I Also Made Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie

Quick shout-out to the Calvary Preschool Peeps who hired me to get everyone “Thinking Outside the Lunchbox” last night.  I enjoyed our time together!

Pumpkin Pie is not my favorite.  In my opinion, if I’m being perfectly honest, pumpkin pie is just, well, OK.  In the opinion of my family and all the guests at the pumpkin palooza party, however, this recipe for pumpkin pie is the bomb.  I seriously saw a few kids licking their plates clean (possibly adults were doing it around the corner or something.)

So, even though I didn’t really dig in to this, chances are you will. 🙂

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients: 2 cups pumpkin, 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp: cardamon, cloves, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, pie crust (and yes, I used a frozen crust.)

Directions: mix, pour into pie crust and bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 50 minutes.  Serve with homemade whipped cream for extra yum factor!

Deep Thoughts: I intentionally chose a recipe with kind of a long list of ingredients. I figured that by adding a little more personality I might like this dessert a bit more.  It didn’t work–but like I said, everybody else loved it so I think I’m the exception here.  Just don’t know what it is about pumpkin pie…

Beauty and the Beasties… Michelle’s Fruit Crisp!

nectarine

(keep reading for a great summer fruit dessert recipe below!)

Beautiful.  And funny looking–just like nature intended.  Perfectly ripe white nectarines make my mouth and heart smile.

All the stone fruits are in coming into season at my local farmer’s market.  White nectarines are my personal fave right now.  They taste milder than yellow nectarines, but–and at the risk of sounding like a cheesy poet–I appreciate their more delicate and subtle taste.  There.  I said it.

Not everyone has the time or inclination to hit a farmer’s market on a weekly basis, but if you enjoy good fruit, I highly recommend hitting one at least once this summer.  In Southern California, in the summer, you will not be disappointed with this experience.  (If you are please let me know and so that I may rethink my entire existence.)

Prices for stone fruits right now range from 2.00-2.50/lb. which is not much different from the regular market.  You can also find the “seconds” bins where the less attractive fruits find a place to rest before being snatched up for, often, 80 cents a pound!

80 cents a pound right now bought me a whole slew of some “beasties,” aka: not so purty apricots.  No problemo.  Josie and I made our absolute favorite summer dessert, which we have aptly titled cheap fruit crisp.

Cheap Fruit Crisp (as the name implies, this can be made with a variety of stone fruits.  This time was apricots.)

Ingredients: 3 cups apricots, diced, 1/4 cup cup flour, 2-3 tbsp. sugar, few healthy shakes cinnamon, 1 cup raw oats, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, few pads of butter

Directions: toss the fruit with flour, cinnamon and sugar.  Spread in a baking dish like this:

fruit crisp step 2

Sprinkle oats, then brown sugar on top.  Add a few pads of butter like this:

fruit crisp step 3

Bake at 350 for 30 or so minutes, or until fruit is cooked to your liking.  When it’s done it should look divine (like this:)

fruit crisp baked

Tips: We love our cheap-fruit crisp served fresh and warm with a scoop of ice-cream on top.  Not only did this whole entire delicious concoction cost me, like, less than 4 bucks to make (no joke)… it’s also much healthier than a pie or cobbler which contains all that yummy–and fattening–crust.  Took about 10 minutes to whip it up and clean up too.  Great with apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines… buy the cheap ones with bad spots.  Why not?

If you’re trying to make use of bland fruit, add a splash of lemon juice to the first step.

Final tip: Near the end of the summer, I like to make one of these and put it way back in my extra freezer.  Then, when fall is in full swing and we begin to miss our sweet stone fruits, I toss the crisp in the oven and wah-lah!  A summer memory ready to gobble up!

Josie helped me record the recipe… Of course I generally eye-ball everything, but for the purposes of spreadin’ the love, we thought we’d better write it down.

Josie's fruit crisp recipe

Easy-Tasty-Fancy Looking!

fruit pizza

OK.  So in the title I took out “healthy” and replaced with “Fancy Looking.”  Just work with me here.

Fruit Pizza is what we call this in my family.  You may or may not be able to tell that I was going for a “sun” theme with the fruit display.  I made this for Easter so it seemed appropriate.

Every time I make fruit pizza everybody gobbles it up and all the mommies ask for the recipe.  It looks beautiful and is so absurdly easy to make everyone should have this recipe in their back pocket.

Fruit Pizza

Ingredients: (I’m embarrassed to say…) Pilsbury Sugar cookie Dough, 16 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar (or powdered sugar), tsp. vanilla, diced fresh fruit.

Directions: Set cream cheese out for about an hour to soften.  Spread the cookie dough (this is 1 1/2 tubes) out on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for approximately 17-20 minutes or until done.  Set out to cool.   Mix softened cream cheese with sugar and vanilla.  Spread on completely cooled sugar cookie crust.  Top with fruit.

Tips: I’ve made this with homemade sugar cookie dough and although it is certainly a less processed food choice, you really cannot taste the difference (short cuts are all the rage.)  Fruit can be arranged in a stunning display of some sort (not featured above, unfortunately) or just scattered.  The pineapple and orange chunks that I used were drained before placement.  Good fruits for this include strawberries, blueberries, grapes, sliced stone fruits… don’t use bananas though as they will brown and throw off the whole “impressive” statement you’re going for.  (I seem to be using an excessive amount of quotation marks today….  Don’t you think?)

I seriously dare you to take this to a potluck situation and not impress the masses.  Yes.  Maybe even double-dare.