Category Archives: recipe

Adventures in jamming: fruit, pectin, music

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My friends gave me these beautiful yellow plums on Sunday, and I’ve been jamming up a storm. Both of these are ginger plum jam, with some chopped crystallized ginger added to the plummy goodness.

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The one on the right is my usual Sure-Jell pectin version. It requires an exact amount of sugar to set. It’s very sweet. The one on the left is my first experiment with Pomona’s pectin, which doesn’t require sugar to gel. The pectin is activated by calcium (included in the packet). I used less than half as much sugar in this second jam. It’s much more tart, and the plum and ginger flavors shine through. But why do these two look so different? I made the second jam with turbinado sugar, so it’s darker, and I don’t love how it looks. I went back to the drawing board (and picked more plums), and came up with this winner.

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Sunshine in a jar

It’s not as crystal clear/jewel-like as the Sure-Jell jam, but it has much less sugar, 4 1/2 cups of sugar for 8 cups of prepared fruit, instead of 8 cups of sugar for 6 cups of fruit. This is a little sweeter than the last version, per my family’s request. I like that I could add sugar until it tasted right. Pretty color. Delicious flavor. Nice texture. And I’ve run out of jars, so I’m done jamming for the season. Whew!

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Third time’s a charm

For reference for next year:

Ginger Plum Jam

8 cups prepared plums (pitted, not peeled, pulsed a bit in food processor)
4 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C lemon juice
1/4 C chopped crystallized ginger
8 tsp calcium water (from pectin package)
6 tsp Pomona’s pectin

Prepare and process per directions in pectin package.

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More jam? A couple weeks ago, we picked raspberries and made jam with this recipe I found last year. No added pectin, and an exquisite color and set.

Now I have a LOT of jam. I found this recipe for making jam ice cream a while ago. I haven’t tried it yet; I need to get out of the kitchen! But this may come in handy later.

I just picked the very last of my blueberry crop for this year. (Ring added for size reference. The bowl is only about 4 inches, and the berries are not so big in real life.)

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I don’t love blueberry jam, so I have gallons of berries stored in the freezer for (my signature) cobblers, pancakes, muffins, and compotes all year long. Eating them fresh off the blueberry bush is my favorite way to enjoy them. I’m going to savor these last few.

In a different kind of jamming, the Pie Birds (my friends Claudia and Becky and I) sang in church on Sunday. This is our version of the Wailin’ Jennys’ Bird Song. I’m the low harmony, and play one of the guitars. It is an absolute joy to sing with friends!

Snowy Woods Cowl

I’m madly knitting away, and about halfway done with two projects that are publishing soon. One is the re-worked Snowy Woods Cowl. Lorajean over at Knitted Wit is doing this custom color in her Aran weight yarn for me. Isn’t it gorgeous? And soft and bouncy to knit with, too. We’re planning a pattern launch sale and a KAL. Stay tuned!

How was your week?

Puff, the magic…pastry

My go-to dessert for holiday parties this season has been a simple pear tart. Fresh sliced pears on a bed of puff pastry, brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar before a little turn in the oven. (Please excuse the kitchen lighting; it was dark out. As usual.)

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Paired (peared? hah!) with my favorite bourbon caramel sauce, this is a heavenly dish. My favorite aunt sends me pears at Christmas, and many of them have gone the way of the tart. I”m saving some for cranberry pear bourbon jam, though.

I was reading blogs today, and saw Tango Mango’s decadent chocolate swirl buns, yeasty buns full of chopped chocolate. I was tempted, but feeling much too lazy to make a yeast dough and wait for it to rise. Luckily, I had one last puff pastry sheet in the freezer, so I did a mashup of her chocolate swirl buns and her pain au chocolat. (If you like to play with food, you really need to follow her blog.)

Here’s the result.

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Chocolate pinwheel puffs
Yield: 9 pretty puffs, and two not so pretty ones

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 egg
sprinkle of sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a little non-stick spray in the bottom of a standard muffin tin to keep melted chocolate from sticking. (I didn’t, and only had a little sticking.)

