Fresh Strawberry Pie

strawberry pie 3
I’ve had this pie recipe drafted to share for a few months, but am just now sharing it. While the peak of strawberry season has passed us, you can still find ripe and delicious strawberries for an affordable price this time of year.

As you should know, I’m quite the pie aficionado. I love it in all forms and in all seasons, but fruit pies are definitely my favorite. When it comes to fruit pies, I like them to taste as fresh as possible. Why use fresh fruit if you’re just going to make it taste canned? This recipe really hits the mark when it comes to tasting fresh, mostly because only half of the berries are cooked.
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Strawberries Summer Recipe Pie Julia Malinowski

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

Serves 6-8 (or 1 if you’re me)

2 pounds fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 unbaked pie crust
Optional: vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to top

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dice 1 pound berries or process in food processor until they reach a similarly chopped texture (my favorite shortcut).
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Scoop berries into a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Add sugar to the pan along with the lemon juice and stir to combine. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water. Pour into the strawberry mixture and stir vigorously. Cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes or until mixture thickens, making sure to stir frequently to prevent lumps. Check to make sure your sauce isn’t cloudy before you remove it from the heat, so you know that the cornstarch has fully cooked.
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While the sauce cools, place pie crust into 9″ or 10″ pie plate. Crimp the edges and then lightly prick the bottom and sides with fork about 30 times. Place a piece of foil inside the pie crust, lightly pressing around inside bottom edges of crust. Fill with dried beans (or pie weights if you have them) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove beans and foil. Return it to the oven and bake for 5 minutes until edges are golden brown. Note, you can reuse these beans. I store mine with my baking supplies in a little baggie marked pie beans.
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While the crust cooks, cut the remaining strawberries into halves and mix into your cooled sauce.
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Let your crust cool for a few minutes and then pour the strawberry mixture into your baked pie shell. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until the pie is set. Serve topped with whipped cream or with ice cream on the side.
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strawberry pie 2

The final product seconds before I attacked it with a fork. Plating a slice is for suckers.

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What’s your favorite summer time pie? I’m also a big fan of blackberry or boysenberry pies, but these varieties of berries are hard to find in this area. Someone in Seattle send me a care package of berries!
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XOXO,
Jules

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2016 Oscar Inspired Appetizers

The 2016 Oscar nominees were announced a few weeks ago and I’m getting excited for this year’s awards show. I still need to see most of the best picture nominees. I’m a procrastinator about things like that. The way this month’s schedule is panning out, I may end up just re-watching all eight trailers the night before. Whomp whomp.

Since we all can’t afford VIP tickets to Elton’s John’s Oscar party, I’ve always enjoyed planning themed appetizers and drinks for a slightly less glamorous at-home Academy Awards party. Themed parties are so much better than regular parties, am I right?
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Last year, Mil and I watched the festivities together while munching handfuls of truffle popcorn. This year, we’ll be in North Carolina, so I’m not sure how my plans will shake out. Whatever I end up doing, I can guarantee you that I’ll be going snack happy on this year’s round of Oscar inspired appetizers.
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2016 oscar party appetizer the big short movie

Bubble Bursting Meatball Bites

Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1 can flaky biscuits
10 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs (thawed)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded Italian four cheese blend
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
1-2 cups marinara sauce to serve

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Directions:
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Separate each biscuit in half, this should be easy thanks to all those flaky layers.

Cut thawed meatballs in half. Place 1 meatball half and a pinch of four cheese blend into the center of each biscuit. Wrap dough around it and seal edges to form a ball. Depending on how generous your pinches of cheese are, you may need a little more than a 1/2 cup.

Mix the Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder together in a cup or small bowl. Dip the tops of your biscuit balls into the seasoning mixture and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes or until nice and brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce.
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Recipe inspired by Joyful Scribblings

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2016 oscar party appetizer beef carpaccio recipe academy awards

Hugh’s Beef Carpaccio

Serves 3

Ingredients
1 (12-ounce) piece beef tenderloin
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lightly packed fresh arugula
1 ounce good shaved Parmesan (none of that powdery stuff)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Optional: 1 tbsp chopped capers or kalamata olives
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Directions
Tie the beef tenderloin with kitchen twine to help it keep its shape, then freeze until frozen (this ensures that the center will stay rare when you cook it). Once frozen, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat. Remove the frozen beef from the freezer and rub all over with salt and pepper. Add beef to your hot skillet and sear on all sides, about 4 minutes total. The beef should be seared on the outside but should remain rare on the inside. Freeze the beef again until it is almost frozen, about 1 hour, to make it easier to cut into thin slices. Using a large sharp carving knife, slice the beef as thinly as possible. Arrange the arugula and Parmesan shavings on a serving platter and lay the beef slices on top. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, adding capers and/or kalamata olives for an added pop of briny flavor. Serve with panache.

Recipe inspired by Giada De Laurentiis
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2016 oscar party appetizer the martian movie matt damon academy awards

Martian Mashed Potato Puffs

Makes 24 mini puffs

Ingredients
2 cups mashed potatoes
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup diced cooked bacon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream or Ranch dip to serve
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Directions: 
Heat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease a mini-muffin tin.

Whisk together the mashed potatoes, eggs, 3/4 cup cheese, green onions, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. If you want to go full on astronaut, use boxed mashed potatoes, otherwise make sure to prepare your potatoes ahead of time and let cool. If your mashed potatoes are too hot, the eggs will cook when you combine everything together.

