Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Double Crusted Peach Pie

Old-fashioned double crust peach pie.
It is the peak of fresh peach season here in North Carolina, and I have a plentiful supply of peaches.  I had been to the Farmer's Market and bought a half peck and then a friend came by with a half peck for us.

Nice peaches from the Farmer's Market.
With all these peaches I decided to make an old-fashioned peach pie.  I went to one of my favorite internet sites for recipes All Recipes. Com and found this one. 

Old-Fashioned Peach Pie

Makes 8 servings

1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (or make your own).
1 egg, beaten 
5 cups sliced peeled peaches
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted the salt.)
2 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degree F).
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts. Brush with some of the beaten egg to keep the dough from becoming soggy later.
    Brush crust with egg wash.
  3. Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently.
    Slice peaches and add lemon juice.
    Dry ingredients mixed.
    In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

     Pour over the peaches, and mix gently. Pour into the pie crust, and dot with butter. Cover with the other pie crust, and fold the edges under. Flute the edges to seal or press the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in egg. Brush the remaining egg over the top crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.

    Ready for oven.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the vents. If the edges brown too fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. Cool before serving. This tastes better warm than hot.
Out of oven.

Ready to eat.

 Add a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

That "Empty Nest" Feeling Revisited

Photo by Macy.
For those who have grown kids, you know how it feels when the last kid moves out and you have that "empty nest" feeling.  One eventually gets over that, but now I'm having that feeling again, not from kids moving out, but from some of our books and bookcases "leaving home". 

Last year I posted about downsizing our book collection, Parting with Old Friends.  It's been over a year now, and we have quite a few less books---some taken by others in the family and most donated to the local library. We have culled our book collection to the point that we can now rid ourselves of some bookcases.  That's difficult too, because we love our bookcases about as much as we love our books---especially the ones that Dan has made over the years.

Yesterday I posted on Craig's List, a bookcase that was up for grabs.

Bookcase for sale on Craig's List.

In just a few hours, I had two young people wanting the bookcase.  Both are book lovers and can provide a good home for the bookcase.  When the fiancee of the second caller showed up and realized the bookcase had been sold to the first caller, I told him we had another just like it, and as soon as I could empty the bookcase, it could be theirs.
Second bookcase that will be Bianca's when I empty it.

By evening the new owner of the first bookcase sent me a photo of it in its new home.  Dan and I are pleased that this bookcase which he made has found a happy new home with another book lover. 
Bookcase in its new home with Macy, another book lover. (Photo by Macy.)

Oh, our nest of books is far from empty.  We still have many bookcases some of which Dan made.
Dan made these for the dining room.
Dan made this for our cookbook collection.
   But for a while we are going to miss the two that have left home.

Corner, empty of bookcase.  Yes, we are going to repaint the guest room.
  Macy and Bianca I hope you love filling these bookcases as much as Dan and I did. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Taco Pie

Taco Pie.
I don't know why, but I seem to be on a Mexican cuisine kick.  I like Mexican food okay, but it isn't my favorite by any means, especially if it is spicy.  After making quesadillas the other day,  I found another recipe I wanted to try, Taco Pie.  I liked it because it seemed so easy to make, and it was.   Here's the recipe modified from one I found on allrecipes.com.

Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings.)
1 (8oz) package crescent rolls
1 lb ground beef
l ounce seasoning mix (I made my own)*
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
8 oz shredded Mexican-style cheese blend
Tortilla chips crushed

 * Seasoning mix, my recipe
1 tsp chili powder (I like mine mild, but if you like spicy use 1 Tbs)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
Mix all of these together in a small bowl.
Mix spices.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Lay crescent dough flat on bottom of square cake pan and bake for 11 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Crescent Rolls.
Line pan with Crescent rolls.

3.  Brown ground beef in skillet over medium heat.  Add taco seasoning and stir to mix well.
Brown meat.
Add seasoning.

4.  When dough is done, remove from oven and place meat mixture on top.
Out of oven.

Add meat.

5.  Add layer of sour cream and cheese.  Top with crushed tortilla chips.
Add sour cream.

Add cheese.

6.  Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Out of oven.

Ready to eat.

This is quick to make.  Add a tossed salad and you have a delicious lunch.  This also is good warmed over as leftovers, and it freezes well too.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Great Use of Zucchini

Zucchini Nut Bread
Each time I was in Shelby recently my friend PJ gave me a loaf of her zucchini nut bread, and it was delicious.  That reminded me of the recipe that I have used for years---out of the Southern Living Hospitality Cookbook.  With zucchini plentiful at the Farmer's Market, and with PJ's bread long gone I decided to make some.  Here's the recipe I use.
One of my favorite cook books.
Ready for oven.
Out of oven to cool.
Ready to eat.
Good plain----
---or even better with a dollop of whipped cream.

