French Silk Pie

I’ve been burning through projects lately but none of them having anything to do with my 3o Before 30 list. The baby prep has really started to take over and she wasn’t even on the 3o Before 30! Thanksgiving presented the perfect opportunity for me to complete #16 – Bake a Pie From Scratch.

I decided to wait until my family’s Thanksgiving which is celebrated the Saturday after. I haven’t subjected my in-laws to my random baking experiments yet. I am sure they would be more than willing, but I know I will get very honest feedback from my parents, brothers, and sibling-in-laws.

With that said, I set out to make a gluten-free pie from scratch yesterday and settled on a French Silk Pie. I have never been a huge pie person, mainly because I am not a fan of the crust or baked fruit, so I figured as long as the filling turned out it should taste decent, right?

I did my research, and by research I mean I pinned a few recipes for gluten-free pie crust and then Googled French Silk Pie in the grocery store on a whim to make sure I had all the necessary ingredients. Then I just went for it and here is how it turned out.

I followed this recipe and this recipe for the crust. I used the Namaste All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, a stick of butter, five tablespoons of ice water and a small spoonful of sugar.

IMG_2064
Butter, Flour, and Sugar

 

I mixed everything by hand which made quite the mess, but I don’t think it would work very well otherwise. Especially since you are using cold butter. Most of the recipes I checked out recommended that I refrigerate the crust for at least an hour and many did it overnight. I didn’t have the overnight option (hello, procrastinator) so I refrigerated for just over an hour. Most recipes also recommended you take it out for about 10-15 minutes before rolling.

 

 

IMG_2066
Roll Out!

The rolling out was a little difficult and required a little more effort since the dough wanted to fall apart. I rolled it out more than once and then re-balled with my hands to make it feel like a more consistent product. Eventually, I made it look semi normal.

 

 

IMG_2067
Not Very Professional

I sprayed my glass pie pan with coconut oil just to ensure the crust didn’t bake directly to the pan. I wasn’t sure if I should have but did anyway. I also didn’t have a pie weight or any other fancy pie baking tools many of the recipes called for. I just rolled the crust on a counter top full of gluten-free flour.

Once it was baking at 350 degrees I watched it closely. I first set my timer for 10 minutes and then an additional 10 minutes. Once it appeared to be done (it wasn’t very golden brown but when I poked with a tooth pick it seemed done) I took it out and let it cool. Then I started the pie filling.

Following a Taste of Home recipe things came together quite well. Heating up the eggs and sugar turned out to be a longer process than expected, especially since I became nervous that it actually reached the recommended 160 degrees. Luckily I do have some  food thermometers and was able to confirm that it did reach 160, but I also don’t know if it exceeded it and was overdone. It probably was, but I get nervous about foodborne illnesses. 😉

In the end, it actually looked like French Silk Pie filling. I had Justin test it and he said the filling tasted great!

Ready to Refrigerate
Ready to Refrigerate

 

I put it in the fridge until we were ready to go to my parents and then left it outside (yay for MN becoming an outdoor fridge/freezer) until we were ready to eat it. I topped with Cool Whip and shaved some frozen Dove Chocolates over the top before serving.

Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat

Everyone who consumed it said it tasted great. I totally agreed with them too. Even my picky little brother who is also gluten-free liked it! And I think I saw my husband having one of the few leftover pieces for breakfast this morning!

If you are interested in trying a pie from scratch for the first time I would highly recommend you start here. Most of the ingredients I already had and it really didn’t take that much time to make but be sure to plan a little ahead. It will help. 🙂

Did anyone else try some fun recipes for the first time for Thanksgiving?

Advertisements

Trip Out West

I thought I’d spend a little more time this morning highlighting some of the other great aspects of our trip last week. In my previous post I shared our Bottle Feeding Experience at Yellowstone Bear World. It was awesome! That came early in our trip though and we spent three days in Montana afterward.

Our time spend in Idaho Falls was quick. We flew in to a fairly small airport, especially compared to MSP. The flight was just over two hours and was pretty easy. I was slightly nervous about flying, well, I am always nervous about flying, but this time around due to the fact that I still have a little nausea every now and then. It is very minor, but who wants that on an aeroplane? Not me!

IMG_1391
Seriously, where is everyone?

