Category

Food

Step-by-Step with Mary Crafts: Mom’s Perfect Pie Crust

By | Ask Mary, Food, How To, Recipes, Tips

Pie is the truly iconic American dessert, but very few people know how to do it well. The novice baker may spend most of their time perfecting the pie filling and spend little time and attention on the crust. However, a true pie maker and connoisseur knows the greatest pie joys lie within a well-made crust. Remember, there is no such thing as a good frozen pie crust from the grocers freezer. But, practice makes perfect and soon you can become an excellent pie maker!

For a single pie crust (for 8 or 9 inch pie) you will need the following:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp lard* (room temperature)
2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup ice water (approximately)

Click here for a printable version.

*IN PRAISE OF LARD: No other fat can compare to real lard in a pie crust. If you need to substitute Crisco for the lard, don’t add the butter, just use straight Crisco. The crust will still be flaky but without the buttery flavor.

If you plan on making a two crust pie (crust on top and on bottom) simply double the above recipe. Or, if you’d prefer, my mother always made a “French Apple” pie which replaces the top crust with a crumb mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup butter mixed until crumbly. Increase baking time 10 minutes.

Okay, let’s get started!

Blend the lard and butter together to create the perfect fat. Chill until cold (you’ll want to chill your butter and lard mixture between every step. Your flaky and delicious crust depends on your fats staying cold.)

Cut the lard/butter mixture into small pieces. In mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.

Using your fingers, pastry blender, or two knives, work quickly to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles small grains of rice. You can use a food processor but you have to be super careful to not over mix. Chill until cold.

Once your mixture is cold, sprinkle the cold (ice cold) water over the flour mixture, one tablespoon at at time, and lightly toss with a fork after each addition. The dough should come together as dough but it should NOT be wet. Just make sure there isn’t any loose flour at the bottom of your bowl. Do not over mix.

Form the dough into a flat disc (if you’ve doubled the recipe for a two crust pie, split the dough in half and make two flat discs). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before rolling.

Flour your surface. I like to use a pastry cloth for my floured surfaces, this decreases the amount of flour needed to ensure my dough doesn’t stick. Roll dough into a circle approximately 2 inches larger than your pie plate. Crust should be approximately 1/8 inch thick.


Place the upside down pie pan in the center of the dough. Cut out the circle with a knife or pizza wheel to be an inch larger around the pan. (If you’ve made a second crust, repeat this process and set your rolled and sized dough aside.)

Fold circle into fourths and place in pie pan, unfold to cover pan.  Lightly press crust into pan. Fold excess dough under on the rim of the pie plate. Crimp edges with fork or pinch between thumb and forefinger to form an edge that is higher then the plate to catch any juices that begin to bubble. Chill until cold.

Your crust is now ready for filling and either a double crust or crumb topping. Fill your cold crust with you filling and top with your choice topping.

If you chose the crumb topping, skip the next two steps. For the double crust pie, you will want to tuck the top crust between the bottom crust and your pie dish. Place some pressure on the two crusts to secure.

After your crust is tucked and secured, pinch or crimp the edges of your crust to seal completely. With a pastry or pairing knife cut a large “S” in the middle of the pie along with a few other slits around the top for steam to escape. Sprinkle generously with sugar.

 

Place pie on the lowest rack and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking 35 more minutes or until juice is bubbling out of the center vent which indicates the juice has thickened. Five minutes before it is finished baking, brush the top crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Tip for a crisp bottom crust: bake on a pie stone and always cool on a rack and not the counter.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or cheese! For printable instructions, click here. I’ve included the filling recipe for my mom’s prize-winning apple pie!

Love, Mary.

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Food, Holiday Parties, Instagram of the Week, Parties

Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from Carla Boecklin who shot this AMAZING feature for Park City Mag!  We love this post because it is simply perfect inspiration for the holiday weekend!  Thank you for sharing, Carla!  And remember, for your chance to be next week’s pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts in your post and check back to see who gets chosen next!  Happy weekend, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

A Wedding With A Patriotic Twist!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Food, Holiday Parties, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Parties, Venues We Love

You know, all of us here at Culinary Crafts think we get to host some of the most AMAZING weddings!  We especially love events that have a twist on a theme and this one is a favorite for sure.  Plus, it is perfect inspiration for any of the 4th of July events you might be hosting this upcoming weekend.  So, without further ado, let’s get to showcasing this stunning wedding – with a twist of festive, patriotic flair!

