5 Ingredient Easy Pie Crust Recipe

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A very easy and quick easy pie crust recipe using only 5 ingredients that you probably have already in your pantry!

Welcome back and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Since Christmas and the new year is fast approaching, I want to share with you for the next month or so easy recipes for the holidays! I call it my Holiday Recipe Series! Every week I will post a simple recipe to bake for your holiday dinner, family or just that feel good comfort food we long for. The recipes will be simple enough that your kids can help in the kitchen.  I am all about getting kids, family in the kitchen to help prepare meals and just have fun.

Have you ever wanted to attempt making your own pie crust recipe, but were just too nervous to even try? I have to admit, it is intimidating, at first.  And 90 million others out there.  Don’t fear my friends, put your trusty pie making cape (apron) on and use your superhero baking skills! C’mon! It is easier than you think and you might just impress your kids as well with all that wonderful buttery flaky crust. My greatest fear with the crust has been rolling it out and transferring it to the pie plate. But that is for another post. Stay Tuned!

Only 5 Simple Ingredients! It is Easy As…

Pie! You’ll be the envy of your neighbors. You saved the day with your own awesome pie crust. No regrets! I bet you have these ingredients in your kitchen or pantry already.  All-Purpose Flour, salt, ice water, and cold butter plus shortening. Go ahead and look. I’ll wait. You will also need a few simple kitchen tools, like a glass bowl for mixing, a pastry cutter, or if you have a food processor, it speeds things up a bit but not required. Or just what our grandmothers did and use two knives to cream the flour and butter.  Meanwhile, since you are looking I will inform you of one simple thing, you will save money. Money on gas, because you won’t be rushing to the store for frozen pie crust.  Okay, enough of the superhero references already.

Pie Crust, it’s not just for pies anymore.

Nope. This simple 5 ingredient pie crust recipe can be used for sweet as well as savory quiche, tarts, hand pies or turnovers, pinwheel cookies. There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest: Check this out. Idea: Twist strips of pie crust and cover with cinnamon sugar. Brush with an egg wash and cook.  Sounds yummy! Making your own crust is such a wonderful skill to acquire. How can you go wrong with pie crust?

Tailored Tips for Making Pie Crust.

  • What you use for ingredients in your pie crust can sometimes differ. There are different variations and combinations of liquid to use in place of ice water for a flaky crust. Vodka (yes, Vodka) This is a great article from Serious Eats about the myths of Pie Crust. Talking just about that subject. Good Science and Good article, I wouldn’t waste the Vodka, in my opinion.
  • Always use cold ingredients: Chilled butter or shortening or both, and ice water. You don’t want the fat separating. The crust would turn out chewy and hard.

Let’s get started with the crust. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour using the spoon and level method into a glass bowl or food processor bowl. For this recipe, I used the Food Processor.  I found it to be faster but use any method you choose would be just fine. If you have kids, doing it by hand is highly recommended. Teach them to use those fine motor skills! I say “Always find a teachable moment in the kitchen for long-term life skills and make it fun!”

Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, then pulse once or twice to combine. Next cut into cubes 6 tablespoons of cold butter (3/4 of a stick) and 3/4 cup of vegetable shortening, chilled.

Food Processor: Add the butter-shortening (fat) to the flour mixture, then pulse about five to six times until it resembles small sized peas.
By Hand: With your pastry blender cut together the butter-shortening (fat) with the flour.
Here is the tricky part, start by adding one at a time a tablespoon of ice water. Pulsing every time you add the water to combine or blending water and flour together by hand. The dough will begin to form large clumps and you should stop adding water at this time. You don’t want the dough too wet or too sticky.

Remove the mixture from the bowl with a spatula and then transfer to a floured surface.  Fold the dough with your hands until it forms a ball. Then with a slicer or scraper cut the dough in half. Shape into 2 round one-inch discs.
Pie Crust Tip: Wrap each disc tightly with plastic wrap or place in quart sized freezing bags and chill for up to 2 hours or 5 days in the refrigerator or freezer.

That was pretty simple. Now what? Before you get Gung-Ho on prepping pie crust it needs to chill for a few hours.   I believe there is an art to getting it just right.
I hope you have more confidence now and want to tackle pie crust. There will be plenty of good tips just in time for the holidays! Like Blind baking! Huh? That is why you need to hang with me and find out about it!

But next week, Tune in!  I am continuing on with the Holiday Recipe Series with a Post on making Simple Cranberry Orange Sauce.  A real food recipe staple that takes no time at all and can be kid Friendly.

Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher Salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening chilled
  • 1/2 cup ice water*
  1. Measure out the All-Purpose Flour using the spoon and level method into a glass bowl or food processor bowl.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, then pulse once or twice to combine. Next cut into cubes 6 tablespoons of cold butter (3/4 of a stick) and the 3/4 cup of vegetable shortening, chilled.
  3. Add the butter-shortening (fat) to the flour mixture, then pulse about five to six times until it resembles small sized peas. or by hand with your pastry blender cut together the butter-shortening (fat) with the flour.
  4. start by adding one at a time a tablespoon of ice water. Pulsing every time you add the water to combine or blending water and flour together by hand. The dough will begin to form large clumps and you should stop adding water at this time. You don’t want the dough too wet or too sticky.
  5. Remove the mixture from the bowl with a spatula and then transfer to a floured surface.  Fold the dough with your hands until it forms a ball. Then with a knife or scraper cut the dough in half. Shape into 2 round one-inch thick discs.

*Water should be added a tablespoon at a time.  Not all the 1/2 water will be used. 

Tip: Wrap each disc tightly with plastic wrap or place in quart sized freezer bags and chill for up to 2 hours or 5 days in the refrigerator or freezer.

Don’t Forget to PIN IT for the Holidays!

If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on PinterestTwitterFacebook. When you subscribe you will be notified of the Holiday Recipes, the future Newsletter, and future freebies! If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook for you!

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So Simple Creamy Coconut Cream Pie Recipe | The Tailored Spoon

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Happy Holidays! Are you ready for the new year to start fresh? When I decided on making this creamy coconut cream pie, I figured it would be the perfect dessert for you to bring in the new year.  It’s light with the whipped topping and the oh so creamy coconut cream filling.  It might be good with some bubbly champagne or sparkling cider.  Maybe for your New Years Eve party!  This time I experimented and made a no-roll pie crust and baked it for a few minutes. It was very crumbly, so next time I will probably stick with my 5 Ingredient Easy Pie Crust Recipe.  It is totally no fail.

Get Ready for Creamy Coconut Goodness

But you can use any type of pie crust, handmade or store bought frozen.  Just make sure you follow the instructions and bake it as instructed before you add the coconut cream filling.  If you are a fan of coconut then this is the right pie for you. Now I could say your kids would totally be into this pie, most would be.  My oldest was into it but my youngest with Autism has issues with sensory processing, wasn’t crazy for coconut. He requested Pumpkin Pie. Not today dude, Sorry. He was satisfied eating Christmas cookies! If your kids and family are fans, go for it!

 Easy Peasy Pie

This pie is as simple as it gets friends.  Number 1: Most of the ingredients you will already have in the house. That is always such a good thing.  The only item you might have to trek to the store for is shredded coconut, oh and maybe pie crust if you aren’t in the mood to make your own. If you are like me in any way.  I avoid the grocery store like the plague AND I have the tendency to forget items.  Number 2: This is technically a no-bake pie.  The only time you are turning on your oven is to bake the crust and cook the filling on the stovetop. Easy Peasy!  Here again, I am all for the kids to pitch in and help. It’s that easy. Also, it is made from scratch. No boxed pudding. Doin’ the dance!

