Recipes


If you’ve ever seen the movie, ‘Waitress”, you will better understand my relatively newfound passion for cooking. In the movie, the main character bakes pies to get her through her emotional crises. It’s a good movie, I think.

I also love Patty Griffin, the singer/songwriter. She writes beautiful lyrics that usually are filled with pain but about moving on and getting stronger. Based off of her own life experiences, I’m sure. Newly and painfully divorced, she worked as a waitress at a Pizza Uno (a cheap pizza place), I believe it was, wore a hairnet, and hated her life. Until she started singing for people. Then she found purpose in her pain.

I used to sing one of her songs, “Making Pies” to Nathan. It was his favorite song I sang that wasn’t mine, and he would request it a lot. It used to make me sad, but, in some ways, I wanted to be a person that could understand the depths of the pain in it. Here are the lyrics to “Making Pies”. I suggest listening to it, and if you find a version where she’s singing it live with just her and her guitar, that’ll be so much deeper than the studio recorded version. If you can’t tell, it’s written in the character of an old woman:

It’s not far
I can walk
Down the block
To table talk
Close my eyes
Make the pies all day

Plastic cap
on my hair
I used to mind
Now I don’t care
I used to mind
Now I don’t care
Cause I’m Gray

Did I show you this picture of my nephew
Taken at his big birthday surprise
At my sister’s house last Sunday
This is Monday and we’re making pies
I’m making pies
Making pies
Pies

Thursday nights
I go and type
Down at the church
With Father Mike
It gets me out
And he ain’t hard to like
At all

Jesus stares at me
In my chair
With his big blue eyes
And his honey brown hair
And he’s looking at me
Way up there
On the wall

Did I show you this picture of my sweetheart
Taken of us before the war
Of the Greek and his Italian girl
One Sunday at the shore

We tied our ribbons to the fire escape
They were taken by the birds
Who flew home to the country
As the bombs rained on the world

5 am
Here I am
Walking the block
To table talk
You could cry or die
Or just make pies all day
I’m making pies
Making pies
Making pies
Making pies

I never cooked before Nathan died. Didn’t bake, didn’t fry, didn’t read recipes, didn’t cook. Nate made dinner for us. He was a gourmet chef of sorts, particularly with anything involving chocolate. Later, with a new baby on my own, I had to start making things, because especially when you are a single mother, you can’t afford to go out to eat all the time, it’s tiring taking baby all over the place, and you want to know what ingredients and nutrients you are feeding baby. So I started cooking. Everything I had tried before had always turned to mushy grossness. But now, suddenly, I was actually okay at it. It’s like God saved my cooking skills for when I would need them. Please don’t take this to mean that I am really good or anything. It’s just that when you REALLY suck at something, then suddenly you make edible, even pleasurable to eat meals, it’s great.

But more than just eating, baking in particular has become therapeutic for me. I started out with pies. Remember Pie Day Friday? That wasn’t sustainable, but from pies I moved out to muffins, then bread, and by then I had enough confidence to attempt everything else. I’ve needed some self-therapy lately, so I’ve been baking. “You could cry or die/Or just make pies all day” is the line from Patty Griffin’s song. I agree with it. Rather than thinking too much, it’s best just to make some pies and give them away.

Here’s a muffin recipe I really like. Found on allrecipes.com, I think. I haven’t given out any recipes lately:

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour                                1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup sugar                                                       1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon baking powder                                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda                                        1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1/2 teaspoon salt                                                  3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine egg, oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Makes 16 servings.

