Weekend Links: The Summer Pie Edition

This week food bloggers around the web celebrated an impromptu Pie Party on July 5. Initiated by Shauna of Gluten Free Girl, thousand of pies were baked and shared, leaving us inspired — and hungry for a slice or five!

You can check out the full round-up on the Pie Party Facebook page, but here are a few of my favorites recipes from the sweet event:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Weekend Giveaway: Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

This giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to our winner, Adrianne! You have been notified via email, Adrianne. A big thank you to all who entered the giveaway.

Today’s weekend giveaway is from a loyal Simple Bites sponsor, Tattler Canning Lids, who make reusable, BPA-free plastic canning lids. Suitable for all types of home canning, Tattler lids are guaranteed to last a lifetime when using USDA approved canning practices.

I use a combination of Tattler lids and regular lids for my canning projects (such as yesterday’s Honey Strawberry Jam!). I make a lot of jam to swap with others or give as gifts and am not parting with my reusable canning lids, so the preserves with Tattler lids are for my own use and the others are to give away

You can get connected with Tattler via their Facebook page and Twitter account, and be sure to enter the giveaway below.

[Read more…]

In Which I Scratch a Canning Itch (Recipe: Honey Strawberry Jam)

Local flavors marry in this four-ingredient, sugar-free, Honey Strawberry Jam and I’ve finally scratched a summer itch – canning!

When July arrived and I hadn’t canned or preserved a single thing, save for a few bottles of strawberry-infused vodka, I began to panic a little. Yes, even though I’m the one who coached you on how to get your act together for the canning season, I’m still trying to kick-start my efforts.

So partially as incentive to get canning and partially to get out of the post-camping cleanup, I purchased a large flat of fresh Québec strawberries with the intention of making them into jam. Goodness knows when I was going to get the opportunity, as my summer days are jammed packed full of picnics, bike riding, backyard baseball, finger painting and other important activities. However, when Danny called around lunchtime one day this week to let me know he’d be home from work early, I knew I had my chance. Jam would be made by evening or I’d be a monkey’s uncle.
[Read more…]

Picnic Food Safety Tips (Recipe: Garden Vegetable Pasta Salad)

It’s the time of year when families are grabbing their blankets, packing their coolers and heading to their favorite picnic spot. Nothing says summer like an afternoon of picnic fun with family and friends.

Don’t let your plans for the perfect picnic get overshadowed by unsafe food handling and storage. Armed with a few picnic food safety tips, you can keep the good times going while keeping food borne bacteria and illnesses at bay. [Read more…]

Pie Party: Rhubarb-Raspberry Cream Pie Recipe

My neighbor has given me carte blanche with his handsome rhubarb patch, although at the time he probably had no idea just how close of an affection I have for rhubarb. While most of you have moved on to strawberries, blueberries and other summer fruits, I’m still hung up on puckery stalks of pink.

I tend to like this late crop of rhubarb best; it may be just my imagination, but it has a more pronounced flavor than its watery spring equivalent. Perhaps the summer heat contributes to a more intense flavor? All speculating aside, I’m still pushing back the leaves to get at the tender red shoots.

For this pie, I decided to marry the saucy rhubarb with the sweeter raspberries and the result, I am convinced, is a seasonal pie to rival any other. It is reminiscent of one of my favorite simple desserts, rhubarb compote with custard, only served up much more elegantly in a rich pie crust.

The words Cream Pie by themselves bring a smile to my face; couple them with the season’s most delicate berry and a brazen vegetable and you have a perfect pie. While some may argue that a classic strawberry-rhubarb pie can’t be beat – and indeed it is not a simple conquest – after this pie, I think I new classic should be established.

[Read more…]