Thaw puff pastry, and then use a rolling pin to roll out dough to about 12″ by 12″, not a lot thinner, mostly just to roll out the creases. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the surface. I’m guessing on the amount, you could go way heavier if you want. Let your conscience be your guide. Mine looked like this. (sorry, more kitchen lighting)

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Roll the dough up into a tube. Scramble the egg to make an egg wash, and brush some on the edge to seal the roll. Slice the roll into 1 inch pieces. Place the pieces into the muffin pan. They look like they’re too small for the pan, but they’ll puff up. The two end pieces won’t be pretty; you can add additional chocolate chips to make up for it. Brush the pinwheels lightly with the egg wash, and sprinkle them with sugar if you’d like. I didn’t, but the sparkle and crunch would be a nice addition.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Eat the not quite so pretty end pieces first to hide the evidence.

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Enjoy your pinwheels while paging through Doomsday Knits. Oh, I think I forgot to tell you: Doomsday Knits is live!

Doomsday Knits

You can order your ebook for immediate delivery, or ebook and hard copy. Hard copies will ship in January. I’m looking forward to sniffing the ink in my printed version, but I’m enjoying my ebook NOW. My Thrumviator is in this book, and now that I’m back in Portland, I could really use one!

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Happy knitting, and happy munching!

One holiday at a time…

That’s my motto. No Christmas before Thanksgiving. Heck, no Christmas before Halloween!

A couple weekends ago, it couldn’t be helped. Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincided, so we had to do both at the same time. My sister-in-law made a menurkey. I can’t find the picture of her with it, so here’s DH.

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We came home and celebrated the rest of Hanukkah.

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(Playing with depth of field and my menorah collection)

Now I’m ready to prepare for Christmas.

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We had a little snow here to put me in the right frame of mind.
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I found Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans for a reasonable price at Costco, so I’m making some vanilla extracts. Two are made with vodka, and two are made with bourbon. I gues that would make the latter…Bourbon Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract! A week later, the vodka version is nearly as dark as the bourbon version. But don’t let that fool you; it won’t be ready to use for about a month or so. Here’s a recipe; it’s crazy simple. I love these flip top bottles, but I wish they came in a smaller version! These are 8 ounces, which is a lot of vanilla extract.

More merry-making: Here’s a group from Westlake High School singing at the Rotunda in the Texas Capitol in Austin Texas.

Yes, Austin! We had a quick getaway this week. Here’s a better view up into the dome. The star up there measures 8 feet across.

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This is a beautiful building. So much detail!

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Even the door hinges are beautiful.

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Texas State Representatives meet here.

We also toured the LBJ Library and Museum, and saw lots of bands play. Favorite meal: breakfast tacos at Torchy’s Tacos. Cheap hipster slacker breakfast.

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We got around via Car2Go. Very cool!

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Cheaper than a cab, and pretty convenient. You only pay for the time you drive, 41 cents/minute, and you can park in any legal parking lot in their service area. We have these in Portland, too, and use them occasionally when we need a second car. Do you have Car2Go where you live?

Are you ready for Christmas? Not me, not yet!

Pinot and Piano…and stellar desserts

My home was filled with gorgeous music on Sunday evening. The sixth annual Pinot and Piano Fun-Raiser brought together three musicians, 16 guests, and wine and dessert. I don’t play my piano much these days, so it’s nice to hear it played by someone else. For this event, I’m in charge of the venue, a freshly tuned grand piano, and dessert.

We had two intermissions; the first one featured this simple dessert (regular wine glass shown for size reference):

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Mini blueberry cheesecake shooters. I adapted The Pioneer Woman’s Cherry Cheesecake Shooters recipe, and topped it with my blueberry compote using this summer’s blueberries from my yard. These mini wine tasting glasses hold just enough, and look fabulous. Full recipe at the bottom of this post.

The second intermission featured a buffet of chocolate chip shortbread, brownies, fruit salad, and one other sensational dessert, a flourless chocolate cake with chocolate glaze.

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I wanted a gluten-free option on the menu, but this cake is so good that the GF status is just a bonus. This was easy, elegant, and delicious. I used a 9 inch cake pan, because I didn’t have a 7 inch tart pan. I reduced the baking time to 19 minutes (start checking at 15) to compensate for the wider, shallower pan. The recipe says it serves six, but it would easily serve 12 as a single dessert. We cut 20 slices, since it was part of a dessert buffet.

The music for piano solo and duet, and piano and flute, ranged from Bach to Handel to Grieg to Mendelssohn to the Beatles.

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A lovely evening among friends.

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Mother/Daughter duet. And since this is a knitting blog, I’ll note that designer Chrissy Gardiner is the daughter. She has many talents!

Blueberry Cheesecake Shooters
adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s Cherry Cheesecake Shooters

Make the blueberry compote the night before, and refrigerate.

