Tag Archives: food

photo from http://www.grouprecipes.com/people/magandab at grouprecipes.com

I have a new addiction: the Blueberry Oat Bars at Starbucks.  I rarely purchase the pastries at Starbucks because, well, they are expensive and who needs all those extra calories but one day last week I was feeling "snacky" and I had never tried these bars before.  Big mistake. I am now obsessed with them.  I have cut myself off from buying and/or eating them, as of yesterday, because I really don't want to have to buy new pants.  And by "new" I mean "bigger."

But in case you're wondering here's why I love these bars so much:

  • They have an oat/crumb base and topping.  I'm a sucker for oat crumb topping.
  • They are made with this blueberry-jammy filling that is super yummy.  Not too much of it, just a thin layer to give you the taste of sweet blueberries.
  • They are sweet but not sweet enough to give me a sugar headache.  I could do with a smidge less sugar but for "fast food" I was impressed.

Since I have revoked permission to buy these bars I decided that I could be excused if I made them myself on occasion.  That wouldn't be as bad, right?  The games I play in my own brain...

I told the Starbucks-lady (she's the cutest little grandma named Mary who always remembers my drink) that I needed to learn how to make them for myself and she leaned across the register to and whispered, "Try allrecipes.com, honey.  They have everything!"  So that's what  did.  Only I didn't find what I was looking for at allrecipes.com, I found it instead at grouprecipes.com and it looks reeeeeeeally close to the original.

I have some ideas of my own so I might sit down with my Grandma Shirley to see if we can come up with our own improvised recipe, but in the meantime this one will be just fine.

The dough is super-simple, just combine the ingredients and press it into your pan.  Then for the blueberry mixture you pre-cook it by bringing it to a boil with some cornstarch, sugar and lemon.  After pouring your blueberry mixture over the raw crust, then topping with a little reserved crust, it bakes for roughly 20 minutes and after cooling you can cut it into bars and enjoy.

I hope you will try it and see if you love it as much as I do.  But be careful.  It's addicting.  And I don't think they have Blueberry Oat Bar Rehab...yet.

Again, you can find the recipe here, over at grouprecipes.com

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!!

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Source: saveur.com via Carey on Pinterest

 

I don't know what it is but lately I am craving Fall dishes.  Stews, soups, & carb-laden meals, gimme.  I'm determined to enjoy this last bit of Summer to the fullest but I might dip my toe into Fall with this dish from Saveur.com.  It has some wonderful flavors: feta, nutmeg, spinach, dill and a cheese that is new to me, Graviera.  After a bit of research, I discovered that it is a fairly common cheese (iow: easy to find)  and very similar to Gruyere which is, ahem, one of my all time faves.  And it looks pretty easy, your basic stove-to-oven mac and cheese, just new ingredients.

You can find the whole recipe over at Saveur (click here).  I hope you give it a try too!

I have a full weekend planned; it's my nephew's first birthday and we have a river-tubing trip planned.  Last time I went tubing I came back with a scar on my back the size of a quarter and a compressed disc.  Pray for me!

paddleboarding 2012

Here are some crumbs from my last week:

And just in case you missed this last week:

pie pie pie
Blackberry-Blueberry Pie by According To Carey

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Sweet.  Tart. Floral. Berries are the perfect combination of those three tastes.  And when you pair them up with a crusty, salty, flaky crust you just might feel like you're in heaven.  Think I'm exaggerating?  My friends, I wouldn't steer you wrong.

I first saw a version of this recipe on  the site Rachel Cooks.  She made a beautiful, shiny blueberry pie that appeared to hold together remarkably well.  That is one thing about berry pies that has always bothered me; they tend to be runny and the filling dumps into the middle of the pie pan after the first slice is removed.  I have experimented with adding tapioca pearls to my berry cobblers with great success.   But those little pearls can be telling and can potentially cook unevenly and flour just makes it murky so I knew there must be a way to incorporate some other thickener to get the results I was looking for.

After reading the full recipe I saw that she adapted it from a blueberry pie recipe by Baked Bree.   Again, she shows a glossy pie that held together quite well.

So after reading both recipes I concluded that the trick was indeed cornstarch.  A surprisingly large amount of it: 6 tablespoons.  I was a little hesitant to put that much cornstarch into my pie but then I realized, this filling is pre-cooked.  And you pour it into a pre-cooked pie shell.  Pre-cooking the filling allows the cornstarch to get even distributed and come fully up to temperature, allowing it to dissolve and thicken.  I was a tad wary that it might make my pie cloudy but if you look at their photos, it doesn't appear to have effected their results so what-the-hay, I would give it a try!
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(Don't be confused by the sight of 2 pies below.  We had 2 family get-togethers that day so I went ahead and doubled the recipe so each gathering would have it's own pie.)