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Aspen Meadows is breathtaking, don’t you think?  It was such a lovely place to host this breathtaking wedding!

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We love the subtle hints of Americana and love the couple’s choice to bring a bit of romance and balance to the red, white, and blue palette with pops of pink instead of bright reds.  Such a pretty decor!

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Next, we created drink to fit with the patriotic theme like the Strawberry and Blueberry Mojitos!  We loved that the fruit added a delicious touch – but was a super fun “patriotic” detail as well!

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Isn’t this a pretty site for a cocktail hour?  We love that the tables weren’t competing with the surrounding natural beauty.  Also, using the taller tables encourages people to mix and mingle – which is great idea for any event!

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While the interior had hints of the patriotic palette – and definitely a gorgeously, romantic vibe – the outside was a place that we took the theme over-the-top!  From this fun red, white, and blue teepee (which the kids LOVED) to the patriotic pillows on the luxe white lounge furniture.  It was the perfect way to amp up the theme!

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Of course, we made sure to serve some truly delicious eats.  The couple wanted to keep with a more casual menu with an elegant, upscale feel!  The hors d’oeuvres were definitely a reflection of that.  Yum!!!

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Such a pretty day for a wedding!  We loved putting the dinner buffet just outside the dining area – another great way to tie in the beautiful surroundings!

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We kept the romantic, yet casual, vibe going through dinner – and it was scrumptious!

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To kick off the buffet, we served some gorgeous sides like the Mixed Baby Greens Salad with Feta, Berries, Toasted Almonds, & Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette; Roasted Potatoes with Herb Salsa; and Fresh Mozzarella, Basil & Grape Tomatoes Salad.  Light and fresh – perfect for a summer party!

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Next, we get to the main courses!  House Made Corn Bread with a Sprinkle of Paprika, served with Honey Butter; Grilled Chicken with Herb & Chili Rub; and finally our AMAZING Barbecued Short Ribs.  Seriously delicious!

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Another festive touch for this party?  Fire pits which just beckoned the guests to get outside and hang out.  LOVE!

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Of course, since we have fire pits (and it’s a summer party), we just had to have our S’mores Bar complete with Hershey’s Chocolate, Graham Crackers, and Culinary Crafts Signature House Made Marshmallows!  The guests LOVED this fun station!

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And, lastly, the bride and groom chose to have this AMAZING American flag ‘cake pop’ cake for dessert which had to be my FAVORITE detail of the whole day!  It was so fun and so festive – a perfect touch for this patriotic wedding!

We loved this wedding so much and think it has so much to inspire you in planning your parties and BBQs for this holiday weekend (and all of summer parties, really)!  Happy planning, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

How to Smoke Cheese the Cool Way

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, How To, Tips

When most people think of smoked foods they think of barbecue — brisket, ribs, etc. However, limiting smoky flavors to barbecue is like limiting the use of lemons to lemonade. Can you imagine a world without lox and bagels? We can’t. Smoked salmon, chicken, tofu, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, nuts, even ice can be cold smoked!

Hot Smoke v. Cold Smoke
The secret that unlocks the ability to smoke almost anything is cold smoking. Unlike traditional hot smoke, cold smoke does not always intend to cook the food as it’s smoking it. Cold smoke can be used to cure foods that need to be cooked, but it also can simply add a gentle, smoky flavor to the surface of your ingredient.

Cold smoking must keep the food cold during the smoking process. This can be achieved by distance from the heat source and an insulating barrier between the ingredient and the heat, a cold layer for the smoke to pass through before it gets to the food for example, or, by keeping a very, very low heat.

“You want your smoke to be a very thin, grey (almost bluish), wispy kind of smoke.
If your smoke is thick and heavy, the combustion levels
of your fire may be too cold.”
-Ryan Crafts, Grill Master

Options for Cold Smoking
If you don’t have a traditional smoker, and even if you do, you may not know your options as far as cold smoking. Here are a few easy ones:

Smoking Gun
A smoking gun sounds a little suspicious, but it’s actually the simplest, quickest, and cleanest way to smoke foods at home. All you do is insert the tube into a sealed space with your food, put wood chips in your gun, turn it on, and start smokin’. In a matter of minutes you can add that smoky flavor to almost anything.

