End of Summer Peach and Plum Pie

End of Summer Peach and Plum Pie

I do a lot of online shopping. Maybe a little too much. It’s just so easy to order the things I want and need and have them arrive at my house in a surprisingly rapid fashion.

Paying for shipping just isn’t okay with me, though. More and more places offer free shipping, as well as free returns. Woo hoo! Some places still haven’t caught up with the rest of the world and make me pay for shipping. And then there are those sites where I have to spend a certain amount to get free shipping.

End of Summer Peach and Plum Pie

Maybe it’s $35, maybe its $55. Whatever it happens to be, I’ve somehow convinced myself that it’s better to think of more things to buy, than pay for shipping. More stuff is clearly better than wasting $10 or $12 on shipping, right? Have you ever found yourself doing this?

I never had an issue with Amazon, but they recently upped their free shipping threshold, so now I have to spend like half an hour searching for more things to buy. Not a problem on Amazon, where pretty much anything is available, but somehow when I need to think of something to buy, my mind goes blank. And I just sit and stare at the search box, trying to think of movies I want to add to my collection.

End of Summer Peach and Plum Pie

Obviously, I’m playing into exactly what these companies want me to do. I’m spending more money so that I get the free shipping. I get it. And I’m kind of okay with it. When else can I rationalize spending more money for stuff I don’t need so easily???

But what I do need is this pie. The End of Summer Peach and Plum Pie. I’m still buying peaches and plums like a crazy woman. They’re just too good to give up. The peaches are still juicy and taste like summer. The plums are a little crunchy and are transitioning me into fall with their purple skin. Together the flavors and textures of the peaches and plums play perfectly. So do the colors. I peeled the peaches and left the skin on the plums. Feel free to peel both or neither – it’s up to you!

End of Summer Peach and Plum Pie

Of course, they pair really well with a little butter, sugar, bourbon, and the flakiest crust with a crunchy, golden brown, sugar encrusted top. You’ll never want to say good-bye to summer after one taste of this pie either!

End of Summer Peach and Plum Pie

End of Summer Peach and Plum Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

Crust

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup vegetable shortening

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

4-5 tablespoons cold water

Filling

5 cups peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced in ¼ inch thick slices

2 cups plums, pitted and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices

½ cup packed brown sugar, light or dark

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cubed

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for topping

2 tablespoons milk or cream, for topping

Instructions

Make the crust. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add shortening and butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add 4 tablespoons of water and pulse to combine. Squeeze some of the dough together and see if it holds. If it does, the dough is good to go, if not, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it holds together. Pour the dough onto plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Once the crust has chilled, divide it in half. Roll half of it on a floured surface so that it fits your pie pan. Place it in the pan. Roll the other half so that it is slightly larger than your pie pan. Once rolled, fold it gently and carefully place it in the pie pan. Return to the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make the filling. In a large bowl, stir together the peaches, plums, brown sugar, bourbon, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Set the top crust aside. Spoon the filling into the pie pan, leaving as much juice behind as possible. Do not add much juice or the pie will be soupy! Dot the top of the filling with the 2 tablespoons of butter.

Place the top crust over the filling and crimp the edges tightly shut with your fingers. Brush the top with the milk and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Place pie on a foil covered baking sheet to catch any drips (and it will drip!).

Bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F without opening the oven. Bake for about an additional hour, rotating halfway through if necessary, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling vigorously. Cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving. Pie may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or in the freezer, wrapped in quarters in foil and parchment and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/end-of-summer-peach-and-plum-pie/

Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies #SundaySupper

Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

Tomorrow’s the day everything changes. It’s the first day of fall, officially. I know everyone has been talking about fall since Labor Day, but I have been enjoying the past few weeks of summer, even if it has been a bit chilly.

Now things have warmed up a bit, and I’m still rocking sandals and sundresses. Why not? Before long, snow will cover the ground and I won’t even want to leave the house. I hope it doesn’t go down like that, but most likely it will. One of the local weathermen did say he is forecasting above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation but he said they forecasted the same thing last year. We all know how that went down!

Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

Summer foods still fill my kitchen, but a few fall ones are slipping in there, mostly apples and pears. I have to admit, I love a big, juicy apple or pear, even if in my world they’ll never compare to peaches, plums, or cherries (come back, cherries! Come back!).

After a trip to Verellen Orchard, a local spot with the best apples around, I was all stocked up on the fall treat. We ate most of them as is, but one had a bigger destiny.

Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

It made these Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies a star. They are a nutritional powerhouse and the perfect way to start your morning. Three kinds of oats, chia seeds, walnuts, raisins, peanut butter, and that apple give tons of different flavors and textures. Every bite is a new adventure! Plus, they can be easily made gluten free with certified gluten free oat products.

Be sure not to over bake these cookies, so they stay moist, not dry like some breakfast cookies can become. The fall apple is the star of these cookies with each little piece offering a burst of flavor. I might not be ready for fall, but I am definitely ready for more apple recipes.

Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 14 minutes

Total Time: 24 minutes

Yield: 12 cookies

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if necessary)

¾ cup quick cooking oats (gluten free, if necessary)

1 cup oat flour (gluten free, if necessary)

3 tablespoons chia seeds

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¾ cup walnuts

½ cup raisins

1 medium apple, peeled and diced

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together both kinds of oats, oat flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add in the oat mixture and stir until a dough is formed. Add walnuts, raisins, and the apple and mix until fully combined. You may need to use your hands, as this is a thick dough.

Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Pack each scoop into a ball with your hands and press the top down slightly. The cookies should not be touching but do not to be spaced too far apart, as they will not spread during baking.

Bake for about 14 minutes, until very light golden brown and set on top. Cool completely on pan. Cookies may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/apple-peanut-butter-breakfast-cookies-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper recipes!

Appetizers and Drinks

Soups, Stews, Chili, and Casserole

Salads and Side Dishes

Main Dishes

Desserts and Baked Goods

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Granny’s Zucchini Bread #SundaySupper

Granny's Zucchini Bread

Mom has always talked about how much she loved her mom aka Granny’s zucchini bread. Granny has been gone for seven years now. I miss her and think about her every single day; I believe she watches over me – my guardian angel.

I loved her when she was here on earth, but I have done a lot of growing up in the past seven years. I wish all the time she was still here to bake and cook with me, to have adult conversations with, to watch game shows together, and take walks around the neighborhood.

Granny's Zucchini Bread

I should have done all those things while she was alive, but I didn’t always want to. I try not to blame myself for being a typical teenager. Hopefully she knew then how much I loved her, and hopefully she still knows now.

To be honest, based on what Mom has told me about Granny, I don’t know that we have a lot of food favorites in common. I make her Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Onions all the time (if you haven’t tried it yet, do it! Now!), but other than that her recipes aren’t really my thing. I like to think if we would have had the opportunity to cook together, we both would have been open to trying new things.

Granny's Zucchini Bread

One recipe I have wanted to try is her zucchini bread. We thought the famous recipe had been lost, never to be found. I was so bummed! Then my aunt kindly went through all of her recipes and found what we believe to be Granny’s Zucchini Bread. We can’t be sure, but we know the recipe was from the Cincinnati Enquirer like this one.

I think it was her recipe since this bread is simply stellar. Loaded with zucchini, it still manages to be pretty light and fluffy, definitely moist and tender inside with a caramelized exterior that provides the best complex flavor. Walnuts lend crunch, while cinnamon and vanilla are major flavor players.

I wish I could share a piece of this with Granny, but instead I’ll just have an extra slice in her honor :)

Granny's Zucchini Bread

Granny’s Zucchini Bread #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves, 16 slices

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

3 cups coarsely grated zucchini

1 cup walnuts

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 2 loaf pans, and line the bottom only with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, stir together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla until fully combined. Stir in the dry ingredients until most of the flour has been incorporated. Add the zucchini and stir until all ingredients are fully combined. Fold in the walnuts.