First things first, I had to get some berries.  The other 2 recipes call for all blueberries but I crave plump, juicy blackberries (or better yet boysenberries) this time of year, so instead I opted for a combo of fresh blackberries and frozen wild blueberries.   Off I went to a local farm stand to find some fresh blackberries.  5 miles down the road I found 7 full pints of the biggest blackberries I have ever seen.  I bought them all, even though I really only needed 4.  And yes, we ate them all.

Next in the order of things was to bake some pie crusts.  I shared that story with you earlier this week but you can click over here in case you missed it!

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About that time I realized I had not eaten lunch!  There was a brief intermission so I could whip up a fresh blackberry vanilla protein shake.  And eat a handful of berries.

While my pie crusts were cooling I worked on the filling which was as simple as throwing everything into a pot, stirring well till it boiled, stirring a few minutes more, then setting it aside to cool.

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I let the filling cool just for  bit then tossed in a few more whole berries for good measure, then poured it into my pie shells.  Into the fridge they went for a good 3-4 hours and then we devoured.  The filling stayed together beautifully and the flavor was intensely "berry".  The tartness of the blackberries rounded out the sweet perfume of the blueberries... ohhhhh, it was heaven.

The full recipe is below,  with my own changes.  I hope you can give it a try because it really was one of the easiest pies I've made and truly delicious.

Blackberry-Blueberry Pie

(adapted from Baked Bree)

Ingredients:

  • 1 precooked, cooled pie shell
  • 2 pints of fresh blackberries, plus 1/2 pint (optional); rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen wild blueberries (I use Wynan's brand)
  • 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your blackberries)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

In a large saucepan, combine 2 pints of blackberries (reserving the 1/2 pint for later), blueberries, and cornstarch, stirring gently so as not to damage the blackberries.  After the cornstarch is evenly distributed, add the salt, sugar, water and lemon juice and turn the heat up to medium high.  Stirring occasionally, allow the mixture to come up to a soft boil.  Continue to stir for 2-4 more minutes, letting the mixture get thick and coat the spoon.  Remove from heat and add the butter, gently stirring to combine.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly then add the 1/2 pint reserved blackberries then pour mixture into your cooled pie shell.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap (just to make sure nothing falls into it) and set in refrigerator to cool for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

PS:  You might have a little extra filling so might I recommend cooling it then using it to top a serving of full fat Greek yogurt?  Trust me, it's yummy.

Epilogue:

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If you must transport your pie before it has rested in the refrigerator for 3 hours, be sure to place it in a cardboard box or you will end up with blackberry pie filling all over your car.  You have been warned.

Catch a Glimpse Button

Photobucket
Somewhat Simple

Thirty Handmade Days

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Until I was in my 20's I did not know that most pie crusts were made out of shortening or butter.  There was only one recipe for pie crust in my mother's recipe box and it was for this recipe right here that I'm going to share with you today.  The recipe is my Great-Grandmother Pat's recipe and she did not use shortening or butter in her pie crust; she used vegetable oil.  I have no idea why.  Maybe it was a Great Depression thing.  Maybe it was a Polish thing. Maybe it was a preference thing.  I just don't know.  What I do know is that every time I make this crust I can hear my grandma's voice, see her knobby fingers and smell her house.

I have introduced you to my Great-Grandma Pat before:

She's the lovely bride and that handsome gentleman sitting next to her is my Great-Grandpa Pat.  Her full name was Antonia Cecilia Smith (Smigkelski) but she went by Annette because she hated being called "Antonia."  I think it was too "ethnic" to her.  I love it.  She was always "Grandma Pat" to me and I loved visiting her house in Gridley, CA where she always had 2 things waiting for me to nibble on: egg custards in the fridge and spice cookies on the counter.  I'm still trying to figure out the spice cookie recipe, I think my Grandma Shirley is holding out on me.