Here’s one we recommend:

Here’s how we use a similar smoking gun and a glass chamber to flavor a beverage:

Here we’re using them at a Smoke themed station at our YouTube Channel launch party:

Smoking Maze or Cylinder
This would probably be your most versatile option for cold smoking. Simply fill the chamber with sawdust or pellets and light it from one end. All you need is an enclosed, outdoor container. A gas or kettle grill would work just fine! Our favorite is the A-MAZE-N Smoker, it comes in a maze or cylinder form!

Kettle or Gas Grill
When cold smoking in a kettle or gas grill one must utilize space and temperature to create enough heat to smoke, but not enough to cook. For easily melting foods like cheese, you might want to place your food on top of a container filled with ice. Keep the heat very low and off to one side to ensure for the lowest heat possible. Wood chips can be put directly on top of the charcoal or, in a gas grill, the wood chip drawer or box. Here’s a graphic of what that would look like in a charcoal grill:

Infographic from Fix.com

Traditional Smoker
Much like the kettle grill, in order to cold smoke in a traditional smoker you must create a barrier between the heat source and your food. Ice in a tin could work (above), or filling up your drip tray with ice every 20 minutes or so will also do the trick. Many traditional smokers also have attachments for cold smoking, like this one for a Bradley Smoker:Yes, that’s right, you can smoke pretty much anything, and we do!
Have a Happy Forth of July weekend, and this year enjoy smokin’ as well as grillin’ —

Warm wishes,

Ryan and the Culinary Crafts Team

A Bright, Colorful Summer Ranch Wedding!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Food, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Parties, Sharing the Love -Vendor and Client Relationships, Vendor Love!, Venues We Love, Wedding Trends

Today on the blog, we have a bright and BEAUTIFUL ranch wedding that was held at a private residence in the Maple Ridge Ranches – so you know its going to be breathtaking!  We absolutely loved how bold the color palette was and how fun and creative the menu was!  Thank you to Kristina Curtis Photography for the amazing photos.  Check it out!

A mix of classic lace with a fun twist from these colorful cowboy boots.  Plus that amazing bouquet from Roots Floral Design?!  Absolutely flawless!

How stunning is this floral arch?  These peonies are my favorite!  We love how the colors popped against the beautiful blur skies and green fields.

We love this ceremony space!  Such a perfect setting for this intimate celebration.

I love it when couples have their furbabies at their weddings!  And, how cute are these pups with their bandanas?!  LOVE.

I’m telling you, these peonies were out of this world!  We loved using them to dress up our wooden serving platters!  Such a great touch that perfectly tied into the feel of this wedding!

We loved how the centerpieces popped against the lace, natural burlap, and white washed tables and chairs from Diamond Rental.  Plus, the mixed metallics of the votives really added a touch of elegance!

I mean, seriously, how pretty was this room?  Love the wagon wheel chandeliers too!

The couple chose to give their guests favors that were sweet AND pretty!  This custom candy bar with these sweet little treat bags were so cute!

Of course, with a celebration this fun, we had multiple chef stations around the space to add interest and encourage the guests to mix and mingle.  We also loved using spare blooms to dress up the stations!  This is our Snuck Farm Salad Bar with locally grown produce with all of the trimmings for a summer salad!  Yum!

Beautiful sliced Utah Apples and Candied Pecans were an obvious choice for the salads!  Plus, we offered three tasty, summer dressings – Raspberry Vinaigrette, Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette, and Slide Ridge Honey Vinaigrette!  So good!

These cute take out boxes were the perfect vessel for our Vegetarian Wok station!  Aren’t they so cool?

Next station, our Chef Torched Tri Tip!  Always a crowd favorite!

Along with the Tri Tip we added our amazing sides, like House Made Chimichurri Sauce and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Olive Oil and Sea Salt!  Such a great pairing!

This Curry Salmon with Carrot Oat Waffles and Bechamel Sauce was so different and delicious!  We loved this dish!

Another shot of these gorgeous florals, (because, well, they are amazing!)  And how pretty was this cake from Carrie’s Cakes?!  We loved how the lace and burlap elements tied into the simply elegant cake, and the addition of the bright florals really made it so romantic!

