Thursday, January 23, 2014

Honey & Pear Galette

While looking through my Pinterest feed today, I realized today is National Pie Day! Lame baker moment not knowing such a momentous day.
So I decided I would pay tribute as soon as I got home from work… well, as soon as I moseyed home from work, I should say, since 5pm is when everyone in Orange County is trying to get home as well.
Instead of spending tons of time making an actual pie, I opted to take a more rustic route and make a galette, a cousin of the glorious pie and known as a free-form rustic tart. 
Truth be told… I've never made a single galette in my [baker] life. I love exploring new baking territory!

I knew I wanted to make a pear galette since I have plenty of pears and no apples at home… and honey sounded like a yummy companion for the pears. So I glanced at a recipe for slight reference, but then made the bold decision to experiment and make my own recipe… having said that, I will most likely revisit this to edit and perfect… but I'm just so excited it turned out decently for my first attempt!

I'm actually writing this while my family sits near by gushing about how yummy it is… so that's a great bonus! The only thing we all agreed it is missing is either vanilla ice cream or double cream (we've all lived/visited England at some point, and for these types of dessert, you usually pour double or single cream which makes it decadent and scrumptious)… it's the finishing touches that sends the heavenly flavors soaring.

But here you have it: Honey & Pear Galette (recipe at end of post)
(sorry for the harsh lighting… it's all I have in my kitchen, plus it's nighttime… and I'm using an iPhone.)

Put flour, sugar, salt, & butter in mixing bowl fitted with paddle attachment.
(Side note: I've been trying to eat clean and healthy more lately because of stomach problems, and thought I'd be clever and use half whole wheat to make myself feel better about this dessert… but then the butter came. The butter came and ruined my happy, healthy bubble. But it made it so buttery and delicious…. and then I felt like a mini Paula Deen… weird moment… but I moved on.)
 Mix until dough forms a crumbly texture, with little pea-sized balls
Add one egg and mix until dough pulls from the sides. Dump onto floured surface and knead no more than 5 times. Shape into a round disk, wrap with cling film, and place in fridge.
While the dough rests/chills, slice pears and place in a bowl, add sugar to taste (I did roughly 2 tablespoons), drizzle with honey, a splash of lemon juice and about 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
After about 30 mins in the fridge, pull the dough out and place on a floured surface. I kept the cling film on in the beginning while rolling out my dough.
This is where I'm an unconventional, but still trained, pastry chef…. I don't know how thick the dough ended up being… one of my curses, or blessings I guess, is I don't usually measure my doughs, or follow recipes. I'm slightly a free bird when I bake. Anywho, once it's rolled out, gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer to your baking sheet (or baking stone in my case) - slight tip, have the sheet right next to you for an easy transfer.
Being the noob that I am, I've been in the zone so much I forget to have my baking sheet nearby and the dough breaks or I lose my grip on the rolling pin and drop the dough :( 
Don't do this, it makes for a sad day… 
Scoop pear mixture onto the dough leaving about 2 inch (I think…) edge for folding up. For the folding up part… ummm… just fold the edges up. 
I overlapped a bit to give it a rustic, professional, straight from Pinterest look… only I'm lacking the awesome daylight, dslr, and rustic table setting… but I digress.
Being a little crazy in this moment… I went to town with the butter. Basically ruining whatever idea I had of making this slightly healthier, but that's okay in my book. I placed a few small chunks of butter over the pears, then brushed - or possibly drowned - the crust with melted butter, drizzled honey and sprinkled sugar over the whole galette. 
Because of the butter overload, I had to add foil underneath the rack.
Soooo don't go crazy... with the butter, that is, to avoid the burnt butter smell  =/
I baked this at 425 for 45 minutes… 
We enjoyed this lovely while still warm, and just mixed it all up on the plate… and it was scrumptious, but like I said previously, vanilla ice cream would be so heavenly. 

Happy National Pie Day all you lovelies!
I hope you all enjoyed some form of scrumptious pie-ness….
And feel free to leave a comment about pies, galettes, or just anything exciting… I'd love to hear from you lovelies that read my blogs!
Have a wonderful night (or day, depending where you are in the world)!

Kylie Rae

Honey & Pear Galette
Pie Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour (or if you don't want whole-wheat, then 2 cups a.p. flour)
1 cup whole wheat flour (optional)
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon sugar
Dash of sea salt (I used himalayan pink salt)
1 egg

Pear Mixture:
3 medium pears, sliced 
2 tablespoons sugar
Cinnamon (I didn't measure, but probably around 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon)
Splash of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Drizzle of honey

Mix the pears with all ingredients and let sit for about 5-8 minutes, so cornstarch can thicken it a bit.

Place pears on dough first, then drizzle the pear juice mixture over pears. 

Bake, top with vanilla ice cream & enjoy!

(Here's the recipe I glanced before beginning… one day I will have beautiful photos too *sigh*)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wedding Joys + A Rustic [Wedding] Cake

(forewarning: this post is a tad sappy and wordy…)
This past Sunday was a very special day to me - my best friend's little sister tied the knot!
I have grown up with Maggie, my best friend, and in turn, have had the privilege of watching her baby sister grow up into a stunning, godly, loving young woman. And being able to be a part of her big day, and watch her marry the love of her life was so emotionally amazing.
Joe and Beth met at bible college, and from the very beginning (seriously, very beginning… before they were actually dating) Maggie and I had a feeling that this man was "the one"… and watching God move and bring them together was so incredibly beautiful. I am so very thankful I have been able to witness their relationship from the beginning, and to see the love they have for Christ first, and then for each other, is incredibly encouraging.
One of the most amazing parts (amongst all the amazing bits that made this wedding so spectacular) of this wedding was when the best man, Daniel (a good buddy of mine from our bible college days in Spain), gave a short, but powerful, gospel message… this moment alone almost made me lose it. Beth and Joe had chosen to put Christ first completely and literally; before the stunning bride walked down the aisle, they wanted to present the opportunity for someone to get saved! That just blows my mind and blesses my heart so very much!

