All Our Own Vegetable Pie

12 Aug

After my bad morning at the doctors and Lisa and I pretty much sitting around for the rest of the day, we started to have an itch to bake something. Our mother gave us the chance to make dinner. And for the past few weeks we’ve been hankering for a savory pie, so that’s exactly what we made. And guess what? We made up the recipe ourselves! We’re pretty sure this is the first dish we’ve made without any help from a recipe book or website. And we feel quite proud because of how well it turned out. Even though the whole time we were doubting ourselves.

First problem was the flour. Lisa looked into the pantry and says we only have whole wheat flour. She was thinking that not having regular flour would make it taste bad but I encouraged her to go ahead with it.

Then the whole time the pie was baking I was second guessing whether or not all of the vegetables would cook through. But really it’s just like us to second guess everything we do.

Vegetable Pie

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups of bleached whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

1/4 – 1/2 cup of ice water

In a food processor pulse the flour and salt together. Then cube the butter and pulse it until the mixture looks crumby. Add in the 1/4 cup of ice water. The dough should start to form. If the dough is still dry add a small amount more of water. Take the dough out of the food processor and roll it in to a ball. Cover it with plastic rap and put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling:

1/4 of an eggplant

1 yellow squash

1 large heirloom tomato

1 zucchini

1/2 cup of feta cheese

1/3 cup of sour cream

1 lemon



Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Thinly slice all of the vegetables. Then in a small bowl mix together the juice of 1 lemon and the 1/3 cup of sour cream. Now that the vegetables are prepared, split the dough in half and roll out one half to fit in the pie dish leaving over hang on the side in order to crimp the pie crust edges. When the dough is in the pie dish start layering the vegetables, one vegetable at a time. It’s your choice in what order you put them in. But between each layer sprinkle a small amount of the feta cheese. Once you have layered all of the vegetables, sprinkle the remaining feta cheese, salt, and pepper on top. Then take the lemon sour cream mixture and evenly drizzle it on top. Then roll out the second half of the dough and either layer it on top or do a lattice top to the pie. Put the pie into the oven for around an hour or until the crust begins to brown slightly. Take out and let cool slightly before you enjoy!

Even through all of the worrying it turned out to be a great dinner that definitely satisfied our craving for a savory pie and our itch to bake. Now we just have to work on getting our confidence up about the things we come up on our own without doubting every move we make!

Peachy Keen

10 Aug

It’s the season of peach picking. So one morning my mom brought up going peach picking. Of course we had to say yes. Who doesn’t love going to an orchard and picking fresh, delicious fruit? So off we went to the orchard. And what did we come back with? Nearly 30 pounds of peaches. 30 pounds. Now you must be thinking “Are these people out of their minds?” And as a matter of fact we most certainly are out of our minds. They weren’t quite ripe enough the day we got them to make anything with them, but the next day they were just perfect enough to make some peach jam. Which we have to give credit to our mother for because it was her idea. Although we used maybe about 13 or 15 pounds of the peaches for the jam, we still had quite a large amount of peaches left just sitting on our counter, ready to be baked up into something. Thats when we went searching through pretty much every cook book we owned looking at all of the peach recipes. And we ended up deciding upon peach cupcakes with brown sugar frosting, peach shortbread, peach and blackberry tarts, and to add a little savory we made peach salsa.

Peach cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

This cupcake was delicious enough that our older sister, that happens to be getting married in May, asked if peaches were in season in May so she could have them at her wedding. And if their good enough to be at her wedding, they must be pretty amazing tasting.

Peach Cupcakes:

3 cups of all purpose flour or cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg (we also added a pinch of cinnamon)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup  brown sugar (dark or light)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, sour cream or full-fat yogurt
3 large peaches, peeled, cored, and chopped (whatever size you’d like)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt cinnamon and nutmeg. In the bowl of a standing mixer cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. On the low setting of the mixer gently mix in the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt until combined. Then mix in the dry ingredients and fold in the peach chunks.

Divide the batter among the prepared liners. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for 5 minutes and then take them out of the tins to let them cool the rest of the way through.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar in a separate bowl. In a large bowl fitted for a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth. If you’d like put the icing in the refrigerator until it thickens up a little, or you could go right ahead and dollop the icing right on top of the cupcakes.

Peach Shortbread

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

The dad’s was born and raised for a few years in Britain. So just like any other normal British person, he loves shortbread. The second we told him that we were making peach shortbread, his face lit up. And when everyone finally got to taste them, we got praise for the amazing taste of them.

