Monday, June 24, 2013

Blueberry-Cheese Pie

Blueberry-Cheese Pie

9-inch Graham Cracker Crust (but as you can see, I used a traditional crust; a graham cracker crust will make this taste more like a cheesecake)

For the Cheese Custard:
8  oz  Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/3  Cup  Sugar
1  teaspoon Vanilla
2  Eggs

For the Berries:
2  Cups  Blueberries
1/2  Cup  Water
1/3  Cup  Sugar
1-1/2  Tablespoons  Cornstarch, mixed with 2 Tablespoons  Water

Preheat oven to 325.  If you are using a homemade graham cracker crust or pie shell, bake for 8 minutes.  Cool completely before filling.

For the Cheese Custard:
In a bowl, combine the Cream Cheese, Sugar, and Vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed and smooth.  Add Eggs and beat well.  Pour into the baked shell and bake until just set, 25-30 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.

For the Berries:
While the Custard is baking, combine the Blueberries, Water, and Sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes, stirring once.  Remove from heat and add Cornstarch and Water mixture.  Bring back to a boil and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Spoon Blueberries over the Custard.  Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

This is so good--the Blueberry flavor is so intense!   You can also substitute with other kinds of berries.

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold,...
But with the precious blood of Christ..."
I Peter 1:18a, 19a

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Pies & Tarts.

Monday, June 17, 2013

And Here's Another "Happy Birthday"

And here's another "Happy Birthday!"

Happy Birthday to two of the best sons I know of:

Birthday Breakfast before Church

What kind of a Birthday is it if you don't have cake?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting from Gourmet Mom on-the-Go.  The only change I made was to use two gluten-free cake mixes instead of one traditional cake mix.  The frosting was like eating Reece's Pieces candy.  Need I say more?

Blow, J, blow!

And this is Spiced Almond Poppyseed Cake with Almond Buttercream from Bake at 350.  I did add a layer of raspberry jam with the frosting between the layers.  Mmm-hmm!

Go, D, go!

"But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and forever.
II Peter 3:18

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And the Winner is....

The entries are ready for the paper bag....

Little One shakes it hard...

She pulls out the winner...

Big Sister opens it up...

And the Winner is...

Congratulations, Sheryl!  I can't wait to send you the reproduction Vintage Greeting Cards!

And Thank You to each of you who entered--you are each special to me!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Blueberry Cream Pie

Blueberry Cream Pie

Mix Together:
1  Cup  Sugar
5  Tablespoons Flour
in large mixing bowl.

Stir in:
1  Cup  Sour Cream
1  Cup  Milk
1-2  Cups  Blueberries (or berries of your choice--Raspberries, Blackberries, etc.)
and stir until well combined.  Pour into an un-baked 9-inch pie shell and bake at 350* for one hour.  Cool completely; store in refrigerator.  Serves 8.

My sister, my sister-in-law, and I, along with our 10 children (that's a combined 10--we don't each have 10 children!) went out to Blueberry Bluff to pick berries.  In a little more than two hours we had picked 165 pounds of berries!  I'm more than a little bummed that I forgot to take my camera...  If you're looking for an awesome place to go, I highly recommend Blueberry Bluff (you can google them for more info).  No, this is not a paid advertisement for them; they know me only as "the lady who lost her keys in the field."  My sister found them for me, praise the Lord!  I was more than a bit panicked.  That evening we had a Blueberry Pie Tasting:

 Blueberry Cream Pie ~ Grandma's Blueberry Pie ~ Blueberry Cheese Pie

"Great is the Lord,
and greatly to be praised in the city of our God,
in the mountain of His holiness...

For this God is our God forever and ever:
He will be our guide even unto death."
Psalm 48: 1 & 14

This recipe is from my friend Danita; she is the one who supplied the recipe for Ceasar Salad Dressing., which incidentally has been the most popular post on this blog; currently at 1,528 views.  I think you'll like this recipe, too.  Thank you, dear friend, for sharing! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

{Happy Birthday}, a Give-Away, and some ramblings...

Happy Birthday!

No, not to me, but to Gift of Simplicity!  Tomorrow, June 4, marks the second year of this blog!  In honor of this, I am doing my Very First Give-Away!

