Aunt She She’s Key Lime Pie

IMG_2735Key Lime Pie

This creamy dreamy pie is a favorite in our family.   We always look forward to Aunt SheShe treating us to this delightful and refreshing goodness.  The tartness from the key limes and the sweetness of the crust makes a perfect combination.  It just might become a family favorite for you too!

Makes one 9-inch pie serving 6 to 8

Crust:

1 ½  cups graham cracker crumbs
3  tablespoons sugar
¼  teaspoon salt
6   tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

1  14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3  cup fresh squeezed Key juice or regular lime juice. (If using bottled, look for Nellie & Joe’s brand—(Ralph’s carries it.)
3    large egg yolks
1 ½   teaspoons grated lime zest (about 2 limes)
2    tablespoons sugar
¼   teaspoon salt

Topping:

1  cup chilled whipping cream (in a small carton from Trader Joe’s)
2   tablespoons powdered sugar
1   teaspoon vanilla extract
2   Key limes for garnish, sliced thinly (optional)

For crust: Preheat oven to 350. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and stir to coat well. Press crust into 9-inch glass pie dish. Bake 5 to 8 minutes until crust is set and golden brown. Cool.

For filling: In stand mixer fitted with wire whisk or using a hand-held mixer, beat egg yolks and lime zest for 5 minutes until very fluffy. Add sugar, salt, and condensed milk and beat for 3 or 4 minutes more. Lower mixer speed and gradually add lime juice and beat just until combined. Pour mixture into cooled crust. Bake 10-15 minutes (varies by oven), or until filling is set in center. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

For topping: Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl until soft peaks form. Spread over pie and garnish with Key lime slices, if desired. (Can be refrigerated several hours ahead, or even overnight.)

Creds to Cynthia Worth  who originally adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit 1/07 and Food Network and shared with Aunt SheShe (aka Sheila Downs).

IMG_2737

Goat Cheese with Lemon Garlic and Rosemary

IMG_0530

Fresh and light, this Goat Cheese with Lemon and Rosemary is an easy and tasty appetizer you can serve in both in the summer and winter.  I first enjoyed this when my sister served this before a holiday meal.  Bring it to a potluck or a party.  Your guests will Ooo and Ahh!

The secret is fresh rosemary.  I have it growing in my garden and I love the aroma as well as the flavor it brings to so many dishes.

Goat Cheese with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary

6 ingredients
1 5 oz. log of goat cheese
zest of one lemon
1/8- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients but the goat cheese together. Place the goat cheese on a small dish with a lip and pour the mixture over the cheese. Marinate for 4 hours to allow the flavors to mingle. Sprinkle with a little more rosemary to taste and garnish with a sprig. Serve with water crackers. Enjoy!

Silk Pie Parfait Shots

IMG_4163Silk Pie Parfait Shots

This light and chocolatey treat is great for dinner parties. It has just 8 ingredients and takes just 5 steps. This can be made up to a day ahead which makes party planning easy.

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 T butter, melted
  1. MIX all ingredients until well blended.
  2. PRESS a heaping spoon full of crust mixture into 12 small liquor or dessert glasses.

 Filling

  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  1. WHISK together evaporated milk and egg yolks in medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is very hot and thickens slightly; do not boil. Remove from heat; stir in morsels until completely melted and mixture is smooth.
  2. POUR or spoon into the glasses on top of the crust; refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

Topping

  • Whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  1. TOP with whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts just before serving.

IMG_4160

Yum Yum Lobster Tails

FullSizeRender-11

This was my first time making lobster tails and it DEFINITELY  wont be my last. It is easy peasy and oh so yummy. You can make these for a special occasion or to make an ordinary occasion special.

BAKED LOBSTER TAILS WITH GARLIC BUTTER

INGREDIENTS

4 lobster tails
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
4 tbsp. Butter

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together garlic, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and melted butter and season with salt.
2. Using kitchen scissors, cut the the clear skin off the lobster and brush the lobster tails with the garlic butter seasoning.
FullSizeRender-10
3. Place the lobster tails on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake the lobster tails for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Holiday Pomegranate Martinis

This festive variation of Oprah’s Pomegranate  Martini is sure to be a hit at your next holiday party.

SERVINGS- MAKES 12 DRINKS

Ingredients

4 cups (32 ounces) vodka
2 cups (16 ounces) orange liqueur such as Cointreau
2 cups (16 ounces) pomegranate juice
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Juice of 2 lemons
Lemon twists from lemon peel
Rosemary sprigs
1 large bottle of Sparling water (optional)

1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

1. Combine the vodka, orange liqueur, pomegranate juice, and lemon juice in a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Dip rims of the martini glasses in a shallow bowl with ¼ inch of water then dip rims again into sugar ( I just put sugar on a small plate)
3. Fill martini glasses with pomegranate mixture, a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds, lemon twists and garnish with rosemary sprigs.
4. Serve over ice. You can add a splash if sparling water if desired.

Grandma’s Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes


Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 to 15 servings

 

Ingredients:

15 medium (5 pounds) potatoes peeled and quartered
6-8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup  light sour cream
2 teaspoons onion powder
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 egg whites slightly beaten (or one whole egg)
2-4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped chives (optional)

Instructions:

Preparing Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes:

In a large pot, add cut-up potatoes and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.   Overcooking can cause the potatoes to become gummy.

Remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander.  Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally.  NOTE: Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jellify and may even increase in volume (becoming swollen and watery).  That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after they are cooked.

In the same cooking pan, mash potatoes with a potato masher or potato ricer until there are no lumps.

TIP: NEVER use a blender, electric mixer, or food processor to make mashed potatoes.Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell.  If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste.

Add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper, egg whites, and chopped chives (if desired); blend well.

Spray a large casserole dish with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Add potato mixture and dot with butter.

Cool mashed potatoes slightly, cover, and then refrigerate.

The prepared mashed potatoes may be made up to 7 days ahead of time.  If preparing ahead, remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Place in an ovenproof baking dish if not already stored in this dish.


When ready to heat the potatoes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take potatoes out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Bake, loosely covered, 40 minutes or until steaming hot in center.

Crock Pot – Slow Cooker Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Recipe:

Mashed Potatoes in slow cookerYou can use this crock pot/slow cooker version, if you need to free up your oven for other dishes when making my holiday meals.

Take the prepared mashed potatoes out of refrigerator about 3 1/2 hours before serving time.  See Preparing Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes above.  Place the mashed potatoes in the crock-pot/slow cooker.  Cover and use low heat for approximately 3 hours, stirring once or twice.

When you are ready to serve the mashed potatoes, stir, and then add some additional dollops of butter.

Grandma’s Do-ahead Thanksgiving Gravy


Grandma Peggy’s Do-ahead Gravy

Yield: about 4 cups

Ingredients:

6 T. flour
6 T. butter
4 cups chicken broth or stock
salt and pepper
Turkey pan drippings

Instructions:

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook over medium high heat until flour is incorporated and white bubbles begin to form on the top. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Gradually add broth, whisking constantly. Stir until gravy is thickened and mixture boils. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cool and refrigerate for up to three days.

To serve:

On Thanksgiving day, heat the gravy. When turkey is done, pour off drippings into a jar or fat separator. Skim or spoon off all the fat and stir the drippings into the gray.