Tag Archives: baking

A Slice of Pie

Jennifer Michie Nutella Pie

Last year I read Beth Howard’s book, Making Piece. I was excited to learn that she was writing a cookbook, Ms. American Pie and I eagerly awaited it’s release. Not only is she a fabulous baker, but she lives in the American Gothic House, that was immortalized by Grant Wood.

Ms. American Pie

I ordered the book the other week and planned to make a pie at the weekend with one of the recipes. I love pie! I was always making pies and cakes and cookies growing up. My Grandpa said that my pie crust tasted like his Mother’s and that was high praise indeed! My Nana taught me how to make little cinnamon bites with the leftover dough, that was always my Grandpa’s treat that he had with his coffee, my Mom said that no one else was allowed to touch it.

Mr. Michie is not such a fan of pies, he loves pecan and pumpkin, but that is pretty much where he stays. I am working to slowly convert him and Beth Howard’s Pie Book is helping me do just that! Her crust recipe is simple, it is just like the one I used to make, it is what the crust should be: a sturdy base that is light, flaky and has that perfect crunch you feel your fork sliding through as you dive in for a bite.

The first recipe I made was simply her pie crust, I had my own recipe for a Kentucky Derby Pie that Mr. Michie fell in love with. However, we were greedy, we ate it, didn’t share and didn’t take any pictures. I had planned on making a pie this weekend, but this week so far has not been going too great for either of us, so I thought a bit of pie making would brighten our moods.

I decided that this week called for chocolate. So we chose to make the Nutella Pie. I got out the ingredients to make the crust while my cream cheese softened in a mixing bowl. Once my crust was rolled, fitted in to my pie pan and the edges crimped, I started to work on my filling. I placed all the other ingredients into my bowl with the softened cream cheese and whipped it by hand. There is something about pie that just makes you want to go all pioneer girl on it, at least that is how I feel! Using your hands to work your dough, whip or slice your filling. Doing it by hand adds in those extra layers of love and I know you can taste it.

I poured the filling into my shell, gave it a bit of a wiggle to smooth it out and placed it in the oven! The house smelled like a little chocolate factory! The hardest part was letting it cool, it wasn’t cool enough to put the whip cream on top before we went to bed and although we could have had a warm slice with whipped cream on the side, I wanted mounds of pillowy cream piled on top! Our patience was rewarded this morning. When I got up for work, I decided in the shower while washing my hair at 5:30am, that we would eat pie for breakfast!

I got dressed, went downstairs and got to work. I poured fresh whipping cream in a bowl followed by sugar and vanilla. I whipped it till soft peaks formed and then took it just a little bit further. Next I piled it on top of the pie, it tumbled down like giant feathery pillows. I looked at it and just sighed. Before me was a thing of happiness.

Mr. Michie grabbed a knife and two forks, I got the plates and cut us each a slice, the knife gliding through the creamy layers to hit the perfectly cooked crust on the bottom. A slice was put on each plate, we touched our forks together in salute, dug into our slices, took a bite and closed our eyes. This was an eye closing moment, this was a moment of pure joy.

I love cream pies and I think that this has turned Mr. Michie in to a full cream pie lover as well! Pie is a humble offering not always as fancy as cakes in appearance or beautifully iced cookies, but don’t be fooled by it’s sometimes humble appearance, inside that shell holds the secret to happiness, quite possibly the secret to world peace. Pie is love! Thank you. Beth Howard for sharing your journey with us and for giving the world this delectible book!

{Please forgive my picture, Mr. Michie tried very hard to be patient while I took a few pictures, and then tried to get a shot with a wedge cut out, but I kept fiddling and he said no more, so we ate pie and smiled and didn’t care about pictures!}

5 Years Bloga-Versary

SAMSUNG CSC

Well May 5th came and went for me this year. I have to tell you that there are times where my working week gets the better of me! We are up by 5 and I am home past 6 every night and by the time we make dinner, do the dishes, have a few minutes to talk, do a few things around the house, speak to my mom or my sister or sometimes I’m lucky enough to speak to both, it is time to hit the hay before 5 o’clock rolls around again, because it comes around all to quickly.

I have so many things I want to share with you. I have yet to share with you about going to my Shibori Dying Class, or about visiting the Matisse Exhibition or the number of other things that flit through my head. I will get there. I just need to work harder on my work/life balance. It came to me last night that 5 years of being in this space came and went unnoticed by me this week.

