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Monday, August 26, 2013

Key Lime Pies in a Jar

























 
 
I am so thankful for Pintrest.  Really.  I can now go find a bunch of recipes, save them, and force allow my husband to make a final decision by looking at one page and looking at pictures.  It's genius!  I also love that I have the ability to view other personal blogs, rather than just the large proprietary sites.  Personal cooking blogs are so much more intimate.  I can get lost in reading the stories of the evolution of recipes, the history, the outcome...but I digress...
 
This weekend, my wonderful mother-in-law put together an evening at Ravinia with the whole family.  It was lovely, and my only task was to come up with a dessert.  Now, that may seem simple, but the one downfall with Pintrest is there are so many more options and choices, it's hard for me just select one!  Here comes the husband to save the day!  I wanted the items to be portable and easy to share so there were several 'in a jar' options for him.  It was sooooo hot this weekend that many of them were just too heavy.  Well, who doesn't like Key Lime Pie?
 
In my research, I have found several blogs that reference 'Desserts in Jars' by Shaina Olmanson.  I haven't yet, but will definitely be downloading it to my iPad!  It's only $10, and with only making one recipe, I think it's totally worth it!  So be prepared for more recipes from this book to come!
 
Key Lime Pies in a Jar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small bowl, combine:
 
1 cop crushed graham crackers
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. butter, softened to room temperature
 
with a fork, or with your hands. Divide mixture among eight 8 oz canning jars (I used my hands throughout this process, just trying to equally divide the mixture in each jar). Press crumbs down into the bottom of the jar (I folded my fingers in half, and lightly pat down the mixture with the top half of my fingers). 
 
 
 
In medium bowl, combine:
 
3 egg yolks
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
 
Beat with a whisk, just until smooth. Spoon and divide mixture evenly into canning jars on top of the graham cracker crust.  The total will fill the jars about halfway.
 
 
 
Place jars on a baking sheet, about 2" apart from each other. Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30-40 minutes on counter top. Cover jars and place in refrigerator to chill (I chilled mine overnight).  When fully chilled and ready to serve, top with whipped cream and garnish with lime zest, crushed graham crackers, and/or a lime wedge.
 
Ingredients
Crust
1 cop crushed graham crackers
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. butter, softened to room temperature
 
Filling
3 egg yolks
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
 
Garnish (optional)
Whipped Cream
Crushed graham crackers
Lime zest
Lime wedge
 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Homemade Croutons





























Matthew and I wanted salads for dinner, but didn't have any croutons.  Now that we live in the city, big chain grocery stores are fewer and farther in between, and walking to a specialty store would have taken longer than to make them from scratch with the french bread we had left over from our charcuterie night, sooooooo...here you go!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While you wait for the oven to heat, in a large bowl, cube: 

French Bread to create 2 cups

Once the oven is heated (you want to be able to promptly put the bread cubes in the oven after they are coated), on a low heat, melt together:

4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs olive oil

Add:

1 tsp Baron's Garlic & Pepper Seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbs dried parsley

Combine thoroughly.  Take off heat, and slowly pour over bread, mixing continuously to combine (I will typically pour and combine over several pours).  Make sure the bread cubes are as evenly coated as possible with the seasoned concoction.  Spread the bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 10 minutes; check to see if they are dry, crispy and golden brown.  If not, stir the croutons around and bake for another 5 minutes or until done (dry, crispy and golden brown), tossing around every time you check on them.  Once finished, set them aside to cool, then save them in the cupboard in a large ziplock bag. 

These croutons have TONS of flavor!  They are great on salads, but they could be good on top of soups, or just to eat as a snack (I probably eat more than my share as they are cooling)...