So grab your kids, Grandparents, family and gather in the kitchen to begin baking this creamy pie. This pie has a total of 7 ingredients not counting the crust or the topping. Simple ingredients include shredded coconut, eggs, flour, half-and-half, sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread 1 cup of the shredded coconut and bake until toasted about 6 minutes.  Stir halfway for even toasting.

How Simple Can You Get?

In a medium saucepan add 3 cups half and half or cream.  I doubt there would be much of a difference if you used heavy cream versus half-and-half. Or If you want a dairy-free option.  Try replacing the cream with Almond milk or Coconut milk! I am sure it would turn out great. Then add 2 beaten eggs, 3/4 of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of spooned and leveled all-purpose flour or try Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free One-to-One Flour Blend. It’s 1 to 1 ratio.  You don’t need to add additional ingredients.

Begin mixing the ingredients and allow the mixture to come to a boil over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly, meaning don’t walk away. 🙂  This should take about 10-12 minutes and become thick pudding-like consistency. Remove pan from the heat and add in 3/4 cup of the shredded toasted coconut, leaving a reserve 1/4 cup for garnish.  Transfer the coconut filling into pre-baked pie crust and place in the refrigerator until set, about 4 hours.

Top with the whipped topping, I used Tru-whip, but feel free to use Coolwhip if that is all you have in your stash, sprinkle with the additional coconut, chill and serve.  We made ours for Christmas dessert and it was SO good.  I could have devoured more than one piece, but my Spidey Sense said stop. This recipe is highly recommended and I love the fact that it is so simple! I know Christmas is come and gone, but 2018 is just around the corner. Make it for New Years Day, you will not be disappointed!

Tailored Tips for Making Coconut Cream Pie:

*Remember to Blind Bake.  This simply means you are to prebake the pie shell first.  This is pretty much the standard for custard and cream pies.  Serious Eats has good tips on Blind Baking the crust here. I am sure others do as well, but they are pretty straightforward and simple.

*Experiment with different flours and dairy.

  • 1 cup  sweetened flaked coconut
  • 3 cup  half-and-half*
  • 2  eggs beaten
  • 3 ⁄4 cup white sugar
  • 1 ⁄2 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1 ⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 1  9-inch pie shell, baked
  • 1 8- ounce  container whipped topping* thawed
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C.)
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread out the cup of shredded coconut. Bake for 6 minutes or until toasted, stirring halfway. 
  3. Combine half-and-half, eggs, white sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over low heat. Mix well and stirring constantly for approximately 10-12 minutes until a pudding-like consistency. 
  4. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the shredded coconut. 
  5. Transfer filling to a pre-baked pie shell and chill in refrigerator until set. Approximately 3.5 to 4 hours. 
  6. Top with the whipped topping and additional coconut. 

* If you want a dairy-free option, try replacing the half-and-half with Almond milk or Coconut milk! I am sure it would turn out great.

* Want it Gluten-Free? Substitute all-purpose flour with Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. 

If you enjoyed this recipe go ahead and PIN IT. Add to your dessert, pie boards and don’t forget to share!

 To make this Coconut Cream Pie I used: (Highly recommended) 



This is the last post of my #Holiday Recipe Series and of 2017. But have no fear.  Since the New Year is just around the corner and I have wonderful things planned for the Tailored Spoon!  January will focus on the “lite bite of life.”  Making dishes that are a bit lighter to the taste, fruity, simple and as always, geared to families. Also, meal planning! Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a post and receive a free bonus! Also Follow The Tailored spoon on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Happy Holidays Friends, have a wonderful New Year and see you January of 2018!

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The Tailored Spoon | Simple Living, DIY, Creative, Frugal, and Fun. Just like a Hobbit.

Hello Friends,

If you can still call me that.  Over a year has gone by since I began this blog and I have managed to write 46 posts. When June came around this year for my year anniversary, I began to rethink my direction.  For those of you who have your own blog, you know it’s a challenge to stay focused. Blogging is not simple nor easy.  Anyone who says otherwise is crazy.  You work hard getting posts out, social media, all the SEO stuff, updates to the wazoo, creating recipes, photography, and I have probably left something out.  AND if you have family, that is another niche.  I have a child with special needs and another still at home, so interruptions are common.  But I began a food blog, because I enjoy baking and I like to share what I bake. I enjoy certain aspects of food blogging but there are many things that I flat out sucked at and the process behind it all was burning me out.  It must be those creative types, that is me. I am 105 percent Right-Brained.

Let me explain.  From the time I was 3 years old, I always had crayons, pens, paints and any other media for drawing.  To this day, I am kind of obsessed with writing instruments. Pens.  I write a bit of Calligraphy, I LOVE lettering, I LOVE to draw, use markers, and watercolors as well.  In school I loved music, played the clarinet, band, and also sang in the jazz choir.  I have taken art classes, upon art classes. That’s why photography comes so easy to me, have been doing that since high school.  I also have a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design.  My life is completely right-brained.  I don’t think there is much Left-Brain about it.  Creativity is just my Passion. I do enjoy gardening though, sharing tips, printables and many, other things.  Oh! I also had an Etsy shop a while ago and sold items that I sewed. Yes, and I sew too. So you might say I am a Jill of all trades!  😀

So in a nutshell, since my right-brain has taken over, my blog will be slowly changing into a Creative/Crafty/Lifestyle Blog.  This will be a step by step process.  My focus will be on simple family and nothing will be complicated. It might include some

  • photography and photos for tutorials
  • short reviews on products. (Only stuff I recommend)
  • a few VERY SIMPLE recipes (how-to, spices, diy cleaners, simple, kids, etc.)
  • crafty projects (sewing, holiday decor, papercraft, etc.)
  • art
  • drawing
  • printables
  • gardening
  • DIY
  • Shop

Now that you know about my future blog adventure, if this it’s something you are interested in then stick with me. It will be fun! If not, then my feelings won’t be hurt if you leave.  My blog name …I haven’t got one yet, but I have an idea. But I will be slowly adding features.

My Painting “The Quiet Coast” By Karen Padua 2010

I hope you will stay tuned!

Bananas and chocolate, who can pass THAT up? If you can, then I can’t be your friend. Just kidding, you wouldn’t be reading this post otherwise.  Simple Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Quick Bread. This recipe is a quick bread, meaning there is really not much in the way of prep, aka no yeast bread.  It really only requires one bowl and a few kitchen tools. And if you aren’t ready to tackle yeast yet, then you are good to go.  My goal has always been to do things as simple as possible.  Sometimes I just don’t have time for complicated.

So if you’re ready, let’s get this show on the road or in your kitchen.

What makes a good flavorful Banana Bread?

Simple answer. Very ripe bananas.  Almost black bananas. I have a few good recipes on banana bread. One of them I talk about the ripeness of bananas. I have been known to use black bananas. They work just fine.  But that is as far as I go.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or  176°C. Grab a large bowl and add the 4 ripe bananas.  Mash them with a fork or a potato masher.  I used my Granny’s old Potato Masher and it probably dates back to the 50’s.

Add the sugar, White sugar is fine but I used light brown sugar, packed.  Not as sweet and adds a little moisture to the batter. Then add the vegetable oil, egg and pure vanilla extract.  Whisk ingredients together until combined.

  • I make my own vanilla extract here.

Spoon and level your 1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour.  Add the properly measured flour, baking powder, and the baking soda.

Stir all the ingredients until combined, and then gently fold in the dark chocolate chips, saving some for putting on top before baking.

