By Accident Blueberry Pie

Blueberry pie is on my top ten dessert list. Especially when paired with homemade vanilla ice cream. My mom and I decided to whip up two pies on the 4th of July, and really, this recipe couldn’t be easier. It is a pie without a top crust, which isn’t how I normally eat fruit filled pies. But I decided to trust her and roll with it. Or not roll with it, as we didn’t make our own pie crust.

She said this recipe wasn’t by accident, she knows what she is doing. It is a “by eye” and “by taste” recipe, but I think by accident blueberry pie rolls off the tongue better.

By Accident Blueberry Pie

1 9-inch pie shell (we used Marie Callendar’s frozen)

5-6 cups blueberries, divided (we used frozen and thawed them under running lukewarm water)

1.5 heaping TBS cornstarch

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup white sugar (we used Baker’s sugar)

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp – 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Pre-bake pie shell according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large pot combine 2 cups blueberries, cornstarch, water, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Bring to a boil (make sure cornstarch is combined thoroughly before you turn on the heat!), stir constantly on high heat, and reduce down until you have a nice saucy consistency. There will still be some whole blueberries, but it will mostly be a gelatinous mixture. If it gets too thick add water to adjust. At most this will take 5 minutes.

Add remaining 3-4 cups blueberries to the sauce and stir to coat with the sauce. Taste and adjust for flavor, adding more sugar if needed. If you are using fresh blueberries you will want to cook them in the sauce a little bit, about 2-3 minutes.

Once pie crust has cooled completely, pour blueberry mixture into pie crust and chill. Serve cold or at room temperature.

What is your favorite flavor of pie?

Snow Day Smoothie

I love the blog world – it is chock full of support, encouragement, friendship and great ideas. Recently I stumbled upon Erica’s blog, For the Sake of Cake, and discovered that there is a Trader Joe’s cookbook! How did I not know this?

My fingers quickly traveled to amazon and within a few clicks the I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook was en route to my house. Today I was blessed with a snow day, which meant I could snuggle up with my heated throw, a large mug of coffee and sift through my new cookbook without a care in the world. Cleaning and lesson plans can wait, thankyouverymuch.

After reading the acknowledgments and introduction (a sign that I really am a food blogger), I began planning my next shopping trip to my favorite destination. Hunger struck about halfway through the delicious looking recipes  and I decided to whip up my own Trader Joe’s creation.

When I visited my friend Veronika last spring I discovered the wonders of Trader Joe’s tart plain non-fat yogurt and how it turns an average smoothie into an epically delicious treat. When our Trader Joe’s finally opened this fall I immediately purchased a container.

Into my magic bullet went the tart yogurt and other Trader Joe’s finds: frozen wild blueberries, half a banana, and a splash of almond milk.

Added to the mix were a few frozen hand-picked strawberries from this summer, a dash of vanilla bean paste, and some spinach* for good measure.

*also from Trader Joe’s

Mmmm, ugly but delicious.

Snow Day Smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 cup Trader Joe’s tart plain nonfat frozen yogurt

1/2 banana

1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/3 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)

1 cup fresh spinach

Directions

In blender, food processor or magic bullet, add all ingredients and blend until you’ve reached the desired consistency. If you’re using a magic bullet, add everything but the spinach and blend, then add the spinach and blend again.

What is your favorite Trader Joe’s staple?