1 cup  white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced

You could brown the butter which would mean melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Continually stirring and scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns. Put it in the freezer until it is solid. Or if you do not want to brown the butter you just cut the butter into the flour but have 3 full cups of flour instead of 2 and 3/4 cups of flour plus two tablespoons.

Then preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan with parchment and then spray it with cooking spray or butter it. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips, blend the solidified brown butter, or plain old regular butter and egg into the flour mixture. There should be crumbs now. Firmly press 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then take your sliced peaches and lay them on top of the crumb bottom. Take the remaining crumbs and scatter them on top of the peaches and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Cool it completely before cutting it up and enjoying.

Peach and Blackberry Tarts

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts book

We had never really heard of putting cornmeal into a pie or tart crust before, so when the recipe called for it we were a little skeptical, but it turned out that it gave the crust this amazing texture. It gave this plain and simple tart more depth.

For the crust:

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal

3 Tablespoons of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

7 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

4 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced

3/4 cup of blackberries

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Then in a food processor, pulse the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla until the dough begins to come together (if needed add small amounts of cold water to the dough if it is too dry). Take the dough and press it into the bottom of a buttered tart pan or 8 inch spring form pan (we had to double the recipe to make enough for 4 smaller sized tarts). But the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until it is golden and slightly puffy, which should take around 15 minutes. Flatten the bottom of the crust with an offset spatula.

Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 °F. Make the filling by stirring the peaches and berries together with the sugar. Arrange the fruit in the crust and bake until the peaches are tender and juicy. About 30 to 35 minutes. Put the tart or spring-form pan on a rack to cool. Then serve warm or at room temperature.

Peach Salsa

Salsa is pretty much a be your own chef type of thing. You can throw in anything you want almost. So we took the liberty to put some chopped up peaches, onions, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, and mint. You can do the ingredients in any proportion you’d like. And then you squeeze some fresh lime juice into it. Season it with some salt and pepper. Toss it around. And wa-la! You have yourself some salsa. And this stuff, in our opinion was amazing. We kept taking spoonfuls of it without any chips or anything and putting it in our mouth and enjoying. It has just the right amount of sweetness from the peaches, and that slight bit of heat from the jalapenos. And after sitting in the fridge for a day it still tasted amazing.

After making everything we realized even for our large scale family it was quite a lot of food to eat. So we decided to send some of the dishes we made off to some of our family friends.

Now this peach making extravaganza was enough to turn anyone away from peaches for quite sometime. We don’t even know if we want to look at anymore peaches. But all of the delicious dishes that came from them certainly were well worth the day of baking.

4th of July

12 Jul

After a full day spent in the kitchen, our work was done. A full table. 3 types of burgers, homemade buns, roasted corn, raspberry sorbet, lemon poppy seed cake, and a few condiments too

Of course just like any other meal and get together we had to succeed in giving everyone in the family their options. We have the vegetarians and the meat eaters. So of course while flipping through a Vegetarian Times magazine in the library one day these black bean and garbanzo bean burgers seemed to leap out of the page at us. The first thing we thought was, how about we make these for the Fourth of July? And as a matter of fact we did. With just a small change, seeing as we didn’t have any black beans in the closet, why not make them with another equally as tasty bean? Garbanzo beans. Putting the whole quinoa and garbanzo beans in there really gives the burger a bit of texture. Whenever we’ve made bean burgers before our mom has complained “I want more texture to it.” Well we put some texture in them, even though she wasn’t the one eating them.  

Quinoa Garbanzo Bean Burgers

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times

Makes 4 burgers

1/2 cup Quinoa
6 sundried tomatoes in oil
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 onion chopped
Adobo seasoning

Salt and Pepper

Cook the quinoa in water as directed on packaging. In the time being, cook the onions and sun-dried tomatoes in a saucepan. Then add 3/4 cup of garbanzo beans, chopped garlic, seasoning, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Cook this mixture until the majority of the water is absorbed. Put this mixture in a food processor with 3/4 cup of the cooked quinoa. Put the processed mixture in a large bowl with the rest of the quinoa and garbanzo beans. Mix until combined. Chill this mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to shape into patties. Once chilled, shape the mixture into patties (as big or as little as you would like) and bake or grill. If baking set the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.