Do you like this Vintage Reproduction Postcard?

Or do you like this one?

Or how about this card?

Or what about this one?

Or better yet, how about One Dozen cards, three of each design?

I think the final option is the best, don't you?  (I hope so, because that is the Give-Away.)

Here is how to enter this Drawing:
For each of the following steps you complete, you will receive one entry.  Complete one, get one entry; complete five, get five entries--you get the point.

1.  Leave me a comment on this post (and tell me how many of the
     following you were able to complete).
2.  Share your favorite recipe from this blog on Pinterest.
3.  "Like" my blog page on Facebook--
     use this link: Gift of Simplicity .
4.  Share my blog page on your Facebook page.
5.  Follow me on Pinterest.
6.  Tweet this blog.
7.  Share on Google+.
8.  Share through another form of social media (LinkedIn, etc.).
9.  If you are new to this blog, let me know who sent you and you
    BOTH will receive an extra entry.

Now, I will need you to leave me a comment telling me how many steps you were able to complete.  I don't Tweet, use Google+, or LinkedIn, so I'm trusting you to be honest!  :)  I'm not techy and haven't figured out how to use those cool little gadgets, so this will be done to the absolute best of my ability to be accurate, but will depend on you telling me how many entries you completed.  I will have an extremely unbiased person (my 4-year-old) draw the winner from a paper bag.

This Give-Away is open to residents of the USA and Canada, and closes at Midnight, June 10th, 2013.  


Here on the home front, things have been busy.  School has been out for two weeks and in this two weeks we have had dentist appointments, a really cool 3-day writing class (for the boys)/geo-draw (for big sister)/play camp (for little one), a day in town with the boys-whew!, a sewing day, a blue-berry picking day (3 moms, 10 kids, 2 hours, 165 lb. blueberries).

I'm tired.

This coming Sunday will be the boys' 11-year birthday, so that means a celebration!  And then Church Conference on Father's Day weekend, so this means that any posts this month will be what I can get completed today and scheduled to post throughout the month. 

And here is the final Tea Party recipe:

Buttermilk Almond Scones
with Devonshire Cream

For the Scones:
2  Cups  Flour
1  Tablespoon  Baking Powder
2  Tablespoons  Sugar
1/2  teaspoon  Salt
6  Tablespoons  Cold Butter
1/2  Cup  Buttermilk
1/2  teaspoon  Almond Flavoring
1 Egg, separated

For the Glaze:
1/2  Cup  Powdered Sugar
1/4  teaspoon  Almond Flavoring
1  Tablespoon  Milk, or as needed 

For the Devonshire Cream:
8  ounces  Cream Cheese, softened
2  Tablespoons  Powdered Sugar
1/2  Cup  Sour Cream

For Garnish:
Turbinado or Raw Sugar
Sliced Almonds

For the Scones:
Preheat oven to 400*.  Mix dry ingredients.  Cut in Butter until coarse.  Make a well in the center of dry ingredients; pour in Buttermilk, Egg Yolk, and Almond Flavoring.  Mix together gently, until dough clings together and is sticky.  DO NOT OVER MIX.  Turn out onto a floured surface and shape 6-8 inches around.  Cut into pie wedges or use a favorite cookie cutter.  Handle as little as possible.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush lightly with beaten Egg White and sprinkle with Turbinado Sugar.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Cool completely; frost with Glaze and sprinkle with Sliced Almonds.  Serve with Devonshire Cream.  Makes 8 to 10 scones, depending on cookie cutter size.

For the Glaze:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.

For the Devonshire Cream:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer if desired.  Serve with Scones.  Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.  Also yummy on bagels.

"For ye know the grace of
our Lord Jesus Christ,
that, though He was rich,
yet for your sakes
He became poor,
that ye through His poverty
might become rich."
II Corinthians 8:9

One there is above all others,
Well deserves the name of friend;
His is love beyond a brother's
Costly, free, and knows no end.

Which, of all our friends to save us,
Could or would have shed his blood?
But this Savior died to have us
Reconcil'd in him to God.

Oh! for grace our hearts to soften!
Teach us, Lord, at length to love:
We, alas! forget too often,
What a friend we have above.

Recipe adapted from Southern Fixin's, page 188.