Cherry Sunrise Pie…an Easter Family Tradition

In a week it will Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candies and hardboiled eggs…. As for any holiday meal, I want dessert to be special yet not too heavy: an attractive fruit-based pie, but easy to construct and yummy: a tall bill to fill but this cherry sunrise pie checks off all those requirements.  Last time my sisters came for Easter Kaen asked me to make it for the big meal and she melted my heart when she said it felt like Easter when we ate that pie! They always fork it down as they are cherry lovers plus my sisters love how light it tastes.  I share it so you can make it anytime you want an easy company dessert.   You should make it the night before, so it is chilled enough to eat by 1 pm.cherry sunrise pie

It has to have a gluten free crust for me but if you are making it for the wheat eating public there are redi-made crusts out there that will make this so simple yet so delightful.

Cherry Sunrise Pie

One pie crust: I made mine from an 8 oz box of gluten free graham crackers crushed and mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter and pressed gently into a 9-inch pie pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9 or 10 minutes.  Let cool completely before filling. I made mine the night before. Or buy one; they sell them at holiday times in the gluten free area in my local supermarket and at the local natural food store. Will save time to buy one…

Ingredients for filling

18 or 19 oz can crushed pineapple in own juice

1 21 oz can of cherry pie filling

1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese, room temp.

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

Directions

Drain the pineapple for 20 min; save the juice!  I used my microwave to gently warm the cream cheese; it has a softening setting for cream cheese which works perfectly. I unwrapped it and placed the cold slab on a small plate and warmed it on a very low heat until supple and smooth.  Dump in a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp pineapple juice, the vanilla, 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, ½ cup cherry pie filling.  If you are smart you will mostly use the goopy stuff and not too many cherries.  Save them for on top! Next, stir this all together really well.

Then whip the chilled heavy cream in a separate bowl with an electric

mixer until soft peaks form, add powdered sugar and mix well with the mixer; be careful not to over beat it.  If it gets clumpy you went too far.  Fold this into the cream cheese mix until it isn’t streaky with white areas.

Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell, spread it out to fill the entire bottom.  I used a spoonula (blend of spoon and spatula) and smooth the top with a flat cake spatula.  I like to leave a sort of tiny ridge on the outer edge to keep the pineapple from spilling out onto the crust.  Then carefully pour the rest of the cherry pie filling in the center spreading it to cover ¾ of the top from the center out.  Finally, use a spoon to put pineapple around the outer rim of the cherry filling.  Chill

photo 1 at least 2 hours, preferably 4.  Cut and slice. No adornments are needed. It has a light fluffy consistency and it isn’t that sweet.  Great to top off a big meal; not too filling and the fresh fruity taste is a spring treat.  Try it soon and you will be giving the recipe out afterwards!

I have no pictures of creating this pie; maybe this Easter I will take the time to snap a few and add them to this post at a later date.

This is about the sixth time I have blogged this recipe; first was in 2014. Been making it for like 20 years!

Thai Chicken Coconut Lime Curry

I was looking for a simple Thai curry without using curry pastes to flavor it. I was thinking some coconut milk for great flavor and I found a few recipes. I blended two or three together to make the best Thai chicken curry I have ever created. I loaded it with fresh vegetables and love it’s clean fresh flavor. And I hope you will too. You can use different vegetables – what you have and what you like. I found the amount of sauce to be perfect, actually ate it with a big spoon so I could get every soupy bit!

Notes: Please use full fat coconut milk for the correct consistency and flavor. I used boneless chicken thighs. It could be easily made with boneless split chicken breasts. I let Joe eat most of the hot pepper rings, to each his own. I do like how it makes it sing with a bit of controlled heat. Do not leave the fish sauce out; you won’t even know it is in there, but it really enhances the flavor. Enjoy!

Not a great picture at all but I wanted to post this recipe so here it is! Trust me it is delicious.

