DSC_0041

The summers in Maine are beautiful, but short. We try to stay outside as much as possible and soak up as much sun as we can. While we love fruit salads and ice cream, a good pie that utilizes all of the fresh berries is always appreciated in my household. The problem is, who wants to turn on their oven? I decided to try grilling the pie instead. I wanted something that was deep like a traditional pie so I wanted to use it in the skillet. Plus, the skillet is relatively easy to transport if we go to a cookout somewhere else.

DSC_0026

It took a few tries to get the right crust that wouldn’t burn or be too thick, but my family did not mind all of the strawberry pies that were created during this process! This grilled skillet pie was even more delicious since it didn’t heat up the house and you could smell it all across the backyard as we played outside!

So, grab your skillet and a batch of strawberries (or any other berry you prefer) and hit the grill. This pie will make you re-consider your favorite grilled recipe!

DSC_0036

Grilled Skillet Strawberry Pie

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 12 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz Smart Balance Original Spread, cold and in small pieces
  • 2 to 4 oz cold water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Smart Balance Cooking Spray
  • Sanding or finishing sugar for optional dusting on top

For the filling:

  • 2 lbs strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch

Combine flour and butter in a large mixing bowl using your hands and fingers until you have pea-sized chunks. Gradually, add just enough water and the salt until combined and the dough forms. Don’t overwork or the dough will become tough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until ready to roll.

In a large bowl, gently mix strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Pre-heat grill to 400F. If you can, use only the front and back burners as this will create air flow like a convection oven.

Lightly spray a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray.

Roll out the pie dough and lay it in the skillet, leaving the excess crust hang off the sides for now. Spoon strawberry filling onto pie crust and lightly spread it to cover the entire crust. Do not spread it out too evenly or pat it down. Fold over excess pie crust over the strawberries. Sprinkle finishing sugar on top of crust if desired.

Grill for about 25 minutes or until filling has started bubbling. The crust will not brown on the grill. Make sure not to open the grill cover until close to the end to check, otherwise you will lose all of the heat and it will not bake properly. Also try and keep the grill temperature around 400F.

Remove from grill and let set for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 8 to 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Source: The Way to His Heart

Shrimp Salad

DSC_0211

Lunch time has always been my favorite meal of the day. Whether it be a big lunch where I’ll only have a snack at dinner time or something light, I just always seem to enjoy lunch. Maybe it’s because I don’t typically feed the whole family the same thing. We each have something we like. When it comes to preparing my own lunch, I just scan the counter and refrigerator, grab a few items, and start whipping something up. In the summer, I like to incorporate a lot of seafood into my diet, along with fresh produce. Something simple like this Shrimp Salad, can be whipped up in just a few minutes, but feels like a treat rather than slapping some cold cuts on to some bread. The process of preparing it is more fun to me as well, slicing and dicing and enjoying the aromatics of the shallot and lemon. The flavors will become stronger if you let this salad sit, so keep that in mind as you season!

2014-05-08 12.52.39

Shrimp Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs  large shrimp, 31/35
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp finely diced shallot
  • 1 cup Smart Balance mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a large pot of water, boil shrimp until cooked. Remove from heat just after they turn pink otherwise you risk over cooking. Rinse shrimp with cold water and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Combine celery, bell pepper, and shallot, in a large bowl. Peel and devein shrimp and add to bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir mayonnaise and vinegar. Add mayonnaise mixture to diced vegetables and shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Let stand for one hour in refrigerator. Serve over a bed of lettuce or a croissant.

Yields approximately 6 cups

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Source: The Way to His Heart

BdayCollage1

My sweet daughter, Caroline, turned 4 on April 4th and she wanted a princess party. We narrowed it down a bit and focused on Rapunzel. Her birthday celebration usually spans a couple of days because we do a small family dinner out and we come home for cake on her actual birthday. Then, we have her party. This year was different since she is in school and she wanted to celebrate there too. So, I was quite busy preparing goodies for three days of celebrations! With the help of my husband we managed to get it all done and give her a birthday she wont forget!

BdayCollage3

I am usually a “do it all myself” kind of person and love to get creative when hosting parties but this year I wanted to turn it down a notch since George was only 4 months old. Caroline has inherited my gusto for party planning and wanted to do lots of crafts. My husband, surprisingly, still wanted to tackle a fun party cake for her as well. So, we compromised and I’m really happy with the results. I bought more than I typically do from the party store, but we also did some fun homemade items. The birthday girl wore a Rapunzel shirt that was homemade. I assembled the castle flags with some felt, paint, and yarn. The Flynn Rider signs were printed and posted throughout the house and Rapunzel’s hair, made out of yellow plastic tablecloths, were draped outside and throughout the house! I also taped a very large drawing surface on the wall for the kids to color. Rapunzel paints in the movie, but I wasn’t letting four-year-olds loose with paints! The kids really loved this and it was great for the few down times of the party. The kids also played “Pin the Pascal on Rapunzel,” “Tangled” where they were given crepe paper and told to wrap their partner up in it and whomever used all of their up and tangled their partner first, won.

My husband and I have teamed up to make Caroline’s cakes since her Puppy Cake from her second birthday. We do it in stages to make life a little easier. Soon, I’ll create a post showing how I made the Rapunzel Tower Cake and give you an idea how we go about the process.

BdayCollage2

 

The Menu

Apples for Maximus

Pascal’s Colorful Veggies with Ranch Dressing

Flynn Rider’s Fruits

Chips, Braided Pretzels, and Goldfish

Mother Gothel’s Onion Dip

Tortilla Chips and Queso

Rapunzel’s Braided Pizzas ~ Pepperoni, Cheese & Sauce, and plain Cheese

Apple Jalapeno Meatballs

The Snuggly Ducklings Fruit Punch

Rapunzel Tower Cake ~ Chocolate Cake, Yellow Cake, Buttercream, Marshmallow Fondant

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Ben’s Chocolate Ice Cream

Cake Pops

 

 Resources

Food Tag Images by Krown Kreations

Rapunzel Cupcake Inspiration – Delicious Meliscious

Tower Cake Inspiration – “words, pictures & cake…”

Rapunzel T-shirt inspired by “Made by me, Shared with You”

and many ideas and inspirations from Pinterest

 

Red, White & Blueberry Fruit Salad

DSC_0074

I can’t believe the 4th of July is already around the corner, but it is and summer is in full force now. Whether you’re headed to a big barbecue or having something smaller at home, this fruit salad is the perfect festive dessert. Nothing beats a fresh fruit salad after a hearty barbecue. The fruit is in season and ripe and the colors are just so beautiful. The fruit salad is tossed with citrus and honey that yields a hint of sweet without overwhelming the berries and apples. If you can find them, adding some star fruit makes this dish even more festive for the 4th. You can also exchange the apples for some sliced bananas without sacrificing your “white” portion of the salad.

Red, White & Blueberry Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 3 cups fresh blueberry
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, and mint. Add all of the fruit and toss to combine. Let the fruit salad set for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Serves 8

Source: Family Fun Magazine