Pie Crust Crafty


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We make many pies here at Beaucoup Bites so I found this great article posted on the Paula Deen website explaining how to change up your pie crust detail!

Six Decorative Pie Edge Techniques

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen How To: Six Decorative Pie Shell Edges to Inspire

Put your forks away! Instead of the usual “pressing of the tines” ritual around the perimeter of your holiday pies, let these six suggestions be your inspiration and get your creativity flowing. The possibilities and pies are endless.

Braid: Brush rim of single-crust pie shell with water. Cut 3 long strips of extra pie dough 1/4” wide. Braid strips together and apply to the moistened rim.

Checkerboard: Using kitchen shears to cut across the rim of a pie shell at 1/2” intervals. Alternately fold every other piece toward the center.

Cutouts: Brush rim of double-crust pie shell with water. Cut out the rolled top sheet of pie dough with tiny pastry cutters (or free hand). Apply the cutouts to the moistened rim in an overlapping pattern, gently pressing to stick.

Point: Position your index finger on the inside of the pie shell rim, pointing out. Using the index finger and thumb of the other hand, press the dough into pronounced points that go outward. Once you have made your points all the way around the outside of the pie, go around again pressing the inside into pronounced points.

Scallop: Place the index finger of one hand on the edge of the pie shell rim pointing in. Using the index finger and thumb of the other hand to move the dough inward forming a scalloped roll around the perimeter.

Spoon Pressing: Press the rounded tip of a spoon along the perimeter of the pie shell rim. Move the spoon down and repeat using a smaller rounded tip.

Paula’s note: To give yourself the best rim to work with, cut your pie shell with kitchen shears so it hangs evenly 1” past the outer edge of the pan. Fold the edge of the dough under itself so it is even with the outside of the pan to form a thick raised rim. Once you have formed the decorative edge like those we suggested, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking and filling. At this point, you can place your pie shells in a heavy zip top freezer bag and freeze for up to two months.


Skillet Fried Apple Pie…Oh My!


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This recipe courtesy of Paula Deen. Find Some of her great kitchen accessories on her website along with other fabulous recipes.

55555 5 out of 5 Based on 29 Reviews

Cook Time: 10 min

Difficulty: Easy

Skillet Fried Apple PieIngredients Add to grocery list Oil, for frying 2 cans large buttermilk biscuits 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for dusting 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon plus more for dusting Flour, for rolling Whipped cream, for garnish, optional Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish, optional Directions Pour the oil into a large cast iron skillet about 1/2-inch up the sides and heat to about 350 degrees F. Remove biscuits from cans, flour them and roll each 1 out to a 5-inch round. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of fruit filling on a round leaving a 1/2-inch edge all around. Place another rolled out round on top of the filling, pressing around the edges to seal. You should dip your fingers in water and wipe around the edge of the bottom biscuit to enable it to stick to the top biscuit. Dip end of dinner fork in flour and press continuously around edge to insure a proper seal. Repeat with remaining biscuits. Makes 8 or 10 pies depending on the amount in your biscuit can. Place 3 or 4 of the pies in the preheated cast iron skillet. Fry for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar while still hot. Serve with whipped cream and confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

The RED DRUM never skips a beat


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Every year on the Hinkle family vacation an upscale dining experience is required. We use to take the downtown Charleston SC route but found a wonderful alternative in Mount Pleasant on route 17 only 15 minutes from the beach. Ben Berryhill’s Red Drum is a find! White table-cloth dining in a rich wood beam trimmed interior seated in deep comfy leather chairs. So architecturally its appealing to the eye’s and not to mention the abundant amount of very attractive folks all cooling off from a hard day sipping cocktails at the buzzing bar they have, your drink selection can be ordered inside or patio bar scene. Not a bad place for the singles.  I had a pretty good idea how I was going to navigate my dining travels this evening. I was all in and ready to sample! The Red Drum is a southern dish kinda place with infusion of Texan twists. As its stated on their website and well put its South by Southwest.  SO what did I have? I love to start every meal with a house

Andy's Sapphire Session

Red Drum-Andy's Sapphire Session

specialty cocktail while I peruse the menu. I order “Andy’s Sapphire Session” Bombay Sapphire, blueberries, vanilla cream soda and honey-lemon thyme infusion. YUMMY and I’ll take another! Steve was telling us whats the specials were for the day and I