Mound a spoonful of the mixture in each muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until your potato puffs are set and are nice and brown on top. Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then use a knife to gently pop them out. Serve immediately with a little dollop of sour cream or Ranch dip on top.

Recipe inspired by The Kitchn.
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The connection between The Big Short and the first recipe is pretty obvious. The other two recipes are based on moments in the movies themselves, so if you haven’t seen them, get on it!
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Here’s to happy eating and happy watching during this year’s Academy Awards!  Are you hosting or attending a get together this year? Note, if you’re hosting I always recommend doing a test run of any new recipes a week before the actual party. That way you’re stress free when it really counts. Plus more appetizers for you!
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XOXO,
Jules
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For more fun Oscar themed food and drink ideas, check out last year’s recipes:

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Photo sources: 1/2/3/4/5/6

 

Friday Favorites

Man oh man, what a week. I started this month with the best of intentions for a great January: exercise, healthy eating, and wearing big girl outfits to work. Of course all that went to the wayside by Tuesday at 6:00 pm. Hello hash browns for dinner with a side of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Skittles for dessert. No joke. And don’t even get me started on Alan Rickman… I’m looking forward to recovering with Mil tonight and then getting glammed up for the opening night of Marriage of Figaro tomorrow. Hope you have a good weekend and enjoy this week’s roundup.
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friday favorites julia malinowski recipes fashion food southbynorthwest.com
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1. Embroidery and cross-stitch are having a comeback. Get a head start on this up and coming trend by following these embroidery Instagram accounts. Trust me, they’re beautiful and much cooler than they sound!
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2. Sydney Loves Fashion is one of my favorite local fashion blogs. I particularly love her Seattle shopping guide series. This week she came out with her guide to Capitol Hill, a must visit neighborhood for all you out of towners.
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3. As alluded to above, I’ve been off my outfit game recently. I love the ideas from this Career Girl Daily article on How to be the Editor in Chief of Your Own Wardrobe. Keeping an editorial calendar is something I’m seriously considering. After I moved towards a seasonal capsule wardrobe, I’ve found myself wearing the same four outfits on repeat.
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4. Online dating is a mystery to me. I somehow bypassed the phenomenon of  Tinder, Match, and OkCupid. Everyone tells me I’m better off not knowing, but a very small part of me wonders what it’s like to puzzle through the question: how to dress for a Tinder first date?
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5. This recipe from How Sweet Eats is destined for Mil’s mouth: Cheese Enchiladas of My Dreams.

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XOXO,
Jules

Marzipan Christmas Cookies (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

marzipan cookies (4)
Christmas cookie season has begun. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year and its seasonal treats have a special place in my heart (and stomach). The only problem of course is not letting the sugar send you into the downward spiral that is the sugar binge. Classic iced holiday cookies are often so sweet that they immediately give you that sugar high jolt followed shortly by the inevitable crash. This year I’ve been testing out a few recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth without going overboard.

I’m half-German so when it comes to Christmas cookies I crave almond, anise, and molasses. One of my favorite recipes is the Bethmännchen marzipan cookie. Because of its almond base and mildly sweet flavor, it’s the perfect cookie to tweak with a healthy twist.
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Marzipan Christmas Cookies (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup almond flour (additional 2 tablespoons reserved)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 egg
1/4 cup sliced almonds
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DIRECTIONS

In a food processor, blend almond flour with maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Almond extract can be strong, so start by adding 1/4 teaspoon and bump it up from there. Blend until a thick paste is formed. This is your marzipan.
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Next, separate the egg and set the yolk aside. Toss the egg white into your processor along with the arrowroot powder and additional almond flour. Your cookie dough will be thick and a little sticky. If it’s too sticky, you can add an additional teaspoon or two of almond flour. Scoop the dough into plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour.
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Meanwhile preheat your oven to 275F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Once ready, take out your chilled dough and using your hands form it into small balls (about the size of a walnut). Using your hands, form little balls the size of a small walnuts and place them on the baking tray. It’s easier to roll balls if your hands are moistened. Place on baking tray; they don’t spread so you can crowd them fairly close.
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Mix your reserved egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water and brush it across the top of your cookies. Decorate with three sliced almonds and bake for about 25 minutes. If you want to be really traditional you can use blanched almond halves, but it won’t make or break the recipe. I underbake mine because I like to make sure the insides were still nice and soft.
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Once they’re done, let cool for a few minutes before taste testing. This recipe serves 2-4 people (the cookies are small so the definition of a serving size is open to interpretation).
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marzipan cookies (2)

All lined up on the baking tray. The nice thing about these cookies is that they don’t rise much or spread, so you can really pack them in on your baking sheet.

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marzipan cookies

I love how pretty and delicate they look. They’ll be the classiest cookie on the block.

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marzipan cookies (1)

They were the perfect accompaniment to my afternoon cup of earl grey tea.

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These cookies are great for parties, although make sure you at least double or triple the recipe. Most hosts I know try to get rid of leftover sweets when the night is over, but these are subtly sweet enough that he/she might just want to keep a few.

What is your favorite holiday cookie? Gingerbread? Chocolate anything? Mil’s signature is her rum balls. Also, has anyone been watching The Great Holiday Baking Show?
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XOXO,
Jules

 

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