Weekend Round Up #4

Verse of the Day

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”” John 4:24 NIV

End of the week and almost end of January!  Whew, where has the time gone?  In my mind I am still caught up in Christmas baking :)  I love the winter because it is cool enough in my kitchen to bake anything, any time of the day, anytime I want!  I love that!  Having the oven on warms up the house and fills it with fragrance you can only get from baking.  Since we have been traveling the last week or so I am itching to cook!  Don’t get me wrong, I love eating out with the best of them, but at the end of the day being at home and filling the table with the products of my work in the kitchen fills my soul and gives me such contentment.  I am also becoming hooked on photographing FOOD!  I can burn up a whole lot of time taking pictures these days and it thrills me.  I am hoping over the course of this next year you will be able to see the fruits of my journey in the pictures I am taking.  After my dear sweet santa husband gifted me with a new camera at Christmas I signed up for a photography class.  We meet once a week and I have to travel 168 miles round trip to take the class.  I can only hope you and I will both notice a difference in my pictures! :)
Speaking of pictures (and recipes) this week Brown Eyed Baker posted a recipe for White Russian Milkshakes.  I absolutely can’t get this picture out of my head …  and that probably means we have milkshakes in our future!  You can view the whole recipe here.
I know it is January and we should be ooohing and aahhhhing over soup, but for heavens sake doesn’t this look good?!

The other picture and recipe that really caught my eye this week is from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. This week she posted a recipe and “how to” for Gnocchi. I absolutely adore gnocchi.  Potatoes, egg, flour and salt — so simple, yet when combined just right — so incredible!
Although I would like to be the one making these, neither of my two culinary consultants are crazy about gnocchi.  I know, I don’t understand it either, but somethings you just can’t explain!~  And, since I know myself only too well, should I make a batch of these little beauties, I would eat them until they were gone from the plate and planted firmly on my hips :)  But don’t feel too sorry for me, since just this last Monday night we enjoyed a delightful evening at Domenico Italian restaurant in Rockledge, Florida.  And for me … Gnocchi Carbonara!  The gnocchi were soft and tender, filled with flavor and drenched in the carbonara cream sauce.  If you are ever in the area I highly recommend it!  It was that dish that reminded me of the Chicken Carbonara recipe I make at home and prompted the revisit to this dish posted last year.  A girls gotta have a little cream from time to time!
Finishing up my week was the Grapefruit Pie and the Strawberry Banana Pie.  Both were lots of fun to make and especially adventurous to eat! (Please excuse the purchased graham cracker crust.  After all, I technically was on holiday when I made this Grapefruit Pie!)

But I must say, no matter how pretty that pie looks the Strawberry Banana Pie recipe adapted from the Grapefruit Pie gets my vote this week.  As a matter of fact, there are three pieces left in the fridge and lunch is just around the corner!

I hope your weekend is filled with sweet moments that are as good as this lovely dessert.

Many Blessings and Happy Cooking!

Grapefruit Pie or Strawberry Banana Pie — Your Choice!

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV

I love the vision in my head of “putting on the full armor of God!” This is one of my favorite scriptures. I like to start (and end) the day thinking about the armor that God gives us to stand against the bad things of this world. Thank you Lord!

You may have noticed I haven’t sent out a blog post since Monday and I can tell you I have been itching to do so!  My two culinary consultants and I traveled to Florida this past week to visit friends, Kathy, Phyllis, and Elaine.  I always have such good intentions of blogging from the road and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.  This time, not so much.  We enjoyed the warm Florida sun, ate some amazing food, and had a great time visiting!  While visiting with my long-time dear friend Elaine she told us about these “terrific desserts” at Lang Sun Country Groves in Lake Alfred, Florida.  After a BBQ lunch we decided to cleanse our palates and headed for Lang Sun Country.  We found this cute little grove store and cafe.  This is where I first laid eyes on Grapefruit Pie!

I was intrigued when the waitress told me this pie was first developed a couple years ago when there was an unusually large supply of fresh grapefruit.  She said it is now their #1 selling pie — and this is ahead of strawberry short cake and coconut cream cake!  I found that Epicurious featured this pie recipe back in 2006.  I decided I just had to make it for my friends while in Florida.  We picked the pink grapefruit fresh off the tree and set off to make the pie.  While it was lots of fun and turned out well, we did have mixed reviews.  If you like a “sweet and sour” combination – this is perfect!  But if your “dessert” needs to be synonymous with “sweetness” then this isn’t the recipe for you.  But for those of us who liked the sweet and sourness together — this is a really interesting and fun recipe!  However … strawberries are in season and when I got home I just new I could make a good pie recipe — GREAT!

And that is exactly what happened.  I can imagine using the filling part of this recipe as a base for many things.  It starts out with sugar, cornstarch and water, cooked until it is nice and thick.

Then I added sugar-free Strawberry-Banana Jell-O. Turning this thickened filling into a fantastically sweet and tasty filling.

I used a baked pie crust, but the graham cracker crust for this pie is really good also.  Strawberries are just coming into season from California and Florida and for the next few months we can get really great fruit until our own strawberries are ready to produce.

I layered sliced strawberries and
bananas  before pouring the cooled, thickened filling over the fresh fruit.

And the best part  — when I surprised my two culinary consultants after dinner by bringing this to the table when they had no idea we had DESSERT!!!    So whether you are grapefruit fan or you never met a strawberry you didn’t like, these recipes are keepers.  I am including both recipes today.  Bon Appetite’.

Have a blessed weekend and Happy Cooking!
Grapefruit Pie from Lang Sun Country Groves
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Grapefruit pie was invented at Lang Sun Country Groves in Florida and has become their #1 selling pie! A blend of sweet and sour mixed with the fresh taste of strawberry!
Serves: 6-8
  • 9 Graham Crackers
  • 2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 5 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 box (3 ounce) Strawberry Flavored Jell-O
  • 2 or 3 medium Grapefruit
  • ¾ cup Chilled Heavy Cream
  • 2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  1. Make Crust: Preheat oven to350 degree F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate.

    In a food processor, grind graham crackers into crumbs, about 1 minute. Add sugar, butter, and salt and pulse motor until mixture becomes fine crumbs. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown. About 10 minutes. Cool crust in pan on rack.

    **If using an already prepared graham cracker crust, no need to bake.
  2. Make Filling: In 2-quart saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and 1½ cups water. Set over moderate heat and simmer, whisking constantly until mixture becomes thick and clear, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add Jell-O to the sugar mixture and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Using sharp knife, cut peel, including all white pith, from grapefruit and cut segments from membranes. Add segments to filling. Then pour into crust and chill until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
  5. To serve: in a medium bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream with sugar until it holds soft peaks. Serve on to of pie.
(1)  If your grapefruit is sour, sprinkle a little sugar over the fruit before adding to the strawberry filling.

Fresh Strawberry Banana Pie
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Fresh strawberries, ripe bananas all combined into a beautiful, tasty, and light dessert pie.
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 box (3 ounce) Strawberry-Banana Flavored Jell-O
  • 6 to 8 Fresh Strawberries, wash and sliced
  • 2 small Bananas
  • Whipped Cream for serving
  1. Prepare pie crust and place in a 9" pie plate. Poke fork holes throughout pie crust. Bake 425 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes until nicely browned.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and 1½ cups water. Set over moderate heat and simmer, whisking constantly until mixture becomes thick and clear, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle sugar-free Jell-O into sugar mixture and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Slice strawberries and bananas and layer into baked pie crust.
  5. Gently pour strawberry Jell-O mixture over fruit making sure to cover all fruit in order to lightly glaze.
  6. Chill until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream!

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