I post recipes here the way that I make them, so of course you should feel free to adapt these to what your family likes!
To make this blog user-friendly, I put tags for each major ingredient of each recipe, as well as for type of dish, and ethnicity, so you can go to the list on the side here (scroll down) and search for specific things.
If you like a recipe, please comment! If you have a yummy adaptation, please leave that in the comments as well!

Harvest [Bean] Pie

My husband is scared of this pie, but he confessed that if I hadn't told him it was made with beans, he would have thought it was a new variation on a pumpkin pie...it has the same spices and texture as a pumpkin pie, but less sugar and more protein. I also happen to like it a little better!

2 cups bean puree (recipe below)
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
9" pie shell (uncooked)

Prepare bean puree (it takes overnight)
In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add bean puree, milk, and evaporated milk. Stir until smooth. Add sugar and all spices. Stir until blended. Pour into unbaked shell. Bake 1 hour at 375* or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Serve chilled (it's good with whipped cream!)

Bean Puree
1 cup dried beans
water for soaking
2 1/2 c water
1 Tbs vegetable oil
Soak beans overnight, drain and combine remaining ingredients in a pan. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer until tender--1-1/2 hours. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Blend the beans with around half the liquid in a blender on medium speed (it will be about the consistency of pumpkin from a can). Makes about 2 cups.

Cream Cheese Pie

This is the pie that most of my family requests on their birthday (rather than a cake). Dad gets it layered with fresh raspberries for his summer birthday, the rest of us just take it straight up. It's got a bit of a lemony tang, it's richer than a cheesecake, and it's oh so good!

1 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (cooled if homemade)
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 graham cracker crust

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk and blend thoroughly. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla.
Pour into crust. Chill at least 3 hours (if you try to take a shortcut on this you will end up with 'pile' rather than pie, and trust me, it tastes great, but it's ugly!!)

Sweetened Condensed Milk

yup, you can make your own. It's not even hard!

1 cup sugar
4 Tbs butter
3/8 cup water
1 1/2 cup instant dry milk or heaping 1/2 cup non-instant

Combine sugar, water, and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly, then mix in dry milk (using beaters or a blender to make sure it's thoroughly mixed).
Refrigerate, covered, until needed

Self-Rising Flour

No need to buy it ever again!

1 cup regular flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

mix it up!!

I use self-rising flour, mixed with a little water, as the batter for onion rings and fried fish. My husband says I could give any English *chippy a run for his money

(*the guys who sell fish and chips on the corner)

Irish Stew

Irish stew is a simple yet hearty meal which will fill you up and warm your belly even after a long, cold, wet day in the fog or with the sheep ☺

1/2-1lb leftover lamb roast (beef works if you don't have lamb, but lamb is better!)
2 potatoes
2-3 carrots
1 onion
2-3Tbs garlic (or 1Tbs garlic powder)
salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and a bay leaf (I use a good sprinkle of each...amounts are very much up to you. I use lots of salt and thyme, and very little rosemary, because that's just what I like...)

Cut up the lamb, potatoes, carrots and onion into 1/2inch cubes. If the meat had leftover juices, those are the best base for the broth, however stock or bullion (lamb, beef, or vegetable) will suffice in a pinch. I put all the ingredients in a large pot, and add just enough water to cover them all. Stir around a bit, and then cover and cook on med-low heat until all veggies are soft, stirring occasionally. Once veggies are soft, remove lid and allow to simmer until you're ready to serve it. (With 1/2" chunks, my soup needed less than an hour to all be soft.)

I recommend serving it with warm biscuits, homemade bread, or rolls.

"Tasty Goodies"

You know how there's always just a little pie crust left over when you make a pie? No matter how many pies I make, I always seem to end up with scraps. Courtesy of my mother (a most frugal and also brilliant cook) I share an idea of what to do with those scraps! Mom called them "pastry goodies" but at least one of my little siblings mispronounced it as "tasty goodies" and the name stuck.

