Eli Gundry

Cooking: Strawberry Pretzel Pie & Spiked Cucumber Soup

If there is one thing that I appreciate from 2020 is that I've gotten really good at cooking. By not commuting to work, I have the energy and time to make meals each night. My partner and I split cooking and I think I'm a better cook than them, but don't tell them I said that 😂 . With that ability and people getting into lifestyle blogging, I've decided to hop on this trend and write about my cooking.

Sunday was extremely hot for the first weekend in June. My partner has yoga in the early afternoon so I had time to plan and execute some non-dinner meals. Let's make some desert and a cocktail that complements the heat of the day!

Strawberry Pretzel Pie

I made this pie last year and it's the perfect summer pie. First I blended up a bunch of pretzels to make the crust. Then I combined the pretzel with some half melted butter and sugar and lay it out in my cast iron pie pan. They say to use a stand mixer, but all I have are my 🙌 so they had to do. Bake it and let it cool in the fridge for a bit.

Making the crust in 3 steps

It's time to make cream! The recipe calls for a cup of confectioners sugar, but I used all that up making the crust, so I used granulated. This ended up working fine because it dissolves. I also used whipped cream cheese instead of plain which made it extra fluffy. Pull that crust out of fridge and pour the cream in and put it back in the fridge.

Cream in the crust

After I got the cream in the pie crust, I took a little lunch break where I drank a Sunday Beer. I only bought this light beer because the can was designed by The Young Jerks, who's designs I love.

Sunday Beer

Verdict: A very enjoyable light beer. I love light beers and elevated takes on them. That said, I'd probably feel about the same as a Miller Lite on this day.

Back to the pie, I decided to put off making the strawberries until it was ready to serve the pie. I put some sugar in a bowl with some water and whisked it. The recipe says to use confectioners sugar, but as previously stated, I have none and this is close enough. Then I sliced the strawberries into quarters, put it the sugar water mixture and tossed before putting on the pie.

Finished pie

Verdict: This ended up so much better than last year's version, which I made with a small disposable aluminum pie tin and the crust came out way too thick. It's like a fluffier and less rich cheesecake, perfect for the 90° day that it was made on.

Spiked Cucumber Soup

I'm all green this summer

As you can tell, the color of my summer is green. I dyed my hair green, got a brand new Apple watch with a band to match my hair color, and have bought clothes to complement it as well. Now, I'm not just eating green, but if I can make a dish to match my theme, I'm going to do it. Enter Spiked Cucumber Soup. It's like a green juice, but with gin and it's actually a soup! Seemed super easy to make so I decided to give it a shot.

Soup ingredients

My partner and I visited their parents in the Berkshires over Memorial Day weekend. On the last day there, we went to a liquor tasting at Berkshire Mountain Distillers. We ended up purchasing one of their Etheral Garden gins that had hints of horseradish because we keep it funky like that. Seemed like a great fit for this recipe.

Soup in blender

I tossed all the ingredients in a blender and ran it until smooth. It calls for a full cup of gin. As I was pouring the gin in the measuring cup I remarked "this is a lot of gin". That observation proved prescient.

Soup in a mason jar with a spoon

Verdict: This is a very weird cocktail. I think our gin was a little stronger than the one in the recipe or the recipe called for more cucumbers than we used. Either way, it was a little too strong BUT was still drinkable (by me, at least, my partner is a lightweight 😂 ). I dunno if I would make it again.