Slab Pie

At some point in July, I recalled that I’d read once about a flat pie. Not a galette or a free-form, open-pie. A large, flat, double-crusted pie that was perfect for sharing with a large group of people, without a high ridge of crust along the edge that I can never get through since there’s never enough filling to go along with it.

The internet confirmed what I remembered. Slab pies do indeed exist! I’d bought blackberries on a whim, since they were at a great price, but eating a few reminded me that I still don’t like blackberries that much on their own, even if I do have relatively good fruit. They were definitely destined for pie.

I settled on the Slab Pie recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve made 2 versions of it – one with blackberries, cherries, and blueberries, and the other with peaches and blueberries. The berry one was fine, but peach-blueberry won by a large margin in my book. I also made a margarine crust (pictured below), and a butter crust. Definitely go with a butter crust.

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Jacked Up Banana Bread

For Bread Week 26, I revisited a recipe that I’ve made several times but just have never gotten around to writing about it. Each time we have overripe bananas, I try this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for banana bread, and each time, I give myself a pass on writing it.

I’ve usually turned this recipe into banana muffins, but I don’t recall how long I baked them for. This time, I went with a regular loaf.

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Gluten-Free Banana Bread with Coconut and Flax

Earlier this week we had some old bananas sitting around, which made Banana Bread with Coconut and Flax a very convenient bread to bake for Bread Week 21. I wish I could tell you that I make banana bread because it’s amazingly delicious, healthy, and exciting. But unfortunately, banana bread is not that exciting to me. I usually make it because it is easy and the bananas are there, waiting to be used, or else. (Don’t we all?) But, banana bread certainly does make for a good enough PB&J (or toast for chocolate peanut butter) and so I sometimes enjoy having it around for breakfast and lunch. This one had the added benefit of having flax meal (added fiber) and coconut (added flavor and texture).

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Gluten-Free Banana Bread

For Bread Week 18, I decided to make a gluten-free banana bread – specifically, this one that took both oats and almond meal in addition to some gluten-free flour. I’m glad I did. This was a delicious, hearty loaf that should work well with wheat flour if you didn’t want it gluten-free.

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Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Bread, Week 16: I’ve always wanted to make Hot Cross Buns, but never have. In fact, I’ve never eaten one. I came across a recipe for them in a gluten-free baking book I’ve been reading through. I debated whether or not I should make them for a little while, before deciding that I should go for it, even though it’s a gluten-free recipe and I’d never tried them before. After all, this way I get to share Hot Cross Buns with you before Easter!

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Peach Bellinis and Strawberry Bellinis

For my close friend Jen’s wedding shower last August, I made peach and strawberry bellinis in addition to classic mimosas. Preparing for the mimosa and bellini bar was fun. Jen and I tried out the sparkling wine in mimosas, verifying the correct OJ to champagne ratio, and  Alex and I got to try several different variants of bellini mixes at home. We did rigorous taste testing of 3 different strawberry bellini recipes. Below are the versions that we chose.

What happens when you decide your wine fridge needs to be prepared
What happens when you decide your wine fridge needs to be prepared

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Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

Bread, Week 10: I wasn’t sure what to bake this week. I was out of town over the weekend so I had no time to make yeast bread. I didn’t have ingredients (mostly bananas) for other bread recipes I had bookmarked. This Applesauce Oatmeal Bread recipe was perfect because I had everything available to make it. I wish I could tell you I had a burning desire for an autumn bread after the additional snow we got during the first weekend of March, but no! Convenience was the sole reason I made it, but I was happy with the results.

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Fresh Apple Cinnamon Scones

Last Sunday I woke up early for a change. I tried in vain to go back to sleep, but when I couldn’t, I decided I might as well make something for breakfast that I normally wouldn’t have the time or patience for. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything planned, and didn’t want to waste too much time searching for something to make. I found the recipe for Fresh Apple Cinnamon Scones, which called for freezing unbaked scones for 30 minutes before baking them to firm up the dough, re-chill the butter, and relax any gluten that formed. I decided to go ahead and try the recipe, since I had both the time and the apples it called for. I’m glad I did.

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Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

Last weekend I decided to use up the remainder of my bag of fresh cranberries by making breakfast – specifically this Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake recipe. I’m glad that I did. It wasn’t difficult to make. The coffee cake was a delicious breakfast and made a great snack for us during the week, too.

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake
Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

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Fresh Cranberry and Lemon Scones

For breakfast on New Year’s morning, I made fresh cranberry scones. I bought a bag of cranberries a little while ago thinking I would use them, but I hadn’t needed them after all. I’d seen this Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scone recipe a while ago and decided to finally make it. A bright and flavorful breakfast sounded like a perfect way to start off 2014 right.

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