Monday, May 28, 2012

How to make an easy dessert - Triple Berry Pie

Memorial Day kicks off the official start of Summer!  Outdoor activities, parties and cookouts – that is what I love about Summer.  Here in Indianapolis the Memorial Weekend always starts out on the Friday before with the 500 Festival Memorial Service on Monument Circle to honor our fallen soldiers.  Usually I am working this day, but a couple of years ago my friends from Oregon were in town for the race and I was able to take the day off.  Being that they both are in the National Guard, they wanted to make sure that we all took the time to attend the Memorial Service.  It was such a moving experience especially with the military funeral Cortège and the ceremonial flyover that one could not help but be touched emotionally.  So now if I cannot get the time off, I at least listen to the service on the radio.

Gov. Daniels speaking to the crowd at the 500 Festival Memorial Service
It almost seems like a tradition to have a cookout this weekend, so with friends in town we decided to have an all out Back Home Again in Indiana party.  We had the standards; hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken and all the side dishes including corn on the cob (see my 5/14/12 posting).  With all this food we could not skip the dessert – that would be unAmerican!  When having a cookout, you can have something as simple as watermelon slices or you can get more elaborate and make homemade banana pudding – Yum!  My favorite is a very simple berry pie recipe – easy to make and always wows my guests.  A nice light and cool dessert for those hot Summer days.
Above the Triple Berry Pie is my creation wtih
Peaches, Mandarin Oranges & Strawberries

My first encounter with this pie was back home in Michigan – My parents were having a cookout and Mom had this Triple Berry Pie for dessert.  We all were complimenting on how great this pie was.  I thought that Mom bought the pie from work (she worked for Elias Brothers Big Boy restaurant) which she often did.  When I asked her about the pie I was surprised to find out she made it herself.  So of course I had to have this recipe and was amazed to find out that it only took minutes to prepare. 
Triple Berry Pie
·         1 ½ cups of raspberries
·         1 ½ cups of strawberries (sliced)
·         1 cup of blueberries
·         1   3 oz. package of Strawberry flavored gelatin mix
·         1 baked pastry shell or pre-made graham cracker pie shell
·         ¾ cup sugar
·         3 tablespoons of cornstarch
·         1 ½ cups water
·         Cool Whip or your favorite whipped topping

Place berries (or other fruit) in a medium bowl and place in the refrigerator.  Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a medium sauce pan.  Gradually stir in the water until smooth.  Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for one (1) minute – the mixture will thicken and get semi-clear.  Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until it is completely dissolved.  Pour gelatin mixture into the bowl containing the berries.  Once berries and gelatin mixture are combined, pour into your pie shell and refrigerate.  Once pie has set, slice and serve with your favorite whipped topping.

You don’t have to wait until berries are in season to enjoy this recipe – you can substitute frozen berries with the fresh – you just need to thaw it a little.  The colder the fruit mixture the quicker the pie sets.  I have even gotten adventurous and used different varieties of berries and fruit with different flavors of Jell-O.  I have often used orange gelatin with frozen peaches and mandarin oranges, so don’t be afraid to mix it up a little.  Use flavor combinations that appeal to your taste buds.  I have taken these pies to many potlucks and dinner events and they are always a hit.  Drop me a note and let me know what you have come up with yourself.

Until next time – Keep your Foodie Fluids Flowing, and AG Me On!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Corn on the Cob – Grilled or Boiled?

I grew up in a home that the only way you cooked corn on the cob was on the stove in boiling water.  It wasn’t until I moved down here to Indiana that I first enjoyed a cob of corn fresh off the grill – it was the best and I won’t fix it any other way to this day.  Now those of you following my blog know that both my gas oven & grill have decided to call it quits.  I have not yet had the repairman over to look at the oven, but I did manage to get out and purchase a new grill.  We decided to downsize, only 3 burners this time and no side burner – I never used it anyway.  So with Summer just around the corner and this being RACE Month, I decided to share with you a unique way of preparing this famous picnic side dish – the Corn on the Cob.

Trying to come up with a unique way to prepare this Indiana favorite food, I remembered a visit we made to a friend of ours out in Oregon.  Amy (our friend) was very anxious to show us her new hometown of Hood River, Oregon.  It is a small community on the Gorge that is very conscious of sustaining the environment and as any community, loves it festivals and town celebrations.  It was during one of these celebrations that Amy introduced us to a new way of eating corn on the cob – with chili powder and crème fresh.  It was out of this world – spicy, creamy and crunchy all at the same time.  It was great trip, and we loved all the new food experiences we had.

Getting back to the blog…I remembered seeing a Paula Deen show with her using chili powder on grilled corn.  So I searched it out and not only found that recipe, but also one with BACON.  Now my mouth is watering!  So I thought to myself, why can’t I have it all?  Just combine the two recipes into one.  Just as a T-shirt of mine says, “There is more than just corn in Indiana.  We have soybeans and hogs too!”  So I see no problem with me combining two of the three – corn & hogs (bacon that is).

Indiana’s Own – Corn on the Cob

You will need:
·         6 – 8 ears of corn
·         ½ Cup of Mayonnaise
·         1 Cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
·         Chili Powder
·         1 Pound of Bacon
·         Ground Pepper

You can do this either of two ways – In the husk or wrapped in aluminum foil. 

Preheat your grill to about 350°F.  Gently pull back the husk exposing the corn – if you are using foil, remove husks.  Remove the corn silk – use a small brush to make sure all the silk is removed.  Soak the corn with the husks in cold water for about 30 minutes.  Those using foil can skip to the next step.  Now using a basting brush – brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on the corn.  Next, sprinkle with the Parmesan Cheese, Chili Powder and Pepper.  Then wrap a piece of bacon around the corn.  Now either fold back the husks, covering the corn and secure with butcher string or wrap each cob in aluminum foil.  Cooking times will vary depending on your methods – Husks about 15 to 20 minutes; Foil about 10 - 15 minutes.  Either way turn occasionally until bacon is cooked and the corn is tender.  
Note: I used those small frozen cobbets – I just made sure that they were thawed before I started to prepare them.

Well, I have let you know that my preference in cooking Corn on the Cob is on the grill – now you let me know how you like your corn best; Grilled or Boiled?  If you said boiled I believe this recipe will change your mind.  Get out this coming weekend and treat yourself to this outrageous Corn on the Cob. 

Until next time – Keep your Foodie Fluids Flowing, and AG Me On!