Take the leftover pie dough and moosh is together then roll it out.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, then cut into squares/triangles of around 2" across (we always end up with a lot of irregularly shaped pieces but of approximately the same size).
Place on a cookie sheet with a little space between them--they won't rise much, but will stick together if they are touching.
Bake (with the pie--whatever temperature that is) for about 8-10 minutes (check them, because thinner ones or higher temperatures will cook faster, so the bake time will vary from batch to batch).

Voila, tasty goodies!

Chocolate Bavarian Pie

Affectionately known as "Chocolate Barbarian Pie" when I was growing up, this delicacy has a mousse-like quality. It does have to chill for a while, but it's actually VERY easy to make.

(I confess that this particular one is in a purchased crust...I made three pies today because it's pie night, and I just didn't feel like doing a 4th!)

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 c cold water
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa
1 can evaporated milk
1 Tbs vanilla
graham cracker or cookie crumb pie crust

In 1 qt saucepan, soften gelatin in the water. Stir in sugar and cocoa.
Stir over medium heat until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved (about 5 minutes). Do NOT let it boil.
Take off heat, and stir in 1 c of the evaporated milk, then put in a medium size (2qt) bowl and chill until firm (at least 1 hour).
Remove from fridge, and slowly mix in the rest of the can of milk (about 2/3 c) plus the vanilla. Beat on low speed until the mixture is broken up, then beat on high speed until the mixture fills the bowl.
Allow to rest for a few minutes, then put in the pie crust and chill until firm--about 1 hour.

Pie Crust

I know most folks have a pie crust recipe someplace, but for the sake of convenience, I here share my favorites...
Obviously you can always go down and buy a crust, but it's really not that hard to make your own, and they taste SO much better!

I love grandma's pie crust. She got it from Betty Crocker or something, I don't know, but I adore it and it's the only crust I like. It must be good though because I get compliments on it!
1 1/2 c flour (I stick to plain white for this one)
1/2 t salt
1/2 c shortening, lard, or coconut oil (this is the only time I use shortening instead of butter, but it really does affect the texture) Coconut oil adds a lovely touch to a sweet pie such as pumpkin, custard, chocolate, or a fruit pie. I use lard for savory pies.
4-5 Tbs cold water
Blend the flour and salt, then cut in the shortening. Sprinkle in the water, 1Tbs at a time, mixing after each addition until the dough holds together. Let the dough rest for a few minutes before rolling out or pressing into the pan.
TIP: have all the ingredients as cold as possible. Also, handle the dough as little as possible--each time you re-roll it, moosh it, handle it, or get more flour into it it will get stiffer and less flaky. The secret to a flaky crust is to not touch it!
This recipe is supposed to make two 8" crusts, but I usually use deep-dish 9" pyrex pie dishes, so I get 1 crust plus some leftovers...I either do a lattice top or make pastry goodies.

Crush 11 crackers (1 package) into crumbs. Add 1/4 c sugar and 1/2 c melted butter. Stir well, then press into greased pan and chill. My grandma just throws everything (whole crackers even!) into her food processor and lets it whir for a few seconds. I do it the old fashioned way with a baggie and a rolling pin...whatever works for you!
This happens to also work really well with the chocolate graham crackers...

For more tips about pies, see this post of tips (it's linked on the sidebar too).

Homemade Noodles

These take a little bit of time, but are not difficult. If you have a pasta machine it's faster and easier (and the noodles come out prettier) but you can do it just rolled out on the counter as well.

makes enough for 3-4 people in a pasta dish, or 4-6 in soup
1 cup flour
1 beaten egg
a little water

Put the flour in a bowl, add the egg, and mix. The egg won't be quite enough liquid to make a dough, so add water about 1-2tsp at a time until dough all sticks together. (I usually need about 2-3Tbs of water, but it varies by the size of the egg, and whether I use wheat or white flour or a combination.)
The noodles will be pretty sticky, so use plenty of flour when you roll them out. The noodles will get bigger when cooking, so cut them thin and small.
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