I know it's hard to see, but here's Daniel speaking before Beth walks down the aisle.
Glenn giving Beth away… so sweet!
 Vow time
 First Kiss as husband and wife!
 Mr. & Mrs. Espinosa
First dance as mister and misses

The gorgeous bride and me… love you Beth!
My gorgeous best friend, and the bride's older sister, Maggie, giving her MOH speech
 Daniel giving his best man speech

I'm such an emotional goober by nature… literally almost everything and anything can make me cry. It's not my favorite, but it's how God made me… so I'm learning to be okay with being such a sap. But to say that this wedding brought a tear to my eye, would be the understatement of the century. There were SO many moments in this wedding that turned me into a weeper… but the sweetest moment that had me crying like a baby was the father/daughter dance. To see Glenn's beaming face as he held his baby girl close was so precious and had almost every female, and a handful of males (my friend's super manly husband was almost as wrecked as she was…), crying from the sweetness.

 The tear-inducing moment

Even more than just being able to witness this sweet wedding, I was so excited I was able to be the cake decorator! Beth is such a simple, laid-back kind of person (totally my style) and so with the inspiration photo, I created a simple, rustic frosted two-tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. This cake has been the easiest, most stress-free I've ever done…I shocked myself on how easy it was. One of my biggest challenges/hardships since I started teaching myself how to make a tiered cake was the timing…. I always seemed to be pulling it all together at the very last minute, barely making it by the skin of my teeth. This cake, however, I stacked, frosted, and glittered in almost 2 hours flat… if you don't know anything about cake decorating, that time frame is INSANE! (or maybe I've just always been a turtle in a rabbit's world… not really sure yet). Which gave me time to relax before work. And also freed me to go over to my best friend's house to help her finish painting the centerpieces (till 4am… outside, wrapped in blankets, chugging HOT coffee).

The cake amongst the 300 cupcakes Maggie and Brit made… 
(wedding coordinators, friend & sister, and bakers… these ladies seriously are SO talented!)

Overall, this wedding was so beautiful, filled with love, and most importantly, Christ centered. I am so thankful I was able to be a small part of this wonderful day. 
Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Espinosa!! I love you both and am so blessed by your hearts for God, and am praying you are beyond blessed in your married life! Love you two!

Kylie Rae

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Hello Lovelies!!
Merry [belated] Christmas!!
Happy [belated] New Years!!

I have basically been non-existent on the blog for the past month-ish…
"Why?" you ask… well, I have, as I'm sure many of you were for the holiday season, extremely busy. 
I had finals for school, while also harboring an incredibly nasty (and I'm not one to exaggerate or be a pansy about colds) cold/flu, then had to hit the ground running for a huge work event on the 21st. 
And ironically, I was doing so much baking for the Christmas event we did, and all I could think of was sharing all the goodies with you lovelies, but time just continued to get away… 
However, on the bright side, I had such a blessed Christmas with my family and enjoyed the beautiful simplicity that was our Christmas. Being a really low-key person, I honestly am so happy just to spend time with my family and get to know them better. And even though my mom, uncle, and I were all busy working on the event for children's ministry (my mom and I work together), shopping for presents for each other on the 23rd; despite letting my emotions and exhaustion get the best of me and cause a few arguments, Jesus is so very good and loving, and He blessed above and beyond what I could've asked, or hoped, for.
All that to say, I loved every crazy, chaotic, emotional moment of this holiday season and new year.
For the Christmas event, I made 222 truffles (sometimes, no matter how good you are, calculations and chocolate just don't get along), and 430 mexican wedding cookies from home. I couldn't really be apart of the other creations since I still had a nasty cold. But there were soooo many sweets, which spurred me to find healthy alternatives when I craved something sweet.
Grabbing what I already had on hand, I decided upon a yummy banana, chocolate, pb snack.
This snack is soooo easy, yet healthy, and incredibly yummy.

I personally hate sweet peanut butters since I was raised on natural peanut butters… so I used our household standard pb, Adams 100% Natural pb… it has a little bit of a saltiness to it, which made this snack more savory… right up my ally.
I also had 70% dark, high-quality chocolate left over…and dark chocolate is just so delicious and healthier for you… and again, I absolutely cannot stand milk chocolate and white chocolate.
On my parchment lined cutting board (it's all that fits in my super skinny freezer), I placed my banana slices topped with pb, then melted my chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well in between each interval.
 Then using a fork to hold the banana slice, I covered the banana in chocolate with a spoon, and gently tapped the excess chocolate off. 

Once all the banana slices were coated, I placed them in the freezer for about 45 minutes before I couldn't handle myself anymore… these are so delicious cold!

Sooo… there you have it, the easiest little snack ever! And it's healthy! 
Definitely a win-win here ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you all are having a wonderful start to a new year! 
Kylie Rae