Pumpkin Paradise

  
These days, way before you smell the crisp fall air, see leaves turning, or start wearing long sleeves, you are smacked in the face with the arrival of the pumpkin. This popular gourd signals autumn before anything else whether it be in lattes, baked goods, or home decor. But who’s complaining?! 

The thing that immediately comes to my mind though, is always, pumpkin pie. (And pumpkin soup, but that’s another post for another day.) 

Baking and family history are two of my most favorite things so I’m elated today to combine the two with this delicious pumpkin pie recipe, made in my husband’s late great aunt Louise’s pumpkin pie dish. It’s so seasonal and so simple you’ll love it. The men in my life wouldn’t even let it cool before they dove in; the (homemade, anything else is just a sin) whipped cream was melting all over the top. I prefer it a little more room temp but either way, it’s pretty delicious. Here’s the recipe.

Beauty & The Butcher’s Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can organic pumpkin (make sure you get plain pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix that has all kinds of seasonings already in it)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (I like to use Pilsbury pie dough and form in it in the pan myself but you could use a pre-baked pie shell, ooh graham cracker might even be good!)
  • Whipped cream (I’d say OPTIONAL but it’s really not, what’s pumpkin pie without FRESH whipped cream?! If you’ve never made your own it’s very simple, just mix about 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and with a whisk attachment beat the daylights out of it until it’s firm and full of little peaks. But don’t over mix, that’s how you get butter!)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  • Pour into pie shell.
  • Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F; then bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours (or two minutes in my house) Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before devouring…er, serving. 

I’m going to be honest, yours might not taste quite as good as mine unless you also have an heirloom pumpkin pie dish and a crate & barrel plate that says “easy as pie” to serve it on. But you can certainly try! 

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sugar baby 

Here’s a throwback from just a few months ago (in case you didn’t read the previous post, I’m reposting some “oldies but goodies” this week) but it was just so darn cute I had to share again. 

I realized today I haven’t been to a baby shower in like six years. None of my friends are having kids! So I guess that fact, millions of unused Pinterest ideas, plus the fact that I’m not having my own, made me pretty excited for the shower I’m going to tomorrow.

I decided to make some cute baby themed sugar cookies in the color scheme of her registry and the party.
I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a lot of work. But the result is well worth it and people love them! One nice thing is you can make the cookies ahead of time. I make a double batch of Martha’s recipe (found here) as well as her royal icing recipe which is just 2 cups of powdered sugar and 5 Tb of meringue powder mixed with a little water. The trick is getting the texture right, you want it nice and thick for piping the outlines but then thinned with water for flooding the cookies. It sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty simple. Here’s my stack after the baking stage. 

 

That’s a process in itself but now for the real time consuming fun, icing and decorating. I actually enjoy it though and find it somewhat therapeutic, it’s slow and methodical and a great time to binge watch Parenthood on Netflix! Once you pipe and flood the cookies you have to let them dry for a good amount of time.  


And then you can decorate! I got some of my inspiration from Pinterest and some just from the old noggin (wow I really thought spell check would get me on that one, turns out it’s a real word!) Here’s the finished product! 

   
     

Pretty cute if I do say so myself! If you like these, check out my tea party inspired chalkboard cookies here

blast from the past…

This week I am taking part in a special school to improve my teaching skills. So since I’ll probably be too busy to blog, I decided to feature some of my very early posts. Can you believe I’ve been doing this for two years?! Today, since I’m hungry, lets bring it back to a post from July of 2013, and for all you vegans out there, simply omit the eggs, sub almond milk, and voila! Vegan rice pudding! Not only that but the almond milk gave it a delicious nutty flavor and even enabled me to cut back on the sugar! You could also get really crazy and use quinoa instead of rice. But no worries, I’m going to give you the tried and true recipe too. Who can resist rice pudding?! 

  Beauty & The Butcher Rice Pudding
Ingredients:

3/4 cup uncooked white rice (I used minute rice)

1 cup half and half

1 cup milk

4 tbs granulated sugar

1 tbs light brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 egg yolks

1 tbs unsalted butter

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Boil rice in a medium saucepan (according to directions on box – mine used 3/4 cup) with granulated sugar and salt until completely done and tender. Pour in half and half + 1/2 cup milk and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes until thick and creamy. It may look like it’s too much milk and it will never thicken, but it will you just have to wait. Once thickened, Mix in brown sugar. 

In a small bowl add egg yolks. Spoon 3 spoonfuls of the pudding mixture in with the yolks and whisk rapidly to temper and prevent scrambling. Once yolks are warm, add into pudding mixture and add the remaining half cup of milk. Cook for 3-5 minutes more until thickened up again. Once thickened, remove from heat and add in butter, vanilla and cinnamon. If you are making the vegan option your pudding will not be as thick, that’s just what chickens do. 