For the blueberry compote:
2.5 cups frozen blueberries, unthawed
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C water
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine 1.5 C berries with the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until berries burst, about 10 minutes. Add remaining berries and lemon juice. Continue stirring; cook until compote thickens, about 8 minutes. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Serve warm, room temperature, cold, whatever! You’ll have enough left over to top ice cream, or pancakes…

For the cheesecake (same day, or night before):
12 whole graham cracker rectangles
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (to taste)
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor, or place them in a resealable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Gradually add the melted butter and process or mix until crumbs begin to cling together. Spoon this “crust” into serving dishes: mini wine glasses, wine glasses, whatever you’d like.

Combine cream cheese,sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip until fluffy. Place mixture into a resealable plastic bag, cut off a corner and pipe mixture over graham cracker crumbs.

Spoon blueberry compote over the cheesecake mixture. Top with sliced almonds just before serving. Enjoy!

Yield: 12 servings in mini wine glasses, fewer if you’re using larger dishes. I used Libbey’s mini wine tasting glasses. They’d also be cute in little half cup canning jars.

Sweet summer jam

Knit nite was fun! It was a time for this loosely knit (hah!) group to reconnect (two people didn’t even bring knitting) and celebrate summer. Cathy is participating in the Garland KAL; her color is KnittedWit’s Madge, which is a glorious shade of raspberry. We were both using our Bead Aids and mine had a little adventure under the deck. It was found; the deck is pretty high which means you can get under it. I wish I had taken a picture of Cathy’s Garland; it’s gorgeous. Hooray for non-traditional leaf colors!

Lorajean brought me a big bowl of plums.

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I used all the yellow and yellow/blush plums to make 10 jars of ginger plum jam. It looks like sunshine in a jar.

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It’s setting up nicely. I tasted it and the ginger/plum ratio is
perfect. I used 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger, 6 cups of cooked plums, 8 cups of sugar, and a pack of sure-jell. I bypassesd my traditional water bath canner, which is really too big for my electric burner, and tried something new. My 8 quart stockpot and this:

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Which is actually this:

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A silicone trivet that sits in the bottom of the pot to cushion the jars. I read about it here. I can only process 5 or 6 jars at a time, and I miss my jar rack/lifter, but the pot doesn’t wobble and the cooktop doesn’t get heat stained from the larger pot’s overhang. I do wish the pot were just a little deeper; it was pretty full in order to have an inch of water above the jars. But the resulting jam turned out fine.

I brought a blueberry pie to knit nite, but wanted to leave something home for DH and CollegeKiddo for dinner, so I made a caprese canellini pasta salad. This time I reduced the pasta to 8 ounces to have a more goodies to pasta ratio, and used the interesting tomato medley you see here.

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I love pasta salads in the summer. A little pasta, a lot of my favorite goodies, some balsamic or lemon dressing, and there’s dinner.

What are some of your favorite summer recipes?

Desserts, tried and true

I hosted a going away party for our outgoing pastor last Monday. Who knew you could get 40 people in my house? There were six of us on the committee; we were each charged to supply a dessert and two bottles of wine. Being an overachiever, I made two desserts. The recipes have been here on the blog before, but I’m posting them again as things that are simple and that can go on a picnic or sit out on a buffet for a while and still look good! (This is not the time for homemade ice cream.) I like to experiment and try new things, but sometimes you need to go for the reliable old standards.

I baked a blueberry cobbler, which actually works well for a picnic dessert, too. Although I like it best with vanilla ice cream, a can of aerosol whipped cream will do in a pinch.

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These are not blueberries from my garden. Mine are close, but they’ll be ripe in the next week or two. Store bought was the next best thing.

This is my favorite cobbler recipe. It’s fabulous with fresh berries, but I also make it with frozen berries from my garden throughout the year. If you use frozen berries, it will take an extra 10 minutes or so to bake. (Shout out to my friend Vickie, who sent me this recipe in 1986, when we still wrote letters via snail mail. I had just moved away to New York. I showed her the letter last month, and it really startled her that I still have it. It’s on my fridge.):

Berry Cobbler

For the batter:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBSP butter (I admit that I misread her 4 as a 9, and have been using 8 TBSP, or 1/2 cup, of butter. Yum. 6 is a good compromise.)
3/4 cup sugar (I reduce to 2/3 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
3 cups berries

Stir together flour, baking powder, salt. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla; beat in egg until blended. Add flour mixure and milk–beat only until smooth. Spread in buttered 8 inch square baking dish; scatter berries on top.

