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Pie Season

22 Aug

I am trying to make an effort to blog more than once a week, thus a rare mid-week blog! šŸ™‚

While recently perusing the time-suck that is Pinterest I noticed a pie-related pin trend. It seems that as the temps begin to cool down and school starts again, people have pies on the brain. For me, pies have long been the desserts my great-grandmother makes at Thanksgiving that I steer clear of due to the “cow snot” layer of meringue or some fruit combo I deem weird. I am and always have been a cupcake and cookies girl, but as I get older I have realized there is enough dessert room to go around.

In the past year or so, I have begun dipping my toe into the pie waters. I have found myself ordering a slice of post-dinner pie or, still having a “cow-snot” aversion, exploring the pie beneath the meringue at holiday gatherings. It’s probably a combination of the abnormally cooler weather here in Texas and the numerous recent mentions of pies, but I am declaring this fall pie season in the Ford house. I want to learn to make a homemade, flaky pie crust and explore some of my own weird fruit combos. I will probably even make a few chocolate variations since I just can’t help myself. There might be some meringue, but no promises there as the cow snot moniker is a sticking one.

As for how this all fits in with my weight loss goals (trust me it does!), one of the things I love about using MyFitnessPal and calorie counting as a method of losing weight is that things like pie season don’t kill you. Through many, many failed weight loss attempts, I have learned that it is completely unrealistic to expect to fully embrace healthy eating as a lifestyle and deprive yourself of things (like pie.) The trick to making the pie season idea mesh with my weight loss goals is simple: eat a slice of the pie, not the whole pie. If you want more pie, you have to earn it. A slice of blueberry pie is around 300 calories, so for me that’s a 20-25 minute run. Like the stickers, pins and shirts say…I like to run because I really, really, really like dessert.

I have my grandmother’s pie crust recipe and received the blueberry and pumpkin pie (below) versions of Martha Stewart’s ceramic pie plate when we got married, so that seems like as good of place to start as any. I will probably attempt the blueberry this weekend..so stay tuned.

Baking the Knockoff Market Way

7 Aug

I feel like this blog has been kind of all infertility, all the time lately and it’s not really an accurate representation of how I live my day to day life. I started the blog to chronicle all aspects of my life and there is one area of interest that I have never blogged about, but absolutely love: baking. Almost completely incompatible with weight loss, baking is something I do to release stress (got some of that lately) and really enjoy.

Last Sunday we went to Central Market to get my grandmother some okra chips. Random: she is crazy about these things and was jonesing for some. Her level of love for said okra chips is unrivaled as they are $10/lb and she asked for two pounds…shipped via overnight shipping to her door. Being a good granddaughter, I got them on Sunday and she was munching okra chips by Tuesday. Honestly though, with all pretenses of good grandaugthering aside, I didn’t really mind going to get them at all becauseĀ  I adore Central Market and have a special love for the “fat kid” sections of baked goods and cheese.

While strolling through the bakery, I noticed a large selection of muffins and encouraged Randall to pick out some for us to have for breakfast during the week since he is picky and I (being the aforementioned fat kid) am decidedly not. He went with the Sour Cream Pecan and goodness gracious, was that a great choice. These muffins were amazing, so much so Randall got none and I was very happy for four days. On the fifth day though, I realized that a) $5.99 for four muffins was kind of outrageous, b) Central Market is kind of far from us and c) I am a really good baker.

You can guess where this is going…I bring you the Knockoff Market Sour Cream Cinnamon Pecan Muffin. I Googled and found a base recipe here, then fiddled with it as I saw fit. P.S. These muffins probably should not be eaten daily…they are not part of ANY diet plan, but would be excellent for a special occasion or breakfast gathering. Or you can eat them every day, just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Knockoff Market Sour Cream Cinnamon Pecan Muffin

Heat oven to 350 and either grease/flour your muffin tins or use liners.

Muffin batter:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup Butter Crisco (you can use regular butter, softened here…I am just a big fan of Butter Crisco for keeping baked goods moist)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I actually eyeballed this…so this is an estimate, but its one I feel good about)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2-3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (add 1/2 cup, see how you feel about the pecan ratio then add the additional 1/4 cup if you’d like)
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl or stand mixer, then add egg, sour cream, butter (Crisco) and vanilla and combine until moistened. Add milk until fully incorporated then fold in pecans.
Topping:
  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (again this is a preference – I went 1.5 cups)
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (more if you are a big cinnamon fan, less if not)
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Fill muffin tins half full and then put enough topping to cover each muffin with an even layer of cinnamon sugar goodness. Bake for approximately 20 minutes depending on how quickly your oven cooks. I got 6 extra-large and 8 mini muffins out of this recipe. I estimate that you would get 15 regular sized muffins.
These may not be the easiest things you ever make…
…but they will be one of the tastiest!
Happy baking!