Monday, April 16, 2012

Meat Pie in Jars

For this recipe you will need:

Cooked pie filling of your choice.  Enough for 1 large pie.  Sweet or savory, it's unimportant.
1 double crust pie recipe, or prepared pie crust, your choice.
12 mini mason jars, straight sides matter.

I line up my jars.  I heat up, then drain, whatever filling I'm using and lay it on a sheet pan to cool down.  I leave the gravy in a bowl  to add some to the pie and some to use later.  I find it easier to scoop filling with a little scoop, I'm bad at equal distribution, this method works for me :)

This is my own pastry but sometimes I buy, if the premade stuff is on sale, I'm in!  My mother would be horrified, she's the pastry queen but what she doesn't see...  :)

Roll out the pastry, cut 2 circles per jar (1 for the bottom and 1 for the top).  I cut strips with a pizza wheel and press them into the jars around the sides.

Fill to most of the way up, add a little extra gravy/sauce and top with the reserved circles.  A knife slit in the top stops any future explosions.  Pop the lids on, throw a letter on top so you know what they are and shove them in the freezer!  DONE!


M is for meat :)  Off to the freezer with them.  When I am ready to bake, I'll preheat the oven to 375, pop as many jars on a tray as we need OPENED and bake them about 45 minutes.  Run a thin knife around the edge when they are baked and they'll pop out!  Eat hot or cold, with a meal or a salad, there's nothing better than opening your freezer and finding......

Fresh out of the oven,

Run a knife around the edge and they pop out very easily!

With mashed potatoes, green beans and some gravy...

mmmmm, pie.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Making, Mixing and Kneading Fresh Pasta

Make a little pile of flour, this is 1 cup, make a well and drop in one egg, a little salt, a quick squirt of olive oil.  Stir until its too hard with a fork, then flip with your hands, then knead, then roll... Roll it thick, roll lit thin.  The link to using the pasta machine is :  I've rolled it out thin with  rolling pin loads of times, when you just use one egg and a little flour and you don't want to get the big machine out, cut the little ball in half, roll thin thin thin with loads of flour, roll up and slice.  Really, it's quick, easy and I can make a ball of dough in 3 minutes :)

I'm having technical trouble uploading videos so here is the link to my youtube video of the pasta process.

my YouTube video making pasta

go make pasta :)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Homemade PASTA!

I had a hankering.  Home school is fun, exciting and challenging.  It's the best decision we could have made for Connor.  I'll be honest, I am sort of feeling run down.  We have chickens now too, 2 wk old chicks to be exact. I had a hankering for pasta and I didn't feel like vacuuming the stairs (ya, the connection worked in my head) so I figured I'd make some pasta for lunch for Connor and I.

In a bowl combine

1 cup of all purpose flour,
a little salt  (1-1/2 tsp kosher)
a drizzle of olive oil
2 eggs (I used extra large)

Mix with your fingers until you can knead it.  Knead until smooth, 2-4 minutes, easy. Keep your board floured so it doesn't stick.

When it's a smooth ball, let it rest a few minutes.

Run it through a pasta machine, start on 1, the widest setting until it's very smooth then increase one number per roll.  Lightly dusting between rolls.  I went to #6.  If you don't have a pasta machine, just roll it with a rolling pin thin thin thin.  I have cutting bars on my machine but don't use them, I like cutting by hand.  Roll, stack, cut, toss with flour and leave to dry until you want to eat it.  You can cut it as wide or thick as you'd like,  just leave them uncut to use in lasagna or any layered or rolled pasta!!  I leave mine on the board, dusted with flour, uncovered until I'm ready to eat it.

Boil in heavily salted water about 1-2 minutes.  Toss with a little olive oil, butter, pepper and fresh herbs.

Perfection.  Here's the beauty shots:


Bring a big pot of water, heavily salted, to a boil, throw in pasta (this is one of the piles) Put a pat of butter, a little cream, a little chicken stock and some pepper in a pan beside the pasta. Stir the pasta quickly, this is the pasta at 1 minute!  It's done in 2 minutes.

Ahhh, cook for a few moments...lift out of the water and into the waiting pan...toss it around on relatively high heat to allow the sauce to reduce a bit and the pasta to absorb all that yummy goodness.

Toss in more pepper, more cheese and some fresh herbs, toss it just a moment longer.  Tip into a serving dish, grab 2 forks and sit with your son and talk about fresh pasta, sustainability and enjoy.

It takes 5 minutes to make, 5 minutes to cook and you'll never be able to cope with store bought pasta again :)