TOPPING:
1/4 cup soft butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour

Combine topping ingredients and beat until smooth. Drop teaspoonsful of topping over berries. Bake @ 350 degrees for one hour–toothpick should come out without batter, and top is golden. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, or both. Yields 9 servings, because I cut things in grid patterns. I can’t help myself.

I also made chocolate chip shortbread and cut it into 36 bite sized pieces. This is an old picture, so these are not the 36 squares!

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Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips or butterscotch chips (I used mini chocolate, but I’ve also used butterscotch)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and salt, and then beat these with the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in chips. Press into an ungreased 9 inch square pan.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool 20-30 minutes in pan on wire rack.

Score shortbread with sharp knife into desired size servings, but do not cut all the way through. Invert onto rack and cool completely. Break into pieces.

What are your go-to dessert recipes?

Obligatory knit content: Still knitting away on my Garland shawl. Repeat 12!

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Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet

My Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of the migration of yarnies to Columbus, Ohio today. They say they’re heading there for TNNA, The National Needlearts Association summer trade show. But I think they’re equally excited to be in close proximity to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. I first encountered Jeni’s when I went to TNNA last year. I was hooked. I went to Jeni’s every day!

The kids gave me an ice cream maker last Christmas. Was it a gift for me, or a gift for them? Hmmm. I don’t use it a lot, but I love it when I do.

The first thing I made with it was Bourbon Vanilla ice cream, which was their ulterior motive for this gift. It turned out great; we put it in profiteroles.

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This outing, we made Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet using Jeni’s recipe. It tastes just like a ripe pear, even with riesling in it. Delicious. (And do you sense a theme?) This was my favorite flavor in Columbus.

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I used Anjou pears, and Brooks Winery‘s Tethys, a late harvest riesling. The wine was probably nicer than it needed to be, but drinking the rest of the bottle was great! (I did have help.) Here’s the recipe. (Thank you, Jeni, for allowing me to post this.)

Riesling-Poached Pear Sorbet
A surprisingly rich sorbet with the texture of a ripe pear; sweet Riesling notes shine on the finish.

This flavor works well even with underripe pears—you just have to poach them a bit longer. If your pears are superripe and juicy, you won’t need to poach them for more than a few moments.

Pairs well with: Cocoa Zin Ice Cream with palmiers and whipped cream.

Makes about 1 quart

6 medium Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, or Comice pears (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Riesling
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup

COOK
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes, until the pears are soft. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

CHILL
Puree the pear mixture in 2 batches in a food processor until completely smooth. Force through a sieve.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

FREEZE
Pour the sorbet base into the frozen canister and spin just until the consistency of very softly whipped cream.
Pack the sorbet into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Excerpted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan Books). Copyright 2011.

This is a fabulous book, full of innovative flavors. On to the next flavor! I’m missing TNNA, but my ice cream fix is here…

Shortcake, and yarn

I’m still between projects, trying to decide if I’m going to start something before the Garland KAL cast on Monday. I want to have the right needles free when it’s time to start!

The yarn is definitely ready. There was a drive-by yarning here Wednesday.

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My Peacock and Janet’s Moody Blues. And the beads I bought at Shipwreck?

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They look to be a perfect match. I have way more than enough. There are about 150 beads per strand, and I have 6 strands. I don’t know if you can tell, but the beads are clear, with a peacock lining.

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There is still time to join the KAL; we don’t cast on until Monday. The coupon code for the discount on the Garland Shawl pattern is GarlandKAL. Join us! And if you’re local in Portland, join us at Twisted this Monday evening from 5-7 for a cast on party.

What else is occupying my thoughts?

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Strawberry shortcake. (Please excuse the lighting; it was late at night.) Local strawberries are just coming into season, but I haven’t had any yet. I’ve been making do with California berries. Let’s just say I’m practicing for the real thing. Here’s my current shortcake recipe. They’re like my scones, only more butter, and no egg. Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, especially when they’re still warm from the oven. They also reheat well in the toaster oven.

Strawberry Shortcake
serves 8

2 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar (or more, to taste)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or both

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together the strawberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and 3 T sugar. Cut the butter into pieces and then blend them into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Combine milk and vanilla and add to flour mixture; stir until just combined.

Using your hands, gently divide mixture into 8 equal size balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 – 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Cool on a rack, just a bit. To serve, split a warm shortcake in two, and serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or both.

