This pie is an interesting one. It takes Pumpkin and Pecan pie, two traditional Thanksgiving recipes, and puts them together. I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d like this one going in because I am a Pumpkin Pie purist. And I don’t really like Pecan Pie at all. I’ve mentioned before that I generally dislike nuts in desserts, especially if they are a front and center ingredient. At any rate, I was going to make it and see what I thought.
I baked this morning in preparation for going to my Dad’s later on to celebrate our birthdays (we’re 30 years apart). Since I didn’t get to see him on Thanksgiving this year, I thought it was perfect to bring along this pie as sort of a make-up Thanksgiving thing. We are so much alike that he probably won’t be crazy about the nuts in it either, but he won’t tell me that and he’ll eat some anyway.
This pie was relatively easy to put together. It made a lot of dishes to clean up afterwards… truly a Thanksgiving type pie, right? haha. I caught a post over at Lady Craddock’s Bakery where she made the pie twice and adjusted some of the steps, temperatures and times in the recipe. After reading a lot of the problems people had (anything from overflowing in the oven, to a burnt crust, to an undone middle) I could see some definite benefits to following her advice. I did everything exactly the same from not pre-baking the crust, to baking at 450 for 15 minutes then dropping down to 350 for 35-40 minutes. Thanks, Lady Craddock, I had zero issues!
What I Thought: This is a good pie to choose if you want to mix it up a little for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a twist, but not at all “too far out there” from traditional foods people expect on Turkey Day.
I’m grateful to Laurie for extending the deadline to November 30th on this one. I am so glad I had additional time this week, I really needed it.
Many thanks to Vibi of La Casserole Carrée for choosing the Thanksgiving Twofer Pie. Please make sure you stop by Vibi’s to check out what she thought of her choice and to see the recipe.
I’ll be back Tuesday with Linzer Sables as chosen by noskos of Living the Life. It’s going to be a busy, but awesome December for Tuesdays with Dorie. There are a lot of great choices coming up in the following weeks, I can’t wait!
31. Wow, I can’t believe it. I thought 30 was huge… and it was. But now that 30 has already flown by, I’m into this new territory of slowly inching further up the scale. 31 leads me to 35. 35 to 40. And so on and so on. All of us deal with age differently. Some care, some don’t, some wish to be young again, others would never dream of going back in time. Getting older scares, comforts, and amuses me all at once.
I have a lot of friends in their 40′s and 50′s, and I’ve learned I have to watch how I word my birthday feelings. With them, there’s generally no sympathy for me on this matter. ”You think 31 is bad, try 50!” or “Stop your whining, you’re still in your prime! Look at me, I’m all but used up!” Then I have the opposite side of the spectrum…. my Mom started having kids again when I was in middle school so I’m 12 and 15 years older than my siblings. To them, you’d think I’m ancient. “Karen… you’re so… OLD… I’m totally serious… you’re freakin’ OLD”.
Gotta love it, right?
I spent my birthday how I wanted for the most part. The boyfriend and I had lunch downtown at my new favorite cafe and then did some shopping (I got myself some presents: two pairs of new boots and Oil of Olay to help ward off impending wrinkles). We then came back home and watched my new Scooba (you know, the floor washing robot…. eeeee!! I’m so excited!!!) wash the hardwood floors in our living room. Since J was on call for his job we decided to hold off going out to my traditional fancy birthday dinner until next weekend. The last thing we wanted was to be in the middle of our eight course tasting menu if he had to rush off to take care of something three hours away. We decided to stay in and make this Mexican Chicken Soup for my Barefoot Bloggers assignment instead.
I had no issues about trusting Ina Garten with my birthday dinner, even if it was just a soup. I’ve been a huge fan of all of the soups of hers I’ve tried in the past (especially the Cheddar Corn Chowder and the Butternut Squash Apple). I knew it would be good. I’m still waiting for that first Ina Garten recipe to come along (either through the Barefoot Bloggers or just trying her stuff on my own) where I think “eh whatever, this isn’t that great…”. It just hasn’t happened yet. And I’m no butt kisser, I would say if I didn’t like something… the “Great Contessa” or not.
One thing I LOVE about Ina is that she dislikes cilantro as much as I do. While she recognizes that it has it’s place in certain recipes, she always makes it an optional ingredient. And I will always exercise the “No” option. Cilantro is just vile to me. I can eat it and live through it, but I think it’s taste ruins most of the dishes it a part of. Now, this recipe did have ground coriander seeds which seem to be the fruit of the cilantro plant. I don’t have anything against coriander since it tastes more lemony than anything. So it was invited into my soup with open arms.
We used a traditionally seasoned rotisserie chicken as a shortcut to roasting chicken breasts in the oven for 40 minutes first. We also went the pre-shredded carrot route as well as store bought chicken stock. These shortcuts made for a pretty fast dinner from start to finish. Ina suggests starting with one tablespoon of salt depending on the saltiness of the stock but I cut it down drastically. I only ended up using less than 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt (we did use low sodium chicken broth as well) and it was seasoned just fine for us. One thing I noticed was that the corn tortillas totally disappeared into the soup. They were nowhere to be found. I’m going to trust they add something superb flavor wise. If not, I now have about 30 more six inch tortillas to figure out what to do with for no good reason. I liked Tostitos chips with a hint of lime as part of the garnish along with sour cream and cheddar cheese. We did get avocado but I think I picked the unripest one in the barrel – the inside was as hard as a rock. Oh well, they all looked green, what can you do?***
This soup was a success and held up to my highfalutin’ birthday dinner standards.
Thanks to Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats for choosing the Mexican Chicken Soup as the second November recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers group. Make sure you stop by her blog to see what she thought of her choice.
Mexican Chicken Soup recipe can be found on Food Network here!