One recipe I do have tucked safely away in my stash is the recipe for her pie crust.  So let's get to it:

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The ingredient list is simple (makes one 9in. crust):

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk (I've always used whole milk)

The directions couldn't be any easier either:

  • Dump everything in a bowl
  • Mix until forms into a solid ball of dough
  • Starting from the middle working out, roll out into at least 9" pie crust, place in pie plate and using a fork poke holes all over the inside to keep it from puffing up while baking.
  • Bake at 450 degrees, 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden brown

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Now, let me give you a couple of tips:

  • My Grandma Shirley (Annette's daughter) informed me this weekend that she never uses this recipe because it always crumbles on her.  True, it is not as silky or soft as a traditional pie crust.  The vegetable oil does a good job of providing the fat to make it flaky but it does not make this crust "smooth".  It may crack or crumble while you are working with it and that's ok.  Take a deep breath, everything is going to work out, I promise.  This weekend I made 2 crusts and it seemed to me that the first one came together with the least amount of breakage so it may be that working quickly will help you get the pie into the pan all in one piece.
  • This crust may stick a little to the counter or cutting board, as most crusts do.  The best way to transfer it to the pan, I found, is to use a spatula or bench scraper to peel it up and gently fold it into 4ths like the picture above.  Plop it in your pie plate and carefully unfold it.  Voila!  Of course, I could have sprinkled a little flour before I started rolling out the dough, but I forgot.  And it all worked out anyway.  See?  Cooking isn't scary.  It all works out somehow.
  • Even if it cracks (and it probably will crack at least a bit), this dough is very forgiving and meant to be very rustic.  Just take a chunk of excess dough &  "repair" the crack.  Squish and press it back into the shape you need it to be, most of it is going to be covered with filling anyway.
  • Although very similar to a traditional shortening pie crust, this pie has a tiny bit more heft to it so I try to roll it out as thin as possible, just keeping the edges a smidge thicker.  If you roll the crust out "thick" it will taste "thick".  And that may be what you prefer, just be forewarned.

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I have to stop here and point out the brilliance of my new cutting board from.... wait for it... Walmart!

It's from the Paula Deen line, no less, but I saw it months ago and debated whether or not to get it.  When I went back to pick up some extra pie plates this weekend I decided it must come home with me.  I gotta tell you, I love this new cutting board!  It's a darker, acacia wood which I appreciate much more than the lighter colored boards.  But the selling point was that engraved onto one side of the board are measurements for 6,8,9 & 10 in. rounds as well as a 14 in. straight edge. It took out all the guesswork when I rolled out my pie dough.  I knew I had rolled far enough when I got the 9 in. border line.  Infomercial complete.

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My pie crusts were beautiful and tasty and easy and... well, awesome.  Don't judge my crimping skills, I never was able to master the "pie crimp" and this dough doesn't lend easily to it anyway. People know it's a homemade pie when they see edges that ugly and somehow they love you a little more for it.

Yes, I feed people to get them love me.  There was a lot of love going around this weekend.

PS: Stay tuned for Friday when I share the recipe for the yummy filling!

I was a busy little chicken this weekend but that did not stop me from working on TWO, count 'em, TWO recipes that I am very excited to share with you because... and I am not ashamed to say it... they both turned out  AWESOME!

This photo is just a teaser of what is yet to come, later this week.  Can you guess?  Isn't it obvious? Doesn't it make you drool?

You're gonna love it.


I'm having a difficult time knowing how to share this recipe.  I came upon it in an unusual way.

A close friend of mine passed away this week.  Her name was Peggy and I loved her dearly.  She struggled with serious health problems for many years and finally went home to heaven on Monday.  Today we will gather to celebrate her love of life and family.

So... as these things go, all week gracious and loving people have been bringing meals to the mourning family and strangely enough that is how I became acquainted with this recipe.

On Tuesday, our mutual friend (and my Hallwood neighbor) Randy brought the family a feast of homemade/grilled tri tip and ribs, lots of french bread and a lovely pasta dish.  I've had a lot of pasta dishes, we all have.  This big bowl of penne, although it looked very appetizing, didn't look much different from most other big bowls of penne I have seen.  I was mistaken.

What I didn't know til I began to eat it was that it was dressed in this lemony, briny, buttery dressing that takes a regular-ole penne dish to something far more delicate and refined.  It was laced with spicy arugula and dotted with cherry tomato halves which added a summer freshness that one craves this time of year.  Really, really good pasta.  Really.

You can get the recipe from Giada  DeLaurentis at foodnetwork.com and there is also a video here.    It would be great picnic food, or a side dish or even a main course if you wanted lighter fare.  Give it a try, I'm pretty sure you'll love it.

I can't help but be sad for the loss of my friend, who more or less became my second mother after the passing of my own mother 17 years ago.  It's hard to believe that I won't see Peggy's face any more.  But I am rejoicing that she is with Jesus now and that someday I will see her again.

Until that day, my sweetest Peggy, we will travel on.