Once we made it towards our hotel we decided to stop for lunch since it was about 11:30am and we were both pretty hungry. We stopped by a place called Snake Bite. They had amazing waffle fries (obviously! It is Idaho after all.) and I enjoyed shrimp tacos made with fresh corn tortillas. Yum. Justin started out vacation right with a flight of local beers. Lucky.

Snake Bite.
Snake Bite.

After lunch we strolled through a local farmers market and then went to check in at our hotel. We ended up using our points and stayed at Marriotts while on vacation so nothing too crazy to report there. We are always happy with Marriotts and know what to expect which is nice.

Before heading back for a quick nap before dinner we stopped by the Museum of Idaho. They were featuring, The Race to the End of the Earth exhibit. It was a nice exhibit and we learned about the first two groups to make it to the south pole, which has nothing to do with Idaho. 😉  We had dinner at a recommended spot, Jakers. They had a separate gluten-free menu which I was happy to see, and I had a massive baked Idaho potato and was happy as can be!

Before heading to Bear World the next morning, we stopped down to the falls that give Idaho Falls its name.

IMG_1402
Really gloomy, but pretty falls.
IMG_1413
First of many selfies.
IMG_1420
Gimme all the potatoes.

Bear World is recapped here so after our eventful afternoon we drove to Bozeman. Unfortunately we did not stop for any pictures on the beautiful drive. Not even through Big Sky!!! That is our one regret, but both agreed we would be back and spend more time in Big Sky. The drive was amazing and took about 3.5 hours. We had dinner at Montana Ale Works. We shared a gluten-free spinach dip with tortilla chips, and I enjoyed some fish tacos and a pomegranate No’jioto! Our waitress also is also dating a guy from Afton, MN. I haven’t cracked open my yearbook to find him yet, but talk about a small world.

Cheers to Bozman!
Cheers to Bozman!

Waking up and seeing mountains out the window is by far one of my most blissful ways to wake. For our first full day in Montana we decided to head to Livingston. It had a nice and quaint downtime with a beautiful view. It was labor day so perhaps that is why it seemed like it was also an empty town. We did some walking around though and then enjoyed lunch at Rib and Chop House. They were donating part of the proceeds that day to the Wounded Warrior Project and we couldn’t pass that up. They also offered us 25% off since Justin is in the military. How awesome! They also had a separate gluten-free menu. Wins all around.

IMG_1495
Downtown Livingston.
IMG_1497
Can’t get enough bear time.
IMG_1511
Sacajawea Park.
IMG_1522
Paradise Valley.

Before heading back to Bozeman we drove through Paradise Valley which is on your way to an entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  It was amazing. Once we returned to Bozeman we took a nap (such a great vacation theme) and went to the Museum of the Rockies.

Museum of the Rockies.
Museum of the Rockies.

In an effort to wrap this post up before it gets way too long, I will end with our final full day in Montana. We decided to head into Gallatin National Forest and hike to the Palaside Falls. I researched it ahead of time and it was only about a half mile hike to the falls. Nice and easy for this newly pregnant lady.

IMG_1545
Gallatin National Forest.
IMG_1559
Palisade Falls.
IMG_1566
We made friends with wildlife.
IMG_1591
Top of the falls. 
IMG_1574
Trees for miles and miles.

Hiking at that elevation while pregnant turned out to be slightly more difficult than I expected. It took me awhile to catch my breath, but it was a fairly easy pace and we brought plenty of water and snacks. Justin made a nice chipmunk friend and we really enjoyed the view. On our way back to Bozeman we stopped by a little river since we didn’t feel ready to leave the beauty of it all. While we were sitting there having a quick snack, Justin noticed some black animals coming out of the woods. His initial thought was black bears, but we were happy to see they were just friendly cows looking for a bite to eat.

IMG_1586
Cows. Not bears. Phew.
IMG_1583
Peaceful.

As we left the forest and received cell service again, I messaged my parents to let them know we’d be in a tent by the river and they should start driving out with Selby. We LOVED it there. The Gallatin National Forest was about 25 minutes outside of Bozeman and offered other hiking trails as well. It was gorgeous.

For the rest of the afternoon we toodled through the shops in downtown Bozeman. The rest of the evening was spent just relaxing and taking in the last few hours of our vacation. We got a lot of reading done (I finally finished Wild and LOVED it!), took plenty of naps, enjoyed the company of each other and of course, enjoyed the beauty that is Montana. We are already talking about when we will go back and what we will do.

