Basic Butter Pie Crust

You can make this basic crust by hand or in a food processor. The most important tips are to work with butter straight from the fridge, use ice water, and not to overmix – make sure your butter doesn’t melt and you don’t overwork the flour. You can also add flavorings to this crust: I like to substitute rum for some of the water and add a little cinnamon for pecan pie, or add a bit of seasoning if I’m using the crust for a savory pie.

This recipe makes a single crust. For a double crust pie, double the recipe.

Basic Butter Pie Crust
Print Recipe
Servings
1 crust
Servings
1 crust
Basic Butter Pie Crust
Print Recipe
Servings
1 crust
Servings
1 crust
Ingredients
Servings: crust
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, any dry flavorings, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (If working by hand, cut butter into flour, being careful not to warm butter as you work)
  2. Begin adding water 1 Tbsp at a time until dough just comes together, pulsing or mixing as you go. If you are adding liquid for flavor, alternate with the ice water.
  3. Turn out onto plastic wrap and form into a disc. Chill to firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Roll out with a heavy rolling pin and place in pie dish.
  5. Trim excess.
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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Irish Soda Bread
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: loaf
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt
  3. Add buttermilk and cut in with a fork or pit crust cutter until combined
  4. Tip dough out on to parchment paper lined baking sheet and knead for 30 seconds
  5. Form dough into oval loaf about 8" long
  6. Score a cross into loaf
  7. Bake for 30-40m
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Thumbprint cookies

Thumbprint cookies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
36-48 cookies 15 m
Cook Time Passive Time
8-12 m 30 m
Servings Prep Time
36-48 cookies 15 m
Cook Time Passive Time
8-12 m 30 m
Thumbprint cookies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
36-48 cookies 15 m
Cook Time Passive Time
8-12 m 30 m
Servings Prep Time
36-48 cookies 15 m
Cook Time Passive Time
8-12 m 30 m
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment
  2. Cream together butter and cream cheese
  3. Add sugar to cream cheese mixture and beat until combined
  4. Add vanilla and beat until combined
  5. Gradually add flour and baking soda, mixing well
  6. Chill dough for 30m
  7. Shape chilled dough into balls and place on baking sheet
  8. Make indentation in each ball with the bottom of a spoon or with your thumb
  9. Fill each indentation with the preserves/jam of your choice
  10. Bake for 8-12m at 350°F, until lightly browned
  11. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely
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Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream
Print Recipe
This recipe does not require eggs or cooking. It's not as rich as a custard-based ice cream, but it's a lot less work and pretty damn tasty.
Servings Prep Time
1 qt 5 m
Passive Time
20 m
Servings Prep Time
1 qt 5 m
Passive Time
20 m
Vanilla Ice Cream
Print Recipe
This recipe does not require eggs or cooking. It's not as rich as a custard-based ice cream, but it's a lot less work and pretty damn tasty.
Servings Prep Time
1 qt 5 m
Passive Time
20 m
Servings Prep Time
1 qt 5 m
Passive Time
20 m
Ingredients
Servings: qt
Instructions
  1. Combine cream and milk in large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in sugar, dissolving as much as possible.
  3. Stir in vanilla. For best taste, add vanilla until mixture tastes right, then add a bit more.
  4. Put mixture in ice cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions.
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Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread
Print Recipe
(adapted from AllRecipes.com)
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 45 m
Cook Time Passive Time
25 m 3 hr
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 45 m
Cook Time Passive Time
25 m 3 hr
Monkey Bread
Print Recipe
(adapted from AllRecipes.com)
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 45 m
Cook Time Passive Time
25 m 3 hr
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 45 m
Cook Time Passive Time
25 m 3 hr
Ingredients
dough
topping
Servings: loaf
Instructions
  1. Set bread machine to Dough. Put yeast, flour, cinnamon, salt, sugar, butter, and water in machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer and start cycle.
  2. When dough is complete, turn out onto well-floured board and knead 10-20 times.
  3. Butter bundt pan.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt together butter and brown sugar.
  5. Cut dough into 1″ cubes.
  6. Dredge cubes in butter/sugar mixture (Yes, it’s hot. Be careful.) and drop evenly into prepared bundt pan.
  7. Let rise in covered bundt pan for 20m.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F and continue to let do rise for another 5 minutes.
  9. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes (until golden brown).
  10. To serve immediately, place a plate over the top of the pan and invert them together. You may need to give the bottom of the pan a thump after you’ve got them flipped.
  11. To serve the next morning, leave in pan and reheat at 375°F for 10-15 minutes (until butter/sugar mixture is gooey again). Serve as directed above.
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Flourless Chocolate Cookies

