Monday, June 29, 2009

Mixed Berry Streusel Pie

There is something about men and pies...they love them. My husband requests pie for his birthday "cake" every year. I believe he would rather I make pie than any other dessert.

Unfortunately for him, I don't make pie every day...or every week...or every month for that matter! He's probably pretty lucky if he gets a pie 3-4 times a year! Poor guy. :-)

I must say, though, that I was taught to make pie crust by one of the best pie makers I know: my grandma! I have dutifully blended the shortening and flour and water and rolled the ball of dough by hand for many, many years. I finally succumbed to store-bought pastry dough one Thanksgiving when I was pregnant and just didn't want to go through all the work of rolling dough (I didn't make sugar cookies for Christmas that year, either)!

I'm ashamed to admit, that my last several pies were also cheats, using the store-bought stuff.

Hey, my husband didn't care... so, why should I?! :-)

I excuse me by telling myself, somewhat haughtily, that at least I *do* know how to make *real* pie crust, if I have to. :-)

So, whichever method you decide to use... try this filling for your next pie! ;-)


pastry for a 1-crust pie
1 can cherry pie filling
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen mixed berry blend, thawed and drained

Place rolled pie dough into pie pan and flute or crimp edges. Combine pie filling and berries and pour into crust.

Streusel topping:
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. flour

Combine streusel ingredients and sprinkle over berry mixture.

Bake pie at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. If pie edges brown too quickly before bottom crust is done, cover with aluminum foil.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or cool whip...yum!

*Hey, forget the crust!! Make this into a cobbler or crisp...! Just as yummy that way too!*

Be sure to check out Melissa's Pear Pie recipe! We recently moved and have a pear tree in our new yard that we were told yields lots of fruit!! I can't wait to try this pie out!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Combining my blogs...

In an effort to keep things a bit simpler for myself, I am combining my book review and recipe blogs into one new blog: Her Creative Side.

I am hoping that this will help my audience grow, as well as give me more opportunities to review for some other companies. Many companies have asked for posts not exclusive to one subject (only book reviews, or only recipes). By combining my 2 blogs, I hope to remedy this!

The new blog is still under construction as I transfer all of my old posts and begin making new ones. I'm hoping this will also give me a place to share some of my other crafty loves, especially digital scrabooking!

If you were a follower of either of my old blogs - Our Favorite Recipes or Chapters and Chocolate - please begin following my new blogging home!! If you haven't been following, please do!! Just click on the "follow" button in the right hand sidebar!

You will find tags on the sidebar of Her Creative Side to narrow down my posts by subject, if you're only interested in reading certain posts.

Thanks for your patience as I work out the bugs! And, thanks for reading all the posts I do write!

To visit Her Creative Side, click here.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall’s very first novel, When the Heart Cries, is a success! Cindy wrote a book that kept me reading until midnight, which is a highly unusual occurrence for the mama of two young toddlers!

When the Heart Cries tells the story of young Hannah Lapp, an Old Order Amish girl who accepts the proposal of Mennonite Paul Waddell. Because of their conflicting traditions, the engagement is kept secret with Paul planning to work at the family farm to win Hannah’s family’s acceptance of him and their future marriage.

However, before any of these plans have a chance to take place, Hannah suffers the unthinkable and must endure, not only her own personal pain and guilt, but also all of the guilt and restrictions of her strict Amish father and community.

Like Beverly Lewis’ The Secret, When The Heart Cries is written in a more contemporary setting. However, the modern backdrop didn’t seem as obvious to me; so despite my dislike of more contemporary settings, I enjoyed the entire book.

I could not put the book down. I had to keep turning the pages, feeling deeply for the characters, and hoping for a good ending.

If you decide to read this book, be sure to have books 2 and 3 on hand as well! When you finish When the Heart Cries, you won’t want to be waiting around for book 2, When the Morning Comes, to arrive at your door!

In fact, it took quite a bit of willpower for me to write this review instead of first grabbing When the Morning Comes! :-)

Congratulations to Cindy on her first novel, which is a wonderful read. If the other two books in the Sisters of the Quilt series, When the Morning Comes and When the Soul Mends are as good as book one and you enjoy the Amish genre, you won’t be disappointed in this new author!!

323 pages from Waterbrook.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fluffy Biscuits

I've made and ate many kinds of biscuits. The storebought buttermilk ones are ok...but, greasy and expensive. Most baking powder type biscuits that I've made always left something to be desired. Bisquick ones I can often take or leave...

Well, I've finally found a favorite biscuit recipe!!

I copied this "Fluffy Biscuits" recipe from a Taste of Home cookbook. I'm thinking the egg makes the difference from most biscuits I've made...?

Small TIP from Bobby Flay: when placing biscuits on your baking sheet, keep biscuit edges touching. This helps them rise higher.

(I've tried this with the entire batch, but the center ones don't seem to cook all the way through. I now group 3 biscuits together... nice, fluffy biscuits!)


2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg with milk; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead 20 times. Roll to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter.

Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 1 dozen

Mmmmm! Nothing quite so deliciously comforting as a warm, flaky biscuit slathered in butter and jam!!

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