Lemon Meringue Pie Tartlets

January 28, 2008 at 11:39 pm | Posted in Daring Bakers | 31 Comments
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My thanks to Jen, The Canadian Baker for hosting this month’s challenge, Lemon Meringue Pie. I love love love Lemon Meringue Pie. Unfortunately I’ve yet to find a recipe that didn’t turn runny…until now.

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I decided to use my mini-muffin tin and turn the one big pie into lots of little Lemon Meringue Tartlets. The crust was easy to make and reminded me of shortbread, sweet and buttery. For the filling I used meyer lemons, fabulous! It tasted bright, sunny, and smooth (would be great spooned over one of Rebecca’s scones). For the meringue, I used a pastry bag and piped the meringue over the top, making sure to completely cover the filling.

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Make sure you check out all of the Lemon Meringue Pies and Tartlets on The Daring Baker’s Blogroll.

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Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

  • ¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
  • 2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
  • cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups (475 mL) water
  • 1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) butter
  • ¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Pie recipe courtesy of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver, 2002

solutions week 10

January 28, 2008 at 11:52 am | Posted in solutions | 2 Comments
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We are spending the week up near Tahoe for sledding, skiing, ice skating and other snow fun. No gym this week. No walks after dinner. But our days will be very active.

I don’t have any weight or measurement updates, but I can tell you that my snow pants were baggy when I put them on today! Also, I can tell that I’ve been working out because the 6,000 feet elevation isn’t effecting me like it has in the past. No huffing and puffing up the stairs or mountain, so nice!

I’m keeping to no eating after 7pm, avoiding hydrogenated oils, and drinking lots of water.

Remember this, me pouring out my coffee mate creamer because of the hydrogenated fats:

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And then me trying this vanilla splenda:

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I must say, that the vanilla splenda has turned me off of splenda and pretty much coffee altogether.  I’ve had two small/tall non-fat lattes this week, and that’s all the coffee I’ve had.

My thanks to Couch Cubicle for her thoughts on Splenda, very interesting.

Adventures in Suburbia: The Fuse Bead

January 25, 2008 at 11:12 am | Posted in essay, twins | 10 Comments
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It’s a typical Thursday at 3pm. I’ve chopped my bell peppers, onions, garlic and a jalapeno for tonight’s chili. My kids and a neighbor boy are sitting at the table playing with fuse (Perler) beads. When all of a sudden my son comes to me in somewhat of a panic and says,

“I put a bead in my nose and it’s stuck”.

Me: WHAT?!?

Son: I put a bead in my nose and I can’t get it out!

Me: (giggling) Blow like this. (Now you have to picture me blowing my nose with no tissue and “liquid” flying out)

Me: (holding one of his nostrils down) Blow.

Me: (still holding down the opposite nostril) Blow Again.

Me: Blow harder.

My son continues to blow his nose.

Me: (to the neighbor boy) Okay Liam, time to go home.

Son: (now crying) It’s not coming out!

Me: (giggling) Why did you put a bead in your nose?

Son: (crying) Hannah told me to.

Me: (thinking) You’ve got to be kidding me. You are five years old!

Me: (to dear daughter) Hannah, please get daddy’s flashlight for me.

A couple of minutes of nose blowing and still no bead. I can see it. But I’ve just cut a jalapeno and onion and my fingers are spicy and would likely burn if they the inside of his nose or eyes. I try with tweezers for a moment, but then stop because I am too scared that I will push the bead up further into his nose.

Me: (thinking) Crap, time to go to Urgent Care.

Me: Get your shoes, we have to go to the hospital.

Son: (still crying) NO!!!

A couple more minutes of determined nose blowing passes. We really don’t want to go to the hospital. He now has a tissue. I’ve turned off the stove with the pot of chili. Purse in hand. One more try…

Me: The bead! I think you got it!

A frantic search of the floor and no bead, it’s still up there. One more blow and…out comes the bead.

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Now I know that my son can blow out a bead faster than he can pass a quarter, but that’s another story.

Steel Cut Oatmeal

January 24, 2008 at 3:24 am | Posted in breakfast | 6 Comments
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My sad container of Steel Cut Oatmeal sat at the back of my cupboard for months and months…until last night. “Put it in the crockpot” my foodie friend, Rebecca, said. Genius!

No more stirring, no more simmering, no more standing over a pot of steel cut oatmeal…who has time for that?

Crock Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal

1. Coat your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Add four cups of water, stir in 1 cup of steel cut oats.

3. On low, cook for 8-10 hours.

4. In the morning, take the lid off, give it a stir, put the lid back on, wait 10 minutes, stir again, and enjoy the creamy goodness.

5. Now it’s all ready for mixing in all your favorites. I added some cinnamon, apples and a bit of non-fat milk to mine.

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sleeping beauty

January 22, 2008 at 1:09 am | Posted in Extras | 2 Comments

My dear daughter loves animals, dreams of living on a farm, and has a stuffed animal collection that she can get buried in, literally. This is how I found her last sleeping last night…

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and the close-up…

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sweet dreams!

solutions week 9

January 21, 2008 at 5:25 am | Posted in Diet and Exercise, solutions | 8 Comments

It’s been 9 weeks.

  • I’ve been walking and going to the gym.
  • I’ve stopped eating after 7pm and (try to) stop the mindless eating.
  • I’ve recently cut hydrogentated oils from my diet.
  • I’ve lost 7 lbs…
  • and 1 1/2 inches from my waist.