Slowly pour the batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to help guide the batter in the pan. Place your extra dark chocolate chips on top for garnish and extra Chocolately Goodness!  Place in the center of the oven on the middle rack and bake for one hour or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool for about 15 minutes on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!  Unless you have some willpower, you’ll have more than one piece.  😀

Love Banana Bread? Try these other Banana Bread Recipes:

Banana Blueberry Quick Bread
Maple Banana Bread

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

  • 4 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sugar*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan by spraying the bottom and sides with non-stick oil, then line with parchment paper, this is helpful for when the bread is done baking and cooled. You can just lift out the bread. No mess. Or just spray with non-stick cooking oil.

  3. In a large bowl mash the bananas using either a potato masher or a fork.  Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract and egg. Whisk together.

  4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and stir until moistened. Fold in the dark chocolate chips. Reserve some for garnish. Take the bowl with batter and pour into loaf pan, guiding it with a spoon.

  5. Put some extra baking chips on top for more color and taste. Then place pan on middle rack in the oven and cook for approximately 60 minutes or when a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on wire rack.

*Adjust the amount of sugar. The riper the bananas add sweetness to the bread and lessen the need for the amount it states in the recipe. Try substituting 1/4 Brown Sugar, packed instead. 

Simple Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Calories 437 Calories from Fat 162 Total Carbohydrates 63g 21% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you enjoyed this banana bread recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram!  You can also subscribe to Tailored Spoon’s Mailing list! When you subscribe you will be notified of new recipes and updates! If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook for you!

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Two Words…Simple and Salad

When I hear simple and salad, this recipe instantly comes to mind.  If you have about 10 minutes, that about all it takes to put this salad together. Give or take an additional 10 minutes for prep. I first made this Asian Cabbage Salad about 20 years ago.  I used to take this dish to Church Potlucks and of course, always a big hit. It is one of those recipes I like to heap on my plate and tossed with a simple sweet lemon dressing, not as a side dish, but the main dish.   It fills you up for a few hours, and then you’re hungry again.  Eat more salad!

The Asian Cabbage Salad with Ramen Noodles is pretty versatile. And you don’t have to keep it to the standard either. Replace ingredients with what works for you.  That is the name of the game, Tailored to fit you. The base of this salad is the cabbage.  Everything else is pretty much optional.  🙂

Asian Cabbage Salad Recipe…Tailored

This recipe has many simple ingredients that give this Cabbage Salad a nutty, sesame, and lemony-gingered flavor. Maybe that’s why is soooo addicting! Adding the crunchy ramen noodles, coupled with the sesame seeds and slivered almonds, they give this yummy salad the ultimate crunchy texture.

What’s in this Asian Cabbage Salad?

  • Sesame Seeds
  • slivered almonds
  • green onions
  • tri-colored coleslaw with carrots
  • ramen noodles without the flavor packets

For the Dressing:

  • sesame oil
  • fresh lemons or lemon juice
  • rice wine vinegar
  • sugar
  • ginger
  • optional: mandarins for garnish

The Crunch Factor:

Let’s get started by roasting some slivered almonds and sesame seeds. Preheat an oven to 350°F (176°C) On a baking sheet lined with parchment, spread 1/4 cup slivered almonds and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Roast for 6-8 minutes until slightly brown.   Set aside.

Tailored Tip: If you don’t have almonds, add something else for crunch.  Maybe Pepitas or Sunflower kernels, they are both nice and crunchy. 

Take three lemons, wash them and slice them half.  If you have a citrus juicer, use that and squeeze to yield 1/4 cup of lemon juice.  Or just use your hands and squeeze.  Lemon Yoga! Add the lemon juice to a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, then add 1/4 cup sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger or grab some fresh Ginger Root and grate about a teaspoon, 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar.  It smells wonderful!  Then replace the lid tightly and shake. Your dressing is made!

Now for the salad, you can choose how easy prep will be.

For the Coleslaw:

Quicker Way: Buy a bag of tri-colored cabbage coleslaw with purple cabbage, white cabbage, and carrots. Done. Or just shred a one-half head of cabbage (you probably won’t use that much), shred one-quarter of red cabbage and shred one carrot.

Then slice 3 green onions, but only the tops.

The Final Crunch Factor:

Open up two packages of Ramen Noodles and toss those flavor packets. Don’t need those hanging around.  Place the Ramen Noodles inside of a Ziploc bag and a start crushing into small pieces. I have found I can do this with a hammer or meat tenderizer. Or use your hands. Have your kids help with this task. They will have fun!

Time to put this salad together. Sometimes I can hardly wait to dig in since this Cabbage Salad is so good!

In a salad serving bowl add your shredded cabbage, carrots, and sliced green onions. Then top it off with the toasted almonds and sesame seeds. Add some mandarins for color and flavor. Pour on the Lemon-Ginger dressing.  Be sure to shake again, since it had time to settle. Toss lightly and enjoy!

Tailored Tip:  Only just before serving, add the Lemon-Ginger dressing. Letting the salad sit with the dressing will make the Ramen noodles become a bit soggy. We don’t want that.

Roasting Almonds 6 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 green onions tops only
  • 1 bag tri-colored coleslaw with carrots
  • 2 packages ramen noodles flavor packets removed
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice 3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon minced ginger root
  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (176°C) On a baking sheet lined with parchment, spread out the slivered almonds* and sesame seeds*. 
  2. Roast for 6-8 minutes until slightly brown. Set aside.
  3. Slice 3 green onions, but only the tops.
  4. Open up two packages of Ramen Noodles and remove flavor packets. Place the Ramen Noodles inside of a Ziploc bag and a start crushing into small pieces. 
  5. In a salad serving bowl add your shredded cabbage with carrots and sliced green onions. Then top it off with the toasted almonds and sesame seeds. 

  6.  Pour on the Lemon-Ginger dressing*. Be sure to shake before pouring, since it had time to settle. Toss lightly. Add some optional mandarins for color and flavor.

  1. In a small glass jar with a tightly fitting lid, add sesame oil, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and ginger.  Close jar and shake to combine ingredients. 

*Use Sunflower kernels or pepitas for crunch instead of almond or sesame seeds.

Asian Cabbage Salad with Ramen Noodles Amount Per Serving (1 cup) Calories 209 Calories from Fat 108 Total Carbohydrates 20g 7% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy my recipes? Please comment below and subscribe for more posts to receive a free printable as my gift to you! Thanks for hanging out here at the Tailored Spoon. I love sharing the recipes that I cook! You can also connect with me on:

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I never looked back. And you won’t either. Don’t go and buy a packet of taco seasoning mix when you can put this taco seasoning together in a matter of minutes. Those packets have too many unwanted ingredients. This way you can mix various amounts of spices to together and create a taco seasoning mix to your liking. Want it mild for the kids? Deciding to kick it up a bit? Why not. This is why tailoring foods can be fulfilling.  You are cooking your way!

The Do-It-Yourself Taco Seasoning has a total of six spices.

  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Chili Powder

Most likely you have these spices in your kitchen. I have quite the collection of spices, roughly about 80 or more.  I don’t know, is that too many?  This photo only shows half. For the taco seasoning mix find a small jar with a tightly fitting lid.  You probably could use a spice jar or if you are like me, I hoard every jar. Hi, “I am Karen and I collect jars.” Now just to clarify I have thrown out more than half. But this is my collection. From various trips to Goodwill, and I recycle many of them.

  • A Jar Tip:  Both Target and Walmart package their salsa in some nice small jars with silver metal lids that have no branding on them.  Look carefully. I have only found it with their organic brands. 

If you have your cleaned jar ready, gather all your spices and your set of measuring spoons. Have you found that most measuring spoons don’t fit in the spice jars? What’s with that?

I own a set of measuring spoons that actually fit in the jars. I bought these on Amazon. They really come in handy.

The Taco Seasoning is quite simple to put together:  In a small glass bottle that has a tightly fitting lid, add your six spices. The easiest way to add the spices to the jar is by using a small funnel. But if you don’t happen to have one, have no fear! Super Parchment is here to save the day! Can you tell I watch too many Superhero movies? Blame my Husband and kids.

