Rustic Pear Tart
Our good friends, Peg and Harve, had an abundance of pears on their tree this year, so I took a few off of their hands and this is what I made. I have to say, those pears were so sweet and juicy! And this tart is so easy to make, you will have a dessert ready to eat in 35 minutes. (Although you will need to cool it a little before eating it.) Absolutely delicious!!
- Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
- 3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups sliced, peeled, fresh pears
- 1 to 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 10-in. circle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and flour; add pears and toss to coat. Spoon over the pastry to within 2 inches of edges. Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Sprinkle with almonds; bake 5 minutes longer. Using the parchment paper, slide tart onto a wire rack to cool.
Serves 6 – 8.
“A friend’s presence in the midst of suffering provides great comfort.”
Salmon Loaf with Creamy Dill Sauce
I fixed this last night for supper and we felt like we were eating a gourmet meal. Absolutely delicious!! I just sauteed some asparagus to go along with it. Perfect compliment to the salmon.
- 1 (16-oz.) can salmon
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup coarsely crumbled soda crackers (12 crackers)
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 tablespoon grated onion (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Line bottom and ends with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang; grease foil.
Drain liquid from salmon into a medium-size saucepan; stir in butter and milk; heat until butter is melted. Stir in crackers; let stand 5 minutes.
Flake salmon; remove bones and dark skin; fold into cracker mixture. Beat eggs yolks in a small bowl until foamy; blend into salmon mixture along with parsley, onion, lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
Beat egg whites in a medium-size bowl until soft peaks form; fold into salmon mixture; pour into prepared pan. Put filled loaf pan in a shallow baking pan, then place on oven shelf. Pour boiling water into outer pan to a 1-inch depth.
Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 40 minutes, or until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove pan from water to a wire rack. Let stand 5 minutes. Loosen loaf from pan; lift out with foil strips onto a warm serving platter; remove strips. Keep warm while making sauce. Serve with Creamy Dill Sauce.
Makes 6 servings.
Creamy Dill Sauce
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium-size saucepan. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon dill weed, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in 1 1/2 cups milk slowly; continue cooking and stirring until sauce thickens and bubbles, 3 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
“When God comes to call us home, may He find us serving Him.”
Grape Juice Pie
Not too sweet, slightly sour, but oh so good!
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/3 cups grape juice (I used 100% Concord grape juice)
- 1 egg. slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 baked (9-inch) pastry shell
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in grape juice; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Cook 1 minute.
Add a small amount of hot mixture to egg, mixing well; stir egg mixture into remaining hot mixture. Add butter and lemon juice; return to heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; boil gently 1 minute. Cool. Pour into pastry shell; chill thoroughly.
Combine heavy cream and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Spread on pie; chill.
Makes 8 servings.
“Time management is not about clock watching, it’s about making the most of the time we have.”
Ultimate Plum Torte
This dessert has received many rave reviews. It is the ultimate fall dessert. It’s heavenly, scrumptious, outrageously good! Serve slightly warm with real whipped cream on the side. Make this for your next party and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
I had very sweet plums so I used 3/4 cup sugar, but if your plums aren’t as sweet, you might want to use the 1 cup of sugar. I also sprinkled 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar on top before baking.
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup flour, sifted (5-oz.)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 6 purple plums, halved and pitted
- Sugar, lemon juice for topping
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream sugar and butter in a mixer bowl. Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
Spoon batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10-inches. (I used 9-inch.) Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit.
Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze, if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream.
(To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.)
Tip: To freeze, double-wrap the torte in foil, place in a plastic bag and seal.
“There’s nothing like the beauty of a loving heart.”
Chicken Meatball and Orzo Soup
This soup has the most amazing broth! Very comforting on a chilly day. Those days are coming soon and I urge you to try this soup. You won’t be disappointed. Yum!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
For the chicken meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/3 cup Panko crumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, Parmesan, oregano, basil, parsley, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until well combined. Roll mixture into 3/4-to-1-inch meatballs. You should get around 25 to 30 meatballs.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meatball, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate; set aside.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. about 4-5 minutes.
Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and meatballs; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Yield: 4 large servings.
“God-the Perfect Father-will never let us down, leave us, or stop loving us.”
Cheesy Avocado Quesadillas
I have to say, these are so good they are addicting. Very easy and a quick supper on the table in no time.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
- 1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
- 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- 1 (16-oz.) can refried beans, heated
- 2 avocados, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat and cook until browned, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks. Drain excess fat and stir in taco seasoning and green chiles; set aside.
Top tortilla with refried beans, ground beef mixture, avocado and mozzarella, and then top with another tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas to make 4 quesadillas.
Place quesadillas onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 8-10 minutes.
Makes 8 servings.
“We rest well when we’re in the loving arms and perfect will of God.”
Baked Peach Hand Pies
August is National Peach Month. I thought before this month was over, I needed to bake something with peaches. I made these delicacies and took them to the senior center when I went to play bridge this week. Everyone just loved them! And may I just say, I love peach anything!!
- 4 peaches, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 boxes refrigerated pie crusts
- 1 egg white
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
In medium saucepan, combine peaches, both sugars, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then put in a bowl and refrigerate until cold, about an hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove pie crusts from the packages and allow them to come to room temperature.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Unroll pie crusts and cut 4 circles from each crust using a 4-inch biscuit cutter. You’ll have to re-roll the scraps to get the 5th circle. Or maybe even 6 circles.
Beat egg white with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl until frothy.
Place 1 tablespoon of the filling into center of the circle. Brush a little egg wash around the edge of the circle and then fold in half. With tines of a fork, seal edges. Make 3 small slits on top of each hand pie with a knife to prevent bursting. Then brush egg wash over each hand pie. Bake for about 15 minutes.
While pies are baking, whisk together the confectioners sugar and milk in a bowl until smooth.
Remove pies from the baking sheet onto another baking sheet lined with wire rack. Drizzle glaze over pies and let dry.
You should yield 20 to 24 pies.
“Focus on God and regain perspective.”