Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shaker Citrus Pie

Ok, I need another cookbook like a hole in the head, but I had to buy Martha Stewart's new Pie and Tart book. And since I recently tasted a Shaker lemon pie from Natalie at Bike Basket Pies, I really wanted to make one. Three cheers for Martha for putting the exact recipe from the book online here.

What makes this pie unusual is that it uses whole lemons and oranges- including the peel! They are thinly sliced and macerated with sugar overnight. This recipe only had a bottom crust with the gorgeous open top.The first time I made this I used a knife which made the slices too thick. The second time I used a mandoline but it kind of shredded my slices or made them so paper thin that they broke when tossed with sugar. This was fine for the interior but I wanted the intact ones for the top so I went back to the knife for those slices. Sadly, I wasted a few lemons and oranges figuring this out!

And the result was a beautiful pie with a custardy center that had terrific citrus flavor and unusual texture.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Cocktail by the Lake- Yes, Please!

It was a date by the lake! One cheerful Sunday afternoon, we ventured out to Lake Chalet on Lake Merritt in Oakland for happy hour. This charming restaurant faces the lake and it's original core structure was a pumping station built in 1909.
I enjoyed a ginger cosmopolitan, a refreshing twist on one of my favorite cocktails, and we shared a few items from the happy hour list, most notably, the ahi tuna poke ceviche and the beer battered onion rings. Because of the clear blue sky and sunshine, we forgot our jackets and therefore sat at the marble bar with a view of the lake. We'll be back for another happy hour-perhaps outside on the water on a warmer day.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fresh Pizza For Lenten Friday- It's Vegetarian!

It's the Lenten season and on Fridays as Catholics we are not eating any meat. This quick and easy pizza is full of flavor and you won't miss the meat. You will also notice that it is sans sauce...which I think let's the ingredients shine. We made this pizza for a Friday meal and using Trader Joe's whole wheat dough from the refrigerated section, it was not only flavorful and homemade but really fast.

We piled it high with our favorite toppings:
• fresh mozzarella ( although dried might make the pizza less soggy)
• sliced heirloom tomatoes
• fresh basil
• goat cheese
• olives

With a little polenta dusted on the bottom, it went into the oven on the pizza stone at 425F.

The results...fresh flavors, gooey cheese and a delicious crust you won't leave behind.