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This week has been a doozey, let me tell ya. So there’s detoxing still going on. That’s going pretty well thus far. Jack and I gave each other colds, though, and that wasn’t fun when you can’t take any sort of medicine for it. My brothers were here all week, which adds craziness to the chaos of my family, but they left for school last night. I can tell Jack already misses them. He loves his uncles very much and talks about them.
My father also had some medical issues that we found out more about this week. He doesn’t want me to talk about it, so I won’t get into any details. But prayer for my dad’s health would be greatly appreciated. I’m now trying to convince my parents to do, what else?, the raw foods diet for awhile to see if that helps him. I was about to give up on my whole detox, until I realized that a good detox will help many, many medical issues, and the best way for me to help him would actually be to stay on it and thrive on it. So here I am.
It’s really funny how God turned it on me in that way. Something that started out for just my health, also a short-lived spiritual discipline, and turned it into something that I’m not even doing for myself, but for someone else. It’s not fair to ask someone else to eat only raw foods when there are so many good cooked ones, if I can’t even do it myself.
I also used to teach yoga, and had gotten out of doing it very often over the last few months. No good excuse why. But I want the people I love in my life to be exercising, and the best way to encourage them to do is to get off my butt and do it with them. So we had family yoga night last night. And we all liked it.
I’m so thankful that he took something that I could have been very selfish about and turned it into a way I can help people. Even my very own family. Love you, family. He’s so good like that. There’s all this love in my heart, and it only grows as I meet more people. Love can only come from Him. Thank you, God, for allowing us to love.

Also, I didn’t make a pie for Pie Day Friday. I made cookies for Pie Day Sunday. Call me crazy, but when you’ve only been eating raw vegetables for a week, these are pretty much the best thing ever. Ever. Evah. I think I will eat them even when I ‘m not eating raw anymore… These definitely produce love in my heart. One thing, you have to have a dehydrator to make them. Like, the kind you make beef jerky with. I got mine off of craigslist.com for $5. You can find them cheap if you look. But, the batter is very good by itself, too, if you don’t have one. Somebody could try lightly baking them to see how they turn out.

Lemon Cookies

3/4 cup raw almond butter

1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1/4 cup raw honey

Mix all ingredients together. Form into balls. Dehydrate for 12 hours. Try not to eat all the batter. Makes 12 small cookies.

It’s “A Million Pictures Time” because, um, it’s that time. Decidedly so.

I’m enticing those of you who don’t care about my pictures with a dang good sweet potato pie recipe I found. It’s a variation of one on the Food Network. It uses cream, but I found that diluted the flavor. Here’s what I did instead:

SWEET POTATO PIE

2 pie crusts
2 pounds sweet potatoes, for 1 1/2 cups puree
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Topping:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 stick butter (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup crumbled shortbread cookies

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prebake your pie shell about 7 minutes.
Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and cook them in the microwave about 4-5 minutes until soft. When cool enough to handle, peel the sweet potatoes and puree the pulp in a food processor with 1/2 stick butter and a pinch of salt. Measure 1 1/2 cups puree into a bowl. In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar until the sugar has melted. Add the eggs to the sweet potato puree and whisk well. Add the dried cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent burning. Place the pie pan on a sturdy cookie sheet to catch any spills. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F about 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, saute the shortbread cookies and the pecans in the butter. Then put the pecans and cookies on a baking sheet and bake them with the pie for about 10 minutes to toast them. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cooled pie and serve immediately. Makes 2 pies. One to eat, and one to give away to someone who may only eat crappy pie this holiday season (make sure yours didn’t turn out crappy first)…

And here’s the best hot chocolate in the world:

NUTELLA HOT CHOCOLATE

2 tablespoons nutella (but you can vary this amount on your own preferences)
1 1/3 cups milk or soymilk

Put Nutella and 1/3 cup milk in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until blended. Add remaining milk, increase heat to medium-high, and whisk until hot and frothy. Soooooo good…

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Poor Jack. Evil uncles.

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You might think we are actually laughing about something hilarious…Nope, we’re faking a fun laughing picture.

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Cutting out snowflakes and drinking Nutella hot chocolate.

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Oh Beautiful Christmas Tree! Yes, I realize the topper is leaning…it still is, because frankly I think it’s better that way. I don’t know why. I dislike perfectionism, but love perfect that isn’t perfectionated. Like nights where you hang out with people you love and put crooked stars on Christmas trees and drink hot chocolate.

