Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm BACK......and Zucchini Pie!

I'm linking this recipe up with The Better Baker Linky Party.  Go take a look-see!

Well it's been almost a whole month since I've been on my blog!  Yes, I took a little vacation.  I needed a break, even though I LOVE sharing my recipes, and my life, but it can be busy. 

We went on vacation down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, what a wonderful time we had, being right on the beach, and we had perfect weather! 

We swam everyday in the ocean, played in the sand, shopped, and just spent time enjoying each other's company.  It was a great and relaxing vacation!

Morning Sunrise in the Outerbanks!

My Crazy Kids!

The kids go back to school next week, and I must say this was one of the best Summer's ever spent with my Hubby and kids.  We had a full summer filled with friends, family, and activities, but I can also say we had a lot of down time too, and that is so important to me.

Our garden is dying down, we had a wonderful harvest of veggies.  The tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, not too many cucumbers, who knows why, and the zucchini were plentiful, and we love our zucchini.

Here is a great recipe to use up all the Zucchini you have in the garden.  My Mom has been making this Zucchini Pie all of my life now, and it has always been a favorite of mine.  I use my "No Fail Pie Crust" recipe, or you can just use refrigerated pie crust if you want too. 

Zucchini Pie

4 Cups Zucchini sliced very thin
1 small onion chopped small
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup Parm cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 TBS fresh parsley minced

No Fail Pie crust recipe, or 2 pie crust rolled out.

Combine all the ingredients in a big bowl, and stir until all combined.  Roll out half the pie crust, and put in a pie plate, add the Zucchini filling.  Roll out the other half of the pie crust, and put on top of the filling.  Make 3 slits in the top crust, and put in a preheated 350 oven for 1 hour.  Cool slightly and enjoy! YUMMO!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

No Fail Pie Crust and Strawberry Blueberry Summer Pie!

I'm linking this recipe up with Domesblissity Linky Party, go take a look-see!

I've been making this No Fail Pie Dough/Crust for years.  When my Hubby and I were newly married, my friend gave me the recipe, and promised me that it's the easiest pie dough ever!  And it was! 

This is my go-to recipe, I never buy those refrigerated pie crusts, because this is so cheap, takes little time for me, and the best part, there's nothing like rolling out your own pie crust, and making a most delicious, homemade, from scratch Pie! 

Here's my recipe for my No Fail Pie Dough/Crust. 

This recipe is very easy, so don't be intimidated. Chill the dough, but I really think the KEY for this dough is to only chill it for 20 minutes to 1/2 hour the MOST.  This dough is easy to roll out, and comes out very flaky.  Please try it!

Pie Crust for a Two Crust Pie or Two Single Pies

2 cups all purpose flour (more for rolling out the dough)
1 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp. vinegar
In a large bowl put the flour and salt, and shortening, then using a pastry cutter or 2 knives cut the shortening into the flour and salt. Using a liquid measuring cup, break one egg into it, and then fill it to the 1/2 cup line with ice cold water, and add 1 tsp vinegar.....YES will be fine you'll see.

Mix it with a fork, then add it to the flour/shortening mixture and mix together with with a fork, then get your hands in there and gather the dough together don't be afraid, this pie dough recipe you can work the dough and it will still be flaky!

Form into a round disk, if it's too wet, add a little more flour, too dry, add very little will be sticky, but not overly sticky.....all depends on the day and humidity.  Gather into a ball, don't be afraid to work it, form into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap and put in the frig for about 1/2 hour.

Take the dough out of the frig, and put it on a board, or whatever you roll your pie dough out on.  I use a Pampered Chef mat, that I LOVE.

Cut the circle of dough in half using a knife, then shape the 1/2 of the dough you are going to roll out back into a circle. Flour the surface, bottom and top of the dough before rolling, and on your rolling pin...start rolling out into a circle, starting from the middle, making sure you have enough flour nothing sticks.

Keep rolling take your time if it sticks add a little more flour, moving the dough so it doesn't stick, move it around after each roll with the pin.

Put the bottom pie crust in a pie plate.

Filling for Strawberry Blueberry Summer Pie
2 Pints Strawberries cut up
1 Pint Blueberries
2 Tbs flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 stick butter cut into little pieces
1 egg & 1 tsp water for egg wash
2 Tbs sugar for topping

Combine all the ingredients, and mix carefully.  Add the filling to your rolled out pie shell, dot with butter, and roll out the top crust. 

Carefully put the top crust on top of the filling, tuck the excess dough under the edges, making sure there's no leaks, and crimp the edges. Brush the top with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar!
My kids.... Becca's first homemade Pie!

Big Pot of Sauce and Meatballs!

Happy Saturday!  Today I'm all alone at home....not sure if I'm liking it.  My guys went on a weekend long camping trip and won't be home until Tuesday. My daughter went to our County Fair, to volunteer and face paint at our church tent.  What will I do with myself today?
Yesterday was Becca's Sweet Sixteen Birthday.  I still can't believe my little girl is 16! 

Becca and Me!
We had a little party with her closest friends, and of course I cooked.  She requested Baked Ziti, with Meatballs, and a Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake.  It was a nice time.  I always cook my kids favorite meal for their birthdays, something my Mom always did for me when I was growing up, and would have it no other way!

My Sauce is really easy, and delicious, and I bake my Meatballs now, so much easier than frying them.  I just started doing it this way this past year, and honestly won't go back to frying!  Enjoy the recipe.

Italian Sauce with Meatballs

3 cans crushed tomato's (I like Redpack, Tuttirusso, or Contadina)
1 onion minced
1 clove of garlic minced or 2 tsp powder garlic
1/2 cup of fresh parsley minced
1/4 cup of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste about 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS sugar (YES I use sugar to cut down on the acidity)
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup Parm cheese

In a big stock pot, heat up and add the olive oil, and saute the onion on medium heat, then add the garlic, but lower the heat cause you don't want to burn the garlic, nothing like burnt garlic!  Add the tomato's, careful they splash, rinse each can out with a little water, about 1/4 cup, just to get all the sauce out, add the parsley, basil, salt, pepper, sugar, parm cheese and italian seasoning. Stir with a WOODEN SPOON, I always use a wooden spoon when making homemade sauce..... bring to a boil and immediately turn down to simmer. Cook uncovered or with the lid on but not all the way, so the seam can escape, and the sauce thickens.

Now make the meatballs!


2 pounds chop meat (85% lean would do)
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
3 TBS fresh parsley
1 TBS fresh basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp. powder garlic
2 tsp. italian seasoning
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup Parm cheese
Mix together with your HANDS......YES... you need to do this with your hands!Roll into medium size balls. Line a cookie sheet with foil, or I still use my cast-iron skillet even for baking meatballs, and spray with cooking spray so the meatballs don't stick, cause they will. 

Bake in a 350 oven for about 15 mins, until they are nicely browned.

Add them to the already simmering sauce. 

Cook for 3 hours on simmer, or all day if you have that time.....uncovered.....yes uncovered, or if the tiny spattering of sauce on your stove bothers you, then put the lid on, but not all the way, you need the sauce to thicken and with the lid on, it will not thicken. Serve with any kind of pasta you desire, and use the leftovers for homemade pizza......