Thai Chicken Coconut Lime Curry

Ingredients

2 Tbsp mild olive oil

1.5-2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken thighs

1/2-2/3 cup chopped onion

1 large carrot peeled and sliced thin on the diagonal: 1/4 inch width

1 large red pepper cut in long strips and then cut the strips in half

2 cloves of garlic pressed

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger grated (I freeze mine and it grates well that way)

1/3 of a jalapeno pepper or a red chili pepper of the heat you prefer, slice in narrow rings, remove seeds

1 can full fat coconut soup, shake it up before opening

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

Zest a lime and then juice it (need 2 Tbsp lime juice)

1 cup asparagus stems snapped into 1.5-inch lengths. If it won’t snap; pitch the rest of each stalk.

2 cups of baby spinach washed and drained

More lime – wedges to squeeze over each dish

Instructions: Prep work of cutting up all veggies into small pieces as described and similar lengths other than chopped onions which will be smaller. Prep work of cutting boneless thighs into halves or thirds depending on size. I would leave breasts the half size, so they don’t overcook. A whole breast would be too big. Split in half is perfect I am thinking.

I used a 15-inch-wide paella pan, mine is nonstick and gives me the room for all the veggies in this dish. Just use a large sauté pan that will hold everything. Heat it a few minutes, add 1 tbsp of the mild oil. When it is hot add the chicken. Brown it for 3 minutes on each side and then use tongs to remove them to a plate. Add the other tbsp. oil and then the onion when the pan is fairly hot. Turn the heat to medium low and cook until starting to get soft 4 minutes (stir it as it cooks so no burnt onion bits). Add carrot slices and red pepper strips; cook another 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, grated ginger, garlic, stir well, add the coconut milk, stir well as it gets hot, stop just before a boil ensues. Return the chicken thighs to the pan and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over, cook 5 minutes, nestle the asparagus spears into the sauce and cover it again. Add the lime juice and zest and the spinach leaves after 5 more minutes, keep covered. By now the asparagus should be soft enough to stick in a fork. If not, cook another minute. The spinach just needs to wilt; it will continue to do that even after you turn off the heat.

If you like cilantro throw on a third of a cup of chopped fresh cilantro at the end, we don’t so I didn’t. If you can get Thai basil, use that instead! I can only find it if I grow it myself. So summer is the season for Thai basil. Great hot basil taste which is perfect in Thai curries.

Serve this curry over hot Jasmine rice. I make mine in a sauce pan that I cut a brown paper bag circle to fit between the pot and the tight-fitting lid, it should overhang by an inch or so; the paper liner keeps liquid from escaping and drying out the rice before it is done. Or make it in your Instant Pot. I made a full cup of uncooked rice, and it was just about the perfect amount of rice. Enjoy!

Another less than stellar photograph. Not sure why but I think I was so eager to dig in I didn’t bother to tidy up the plate. I will take a new one next time I make it.

Cherry Sunrise Pie…an Easter Family Tradition

In a few weeks it will Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candies and hardboiled eggs… We are having locally smoked, lower salt, and gf ham from Saylors right here in Hellertown; it was great last time I got one. As for any holiday meal, I wanted dessert to be special yet not too heavy: an attractive fruit-based pie, but easy to construct and yummy: a tall bill to fill but this cherry sunrise pie checks off all those requirements.  Last time my sisters came for Easter Kaen asked me to make it for the big meal and she melted my heart when she said it felt like Easter when we ate that pie! They always fork it down as they are cherry lovers plus my sisters love how light it tastes.  I share it so you can make it anytime you want an easy company dessert.   You should make it the night before, so it is chilled enough to eat by 1 pm.cherry sunrise pie

It has to have a gluten free crust for me but if you are making it for the wheat eating public there are redi-made crusts out there that will make this so simple yet so delightful.