Divide the batter evenly among the two pans. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool in pans for about 30 minutes before gently removing and cooling completely. Bread may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Cincinnati Enquirer

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/grannys-zucchini-bread-sundaysupper/

Don’t miss the other Sunday Supper recipes!

Make sure you check out all of the squash goodness in today’s Sunday Supper menu!

Starters – Appetizers & Cocktails:

Pickles & Relish:

Soups & Salads:

Main Dishes

Side Dishes:

Sweets to Start or End the Day:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Red Plum Torte

Red Plum Torte

Did you hear the Farmers’ Almanac forecast for this winter? I’m trying to pretend like I didn’t. But with the days getting shorter, all this talk about the end of summer (even though it really doesn’t end until 9/21, people), and impending wintry doom, I can’t. I can’t pretend.

My brain is drifting back to those polar vortices. I don’t want any more polar vortices. I am not mentally or physically prepared for them.

According to the Almanac, we should expect more “shivery” and “shovelry.” I want to say what do they know, but last year they were pretty right on. However, I’m not sure how much faith I want to put into a publication that’s making up words.

Red Plum Torte

Our local meteorologist said after a record breaking cold winter, it would be unlikely to have a record breaking warm one. To that I say there is a first time for everything.

For now, I’m clinging to summer, particularly summer fruit. And I’m using it in delicious recipes like this Red Plum Torte. It’s an easy to make and perhaps a bit unassuming treat, but Mom declared it one of her favorite desserts after just one bite. I’m inclined to agree with her.

Red Plum Torte

It helps that I used the outstanding plums from Goldbud Farms that one of my local markets carries, but any ripe, juicy plums will work. Then there’s the buttery cake. Oh, and don’t forget the cinnamon sugar on top that adds just enough crunch. Because it’s loaded down with plums, the cake is a bit messy, but messy food tastes good. Hurry up and make this cake before summer officially slips away.

Red Plum Torte

Red Plum Torte

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

2 large eggs

5 medium-large red plums, quartered

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom only with parchment. Butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the vanilla bean paste. Beat in the eggs one at a time until once again light and fluffy. Mix in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

Arrange the plums on top of the cake batter, placing them as close together as possible. Sprinkle cake with cinnamon and then the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few mist crumbs. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cake may be covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in quarters wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/red-plum-torte/

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

When I’m coming up with new recipes for the blog, I’m torn between two things. On one hand I want to provide new and exciting recipes. It’s fun to challenge myself in the kitchens and make new and exciting recipes. I love to try old classics that I haven’t yet conquered in the kitchen. In addition, my creative juices get flowing when I bake up a mash up of two of my favorite dishes combined, like Lemon Meringue Pie Cookies. And then there are the crazy recipes I come up with out of nowhere and think sound exciting and rather tasty. I think you all appreciate new recipes and I love making and tasting them. You never know when you might discover a new favorite.

On the other hand, I have my favorite recipes and I know all of you do as well. Those things you make over and over again and can’t get enough of. We all have different favorites. For me, it’s Peach Blackberry Pie, Blueberry Buckle, and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies among others. You might also have noticed I love granola bars and Rice Krispies Treats and have shared many different variations of the two.

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

It’s tough striking a balance between these two ideals, but I do try. Take this Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal. Baked Oatmeal is another one of my favorite go-to breakfasts. It’s easy to make, versatile, and comforting. Plus, leftovers last in the refrigerators for a few days, so it’s perfect for those busy mornings when you have not a single second to make breakfast. But I’ve never made anything with fresh figs here on the blog.

I tried fresh figs for the first time last year and fell in love with them. They have a unique, slightly strong flavor that is a bit of an acquired taste. A taste I have grown to like more with each bite. I simplified this baked oatmeal, so it is extra easy to prepare. I recommend getting the dry ingredients ready the night before and placing them in a plastic bag so there’s no hassle in the morning.