What’s your favorite summer dessert?

I envy the heirloom tomato gardeners

Yet even with storebought tomatoes, this was delicious. Pretty as a picture, this is a perfect dish to take to an end of summer potluck.

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Caprese Cannellini Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I used half regular and half white balsamic, but either is fine)
12 oz farfalle pasta, cooked al dente and cooled
8 ounces fresh Ciliegine (cherry size) mozzarella balls, cut into quarters
5 Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks, or 1 10 oz package cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15 oz can cannellini, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine pasta, mozzarella, tomatoes, beans, and basil. Drizzle with about half dressing and gently toss until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasonings as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving toss with a little more dressing to refresh. Enjoy!

In other news, I’m a double lucky winner! Leslie at More with Les was giving away a copy of the Knitting 2013 calendar because she has two patterns in it. I won! And she also gave away five copies of her new e-book, Cheer. I was the fifth on the list, so I have that too. It has a great beginning. I have it as next in my kindle to read when I finish the current book. Thank you, Leslie!

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The calendar is a collection of single sheets that come in a box. The box converts into an easel to hold the pages. Leslie’s patterns are for a hat and some fingerless mitts, which would be great for quick gift knits.

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Aren’t they cute? I’m looking forward to paging through this calendar as the seasons turn. Speaking of which, it’s been comfortably cool here the past few days. I’m knitting with Malabrigo Merino Worsted, finally putting the finishing touches on a design I started back in May. Super cute. I look forward to sharing it with you soon! What’s on your needles? Are you thinking autumn yet?

Pie, pie, pie, pi

I’ve been trying to get this pie right for a while; this is the third attempt. Hat tip to Elizabeth at Savory Salty Sweet for the blueberry cream pie in a gingersnap crust that inspired this raspberry adaptation.

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Raspberry Cream Pie in a Chocolate Cookie Crust

Cookie Crust
9 ounces chocolate cookies (I used Newman’s Organic Alphabet cookies. 7 oz package is a little skimpy; you’ll want more. What I really wanted was chocolate graham crackers, but I can’t find them anywhere)
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, with rack in the middle position.
Process cookies in a food processor until they are pulverized into small crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and combine with the melted butter while stirring with a spatula. Stir until crumbs start to cling together.
Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Using a spoon or your fingers, press the crumbs into the pan, evenly covering the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Pastry Cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan set over medium low heat, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, and pinch of salt. Slowly pour in milk while steadily whisking, making sure the cornstarch mixture does not clump up. Whisk in the egg yolks. Slowly whisk the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes, until it becomes quite thick. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in vanilla. Pour the custard into the baked gingersnap crust. Place in refrigerator to start cooling while you glaze the berries.

Glazed raspberries (Makes the red really pop, and helps keep berries perky)
3 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons apricot jam

For optional chocolate drizzle
Some may call this gilding the lily, but it’s pretty and delicious, too!
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (30 seconds at a time in microwave, stirring each time. It will still be pretty thick when melted, but do your best!)

Don’t rinse the berries; they’ll get all weepy. Thin apricot jam with water, and brush on raspberries with a pastry brush. Pile raspberries on top of custard. Using a fork, drizzle chocolate over all. Place pie in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, until custard has set and pie is thoroughly chilled.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

Here’s the history of these pies, so you know what not to do.

Version 1: I rinsed the berries, and they were very sloppy! I used Trader Joe’s Low Fat Cat Cookies because I couldn’t find chocolate graham crackers, and couldn’t get them to crush down enough. It was tasty, but the crust was too coarse in texture.

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Version 2: I tried a graham cracker crust with a chocolate ganache lining under the pastry cream. It tasted great, but was a big sloppy mess under there because the ganache didn’t firm up the way I wanted. I had put it in the freezer to firm up, but it probably melted again when I put in the warm pastry cream, and didn’t have enough time to become solid again before I needed to serve it.

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Back to the original chocolate cookie idea for version 3, as seen above! I made all the mistakes so you don’t have to. It’s good, but my favorite is still the original blueberry cream pie in the gingersnap crust. I just love blueberries.

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And here’s the progress on my Blueberry Half Pi shawl. I’m on row 124. 20 more rows of easy-peasy gull wing lace, and then on to the hearts border. It’s hard to really see what it will look like when it’s all scrunched up on the needles like this, but I’m hoping it blocks into a big half circle of gossamer beauty.

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What’s on your needles?