Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Moving Day

I'm shutting the doors of this Gal's View and moving over to
Real Foods Matter.

I hope you stop by for a visit and decide to stay awhile.

See you there!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pie Crust

Yesterday I promised you the pie crust recipe we used. It's one that I had been wanting to try for quite awhile now, ever since I found it one day on the internet. It has butter and lard in it and it is so flaky and so good!

If you're worried about the butter and lard you might want to read here and here first.

Butter and Lard Pie Crust
3 cups all purpose flour
1&1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
Mix together the dry ingredients. I used the food processor.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup lard, chilled and cubed
Add the butter and lard and pulse until crumbly. It should look like coarse corn meal. And don't over mix.
4-5 tablespoons ice water
Dump the flour mixture into a bowl and add the water (4 tablespoons, then more if needed) and mix it with a fork until it just comes together. Divide the dough into two sections, turn it out onto two pieces of plastic wrap and shape into discs and wrap well. At this point the dough will be crumbly. Refrigerate until very cold and then you will be able to roll it out.

Once the dough is very well chilled you can turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it.

If you are going to bake it "blind" (without filling), chill the crust again once it is in the pan and then poke holes all over.

Set foil or parchment paper over the crust and fill with dried beans to weight it down.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Let the crust cool, remove the beans and bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown.

If you bake it with a filling start it at a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes and then turn it down to 350 degrees and bake until done. This will keep the bottom from getting soggy.

For filled pies a metal pan is best. For "blind" pies you can use either glass or metal.

Try this, I think you will really like it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mixed Berry Pie

Yesterday I promised you the recipe for our pie.

And pictures!

After hitting the cookbooks we settled on a mixed berry pie. We found a recipe from Rachael Ray and tweaked it just a bit.

Mixed Berry Pie
8 inch pie crust, for top and bottom
20 ounces of your favorite frozen berries (we used a bag of mixed berries)
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup plus 2 T corn starch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream
Roll out and form the bottom pie crust. In a bowl mix the frozen fruit, sugar, corn starch, and lemon juice. Pour into the pie crust. Dot with the butter. Roll out the rest of the dough and fit over the pie. Trim the edges and using a fork poke holes over the top and flatten the edges of the pie. Mix the egg yolk and the cream together and brush over the top of the pie.

Cook for 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven and then turn down to 350 degrees and cook for 30 more minutes until golden brown. It's a good idea to set it on a cookie sheet in case it overflows.

This was delicious!! And the crust was "to die for". I'll share that recipe with you tomorrow.

And I must say April gets about 99 percent of the credit for this awesome pie!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Real" Desserts

Yesterday while on the quest for organics we ran across some pies. April (dear daughter number 4) asked if we might buy one and I was seriously considering it...until DD started reading the labels...

It started as simply as deciding that the cheery pies which looked delicious were a definite no, as they were sugar free which meant they had artificial sweeteners in them. So I said, "how about the apple pie"? And it was half way into the basket when April said uh-oh, it has high fructose corn syrup and shortening...

Well that was that.

I suggested that we make our own pie. We would use real sugar and good fats.

You can read here about high fructose corn syrup and here and here about good fats.

What's great abut this is seeing how the desire for "real", healthy foods trickles down. April is 16 and now she too is reading labels and desiring to eat better.

And some of you might be saying that pie is not healthy. But I believe that everyone should have some treats in their lives. All things in moderation. And certainly a dessert made with real, fresh ingredients is much better for you than one full of bad fats, HFCS, and artificial colors, flavorings, and preservatives.

So we went home and hit the cookbooks and we will be making our own "real" pie.

I'll be sharing pictures and recipes tomorrow.

And that is this gal's view for today.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fried Rice (for camping)

Yesterday I shared my Carne Asada Quesadilla recipe with you, today comes my Fried Rice, for camping.

When I make Fried Rice at home I'm able to be more creative with it. For camping, in the interest of preperation ease and packing space I opted for a simplier version.