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Source: shutterbean.com via Jean on Pinterest

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Snacks!  I have a hard time resisting snacks.  I prefer snacks to actual meals.  Little bites of deliciousness...all...day...long.  Don't judge me, I work out.

If you have been following accordingtocarey.com for a long time (like, over a year) then you might remember this post about my popcorn method.  But Tracy from Shutterbean.com puts a new spin on flavored popcorn by melting coconut oil and blending that with all kinds of lovely spices before coating the popped kernels.  Brill.

Paprika, oregano, cumin, lime... all favorites of mine.  And with all that flavor I can almost justify leaving the butter off the popcorn.  Maybe.

You can read the whole recipe here at shutterbean.com.  And while I'm talking about it, have you listened to the Joy The Baker Podcast with, uh... Joy The Baker and Tracy from Shutterbean.com?  It's a "Seinfeld-esque" show, not really about anything in particular, just whatever is on their minds.   Listen to one and if you're intrigued, go to the very first and catch up. There are so many inside jokes that started back in the earlier podcasts but get funnier and funnier over time.

I have an exciting weekend planned of reorganizing my storage unit.  I know, how is one to endure so much happiness? I'll try but I hope you have something infinitely more fun planned, enjoy your weekend!!

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pine nuts, parsley, mediterranean

I promised you something special this week due to my vanishing act last Friday.  Because I love ya, here we go:

You might remember a few weeks past when I posted this photo:

That is a gorgeous crepe that I ate in Port Townsend last month when I went to visit my Wonder Twin:

We don't know how it happened, but we were separated at birth.

Wonder Twin, her daughters and I each ordered this Mediterranean Crepe for lunch at a seaside cafe' in Port Townsend (sorry, I don't remember the name right now).  I ate every last bit.  In fact, I was completely fascinated by it.  I took pictures of it.  I opened it up so I could inspect all the ingredients.  And then I came home and tried to copy it.  And you know what?  I did it!  I promise I will share the whole dang thing with you as soon as it's perfected.  Soon, very soon.

But one of the by-products of all that testing was another recipe that popped into my little brain: a pork loin stuffed with a Mediterranean inspired filling.  Again, I'm still perfecting that recipe.  I haven't nailed down the cooking temperature on the pork loin but I have to admit, it is delicious whether I overcook the pork or not.

How cruel is that, to tell you about delicious recipes and not give them to you.  Sorry.  I just want it to be perfect for you.

However, I CAN share the filling with you because it's simple and works as wonderfully inside a whole wheat tortilla or pita bread as it does inside a butterflied pork loin.

Mediterranean filling

Here's your cast of characters:

  • half a bunch of parsley (about 3/4 cup)
  • lightly toasted pine nuts (about 1/4 cup)
  • sun dried tomato (about 1/4 cup) AND some of the oil it's packed in (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 3-4 oz of crumbled feta cheese
  • capers (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • a dash of black pepper
  • a drizzle of olive oil (if needed)
Stuff all these ingredients into a small food processor and give it several pulses.  Don't let it run because although you want it well combined, you still want to maintain a little texture.  We are not making baby food.
If it looks a little dry, you can either drizzle in some more oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes OR a little olive oil.  Check for salt and pepper.  The mixture should be salty enough from the feta and capers but if you like it saltier, add a little more.
Next, toast up some pita halves OR whole wheat tortillas and shmear about 2 Tablespoons of mixture inside.
Eat.  And enjoy.  Because you will love it.

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I've made a batch of this filling and snacked on it for a couple days.  My mouth is watering  just thinking about it.  I wonder if we have any feta at home....

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pizza, no kneed, homemade pizza

Time once again for an installment of Crumbs.  Just consider "Crumbs" a drive-by-post of a few things that have been on my mind lately:

    • My friend Lynnie just introduced me to the app/website "How Stuff Works" and my nerdiness is satisfied.  They have podcasts on subject themes such as Stuff You Missed In History Class, Stuff Mom Never Told You, and The Coolest Stuff On The Planet.  The shows are informative but clever and humorous.  If you have a long car trip or a long ride on the stationary bike coming up you will be entertained!
    • I tried a version of cold-brewed coffee this weekend.  It had some highs and lows, I'm going to try it again later this week with a different recipe from America's Test Kitchen.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Source: americastestkitchenfeed.com via Ginny on Pinterest

  • And lastly, my theme song for the past several months. It makes me smile. "Been waiting on this for a while now, paying my dues to the dirt."
  • [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpPK7i5Aqh4]