Hand-cut Ceviche

Red Drum- Hand-cut Ceviche

heard and saw hand-cut ceviche as a starter and probably never heard the rest of what he said. The Hubby and I split the arugula salad with goat cheese bacon and green apples, fresh and light. Now let’s get down to business cause starters and salads keep us busy but the entrée is the main focus. I went for the shrimp and grits “low tex” style. I am an avid lover of the dish and saw a Texas venison sausage in the description with a chile beurre blanc. OH its going to be rich! SOLD! All was wonderful the S&G came out looking good but UH NOO red yellow and green peppers were plentiful. I had to send it back unfortunately I don’t eat peppers and they were not listed on the menu’s description. NO WORRIES 10 minutes later Steve brought me out a new one sans peppers and I was good to

Shrimp and grits "Low Tex"
Red Drum Shrimp and Grits “Low Tex”

go.  Red Drums shrimp and grits was deep and creamy rich with just enough seasoning to pull together the big shrimp, sausage bits and onion through out.  More than I could finish It was a winner. Our cousin RAVED about the quail and sausage dish he had ordered stating it was an amazing experience and was on his top 2 list of all dishes. I sampled the corn pudding my mother in law had ordered, it was not the typical southern custard style but more tex mex wrapped in a tamale. Still very tasty and a great small side. OK now I love desserts and I know The Red Drum had a great selection because I always read the dessert menu first, it’s that as an adult I have been know to order dessert and just skip dinner. “You can do that once you’re a big girl” my mother always said but still made me eat my veggies. well I am a big girl last time I checked. So many great descriptions so which one did I bless my taste buds with…and the Hot Buttered Rum WON! Warm toffee pecan cake, butter rum sauce and vanilla bean ice cream(drooling as I type) OH MY Goodness!! Try it! love it! and will order it again! the decaf coffee was perfect to wash down this rich and certainly sinful dessert. In closing the Red Drum is top-notch dining in totality! I give it a 10 out of 10 and will most certainly be a repeat customer for a third year! Thank you Steve for taking good care of the table of 15, we are a happy bunch! Merci Beaucoup! Christina

Pizzelle’s…Yes Please!


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I have been longing to try a pizzelle iron… so I found this recipe on Steph Chows to include some dark chocolate cocoa powder. You can gift these and alter the recipe to fit any flavor combination! Try them I dare you….

On the page I found the recipe they were described as “like a very thin crisp oreo cookie” … sounds good to me right!?

The only special thing you need is a pizzelle iron, otherwise these are as simple as you get! Iron’s run from $30 to about $60 anything more is just a waist.

Pizzelle Cookies
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter (melted)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
zest from one orange (optional)BEAT eggs, add sugar gradually, add melted butter

MIX flour, cocoa, & baking powder

ADD dry mixture to wet gradually, stir in orange zest (if using)

DROP spoonfuls on a hot pizzelle iron and cook according to iron instructions (mine has a light that goes on and off when they are done) remove and cool on a wire rack, or roll into ice cream cone shape and set aside to cool.

You can take two of these and make sandwiches with your filling of choice, or sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream… or just eat them all up plain. Merci Beaucoup! ENJOY!!!!

The Queen Anne’s Revenge is Sweet!


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On our annual migration to our vacay spot a few restaurants have made the rotation of return list. The Queen Anne’s Revenge located on Daniel Island in Charleston SC is a favorite of ours. Its a pretty cool and classy pirate theme for both adults and kids alike so the family friendly points is there. The menu is well-rounded with wonderful selections of meats, fish and of course southern dishes to please the discerning diner. Lets start with the cocktail menu! after a day at the beach the “Pain killer” was the first in my sites. A mix


Queen Anne's Painkiller!

of all the right fruity vacation’ish ingredients. Pineapple juice, orange juice, Pussers Rum and cream of coconut with a dusting of nutmeg…mmmmmm! I am not a super syrupy sweet drink lover so was surprised this drink was not too sugary and went down very smooth. On to entrees,  with a menu full of seafood and other popular low country fare, there’s a little something for everyone. I am a big fan of shrimp and grits just love love love it! and I am ranking the QAR’s as my top 3. Tender shrimp, great grits and lightly seasoned to pull the tomatoes, grilled onions and Surry County sausage all together. This year I decided to try their Charleston She Crab Soup. WOWSERS! a generous bowl with flavor, texture leaving me with total bowl licking enjoyment. The recipe is claimed to be circa

She Crab Soup

Charleston She Crab Soup

1930. Best described the soup was buttery with a bite from the sherry chervil and packed with flavor from the crab. Light texture made it an easy eat.  I highly recomend giving this soup a try. To cap off this dining experience a fresh brewed decaf coffee and a piece of the chocolate peanut butter cake was a lightly sweet finish and I walked away totally satisfied feeling the whole meal was not going to cost me a pirates booty. Moderately priced the Queen Anne’s Revenge is a great place to dine and  I will be sure to check back on my next trip.