I also want to add some from the farm, because I like the idyllic pastoral scenes:

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Farmer Jack.

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Fake posed laughing again– this time in a field. I had this one planned before we even went to the farm. No, I’m not a dork. Okay, yes I am.

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If Jack ever runs for president, I’m totally using this picture in his campaign.

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We wuv each other.

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Yes, we do.


Domestic Lauren and her unfortunate “magic wand”.

Due to popular demand, though it makes me feel overly mom-like to put up posts like this, here are more pie and house cleaning recipes, so everyone can be a little bit more hippy-like, and be happy hippies that eat pie, at that!
Here’s a recipe for one I baked for Jack’s birthday. Several people asked me for the recipe. So here you go, yo.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

1 unbaked pie crust
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

for the topping:
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

1. Mix sugar and flour together in a bowl.
2. Beat in sour cream, egg, vanilla, and salt until smooth (about 5 minutes)
3. Fold in blueberries.
4. Pour into pie crust and bake at 400F for 25 minutes
5. Combine topping ingredients.
6. Remove pie from oven after 25 minutes, sprinkle on topping.
7. Return pie to oven and bake another 10 minutes.
8. Chill before serving.
* My modifications are that I pre-baked the pie crust for about 5 minutes, and just covered the edges with foil with I put it back in with the topping on it. I also added a bit of lemon zest to the filling. Mmmm…it was good.

And here’s my latest house cleaning recipe:

Kitchen Floor Cleaner
1 gallon hot water
1 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons castile soap
1/4 cup washing soda
10 drops eucalyptus oil, 7 drops patchouli, 3 drops lavender

Just mix it all together and mop with it. The book says rinsing is not necessary, but I think it leaves a film if I don’t. Therfore, I do.

Everybody make sure you wish Nate a happy birthday tomorrow in your prayers. I’m sure in heaven, he’s invited a bunch of his new dead-to-the-world-but-more-alive-than-ever friends over for a party. And when you have Jesus show up at your birthday party, you know it’s a winner. 25 years since the day he was born. For some reason, I’m not feeling very sad about it. I’m feeling really happy for him, and like maybe he doesn’t even care that it’s his birthday, because he’ll live forever and will lose count pretty soon. I’m sure he still misses me and Jack Jack like we miss him, and wishes we were there to celebrate with him. Even though I’m not sad about it being his birthday, I still miss him and love him, of course. I’ll have to make a pie for him. Thank you, God, for letting Nate be born and for bringing him into my life. Thank you for helping him to have the best birthday tomorrow he’s ever had since he was conceived. Infinitely better than being down here.
Happy birthday, bub. I love you.

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Alright. Today is recipe day. I thought I’d put up a recipe for a pie. I really like this because it’s easy, it’s summery (if you’re like me you want summer to stay just a little longer), and it tastes GOOD. Mmmmm….

Pink Lemonade Pie

1 9-inch graham cracker crust
6 oz frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 container CoolWhip
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Whip last 3 ingredients together, and pour into graham cracker crust. Chill for a couple of hours. Voila!! It’s a no brainer. You can also use other fruit juices besides pink lemonade to test out for fun.

I also thought I’d put up a house cleaning recipe. My friend, Katy, said she was going to, but has failed as of yet. So I’ll just put up one for now and she can choose to take over if she so wishes… Anyway, I use the one below for all my mirrors, and used with an old t-shirt, burp rag, or receiving blanket instead of paper towels…it works better than Windex. I also use it for light cleaning in the bathroom or kitchen, not a full out scrub down.
If you guys like this, I’ll put down more heavy duty cleaning recipes.

Mirror Cleaner and Light Cleaner Upper Spray
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup water
8 drops citrus essential oil of choice (I use lemon. Honestly, it would clean even without the essential oil, if you don’t want to go out and get it. Sure makes it smell nice, though.)

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before use. Spray solution onto surface and wipe with a dry cloth or towel.

Yay for domestic Lauren.