Pink Lady for a Birthday

Today is my bloggy friend Abbie’s 30th birthday!  She has a lot to celebrate this month what with it being her birthday, the first birthday of her adorable son, her blogiversary… Wow!  To kick off all the celebrations she has this month, she has instituted a Spring celebration on her blog, the Farmer’s Daughter.  Today’s post is my contribution to the festivities. 
Birthdays in my house growing up were an opportunity to try new recipes and the birthday person could request anything they wanted.  My dad, he always pumpkin pie for his birthday.  My youngest brother liked German Chocolate cake, without the icing.  My mom, being the mom, always made her own cake until I was old enough to take over the request and do it for her… when you’re the mom, you have to take of things for yourself!  My other brother and I liked to change things up and try out different styles of desserts.  One year, I had brownies.  Another year, I just asked for fruit.  This year, I already know that I want this pie.  I’m a fan of rhubarb pie, but this little twist on the dessert is perfect for my birthday since it’s in the summer and this pie is phenomenal when served straight from the freezer!  Since it just takes a few minutes to prepare, it’s also the perfect solution to moms like Abbie and I who have busy little ones keeping up company in the kitchen all day!
Pink Lady Pie
– 2 cups rhubarb, diced
– 1 cup sugar
– 3 oz. strawberry gelatin
– 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
– 2 cups whipped cream
– graham cracker crust

Cook the sugar and rhubarb over low heat until the fruit is fully cooked down. Stir in the gelatin and continue stirring until it has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Add in the lemon juice and fold in the whipped cream. Heap the crust with the filling. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving and then garnish with whipped cream.

**Alternate version:  Add in an additional cup of either strawberries or raspberries when you are cooking the rhubarb.  Then, once you’ve chilled the pie and garnished with the whipped cream, sprinkle the berries over the top as an additional garnish.

Taco Night

Taco night is met with great enthusiam in our house.  My little boy loves the ground beef, the cheese and the shells.  He throws his hands in the air and exclaims “Cheeese!”  Thankfully, this is a meal that doesn’t have to been eaten neatly, because he can’t stuff handfuls of his supper into his mouth fast enough.

Because of his love for taco meat, I decided that I could probably amp up the nutritional value with a few simple changes.  First of all, I thought it might be beneficial to try adding carrots to the mix.  I shredded up a few carrots  and mixed them in with the cheese.  It sure was pretty, but both Matt and Liam were skeptical.  So I tried again.  The next time, I added the carrots to the ground beef when I sauteed the onions.  To ensure that there were no complaints, I not only shredded up the carrots, but I went through and minced the shreds.  I didn’t want anyone to notice or push away their plates.  After a few tries like this when no one noticed, I stopped mincing so finely.  Then, I added a pint of my home-canned salsa straight into the meat.  This way, I’m getting a full cup of carrots, plus 2 cups of tomatoes and peppers into the meat and it’s wonderful!

 Another change I made, was to start making my own taco seasoning.  It’s not hard, but you do need a lot of spices, so you may want to make several batches of this to keep on hand. 

Homemade Taco Seasoning:

  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher or sea salt

Mix all the ingredients together and add to 1 pound of ground beef, turkey, chicken or tofu.  Adjust spice level to taste.