Boston Cream "Pie"

Friday, October 29, 2010

 I never really understood why Boston Cream Pie is actually a cake, but after trying out Family Circle's version of it recently I decided they can call it whatever they darn well please.  This stuff is good and was sort of a combining of Mars and Venus for us.  My husband lived in England for 2 years as a missionary, so he likes anything with custard.  And, me?   I'm all about the chocolate.  Boston Cream Pie was the perfect union of both worlds.  John Gray would be so happy.   :) 


Click here for printable recipe. 

The ingredients:

1-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 ounces (squares) unsweetened chocolate
1 Tbs. corn syrup
2 Tbs. water
1 cup powdered sugar

FOR CAKE:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with waxed paper.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.  Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.  Beat in 1/2 cup sugar 1-2 minutes or until stiff peaks form. 

Beat egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until thickened and light in color.  Beat in water and vanilla.  Fold in egg whites.   Fold in flour mixture slowly.  Scrape into pans.

Bake in heated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.  Cool pans on wire racks 20 minutes.  Turn cakes out onto racks to cool completely.  Peel off waxed paper. 

FOR FILLING:  Mix sugar, flour, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan.  Stir in 3/4 cup milk.  Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture boils; cook 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Whisk together remaining milk and egg.  Whisk mixture into saucepan.  Return to heat.  Cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Stir in vanilla.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing on surface to prevent a film.  Refrigerate 3 hours.

FOR CHOCOLATE GLAZE:  Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate  in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.  Stir in corn syrup and water until blended.  Stir in powdered sugar until smooth.  Remove from heat.  Makes 1 cup. 

TO ASSEMBLE:  Invert a cake layer onto a serving plate.  Stir cooled filling; spread over layer.

 Invert second cake layer on top.  Spoon chocolate glaze on top of cake; spread until level, allowing some of the glaze to flow over edge. 

Refrigerate 1 hour.  Serve with dollops of sweetened whipped cream. 



Chicken Pot Pie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life is busy, the air is cool, the leaves are changing...'tis the season for good old fashioned comfort food and this chicken pot pie recipe from my friend Becca is just the ticket.  I often think that pot pie filling is rather bland, but not this one.  It was perfectly seasoned and added just the right creamy goodness to the veggies.  Now if I could just figure out how to get this 65 degree weather to stay around all winter!  :)

 Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
(2) 9-inch unbaked pie crusts (recipe below)

CRUST (the best pie crust recipe ever): 
1 cup shortening
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 egg + enough ice water to make 1/2 cup liquid

FOR CRUST:  Cut shortening into flour and salt until mostly the size of peas (DO NOT OVERDO--you want some bigger chunks of shortening still left).

Make a well in the center and add the egg/ice water mixture,

then stir together with a fork until dough barely starts clinging together.
Being careful not to overwork the dough, use your hands to combine the rest of the dough (this should be no longer than about 15 seconds of handling with your hands).  Makes 2-3 crusts depending on how thick you like your crust.  Roll out on generously floured surface.

Place into 9-inch pie plate and set aside to make filling. 

FOR FILLING:   Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery.

Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.  In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft.  Stir in  flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed.  Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk.  Simmer until thick.

Remove from heat and set aside.  Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust.

Pour hot liquid mixture over. 

Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough.

Make several slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving.



Favorite Halloween Treats for Kids

Monday, October 25, 2010

For some reason, autumn gets me excited to find fun projects to try with my kids.  I love the time we spend cooking together and I love the confidence they gain from performing cooking tasks by themselves--spreading the frosting, adding ingredients, decorating, etc.  I really feel like the kitchen is a great place to develop a child's sense of independence in a safe way (with Mom by their side).     This post is a compilation of some of my favorite Halloween treats that we've created together over the last couple of years.   Happy cooking!    (By the way, don't mind the imperfect pictures.  These are all 100% kid decorated!) 



Cooking with Kids: Rice Cake Jack-o-Lanterns

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Any of you who have been following along on my cooking adventures very long, know that I love cooking with my kids.  This super simple project doesn't actually entail any cooking, so it's great for group projects.  Just have the topping made in advance and let the kids go to town creating their little jack-o-lantern faces!   I did it with both a kindergarten and a preschool group and they both loved it.  Although it was little work for me, I still got the honor of being the fun mom!  Enjoy!  
(To see some of my other Cooking with Kids projects, click here.)

Click here for printable recipe. 

The ingredients:

PUMPKIN TOPPING (makes a great dip):
1/2 cup pumpkin
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp. ground nutmeg

rice cakes (any flavor)
candy corn (for eyes and nose)
raisins (for mouth)
pretzel bites (for stem)

FOR TOPPING:  Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.

TO ASSEMBLE:  Spread topping over each rice cake.  Create the faces using candy corn, raisins, and pretzel bites.  Have fun and enjoy!


Pumpkin Roll

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This is one of my favorite parts of autumn--the pumpkin roll.  With its intricate swirls and delicate dusting of powdered sugar, it's  definitely one of the most elegant looking desserts you can make in under 30 minutes.  My 13-year-old daughter has become the pumpkin roll baker in our house (including the photos you see here) and somehow I feel so spoiled every time she whips one up for us! 

Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ginger
2 Tbs. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pecans (optional)


6-oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla
 1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter

Directions:  Beat eggs on high speed 5 minutes.  Gradually add sugar, pumpkin, and lemon juice.  Sift flour, spices, salt, and the baking powder.  Fold sifted ingredients into pumpkin mixture.  Line a 15x10x1-inch pan with wax paper.  Spread mixture in pan and sprinkle with nuts (if desired).

 Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on  kitchen towel.

 Loosen edges of cake and immediately invert onto towel.   Remove wax paper. 

Roll up cake and towel as for a jelly roll, beginning with narrow edge.

 Cool completely.

 Combine filling ingredients and mix until smooth.


Spread filling and roll back up.

Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar.

Wrap in aluminum foil or plastic and chill in freezer for several hours before serving.

 Cut into slices and serve cold.  Makes 10 servings.


About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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