredients. I also found that sorrel with ripen and burst a boil if you make the leaves into a poultice!

I might try that, but tonight I had my sorrel in a cream sauce over pasta, and here it is!


This recipe is enough for two servings of pasta or four side servings of pasta.

In 2 Tablespoons of butter, saute 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped sweet onion. When the onions are beginning to soften, add 2 cups of loosely packed sorrel leaves cut in a chiffonade style. As soon as the greens wilt, add 1/2 cup of dry white wine, 1 cup of half and half and 1/2 cup dry parmesan cheese. Add a dash of salt and a grind of black pepper and let this simmer until the sauce thickens ... about 4 - 6 minutes. When the sauce is done, add 1/2 cup chopped tomato (no juice or seeds) and stir it into the sauce.

I served this over penne pasta ... so the sauce would seep into the center of the noodles!  Loved it! 

This sauce resembles a Florentine sauce, but the flavor is different ... not so "icky" rich because the sorrel indeed cuts that out. It will be delicious served over any kind of meat, used as a sauce for crepes or stacked in a flour tortilla casserole with shredded chicken. 

I'll be sharing this with a few of the parties listed in my sidebar, but I hope you'll hang around my home page to see my other posts!