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Classic Cherry Pie

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If you had trouble accessing the Preacher Tuna Salad recipe yesterday, I apologize. I accidentally posted it twice and deleted the original, making the link most everyone got lead to nowhere.  You can click here to view the recipe.With the 4th of July holiday quickly approaching, I thought it was about time I shared my favorite cherry pie recipe.  Maybe it’s all the red, but it just seems very festive to me! :)  There’s nothing fancy about it, unless you consider a lattice top crust fancy, but it’s a very good pie and excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I love the flavor the almond extract adds, to me it is the essential key to a good cherry pie.

I love my Perfect Pie Crust above all others, and is the crust pictured here.  I highly recommend it for any and all pies, but truth be told, I just as often use a box of Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts.  Judge me if you must, but it saves so much time!  If you buy pre-made crusts, don’t bother with generic/off-brands, they are awful. Pillsbury is pretty good if you don’t have time to make your own.

Classic Cherry Pie

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Pastry for a two-crust pie
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 (14.5 oz) cans tart cherries in water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
Milk & coarse sugar for top crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out one pie crust and line a 9” pie plate; place in refrigerator. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar & cornstarch and mix well. Drain the juice from the cherries into the pan with the sugar & cornstarch; set the cherries aside. Stirring constantly, cook the juice mixture over medium heat, until bubbling and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter, almond extract, and food coloring, if desired, until butter is melted. Stir in the cherries. Spoon into prepared pie plate. Roll out second disc of dough and cut into strips with a pastry wheel or pizza cutter. Arrange strips on top of filling to make a lattice design. Seal and flute edges. Brush milk over crust and sprinkle with sugar. Place on middle oven rack and put a cookie sheet below to catch any spillover. Bake 30 minutes, then put a pie shield on the pie to protect the crust from over-browning. Bake another 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool at least two hours or overnight before serving.

Veronica’s note: I tend to cook my fruit pie filling until extremely thick, as I prefer my pies not to run at all when cut, as you can see in the photos. If you like yours to run a little, just follow the directions and you’ll be fine. My weirdness for cooking it until nearly cement is not included in them. :)  Also, I have a step-by-step video tutorial on another pie that includes how to make a lattice design here.

**Be sure to visit my “Current Favorites” in the sidebar at the right for other recipes that would be a great addition to your July 4th menu.**

KFC Coleslaw

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I put random photos throughout the introduction that have nothing to do with anything except the happenings in my life. Hover over for a brief description

I haven’t been blogging much and at first that was really nice, deciding not to blog when all I wanted to do was sleep, clean, spend time with the hubs, play Wii with my nephew, go to the lake with my family, etc.  It was very freeing, recognizing that it was my choice.  But last week, though I didn’t post at all, I really missed it!

I finally got a “permanent” schedule at work (“permanent” because it is still subject to change, based on the demands of the PO), 2:30-11 PM M-F with weekends off (praise God for that!) and I’m trying to go to bed right after getting home each night so that it won’t be as hard to get up early on Sunday mornings for worship.  So that was the main reason I held off blogging, because my intentions were good, to go to bed early, but then I’d get caught up in email/Facebook/Pinterest and I still ended up staying up till 3-4 AM each day, making it also impossible to blog in the morning since I slept through it.  And yes, Sunday was a very tired day for me, as always. Week 1 of trying to go to bed early: FAIL.

So I still don’t know how regular I”m going to be while I’m trying to get on a schedule that will allow me to get up at 8 AM each day with 8 hours sleep, but ultimately my posting time will likely start to be in the late morning/early afternoon as I switch from scheduling my posts for 8 AM the night before, to publishing after typing them each day before work.

Anyway, I’m happy to share something with you today and sorry for the rambling personal introduction that has nothing to do with coleslaw!  Oh wait!  If you can wait one more second, I have something else to share.  When I came home from work after a really bad day almost two weeks ago, I found a package waiting for me on the kitchen table.  It was the kitchen tile I won from Kudos Kitchen by Renee!  It was the happy ending I really needed that day.

She painted it from this image I sent her that I found on Pinterest:

I was pretty demanding for someone who won something (i.e. got it for free!), asking if she could make the colors a deeper red, green and blue to match the colors in my kitchen, and I even went so far as to ask her to change the font to a fancier one.  She didn’t complain at all and I’m totally thrilled with the tile and with Renee.  If you want to check out her work, visit her Etsy shop here.

Thanks for putting up with me today–it’s hard trying to write a short blog when you’ve been silent for so long!  Onto the coleslaw.  Finally!

