July 2012

For some reason, I don’t make a lot of pies. It’s not because we don’t like them. I mean, what’s not to like. Flaky crust, yummy filling of fruit or custard or nuts. I can make a pie crust. And I dont’ mind if they don’t look like the pictures. I just don’t make pie. My Nana made Pies all the time. And cookies. My Mom was more of a cake and brownie lady. I don’t know! Really!!

Fortunately for The Hubs, who actually loves pie, the TWD group made pie this week. Blueberry and Nectarine Pie.

A double crusted Blueberry and Nectarine Pie to be exact.

Okay, I have to admit mine isn’t ALL Nectarine. Seems like someone ATE my Nectarines and all I had left was a salvaged 1/2. Not to worry. Nectarines and Peaches are very very much alike so I used the Nectarine to cook down with the Blueberries and then used sliced peaches on the bottom. Leslie Mackie, who contributed this recipe to Baking with Julia had us taking 1/2 of the fruit and cooking it down for juice, adding in the remainder of the fruit after cooking the other and then putting into the pie. I cooked down the Nectarine and Blueberries and then placed a layer of thin peach slices on the bottom and poured the cooked fruit and juice over it. Came out just fine. I actually liked the layer of peaches on the bottom rather than mixing it in. But that’s just me!!

Besides using part peaches I also made the pie sugar free. I used Splenda instead of sugar and while I probably didn’t get as much juice it still was good eating. And I could have some since I am trying NOT to eat sugar. (Try that and baking!!!)

I made one little 4′ mini pie (using about 1/4 of the recipe). One night’s dessert and gone. With Vanilla (sugar free) Ice Cream. PERFECT!!!

Thanks to Hilary of Manchego’s Kitchen and Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake for Co-hosing the last selection for July. You can find he recipe on their blogs.

Or…on page 384 of Baking with Julia

I definitely see more pies in our future.


Wowza! But I missed a lot of July TWD selections. Seven to be exact. Good thing I love to spend time in the kitchen – even in the hot weather. And it has been HOT in July! Plenty of 100+ days temp wise. Little rain. LOTS of humidity!! What DID people do before Air Conditioning???

Summer, of course, means lots of fresh fruit and many of the pics for July were fruit based. Such as….

    Summer Fruit Gatte

Dorie gave us plenty of choices for this galette, a free form ‘pie’ where the crust is folded up over the filling. There is so much in season right now in Louisiana – plums, peaches, figs, nectarines. But the peaches were so juicy and sweet I could not pass them up. One big ripe juicy peach was just perfect for one small 6″ galette. The crust and peaches are baked first for a few minutes then the custard is poured in around the fruit before baking the entire galette a little longer. What you end up with is a peach ‘pie’ with a sweet filling in all the little nooks and crannies left by the slices of peach. Eh… YUM!!! On July 29, 2008, this was a popular pick from Michele of Michelle in Colorado Springs and you can find the recipe on her blog. (Pg 366 in BFMHTY} If you have lots of fresh summer fruit this is the recipe for you. Quick. Not fussy. Delicious.


On July 15, 2008, the TWD bakers were in the kitchen making Chocolate Pudding.

After my miserable attempt at making the Split-Level Pudding in October 2009, I was a little leery of this one. THAT one never set up and ended up going down the drain – literally!!

But this time….

    ….it came out PERFECTLY!!

So perfectly that I am never ever buying box pudding again. It was sooo creamy. Like pudding should be. And this one did NOT go down the drain.

I only made 1/2 of the recipe and that was perfect for two ramekins. Thank you, Dorie, for perfect pudding. And than you, Melissa of Melissa’s Kitchenfor helping me conquer PUDDING!! The recipe is on her page. (Page 383 in BFMHTY) Melissa served hers with Whipped Cream and Chocolate Sprinkles. So Cute!!


Last, for this TWD Catch-up installment, I give you….

    Brioche Plum Tart

I had planned to make this one back when I was making up the Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and Brioche Raisin Snails because they were also made with Brioche dough. But after reading the recipe I discovered the recipe was just different enough to warrant a separate post.

So glad I did because these tarts deserve to be on their own. The dough was a sweet contrast to the somewhat tart plums {not what I had planned but…}I used Muscadine Jelly for the base because it tends to go with every other type of fruit out there without overpowering the taste.

Denise of Chez Us was the host for this lovely little Tart July 14, 2009. She opened her post with,

    “Lightly sweetened brioche dough is pressed into a tart pan and filled with jam and fresh plums, to make a wonderful breakfast treat.”

1/2 of the dough recipe and two nice plums were enough for three 4′ tarts.

And she is absolutely correct. GREAT breakfast!! The recipe is on her blog. (Page 54 in BFMHTY)

THat takes care of July TWD selections. August will be a potpouri of recipes as I only missed one so I am filling in. Maybe I CAN finish before the end of the year!!!!

Sitting in my pantry is a clean PB jar filled with something. I thought I knew what it was, but I wasn’t sure. I had forgotten to label it. There was a piece of paper in the jar with a number. Just a number. 5087.

    What Are You??