Tailored Tip: Cut a square piece of parchment paper roughly 6 x 6 inches and form into a small cone.  Then use it like a makeshift funnel and pour the spices into the jar. It works well! Just call me Ms. Macgyver. Thank you.  😀 

Then use a small spoon to stir all the spices together in your container and you are ready to use it for a variety of dishes. If you like the chalkboard labels I used on my jar, I found them on Amazon and it includes a chalk marker.

If you are wanting to make more seasonings, here a few more you might like:

Recipe inspired by https://www.allrecipes.com

  • 4 tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 3 tablespoons Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • .25 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  1. Combine all spices in a jar or container and stir well with a small spoon. Or just close the jar and shake. 

  2. Store for 6-12 months in an airtight jar or container. It will last longer but the potency of the spices will diminish over time. 
  • This recipe yields = 3/4 cup of seasoning.  Feel free to double it. 
  • Equals to 12 tablespoons or 36 teaspoons. 
  • Optional: Add 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and salt. 

Amount Per Serving (1 teaspoon) Calories 271 Calories from Fat 99 Total Carbohydrates 47g 16% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram!  You can also subscribe to Tailored Spoon’s Mailing list! When you subscribe you will be notified of new recipes and updates! If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook for you!

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The Running of the Roses, Derby Day, Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, or the Kentucky Derby.  Whichever you consider it called, the Classic Mint Julep has its place on the first Saturday of every May….

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Simple Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe – The Tailored Spoon

Don’t have a bottle of “Pumpkin Pie Spice” hanging around in your kitchen? Or maybe you have checked the date on the side of the bottle and expired back when your youngest entered Middle school or before we had cell phones.  Please toss it now and make your own!  Don’t be afraid! Totally easy!  If you have Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, Ground Ginger and Ground Allspice, then you can create Pumpkin Pie Spice. It probably will take all of 5 minutes.

 How Long will my Spices Last?

Spices lose their potency and they are normally good for a year or so. But whole spices can keep for a while longer up to two years.  You can keep spices for years, but they lose their flavor and the potency. Not sure, when you purchased that bottle of Tumeric? Throw it out and get a new bottle.  When you buy it, make a note of when you got it.  Then when you aren’t sure. You will always have the note.

Find a small jar. A spice jar will work well too, especially a wide mouth one.  Use those 4 ozs. wide mouth canning jars from Ball.
Like these at Target or use whatever you like. The one in the photo I purchased at Target a few years ago in their dollar Seasonal section.  Love the idea of the cork.  I think I paid like 3 dollars for it.  It holds a good cup and a half of the Pumpkin Pie Spice. Measuring spoons.  Did you ever notice that most measuring spoons don’t fit in the spice jars, especially the teaspoon? These measuring spoons solve that problem. The greatest invention ever and is on my kitchen gadget list.

Gather your spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Allspice
  • Ground Cloves (optional)

It helps to have a mini funnel for filling up the jar. Don’t have a funnel? Use some parchment paper, fold it, pour it in and fill it up that way.

  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon Ginger, 1/2 Allspice, and 1/2 Nutmeg.
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon to 1 teaspoon each of Ginger, Allspice, Nutmeg.
  • 3 tablespoons of Cinnamon to 1 1/2 teaspoons each of Ginger, Allspice, and Nutmeg.  The aroma is mesmerizing. I see visions of Pumpkin Pie dancing in my head! Remember the ground cloves are optional. Replace it or swop it!

In a small bowl or on parchment paper measure out your desired spices. If using a bowl stir together the spices. Use a mini funnel or fold some parchment paper in half and pour into a small spice jar. Stir or shake the bottle to mix.  Store in an airtight container. That’s it! You’re all set to make your next pumpkin pie and scones (hint, hint, future post.)! I will have more spice mixes and handy-dandy card sized printables to print for reference! Stay tuned!

Author Karen @ The Tailored Spoon

Yield 1 serving 2.5 Tablespoons

  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves (optional)

In a small bowl or on parchment paper measure out your desired spices. If using a bowl stir together the spices. Then using a mini funnel placed in the jar pour into the jar. or fold parchment paper in half and pour into small spice jar.

Be flexible with your spices.  Depending on flavor preference, different spices can be substituted. 

These measurements yield: 2.5 tablespoons.  

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If you liked this post of on how to make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice, don’t forget to PIN IT!

If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on PinterestTwitterFacebook.  Subscribe to Tailored Spoon’s Mailing list! You will be notified of updates, the future Newsletter, and other freebies! If you have any questions at all, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

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Simple & Quick Stovetop Apple Pie Filling – The Tailored Spoon

I have been waiting forever now for Fall. Here in this part of the country where I live I can attest to the fact that we don’t have “Normal” seasons. While everywhere else is transitioning into sweater weather, we are still in shorts and tank tops. In the middle of October, Boo!  I guess you could call this “Fire Season.”  It totally skips “winter” and we head into Spring!  In about 10 minutes time you can have your house smelling of Apple Pie! The recipe is very simple:  Apples, lemon juice, spices, cornstarch, and water. The only time-consuming part could be prepping the apples. It would also depend on what method you use to peel, core and slice your apples.  If you have one of those gadgets that do everything. I call you lucky! Here is one on Amazon. They are priced inexpensively, but if I bought every kitchen gadget out there, I would need some therapy. Hi, I am Karen and I have a kitchen gadget addiction. 🙂

 Just Skip to the Recipe Please!

Seriously, I love this time of the year.  When there is just a hint of crispness in the air (at night) and I can cook Easy Maple Fig Preserves, Simple Maple Fig Bars with Pecan Crumble and have my pumpkin spiced lattes (iced).  It’s not sweater weather here yet.  But I believe it is slowly heading our way. Very slowly… That is why I love baking.

Let’s Get Started!

This Simple and Quick Apple Pie Filling is just what it says. A simple pie filling cooked on the stovetop.  Skip the slow cooker unless you are cooking for an army or canning.  It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.  That’s pretty much all the time that you will need.

Start by washing, peeling, coring, and chopping five medium cooking apples.   This is the only step that might take a bit.  I usually sit at the kitchen table, pull the garbage can towards me. This way I can just toss the apple peels when I accumulate a pile of them.

Add to a large bowl, the lemon juice, and apple pieces. Toss together and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add sugar, and spices. Stir to combine.  In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Add mixture to saucepan.

Turn Heat to medium and stir until combined. Add the apples, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Simmer, covered for 10 minutes until apples are slightly soft and filling has thickened to preferred consistency. Be prepared to have your place smell like cinnamon and apples!

 

Allow to cool and spoon into tightly covered jars and store in refrigerator up to a week. You can use this filling for pretty much anything. Topping on pancakes, cheesecakes, ice cream and how about waffles?

Prep 20 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 30 mins

Author Karen @ thetailoredspoon

Yield 4-5 cups

  • 5 medium cooking apples (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar*
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups water*

Peel, core and chop apples into half-inch pieces.

Add to a large bowl, the lemon juice, and apple pieces. Toss together and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add sugar, and spices. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Add mixture to saucepan.

Turn Heat to medium and stir until combined. Then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 10 minutes until apples are slightly soft and filling has thickened to preferred consistency.

Cool and place in tightly covered jars and store in refrigerator up to a week. 

*You can use white sugar in place of brown sugar.  It will just be a bit sweeter tasting. 

*The amount of cornstarch can be reduced. It will all depend on the thickness of filling you desire. 

*Depending on how thick of a consistency you desire, water can be reduced or increased. 

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If you like this recipe, don’t forget to PIN IT! 