aka, “Crinkle Cookies”. These are great to make with the egg whites left over from my brownie recipe, and if you have GF person in your house they’ll almost make up for not being able to have tea actual brownies. Almost.

 

 

Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 355° F
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment
  3. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together
  4. Add egg whites and vanilla extract, whisking until fully blended. Dough should be thick but moist (like a very thick cake batter)
  5. Place spoonfuls of dough on prepared cookie sheet, leaving space for cookies to spread
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until tops are glossy and cracked.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes on sheet, then transfer to cooling rack (I have found this is easiest if I leave the cookies on the parchment, then remove the paper when the cookies are completely cool)
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Three Bean Soup


Three Bean Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
10 cups, app. 15 minutes
Cook Time
1-3 hours
Servings Prep Time
10 cups, app. 15 minutes
Cook Time
1-3 hours
Three Bean Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
10 cups, app. 15 minutes
Cook Time
1-3 hours
Servings Prep Time
10 cups, app. 15 minutes
Cook Time
1-3 hours
Ingredients
Servings: cups, app.
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in bottom of stock pot
  2. Saute onion until translucent, about 5 min
  3. Add garlic ad saute for 1-2 min more
  4. Add turkey, taco seasoning, salt, and paprika
  5. When turkey is browned, add corn, beans, tomatoes, and 1c of broth
  6. Simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring regularly and adding additional broth as needed
  7. Garnish with sour cream and/or shredded cheese, as desired
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Reunion Tour Dates TBD

Which is my way of saying that despite my best intentions, and despite making and baking like a mofo these past few weeks, I haven’t been blogging. Obviously. I’m not even sure why not? For instance, the bean soup recipe I promised has been drafted and nearly ready to post since mid-April. So, what’s the hold up?

No idea. For now, I think I’m just going to accept that it’s just not going to happen right now. BUT. I do have like 30 recipe tabs open on my phone right now, and I’d love to close them down, so look for a bunch of recipes – probably without either pics or commentary – to be added in the next couple of weeks. I’m also exploring the idea of upping my Instagram presence, so keep an eye on that. (And maybe I’ll do a weekly roundup of those posts? We’ll see.)

Gettin’ the Blog Back Together

It would be a tremendous understatement to say that a lot has happened since the last time I posted here. The tl;dr version is: finally found a fantastic new job, worked real hard at it, company got slammed by virus fallout*, and here I am with time on my hands.

I’ve done more baking and crafting the past couple of months than I did in probably the previous two years, between hard-core job hunting and then ramping up into the new job in a new field (construction and renovation!), and I’d been starting to think about getting back to blogging. Now it’s time to stop thinking about it and start doing it.

One of the first questions Kit (that’s my amazing husband, in case I haven’t mentioned him by name before) asked me when I delivered the sad news about being on the dole was, “when does the therapeutic baking start?” The answer is tomorrow, but with a twist: I’m going to (mostly) be making things I’ve never made before.

I’d already started doing this a little the past couple of weeks – I’ve been working remote with this new job since last June, but with nowhere to go it seemed like I had a lot more time on my hands. I also started a rewatch of GBBO – so relaxing! – which may have influenced me a tad. So I’ve already made a roll cake:

Lemon cake with lingonberry jam and vanilla buttercream. Paul Hollywood-style critique: – Sponge is over baked and a little rubbery – Flavors are good together, but vanilla frosting is so sweet it almost overwhelms the lemon flavor – Frosting is a little thick, although proportions are right. Might have been better with a thinner layer inside, then frosting the outside.

