Happy Valentines 2016!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’m try to get used to a new routine for the winter/spring semester. But more on that later.

For Valentines this year Luke and I plan to get sushi again at our favorite place, same as last year. For more on this see: “valentines update” post from last year. We also plan to go see a movie.

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As usual I made Luke his Valentines pie. This year my goal was no white sugar.  I used honey and lemon for the berry filling and local maple syrup to sweeten the crust.

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And it turned out great! It had more moisture in it then I expected so my heart center leak out a little. But it tasted better than it looks and that’s what counts. We paired this with homemade whip cream, no sugar, for a healthier treat.

Hope you all have a great Valentines day!

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

As usual I baked Luke a berry pie for Valentines day. This year altered a blueberry custard crumble pie from bunny’s warm oven . I changed it to blackberry and raspberry and made my own honey and cinnamon based crust.

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I also instead of crumbles used a metal cookie cutter in the middle and placed extra raspberries and red sugar sprinkles to create a heart center.

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It turned out great.

Luke and I are planning on getting sushi tonight and seeing a movie then we will come back to pie and some wine.

What are your valentines plans?

Valentine’s Pie: a remix

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This is my third year making a Valentine’s Pie for my husband. It has definitely become a tradition that in my mind if far better than a card or some cheesy gift. It means much more to my husband too: there’s definitely a special place in his heart for pie: for more Luke’ love of pie see:Valentines Pie: a new Tradition.

second year pie

second year pie

first year's pie

first year’s pie

It seems like every year I have slightly different ingredients to work with. The first year I tried to do blackberry rhubarb pie and had a really hard time finding any rhubarb. Last year I used mixed berries  and tried to use only honey to sweeten the dish (it was still a little too tart). This year I couldn’t find even frozen blackberries!! Making a berry pie living in New York in February considering on Valentine’s day it’s common to have snow; means I have to buy frozen. So I used what I could find: a frozen bag of raspberries and I picked through the assorted berries bag of mixed berries to find almost 8 ounces of frozen blackberries.

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The past two years I have made traditional berry pies with a crusted top and bottom. This year I decided to try something different: a cream pie. I used a base recipe: Blackberry Swirl Pie and of course made a few changes. So here’s my Valentines Pie Remix: a recipe for a Sour Cream Berry Pie.

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Sour Cream Berry Pie

Ingredients:

1. One pie crust: I use my mother-in-law’s recipe with a little honey; but  you can easily use a pre-made one if you are not a huge pastry making person.

2. 16 oz. sour cream (I used light).

3. 3/4 to 1  C confectioner’s sugar; you can use regular sugar but it will change the texture/flavor of the pie

4. 2-4 Tbs. all purpose flour

5. 1/8 (a pinch) salt

6. 3 Cs or 16 oz package of frozen berries: I choose to use a combination of raspberries and blackberries

Directions:

1. Make pie crust then grease the pie pan; I used a combination of honey and butter, and place pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate. After this I once again “greased” the crust with honey/butter this will help it brown well and stay moist in the oven while the filling bakes.

2. Meanwhile: let the frozen berries (if using frozen) sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.

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3. In a bowl with a hand mixer (or by hand) combine sour cream, sugar, flour, and salt. Once combined add berries stirred/folded in gentle to combine. I use a spatula to do this; if you mix it more then the filling gets a great pink color but it will break up the berry. It also looks great barely swirled with visible berry pieces in it.

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4. Bake at 35oF for about 30 minutes. Then check the crust for browning (you may need to cover it with foil). Then bake for another 10-15 minutes or more with frozen berries. The pie will be done when the top of the filling is semi-firm/springy to the touch.

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5. Let it cool and serve or refrigerate.

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I chose to add my signature heart(s) on top using raspberry flavored sugar crystals (a stocking stuffer). I placed my cookie cutter where I wanted the heart and spread the crystals inside the heart shape. It turned out great!

So how about you? Do you have any Valentines (aka chocolate) day traditions?

2013 in review

I know we are a little more than a week into the new year but it has taken me a full week to get back into the normal routine of things (I can’t be the only one who’s in the post-holiday struggle for normality). As I look back on almost a full year with this blog I thought I’d review some of the highlighting events of 2013.

So here is a review of 2013 blog style:

January: survived our first NY winter:  A Lesson in Independence and explored our local museum’s winter events: 2300 degrees

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February: Started a new Valentines tradition: Valentine’s Pie: a New Tradition, and explored what it means to be newly married :Dispelling Marriage MythsMarriage Myth busting: Round 2

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March: Celebrate Luke’s birthday with brewery tours/tastings in Rochester: A Chemistry lesson for a birthday present, Shared about my allergy to barley: Why I am barley free: Part One, and celebrated Easter: Hot Cross Buns and Berry Salad

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April: Celebrated 6 months of marriage: Wow it’s been 6 months!, shared details about our wedding:The Dress and  learning how to look for a job: Patience: giving myself time

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May: Traveled to the West Coast for an Oregon vacation and my brother’s college graduation: Vacation Highlights Part 1: Family TimeVacation Highlights Part 2: Date Days

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June: Went Kayaking in Rochester: Kayaking and BBQ, bottled our first homemade barley-free beer:  Bottling our first homemade brew and celebrated my birthday in Ithaca: An Ithaca birthday Adventure

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July: Explored local festivals: Two festivals and Korean BBQ, Fixed up the front porch: Home Improvement: The Front Porch Project, and traveled to Washington to be apart of pre-wedding events for my brother’s wedding : Pre-wedding Jitters

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August:  Particpated in my soon-to-be sister-in-law’s bridal shower: Stina’s bridal shower and other wedding events, attended two local foodie festivals in NY: Smoke on the WaterTaste of Ellicotville, and hiked a local landmark: Walkins Glen State Park= Gorge-ous

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September: Looked back on my brother’s wedding: The Wedding, and shared more about my job-search: A New Year: Teacher without a classroom

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October: Picked pumpkins and attended an Apple Festival: Picking Perfect Pumpkins;  Apple Fest,  shared about my allergy to tree-nuts:Why I am tree-nut free Part one,  and celebrated a year of marriage with a trip to Niagara Falls :Niagara Falls anniversary Part One

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November: Kept busy with non-blogging activities and shared about them in: busy: and update

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December: Started two new holiday traditions: Post-Parade Cookies and Cocoa and Christmas Concert TSO. Attended our local holiday festival: Sparkle and shared our Christmas with my parents: A Very Corning Christmas present and A handmade and heirloom Christmas

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That is one very full blogging year! And that is only a small portion of the blog-post in this past year and doesn’t include any of my recipes. So what can you look forward to reading about this next year? You’ll find out soon enough.