Cherry Sunrise Pie

One pie crust: I made mine from an 8 oz box of gluten free graham crackers crushed and mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter and pressed gently into a 9-inch pie pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9 or 10 minutes.  Let cool completely before filling. I made mine the night before. Or buy one; they sell them at holiday times in the gluten free area in my local supermarket and at the local natural food store. Will save time to buy one…

Ingredients for filling

18 or 19 oz can of crushed pineapple in own juice

1 21 oz can of cherry pie filling

1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese, room temp.

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

Directions

Drain the pineapple for 20 min; save the juice!  I used my microwave to gently warm the cream cheese; it has a softening setting for cream cheese which works perfectly. I unwrapped it and placed the cold slab on a small plate and warmed it on a very low heat until supple and smooth.  Dump in a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp pineapple juice, the vanilla, 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, ½ cup cherry pie filling.  If you are smart you will mostly use the goopy stuff and not too many cherries.  Save them for on top! Next, stir this all together really well.

Then whip the chilled heavy cream in a separate bowl with an electric

mixer until soft peaks form, add powdered sugar and mix well with the mixer; be careful not to over beat it.  If it gets clumpy you went too far.  Fold this into the cream cheese mix until it isn’t streaky with white areas.

Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell, spread it out to fill the entire bottom.  I used a spoonula (blend of spoon and spatula) and smooth the top with a flat cake spatula.  I like to leave a sort of tiny ridge on the outer edge to keep the pineapple from spilling out onto the crust.  Then carefully pour the rest of the cherry pie filling in the center spreading it to cover ¾ of the top from the center out.  Finally, use a spoon to put clumps of pineapple around the outer rim of the cherry filling.  Chill

photo 1

at least 2 hours, preferably 4.  Cut and slice. No adornments are needed. It has a light fluffy consistency and it isn’t that sweet.  Great to top off a big meal; not too filling and the fresh fruity taste is a spring treat.  Try it soon and you will be giving the recipe out afterwards!

I have no pictures of creating this pie; maybe this Easter I will take the time to snap a few and add them to this post at a later date.

This is about the fifth time I have blogged this recipe; first was in 2014. Been making it for like 18-20 years!

Lima Bean Stew…not Quite Your Grandma’s Version!

Lima beans, old school. Not a particularly sexy vegetable. I like them steamed and I buy the baby limas generally. Kinda good when I scorch them but that’s a different recipe folks. This is an older recipe out of my ample reserves of printed out recipes which I changed up a bit because of my personal tastes and what veggies I had on hand. It is chock full of veg and has a light creamy broth. I made homemade chicken broth in my IP for making the stew but you could use a box of broth or even just water if you want vegetarian/vegan.

I grated sharp cheddar over the hot soup in my bowl. Get vegan cheese if that is your thing. Don’t skip the cheese; it really make it so rich and delish. The original recipe had canned corn but I am no fan of that; went with frozen kernels. Worked fine. I used less onion than the recipe and more cabbage. Personal taste preference. Great stew on a cold winter day and it is easy to veganize for those who go that path. Enjoy!

Lima Bean Stew

makes about 2 1/2 quarts

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped red pepper

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup diced potatoes; I left them bigger than diced

12-13 oz frozen lima beans

3 cups broth or water

1 -1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn

1 cup chopped cabbage

1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 can evaporated milk, preferably not nonfat

8 oz sharp cheddar cheese.

Directions:

Melt butter in a large soup pan; 3 quarts is good. Add onions and pepper; cook about 5 minutes on medium low. Add chopped carrots and cook a minute. Add potatoes and broth; cook 5 minutes, add cabbage, cook 5 minutes, add corn and simmer 5 more minutes or until all the veggies are soft enough for your tastes. Next add seasonings. Stir well and pour in evap. milk. Bring back to hot but not boiling; simmer 2 minutes. Adjust seasonings and add more broth/water if too thick. Do not let it boil. Either grate cheese into bowls before adding stew or add it on top of individual bowls of hot stew. Enjoy!

