Friday, March 22, 2013

Keeping myself occupied...

Trying to sell our house and buy the new/old farm house is driving me nuts. I am abysmally bad with waiting, patience, or generally not being in complete control of my life, and buying/selling a house is the perfect manifestation of being utterly out of control.  There is A LOT of waiting, planning, trying-to-do, but basically it feels like we're MANICALLY TREADING WATER.

In an effort to distract myself from the torture of waiting, I decided yesterday that a day of cooking and baking would do me good. (You'd think running an interior design business and raising a baby would be distracting enough, but nope! I need more... I am an anxiety-multi-tasker. I can give my full attention to working, babying, and still have plenty of brain left over for spazzing. What can I say? I'm a wonder...)

So first, I tackled a spring vegetable quiche, and then followed up with a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. The quiche was really inspired by my friend Samantha-- she had a hankering for something savory, so I whipped up the pie crusts and Sam took charge of the contents. She looked to the ever reliable Smitten Kitchen, and found a delicious recipe for a Quiche Lorriane, which we then abstracted to include goat cheese, asparagus, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and wilted spinach. The recipe that Smitten Kitchen provided is essentially the least healthy quiche that has ever graced the earth (1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 cup of full fat sour cream, 3 eggs!) however, it was also ridiculously delicious, so that made it all worth while. (Not according to your doctor...)

And then, because we weren't feeling chubby enough, I cobbled together a Strawberry Rhubarb pie, which is OFF THE HOOK! (Also found on the Smitten Kitchen website. That lady really knows what she's about...) 

1 recipe All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough or double-crust pie dough of your choice
3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. (I like to fold my gently into quarters, to transfer it more easily, then unfold it in the pie plate.)

Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it.

Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.

Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.

Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When full cool (several hours later) the juices gel.

Do ahead: Pie should keep for up to three days at room temperature but I have never, ever seen one last that long.

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