Healthy Chocolate Cake is POSSIBLE????


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I have been using a recipe just like this for years.  This recipe was shown on the Cook yourself thin show on Lifetime. For those of you who don’t know I am the owner of Beaucoup Bites in Northern Virgina and my business is sweet treats, so to put healthy in any of my treats is taboo. BUT it’s really is an amazing recipe trust me! At around 200 calories a slice you know you’ll wanna try this one!

Healthy Chocolate CakeDeep Dark Chocolate Cake is that Possible????

Serves 10
Calories per serving: 222

For the cake
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces beets, peeled and finely grated
4 ounces low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons strong black coffee
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar

For the icing
1/2 cup dark chocolate, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons strong black coffee
2 tablespoons honey

For the top (optional)
Organic, unsprayed rose petals

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly spray an 8-inch springform baking pan with cooking spray.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds, salt and baking soda, and set aside.

4. Using a standing or handheld mixer set at medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar for 4 full minutes until pale and fluffy. On low speed, beat in the grated beets, followed by dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and coffee, and beat until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour into the pan and place in the middle of a hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted for doneness; it should come out clean. Bake for an additional 5 minutes if needed.

6. Cool for 10 minutes or so in the pan and unmold onto cooling rack. Cool on a wire rack until cold. 7. To make the icing, prepare a double boiler.

8. Combine all the ingredients and gently stir until the chocolate is smooth. Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens.

9. With the cake still on the wire rack, pour the icing liberally over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Transfer onto a plate or cake stand for serving and garnish with rose petals. 

A Healthier Baked Pasta


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I love to take classic recipes and try out a heathier version. Just some simple changes can allow you to indulge daily but keep you on track to your goal.  This is a change up on a sausage and pasta dish. Cooking for an athlete husband can be a challenge but this recipe was a winner! Just these few exchanges created a meal which was over 800 calories per serving down to  around 500 calories per serving. WOW! I have been watching the show “Cook Yourself Thin” on Lifetime for real women and these ladies have a creative and healthful way to take your favorite foods and make them tasty while cutting out ALL THOSE EXTRA calories. I found it had all the flavor and the addition of the beans had you feeling full and satisfied with that  added punch of protein essential to our dietary requirements. I have added some of my own alternative to take the healthful factor to another level. ENJOY!! Christina of Beaucoup Bites

Pasta Bake With Sausage, Broccoli and Beans

Make this “Cook Yourself Thin” recipe.

Serves 8
Calories per serving: 529

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large head of broccoli, about 1 1/2 pounds, cut into small florets
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 pound rigatoni ***(I would sub whole grain or wheat)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for pan
1 pound Italian-style turkey sausage with fennel (removed from casing if uncooked or thinly sliced if precooked)
1 can cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 pound skim mozzarella, grated, 1/4 cup reserved ***(look for the lower calories Mozzarella you wont notice the differences in taste)
3/4 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock ***(opt for a low sodium brand)
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated, 1/4 cup reservedHealthier Baked Pasta

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-x-13-inch gratin or baking dish.

2. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, broccoli and garlic. Simmer the broccoli and garlic for 5 minutes, until softened. With a slotted spoon remove the broccoli and garlic to a large bowl. Bring the water back to the boil, add the pasta, and cook the pasta for about 2 minutes less than the package directions suggest, about 11 minutes. The pasta should be al dente, a little firm.

3. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add sausage and the garlic cloves from the broccoli bowl, and cook, stirring frequently until meat is fully cooked and no longer pink, about 4 to 5 minutes, if using fresh sausage. (If using fully cooked sausage, cook until surface is golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.) With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to the broccoli, and drain most of the oil from the pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Discard the garlic.

4. Toss drained pasta with sausage mixture. Add beans, stock, 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella cheese and all of the ricotta. Add remaining salt and pepper. Gently toss. Transfer to prepared gratin or baking dish, top with breadcrumbs, remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, and drizzle with olive oil.

