April 20, 2013

It's Spring...are you ready for some Raspberry Rhubarb Pie?

I remember when I was in college out in the Lancaster Pennsylvania area, many of the homeowners around the perimeter of our campus would have these large and often times multiple rhubarb plants growing in their gardens. I always wondered what the heck you do with rhubarb, although it seemed to be very popular at least at that place and time.  It wasn't until a few years ago after my husband and myself moved to our New Jersey home, that my brother had given us a generous portion of a rhubarb plant he had in his garden, it was then that I really began to cook with rhubarb.

This recipe is one you have to truly stick to, no veering off of the amounts of each ingredients. The rhubarb is sour and the raspberries also have a little bite, so you want to make sure that you have the right balance of sweet and tart.


! recipe pastry for a double pie crust (or you can use a refrigerated crust to save time)
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 T. cornstarch (make sure you use the exact amount or your filling will be too thick.)
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
3 cups fresh or frozen red raspberries
2 cups of fresh or frozen unsweetened rhubarb
1/4 orange marmalade

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare pastry for a double crust. If making your own, lightly flour a clean surface, I like to use wax paper, and using your hands slightly flatten the dough. Roll pastry dough into approximately a 13 inch circle and then place it inside a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. 

In a large bowl, stir together the 1 1/4 cups of sugar, cornstarch and five spice powder. Add the raspberries, rhubarb and marmalade and gently toss. If using frozen fruit make sure it is at least partially thawed...about 45 minutes at room temperature.

Fill the prepared pie plate with the raspberry mixture and top with the second crust. Brush milk over the top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut slits in the top pastry to allow the heat out and to let the fruit mixture bubble. Place a jelly roll pan on the rack below the pie to catch any of the overflow drippings. Bake pie for 60-70 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cooled with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe for a double pie crust...

In a large bowl stir together 2 sups of all purpose flour and 1 tsp. salt. Using a pastry blender cut in 2/3 cup of shortening until pieces begin to look like small peas. Add 6-7 T of ice cold water and blend. Divide the dough in half and form into 2 balls of dough. 

Tip:  Handle the pastry dough as little as possible in order to make your crust as flaky as possible.

This recipe was adapted from BHG Best-Loved Readers Recipes 2013

Sharing this post at these super blog parties...

April 19, 2013

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Hummus

I love all types of hummus and just recently I was over a friend's house for a jewelry demonstration, (Yes I did get a little bauble for mother's day) and she was serving this beautiful white bean hummus from a local gourmet shop. So of course knowing me as you may, I had to do a little research on the old net looking for a white bean recipe I'd like to try. 

I found this recipe over at the blog SavorySimple, only the recipe there called for Tahini which I did not have in the house. No worries...I made the hummus without it and it came out just yummy. The ingredients are pretty simple, all you need is a can of cannelloni beans, one whole bulb of garlic, olive oil, water, juice from one lemon and some salt and pepper. 

  • 1 whole bulb garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 15.5 ounce can cannelloni beans
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • If you want to add the tahini you will need 1/2 cup.

Slice off the top of the garlic bulb so that all the garlic cloves are visible. Place bulb in a small oven proof bowl like a ramekin, pour a little drizzle of olive oil over the top and season with salt. Place in an oven set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, remove from oven and let cool. Once cool squeeze the garlic out of their skins into a small bowl and mash with a spoon.

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 

I like this served with a mild black bean chip or with some fresh veggies! 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Linking up to parties at these super blogs...

April 18, 2013

The Perfect Little Appetizer ~ Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

I'm a pushover when it comes to tomatoes...I love them, and so do my kids. This little appetizer marries together two of my favorite ingredients, tomato and avocado. 

First you will need to cut the tops off and hull out the middle of 30 cherry tomatoes. Drain them inverted on a paper towel.

Then combine the following...

1/2 of a medium avocado
2 ounces of cream cheese softened
2 T of basil pesto (I make it using the Knorr brand)
1 tsp lemon juice

You can beat these together with a hand blender or food processor. Then using either a small spoon or a pastry bag, fill the little tomatoes  with this super yummy mixture! If desired you can garnish the tomatoes by sprinkling snipped basil on top of them

The weekend is almost here so we will have Grace's lacrosse game on Saturday, then if the weather is nice we have a lot of outside work to get done.

