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Archive for April, 2009

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Apr
04
2009

~April's GREEN SPRING Giveaway~

spring

Spring has sprung,

The grass is green,

Hear the little birdies sing?

Hey! It’s that time again! I told myself I would do a giveaway every month this year so, it’s time for April’s Giveaway!  This one will be pretty great!  Not only will there be an apron made by me, but THREE other goodies…and as usual they will be some of my favorite things!! I will give you a few little hints along the way this week.  For today,  I will just give you a little peek at the apron fabric.

fabric

Spring is all about GREEN…and I have had this fabric a long time and LOVE it.  It’s just one of those pieces I have just not gotten around to, you know?  So now I have to! It’s a nice middle weight fabric that will make a beautiful apron for one of you!

Now here’s the skinny on the giveaway:

  1. You have to share the love.  The more the merrier.  Yeah, yeah, I know you think it cuts into your chances of winning but come one, friends share! So if you don’t have a blog, email your friends and tell them to pop over here.
  2. You have to leave a comment.  And come one ladies, not just a “Hey, enter my name.”  Tell me a bit about yourself, about what Spring is bringing your way and if you do have a blog, LEAVE a link so the other readers and I can find you!
  3. There will be 4 items (think green, spring, books, flowers, gardening…hint hint!) in this giveaway and each item will be “discussed” on a different day so…if you leave a comment on every post associated with this giveaway (4 posts) then you will be entered each day!  So you can up your chances of winning!
  4. The winner’s name will be drawn from the now VERY famous mason jar on Monday April 13th.

Good Luck everyone!  And here is you a button to post on your blog or attach to an email!

buttonspringJust right click on it and save!

If I have left anything out, I will catch you tomorrow!

Apr
03
2009

Recipe of the Day: Meat Pies

open21

This is more of a project than a recipe so allow a day to make these.  But they are worth it!  We made two kinds yesterday: Beef/Pork and Lamb/Turkey.  As you all know I can’t have beef AT ALL, so I had some ground lamb and turkey and decided to make a few (ended up being more than a few) for myself.  It took us most of the day, several batches of dough but we ended up with 60 pies!  Plus we spent all day in the kitchen together ~ an added bonus!

The original recipe is at the bottom of this post but I thought I would give you a little tutorial along with some adjustments I made.  Husband made the beef/pork pies “by the book”.  I of course, had to tweak mine a bit.;)

ingredients1

For the lamb/turkey pies, I used a little more veggie than we normally would.  To me lamb needs a bit of “covering up” – I like it, I just don’t LOVE it by itself.  I need some spice and other flavors.  So I used leeks, spring onions, shallots, celery and minced garlic.  Along with salt, pepper, chives, marjoram, cayenne and a good bit of dried thyme.

Brown your meat of choice in a bit of olive oil and butter, add your veggies and spices and cook until the onions are translucent. Spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool completely.  You don’t want to put warm meat into the pastry.  While your meat is cooling, roll your dough very thin and cut it into rounds.  We use the large pastry cutter shown below.  If we are making these for appetizers we use a much smaller cutter.  This dough is fairly difficult to roll out.  It has to be sturdy to hold up to the meat contents as well as the frying.  In fact my forearm muscles are sore today from rolling dough! (Dough Recipe at the bottom, as well.)

dough1

When your meat is completely cooled spoon into pastry.  Don’t over fill to the point where your dough will not easily stretch over to close.  Otherwise it very likely will tear.  Dampen the edges of the dough so it will seal properly.

preparingYou can either crimp the dough with the pastry cutter or by hand.  Just be sure it is damp and sealed all the way around.finished

It is best to chill the pies before frying.  If you like, you can freeze them on wax paper lined cookie sheets being careful to layer so they dont stick together.  When they are completely frozen put them in freezer containers or zipper bags and return them to the freezer for later.  They can be kept 6 months frozen.  Thaw them a bit before frying if they have been in the freezer or the middle might still be cold.  You can always pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to be sure the middle is piping hot.

Fry them in 350 oil until golden brown.  Drain on a rack, serve hot and enjoy!  Now for the recipe:

Filling:

  • 2 pounds meat (ground beef, pork, lamb, turkey or any combination)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • salt and pepper, spices to taste
  • approximately two tsp all purpose flour stirred in during the browning stage to make a bit of “gravy” for your meat mixture

Brown meat, spoon off as much grease as possible, add onion, spices and flour and cook until onions are clear.   Let cool completely.

Pastry:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted shortening or lard
  • enough milk to make a stiff dough
  • flour for rolling out

Mix flour and baking powder in a large bowl.  Mix in melted shortening or lard until crumbly.  Add eggs and milk to make a stiff dough.  Roll out thinly on floured surface.  Cut into desired size circles.  Fill with meat mixture, leaving enough room to close dough without stretching and tearing.  Wet edges of dough, fold over and crimp.  Freeze or chill and fry in 350 oil until golden brown.

If you have any questions just ask!

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