Pie Crust

David and I are sharing Thanksgiving with friends in Ft. Collins this year and I wanted to make a pie. I have made a couple – a caramel pumpkin and a chocolate bourbon pecan. I made two crusts with these pies – one 50/50 (shortening and butter) and one all butter crust. I admit that I think that the 50/50 crust turned out better, so I am putting it here so that I can remember it. I got it from this recipe from the American Pie Council (who hosts recipes of good pie makers – of course…).


1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking powder
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, in 8 pieces
4 Tbsp. vegetable shortening, cold
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1/4 c. water, cold

1. Mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse in the butter until the pieces are the size of large beans. Pulse in the shortening until mixture resembles coarse wet sand and there are no pieces larger than peas.
2. Add the vinegar to the water. Pulse in the water mixture until incorporated but before a dough ball forms.
3. Remove the dough from the processor and pat into a 4-inch disc on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (On my first time making this crust, I put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes).
4. Roll out the pie dough out to a circle large enough to fill a 9-1/2 inch deep-dish pie pan. Line the pan with the rolled crust and crimp the edges as desired. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F.
5. Line the dough with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake for 18 minutes.
6. After 18 minutes of baking, remove the weights and parchment. Continue baking until the crust is golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more.


Rosemary-Bacon Sweet Potato Biscuits.

we’ve made this a trillion times for breakfast. it’s based on the recipe here, which is great, but we’ve simplified and also quadrupled it in our own fashion.

4 sweet potato
4 slices bacon
1 tbsp dried rosemary
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp (ish) almond meal

1) heat the oven to 400. wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and pierce, then bake for 70-80 minutes; you want them to be soft by the end. take them out and let them cool. if you are going to make the biscuits right away, you can lower the temp to 375 here.

2) while the potatoes cool, dice the bacon and fry it good.

3) empty the sweet potatoes into a big mixing bowl; discard the skins. add the diced bacon along some of the rendered fat – maybe about half of what is in the pan.

4) mix the sweet potatoes with bacon fat and bacon; add all the other ingredients and mix well. the mixture should be smooth but not overly runny – it should hold its shape on a spoon reasonably well. (i used to use 4 eggs, but i think 3 helps this better. also, you can add more or less almond meal to help with the texture here).

5) using a big spoon, form your biscuits on two sil-pats on baking sheets. bake in the oven for 25 minutes, switching racks halfway through.

6) let cool and eat! this makes a LOT of biscuits, and i think freezing some is what we’ll try next time.

Mussels with Beer and Bacon.

mussels are the awesomest. and this easy way to prepare them, taken from here, is very easy and very solid.

4 strips of bacon, diced
1-2 large shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
3/4 cup new belgium trippel
2 lbs. fresh mussels, beards removed
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
optional parsley

1) in a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp, then remove and set aside.

2) cook the shallots and garlic in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes, until shallots are soft and garlic begins to brown.

3) add the thyme and beer, scraping the bottom of the pan. as the beer begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium low, add mussels, and cover.

4) after about 5 minutes, remove the lid and take out any mussels that have opened. then cover for about five more minutes, and do the same. toss the closed mussels.

5) whisk the mustard into the beer, then add salt and pepper to taste. then toss the sauce over the mussels with the bacon and parsley, if using it.

6) eat! and get some bread – a good-sized baguette – to soak up the cooking liquid.

Orange Cake.

gluten free, paleo, totes fantastic. i saw this thing on the internet, with this simple recipe catching my eye. whole oranges? so few ingredients? what’s the deal? the deal is that this is an amazing dessert. PERIOD.

2 oranges
4 eggs
2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup honey (or agave)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 oz. chocolate (for topping)

preheat oven to 375.

1) boil the oranges for 90 minutes or so, until they are tender.
2) drop the oranges, peel and all, into your food processor, and blend very well.
3) add in eggs, honey, and almond meal, processing smoothly each time.
4) and in salt and baking soda.
5) pour into a 9-inch greased cake pan, and bake for 50 minutes – toothpick should come out clean, obv. this can also make between 1 and 2 dozen cupcakes, which should bake for only 25-30 minutes.
6) if you want, melt down than chocolate and throw it on top as a ganache, you know?

