Tag Archives: comfort food

Key Lime Pie

This is Ed’s mom Marie’s recipe for Key Lime Pie.  I love this pie, and she always makes it for my birthday instead of cake.  Marie makes it with a regular pie crust, but I wanted to try it with a graham cracker crust this time.  It’s a yellowish color, thanks to the egg yolks, and we prefer not to add food coloring to it.  Top the pie with the sweetened whipped cream right before you slice and serve.

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 12 crushed graham crackers, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • sprinkle cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Press into a pie pan and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.  Cool completely.

Key Lime Filling

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice (or regular lime juice)
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest

Whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk until well blended.  Add lime juice and zest and whisk to combine.  Pour into cooled pie crust and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.  Cool completely and chill.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients together right before serving.  Top pie with whipped cream and serve.

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Spinach Quiche

What to make, what to make? It’s been a crazy week at work, finishing up grading final exams and starting fresh with new students.  If you’ve been following along on twitter or facebook, you know that Ed and I are sick.  I’ve been in denial, but Ed’s cold is somehow much, much worse than mine.  Neither of us is in any condition for a night out.  A quick look in the fridge and I realized I have a dozen and a half eggs, 3 half-gallons of milk (how did we get so much?), a block of cheese.  Quiche!

Ed likes meaty quiche, so I sent him into the basement to get some bacon from the freezer.  I, however, love a veggie quiche, but we’re slim on fresh veggies since I shop on the weekends.  I opened the freezer to pull out the pie shells (yes, I bought them… what do you want from me, I’m 34 weeks pregnant) and there it was! A bag of frozen creamed spinach, leftover from Christmas dinner.  I could certainly transform that into a creamy, delicous quiche.  Onions were already sauteed, spinach was already cooked and drained.  How easy!

  • 1 pre-baked pie crust, cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover creamed spinach (I made Pioneer Woman’s “Creamed Spinach to Die For” recipe)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • black pepper to taste

Spread the creamed spinach in the bottom of the pie shell.  Beat the eggs and milk together, then pour over the spinach.  Sprinkle in the cheese, then top with some black pepper.  Bake at 375ºF for 35-40 minutes.

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Apple Tart

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This tart was inspired by a cooking show, but I made up my own recipe as I went along.  It’s easier than apple pie, but I think it’s also more impressive.

  • 1 recipe pie dough
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • sprinkles of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cider jelly (or apple jelly)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Roll out the pie dough into a rough square, then trim the edges.  Arrange the apple slices diagonally, then sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top, dot with butter, and sprinkle on the cinnamon.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apples are soft.  Melt the cider jelly in a small pan, then brush it over the apples to make them shiny.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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  • 1 whole butternut squash
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cooked ham (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup half and half

Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place cut-side down and bake in a 400°F oven for 1 hour or until tender.  Cool enough to handle.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onion and ham, then add the garlic, thyme, sage, and red pepper flakes.  Scoop the flesh of the squash into the pot and saute for a few minutes.  Season with salt and pepper then add the stock.

Simmer for 20 minutes, then puree the soup in a food processor or blender in batches.  Add the soup back to the pot and stir in the half and half.  Heat through and serve hot with your choice of toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers or croutons.

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Apple Walnut Bread

It’s my favorite time of year! Apple season.

apple bread 001

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 apple, peeled and finely diced

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Grease a bread pan (I like to use the butter wrapper for this job).  Cream the shortening and sugar, then mix in the eggs and vanilla.  Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, and blend well.  Stir in the applesauce, nuts and apples.  Spread into the pan and bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Garden Tomato Soup

Or, “Tomato Soup, Hold the Fingertip”

After cutting my thumb in my first attempt to make tomato soup out of my garden’s bounty, I decided to get right back on the horse. 

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks
  • about 3-4 quarts fresh tomatoes, (or I’d estimate 2 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to ice water.  Peel and crush the tomatoes with your hands, removing seeds to a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl to catch the juices.  Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, then slice them VERY CAREFULLY (this is how I cut the tip off my thumb last time!)  Roughly chop the basil. 

Melt the butter in a large cast iron pot and saute the leeks until softened.  Add the tomatoes, stock and basil.  Simmer for 30-45 minutes until tomatoes are fully cooked and falling apart.  Puree in batches and serve immediately, or transfer to containers to freeze.

Serve hot and garnish with any (or all) of the following: sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh herbs, crackers, or a grilled cheese sandwich.  For a variation, stir in leftover rice and heat through for tomato rice soup.

*Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before I put it in the freezer!

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Half-Smashed

The potatoes, that is.  I was looking for a new twist on potatoes, and these are quite a twist.

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They’re called “Crash Hot Potatoes,” but Ed named them “Half-Smashed,” and so that’s what we’re calling them.  The chives on top are from our garden, the first harvest of the year.

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I served them with a roasted pork tenderloin and applesauce, and I made extra for leftovers.  You can find the recipe here.

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