5. If making this in advance, allow the mixture to come to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

6. Bake for 25 minutes, until heated through and crusty on top.

Lower Calorie Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies


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Lower Calorie CHOCOLATE pumpkin brownies!

I found this recipe on Roadale.com under desserts. As some of you may know my husband Jonathan Hinkle is a avid triathlete and a healthy eater in all aspects (read his story for the full scoop). I love great baked good but that caloric factor can catch up. So we try to find recipes to satisfy our sweet tooth with out killing our calorie count. Brownies are a sweet treat on my top 5 yummy list but they are definitely not going to do you any favors in the calories and nutrition department. This recipe was surprisingly yummy!

Low Cal Pumpkin Brownies


Prep:  12min |Cook: 38min |Total: 1hr 20min
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, canned pumpkin, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.
Place chocolate and butter in a metal bowl and heat over a pot of simmering water, stirring until completely melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Mix in 2 eggs, one at a time. Gently stir in 1 cup flour, cocoa powder, beer, vanilla extract, baking powder, cayenne, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Scrape half the chocolate batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Spread half the pumpkin mixture on top, then add the remaining chocolate mixture on top of that and spread evenly. Top with the remaining pumpkin mixture. Gently swirl batter with a butter knife. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.
Nutritional Facts per serving
165 CAL
FAT 7.6 G
3.4 G

Slow Sunday Sippin’ Coffee with Baked French Toast


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Sunday breakfast is a ritual in our family, so I am always looking to switch up the usual suspects. I came across this recipe from one of my all time fav’s Paula Dean. A baked french toast with lots of yummy add-in’s. This recipe got a 5 out of 5 on the PD skillet scale over 116 reviews and I give it a 5 and a pinch for being a great recipe. This yummy casserole is great for saying “Good morning” to company at Baked French Toastbreakfast.

Servings: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate


dash salt 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
8   large eggs
2 cup half-and-half
Butter, for pan Raisin mixed gourmet variety (optional)
chopped pecans (optional)
1   loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Raspberry Syrup, recipe follows

Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg

Raspberry Syrup:
1 cup raspberry preserves
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur (recommended: Framboise)

Directions: Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch thick each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9X13 casserole dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with Raspberry Syrup.

Praline Topping:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Spread over bread as directed above.

Raspberry Syrup:
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until warm and thinned out like syrup.

Wedding Must Have ~ Macarons!


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Purple Wedding Macaron towerBrowse through any wedding magazine these days and you are likely to find pictures of round, colourful, cream-filled cookies.  They might be elegantly layered on plates, delicately wrapped as favors, or even gracefully appointing dessert tables as towers.  What are these cute little cookies?  If you haven’t heard, they are French Macarons, the latest pastry trend to cross over from Europe and sweep North American cities. To be clear, the missing ‘o’ is not a typo of “Macaroon”, but in fact the French spelling adopted so as not to confuse these delicacies with the dense coconut variety that our mom’s made for us when we were kids. Macarons have been trendy in France for many decades and are rapidly growing in popularity in big North American cities.  The editors of food magazine “Epicurious” offer this prediction: “cupcakes and pies are looking downright crusty these days, Macarons will be 2011’s sweet sensations”. What is all the fuss about?  Well, first let’s look at what makes a good French Macaron.  Macarons consist of two parts: an almond-meringue shell and a soft, creamy filling.  The shell of a Macaron is delicately crisp, often brightly colored on the outside, and yields to a soft cloud like texture on the inside.  The ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ sensation is carried further by a creamy filling of ganache , buttercream or jam.  Quite simply, Macarons are a perfect balance of color, flavour and texture, all encapsulated in a delightful little bite-size package.  Totally irresistible!

If that’s not enough, Macarons are also gluten-free.  Gluten intolerance and Celiac’s Disease are becoming more and more common in society.  Offering French Macarons at your wedding is a great way to accommodate guests who cannot eat cake or flour-based desserts. There are many ways to incorporate French Macarons into your wedding.  Increasingly, couples are forgoing the traditional wedding cake or cupcake stand for a Macaron tower with a decorated cake base. Consider displaying a beautiful assortment of brightly colored Macarons on your dessert table for an extra boost of panache! Mini Macarons towers or Macarons-filled vases can make chic table centerpieces that guests can nibble on at their leisure.  Lastly, why not offer Macarons to your guests as favors.  Package them with ribbon and a tag in translucent boxes, clear bags, or a sleeve of eco-friendly paper and your guests are certain to feel appreciated!