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Cherry season has unfortunately rolled to a close, so feel free to use frozen, thawed cherries for the bottom layer, which adds a sweet, jammy contrast to the perfectly cooked oatmeal with just enough bite left to it. The figs on top add a bright flavor that works perfectly with the cherries and vanilla bean paste in the oatmeal mixture. Oh, and this is gluten free and vegan, so long as you use gluten free oats and non-dairy milk, like I did. I know you’ll enjoy this new and exciting, yet classic and comforting favorite as much as I did!

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)

½ cup walnuts

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cups milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk, use what you love)

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

2 cups cherries, fresh and pitted or frozen and thawed

4 fresh Mission figs, quartered

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cherries in the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish.

In a medium bowl, stir together oats, walnuts, baking powder, and cinnamon. This may also be combined in a zipper bag the night before.

Add the milk and vanilla bean paste to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour over the cherries. Arrange the figs decoratively on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly brown and bubbling. Serve warm. Oatmeal may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. May be served cold or reheated in the microwave.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/fig-and-cherry-baked-oatmeal/

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

This giveaway has ended! Congratulations to Cindy on winning!

If you haven’t noticed I’m rather obsessed with the combination of peanut butter and jelly. I already have granola bars, cookies, bars, and puppy chow peanut butter and jelly recipes here on the blog. It’s a classic flavor combination that will never, ever go out of style. I forbid it!

The possibilities of new peanut butter and jelly recipes are endless. You are never going to see me stop posting peanut butter and jelly recipes here on the blog.

Luckily, Peanut Butter & Company is just as obsessed with peanut butter and jelly as me. With back to school season here, Peanut Butter & Company challenged some bloggers to create a new, unique peanut butter and jelly recipe.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

I got thinking about the possibilities and settled on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but not just any peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Oh, no! This is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Rice Krispies treats instead of bread. That’s right! I said it. Rice Krispies treats instead of bread!

Brace yourself for the awesomeness of buttery, sticky, crunchy, marshmallowy Rice Krispies treats surrounding creamy peanut butter and flavorful strawberry jam. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the flavors and textures paired, especially the pop of flavor from the jam. This treat is going to be your new favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Plus, Peanut Butter and Company has generously offered to give one lucky reader 1 jar of Smooth Operator peanut butter, 1 jar of Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter, 1 jar of Seriously Strawberry jam, and 1 jar of Awesome Apricot preserves. Now that I’ve tried their jam, I can’t decide if I like it or the peanut butter better! So flavorful – like eating fresh fruit.

To enter the giveaway, answer the question: What creative peanut butter and jelly recipe would you like to try?

To earn additional entries:
Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow @piesandplots on Instagram. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

IMPORTANT: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.

The giveaway ends Friday, September 5, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.

The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Yum Squad food blogger club, I received product and the giveaway in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 11 minutes

Yield: 9 bars

Ingredients

1 10 ounce bag marshmallows (mini or jumbo)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

4 ½ - 5 cups Rice Krispies

½ cup Smooth Operator peanut butter

½ cup Seriously Strawberry jam

2 tablespoons peanut butter chips

Instructions

Generously butter an 8 inch square pan. Set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows and butter. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until all of the marshmallows and butter are melted.

Add the Rice Krispies a few cups at a time and stir until fully coated. Continue adding Rice Krispies until the mixture is gooey, but there is not a lot of marshmallow in the bottom of the bowl. Pour half of this mixture into the prepared pan. Press it down into an even layer with buttered hands or spatula.

Spread the peanut butter in an even layer over the treats. Spread the jam into an even layer over the peanut butter. Carefully spread the remaining Rice Krispies mixture over the jam. Press down slightly using buttered hands. Sprinkle with the peanut butter chips and press into the treats.

Cool completely in pan before slicing and serving. Treats may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/rice-krispies-treat-peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwiches/

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars #SundaySupper

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

Every time I hear the words “back to school” a chill goes down my spine. I’m so thankful those dreaded days are over forever and ever for me. Even so, the commercials about school supplies, the talk on the news, the upcoming sightings of those big yellow school buses. It’s enough to make me want to cry. But then I remember, for me summer is endless and nonexistent all at the same time. If I want to take a day off in the middle of the week just to go shopping I can, but with a blog and big writing dreams, the work is never far away, especially in this age of social media and smartphones.