When I started this space 5 years ago, I didn’t know where it would lead, but it has truly grown into its own. A year ago I moved into this new space that I call my writing home. I love the simplicity of my site. It is colorful, yet simply elegant, it lets me showcase my writing and photography without a lot of fluff and that is what I wanted it to be.

Thank you for sharing this space with me. Thank you for coming to visit me and read my words and view my pictures. I write for me, but it is nice to know that my writing not only touches my own soul, but you have shared with me that it touches yours too.

When I did think of writing about my 5 years of blogging the other week, I had made a Kentucky Derby Pie. It turned out perfectly. A slice was cut and fresh vanilla whipped cream was pillowed on to the top, but Mr. Michie stole a bite before I could get a picture.

So, instead of sharing that pie with you and recipe, I shall share a cake recipe with you, as cakes are a wonderful celebration of life. The image and recipe comes from the lovely Twigg Studios. The pie recipe I will share just as soon as I make another one. Pies should be made to share, but unfortunately, this one was just too good, we were greedy and devoured it ourselves before we could even give away a slice!

For the full Mandarin & Lemon Cake recipe and assembly instructions please visit Twigg Studios, HERE

Image pinned HERE

Biscuits

Jennifer Michie Biscuits

Nothing better than fresh biscuits and strawberry jam for breakfast! I made the lovely Carrie of Callie’s Biscuits, Buttermilk Biscuit recipe! The only thing that would have made them better would have been to enjoy them with a glass of iced tea on my own Charleston porch.

Happiness is…

I’ve included Carrie’s biscuit recipe below:

Callie’s Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

This is the recipe that started it all. Sitting in my mother’s kitchen and watching her prepare the pans of these highly sought-after, melt-in-your mouth bites of goodness for her catering business gave me the lightning bolt of inspiration for Callie’s Charleston Biscuits. It took some convincing to persuade my mother that a biscuit business was a good idea. She was under the impression that people still made their own biscuits! Once I convinced her that the art of biscuit making was far from a daily ritual for most, she warmed to the idea. I don’t think she ever dreamed that in a few short years, we’d be making 110,000 biscuits a month and I’d be featured on The Martha Stewart Show.

The beauty of this recipe is that biscuit making can be part of your family tradition. Just save it for a day when a little bit of a mess in the kitchen won’t derail the rest of your plans, because this dough is wet and sticky. If the dough gobs between your fingers with the consistency of pluff mud (what we in the South call marsh mud), don’t worry! That’s a good sign! Getting my hands dirty is part of the fun for me, but if you are a little more averse to gooey hands, you can certainly use a rubber spatula to mix the dough.

Makes about 10 (2-inch) biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising flour (White Lily preferred), plus more for dusting
  • 5 tablespoons butter: 4 tablespoons cut in small cubes, at room temperature, and 1 tablespoon melted
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup whole buttermilk (may substitute low-fat buttermilk)

1.      Preheat the oven to 500°F. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle position.
2.      Measure the flour into a large bowl. Incorporate the cubed butter, then the cream cheese into the flour, using your fingers to “cut in” the butter and cheese until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. It will be chunky with some loose flour.
3.      Make a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk and, using your hands or a small rubber spatula, mix the flour into the buttermilk. The dough will be wet and messy.
4.      Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the bowl, creating a separation between the dough and the bowl. Sprinkle a bit more flour in this crease.
5.      Flour a work surface or flexible baking mat very well. With force, dump the dough from the bowl onto the surface. Flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness into an oval shape. (No kneading is necessary—the less you mess with the dough, the better.)
6.      Flour a 2-inch round metal biscuit cutter or biscuit glass. Start from the edge of the rolled-out dough and cut straight through the dough with the cutter, trying to maximize the number of biscuits cut from this first roll out. Roll out the excess dough after the biscuits are cut and cut more biscuits. As long as the dough stays wet inside, you can use as much flour on the outside as you need to handle the dough. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet with sides lined with parchment paper, or in a cast-iron skillet, or a baking pan with the biscuit sides touching. (It does not matter what size pan or skillet you use as long as the pan has a lip or sides and the biscuits are touching. If you are using a cast iron skillet, no parchment paper is necessary.) Brush the tops with the melted butter.
7.      Place the pan in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 450°F. Bake 16 to18 minutes, until light brown on top (or as dark as you prefer), rotating the pan once while baking.

