Tag Archives: real simple

Chocolate Fudge Pie

5 Aug

If I were to retire from using Real Simple recipes, this would be the one to go out on.

Where are my laurels? I’m ready to rest on them, dammit!

I made this dessert for a mini housewarming party we attended at our friends’ house the other weekend. It turned out absolutely decadent and divine. To top it off, the recipe called for easy ingredients and was a cinch to put together.

Steve’s review? “This might beat out my favorite [lemon meringue]. I think I’ll request this for my birthday.”

Awesome. Considering I’ll have a newborn and grad school to contend with around his birthday, I can easily manage this pie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACheck out that pie dish – isn’t it adorable? It was a gift from my in-laws a few Christmases ago. I normally keep it out on display (it would be a crime to hide it in a cabinet) but thought the dish suited the occasion. It did the job well!

Chocolate Fudge Pie, c/o Real Simple

1 store-bought piecrust, fitted into a 9-inch pie plate
6 OZ semisweet chocolate, chopped. Plus more shaved for topping.
1/2 C unsalted butter
3 eggs
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C plus 3 TBSP granulated sugar
1 1/2 C heavy cream

Heat oven to 375º F. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Prick crust with a fork and line with foil. Fill to top with dried beans. Bake until the edges are firm, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake until just golden, 8 to 10 minutes.


Reduce oven temperature to 325º F. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter.



Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, salt, and ½ cup of the sugar until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.



Fold a third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder.


Pour the combined mixture into the crust and bake until puffed and beginning to crack, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 1 hour, then chill.



Beat the cream with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over the pie and sprinkle with the shaved chocolate.*




*I recommend having the chocolate at least at room temperature to create really good shavings. A potato peeler will do the trick nicely.


Lentil Stew

16 Jan

Lentil soup. My husband talks more about his love of lentil soup than some men talk about sports. For example, when my family was discussing meal options for Christmas Eve 2011, Steve suggested lentil soup. What is this? Oliver Twist? The idea was immediately vetoed.

However, as I was flipping through my most recent Real Simple magazine, I was reading an article about various greens (kale, beet greens, dandelion greens, etc). The article talked about the different kinds of greens out there, how to prepare and eat them, along with recipes to try.


One such recipe was a Lentil Stew, with hearty mix of ingredients, including mustard greens. Intrigued by the recipe, and my husband’s love of lentils, I decided to give it a whirl.

The stew was delicious – and has quickly risen to one of my personal favorite recipes. It might not be worthy of Christmas Eve dinner, but it’s pretty tasty for a cold winter’s night.

Lentil Stew, c/o Real Simple Magazine


1 TBSP olive oil
3/4 lb sausage, casing removed (I used Italian style turkey sausage)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 C chicken broth
6 C stemmed and torn mustard greens or kale (this is the equivalent to 1 bunch)
1 lb sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 C dried lentils
Salt & Pepper


Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add sausage, crumbling it as you go, into pot. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until browned. Add onions and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add broth, lentils, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper to the sausage and onion mix. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Leave pot partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 30-35 minutes, until lentils and potatoes are done.


Desperately Seeking Inspiration

18 Jul

Whenever I am looking for a new project, some directions on projects I am formulating in my mind, or just need some basic creative inspiration, I have a handful of resources I regularly peruse

Better Homes & Gardens: Do-It-Yourself

The website – and their magazine – is a fantastic resource for crafting ideas and projects that any person can take on. What I really like about BHG is that they offer plenty of projects that renters can do (making home accessories or re-purposing furniture) that won’t leave a lasting mark on whatever apartment, condo or house they are renting.

This article by BHG is right up my alley – features ideas and projects for leftover wrapping paper, scrap fabric and other crafty hints.

Picture Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Real Simple

I preach the gospel according to Real Simple. Their articles on organization, simple but delicious recipes, and how-to guides are just up my alley. Their website is a fantastic resource for any crafter or home decorator. There are many articles here that showcase how to decorate with a specific color, texture or style.

Speaking of crafters or decorators, here is an article about nine ways to redesign a crafting space. I created my own space a few months ago as well.

Picture Courtesy of Real Simple

Martha Stewart

Say what you will about Martha Stewart – but she’s got a good thing going. A tried and true crafting professional. Her website is a great inspiration for me to check out party decor ideas, color schemes and decorative ways to use paper products. One project I did from MS several months ago, was creating paper pom-poms from tissue paper.

Picture Courtesy Martha Stewart

And Who Can Forget….

Etsy and Pinterest are both sites that are creative inspirations. For Etsy, I’ve had mixed results on items I’ve ordered (outside of jewelry) – but I learned that I could use the website for ideas on crafts and projects. It definitely came in hand when I was in the midst of my wedding projects.

Pinterest is a go-to for crafty decor concepts and ideas on party planning. I feel like Pinterest has turned everyone out there into a crafting machine – how awesome is that?!?! (the answer is clearly “pretty awesome, Erin!”)

Where do you go for creative inspiration?

Oh, Dough You Know?

13 Jul

A few weeks ago on my weekend round-up, I made a homemade pie crust and filling for some spinach turnover appetizers that I shared with girlfriends.

The pie crust inspiration came from a place of laziness. After running the store earlier in the day for the ingredients to the spinach filling, I realized I didn’t have any of my trusty refrigerated pie dough in the fridge.

Instead of going the 3/4 mile back to the store (like I said, lazy), I pulled out my laptop, went to (uhh, like where else would I go?) Real Simple’s website, found this amazing pie crust recipe, even do-able for idiots first timers, like me.

That being said, I still clearly need some pie dough rolling practice before I actually make this into a real pie, as opposed to hacking up the dough into squares for an appetizer, as I did here.

Spinach Savory Turnovers

Pie Dough


1 1/4 C All-Purpose flour

1/2 C (1 stick) cold salted butter, cut into small squares

1 TBSP sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3-4 TSBP water


In the food processor, pulse all the items except for the water, until the mixture is pebbly in size.

Add in water and pulse until mixture can hold together.

Wrap in wax paper and chill for at least 1 hour (it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days).

When ready to use, unwrap dough, press the edges with your fingers or knuckles to soften the edges (a tip I learned from Real Simple – I mean, who knew?), and roll out dough – working from the center outward.

Spinach Filling and Turnovers


10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained of water

3 green onions, chopped

2 eggs

1 egg white

1 clove of garlic, crushed

3 TBSP Ricotta cheese

4-6 oz Feta cheese

Salt & Pepper

Dash of nutmeg

Water, in a cup or small bowl


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix aforementioned spinach filling ingredients together, expect the egg white and water, in a bowl.

Cut rolled out dough into squares. Spoon filling (less than 1 TBSP) onto each square.

Fold into triangles. Use the water to seal the edges of the turnovers, and brush with the egg white.

Bake turnovers for about 20 minutes, or until the turnovers are a nice golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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