If you didn’t already guess or know from reading my blog, I didn’t exactly like school. This time of year was perhaps the worst of all. After roughly two and a half months off, going back to the classroom seemed nearly impossible. How could I give up freedom and fun for early mornings and “learning?”

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

In the weeks leading up to the first day of school, the anxiety would creep in as teacher assignments and schedules would come in the mail. Books and uniforms needed to be ordered, supplies purchased. I put off as much as possible until the last minute. I didn’t care if all of my folders had to be neon green as long as it meant I didn’t have to go shopping until the day before school began. Mom did a lot to help me out and relieve the pressure as well, giving me as much of the summer as possible.

Luckily, I never had summer assignments. I feel so bad for the kids who are given reading lists and projects to do over the summer. At the end of one school year, I didn’t even know who the teachers would be the next, so they couldn’t give me assignments. Score! We only get summers for so long, we should get to enjoy them.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

On the first day back to school and many days during the school year, I’d find a note from Mom in my lunchbox or purse. It provided comfort to me, much like little treats like these Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars will provide a fun and comforting treat before, during, or after school.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

These easy to make, no-bake treats are healthy, yet definitely a sweet treat! Full of oats, natural sugar, protein packed peanut butter, flavorful dried blueberries, and Fruity Pebbles and peanut butter chips for a special surprise, these are sure to be a hit for kids everywhere and make going back to school a little easier!  There’s no actual jelly in them, but that classic flavor comes through thanks to the blueberries and Fruity Pebbles.  Plus, as long as you use gluten free oats, these are gluten free!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1 ½ cups quick cooking oats (gluten free, if necessary)

1 ½ cups Fruity Pebbles

½ cup dried blueberries

½ cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter and honey. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave on high an additional minute. The mixture should be bubbling; if it is not, microwave an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the vanilla.

Add oats and Pebbles and stir until fully coated. Add blueberries and peanut butter chips and stir until evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press down firmly. Refrigerate for about 2 hours to firm before cutting into bars.

Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up 6 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave about 30 seconds.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/peanut-butter-and-jelly-granola-bars-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
Back to School Beginnings

Back to School Lunches and Simple Suppers

>Chicken Schnitzle from Panning the Globe

 

Back to School Sips

Back to School Super Snacks

Back to School Sweets and Treats

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars

I have always loved when my aunt, Debbie, comes to visit. Since I can remember, I’ve looked forward to her trips to see my parents and me and spend time with us.

She’s my cool aunt. You know, the member of my family, other than my parents, that I look up to, admire, want to spend time with. I distinctly remember her past visits fondly. They involved lots of shopping, watching movies, and going out to eat.

Cherry Pie Bars

I think my all-time favorite visit of hers was a long time ago when we spent a day painting our nails purple, eating pretzel nuggets right from the bag, and watching Spice World. I told you it was a long time ago! I sometimes wish I could transport back to that day.

It had been a very long time since Debbie came to visit, so late last year I asked her if she’d like to take a trip here and go to the Justin Timberlake concert with Mom and me (more on that fabulous show next week!). She said yes! It just took Justin Timberlake to get her to visit; no one can say no to Justin! While it seemed like the concert was eons away at the time, it came up super quickly.

We didn’t waste a single moment of the long weekend. The time flew by and was full of talking, a day of shopping, and some baking! We had to get in the kitchen for some bonding time.

Cherry Pie Bars

We made Cherry Pie Bars. Blackberry Pie Bars are one of my favorite recipes, so I was excited to mix them up with cherries. They did not disappoint. The crisp buttery shortbread with the creamy vanilla filling, and those juicy, sweet cherries is an irresistible combination. Plus, they are equally tasty warm from the oven or cold from the refrigerator. We could not stop eating them!