If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on Pinterest, TwitterFacebook. You can also subscribe to Tailored Spoon’s Mailing list: You will be notified of updates, the future Newsletter, and other freebies! If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

This post has affiliate links. If you decide to buy through the Amazon link, I earn a small commission and you are not paying anything extra. You are just helping a blogger out by purchasing through Amazon. 🙂

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Topping – The Tailored Spoon

It Is a Peanut Butter & Chocolate Haven

My oldest son turned 20 years old last month and we talked about what kind of cake he would like for the big day.  He is a chocolate fan and requested a dessert that has chocolate and Oreos in it somewhere. It didn’t matter really. In this family, everyone has their differences.  Since this dessert would be eaten by everyone on his birthday, but not all enjoy chocolate.   I was in a dilemma.  I know what you are thinking…it’s your son’s big day it shouldn’t matter!  I am the people pleaser.  I decided I would try to a make a cheesecake.  Let them eat cheesecake!  I compromised and made this Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Topping. It has a yummy peanut butter Oreo crust and garnished with other chocolate goodies, like Peanut butter cups and more Oreos. It’s a Peanut Butter-Chocolate Extravaganza! It turned out so good and was a hit!

If you love cheesecake like I do, then any kind of cheesecake is good. But I have to say that a New York Style Cheesecake with a Cherry Topping is like I have won the Lottery. OMG. Hand it over.  I can’t have cherries, so I will settle for a Strawberry Topping.

For the Love of Cheesecakes

But I do love a cheesecake and this Peanut butter cheesecake with Ganache will do just fine. Cheesecake is relatively easy to make and that is probably understated, but I think that some of us would rather avoid the baking process.  Baking cheesecakes are kind of art, experimentation and require some amount of patience.  Very intimidating if your very first one ends up with cracks.  No worries! Just cover them up. There is always the next time. There is a couple of baking methods you can try: water bath method and the low then slow method.  The method I use results in a wonderful cheesecake with no cracks. You are cooking the cheesecake at a high temperature for 15 minutes, then reducing to a very low oven temperature for 200 F. for the remainder of the time needed. It comes out perfect! No water bath needed.  Cheesecakes are a bit fussy and there is always much talk about the type of pans to use, how long to bake them, etc.  Here are some things that I have learned about cheesecakes:

Just Skip to the Recipe Please!

Tailored Tips:

  • One can never have too many cheesecakes.
  • Do not overmix the filling it can cause the batter to have too much air.  This makes the cheesecake puff up when cooking and then shrink or deflate, creating those old familiar cracks.
  • Underbake rather than overbake. You want the cheese slightly wiggly-jiggly in the center. If that’s a term. Let it chill and set in the refrigerator.
  • Make it the day before & plan ahead. Cheesecakes take time to set. None of…I will just whip something up. Not gonna happen. Unless you decide on a no-bake cheesecake.

There are 4 types of Cheesecakes: In a nutshell.

  • Italian: Made using Cottage cheese or Ricotta
  • German: Made using Quark: Which is a custard-style light cheese that is not aged, Farmhouse style cheese.  Makes for a nice and light cheesecake. This is want to try someday. Mmmm good. There are many recipes for making your own Quark, here is a simple recipe by allrecipes.com. Or maybe the local health food or deli store might have it.
  • New York: Traditional American Cheesecake using Philadelphia Cream Cheese, incredibly rich. A little goes a long way. (my favorite)
  • French: Normally a no-baked Chiffon version, that is light and fluffy.

A Short and Sweet Bit of Cheesecake History.

It all began with the Ancient Greeks in 234 BC.  The cheesecake was all the rage then and they even gave small cheesecakes to their Olympic Athletes. When the ancient Romans conquered Greece they found out about their secret and figured they could do one better. Cato a Roman Emperor came up with 2 versions of Cheesecake: a sweet and a savory. The recipe was nothing like today’s Cheesecake.  By 1000 AD the cheesecake was popular all over Europe.  Everybody had their own recipes and they looked more like the cheesecakes we know then just pounded blocks of cheese with honey and wheat flour and bake in a brick oven.

Pushing forward 700 years, the English colonies made cheesecake very popular. So popular that in 1730 Philadelphia built a “Cheesecake House” Tavern.  Hence the name Philly Cream Cheese that we cook with today. Beer and Cake anyone? Bet you didn’t know: The ever-popular 1/3 fat Neufchatel Cheese was discovered by a dairy farmer 140 years before the Heavier full cream cheese made by Kraft 1912. Maybe that is more than you wanted to know about Cheesecake and cream cheese but it’s good trivia. :-).  Enough history, let’s get on with it! Maybe your kids will be impressed. Neither if mine were not.

Start with the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You will be reducing the temperature later. Grease only the sides of a 9 x 3-inch springform pan and then the bottom with circle parchment paper.  Set aside. Crush 24-30 peanut butter Oreo cookies in a food processor or a Ziploc bag with a rolling-pin. Remember to save a few for garnish and eating! Combine with 1/2 cup of room temperature/softened unsalted butter. Pulse several times until it becomes a buttery crumb consistency.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press evenly with your fingertips into the bottom of the pan to form an “out-of-this-world” crust.  Put the crust in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.

Peanut butter Cheesecake Filling:

In a large bowl take the four softened cream cheese bricks. I don’t like the term bricks because bricks are hard, cream cheese is not.  Make sure they are full fat. Add the cup of white sugar, 3/4 cup of yogurt for a bit of a tang, the cup of creamy peanut butter, and vanilla extract.  Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to combine for about a minute or so. Start to add the eggs one at a time to the mixture stopping after each additional egg to beat with the mixer. Remember the tip, don’t over mix, just incorporate one egg at a time.  You don’t want the batter to accumulate so much air that the cake decides to inflate like a balloon while cooking and then deflate.   What does that give the cheesecake? Cracks.

Time to Bake:

Remove the crust from the refrigerator that has been chilling.  Pour the prepared decadent creamy rich filling into the crust. At this point, I am drooling and must have the self-control to keep from dipping my fingers in the filling.  Spread it around evenly.  It’s now ready to bake.  Note to Self: Make a day ahead. The End.

Important Baking Steps:

  1. Place in 350 degrees F. oven and bake for 15 minutes. No more, no less.
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees F. Bake for 2 hours until the cheesecake no longer looks shiny.
  3. After baking your determined time, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit inside for another two hours.

Tailored Tip: It is important to remember not to open the oven to check on the cheesecake. All to together now. “Cracks”. If you have a light inside your oven flip it on before you start baking.

2 hours later…I am back. Now you can take out the cheesecake that has been in the oven. Guess what? It’s time to chill the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator and allow it to set. That is reason making cheesecakes is a bit time-consuming.

Meanwhile, the following day… (Sounds like a novel doesn’t it?)

The Topping

It’s time to take out the cheesecake out from the refrigerator. With a knife loosen the sides of the cheesecake.  Doing this will make it very simple to remove when you are ready for the topping.  begin to gently pour the Ganache on top of the cheesecake starting in the middle and working your way out in a circular motion. It should just drip off the sides.  Wonderfully Chocolate Rich Ganache Topping. (pronounced Gon-nosh)Oh, my.  The best part about it? It is so easy to prepare. It requires truly only two ingredients. I was so surprised about how something so fancy and decedent could be so easy. Makes you look like a pro. So, so simple! If you are not familiar with Ganache, it is a Chocolate Glaze that is out of this world that can be used on top of cookies, bread, ice cream and anything else. It is made by using Chocolate and heated heavy cream.  Also if you’re not careful you could start to eat by the spoonful. Sinful indeed. 🙂

The Chocolate Ganache I made used semi-sweet Chocolate, but I am sure dark chocolate, white chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and even unsweetened chocolate could be used. Depends on your flavor preference.

