Obligatory Pi(e) Day Post

Obligatory Pi(e) Day Post

3.14 3/14 The day that people go nuts for pi and pie. No exception in my house, and I have no issue with any excuse for talking, baking, enjoying pie, so if that excuse has to be math, I’m down. I have baked many pies in my life, more than I could possibly count, and obviously, each one has math involved. Baking has a large math component, as we all know, as well as science and art. It is the most delicious STEAM project (but please do not steam your pie – gross). On occasion when this day rolls around, I have tossed around trying to incorporate pi into the pie recipes – 3.14 tbsps of sugar or bake until you reach roughly the 2700th number while reciting pi, or some such ridiculousness. But, don’t mess with perfection, right? What follows is my recipe for my Award Winning Apple Pie. It’s tastiness is hard to quantify, but can always be counted on.

Serves 6-8

Apple Pie

Ingredients:

crust:

2 sticks of butter, cold and cut into small chunks

2 and ⅓ c flour

1 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1/4ish ice cold water

Filling:

5-6 apples, peeled and sliced

1 cup sugar (or more or less to taste, depending on the sweetness of the apples)

¼ cup flour

1 tbsp cinnamon

Juice from ½ lemon

1 egg mixed with ½ tsp water for egg wash

Preheat oven to 425

For the crust, combine butter, flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Using fingers or a pastry blender, quickly blend butter into dry ingredients until it all comes together into a coarse crumb.  In dribbles add just enough water to have it almost come together, with no powderiness. Divide into two equal parts, pat each into a disk and refrigerate.

To make the filling, simply combine all ingredients.  

Remove  the dough from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll into a circle and place into a pie pan.  Pour in filling. Roll second disc out and place on top of the filled pie. Trim excess and pinch and crimp the edge. Cut vents or decorations into the top. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with finishing sugar.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 15 mins.  After 15 mins reduce the heat to 375 and bake another 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Saucy Crock Pot Short Ribs

Saucy Crock Pot Short Ribs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 lbs bone in beef short ribs

1 onion, cut into thick slices

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1 ½ cups beef stock

2 tbsps tomato paste

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tbsps flour

Salt

Optional hot sauce

Method:

Line the bottom of a slower cooker with the onion slices.  Salt the ribs then layer them on top of the onion. In a bowl, stir together the stock, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, worcestershire, soy sauce, paprika and flour. Pour this over the ribs and turn the cooker on to low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5.  When the meat is tender and falling off the bone, remove it to a plate. Remove the bones, cut off any remaining fat, then shred the meat. Carefully spoon out as much fat on top of the sauce in the crock pot as possible. If you have a large bulb syringe or fat separator to help with this task, all the better.  Transfer the remaining sauce, including the onions, to a bowl or sauce pan and, using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Alternately, you can use a stand blender. Add the hot sauce here, if you are using (or serve with sauce on the table for each diner to add as he or she wishes). Mix the meat into this. This finishing process should be relatively quick so the meat and sauce shouldn’t need reheating, but do so if it has cooled too much.  If it is thicker than you like, feel free to stir in a bit more broth. Serve over biscuits, noodles, rice, potatoes, or favorite sauce-sopping food.

Note: If you want to keep this gluten free, swap 1 tbsp of cornstarch for the flour.  For totally grain free, simple leave it out. You sauce will be thinner but equally delicious.  Also, you you eat gluten free you likely already know this, but always check you worcestershire sauce, as some are not gf.  I like Lea and Perrins and that is gf. Same goes for your soy sauce – I like to use tamari, instead.

Ground Turkey and Apple Slaw Tacos

Ground Turkey and Apple Slaw Tacos

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey

1 ½ tsps chili powder

1 small head of cabbage, shredded, or 10oz bag pre-shredded

1 large apple (I prefer granny smith but any will work), thinly sliced and slices cut in half

½ cup chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsps olive oil

1 tbsp honey

Generous sprinkle of salt

Generous sprinkle of pepper

8 taco shells/wraps – I prefer flour for this but hard or soft corn would work, as well

Cotija cheese, grated or crumbled, optional

Method:

Warm a skillet over medium heat.  Add the ground turkey to it and give the turkey a sprinkle of salt.  If your turkey is especially lean, put a little oil into the pan first, but for the most part you shouldn’t need it.  Add the chili powder and break up the meat as it cooks. Once it is cooked through (6-8 minutes), take it off the heat and set it aside.  In a bowl, mix well the oil, lime juice, honey, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Add the cabbage and apple to the bowl and toss so they are well coated with the dressing.  To serve, pile the turkey and slaw on 2 shells/wraps per person. Top with a sprinkle of the cheese.

Sun Dried Tomato and Fontina Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Sun Dried Tomato and Fontina Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

Ingredients:

6 cups any combination fresh vegetables – broccoli, carrots, snow peas, green beans, cabbage, spinach, bok choy, etc

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 tbsps sesame oil (toasted or not)

½ -1 cup vegetable broth

3 tbsps tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp or two of miso paste (optional)

Sriracha or red pepper flakes to taste

12 oz soba noodles*

Method:

Prepare the soba noodles according to the package instructions.  While they are cooking, heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the garlic for a minute or two. Add the vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the broth, soy sauce, miso, if using, and sriracha or pepper flakes. Cook until your desired level of doneness in the vegetables. To serve, place some noodles in a bowl.  Scoop some of the vegetables and broth over them.

*Soba noodles are usually found in 8 oz packs.  I find 8 oz is not enough for 4 servings but 16 is too much.  You can certainly cook half a box but I always cook it all and have some left over.  Also, soba noodles are either a mix of buckwheat and wheat, (and also fun things like mugwort and wild yam), or just straight buckwheat.  If you want gluten free, get the straight buckwheat (it isn’t actually wheat but rather a seed). If it doesn’t matter to you, the mixed sort costs considerably less.

Spicy Mixed Vegetable Soba Noodles

Spicy Mixed Vegetable Soba Noodles

Ingredients:

6 cups any combination fresh vegetables – broccoli, carrots, snow peas, green beans, cabbage, spinach, bok choy, etc

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 tbsps sesame oil (toasted or not)

½ -1 cup vegetable broth

3 tbsps tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp or two of miso paste (optional)

Sriracha or red pepper flakes to taste

12 oz soba noodles*

Method:

Prepare the soba noodles according to the package instructions.  While they are cooking, heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the garlic for a minute or two. Add the vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the broth, soy sauce, miso, if using, and sriracha or pepper flakes. Cook until your desired level of doneness in the vegetables. To serve, place some noodles in a bowl.  Scoop some of the vegetables and broth over them.

*Soba noodles are usually found in 8 oz packs.  I find 8 oz is not enough for 4 servings but 16 is too much.  You can certainly cook half a box but I always cook it all and have some left over.  Also, soba noodles are either a mix of buckwheat and wheat, (and also fun things like mugwort and wild yam), or just straight buckwheat.  If you want gluten free, get the straight buckwheat (it isn’t actually wheat but rather a seed). If it doesn’t matter to you, the mixed sort costs considerably less.

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