I knew where I had purchased it so I called Whole Foods, gave them the number and they confirmed what I thought I knew – semolina flour. PERFECT!! NOW I can make …

    Nick Malgieri’s Semolina Bread

This was supposed to be a free-form loaf but it started to spread so much I slipped it into a loaf pan, which partially deflated it. I thought the bread would be dense and inedible but the crumb was just perfect.

The dough is a very wet and very sticky and can be difficult to work with. Rolling the into a cylinder on a floured surface was just enough to bring it under control (I thought).

Having never made bread with semolina flour I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was delightfully surprised to have a chewy, crunchy, slightly salty loaf of bread. Even though it only has 3/4 cup of semolina flour it has less than two cups of flour so I was expecting more of a cornbread like texture. Which would have been just fine, too.

Anna of Keep it Luce and Renee of The Way to my Family’s Heart were the co-hosts this week and the recipe for the bread is on both of their blogs. Thanks Ladies. Now I have a new bread to bake. Regularly!!

And please visit Tuesdays with Dorie for the other member’s lovely loaves. If you Have Julia Childe’s Baking With Julia it is on page 102. Contributing Baker was Nick Malgieri.

So when doesn’t chocolate cake taste like chocolate?

When you mix in Blackberry Jam!

This is one combination I would not have come up with, but Nick puts the two flavors together in a delightful little bundt cake and it was quite tasty. The taste of chocolate is actually only a background taste even tho it is a chocolate cake. The blackberry jam (1 cup) is the big flavor in this cake.

I made 1/2 of the batter with the plan to make a 6″ bundt but then decided I could use small ones for bribes gifts and ended up with 1-4″ bundt and 3 smaller ones. Pretty with powdered sugar. Delicious with just a little chocolate whipped cream!!

The recipe is in Malgieri’s the Modern Baker on page 233. But I also found it on Amanda’s Blog and an adapted version with some delightful bundt shapes on my Friend Nancy’s Blog. And, yes Kayte, you cannot taste the chocolate!! LOL

We, or rather B, eats a lot of ice cream. And although I LOVE Ice Cream I haven’t been eating it because of the sugar. I take small bites of everything I make/bake that contains sugar just to test/taste but that is it. So when I made this ice cream I used 1/3 of the sugar and finished the rest with Splenda. It’s a compromise, but I feel better about making it that way.

This is based on the Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream from Saveur

    2 cups milk
    1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup Splenda
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    1 cup smooth natural peanut butter
    2 cups heavy cream
    2 tsp. vanilla extract (or 2 vanilla beans, scraped.)

1. Pour the cream and milk into a medium-sized stainless steal bowl and place over a steaming pan of boiling water.
2. While the mix is scalding, cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Add the pods and seeds and sugar/Splenda mix to hot milk and seep for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally to mix in the sugar. Remove pods from mix.
2. Remove bowl from heat and slowly stir in 1/2 cup of Peanut Butter until mix is completely smooth. Add corn syrup.
3. Chill mixture in the fridge until cool (or overnight for a fuller flavor).
4. Pour mix into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Transfer to a bowl and quickly swirl in remaining 1⁄2 cup peanut butter, cover, and freeze until hard.

By waiting until after the ice cream is churned and adding the PB you end up with large swirls of PB.

    OH! MY!

      Just Right!

On the last Tuesday of the month there is a rather eclectic collection of women who gather together to exchange books, eat, talk, gripe, laugh. We are NOT a book club. We don’t discuss books, we just share them if we enjoyed them. We are our own lending library.

Each of us brings a dish, mine is usually a dessert, and we spend an inordinate amount of time enjoying the selection of food and each other. Sometimes there is a theme – salad night – but usually not.

In July my long time friend and confidante, who hosts each month, presented us with….

    Marinated Crawfish

My friend does not cook. Her oven has been unplugged for several months and with both of her children either gone or partially gone she and D eat a lot of salads or microwaveable dinners. So this dish was perfect for her to bring.

    3 – 5 green onions, chopped
    1 small stalk celery, chopped
    1.2 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 lb crawfish tail meat
    1/2 jar capers
    1 bottle Wishbone Italian Dressing
    2 tbl butter

Sauté the tails in butter. Cool. Mix all ingredients together. Marinate for a few hours. (The long you marinate, the better it is.)

She served these with pita bread.


Several years ago when I joined Craving Ellie there were several recipes I had missed and wanted to try. Back then there were weekly choices made by each individual member. Now we only have one monthly member pick and the other Fridays are ‘free’.

    Chicken Cacciatore

I haven’t made cacciatore in years and the last time I did it was with a very heavy sauce. Ellie’s has a nice light sauce made with diced tomatoes, garlic, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. (I left those last two out because B doesn’t care much for them.) With the white wine the sauce was just right in taste. I decided to use boneless chicken thighs rather than breasts. It may not be as healthy as Ellie’s version, but it was definitely flavorful. The only thing I would change would be to thicken the sauce a little. Not much, must a little.

(I forgot to take a pic of just the sauce before I mixed it with some egg noodles.) It seemed the best way to serve the dish.

Ellie’s cacciatore is on page 204 of The Foods You Crave it is also HERE!!

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