Chicken Angelique

My family had this special dish that my mom found in a magazine. She always called it Chicken Angelique and I have never seen it in a cookbook. It was small bite sized cubes of chicken breast fried until browned and done inside. You make a lovely French sauce of celery, green onions, garlic, bacon, broth and milk. Serve it on top of fluffy white rice and have a side dish of steamed fresh asparagus and it was a meal for royalty. My mom made it only for company like my grandparents or aunts and uncles. She served it on her and my father’s twenty fifth wedding anniversary when I was a kid. When Mom turned 100 my sister Karen and I made it for her birthday supper and it was a good as I ever remembered it. A small labor of love for our lovely mother and she was thrilled to enjoy it on that momentous occasion. 

Notes: The raw chicken cuts into cubes better if it is partially frozen. I had frozen it for 5 days and I cut it up before it thawed fully.  Do use the entire scallion minus the roots of course! It adds a nice hint of scallion to the sauce. My sister put enough of the green leaves that her sauce was pale green; quite lovely actually. That one slice of bacon is very important; adds a special bit of flavor. Do not use anything less than 2 percent milk in the sauce. I prefer whole milk which is what my mom used. We had a milk cow, and she used a mechanical separator machine that gave a stream of milk and a lesser stream of thick cream. Use tender celery and real butter for the best flavor. I used rice flour, but you can use all-purpose flour if you don’t need to be gluten free.  Enjoy!

This is the only picture I took of it, the one of it in the pan was slightly out of focus; I was just too busy cooking and wasn’t thinking much about sharing pictures.
I did take a picture of the rice! Lovely fluffy basmati rice.

Mom’s Chicken Angelique,  serves 4-5

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

½ tsp. salt and 3 Tbsp. rice flour (pepper is optional)

1 Tbsp and 1 tsp. butter

1-2 Tbsp. mild olive oil or canola oil

Sauce:

1 slice cold bacon; mince it up

1 smaller rib celery chopped finely

4 green onions chopped finely

1 small clove garlic minced

1 Tbsp. mild olive oil

2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup boiling hot water

1 small bay leaf

1/8 tsp. thyme, skimp it a bit

2 Tbsp rice flour or slightly less all purpose flour

1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. whole milk

1 medium egg yolk (I used the smallest egg out of a dozen large ones) Stirred up a bit

8 oz fresh small mushrooms; slice them medium thin after cutting of the bottom of the stem

1 tbsp butter and 1 tsp. oil

Make the sauce first. Using a large sauce pan; heat it; add oil, bacon, celery, green onions; cook 2-3 minutes; add the garlic and cook another minute. Light brown; not dark brown. Add the hot bullion, the bay leaf and the thyme. Simmer it covered for 15 minutes. (while the sauce simmers, slice the raw mushrooms and cook them in a tablespoon of butter and a dash of cooking oil. Turn off when they look done. Back to the sauce: you can then blend it in a blender until smooth but we never bother with that step. Mix a tablespoon of flour with half a cup of the milk and add to the sauce; heat on medium stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. Put the rest of the flour in with another half cup of milk; add to sauce and cook a few moments. Add a half cup of the sauce into the cup with the stirred-up egg yolk to warm it up and then dump it all back into the sauce pan. Stir well as you add the rest of the milk. It should be like slightly thick gravy. Add the sautéed mushrooms to it. Turn to the lowest setting to keep it warm while you make the chicken.

The chicken should be skinless; cut it up into 1-inch cubes. Roll in flour that you salted a bit. Heat a large saucepan, add the oil and butter. I did my chicken in 3 batches. There should be a bit of space between the cubes. Turn them 1-2 times to brown the sides. I used a dinner fork to do that. I put the done ones into a bowl, and you will probably need to add another tablespoon of oil for each batch.  When they are all browned you are ready to bring It together with the sauce. You should have made some white rice to serve with them. And a vegetable like asparagus, peas or whatever you enjoy. Pour the hot cooked cubes into the sauce and serve it on a bed of hot rice. Some people sprinkle some paprika or fresh parsley on top, but I don’t really bother with that. Enjoy!