Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip for the Win

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip makes a sweet snack for enjoying with pretzels, vanilla wafers, fresh strawberries and ginger snaps.

Twas the day after the Super Bowl and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even an Atlanta Falcons fan. Continue reading “Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip for the Win”

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Pumpkin Spice Pie with Buttermilk Whipped Cream, anyone?

Pumpkin Spice Pie
Pumpkin Spice Pie

It doesn’t get more traditional than good ol’ pumpkin pie. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it! Inspired by Paula Deen’s Maple-Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie in the magazine “Paula Deen’s Fall Baking,” this recipe is a slight variation of the original, but doesn’t deviate too far off the course. Have you ever heard of Buttermilk Whipped Cream? That is a new one on me, and boy am I glad I discovered it. Thank you, Paula! Whatever you do, resist the urge to eat this pie with standard Cool Whip. Take the extra 5-minute step to make Buttermilk Whipped Cream. You won’t regret it! I took the liberty of using Pumpkin Spice Syrup instead of maple, and added just a touch more sugar. Sweet and creamy, it’s mouth-watering served warm or cold. Enjoy a slice with a cup of hot coffee and a good friend. Add this dessert to your Thanksgiving table or Autumn baking list and your entire home will beckon the changing leaves!

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Pumpkin Spice Pie
1 (15-Ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup of Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) pumpkin pie spice

One 9-inch store-bought frozen pie crust (I’m not above it!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and next 8 ingredients. Roll thawed pie crust over 9-inch pie plate, crimping edges with a fork. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake for 85 to 95 minutes or until center is set and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

Buttermilk Whipped Cream
(Makes about two cups)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon good pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, beat cream with a mixer at high-speed until soft peaks form. Add all remaining ingredients, and beat until stiff peaks form. Plop a big dollop on top of a slice of pie, then sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Then EAT!

 “What kind of Thanksgiving dinner is this? Where’s the turkey, Chuck? Don’t you know anything about Thanksgiving dinners? Where’s the mashed potatoes? Where’s the cranberry sauce? Where’s the pumpkin pie?” ~ Peppermint Patty

Farmers’ Market Summer Bruschetta

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Farmers’ Market Bruschetta

Grape tomatoes are abundant at farmers’ markets this time of year, and I’ve got the perfect way to use them up! My recipe for Summer Bruschetta is a scrumptious starter course and makes one fine appetizer with drinks. Fun fact for ya: The Italian word Bruschetta translates to, “slice of toasted bread seasoned with oil and garlic.” If you’ve never cooked slices of bread in melted butter on the stove top, start living. There’s no time like the present!

I’m a firm believer in supporting Georgia farmers and shopping local whenever possible. All of the ingredients in my recipe are locally sourced, but can certainly be substituted wherever you live. I encourage you to visit a farmers’ market near you for fresh, local and nutritious ingredients! This recipe is simple, sweet and satisfying.

Learn more about the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market and Tuesday Market in the Park.


Farmers’ Market Summer Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons of Georgia Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Half of 1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 2 pints red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • Balsamic Vinegar to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, separated into leaves, rolled up tightly and sliced (chiffonade)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Café Baguette
  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 stick of butter

Directions
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add garlic and onion and stir for about one minute. Pour into a mixing bowl and let cool slightly.

Add tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, sugar and basil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Toss to coat. If time permits, refrigerate for one hour.  If not, it is fine to use immediately.

Cut the baguette into diagonal slices. Melt half the butter in the same skillet you used for the garlic. Cook the baguette on both sides until golden brown. Rub toast with one whole garlic clove while hot. Repeat with remaining butter and bread.

To serve, stir the tomato mixture and spoon generously over toasted baguette slices.

Special Event
You’re also invited to join me at the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. I hope you’ll stop by the Celebrity Chef tent to say hi and get a taste of my Summer Bruschetta! Be sure to listen out for my radio commercial (below) on air this week promoting the market.

Georgia Blueberries Star in Summer Tart

I’ve always loved the concept of a tart. I think it’s the ease of preparation that appeals to me. The idea that you can whip up a pastry base and fill it with anything you like, whether sweet or savory is just exciting, and the ridges–I can’t get over the ridges. Any combination of summer fruit will make a beautiful tart. This buttery, comforting blueberry tart was inspired by The New York Times Dining & Wine Recipes of Summer Fruit.

It all starts by combining your dry ingredients with cold butter, egg yolks and ice water. It’s important that the butter is cold, so your dough comes together in the right consistency.

Once your dough is blended, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and cover with plastic wrap. I recommend refrigerating it overnight. If you don’t allow it to set long enough, here’s what happens…

…one big sticky mess! Just keepin’ it real. After 30 minutes in the freezer, my dough was firm on the outside, but once I began to roll it out, it stuck to the rolling-pin and the plastic wrap. I formed it back into a ball, and refrigerated it overnight.

It just needed to “chill” a little longer. Don’t we all? You’ll want to roll it out to be a little bigger than your tart pan.

The rolling-pin provides a nice vehicle for transferring the dough and keeps everything from falling apart.

Press the dough into the crevices of the pan, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Meanwhile, toss your blueberries in sugar and cornstarch, reserving a few to top off the tart just before cooking. The sugar adds the sweetness, the cornstarch thickens it up and gives it that comforting, pie-like texture. While mixing the blueberries together, crush a few of them with a fork to release the juices. (That’s Millie in the bottom right corner. Isn’t she cute? A great kitchen mate.) 

A little close-up action.

Cover the crust with aluminum foil, then weight it down with dried beans or rice. It may seem strange, but it’ll keep the center of the dough from puffing up while cooking. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

When the crust comes out of the oven, it’ll still be pale, but not raw. It’s ready for the filling! Pile the blueberry mixture into the crust, then top with the remaining blueberries you reserved. Adjust the oven’s temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. A friend gave me these blueberries, farmed in Baxley, Georgia.

The tart bakes up beautifully and bubbly. You can serve it with whipped cream, cool whip, ice cream…the options are endless. A little dusting of powdered sugar and it comes to life! Look closely at the full blueberries compared to the ones that were crushed…great texture.

Those ridges are just gorgeous. The crust tastes so buttery and flaky, and the blueberries burst with sweetness in your mouth.

Serve it warm with a side of cold vanilla ice cream. The temperature difference does it for me every time! This recipe is a definite keeper.

Visit the Georgia Blueberry Commission website for more recipe ideas! How do you eat blueberries?