Even better than the bars was the time spent with Mom and Debbie in the kitchen talking and baking the day away. It’s a memory forever treasured in my mind. I really hope Debbie’s next visit is soon . . . even if it doesn’t involve Justin or Cherry Pie Bars.

Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Shortbread

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

Filling

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup sour cream

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

6 cups fresh Bing cherries, washed, dried, stemmed, and pitted

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9 by 13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, stir together orange and lemon zest, sugar, flour, and salt until combined. Add butter and work in with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the butter is about the size of peas and has been well distributed.

Reserve 1 ½ cups of the shortbread in a small bowl. Pour the remainder of the shortbread into the pan and press it in firmly. Bake 15-20 minutes until light golden brown.

While the crust cools, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, and vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated. Fold in the cherries. Pour the filling over the baked crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumb topping.

Place the pan on a baking sheet larger than the pan to catch any drips (mine dripped a lot) and bake for an additional 45-55 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool at least one hour before cutting. Bars may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/cherry-pie-bars/

Greek Wedding Cookies + Debbie Matenopoulos Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

Greek Wedding Cookies + Debbie Matenopoulos Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

This giveaway is CLOSED! Congratulations to Linda on winning :)

We’ve all been told eating a Mediterranean diet is healthy for us, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s why I was so excited to get the chance to review Debbie Matenopoulos’ cookbook It’s All Greek to Me and be a part of her blog tour! Right on the cover, it notes it’s the way to “transform your healthy the Mediterranean way with my family’s century old recipes.”

I loved reading the introduction. In it, Debbie notes she never when to cooking school, but learned everything she knows from her mom. I think the best way to learn how to cook is just as Debbie did. Growing up with food, working with it on a daily basis, and learning to cook little by little through tradition is so important. It sets us up for a life of delicious and healthy eating.

Debbie Matenopoulos It's All Greek to Me

She learned to eat seasonally and focus on organic, free-range, and hormone free foods from her mom, who taught her this before it was trendy. Debbie also shares the schedule on which Greeks tend to enjoy their meals. It is quite different from what we have become accustomed to here in the US, with lunch being the largest meal, desserts enjoyed in the afternoon, and dinner only a light meal.

Following the introduction are basic cooking tips and an index of ingredients common in the Greek pantry and many of the dishes in the book. This was incredibly interesting to read. From the medicinal properties of cinnamon and garlic to Debbie’s favorite honey and vinegars, this is part of the book I will reference often, even when I’m just experimenting in the kitchen on my own.

Greek Wedding Cookies

The book is broken into sections with appetizers, basic sauces, salads, savory phyllo pastries, soups, stews, and one-pot meals, seafood main dishes, meat and poultry main dishes, vegetables and rice, sweet pastries, cakes, and cookies, and the extras. In between some of the sections is a feature on part of Greece. While they were all interesting, I loved reading about the Athens Baker Boys as well as how they read coffee cups kind of like reading palms in Greece.

Of course, I also have tons of pages flagged with recipes I want to try. Mom and I are dying to try the garlic sauce with potatoes. She once had sauce like that at a restaurant and has always wanted to recreate it. The lentil soup and baked cod with lemon garlic parsley sauce are also calling my name and sure to be on the dinner table soon. And the desserts, oh my, the desserts. I want to try them all, but I can’t stop thinking about the classic walnut cake.

Greek Wedding Cookies

Greek Wedding Cookies

Today, I have Greek Wedding Cookies for you. You’ll want to make these right away while you order a copy of the book and wait for it to come. I did make a couple changes to the recipe based on what I had in my pantry. I used regular sticks of butter instead of whipped, almond meal instead of grinding the almonds myself, and bourbon instead of cognac, and they turned out perfectly. Mom kept saying how they look just like the ones in the book! They are the lightest cookies, with a hint of crunch before they dissolve in your mouth, leaving the most pleasant vanilla flavor. I kept reaching for more and more, because they are just so good. The ingredients listed below are as written in the book; I included my adapted instructions.

