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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eggnog Cheese Pie

The Christmas lights are on the house and the ornaments are on the tree, I'm so excited for the music and flavors of the holidays!  One flavor I like is eggnog, but I need it milder than the straight out of the carton taste.  This pie gives you that eggnog experience without being overpowering, and the cream cheese texture is really nice.  I grated some nutmeg over the top and it really finished the pie off well.

(I apologize again for the photography - some day I'll have a real camera again).

Eggnog Cheese Pie

  • Baked pie shell or baked graham cracker or cookie crust
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup eggnog

  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour until smooth. Add the eggs and beat on low speed until combined. Beat in eggnog. Pour into crust.
  • Bake at 325° for 45-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate overnight.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Easy Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein

A few weeks ago I received an email from which contained links to a couple of recipes.  I'm always up for something new to try for dinner so I checked them out.  This Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein sounded good, and fast, so I stopped at the store for the necessary ingredients after work.  I had the butcher at the grocery store cut the meat for me while I did the rest of the shopping, then prepared everything else at home while the spaghetti was cooking.  I had this dinner done in 20 minutes! was delicious.  My 9 year-old son requested the Lo Mein for his birthday party this week.  I neglected to get a picture of the main dish, but check out the birthday cake my sister made for him.

Try this dish for a fast and yummy dinner.  It's good enough for company (we served it with egg rolls from the freezer section at Costco - they were perfect!)

Easy Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein - from Family Fun

8 ounces thin spaghetti, broken in half
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces sirloin tips, cut crosswise into thin strips (I used sirloin steaks because there were no tips in my store)
3 tablespoons beef broth
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Stir the spaghetti into a pot of lightly salted boiling water and cook it according to the package directions. Drain the noodles well, then return them to the pot and toss them with the sesame oil.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and onion and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and continue stirring while the mixture cooks for another 30 seconds. Add the sirloin and cook it, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until it is no longer pink.

In a small bowl, mix the broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, and oyster sauce. Add the soy sauce mixture and the pasta to the skillet and continue cooking, stirring often, for 1 to 2 minutes or until everything is heated through. Serve the lo mein hot. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Strawberry Banana Bread

I always feel so virtuous when I make banana bread.  I'm saving those close-to-rotten bananas from being wasted! Imagine how awesome I felt when I also rescued some slightly sad strawberries by adding them to a batch of banana bread!  When I tried this little experiment I had no idea how delicious it would turn out to be.  This was really good.  Another one of those accidental foods that I would make again on purpose.  Give this a try some time.

Strawberry Banana Bread

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 eggs
3 or 4 mashed over ripe bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1 quart strawberries, coarsely chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease the bottoms of two 8 1/2 inch loaf pans.
  • Cream together the sugar and butter.  Stir in the eggs until well blended.  Stir in the bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla then beat the mixture until it's smooth.
  • Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt gently just until the mixture is moistened.  Carefully stir in the nuts and strawberries by hand. Pour into the loaf pans.
  • Bake about 1 hour, then cool 10 minutes before removing from the pans.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Creamy Pear Pie

A couple of years ago my buddy Mary sucked me into a local quilt guild.  I didn't know what I'd be getting into and was really worried that as a beginning quilter I would be completely intimidated by the super quilters there.  I was right - I am intimidated by the talent and artistry of so many of the women I've met at guild.  What I didn't expect was how they would encourage and inspire me to try new things and push myself.

It's so fun to see the beautiful quilts and other projects the women in quilt guild share.  Some are even talented quilt designers, like Jean here, who are happy to share how they created their amazing work.

 This year in guild we're doing a little extra something at each monthly meeting.  For November everybody brought a favorite pie recipe and some of us brought the actual pies.  That's where I got to sample this new recipe, so when our produce basket included some Bosc pears I was excited to give this one a try.

The pie has a yummy, buttery crumble topping.  It can be served with whipped cream, but we ate it "plain" and really enjoyed it slightly warm.

I wonder how it tastes if it's chilled.....guess I'll have to make it again to find out since there was not a crumb left of this pie.  Everybody liked it at my house, family and company alike.  

Here's the super easy recipe:

Creamy Pear Pie

1 unbaked 9" pie crust
4 cups sliced, peeled pears
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large bowl, coat the pears with the sugar and flour.  Combine the sour cream, vanilla, almond extract and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl.  Add the sour cream mixture to the pears and mix gently.  Pour into the pie shell.  In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients together with a fork until coarse crumbs form.  Sprinkle over the pie.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 45 minutes longer.  Cool pie on cooling rack for at least 30 minutes to allow the filling to thicken.  Serve warm with whipped cream.

  “Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  sponsored by Cherokee USALe CreusetWilton,Bags by Bloom and  Harvard Common Press