Pudding can be served warm or cold. Store in airtight container for 3-4 days, but it’ll never last that long! 

Summertime Fruit Tart 

  What screams summertime more than fresh fruit?! Here is a delicious, light, and crowd pleasing dessert featuring the finest of Summer’s harvest. So easy too, here it is!

Beauty & The Butcher Fruit Tart

Ingredients
Crust:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temp.

Filling:

  • 1 package cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon good vanilla

Topping:

  • Fresh strawberries
  • kiwi slices
  • blueberries (really you could use any fruit you like, raspberries, peaches, star fruit, etc. heck you could even throw some chocolate chips on there and really get crazy!)

Glaze:

  • 1 can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

* if you don’t have the glaze ingredients,  a little lemon juice mixed with sugar will work in a pinch

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • For the crust: In a food processor or blender (I used my trusty Blendtec) combine the powdered sugar, flour, and butter, and mix until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, making sure it’s evenly spread and pushed into the indentations along the side. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside
  • For the filling and topping: Beat or stir the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the crust once it’s cooled. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. Fill spaces in between with blueberries. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Repeat these steps and try to make a pretty design in the middle. Pretty easy huh?!
  • For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small pan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart and save the remaining glaze for another dessert!
  • Keep the tart in the fridge and remove about 15 minutes before serving. You might want to make two because this will go so quickly, trust me. It’s also a great thing to bring to someone’s house because you can make it ahead of time, it’s cheap and simple but would be at least $30 in a bakery, and this beautifully shiny fruity masterpiece will impress everyone at the party!     

Downton Withdrawal            

Have you, like me, been sitting in front of your television late Sunday evenings feeling like something is missing from your life? It’s called Downton withdrawal! (ok to be honest I usually watched it Monday on the dvr while folding laundry but that wasn’t as dramatic) So to cheer you up a bit I decided to show you our fabulous (if I do say so myself) Downton Abbey party. Really the fabulous part was my friends, who totally rose to the occasion and dressed to the nines. I am in a bit of disbeleief that I have not shared any of this with you up until this point! (insert emoji with the mouth open, “home alone” hands on cheeks) So lets dive right in.

I love the Pbs show Downton Abbey and I love throwing parties. So, duh, a downton party needed to happen. I decided to make it a tea party with some hearty food as well since it was dinner time and there were men attending. And since I knew everyone would want to sample all of the delicious treats, I split the evening up into two parts; dinner and sprakling wine, then a downton game and viewing the special features as well as secrets of the Highclere Castle (the estate where the show is filmed). After that it was tea, dessert, and time to watch the finale! I purchased the season online so that we could watch the finale at the party before it actually aired on television. Here are some pictures of the food, the decor, and the guests! 
Oh and me, the hostess, in my fun blonde flapper wig!IMG_7457   

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Nutella me about it…

 Was that title too much of a stretch? Whatever, you got the point, this post is about Nutella! Those who know me know I loooove me some Nutella. The creamy chocolate hazelnut spread is a staple in the house, on toast with banana, fried in wonton skins for chocolate ravioli, or just on a spoon to cure a sweet tooth. But we live in Florida where it’s hot and what’s more refreshing in the heat than a nice frosty Popsicle?! I know you have some of those little plastic Popsicle molds lying around somewhere, it’s time to dust them off for the EASIEST recipe ever. Ok get a pen, here’s what you’ll need…ready? Nutella…and milk. That’s it! Just two ingredients! And of course the Popsicle molds, a blender, and a tongue for licking this deliciousness! 

Beauty & The Butcher Nutella Pops

  • 1/2 Cup Nutella  
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk (you could use cream if you wanted it to be extra rich but it’s really not necessary) 
  • Also optional, a banana 
  1. Put ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. If you really want a workout you could whisk by hand. 
  2. Pour mixture into molds and freeze for atleast a few hours (much to the dismay of the 8 and 11 year olds who made these with me…they kept checking them in the freezer, “just in case”.
  3. Run under warm water to release from mold and enjoy! 

Pie Paraphernalia

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Baking and family history are two of my most favorite things so I’m elated today to combine the two with this delicious pumpkin pie recipe, made in my husband’s late great aunt Louise’s pumpkin pie dish. It’s so seasonal and so simple you’ll love it. The men in my life wouldn’t even let it cool before they dove in; the (homemade, anything else is just a sin) whipped cream was melting all over the top. I prefer it a little more room temp but either way, it’s pretty delicious. Here’s the recipe.
Beauty & The Butcher Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1 can organic pumpkin (make sure you get plain pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix that has all kinds of seasonings already in it)
1 can evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie crust
Whipped cream (I’d say OPTIONAL but it’s really not, what’s pumpkin pie without FRESH whipped cream?!)

Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; then bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours (or two minutes in my house) Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before devouring…er, serving.