Fresh Strawberry Pie! June 26, 2017
Jun 26th, 2017 by Katekoster

Summer Update from KidsCookDinner: Get out and go berry picking! And what do you do when you pick 20 pounds of beautiful organic strawberries? (from the wonderful Thompson Finch Farm in Ancram, NY).  Well of course you eat a bunch, then you make strawberry pie!!! And if for some reason you don’t have time to bake anything, pick up some Joe’s ShortCakes.  They are available at Thompson Finch Farm and are some of the best short cakes we have every had…somewhere between a scone and a biscuit.  Flakier and lighter than a scone but sweeter than a biscuit.

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Strawberry Pie: The first step to make the pie is to cut all off the green leaves and stems of about 6 cups of strawberries. The second step is to put half of the berries in a pre-baked pie crust. We love our pie with a ton of strawberries so we tried to fit as much as we could in the small pie crust.



Third, you create a sauce: you mash the other half of the strawberries and sugar to form a kind of chunky paste, then put the strawberries in a pot and heat on the stove. When the mixture starts to boil, add your thickener (water and corn starch) to the mashed strawberries.  You then stir constantly for ten minutes until thick.



Forth, you pour the strawberry glaze pour over the strawberries in the pie crust.  We put a plate under the pie crust in case some of the glaze spills over.


Finally the hardest step: you have to wait 3 hours until the pie is set.  So hard to do!  Luckily there was some extra strawberry glaze that we snacked on.  To find out why we started this blog and to read more yummy recipes. Read on!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017: Dinner No. 89 Beef Wellington Delight
Jun 16th, 2017 by Katekoster

For this meal, I (Max) wanted to make something big. Something special. Unique. Something that my family would remember for weeks to come. I found the perfect meal – Beef Wellington. I decided to make one, huge Beef Wellington, because it was less complicated than making four individual ones.  Here is the before and after:

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I started off the meal by cutting off the ends of the a large filet  we had and then cutting that in half. Then, I cut of the any fat I saw and took of as much of the thin membrane as I could. I tied up the meat, dividing it into five parts.


Then I salted and peppered one side of the meat and placed it on medium heat in a pan with olive oil. As it was cooking, I roughly cut up an assortment of mushrooms (cremini, shitake and white button mushrooms), along with a shallot and a clove of garlic. Then we placed them in our cuisinart blender and let the magic work.


After that, we switched the sides of the meat, and let a saucepan heat up with butter and olive oil. When warm, we put the chopped mushrooms in and cooked them until there was no more moisture. We let the meat cool after giving both sides a good sear.


Then, we let both the meat and the mushrooms cool off for ten minutes. After that, we spooned the mushrooms on the top, along with the sides of our log-like structure of meat. I almost forgot to cut the strings before I put the mushrooms on top but remembered at the last minute. Then we wrapped it up in clear wrap and put in the fridge to cool. (The wrap and cool off time is so the meat remains in the same shape while it cooks.)  The recipe also calls for wrapping the meat in proscuitto, but we tried that when we made individual wellingtons a while back and did not like it. Weird taste combo (ham/mushroom/fillet).


We rolled out our puff pastry, removed the clear wrap and gently placed the meat on the pastry and folded up the pastry over it. To keep the pastry around the meat and most of the juices in the pastry, we used eggwash from one egg and sealed it with our pastry brush.

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Coating it with eggwash will also make the pastry appear brown. Then, we made three slits diagonal on top of the meat to allow steam to escape the meat. Then we placed it in the oven. We baked for 45 minutes, until the pastry was golden brown and the heat had an internal temperature of 125 degrees. (The slits make it easy to put a meat thermometer in without breaking the pastry) After taking it out of the oven, we let it rest for 15 minutes.

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For sides I made a fresh green salad with aspargus (slightly steamed), raw (shelled) peas, spinach, argula and avocado.  I also had extra aspargus so I serve that with grated cheese.

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June 13, 2017: Dinner No. 88: Quick Weekday Dinner
Jun 15th, 2017 by Katekoster

I (Alex) was in charge of dinner tonight but I also had soccer practice so I wanted to make something pretty quick.  I decided to make spice-marinated skirt steak, kale salad and corn-on-the-cob.  As soon as I got home from school, I mixed up our favorite Texas spice rub, which includes onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and a few other secret ingredients, and rubbed it into two pounds of skirt steak.  I covered it with plastic and let it marinate in the fridge.  I also washed and rough chopped the kale and prepped the corn for when I got back.

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When I got back from soccer, I started the water boiling for corn and combined the kale with shredded brussel sprouts (note we bought them already shredded which made things a lot faster), chopped almonds and pecorino cheese.  When the water was boiling, I added the corn and started cooking the steak: searing it at high heat and then finishing in the oven (I had so much steak I had to do it in batches).  Mom helped by making a mustard viniagrette and mixing up the salad.  To serve, you slice the steak against the grain. All in all it was pretty fast, which was good considering I had soccer and homework!

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Sunday, June 18, 2017: Homemade Black & White Cookies for Dad
Jun 15th, 2017 by Katekoster

One of dad’s favorite desserts is black and white cookies so for Father’s Day, we decided to make home made black and white cookies for him.  The batter is a mix between a cookie and a cake batter.  You use cake flour along with regular flour and four eggs so the “cookies” are much lighter than your normal cookie: they even puff up a little.  Frosting is super easy: just powdered sugar and boiling water.  Then for the chocolate half, you melt unsweetened chocolate into half the vanilla mix.  Frosting them is a little messy but the clean up is delicious.

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The batter starts like any other batter: cream butter and sugar but then there are more eggs and cake flour than in regular cookies.

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Frosting is super simple: powdered sugar and boiling water.  If it gets too thick, you add a little more water. If too thin, add some more powdered sugar. And to make the chocolate frosting, split the vanilla frosting in half and put half in a double boiler over hot water. Add unsweetened chocolate and voila: chocolate frosting!

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