Simple and Quick Chocolate Ganache 

  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate squares
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of butter to give it some sheen (optional)
  • dash of salt (optional)

You can make it two ways:

(Quickie Microwave version): In a small glass bowl add the chocolate squares and then add the heavy cream.  Place in microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the cream begins to bubble, depending on the wattage of your microwave. Then leave it in the microwave for about 2 minutes. This allows the hot cream to melt the chocolate. Then remove from the microwave and whisk together until creamy. Add the 1 teaspoon of butter and salt.  You’re done and ready to put this Ganache on anything: Strawberries or otherwise.

(Stovetop version): In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to bubble. Then pour over chocolate and let it sit for a bit. Leave alone and forget about it! Then come back and say hello to your little friend. Start stirring until it all comes together and it becomes smooth and creamy. Add the optional butter and salt at this time

Let’s Garnish! Doesn’t it sound like a dance move or something? Sorry, too much coffee today.  I put on top, a mix of two different Oreos: Peanut Butter, and Original Oreos. I used 10 each to make it a total of 20. Crumbled them into fine crumbs and sprinkled on top. Then I split in half 4 Peanut butter Oreos and placed them on the cake. Finally, with a knife, I sliced in half about 8 Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and placed them in the center. You can choose to use any type of toppings.

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Simple Maple Fig Bars with Pecan-Oat Crumble – The Tailored Spoon

These layered bars have a soft, sweet buttery and nutty pecan crumble oat crust with cinnamon-sugar.

Are you ready for fall? I am. I confess I was longing for cool crisp weather back in August. The Fall Season is my favorite time of year.  When we pull out the Halloween decorations and hunt for pumpkin scented candles.  This is the time where I enjoy baking the most.  Yes, I so love pumpkin everything! Since I was born a bit late and have this infinity for Halloween.  November birthday. But since I have some of my Maple Fig Preserves in the refrigerator, I decided to bake this recipe.  These are incredible tasting Simple Maple Fig Bars with Pecan-Oat Crumble. The first bite was insanely good and so was the last. There are none left in the house. At all. I believe they lasted only one day.

These bars have three simple layers.  The first layer is a soft, sweet buttery and nutty pecan-rolled crumble oat crust. The flavor is sweet and nutty. The second layer is the fig filling, using my easy Maple Fig Preserves. Any filling could be substituted. Maybe your favorite jam? Add the Buttery Pecan-Oat Crumble on top and sprinkle on some Cinnamon-Sugar.  Bake until lightly brown and crunchy.  Oh so good!  It is the perfect flavors of Fall!

Just skip to the recipe! 

Baking the bars are simple enough.  Can’t decide what taste you’re in the mood for? Ask your kids! The only difficult thing about these bars is deciding on the filling.  The kitchen tools I used for this recipe is probably what you have in your own kitchen.  I used my food processor to prepare the crumble.  But if you have some mixing bowls, a spatula, pastry blender and your hands.  That outta do it. Nothing fancy.  Our Great Grandmothers kept things simple.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 9 square baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Make sure you leave about an inch or two of parchment up 2 sides of the dish. It makes lifting the bars out of the pan so easy. Nothing sticks!  No fuss, no mess. I swear by parchment.  It makes cooking so much easier! Meanwhile, prepare the pecans. Grind about 3/4 cup of pecan pieces in a Nutri Bullet, (that is what I used) or food processor until it resembles fine crumbs. Ever tried using a coffee grinder? I have heard that works as well. It should yield about 1/2 cup or slightly more. You can be the judge.

The Pecan-Oat Crust

In a large bowl or bowl of a food processor, add the one cup of all-purpose flour*, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats,* and the ground pecans*, packed brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisked until combined or pulse a few times with the processor.  Whisk or pulse until combined. Then add the softened room-temperature butter and almond extract. Using a pastry blender, fork, your hands or food processor, cream together ingredients or pulse for 30 seconds with the Processor until blended and resembles soft crumbs. This Pecan-Oat crumble will smell delightful. A reminder of cool crisp nights and warm cider.  Reserve one half of the buttery crumble and set aside. 

With the other half of the crumb mixture, you set aside to form a crust by pressing with your fingertips on the bottom of the 9 x 9-inch prepared baking dish.

Middle Filling Layer

This is where it becomes mind-boggling. What to use for a filling! If you have a jar of fig preserves, You can use any fruit jam. Be adventurous! If you don’t have a recipe, try my Easy Maple Fig Preserves. It’s a keeper! Figs have a short growing season, and fresh figs are not normally available after September. Try using dried Turkish figs and blend with water.  It will be more like a spread than preserves.  Spread on top of the crust the Fig Preserves. Using the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it around evenly.

Top Layer

Take the other half of the Pecan-Oat crumb topping and generously sprinkle on top of the filling layer. Then garnish with cinnamon-sugar.  Stick in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Until it looks lightly browned. It’s a good length of time.  Anything less and you would lose that wonderful slightly crunchy top.  Mmmm good. Then remove from the oven and smell the yummy goodness.  You will have to wait at least 15 minutes for it to cool.  Then just lift it out of the pan, slice into squares and dig in!

Tailored Tips:
  • Need more servings? Just cut the squares in half.
  • Make sure to always spoon and level when measuring flour.  Having a food scale helps too. Not having the correct amounts can really change a recipe.  But I know not everyone has one lying around.  Other scales maybe, but that kind won’t work sorry. 🙂
  • Gluten-Free Option? Replace All-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to1 Baking Flour and Gluten-Free Oats.

Prep 20 mins

Cook 40 mins

Total 60 mins

Author Karen

Yield 9-18 squares, depends on portion size

Crust and Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats*
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans= equates to 3/4 cup of pecan pieces*
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups Maple Fig Preserves or other fillings*

Garnish:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper or foil and set aside. 
  • To a large bowl or food processor add dry ingredients: flour*, oats*, ground pecans,* packed brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. 
  • Whisk or pulse until combined. Then add the softened room-temperature butter and almond extract.
  • Using a pastry blender, fork, your hands or food processor, cream together ingredients or pulse for 30 seconds with the Processor until blended and resembles soft crumbs. 
  • Reserve one half of the buttery crumble and set aside. With the other half of the mixture form a crust by pressing with your fingertips on the bottom of the baking dish. 
  • Spread the Fig Preserves on top of the crust with the back of a spoon or small spatula. 
  • Take the second half of the crumble mixture and sprinkle on top of the filling and garnish with 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon-sugar. 
  • Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for a least 15 minutes. Then lift out with parchment paper and slice into squares. 

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If you really want to make this don’t forget to PIN IT!

If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on Pinterest, TwitterFacebook and you can also subscribe to Tailored Spoon if you would like to be notified of updates and future freebies! If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook for you!

Recipe inspired by http://www.motherthyme.com/2016/12/oatmeal-fig-jam-squares.html

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Helpful Tips for Tailored Meal Planning – The Tailored Spoon

If you think about it we all enjoy eating the “the comfort food”. Who doesn’t like the idea of sitting down, perhaps with some warm apple pie loaded with vanilla ice cream and a cup of hot cider get you all warm and fuzzy? It does to me. Even our ancestors loved to gather for meals. It is what keeps our society together. Food. But dinnertime can be tiring as well. Maybe you feel like you are cooking for 6 instead of 4.  You would rather just cook one version of spaghetti, instead of two? Tailoring your meal planning may help. Read on friends. 🙂

It is a common occurrence, many kids with Autism don’t like certain foods, tastes, and textures. It’s a big, big deal. My son was diagnosed over nine years ago. Little did I know, I was doing more harm than good with my son, when he was six I would feed him 2-3 helpings of Spaghetti at the table just so he wouldn’t have a meltdown! What? Uh, not a great idea. What WAS I thinking? Pushing ahead nine years and many lessons learned, I decided to change his eating habits… slowly.  It didn’t happen overnight, but it has changed his behavior and weight for the better.  It has been a challenge for years to have my son try new foods. Getting him to be flexible is the key.