Note: You can freeze any leftover biscuits. To reheat, do not defrost. Wrap the biscuits in foil. Bake in a 400°F oven 25 to 30 minutes. Open the top of the foil for the last 3 to 5 minutes to brown a little on top.

{Please Note:  The recipe listed above is copyright to Callie’s Biscuits. I have eaten her biscuits at a number of events I have attended when at home in the South and was enraptured with their heavenly flavour and as any good Southerner knows, biscuits are a hot topic (no pun intended!), everyone has their favorite recipe and some are a closely guarded secret. I have a few favorites of my own and this is definitely in my list! This recipe was originally posted on the Design Sponge Blog}

Hopping In To Easter

Look what I’ve been pinning lately:

Jennifer Michie Easter To Bake

1. Chocolate Easter Bunny Cake: The Cake Blog
2. Bunny Cookies & Milk: Munchkin Munchies
3. Six Layer Coconut Covered Chocolate Peep Cake: Half Baked Harvest
4. Easter Bunny Cake: Craftsy
5. Peep Pops: Sweet Lulu

Jennifer Michie Easter To Make

1. DIY Eggshell Tea Lights: Little Inspiration
2. DIY Easter Egg Candy Boxes: Coco and Mingo
3. Pastel Easter Eggs: Victoria Magazine
4. Miffy Easter Tote: Small Fry
5. DIY Easter Favor Bags: A Pretty Cool Life

{All pins pinned to my Hopping In To Easter Board}

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St. Patty’s Day Pinning

Just a few last minute St. Patty’s Day ideas for tomorrow. Enjoy!

Jennifer Michie St. Pat's Pins 2014

1. Boozy Lucky Charm Milkshakes / How Sweet Eats
2. Potato Petit Fours / Sprinkles Bakes
3. Magically Delicious Leprechaun Cookies / Bake At 350
4. Green Ombre Cake / I am Baker
5. St. Patrick’s Day Garland / A Subtle Revelry

{Pinned Here}
{Follow me on Pinterest HERE}

Christmas Pinning

The Holidays are almost upon us. Below are a few things I have been pinning lately to my Christmas Board. Enjoy!

Jennifer Michie Christmas Pins Make

1. Felt Ribbon Candy – The Purl Bee
2. Jingle Bell Wreath – Whipperberry
3. Scandinavian Inspired Clay Ornaments – A Field Journal
4. A Honeycomb Wreath – Oh Happy Day
5. Glittery Gumdrops – The Sweetest Occasion

Jennifer Michie Christmas Pins Bake

1. Classic Mulled Wine – Style Me Pretty
2. Nutella Hot Chocolate – Merry Thought
3. A Wintermint Cake made by Baked in Brooklyn – Sweet Paul Mag
4. Candy Stripe Meringues – Twigg Studios
5. Gingerbread Men Ice Cream Sandwiches – Beekman 1802

Jennifer Michie Christmas Pins Home

1. Norwegian Style – Vibeke Design
2. A Cozy Entrance
3. Christmas German Style – Hearth and Made
4. I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas… – found
5. Holiday House Walk – Jennifer Rizzo

 

Christmas Goodies

Jennifer Michie Christmas Cookies

Last night I worked on packing up a few Christmas goodies for work and snapped this pic on Mr. Michie’s phone (sorry for the grainy pic, I was doing this by the glow of twinkle lights). I found some adorable red and white polka dot bags and these very cute cupcake boxes, which I thought would perfectly hold my cookies and it worked!

I filled each bag with a jar of homemade apple butter and a box of snowballs. Today I shall deliver them to their intended recipients.

The snowballs were made from a recipe by the lovely Serena Thompson of The Farm Chicks. I started making them 2 years ago and they have become a tried and tested favorite in the Michie household, perfect for gift giving and eating with a cup of tea.

All Hallow’s Eve

Last night we feasted on Butternut Squash Chili and fresh cornbread and ate Halloween cupcakes for dessert. All while watching Hocus Pocus and listening to the rain pour down! It was the perfect Halloween evening.

Jennifer Michie Halloween 2013

{The Chili recipe is from the lovely Jenny Steffens Hobick. We made it last year and just can’t stop making it! We have made a few changes to suit our tastes, it is a wonderful and easy recipe to make!}