This freezes particularly well.  I'm going to stock up with several loaves to have on hand in the freezer now that zucchini is so plentiful at the market. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Whole-grain veggie and cheese quesadillas

A tasty homemade quesadilla.
When we go to a Mexican restaurant my favorite choice on the menu is usually quesadillas, but I had never tried making them until the other day.  I was inspired by a recipe of Dan Eaton's Cooking at Home on Channel 14.  Here is his recipe:

6 10-inch whole grain tortilla rounds
8 ounces grated Mexican blend cheese
1 small-medium zucchini, cored and finely diced
1/2 large jalapeno pepper (or more to taste) I used chili powder instead.
1/2 medium Vidalia onion, diced (or regular onion)
2 medium large ears corn, kernels removed Fresh corn from friends in Cleveland Co.
1/2 15-ounce can low sodium black beans, well rinsed
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1-2 Tbs canola or vegetable oil for sauteing veggies (plus more for crisping quesadillas)

Finely dice one medium size zucchini, dice half of a medium Vidalia onion and remove the kernels of corn from 2 ears of corn.

Add a splash of canola oil to a large heavy bottomed nonstick pan on medium to medium high heat and saute the onion until it softens up a little bit.

Add the zucchini and corn and a good sprinkling of ground cumin and chili powder and cook until zucchini is tender crisp.

Add about one half of a 15-ounce can well drained and rinsed low sodium black beans, stir those in and turn the heat off.

Veggie mixture.
Add veggie mixture to a large shallow pan and let it cool down to room temperature.

At that point, assemble a quesadilla by sprinkling some grated cheese over half of the whole wheat tortilla.

Place cheese on half of tortilla.
Top the cheese with some of the corn-zucchini mixture.

Top cheese with veggie mixture.
Add more cheese on top of the veggie mixture. 

Second layer of cheese on top of veggie mixture.
Fold the tortilla in half. 
Fold in half.

Brush a little more oil on top, and once the first side is crisp and brown, carefully flip it over.

We had this with some homemade refried black beans and rice and a bit of salsa on top of the quesadilla.  It was really good.

I'll be trying this again with different kinds of fillings. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fun in Cleveland County with Cousins

Cousin Elizabeth enjoying PJ's lovely pond in Cleveland County.

Recently two of my cousins, Robin and Elizabeth,  and I visited my sister, Martha,  and several Cleveland County cousins to find out more about our genealogy.  We were interested in particular in the Hawkins line of our family history.  My paternal grandmother, Dora Eliza, was a Hawkins who married James Lane Greene, my grandfather.

My grandmother, Dora Eliza, and her father JB Hawkins on the right, and my grandfather, James Lane Greene on the back right. 

My Cleveland County cousins: l to r Jimmy, Donna, Shelva, and Jerry.

We visited for a few hours with Jimmy, Shelva, and Donna filling in gaps about our ancestors and learning about the military history of our grandfathers and great grandfathers.  The three of them were unable to go with us for lunch, but cousin Jerry did accompany us to Lattimore where we had lunch at The Depot. 
My delicious livermush with cheese sandwich at the Depot.  YUM!!

Not only did I have my favorite, a livermush sandwich with cheese and mayo on toasted whole wheat bread, but while there I met the son of my former high school basketball coach, Pop Simmons. (Pop coached our team to the County Championship my senior year.) His son reminded me so much of Pop. 
Curt Simmons, son of my high school basketball Coach Pop Simmons.

After lunch we drove down to Cowpens, just across the border into South Carolina where Jerry guided us on a tour of the National Park there honoring the Revolutionary War battle of Cowpens.
Robin and Elizabeth on the back porch of the Scruggs cabin at Cowpens, SC.

Window of Scruggs Cabin.

Robin, Elizabeth and I enjoyed a visit with my friend PJ (we've been friends since first grade), particularly a walk down to her lovely pond.  She has a collection of memorable antiques, and one that brought back memories for me, her first piano.  PJ is an accomplished pianist, and I enjoyed seeing the piano that I remember a group of girls standing around singing songs from the Golden Book of Favorite Songs while PJ played the piano.  I think we must have been early teenagers then.
PJ's first piano.
Our song book--early 50s.

It really is a lot of fun to connect with family and friends and to find out more about family history.  I'm planning on attending the Hawkins Reunion in September where I expect to reconnect with many more of my Hawkins cousins.