Luv Equals Pies.

I don’t like to put periods on titles, but the above statement is so true it can be boiled down to mathematical science.

Baking+blueberries/strawberries/and/or chocolate= Love on a (pie) Plate.

Even the word “pie” is mathematical (insert two lines with a wavy line above them here).*

One plus one plus one equals three pies! Now where is the fourth…

Saturday, I had the awesome privilege to be a part of my church’s Serve Day. This meant that people at each of our campuses decided on the things they could do to show people love and meet their needs. That’s the funny thing about people who love to cook- to them, the best way to serve someone is to literally serve someone something, on a plate.

I decided to bake some pies and deliver them. And bake I did- a blueberry, strawberry, and two chocolate chip pies.

Not getting to taste these was an act of love in itself. Because no matter how hard I tried to convince myself, it really wasn’t sanitary to stick my spoon into someone else’s pie.

I would go so far as to encourage you to do the same this week. Find someone, show them some love, and bake them a pie- any flavor will do. And make sure when you deliver it you sit for a while; maybe they’ll end up sharing some with you.

This is more of an artistic interpretation of a top crust.

*I was never good at math so I am really not sure the above formula makes sense. Also, my beautiful sister and I have debated for years wether we would consider ourselves “Team Pie” or “Team Cake.” She is “Team Pie” and so I hope she reads this post.  Be proud, team pie members!

This pie was genius because it forms it’s own crispy-yet-chewy crust.

Sunday B.L.T.s

Teenage mutant ninja tomatoes

My Sunday began with the largest tomato I have ever seen (posted above).

And that got me thinking. Fresh tomatoes are one of summer’s finest blessings. And when that perfect, succulent tomato meets icy lettuce, pan-fried, uncured bacon, mayonnaise and crunchy toast- bliss.

It was high time for a BLT.

When selecting your ingredients for a B.L.T. (for those of you unschooled in food acronyms, this stands for Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato placed upon each other in a sandwich), please, please, please do not skimp on ingredients. For me, that means using the fancy bacon (which also implies not purchasing the brand that builds hot dog vehicles); fresh, homegrown tomatoes purchased from your farmer’s market or picked from your garden; and quality lettuce. I used spring mix here because I like the mix of spiciness you get from that mix of greens. But iceberg would do just fine.

Oh, and please put mayonnaise on your BLT. If you do not like mayonnaise, you are allowed to use mustard. My great friend and fellow blogger Melissa loves mustard, and so she uses that. I will allow her this because I tried it and it is delicious. But to my credit, I did have a mayonnaise base:)

And the best thing about a BLT is the first bite. The tomato juice sweetly oozes- the salty bacon crumbles, and the toasty bread supports it all in one fell, mayonnaise-laced swoop.

It’s a beautiful moment, biting into a BLT. And, we didn’t even have to turn on the oven.

My friend Melissa and I prepped to chow down.

I think tomatoes are God’s proof that He loves us and wants us to be happy.

This photo was hard to take because this BLT was waiting for me to eat it.

Summertime Cookies

Celebrate our country with cookies!

Wednesday, the thermometer in my car read 112 degrees.

ONE HUNDRED AND TWELVE DEGREES.

Where I am from, to say it is hot is an understatement. It is hooooootttttt. Or, as most people put it- “The fall is a Southerners reward for surviving the summer.”

Needless to say, turning on my oven sounds less than appealing. However, due to a time crunch and emphatic promise to my Southern mama that I would bake something for the Fourth of July barbeque, I had to come up with something. After a brief flip through my all-time favorite dessert cookbook, I decided on vanilla shortbread cookies. They were light, buttery- and a perfect pairing for my mom’s homemade peach ice cream (the recipe which, as of now, remains undisclosed. Some things you have to just keep in the family.)

So turn on your oven, stick your head in the freezer, and pray that fall comes quickly. In the meantime, enjoy these delicious cookies that are an ode to both the brightness of summer, and the hope that cool breezes will come quickly!

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter (this recipe calls for European-style, but I was in a pinch so just used Land o’Lakes unsalted, my personal favorite), room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to Do:

Sift flour, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in granulated sugar and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing until just blended each time. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Roll each half into 6-inch-long log; wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight (I left mine in the fridge overnight.).

Position racks in top third and center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Cut each log crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on 2 heavy large baking sheets, spacing 1/2 inch apart (cookies will spread very little). Bake cookies 9 minutes. Reverse baking sheets; bake just until cookies turn golden brown at edges, about 9 minutes longer. Cool cookies on sheets 1 minute. Using thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks; cool.

Optional blueberry glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons cranberry blueberry juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to Do:

Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until all lumps are gone and it is the consistency is of a thin glaze (or in other words, it should be a bit thicker than what glue feels like). Feel free to dip the cookies in the glaze or drizzle the glaze over them for a pretty presentation.

Also, I couldn’t resist showing you what my brother’s Fourth of July plate looked like. And before you ask, no he did not partake in any side items.

This is what happens when a 20-year-old male goes on a meat spree.

The cookies cool down by a pool of peach ice cream.