Now the other burgers for those meat eaters in the families were just thrown together in a bowl within a matter of seconds. For the beef burgers you take some hamburger meat add a dash of worcestershire sauce and mix it together. And for the chicken burgers all you have to do is mix up the meat a little and form them into patties. Then when you’re ready for the grilling, season them with some salt and pepper throw them on the grill and wala! You have burgers!

What about the burger buns, you say? Let me tell you, these are the holy grail of burger buns. They’re light and dense and just perfect in so many different ways. We’ve made these buns numerous amounts of times and every single time we’ve bitten into them we still get that wave of satisfaction from the amazing taste and texture of them. So when our mother was planning what we were having for Fourth of July dinner and all she wanted was burgers, the first thing that popped into our minds was making these delicious burger buns.

Light Brioche Burger Buns

Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Makes 6-8 buns

3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Sesame seeds

Combine one cup of warm water, milk, yeast, and sugar. Let this mixture stand until foamy.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the flours and the salt. Add the butter and using your hands rub it into the flour until there are crumbs. Stir in the yeast mixture and one beaten egg. One a dough forms scrape onto a clean, floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, but the dough will still be on the stickier side.

Shape the dough into a ball and put into a greased bowl with a greased sheet of plastic wrap over top. Let this dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, which should take one to two hours.

Get a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Divide the dough into desired bun size (consider the fact that the dough will again rise and become larger). Place the divided dough balls onto baking sheet and let rise again for around an hour or until doubled again.

Put a pan of water on the floor of your oven and then preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center of the oven. Take the remaining egg and beat it with one tablespoon of water. Brush this mixture on top of the buns. Sprinkle the egg washed buns with sesame seeds. Transfer buns to oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Like we were saying before, we have to accommodate many different eaters in the family. And as of right now our mother is sort of dairy free, or at least she is for the most part. That means in her case, she can’t have ice cream. So instead, we make sorbet! And then the next challenging question is what could possibly go well with raspberry sorbet? So we of course bring out the computer and start searching. As soon as we found this lemon poppy seed cake we stopped right there in our tracks. Flashbacks of just a few days before were popping into our mind of when we had a delicious lemon poppy seed cookie from our favorite bakery, which threw us into a tizzy when anything poppy seed was involved. So the lemon poppy seed cake was a perfect fit (and because we love lemon quite a lot, we added the juice of one lemon, making the recipe that much better) and it would go perfectly with the raspberry sorbet. Both things being quintessential to finish off a warm summer day.

Raspberry Sorbet

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

1 cup of sugar
1 3/4 cups plus 4 tablespoons of water
6 cups of frozen or fresh raspberries

Combine sugar and one cup of water in a sauce pan and boil until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

With remaining 3/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons of water and raspberries, puree in food processor until smooth.

Transfer the puree to an airtight bowl/container and combine with simple syrup. Refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour.

Once done refrigerating put in an ice-cream maker following the manufacturers directions. Transfer the sorbet to another airtight container and freeze for at least two hours.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Makes one 10 inch bundt

2/3 cup sugar
8 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Very generously butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Also butter the dull side of a 10-inch piece of foil.

In a bowl beat the sugar, egg yolks and whole egg until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. Sift together the flour and cornstarch over the egg mixture and fold in along with the pinch of salt. Beat in the butter, then beat in the poppy seeds.

Pour the batter into the butter and floured pan and cover tightly with the buttered foil. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes without the foil. Flip the cake onto a rack and let the cake cool before serving.

We enjoyed every last bite, and with our stomachs full we said goodnight to those that were leaving, sat on the couch feeling bliss from the days cooking, baking, and altogether excitement.

We hope everyone else had as good of a 4th of July!

Two Spoonfuls?

12 Jul

Enter Rebekah & Lisa-Noel.

We’re sisters. Two years apart in age, getting on each other’s nerves constantly, and having to deal with the other a little too much of the time, but we love it. In the midst of a few stupid sisterly fights, we find that being together (especially in the kitchen) is just about as fun as it gets. No, we’re not professionally trained (our mother would like to say otherwise), or even world renound, but we make some insanely delicious food.

Rebekah is head of the savory. Making dinner after tasty dinner, she really creates somthing exciting as she cooks.

Lisa-Noel is in charge of all things baked. Whether it be breads, cookies, pastries, or even decorated cakes, she takes edbile ingredients and makes them blossom into complete works of art.

Combined we make a pretty kick butt team.

Two spoonfuls is exactly the device we need to capture and share our cooking & baking experiences, while also inspiring you to make something too.

So follow us as we whip up pure scrumptiousness, two spoonfuls style.