Here’s a photo taken this morning. I’m 5’4″ tall and weigh 150 lbs.

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…and yes, my feet are freezing!

Monday– Gym Day! I did 35 minute on the elliptical (all the way up and with the resistance at 5). Then I did push-ups, abs and walking lunges. I felt great leaving the gym!

Finished dinner and eating at 6pm and then I went on a 20 minute walk.

Tuesday– Gym Day! 35 minutes run/walk on the treadmill then a great set of abs.

Finished dinner and eating at 6:30pm and then I walked for 36 minutes. I must say, I feel great tonight!

Wednesday– Gym Day got cut short…23 minutes on the elliptical.

Dinner was finished at 5:40pm and then I went on a 25 minute walk.

Thursday– Gym Day! I did 15 minutes on the elliptical and then 18 minutes on the treadmill. Then I picked up a ball and did abs, squats and shoulders.

We finished dinner at 5:30pm. After the dishes and baths, I walked for 30 minutes.

I’m substitute teaching tomorrow, so no gym. Still, I will be up, on my feet and moving for a lot of the day. Also, I’ll walk tomorrow night after dinner.

I’m pleased that I got in four gym days this week, my goal.

01.19.08 eating

January 20, 2008 at 12:31 am | Posted in Diet and Exercise | 2 Comments
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Dh working on a Saturday usually means lots of mindless eating for me. So I’m keeping a journal of what I eat today. And I’m starting it first thing in the morning.

8am. Breakfast was 3/4 cup of Joe’s O’s and non-fat milk.

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11am. Kinda wish I hadn’t started this…I just sipped on this coffee for a long while, but I’m feeling slightly hungry and could pound a few cookies right now.

I’m headed to the back yard to rake the leaves and pick up dog poop for a little distraction. Such a glamorous life I lead!

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12:30pm. I spent almost an hour raking all those leaves! After that I had lunch: a big spinach salad with pistachios and golden raisins and some left over home-made pizza (topped with spinach, onions, turkey sausage and lemon zest).

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3pm.  I’m hungry.  No, bored.  No, hungry…okay, I’m bored and hungry.  Not good.  I had another cup of coffee, a chocolate chip and chocolate cake cookie.  Then an ounce of pistachios.

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5pm.  Dh is home and we are on our way to Rubios for dinner.  I had two of their famous original fish tacos…so good!  And a few of my dd’s chips.

I must say this was really hard to do today.  It would have been very easy to mindlessly eat.  But again, this exercise helped me to make better eating choices.  I know it wasn’t great eating.  But, it was much much much better than past Saturdays when Dh worked.

Chocolate Cake Cookies

January 19, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Posted in Dessert, flaxseed meal, sweet potato puree | 4 Comments
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As you know, I love getting veggies into my family’s foods. Here’s a little take on dh’s cookies: These are in no way “healthy”, but I was able to substitute some butter, eggs and sugar for sweet potatoes. Why sweet potato? Because they are anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and full of antioxidants.

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Chocolate Cake Cookies (with Sweet Potato Puree)

  • 1/2 bag of Ghirardelli Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 T butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 T flaxseed meal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
  • chopped walnuts

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and butter. In standing mixer’s bowl, beat eggs, sugar and sweet potato. Stir in the melted chocolate.

In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Slowly add this to the chocolate mixture.

Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form the dough into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly and put in the freezer at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap dough and with a sharp knife, cut into 1/2 inch slices. Roll the piece of dough in your hands and then flatten it a bit on the baking sheet. Garnish with a few walnuts. Bake on parchment paper or silpat mat for 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

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one great read

January 19, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in essay | 1 Comment

Got a few minutes? Read this. Ree will make your day.

Want another?  Check this out and read the post for Friday, January 18, 2008.

Enjoy!

Karen

01.16.08 eating

January 17, 2008 at 9:09 am | Posted in Diet and Exercise, flaxseed meal | 6 Comments
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Okay, giving this another try today. This will not be a regular addition to my blog, it’s just been an interesting experiment for me.

Pre-work out breakfast, 3/4 cup Joe’s O’s (cheerios) and 1/2 cup nonfat milk.

Post-work out breakfast- Oatmeal pancake with flaxseed meal and banana:

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My sister would make this pancake years ago when she did Body For Life. She suggested I add flaxseed meal. Here’s how, mix 2 egg whites, 1/3 cup quick oats, 2 T flaxseed meal, 1/8 t baking powder, 1/8 t cinnamon. Pour onto a hot pan sprayed with non-stick spray and cook about 4 minutes on each side.

Lunch- turkey, red bell pepper, avocado, cream cheese on Ezekiel bread and a half a bell pepper on the side. Too full for the apple.

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Snack- 1 oz walnuts and two chocolate chip (with chickpeas) cookies:

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Dinner- left over lasagna, spinach salad with Gorgonzola and pecans, plus a slice of bread. I also ate my son’s crust.

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To avoid the crazy eating from the night before, I asked my hubby to package up/throw away any and all leftovers and I immediately went on my walk. Now the dishes wait, but all the food to pick at is gone. Plus getting on the treadmill kind of turns all that off for me.

I won’t be blogging my eating tomorrow, simply because it is a drastic change for me, and I worry about the rebound. I must say that this really has helped give me a healthy view of what I eat; how I eat; what I eat. There has been no eating while prepping meals because I was “starving”. I’ve had more veggies than I typically do. And I’ve been conscious about my eating, rather than mindlessly eating out of boredom.

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