I’m not a huge coleslaw fan, but I have always liked KFC’s coleslaw.  Have you met my sweet teeth?  (I usually claim they’re all sweet, but a few of my molars are actually partial to savory foods. ;))  Yeah, I think they enjoy the sweetness to it.  So when I volunteered to bring the coleslaw to our family’s July 4th celebration, I searched for a KFC copycat recipe and found one on Amanda’s Cookin’.  I was pretty stoked to find it there, because I already follow Amanda’s blog and have much love for her since she started the Secret Recipe Club, which I enjoy participating in every month.

This coleslaw is just like KFC coleslaw!  So good!  And if you have a food processor, man, this comes together in 10 minutes or less.  Even easier, you could just buy that bagged coleslaw mix and use the dressing on it.  Either way, this is a winner and my family raved over it.  Dennis and I ate an entire batch of it last week, so you know we love it too.

KFC Copycat Coleslaw

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 head of cabbage
2 medium carrots, peeled (about 1/2 cup shredded)
2 tablespoons dried minced onion

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Chop cabbage into chunks, discarding the core, and run through your food processor using the shredding blade, or chop fine.  Empty into a large bowl.  Chop the stems off the carrots and shred them too, then add to the cabbage along with the minced onion.  Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, whisk well, and pour over the slaw.  Stir well, then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before serving to allow the flavors to marry.  Serve cold.

Recipe source: slightly tweaked from Amanda’s Cookin’

Thankful Thursdays #32: I’m not any fatter

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I made a thanksgiving resolution to find something to be thankful for every day until next Thanksgiving.  Here’s what I am thankful for this week!

Thursday: I didn’t have to cook dinner!  Maybe my enthusiasm seems strange, since I’m a food blogger and therefore should love to cook, but honestly cooking isn’t really my thing.  I love to bake, but I’d rather eat a meal cooked by someone else any day.  Anyway, some friends had us over for dinner, and I was also thankful for the time we had with them as well.  I never remember my camera when we visit Ben and Ashley, so I have no pics of the wonderful taco dinner, which included homemade tortillas and a smorgasbord of fillings, including pork, shrimp , cilantro lime rice, and everything else you can imagine.  MUST REMEMBER CAMERA NEXT TIME.

Friday: the internets. We got a DVD from Netflix that we’ve already seen, but thankfully we were able to watch Dr. Who online with “instant play.”  The more I watch the latest season, the more the new doctor reminds me of a fairer version of my cousin, Tyson.  I know that has nothing to do with being thankful, but it’s wigging me out. Maybe you’d have to know my cousin and watch the show regularly to see it?

Saturday: a husband who is willing to go grocery shopping with me.  Although I do it faster alone, it’s not nearly as fun without him coming up with new ways to annoy me.  His favorite thing to do is to grab random, horrible food items and ask for them like he’s three years old.  For instance, if there was something called cotton candy cereal, he would pick it up, then smile and hold it up and bounce around, saying, “Cotton Candy Cereal!”

Sunday: The current Sunday School teacher for the preschool/elementary class is out of town, so I had an opportunity to teach the twins for the first time in over 6 months.  I didn’t realize how much I missed them!

Monday:  1) For our wonderful Declaration of Independence and the freedoms it gives us as Americans.  2) For Katie, Den’s co-worker, who invited us to her 4th of July gathering, thus sparing us from a depressing holiday spent at home without fireworks since we are too cheap to purchase them ourselves. 3)  For the people at said party, who were so friendly and made me feel at ease despite not knowing a soul there.  Many were foodies, and that helped because we could all relate to the love of food!  4) That we haven’t had war on American soil in over a hundred years.  The party we joined was in Derby, where more fireworks are allowed, and boy it was crazy!  The steady stream of explosions and the heavy haze of smoke made me feel like I was in a war zone, and very thankful that I never have been.  It also made consider and all the more thankful for our soldiers who risk their lives for the sake of others.

Tuesday: Puppy antics.  We’ve been taking care of Ben and Ashley’s chickens while they’re away camping and although another friend is taking care of the dogs (there are five of them), we always end up staying to play with and pet them.  The golden lab is about a year old and has a ridiculous amount of energy.  Today he nabbed a squash Dennis picked and rolled around with it, chomping on and playing with it like it was the most delightful thing he’d ever encountered.  At one point, he was rolling on his back while holding it up in the air with his paws.  The joy of a puppy is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday: I’m not any fatter! I got my rear in gear and went to my first Weight Watchers meeting in three weeks, knowing that after all the stress-dieting I’d done (i.e. eating everything I possibly could to calm my nerves–emotional eating is my downfall), I was going to see a big gain.  But I weighed exactly the same.  Granted, the last time I weighed in I had a 3-pound gain due to the heavy clothes I was wearing and the later time of day I went, so weighing the same in the morning before eating, and while wearing shorts, definitely means I’ve got more padding now.  But still.  Technically, I weigh the same as I did at my last meeting. :)  I’ll take it as a victory and move on, counting my points and working toward my goal like a good girl.

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