 

a couple of challah loaves

You can’t really see the crumb on this, but it’s super dense. It was tasty, but very crumby. I suspect this is because the recipe was from my no-knead book, and also my water might not have been warm enough to get my yeast super activated. Going to try again with a traditional recipe.

and some meringue cookies (not pictured – they were the right shape and  consistency, but the bake went badly and they were just…off, in a bunch of different ways. I’m going to retry them at 200° instead of 225°, and a half batch instead of crowding the oven). Oh, also zucchini bread, not pictured – it came out fine, but was underspiced. Will definitely make again.

I have a pretty lengthy list of things I still want to try, including but not limited to:

  • carrot cake (maybe cupcakes)
  • Olive Garden style breadsticks
  • chocolate swiss roll cake
  • naan
  • pitas
  • tortillas
  • treacle tart (blame GBBO for this  one)
  • lemon meringue pie
  • GF lemon cookies
  • pineapple upside down cake
  • puff pastry
  • cheesy garlic monkey bread

This is by no means an comprehensive list, but it’s a start. And that’s just the baking. Tomorrow, I’m planning to bake a big pan of brownies and that cheesy garlic monkey bread from the list. I’m also going to make some 3 Bean Taco Soup – that’s not a new dish, and I’ll snap some pics and get the recipe up for y’all next week.

Next week I’ll also talk some more about my non-kitchen oriented crafting plans, and we’ll get this blog thing rolling along again. It’s good to be back — I’ve missed being here!

Lola’s back, tell a friend…

*Sweeten is the company, and it is truly a group of wonderful people providing a service that really helps people through the construction and renovation process. If you’re planning to do any serious work on your home when things ramp back up, I encourage you to go ahead and list your project at Sweeten.com to get a head start. And if you’re a general contractor, let me say first that it is so cool that you’re here reading my blog, but also, go sign up to join Sweeten’s network – it’s free to join, and there’s no fee unless you’re successfully awarded a project.

Well Read

Sometime in December a blurb about the Popsugar Reading Challenge came across my internet, and I thought that might be a fun thing to do. I started looking at the prompts for 2019…and then realized that I have dozens and dozens of books in my very own home that I picked up because I wanted to read them and have never gotten around to.

So I decided instead of doing the Popsugar challenge, I would create my own 2019 reading list. I decided on 50 books, because it’s a nice round number and even though it’s mostly a book a week, there’s a little wiggle room there so I don’t feel quite so pressured to absolutely beyond a doubt finish a book per week. Since I almost always have at least three books going at once (one in the car that I read at lunch, one on my nightstand to read before bed, and one on the couch to read whenever), trying to finish one per week doesn’t really fit with my reading style, but I can see myself trying to conform to that deadline and being miserable about it.

It was really, really hard to pick just 50, and I’m still second guessing myself on a couple. I probably have enough left to do another 50 in 2020, and that’s not counting the books I will inevitably pick up during the year (I’m only buying one book for this list, and it’s a book I’d already decided to buy before I knew I was going to be doing this). You can see what I ended up with at the bottom of this post.

I’m tracking everything with a modified version of this spreadsheet from BookRiot, which allows me to pretty easily drill down and get some fun data. For instance, even though I did not plan it this way at all and just grabbed the books I most wanted to read, the list is split right down the middle into fiction and non-fiction. I’m planning to read 16612 pages this year. The shortest book I’m planning to read is 128 pages (Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 2), and the longest is 901 pages (The Crimson Petal and the White). Eventually I’ll be able to see what my pages per day average is and cool stuff like that (okay, maybe it’s only “cool” if you’re a data geek like me, but I’m loving it).

And here are my guidelines, such as they are. I very much do not want this to be a source of stress for me, so there aren’t many:

  • Read books in any order.
  • Books that I don’t want to finish for whatever reason must be replaced if I’m less than halfway done, and may be replaced if I’m more than halfway done.
  • Finally, this is not a race. There is no punishment for not finishing all of the books. They will still be there for me to read if I don’t get to all of them this year.

Happy reading, everyone!

 

Lola’s 2019 Reading List

 

goodreads.com