Fried Rice (for camping)
about a cup of leftover meat or chicken, give or take
1 package of pre-sliced mushrooms
small handful of green onions (chopped before I left home)
cooked rice (I cooked 1&1/2 cups of rice before we left home)
2 eggs
soy sauce
peanut oil
For camping I used my iron skillet instead of my wok. I heated the peanut oil in the skillet. Meanwhile I beat the 2 eggs in a small bowl. I cooked the eggs in the peanut oil and turned them out onto my cutting board and covered with an inverted bowl (to protect from flying creatures). I added more oil to the skillet and cooked the mushrooms until lightly browned. I added the meat and the green onion and cooked until the meat was heated through. Meanwhile I chopped the eggs. Then I added the rice, the eggs and soy sauce to taste and I cooked and stirred and cooked and stirred some more until all was evenly distributed. This dish served 4 hungry campers quite well.

As I'm writing this it occurs to me that the eggs could be hard boiled at home and them chopped finely and added to the rice. That would make it even easier!

And that is this gal's view for today. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Camping Carne Asada Quesadillas

Yesterday I wrote about our recent camping trip and about the foods we ate.

Today I'll share one of the recipes I used.

Which were not, by the way, the kind of recipes one has written down and follows step by step.

These were more in my head and the shortened version at that.

Being that we were camping and packing space was at a premium and ease of preperation was important I made these dishes as easy as I could.

For the Carne Asada Quesadillas I used the carne meat, jack cheese, corn tortillas, butter, and hot sauce. The meat was chopped and ready to go, I sliced the cheese thinly, softend the butter a bit and laid out the tortillas. While assembling the ingredients I had the iron skillet heating. Then I buttered one side of a corn tortilla, laid it butter side down in the skillet, added the meat, cheese, and hot sauce, buttered another corn tortilla and placed it butter side up on top of the other one. Cooked until brown on one side, flipped, and cooked until brown of the other.

These were good, everyone agreeded that they hit the spot.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about our Fried Rice.

And that is this gal's view for today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Camping Food

It's Wednesday and I'm only on the first post of the week. Oh well...

Last time we met I mentioned our camping trip and we had a blast, I must say.

Since this is a "foodie" blog I'll tell you about our camping food.

My goal for the weekend was as much real food as possible in as little space as possible. And as tasty as possible.

I think I achieved it!

Let's see, tent camping for two nights, for 4 people, everything packed into a 4 door/Matrix hatchback ...I think you can understand why the food needed as little space as possible...

I knew we would be having 2 dinners, 2 lunches, and 2 breakfasts.

As it happens about a week before our trip I had made a huge amount of Carne Asada of which we only ate about half. So thinking ahead I devided the other half into two portions, packaged it into 2 freeer bags and popped it into the freezer.

These would be the bases for our two dinners. Carne Asada Quesadillas the first night and Fried Rice the second.

For breakfast the first morning I took already baked potatoes,eggs, and bacon to make a bacon, potato, and egg scramble. I threw in the bit of salsa we had had leftover to go with the scramble.

For our second breakfast I was going to do another scramble, but decided on bacon and eggs and bread instead.

On the way to the campsite we stopped at Dudley's Bakery for a couple of loaves of bread which are delicious and didn't even need toasting. Just a little butter.

The bread also came in handy as a snack both afternoons and made for the perfect quick lunch on our last day, spread with all natural peanut butter before we left.

For our first lunch we treated ourselves to a lunch out while we were visiting Julian for the day.

For snacks it really was as simple as the bread, peanuts from the shell, and banana chips.

Luckily I had no troubles with fitting everything and keeping it cold.

Throughout the week I had frozen half-filled quart size freezer bags which I stuck around the food before I added the ice to the cooler. I also packed the meat and the bacon while it was still frozen.

I didn't pack any sweet treats, but we did treat ourselves to some sweets while we were in Julian. And we brought some back to the camp site.

And there you have it. My camping weekend menus of real food packed to go in little space.

And that is this gal's view for today.

(tomorrow I'll share recipes)