So why I am telling you this? I have learned a thing or two about food preferences, diets, palates and meal planning. I’d like to share it with you!  This Here Blog is “My Happy Kitchen.” (Insert silly Western Music Here).

This post is for ALL families whether they are atypical or typical. We could all use some helpful tailored meal planning.

1. Flexible with the Food

Many issues with food can be sensory. I believe that everyone one of us has a food quirk. For me it is peaches. Too much peach fuzz thank you. I take a bite of a peach and my arm hair stands up. Talk about goosebumps!  Just thinking about it, makes me shudder. My 20-year-old son prefers raw vegetables. But really he prefers no vegetables. Ha! If your youngest kid won’t eat string cheese and I mean the stretchy-stringy-hot-out-of the-oven-cheese(mine will not touch the stuff). If that’s the case, try having them explore beyond their “Zone.” I will admit, it’s not easy. Maybe offer an alternative, like cottage cheese (“White Cheese” as my son calls it, Autism=literal thinker).   At least they will be getting the protein they need. Not a fan of the cottage cheese? Keep on trying new foods. Take your kid out of their comfort zone and just give them a little push. If they have a meltdown, try something else. This applies to bigger kids as well. My Hubby? He doesn’t like chocolate “flavored” things, only real chocolate.  I began Tailored Spoon so I can share with you adaptable recipes to food.  Ever thought about hiding the Broccoli or spinach in the spaghetti sauce?  I know it has been done before.  I am also aware that many of us have dietary restrictions, sensory disorders, and food allergies.  Try one food at a time, if that’s what it takes. Take baby steps, add something else to the table one meal and see how it goes. It doesn’t hurt to experiment.  As Parents we are all Scientists, heck we wouldn’t get anywhere if we didn’t try things! Let’s call it flexible food and try something new.

2. Become a Label Reader

Be conscious of the food you eat. I am such a label reader and I won’t buy it if the food label has 50+ ingredients. Obviously, when kids have too much sugar the behavior skyrockets.  My youngest son has self-stimulatory behaviors, can’t focus and his attention span is two seconds. So sugar is an issue for him.  Say your child likes yogurt, and they want only those name brand ones for kids that are filled with sugar.  You know the ones, with all the added sugar, on top of the sugar already existent. How about the yogurt tubes, make your own tube yogurts? I believe that really yummy food does not have to come in a box that stares at you from the shelf in from the grocery store saying buy me I am lonely. I feel a story coming on.  Well, maybe just an interesting fact: Take sugary cereal boxes, for example, there is a reason why grocery stores stock those cereals in the middle of the shelf.  It makes it hard for adults to see, but it is the perfect height for kids and it makes you want to buy it. Frightful if you ask me. I know label reading can become such a daunting task in the store and you will probably drive your kids crazy.  BUT if you do it often enough.  After a few times, it will become easier and you’ll be outta there in no time!   This is a very good image from Cornell University regarding their very interesting article on Cereal Box Psychology.  I would avoid the cereal aisle if you can.

Downright Creepy. The boxes are stalking the children.

3. Just Think Out of the Box and make a list!

Just a quick example: This would be perfect for weekday lunchboxes. Measure yogurt in a 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sized Glad Containers. I would even get the kids to help!

  • Plain Greek yogurt or any type of plain yogurt. The sugar content will be different for each brand.
  • Stevia, honey, or another sweetener. Maple Syrup. Also if you use plain yogurt. Most likely you will not need to add in an additional sweetener if you choose to use add-ins.
  • Add-Ins: A fresh fruit or favorite jelly or preserve, granola, chocolate, ever tried cake sprinkles? The possibilities are endless!

Note: the add-ins are your preference and they are not necessarily brimming of sugar. If you do your research on each of these there are better alternatives.

Put about ¼ of a cup of yogurt in a small plastic cup, add ¼ teaspoon of Stevia or omit altogether, then add some blueberries, cut up strawberries, or raspberries.  Experiment with different sweeteners, try a bit of honey or even maple syrup! That is what I use.

Eating right does not need to be expensive and do your research.

Some Good Tailored Tips:

  1. Buying a large container of Plain Greek yogurt is a better deal than buying 4 packs of those “fun” yogurts. You’ll be saving money as well. Dairy-free yogurt works too. I never attempted to make my own yogurt.  But this is the age of the internet. I guarantee there is a recipe out there. 
  2. If the fresh fruit in your area is a little more expensive, then it’s generally not “In Season.” Try your mixing in your favorite jelly or jam instead. Yum! 
  3. Be adventurous and make your own!  Reason number 529 on why I began The Tailored Spoon Blog. 

My opinions are strictly my own and this is what has worked for me.  I am no way asking you to follow what I did.  Everyone has a right to their own opinions and solutions! Many of us have dietary restrictions and what works for one person might not work for another.

The recipes on my blog will not be restrictive but will be consistently adjustable and versatile in a way that it fits your family! In a nutshell, I believe that if you want a better lifestyle to eat a more nutritionally balanced meal with families that require adaptable recipes. It will take time, patience and experiment from the cook in the Kitchen. The idea is to cook with real food and tailor it your family. Just remember any recipe can be adaptable, adjustable and versatile! No worries!

Don’t have the time to experiment? Keep your eyes peeled for good recipes in my kitchen and yours!

Don’t Forget to Pin It!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to connect with me on PinterestTwitter, hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram and Facebook. If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

If you have found some solutions or food ideas, please comment!  I love reading them and responding when I can. Thanks so much!

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Strawberry Crumb Coffeecake – The Tailored Spoon

Originally Posted September 17, 2017; Updated February 14, 2018

A delicious strawberry crumb coffee cake filled with fresh diced strawberries and topped with a sweet crunchy but moist strawberry crumb topping made with freeze-dried strawberries.

I originally posted this recipe at the beginning of the fall season in September of 2017.  I decided with Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, this would be a really great recipe to post.  It is red, pink and delicious! This recipe is so awesomely good.  I love the fact that it is made using freeze-dried strawberries.  This recipe doesn’t have to be necessary for breakfast either.  Make it for a dessert.  It takes no time at all and you could probably whip it up just in time for Valentine’s Day dessert.  It probably doesn’t matter when you make it though because it will just as good if you decide to bake the coffee cake at midnight.

Can you feel the love in the air?  The weather here where I live has been so hot. I am so ready for Fall! You know what that means? Baking, cooking, and more baking. Time for comfort food all around. I love this time of year! I can tell you that Fall is my favorite season. I start to get excited about the holidays coming, especially Thanksgiving and Halloween, but not necessarily in that order! Since Fall is approaching and it’s finally the end of summer, I want to share a recipe that will get all your family into the kitchen feeling warm and fuzzy.

Jump to Recipe!

Strawberry Crumb Topping Coffeecake! It’s a yummy Strawberry version of everyone’s favorite, Cinnamon Coffeecake but made using my Simple Homemade Baking Mix. The strawberry crumb coffeecake has bits of strawberries in the batter and the crunchy buttery crumb topping is made with a secret ingredient, finely crushed, freeze-dried strawberries! This Coffeecake is so moist, You won’t able to stop with just one piece! Oh so good!