Of course, there were desserts (my favorite!)   We couldn’t just serve one, so we made it a grand buffet with ALLLL the delicious plus slices of the fabulous wedding cake!

We served our Pot de Cremes and Milk and Cookie Shooters.  Love these cute little bites!

Our Raspberry Crumb Bars are a classic dessert offering for mix and mingle receptions too!  So tasty and easy to carry around while talking to everyone!

Last, but not least, our Fresh Berry Parfaits and Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars rounded out the AMAZING desserts we served.  Perfect for this summer menu!

Wasn’t this wedding so pretty?  We absolutely LOVED this wedding and how colorful it was!  I hope this inspires you all to be a little bold with your color choices and creative with your menus!  Happy planning, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

VENDORS – Photographer: Kristina Curtis Photography | Event Designer: Mary Crafts | Food: Culinary Crafts | HMUA: Makeup by Myrinda | Venue: Maple Ridge Ranches | Cake: Carrie’s Cakes | Flowers: Roots Floral Design | Rentals: Diamond Rental

Upscale, Country Picnic Wedding at the Utah State Capitol!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Food, How To, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Wedding Trends

Today, I have a beautifully sweet wedding Culinary Crafts did at the Utah State Capitol last summer!  We loved how colorful, fun, and full of cute details there were in this wedding!  Plus, the bride wanted to host an ‘upscale country picnic’ – which we loved!  The menu was so perfect and in line with the playful feel of this event.  Thank you to Kelli Bramble for capturing this event so well – check it out!

The mix of color, textrure, and vintage rentals from Refined Vintage Events were so PRETTY!  We loved how it all came together.  Of course, we would expect nothing less from Michelle Leo Events (who did the day-of planning)!

These escort ‘cards’ were so cute!  So whimsical and bright.  Plus, look at how beautiful the menu board turned out (thanks Karli Noel Calligraphy!)

We love welcoming guests to the table with a tasty bite, so we put together these decadent ‘couples cheese boards’ with local cheeses, fruits, and crisps for each couple to share.  So yummy (and fun)!  Plus, check out the fabulous country-striped napkins, bright table numbers, red chargers, vintage glassware, and organic florals – such a perfect tablescape for the upscale county picnic feel!

How gorgeous is this day?!  A perfect day for this picture perfect wedding!

The bride wanted to incorporate some fun elements like a Lemonade stand.  Isn’t is cool?!  And these Rosemary Shortbread Cookies were a light, summer-y treat that the guests loved!

The bride’s breathtaking bouquet was put on display during the reception, because, I mean why not show off this beauty???  Lizy Bowden Floral Design hit it out of the park!

After dinner, guests were encouraged to mix and mingle at these pretty highboys that were placed around the perimeter of the reception space.  We love dressing up the linens with a simple rosette.  Simple, elegant, and impactful.  Love it!

The bride and groom had an extra special place at the head table with these AMAZING turquoise, vintage chairs and this cute ‘Mr & Mrs’ signage.  We love setting the couple’s seats apart with cute details that really add to the visual interest of the reception space.

Our staff is so AWESOME!  Look at them putting together SO many beautiful plates and looking so stylish to boot!

The guests started their meal with our Summer Greens Salad with Citrus and Kiwi, dressed with a Raspberry Vinaigrette.  Such a perfect summer salad!

Next, the guests were served House Made Potato Chips – and let me tell you, these chips were out-of-this-world!

Because the bride wanted an ‘upscale’ feel, we served this country picnic as a formal plated dinner.  Such a fun twist!  So, along with the delicious chips, the guests were served this AMAZIN’ plate – a trio of sliders.  We made a Classic Hamburger Slider on a Sesame Bun, a Pulled Pork Slider on a Poppyseed Bun, and a Turkey Slider on an Onion Bun.  Add our Watermelon garnished with Mint and Feta and you have a classic summer menu!

Another look at this gourmet trio of sliders, beacause, why not?!  They are so DELICIOUS!

We love this pretty, organic wedding cake.  Not quite a ‘naked’ cake, but definitely with that style.  And the floral touches were so perfect for the feel of this event.  Of course, we made sure dessert was over the top too!  Not only did the guests get wedding cake, but we made House Made Red Velvet Donuts with Culinary Crafts’s Signature Gelato  too!  This was a favorite dish, for sure!