Do you have any special plans for a beautiful spring weekend?

Linking this post to these blog link parties...

April 17, 2013

Easy Peasy Florentine Rolls

My gosh how about this spring weather? Just gorgeous I tell you...my my spring has finally sprung here in the northeast corridor of the U.S. I am so loving all of the beautiful blooms in yellow, white and purple...every view is simply stunning!

Just recently I picked up a special issue copy of Better Homes and Garden's and this recipe made the hit parade as one of the best loved recipes since the 1930's. What attracted my eye to it was all of the creamy cheese and spinach in it. This was a 2005 winner from Nancy Thompson of Seattle Washington. Could she be any farther away from me???

Anyhow this is what is in Nancy's recipe.

4 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 - 6 oz. package of fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup snipped basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 13.8 oz pkg. of refrigerated pizza dough 
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 T toasted pine nuts
1 T melted butter
1/4 cup of finely shredded Parmesan cheese

First preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO and toss in the green onion and garlic and saute until the garlic is soft, not burned. Add the spinach a basil and cook until just wilted, then season with salt and pepper. Set the spinach mixture aside and let cool. Drain off any excess liquid.

On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 12 X 8 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with a little more olive oil and then spread the spinach mixture on top within one inch of all four edges, then top with the feta cheese and pine nuts. Starting from one of the short ends, roll the dough up "jelly roll" style. Cut the roll into 10 to 12 slices and place each slice, cut side up, in a muffin pan sprayed with cooking oil. Brush the tops of the rolls with butter and then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool for 2 minutes, serve the rolls warm and

Wouldn't these would work well for a special Mother's Day brunch? What do you think?

Hope you are having a wonderful "middle of the week" day!


Sharing this post over at these super blog parties...

April 15, 2013

Enjoy your Reuben without all the Calories ~ Low Calorie Turkey Reuben

This is my take on the Weight Watcher's low fat, low calorie Reuben. My sandwich carries a few less calories because I used Arnold's Bakery Light 100% Whole Wheat bread which is only 40 calories per slice, as opposed to the regular whole wheat bread which usually packs about 120 calories per slice.

But no matter what bread you use this is a super yummy and satisfying sandwich. In this healthier version the Swiss cheese is replaced by non-fat cream cheese, and instead of the corned beef, low salt turkey and turkey pastrami are used. (Turkey pastrami also replaced the turkey pepperoni in the Weight Watcher recipe.) Then I plugged in a slice of tomato for color and flavor.

What you will need...

2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 T fat free cream cheese
2 T. sauerkraut rinsed and patted dry with paper towel
2 ounces low salt turkey breast
2 ounces turkey pastrami
slice of fresh tomato
Lower sodium sauerkraut, rinsed
Carrot curl and olive for garnish

What you need to do...

Spread cream cheese on one slice of the bread. Then add your turkeys and sauerkraut plus tomato and place other slice of bread on top.
In either a non-stick skillet or a Foreman Grill, cook sandwich until golden brown and then remove from heat. Skewer the carrot curl and olive with a toothpick, garnish your sandwich and then EAT!!!
For lunch today I paired the sandwich with my homemade tomato basil soup.
I hope you give this one a try...I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Have a great day!
Nutritional info:
Weight Watchers           calories per serving 293; 6 g fat; 30 carb
   My version                 calories per serving 230; 3.5g fat; 22.1 carb 

Linking this recipe to parties over at these super blogs...

April 14, 2013

Being Featured Over at Stone Gable Blog

I am so thrilled to announce that TheBigGiantFoodBasket is being featured today over at the gorgeous blog Stone Gable "On the Menu Monday" party!


The recipe being featured...

Thank you so much to the blog's author Yvonne for choosing The BGFB's recipe to highlight.

To check out more of the recipe's being featured and/or to join in the party, just follow the below link.

Wishing you a wonderful start to your week!

Trip Advisor