"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Muffins

Recipe by Christy Augustin |
It’s nearly impossible to eat just one of these savory breakfast treats; the salty Feta and bright flavor of the peppers make them irresistible. This muffin is mysteriously much better the second day, so plan ahead.
Yield | 12 to 14 muffins |
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup crumbled Feta
½ cup diced roasted red peppers
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
¾ cup grated Parmesan, divided
½ cup milk, whole or 2 percent
½ cup sour cream, not fat-free
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large egg

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 375ºF. Combine flour through black pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in Feta, red peppers, thyme and half the Parmesan with a spatula or wooden spoon. In a small bowl, combine the milk, sour cream, oil and egg. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; the dough should be lumpy. Scoop dough into a muffin tin lined with baking cups and sprinkle tops with remaining Parmesan. Bake until golden-brown, about 20 minutes.

| Variations | This savory muffin recipe is quite versatile. Substitute freshly grated zucchini or carrots for the roasted peppers, make it with caramelized onions and bacon, or simply try blue or goat cheese instead of Feta. It’s a delicious and easy recipe, and there isn’t much you can do to mess it up.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Big Fat Italian Strawberry-Basil Wedding Pie

Source: Adapted from
My Big Fat Italian Strawberry-Basil Wedding Pie
Naylet LaRochelle won the Crisco Innovation award for this recipe when she competed in the 2011 National Pie Championships in Orlando. Optional fondant flowers make this pie look good enough to serve at a wedding.
Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter-flavored shortening
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons ice water
Strawberry Filling:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup whipping cream, plus 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 (10-ounce) jar strawberry spreadable fruit*
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and crushed
2 tablespoons fine-chopped fresh basil leaves
Vanilla Bean-White Chocolate Mousse Topping:
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
White chocolate curls, for garnish, if desired
White fondant flowers, for garnish, if desired
To make crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt until well blended. Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small measuring cup, combine the vinegar and ice water. Place flour mixture in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. With machine running on medium speed, drizzle tablespoons of vinegar mixture over flour mixture adding just enough to make an evenly moistened dough that sticks together when pressed with the flat side of a spatula. (If dough crumbles, add more ice water by the tablespoon.) Shape dough into a flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out chilled pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pie dough into pie plate; trim pastry edge; do not prick pastry.
Line the pastry with foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 8 to 10 minutes to set the crust. Carefully remove the foil with the pie weights. Prick the bottom of the pie crust. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Continue baking 14 to 17 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven; set on rack to cool completely.
To make filling: In a small microwaveable bowl, combine gelatin and 1/4 cup whipping cream. Set aside 5 minutes for gelatin to soften. Microwave 30 second on high and then stir. Repeat this process until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool 5 to 8 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together strawberry spreadable fruit, mascarpone, vanilla extract, salt, lemon peel and gelatin mixture until well combined. Add fresh strawberries and basil; stir to combine.
Beat remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream on high speed of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the strawberry mixture. Pour filling into prepared pie shell. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until filling sets.
To make topping: In a small saucepan, combine white chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons cream. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until completely melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Let cool about 15 minutes.
In another mixing bowl, beat 1 cup whipping cream on the high speed of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cooled white chocolate mixture until well combined.
Spread over top of cooled pie or pipe in a decorative fashion. Return pie to refrigerator 2 to 3 hours or until topping is set. Garnish pie with white chocolate curls and/or white fondant flowers, if desired. Makes 8 servings.
Note: *Found in the jelly aisle of supermarkets.
Source: Adapted from
Per serving: 655 calories (67 percent from fat), 49 g fat (25 g saturated, 9.4 g monounsaturated), 111 mg cholesterol, 6.8 g protein, 47.8 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 194 mg sodium.