Sharing our food successes and failures, new recipes and old favorites
...and throwing in some great money-saving deals here and there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Crack Pie

They call this crack pie for a reason - I'm pretty sure this is to a food junkie like myself what crack is to a drug junkie ;-) It's highly addictive and one piece is definitely not enough!

I found this recipe featured in Bon Appétit in last year's September issue. I was intrigued (mostly because of the name!) and stuck it in my collection. I have avoided making pies, cookies, cakes, etc. recently because I'm usually the only one in the house who ends up eating it, but when I was in charge of dessert for the boy's family's Labor Day picnic, I thought I'd give it a shot. The name rang true - everyone seemed to like the salty-sweet pie and I had just one little sliver left by the end of the day. I'd definitely make this one again!

Crack Pie
Oat Cookie Crust
T (1 stick plus 1 T) unsalted room temperature, divided
5.5 T packed brown sugar, divided
2 T sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 T old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 T nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
6.5 T heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 13x9x2 baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. 
  2. Combine 6 T butter, 4 T brown sugar, and 2 T sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.
  4. Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.
  5. Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 T butter and 1.5 T brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. 
  6. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-in diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press evenly onto bottom and up the sides. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
  7. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks, and vanilla and whisk until well blended.
  8. Pour filling into crust and bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble).
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 325 and continue to bake until filling is brown in spots and set around the edges. Center will still move slightly when the dish is gently shaken - about 20 minutes longer.
  10. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight. Can be made 2 days ahead.
  11. Before serving, sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Serve cold.

Zucchini Brownies

These sound bizarre - believe me, I know. I needed to bring dessert to the boy's family's annual Labor Day gathering and I've been itching to make this one recipe I found in Bon Appétit (crack pie - look for that post after this one). I had no idea how the pie would turn out, so I thought I'd bring brownies as a safe bet back-up (and it was kid-friendly for the 6 little ones we had there). When I opened up my fridge and saw mounds of zucchini and (of course!) no eggs, I remembered seeing this recipe and figured I'd try it out. What are the odds of a double dessert failure?!

Luckily, the brownies were a HUGE hit. Even my father-in-law, who hates zucchini and isn't a big fan of chocolate, thought they were great. I definitely recommend them if your garden is overflowing with zuchs! The icing is what really makes them perfect (alone the brownie was just a tiny bit bland).

Zucchini Brownies
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup margarine
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan. I like to use cocoa powder to flour the pan so the brownies don't have white powder all over the bottom.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. 
  4. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners' sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Yesterday was the first day of college football - whoo hoo! I love watching the games...but not nearly as much as the boy. I can sit still for at least one game...*sometimes* two, depending on who is playing. He could sit there for an entire day and watch?! With yesterday being the first week, that's what he did. When the kids were napping, I was already getting antsy, so I decided to make lasagna. This recipe takes awhile and has lots of steps, but is worth it. The cold leftovers for breakfast are pretty darn delicious, too!

1 pound ground sausage
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) can canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
18 lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Fill a pan with hot water and soak lasagna noodles while sauce is cooking (sounds strange, but it works AND saves you from cleaning another pan). 
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. To assemble, layer 6 noodles along bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce on top. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella. 
  6. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 40 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Steaks, beans and potatoes

I found this steak marinade recipe about a year and a half ago and immediately fell in love! P-M (pre-marinade), I would just slap on a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic onto my steaks and have the boy grill them up. They were always good, nothing extraordinary, but still tasty. Since I've found this recipe, though, I won't make them any other way. I also use some of the marinade on the veggies that we serve with it - adds a little punch to them, but not in an overwhelming way.

This last time we had steaks, I made them with beans that were fresh picked from our garden, and with some garlic red potatoes we had picked up through our crop share.

Garlic Red Potatoes

2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place potatoes in an 8x8 inch baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl combine melted butter, garlic, salt and lemon juice; pour over potatoes and stir to coat. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over potatoes.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes (or until golden brown).

Best. Marinade. Ever.
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon concentrated lemon juice (or 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

  1. Place all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. Knead bag to mix ingredients.
  2. Place steaks inside bag and marinate for up to 8 hours (I did 4 hours and they were perfect).
Related Posts with Thumbnails