Coconut Milk Ice Cream.

ice cream is awesome. but finding a version that is awesome and paleo-friendly?

well, these guys have a pretty brilliant base on their site, and we are officially down with it. here’s our version:

2 cans coconut milk (full fat please)
1 packet gelatin
1 cup maple syrup
6 egg yolks
3 tbsp unsalted butter

1 – reduce the maple syrup over medium heat by about half.
2 – pour coconut milk in a large pot. sprinkle gelatin on top, let sit for a minute, then whisk thoroughly. turn heat to medium, add in the maple syrup with a pinch of salt. heat until not quite simmering.
3 – while the mixture is warming, beat the 6 egg yolks very well. when the coconut milk mixture is warm, slowly whisk in the egg mixture. don’t let the yolks cook!
4 – add the butter, again whisking well.
5 – over medium/low heat, blend with an immersion blender for about 5 minutes. this is supposed to improve the texture.
6 – let the mixture chill for several hours, then toss in the ol’ ice cream maker.

one particular version we just made added the following when the ice cream went into the machine:
3 oz. mini chocolate chips
2 oz. sliced almonds
1/2 cup almond butter

this ice cream is sweet and has a wonderfully satisfying texture. it does have a coconut taste to it, but i don’t think that bothers either of us. super effective!

Sweet Potato Spinach Turkey Burgers.

we just discovered these from here, and they are pretty sensational. here’s sort of where we’re at with it:

3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 green onions, diced
2 cups spinach, diced (i think i used about 1/3 to 1/2 of a bunch)
1 med. sweet potato, shredded in your food processor
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried rosemary
1-2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp almond flour (plus whatever else you might need to add)

1) fry the diced bacon in a big saucepan, then remove with slotted spoon.

2) saute the onion in the fat until transparent. then add the shredded sweet potato and cook, stirring regularly, for about 20 minutes or so.

3) while that happens, chop the spinach finely.

4) when the potatoes have cooked enough, mix all the ingredients together. i used an extra egg when i made it, because i felt the mixture didn’t hold together enough. i also probably added some almond flour too.

5) cook dem burgers. i baked in the oven on silpats, probably 8 minutes per side at 400 or so. carla is frying them on the stove with some oil, which also works. then eat and they are delicious.

Maple and Chocolate-Bacon Crunch Ice Cream

I wanted some ice cream, and I have had some regular ol’ Ben and Jerry’s but I wanted to start working on finding ice cream that fit my lifestyle, that is dairy free. So, I went looking around and I found this. It’s delicious, rich, and with a nice salty crunch anytime you get a piece of bacon.

* You will need an ice cream maker.


4 cups full fat coconut milk
1 pack gelatin
1 cup maple syrup
6 egg yolks
3 tbsp unsalted butter
Pinch salt
4 pieces of thick cut bacon
3-4 ounces Dark Chocolate (72%)


1. In a small sauce pan, reduce the maple syrup by about half over medium heat. Set aside.

2. Pour coconut milk in a medium sauce pan and sprinkle gelatin on top WITHOUT stirring. Let sit for 1 minute and then whisk in. Turn the stove on medium and then whisk in the reduced maple syrup and pinch of salt. Lightly simmer the mixture until just before boiling.

3. Then in a mixing bowl off to the side, beat the egg yolks until light in color. (Not sure what to do with the leftover egg whites? Freeze them individually in an ice cube tray and then store for later use.)

4. Slowly temper the eggs with the hot maple cream mixture. Add the butter and then either return back to the stove and whisk for 5 minutes OR Vitamix that shizz for 5 minutes. I think blending it makes it lighter and silkier.

5. Remove from stove and bring to room temperature before chilling for at least 6 hours or overnight. You want it to be plenty cold before churning in the icecream maker.

6. Prior to churning, fry up 4 pieces of bacon until crisp but not burnt. If you cook the bacon in a microwave it will produce a dryer, crispier bacon that works better for this type of recipe. So if you own a microwave, use it, but it isn’t necessary.

7. Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper.

8. Melt chocolate using a double boiler and then dip bacon strips in it. (I trimmed off any excess rubbery fat from my jerky-like bacon before coating with chocolate.) Lay on baking sheet.

9. Chill for 15 minutes and then cut into small bite-sized pieces.

10. Follow the directions of your icecream maker and churn the maple ice cream. Throw in the chocolate bacon pieces towards the end of churning.

11. Pack into pints or an airtight container and freeze before serving.