A Spiralizing Dream

Do you ever buy some sort of kitchen gadget because you feel like you MUST have it, only to have it collect dust and you basically never use it? Well, I have definitely done that before, and Justin saw the writing on the wall when I asked for a spiralizer! Little did he know how much I’d actually LOVE it!

About two weeks ago we went to Williams-Sonoma to finally spend a gift card we received from his brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. We LOVE Williams-Sonoma and always have so much fun realizing the possibilities for our kitchen. However, we aren’t exactly the high rollers I often wish we were and sometimes things just aren’t in our price range. With the gift card in hand we were set on finding a new, non-stick pan. We invested in All-Clad when we got married, which we love, but they aren’t always the best for just frying up an egg and can be a real mess to clean up. Once we found what we were looking for (a three-piece set on sale!!!) I went on a mission to find the spiralizer of my dreams.

I saw it in one of their mailers and knew I had to have it. However, Justin was quite skeptical. I think he assumed it would take up space and get pulled out once in a blue moon. Sometimes he just has to hear how amazing it would be from someone else, and when the sales gentleman said how awesome it was, he was sold!

Let me introduce you to the Paderno Spiralizer. I have spent the last week (yes, it sat in the box for a whole week before I took it out) trying to spiralize anything and everything. I even thought about how I could spiralize Selby’s food, but quickly realized that was a bad idea and I might break it.

IMG_0420

I’ve been turning zucchini into pretty spirals the most, but have also used it for carrots and cucumbers.

photo 1-3 photo 2-2

I used the zucchini noodles as a side vegetable, but I also used them as a pasta substitute the other night when I made spaghetti. So good and so healthy! I used the cucumbers and carrots when I made spring rolls! I was inspired to try them on my own after we made them at last week’s baby shower!

Just commented last night how surprised he was since I haven’t stopped using it. And luckily it takes no time at all to spiralize a few veggies for the night or the week! Needless to say, this is my new favorite thing! You might want to check it out.

If you have a favorite kitchen gadget, please share!!! And if you have some ideas for me on items to spiralize (I am pretty sure spiralize isn’t even a word, but I don’t care) share those as well!

Amazing Pizza

I don’t say this a lot, but I had some seriously amazing pizza this last week. I’ve never been a huge pizza person (insert surprised gasp here), and now that I am livin’ the gluten-free lifestyle, my pizza consumption has dropped even more.

Last Wednesday we met a group of our friends at a new, local pizza joint. I have been friends with these crazy kids since high school and before, and we were celebrating a visit from a friend who now lives in Maryland. My friend Kali picked out Olive’s Fresh Pizza Bar. Kali and her husband have visited their location in Marine on St. Croix and were excited to hear that they opened up a new spot in White Bear Lake. When we pulled up Justin and I were shocked that we hadn’t noticed it before. They opened just around Thanksgiving!!! But I guess it isn’t all that surprising though since we didn’t take a whole lot of downtown strolls over the extremely cold winter.

I always like to check menus before I go somewhere new so in my usual fashion I spent a little time stalking the restaurant online. After reading some of their Facebook feed I found out that Wednesday night they were debuting their gluten-free crust! JACK POT! I figured I was in for a night of dressing free salad, but it looks like I’d be joining my friends in the pizza consumption.

The set up is a little different than some other restaurants and promotes a casual dining environment for you to enjoy the gourmet woodfire goodness. After catching up for a few minutes, we all scoured the menu a little more and placed our orders at the bar. I ordered the Farmer’s Market on gluten-free crust and Justin ordered Olive’s House Pizza. The others that were ordered, like the Caprese, also looked amazing.

photo
Farmer’s Market (Gluten Free Crust)

I don’t think anyone realized how big they would be, because we ended up with a ridiculous amount of pizza. My pizza, however, was much smaller but that is typical for gluten-free. It was a perfect size for me though. I gave away a few pieces to some who were intrigued by its lack of gluten, but other than that I devoured the entire thing. It. Was. So. Good. And like I said, I don’t say that often about pizza unless I am referring to Pizza Luce.

However, I have had Pizza Luce’s gluten-free pizza and Olive’s Fresh was better. (I can’t believe I just typed that). I definitely prefer a thinner crust and Olive’s Fresh gave me just that. There was nothing slightly weird about it, which I sometimes find myself saying about GF things, but instead it was a slam dunk of deliciousness.

So, GF or not, CHECK THIS PLACE OUT! Everyone, even the glutenous people, loved every bite. Go, right now, and invite us to join you! 🙂