Category: Fundamentals

Easy Pie Crust Recipe & Tutorial – VIDEO and Photos with Step by Step Instructions

We’re sharing a tutorial to make the easiest, flakiest pie crust recipe ever, with pictures and a video to help you master the technique to get it done!  NO chilling, NO blind-baking, NO drama – just perfect pie!

We're sharing a tutorial to make the easiest, flakiest pie crust recipe ever, with pictures and a video to help you master the technique to get it done! NO chilling, NO blind-baking, NO drama - just perfect pie!

Pie crusts. They seem basic, but when it comes to common baked goods, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that inspires such fear and intimidation in the hearts of both novice and experienced bakers.  Sure, croissants and wedding cakes carry their own high stakes, but your average baker isn’t usually trying to whip those up on a Sunday afternoon.  Pies, on the other hand, are ubiquitous, but they can also be strangely challenging.  As a result, a lot of home cooks find it’s easier to buy a pre-made crust, then focus their efforts on a delicious filling.  Homemade crust is not worth they effort, they say.

But they ARE!  I promise, they are!  The problem is that most people haven’t learned a good pie-crust-making technique.  I’ve found that it’s very hard to learn how to roll out a successful pie crust by reading about it.  This is one of those activities that you really need to learn by watching.

I was lucky enough to have a mom who was a fabulous pie-baker.  In fact, I was spoiled.  A store-bought pie crust never crossed the threshhold.  And when I was just a wee tot – okay, maybe when I was 11 – my mom started teaching me how to make a pie.  She was a very patient instructor, showing me how to mix the dough and how to roll it out, and then making me copy her movements.  I’ll admit, it was intimidating for me at first, even with my mom’s watchful eye.  (I would’ve HATED to ruin dessert!)  But over the years and many, many pies, I realized her technique was about as fool-proof as a pie crust recipe could get.  Not only was it simple, but it yielded an incredibly flaky, flavorful crust that beats any store-bought pie crust, any day of the week.We're sharing a tutorial to make the easiest, flakiest pie crust recipe ever, with pictures and a video to help you master the technique to get it done! NO chilling, NO blind-baking, NO drama - just perfect pie!

(more…)

Soft Pretzel Rolls

Soft Pretzel Rolls are flavorful and satisfying in so many recipes – sandwiches, bratwurst, burgers – or just eaten on their own!  The soft and chewy texture can’t be beat.
Soft Pretzel Rolls are flavorful and satisfying in so many recipes - sandwiches, bratwurst, burgers - or just eaten on their own! The soft and chewy texture can't be beat.

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE RECIPE

Let’s talk buns, hun.

While some see them as a mere transportation platform for a burger, sandwich, or bratwurst, I would argue that they are integral part of the eating experience. For example, who would want a nice, juicy cheeseburger to fall to the floor because the thin, stale bun suffered catastrophic structural failure? And who hasn’t had the equally miserable experience of having to pry apart a sandwich just to make sure that yes, there really is half an ounce of turkey hidden between two loaves of bread. A good bun makes the whole thing better, and quite frankly, these soft pretzel rolls are good enough to eat all by themselves.Soft Pretzel Rolls are flavorful and satisfying in so many recipes - sandwiches, bratwurst, burgers - or just eaten on their own! The soft and chewy texture can't be beat.

(more…)

Charred Salsa Verde

Charred salsa verde: it’s salsa, but green!  And with more fire!Charred salsa verde: it's salsa, but green! And with more fire!So last week we introduced you to our beloved crispy carnitas tacos, and waxed poetic about our love for the crunchy bits. BUT there’s more to this love story. Because you know what couples beautifully with pork carnitas?

Salsa verde. Or even better?

CHARRED salsa verde!

…With the veggies cooked over the grill until toasty and delicious!  I don’t know what it is about food cooked over a fire, but it’s always like 10000% better than food cooked any other method, amiright?  Not to mention it’s a great way to pass the time while your carnitas gets crisp.  AND it’s easy easy easy.  Throw veggies on grill, take veggies off!

Charred salsa verde: it's salsa, but green! And with more fire! (more…)

Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

This easy, homemade barbecue sauce is savory, spicy, and perfect for your favorite grilled chicken, pulled pork, ribs…whatever sounds good today!This easy, homemade barbecue sauce is savory, spicy, and perfect for your favorite grilled chicken, pork, ribs...whatever sounds good today!When I was growing up, I didn’t know how good I had it.  (Isn’t that always the case?)

My mom and my dad made a fantastic barbecue tag team.  My dad tended the ribs on the grill, and my mom made an unbelievably delicious sauce.  This sauce was a secret family recipe…in that it was not written down.  As I learned when I left home and tried to recreate my mom’s recipes, these dishes are secret inasmuch as she does not use real measurement tools and never put anything on paper.  This barbecue sauce was no exception.

When, recently, I wanted to make my mom’s barbecue sauce for a grilled chicken recipe, she happily divulged the recipe, claiming it was no secret…it was just merely locked securely in her head with no prejudice towards sharing with the outside world.

And now I get to share this classic homemade barbecue sauce with you!

Now, the Fourth of July is coming up.  The entire nation is breaking out their grills and tongs and bbq-friendly beers.  Have you been searching for the right sauce? Has your mother been keeping it under wraps??  Give this one a shot!

This easy, homemade barbecue sauce is savory, spicy, and perfect for your favorite grilled chicken, pork, ribs...whatever sounds good today! (more…)

Grilled Pizza

Grilled pizza is the perfect summer meal, with an easy, crispy crust and whatever toppings make you happy!

Grilled pizza is the perfect summer meal, with an easy, crispy crust and whatever toppings make you happy!As you may have gathered in our previous post on cold brew coffee, it’s getting a bit hot and humid here in the Bayou City.  So in addition to planning our daily activities to minimize exposure to air-conditioning-free areas, we also try to cut back on our oven usage.  I mean, we still fire that baby up for pies and cookies, because a life without dessert is no life at all, but if we can cook it on the grill, we do (and once I figure out how to  grill cookies, I’ll share it with all of you).  Luckily, grilled pizza is just as good as oven baked, and just about as easy.

We usually make our own dough for pizza, and we’ve got a few recipes that we rotate through, but the one we are sharing today is easy and dependable.  If you are pressed for time, you can also get some pretty good dough from the likes of Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.  I like to make up a double batch, and then portion and freeze it, so that I only need to make it every month or two.  It’s not too much extra work (especially with a stand mixer doing the hard part).

Grilled pizza is the perfect summer meal, with an easy, crispy crust and whatever toppings make you happy!

(more…)