In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
Heat oven to 375°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; press with times of fork or flute if desired.
In another medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients except pecans with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.
Cover edge of pastry with 2- to 3-inch-wide strip of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled before serving. Store in refrigerator.
“Once you’ve made a pecan pie in a cast-iron skillet, you may never go back to a pie plate. Simply press a refrigerated pie crust into the skillet, sprinkle with sugar, top with the pecan mixture, and bake. Serving it in the skillet is also easy and makes the dish even more Southern.”
Yield: 8 to 10 Servings
1/2 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon*
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Preheat oven to 325°. Fit piecrust into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; sprinkle piecrust with powdered sugar.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl until foamy; whisk in brown sugar and next 6 ingredients. Pour mixture into piecrust, and top with pecan halves.
Bake at 325° for 30 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 300°, and bake 30 more minutes. Turn oven off, and let pie stand in oven, with door closed, 3 hours.
*Vanilla extract may be substituted.
Recipe by by Sylvia Subialdea, Hungry Texan (hungry-texan.com), Dallas, Texas, Southern Living OCTOBER 2011
The White House is one of the most famous residence in the world.
There are 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the Residence. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.
At various times in history, the White House has been known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion.” President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.
The White House kitchen is able to serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d’oeuvres to more than 1,000.
The White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.
In 1825, John Quincy Adams developed the first flower garden on the grounds and planted ornamental trees.
George Washington is the only president never to have slept in the White House.
Construction began in 1792, and the home first was occupied by John Adams and his wife, Abigail, in 1800.
Total cost of the original structure was $232,372.
During the weeks before the inauguration, First Lady Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy began her plans to not only redecorate the family quarters of the White House but to historically restore the public rooms.
On Aug. 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops burned the White House in retaliation for an earlier burning of Canadian government buildings in York, Ontario, by the United States. James Monroe moved into the rebuilt White House in 1817.
The White House was the largest house in the United States until after the Civil War.
Running water was piped into the residence in 1833, a central heating system was installed in 1837, and electricity lit up the home beginning in 1891.
Today, the home’s square footage is about 55,000. It features six levels, eight staircases, three elevators, 28 fireplaces and 132 rooms, including 35 bathrooms.
The White House fence encloses 18 acres of land. The grounds and garden crew consist of 13 full-time staff members.
The nation’s Executive Mansion officially became known as the White House during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, who directed that all government correspondence use the title.
It takes 570 gallons of white paint to cover the exterior.
Seventeen White House weddings have been documented. The first, in 1812, was for the sister of first lady Dolley Madison. The most recent, in 1994, was for the brother of first lady Hillary Clinton. Grover Cleveland became the only president married in the White House when he wed Frances Folsom in the Blue Room in 1886.
The present Oval Office was built as part of an expansion of executive offices in 1934.
A Secret Service report during World War II declared the White House a firetrap, prompting a massive four-year modernization during Harry Truman’s administration.
The property features a tennis court, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a beauty salon, a physician’s office, a florist’s shop, a swimming pool and a golf putting green. Dwight Eisenhower had the first putting green installed. Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, were avid bowlers. A jogging track was added around the driveway of the South grounds during Bill Clinton’s first term.
The White House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
First lady Jacqueline Kennedy led a campaign to revive the historic character of the White House and acquire authentic Early American furnishings. In 1962, she led a tour of the restored White House broadcast by the three major television networks at the time. More than 46 million Americans tuned in, a record TV audience, and Mrs. Kennedy was awarded an honorary Emmy for the broadcast.
The White House pays homage to past presidents, and each new one sits for an official portrait that is left to the mansion.
The Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, obtained in 1800, is the mansion’s oldest furnishing.
When you find a vegetable recipe that demands second helpings, it’s worth sharing. I made these green beans for a dinner party, and that’s exactly what happened. I like to use haricot verts, the skinny type of green bean. —Samantha Bowman, Houston, Texas
Yield: 6 Servings
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, halved and sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add green beans; cook, uncovered, 4-5 minutes or until beans turn bright green. Remove beans and immediately drop into ice water. Drain and pat dry.
In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
Add green beans and almonds; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with lemon peel, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Top with cheese.
This delicious white cake, with a subtle almond flavor, was one of Mary Todd Lincoln’s specialties. Some historians say the First Lady didn’t serve the cake with frosting, but it certainly adds great flavor.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and baking powder; remove 2 tablespoons and set aside. Add sifted ingredients, alternating with milk, to creamed mixture. Stir in vanilla and almond extract. Combine almonds with reserved flour and add to batter.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Add in salt. Fold into batter. Pour into three greased and floured 8- or 9-inch cake pans.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on racks.
While cake is baking, prepare frosting: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil; cover and cook about 3 minutes until the steam has washed down any sugar crystals that may have formed on side of pan. Uncover and cook until syrup reaches 238-240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Whip egg whites until frothy; add in syrup in thin stream, whipping egg whites constantly until frosting is spreading consistency. Mix in cherries, pineapple and vanilla or almond flavoring. Frost cake once it has cooled.
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 can (12 ounces) beer
In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; stir in half of the minced garlic. Rub mixture over outside and inside of chicken. Tuck wings under chicken.
Prepare grill for indirect heat. Completely cover all sides of an 8- or 9-in. round baking pan with foil. Place a beer-can chicken rack in pan. Remove 1/3 cup beer from can; save for another use. Using a can opener, make additional large holes in top of can. Insert rosemary and remaining garlic into can. Add beer can to rack.
Place chicken vertically onto rack. Place pan on grill rack.
Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads 180°.
Remove pan from grill; tent chicken with foil. Let stand 15 minutes. Carefully remove chicken from rack.
Nutritional Facts: 6 ounces cooked chicken equals 474 calories, 28 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 131 mg cholesterol, 412 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 42 g protein.