Wasn’t this event so fun?  We absolutely loved it!   From the decor to the menu, every detail was perfect and the guests were thrilled with this one-of-a-kind event.  We hope this inspires you to do something a little different for your wedding too.  Happy planning, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Food, Instagram of the Week, Parties

Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from The SLC Veggie!  We love this pic from the Gospel Brunch at The Gateway where Culinary Crafts is a proud purveyor of brunch bites!  Those pop tarts?   Ya, we made those.  😉  YUM!  You won’t want to miss the next one (tickets & info are here), and thank you to The SLC Veggie for the awesome picture!  Remember, for your chance to be next week’s pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and check back to see who gets chosen!  Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

Romantic, Organic Red Cliff Ranch Wedding

By | Event Tips and Planning, Food, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Parties, Venues We Love, Wedding Trends

Today, I have a GORGEOUS wedding to share with you – and, since we are approaching Memorial Day weekend – it boasts a fabulous menu that can easily inspire your weekend get togethers!  This was such a beautiful event and the food was so fun as well as delicious (of course)!  We loved the couple’s choice to serve some classic summer BBQ favorites, as well as some surprises.  Thank you to Kate Benson for the fabulous photographs!  Check it out!

Red Cliff Ranch is one of our favorite venues!  We always love hosting events there.

How pretty is this tablescape?!  We love the pink glassware that adds a touch of romance to the rustic table and the organic feel of the garland runner.  So pretty!

How cute are these horse favors?  Each guest was welcomed to their seat with one of these cuties.  Love all of the small details at this event!

Of course, we make sure that all of the guests have some fabulous beverage options – and this event was no exception!  We served fresh fruit infused waters (always a crowd favorite) as well as Mojitos!  We love the aspen bark paper straws in the Mojitos as well.  Such a great touch!

To tie in with the casual feel of this event, the couple chose to host a grand buffet – and, boy, was it delicious.  Guests got a front row seat to the yummy eats and we loved seeing how excited they were to dig in!

This menu is chock full of BBQ inspiration!  Case in point, our entrees were grilled on site and would be perfect at any event.  We served our Grilled Salmon Filet with Lemon Slices and Caper Sauce and our Mesquite-Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce – YUM!

Another grilled dish?  Our Mesquite-Grilled Summer Vegetables.  Plus, our Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Local Mozzarella Cheese, and a Balsamic Glaze was a perfect addition to this summer-y menu!

Another classic dish?  Mary’s Macaroni & Cheese, which is always a star side dish!

Of course, we didn’t stop at the grand buffet.  We also hosted a Mashed Potato Bar action station where guests could create over-the-top mashed potatoes.  Such a fun way to entertain your guests and a great alternative to the  sliders and fries bars that it seems that are everywhere these days.  This is definitely a way to make your event unique!  Love it.

What a beautiful night and the guests were loving this fun menu!

Isn’t the bride so beautiful?  Such a doll!  Mary always has such a great connection with our clients and it really shows – especially when Culinary Crafts is there to make their event even more perfect!

We didn’t forget dessert – I know you were wondering…  😉  For this menu, our Fresh Fruit Cobbler action station was PERFECT!  We hand scooped Culinary Crafts’ House Made Vanilla Bean Gelato on our cobblers – we served 3, yes 3, different kinds!

Our peach, berry, and apple cobblers were SOOOOO good.  You definitely had to have one of each!

Isn’t the station set up pretty too?  We love adding simple touches that really add something extra to all of our stations.  To tie in the rustic feel of this event, we simply added wood stump slices which added visual interest AND pretty details!

The couple chose to have a Gourmet Popcorn Bar for their favors where guests could choose from 3 flavors – plus they custom made cute little bags for the guests to take home their treats!  The bride and groom each chose their own personal favorite and then the third flavor was their combined favorite – so fun!  ‘His’ was a Chili Lime popcorn, ‘Hers’ was a Cookies & Cream popcorn, and the ‘Ours’ flavor was the Bacon Bourbon Caramel popcorn (a personal favorite!)  YUM!

Last but not least, no ranch wedding would be complete without a S’mores Bar!  So, of course, we served this classic take with our House Made marshmallows!

This wedding was so beautiful and we loved the fun menu we were able to create!  We hope that this inspires you to create some fun BBQ menus of your own for Memorial Day weekend!  Happy planning, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!