If we’re skilled at anything here at Rue, it’s finding ways to transform perfectly wholesome ingredients into sweet and creamy desserts. (A seriously covetable talent, we think.) This week, we’re working our magic on these Peanut Butter Apple Bars, courtesy of blog favorite Two Peas and Their Pod.

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Sure, you could have the traditional apple slices and peanut butter. Or, you could swap in gooey bars packed with chunky apples and drizzled with a peanut-butter glaze. We know, decisions are difficult.

Our After-School Baking: Cake Mixes, Pans, & More Boutique opens Wednesday, September 4, at 3PM ET.

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September 4, 2013

 
A little insider knowledge from the Rue offices? We. Love. Food. Seriously, it’s right up there next to fashion. To celebrate this week’s Sunday Supper, we surveyed the masses for all-time favorite ice cream toppings. Read what our dessert savants had to say, then take our poll and tell us yours.

BLG-Sundaes

“Grape-Nuts on vanilla ice cream. So simple, and tastes like malted milk.”
–Michael D., VP, Audience Development & Syndication

“Fruity Pebbles. Pile them over fro-yo with just one sour gummy worm, and I am instantly in third grade again!”
–Kelly A., Feature Writer

“Peanut butter cups! Chocolate + peanut butter + ice cream… do I really need to say anything more? SO. GOOD.”
–Chrissy M., Copywriter

“Oreos add great texture and never get soggy.”
–Lindsay L., Editor

“There’s a small, family-owned ice cream shop in my hometown that I go to every chance I get. Vanilla with rainbow sprinkles equals summer all year long.”
–Jennifer M., Event Producer

“Bing cherries. Buy them canned, combine in a skillet with a bit of corn starch and brandy, then set it all on fire. (Seriously.) It’s an elegant – not to mention surprisingly easy – way to dress up vanilla or chocolate.”
–Joanna B., Editor

“Coconut, hands down. Because it’s sweet, creamy, and island-inspired. Plus there are health benefits, right? Right.”
–Abigail K., Editor

“Gummy worms and Oreos. Call me nostalgic, but after my first grade teacher introduced that dynamic duo to our class, there was no turning back. (And I just really loved first grade.)”
–Sarah S., Copywriter

“I love raspberries so much that sometimes I put ice cream on them.”
–Sami S., Junior Designer

“Teddy’s Super Chunky Peanut Butter because it adds amazing crunch and flavor to vanilla ice cream.”
–Kasey R., Event Producer

What's your favorite ice cream topping?


Our Sunday Supper: All About Dessert Boutique opens Sunday, August 4, at 11AM ET.

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August 4, 2013

 
Get excited. None other than Annie Dean, blogger and food extraordinaire, let us in on her quintessential summer dessert (and how you – yes you – can make it at home) just in time for the Fourth of July spread:

Summer is the season, unquestionably, to bake pies. Growing up, my mom used to bake us all sorts of pies. Blueberry. Peach. Strawberry Rhubarb. We’d never eat them hot, though. After they came out of the oven, we’d let them cool off by an open window in the kitchen and then pop them in the fridge overnight. By breakfast we’d be ready for a slice: the perfect relief from the morning heat. For her pie recipes, my mom has always relied on McCall’s Superb Dessert Cookbook by Mary Eckley, the then-food editor of McCall’s magazine. And for good reason: Mary Eckley was my mom’s godmother. Try this blueberry pie. You’ll forget winter even exists.

Blueberry Pie

McCall’s Blueberry Pie

Filling

  • 2 pints of blueberries, rinsed, patted dry and picked through to remove obvious stems
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • dash of salt

 
Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

 

To make filling:
Place blueberries in a bowl and add 1 cup sugar mixed with 1/4 cup flour and a dash of salt. Toss until thoroughly coated.

To make crust:
Sift flour with salt into medium bowl. With pastry blender or two knives, using a short, cutting motion, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Quickly sprinkle ice water, one tablespoon at a time, over all of pastry mixture, tossing lightly with a fork after each addition and pushing dampened portion to side of bowl (pastry should be just moist enough to hold together, not sticky). Shape the pastry into a ball and wrap in wax paper until ready to use. When ready, divide in half and flatten each half with palm of hand.

Roll out each half into a 12-inch circle, rolling with light strokes from center to edge. As you roll, alternate directions. Fold bottom pastry in half and carefully place in a buttered pie dish, taking care to ensure that fold is in the center of the pie dish. Unfold and fit carefully into pie plate, leaving some pastry overhanging on the sides. Cut top pastry into 12 1-inch slices.

Once the bottom crust of the pie has been added to the pie dish, add your filling and make your lattice-top crust. Crimp the edges with a fork and pop in the oven at 425°F for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and filling is fizzling out of the top crust.

Expert tip:
Protect your crusts with a makeshift crust protector. Cut a circle of aluminum foil larger than the circumference of the pie. Cut out a large hole from the center of the foil, just an inch or so smaller than the circumference of your pie. When placed over the pie, the foil will fit just over the crimped edges of the crust. After 20 minutes of baking, add the crust protector to prevent the edges of your crust from over-browning.

Our Sunday Supper: The All-American Feast Boutique opens Sunday, June 30, at 11AM ET.

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June 30, 2013

 

Sunday Supper

Photos by Jennifer Che.

When it comes to summer eats, Italian food – typically associated with heavier meals – is all too often overlooked. Which is crazy, because Italian cuisine is all about light simplicity (with super-fresh ingredients, of course).

Case in point: these two recipes, both the handiwork of talented food blogger Jen (you’ll be obsessed with her site, Tiny Urban Kitchen). The Gnocchi with Summer Roasted Tomatoes takes full advantage of summer’s candy-like tomatoes, and Olive Oil Ice Cream – well, it needs zero justification. Serve them up at next Sunday’s dinner alfrescoThey pair perfectly with a mild breeze.

Our Sunday Supper: Italian Alfresco Boutique opens Sunday, June 2, at 11AM ET.

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June 2, 2013

Kristin Rosenau thought she’d be an astroparticle physicist (we had to Wikipedia it, too), but that was until she fell in love with pastries, inspiring one seriously lovely – and highly acclaimed – food blog, Pastry Affair. It’s packed with recipes, prose, and gorgeous photography (her genius camera skills certainly come in handy).

These two eats in particular have us positively drooling. For more where they came from, be sure to visit Kristin’s blog – we promise you’ll fall in love, too.

Pastry AffairPhotos by Kristin Rosenau of Pastry Affair.

Summer Berry Pavlova
Yields 4 mini pavlovas

“This Summer Berry Pavlova is sweet, light, and fresh. The pavlova is a large meringue with a crisp exterior and a soft, marshmallow-like interior. When it cools, the center collapses, revealing a cavity that is filled with a white chocolate whipped cream. The pavlova is topped with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, with white chocolate shavings and a dusting of powdered sugar. These are a cool delight when the heat is high and friends are near.”

Pavlova
1 teaspoon vinegar (or lemon juice)
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, place the vinegar onto a paper towel and rub over the bowl and egg beaters to eliminate grease (which can prevent the meringue from rising).

Beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and cornstarch and keep beating until stiff, shiny peaks form. Whip in the vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (do not skip this step!).

Divide meringue into 4 equal portions and form into disks approximately 2 inches high, creating a slight dip in the center for filling later. Bake for 55–65 minutes, or until meringues appear dry and are barely gaining color. Turn off the oven, crack the door, and allow pavlovas to cool to room temperature before removing from the oven (the centers will fall; do not be alarmed). Very carefully remove from parchment paper and transfer to serving dishes.

Continue reading “Embark on a Pastry Affair” »

April 28, 2013