Strawberry Crumb Topping:

Combine in a medium-sized bowl 1/3 cup of baking mix or Bisquick, 1/3 cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of firm butter. Cream together the ingredients with a pastry blender or just get your fingers work the mixture until it resembles crumbs and blended. I used a hand mixer on medium then high for 2 minutes. I found it to be the quickest way. Now the fun part. 🙂 To prepare the crumb topping strawberry colored and flavored we are going to create a fruit powder. Simple Fruit powder is a great substitute for the flavor powdered gelatin and you don’t have to use food coloring. Transform frostings, glazes for cakes, bread, and try it on yogurt! Be creative.

Simple Fruit Powder:

You will need the freeze-dried fruit and a food processor, blender, coffee grinder or a rolling pin. It doesn’t matter.  The idea is to end up with a fine powder that will be mixed in the crumb topping giving it a pretty pink color and the flavor of strawberries!  It smells so wonderful by the way.  Oh so good. When I discovered freeze-dried strawberries, I never turned back, thanks to https://sallysbakingaddiction.com. Blend in a food processor, grind or crush the strawberries with a rolling pin and set aside.

Note: 1/2 cup of Freeze-dried sliced strawberries=about 3 tablespoons. I used about 3/4 cup of the freeze-dried strawberries. Yielded about 5 tablespoons.

Strawberry Coffeecake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch x 3-inch springform pan or a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.  While you are waiting for the oven to heat up, make the coffee cake batter.  Take approximately 9 freshly washed, hulled strawberries and dice them. Set aside. That should yield about one cup. In a large sized bowl combine two cups of the baking mix, milk, white sugar, and separately whisk the room temperature egg, then at it to the batter. Stir well until combined either by hand or electric hand mixer. With a spatula fold in the diced strawberries. Make sure all of the strawberries are mixed in.  We don’t want any left behind. The batter will be very thick and pour into the greased pan, then spread it until even. Now comes the fun part. Take the strawberry crumb topping that you set aside and sprinkle it evenly on top. It should look something like this:

Yummers! I totally love the pink crumbles! Don’t worry if it’s not. We aren’t here to judge. It will probably be just as yummy anyway! Place coffee cake on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. Checking it periodically. When you are finished remove the coffeecake, smell the strawberry wonderfulness and let cool on a rack for about 10-15 minutes. When cooled, slice and eat away! Can you see those nooks and crannies filled with bits of strawberries? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

This recipe is perfect for the weekend mornings or Valentine’s Day Dessert. Have a slice with your morning coffee, tea and share it with special ones in your life! Make even easier on yourself and make it the day before. That way you can just grab it from the refrigerator in the morning and warm a slice up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Also, your kids won’t be waiting impatiently for breakfast.  They will be so excited to devour it.  If your kids are like mine. I think they have broken the world’s record for speed eating! This coffee cake came out tasting moist and delicious. It also could be tailored to use with any kind of freeze-dried fruit! I can already taste the possibilities!

Prep 20 mins

Cook 22 mins

Total 42 mins

Author Karen at The Tailored Spoon

Yield 6-8 slices

Strawberry Coffeecake:

  • 2 cups baking mix or Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk*
  • 3 tablespoons sugar*
  • 1 extra large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Strawberry Crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup baking mix or Bisquick
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup of sliced freeze-dried strawberries, blended to form a powder*
  • 2 tablespoons of firm butter

Coffeecake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch x 3-inch springform pan or a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.  
  3. Take approximately nine freshly washed, hulled strawberries and dice them. Set aside. Yields about one cup.
  4. In a large sized bowl combine two cups of the baking mix, milk, white sugar, and separately whisk the room temperature egg, then add it to the batter. Stir well until combined either by hand or electric hand mixer. But do not overmix.
  5. With a spatula fold in the diced strawberries. Make sure all of the strawberries are mixed in.  We don’t want any left behind. The batter will be very thick. Pour the batter into the greased pan and spread until it is even.
  6. Take the strawberry crumb topping that you have set aside and sprinkle it evenly on top.

Strawberry Crumb Topping:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl combine 1/3 cup of baking mix or Bisquick, 1/3 cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of firm butter.
  2. Cream together the first three ingredients with a pastry blender or just get your fingers work the mixture until it resembles crumbs. Or use a hand mixer on medium for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed freeze-dried strawberries and stir to combine.

*I used buttermilk, but you can use any kind of milk.  

*This isn’t overly sweet. You may want to increase the amount of sugar based on your preference.  Try brown sugar too.

* 1/2 cup of sliced freeze-dried strawberries = 3 tablespoons of crushed strawberry powder.  Since the recipe requirement is 3/4 cup that amounts to approximately 5 tablespoons.  You can vary the amount of strawberry powder for taste.

Gluten-Free Option: I found this Gluten-Free Bisquick Recipe at GlutenFreeBaking.com to make this Coffeecake gluten-free. 

Modified & Inspired recipe from Betty Crocker 

Courses Breakfast

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If you made this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on Pinterest, TwitterFacebook. and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog because you’ll get a freebie.  If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook for you!

Recipe modified & Inspired by Betty Crocker & #sallysbakingaddiction

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Simple Homemade Baking Mix – The Tailored Spoon

I am one of those people who walks into a grocery with their kids with the promise of being fast.  Unfortunately, sometimes I don’t keep my promise. Sorry kids. I try to take less than a few hours to shop.  Honestly, I can’t help it, I confess. I am a label reader. Every item I get my hands on in the store I read the label, checking for ingredients.  I can never pronounce what is on the side of the box.  I love the science of food, but food shouldn’t be complicated. You are also saving money making your own. That is why I changed my family’s way of eating, cooking, and began this blog. Oh, and I love food! Real Food=Recipe of Simple Homemade Baking Mix!  Made from scratch with stuff we can pronounce and have been around forever.

Just get to the recipe!

Making this recipe is so simple.  I feel like I have discovered gold when I find recipes like this and get to share it with you.  I get giddy. I must be a food nerd or something. 🙂  It literally takes no more than 10 minutes to prepare.  If you have a food processor or mixer: 10 minutes tops. But if you are preparing without plugging in a single appliance and using your hands as a tool, then add on an extra 5 minutes.  It really depends on how fast you are. This mix only has four ingredients!

Some of the baking mix recipes I have read have added sugar.   This recipe has no sugar added.  It is your preference and if you care to add some.  Two tablespoons would be a good start if you want just a hint of sweetness.

Food Processor Method:

Add to your food processor bowl 4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled. Followed by baking soda, and salt. I have an 11-cup size food processor, but I would not use anything smaller than an 8-cup. This recipe can yield quite a lot, especially if you double the recipe.

Cut the shortening into cubes and put in food processor bowl.  One stick of shortening=1 cup.  Then pulse processor 2 to 4 times until the mix resembles soft crumbs. Put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. Recommended containers are Tupperware, oxo products or just use an airtight jar like I did.  This works just as well. This recipe is so simple and convenient, it might not last that long in the refrigerator!

Very Similar to Bisquick!

 Simple by hand Method:

Grab a large bowl and add to it the 4 cups of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir to combine. Then slice into cubes the 1 cup of shortening and add to the bowl. You can buy shortening by the stick or can.  I prefer the stick for baking and I use the can for steps like greasing baking pans and dishes. Don’t have shortening, use butter! If you have a pastry blender, use one to combine the shortening with the mix until it resembles soft crumbs. Don’t have a pastry blender use your hands and with your fingertips cream together the mixture.  Storing the mix is the same is the same for both methods.

You can use it to make pancakes, waffles, biscuits, casseroles or anything else you can think of!  I found a really good Gluten-Free Bisquick Recipe at GlutenFreeBaking.com if you need a really good Gluten-Free Bisquick­ Mix.

If you liked this recipe don’t forget to pin it!

If you made this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here in my kitchen at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

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