Because I know you’ll love this book, the publisher has been kind enough to provide me with a copy to giveaway!

Greek Wedding Cookies

To enter, answer the question: What is your favorite Greek food?
To earn additional entries:
Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.
Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.
Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.
Follow @piesandplots on Instagram. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.
Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.
IMPORTANT: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.
The giveaway ends Monday, August 4, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.
The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

Greek Wedding Cookies + Debbie Matenopoulos Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 40-50 cookies

Ingredients

2 cups slivered blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely ground

1 pound whipped unsalted sweet cream butter, room temperature

2 large egg yolks

½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 3 cups for coating

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cognac

4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, cream butter, egg yolks, and ½ cup confectioners’ sugar with a hand or stand mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Reduce to low speed and add in almonds, vanilla, and cognac, before raising the speed back to medium-high and beating for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low again and add the flour one cup at a time. Start with 4 cups, add more as necessary until the dough comes together and is soft and not sticky. I used the recommended 4 ½ cups. Knead the dough by hand for about a minute to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough, form them into half-moons and place on the baking sheet. Cookies do not need to be too far apart as they will not spread, but they should not be touching. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies are pale yellow. They should not be brown. Cool about 5 minutes on sheets before placing remaining confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and rolling each cookie in it until fully coated. Allow cookies to cool completely. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/greek-wedding-cookies-debbie-matenopoulos-cookbook-review-and-giveaway/

Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy and the giveaway of It’s All Greek to Me, but all opinions, as always, are mine.

Greek Wedding Cookies

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer so far. Temperatures climbed into the nineties, the sun blazed in a cloudless blue sky, low humidity rounded out the gorgeous weather trifecta.

Some people complained about the heat of the day, but after the winter we had, most did not. The heat felt like the nicest warm blanket, the sun like pure energy. I stood in the driveway, looked to the sky (don’t worry, I had sunglasses on), and soaked it all up. Though I’m not a love of living in Michigan (California here I come . . . one day . . . preferably soon . . . like before the next snowfall), this day, this summer has temporarily changed that. I did not complain about the heat; rather I am hoping Mother Nature sends more of it our way. After all, following the worst winter ever, she kinda owes us!

Individual Pluot Crisps

Along with the heat, summer brings a plethora of stone fruit. The flavorful, juicy fruit quenches my thirst and revitalizes my body. Especially Frog Hollow’s organic Flavor King Pluots.

These pluots are to be treasured. Not too big, their size is deceiving, as they pack huge flavor. The texture of a plum is combined with the flavor of an apricot to make them great for eating out of hand and even better for baking. The flesh is rather soft and sweet, while the slightly tough skin adds a pleasant tartness.

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Frog Hollow challenged me to bake something with them with leaving the skin on. I am used to eating stone fruit with the skin, but not baking with it. I also wanted a light easy to make summer dessert.

So I make Individual Pluot Crisps. Each halve of the pitted pluot is filled with the best crumb topping that you won’t believe is vegan and gluten free! Oats and granulated sugar bring texture to the party, while cinnamon packs a flavor punch. The topping combines with the juicy fruit for a not too sweet treat. Oh, and that skin? It blends right into the fruit. You won’t even know it’s there. I know you want some of these pluots in your life, so head over to Frog Hollow’s website and order some. And if you’re a fruit lover like me, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram too!

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

2 Flavor King Pluots, washed and halved

¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if you like)

2 tablespoons flour (gluten free, oat flour, even almond flour will work)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the halves of the pluots flesh side up on the tray.

In a medium bowl, stir together oatmeal, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Drizzle in oil and stir until clumps form. Divide topping among pluot halves. If there is any leftover, place it in a mound on the tray and it will be a yummy, crunchy addition to the dessert.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until topping is golden brown and fruit is juicy. Serve warm with ice cream, if you like.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://piesandplots.net/individual-pluot-crisps/

Disclaimer: I was provided with fruit by Frog Hollow Farm, but all opinions, as always, are mine!