***I researched avocado ripeness detecting and a good one should feel like what pressing on the end of your nose feels like. Ok, I think I understand. Thanks, ehow!
Orange and Chocolate for me is kind of like how I feel about not-famous comedians and their stand up routines. I’m always prepared not to like it, but then once I’m in the middle of it, I find I enjoy it and let out a little smile. This may make no sense but I was watching Comedy Central just now and deemed it a fitting orange-chocolate analogy.
This is an orange flavored cake with chunks of chocolate inside, a orange sugar soak and a chocolate ganache on top. Sounds pretty good, right? It is. It’s really moist thanks in part to the orange sugar soak on top. The orange and chocolate flavors really stand out on their own but neither one overwhelms the other. I found that taste wise I liked the cake plain without the ganache better. But the ganache does make it look beautiful (unless you have lumpy ganache like me… ahem, make sure you melt those chocolate chips all the way.)
My camera battery ran out before I got a chance to take an in-focus picture of the inside. But what’s inside is a light colored cake with tons of chocolate chips. Mmmm!
Random Thoughts and Specifics:
*Microplane zesters are one of the best culinary inventions. Ever.
*Squeezing out a half cup of juice from oranges by hand is a chore. Need a juicer on my Xmas list.
*I baked in two miniature loaf pans instead of using mini bundt pans.
*They took about 47 minutes to be done all the way.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was good. I went to my Aunt Donna’s house and ate way too much. My boyfriend came back from St. Louis late last night just in time for my 31st Birthday tomorrow. I just got done crying over 30 and now 31 is here. No fair!
Ina Garten’s Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/8 cup grated orange zest (2 large oranges)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 ounces buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup good semisweet chocolate chunks
For the syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For the ganache:
4 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Thanks to Lisa of Lime In The Coconut for choosing this as the second November Bonus Recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers. Lisa got to choose a Bonus Recipe for designing the winning logo for the BB group:
Great job, Lisa!
Breakfast, as we all have heard, is the most important meal of the day. It’s supposed to get us going, help us concentrate, and keeps weight down just to name a few things. I’ll be honest and say that I skip a balanced breakfast pretty often, replacing it with high calorie Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mochas instead. I’m ashamed.
Anyway, I’m still on an Ellie Krieger kick. I’ve become quite fond of her new book The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life. But aside from one meatloaf recipe I can’t seem to tear myself out of the Breakfast chapter. There’s just too much good stuff in there. I decided to do a couple of posts over the next week or so showcasing some of Ellie’s recipes that I’ve tried.
Let’s start with the Blueberry Blast Smoothie.
This has the most minimal of ingredients – “superfood” blueberries, non-fat yogurt, non-fat milk and honey. The recipe is for one serving size and you get a full glass for under 200 calories. It’s not overly sweet which I had to get used to, but it was really good. This smoothie is a great way to start out the day and you only need about two minutes to make it. Anyone of us breakfast skippers can spare two minutes in the morning, I’m sure. My one piece of advice: check your teeth after drinking this! Don’t go around grinning wide until you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror because there might be tiny antioxidant filled blueberry pieces in your teeth. You’ve been warned. It’s a small price to pay for health, ya know? You can view the recipe here and you can even watch a video here if you like visuals (the video cuts off when Ellie takes her first drink… hehehe, wonder why…)
Next up is Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal. Stay tuned!
Deb of Kahakai Kitchen had the honor of choosing November’s first Bonus Recipe for Barefoot Bloggers since she referred the most people to the group’s site. I was so hoping someone would pick these Chive Risotto Cakes soon. Ever since I got Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics I’ve been eyeing them up.
I thought up a few tips of what to do (or not do) if you attempt these risotto cakes.
1. Make sure you use a non-stick pan.
2. Turn the heat up higher. I had mine at medium-low at first, but cranked it up to medium high later on.
3. Use plenty of olive oil.
4. Don’t be gentle with the cakes as you’re forming them. Really smash them together. It helps them hold their shape.
5. Do not under any circumstances use a cheap plastic spatula with an already melted flat edge to try to turn them over.
I made a lot of cakes so I had a lot of chances to mess them up and figure out the best way to handle them. The boyfriend helped and eventually we got a good system going. I was trying to be too delicate with them at first which seemed to make things worse actually. They were falling apart left and right. I got tough and decided I had to show those risotto cakes who was boss. By a certain point, I was so tired of touching the stuff that we put a whole bunch in the pan with a little panko on top and cooked it that way instead.
These were so good. I loved them. I knew I would. They were good right from the pan, good after 30 minutes of warming at 250 in the oven, good after sitting out for a while, and good the next day cold. You can’t go wrong here.
Visit Kahakai Kitchen for the recipe. Thanks for a great choice, Deb! There’s still one more bonus recipe for November – Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes…. Mmmm. I have all the ingredients but haven’t got around to making this one yet. Soon.
Kelly of Baking with the Boys chose Ina’s Herb Roasted Onions for all of the Barefoot Bloggers to try out. I thought this was an interesting choice for the group, we haven’t had side dishes yet and some people are really iffy on onions. When I was growing up, I would not eat them. At all. I thought they were smelly and gross and I would pick every last one out of whatever I was eating. If you would have told me back then that one day I would make a whole side dish out of nothing but onions and actually eat it… I would have fainted.
These were very good. The only thing I messed up was I didn’t mix the dressing in a separate bowl. That meant I had to stir a lot and ending up stirring out the wedge shapes. I used a mild dijon mustard and dried herbs instead of fresh. I also cut back the salt a by a quarter of a teaspoon. The onions came out pretty sweet and the flavors of lemon and dijon were a good balance.
More Barefoot Bloggers recipes coming later today. Stay tuned…
Ina Garten’s Herb Roasted Onions
2 red onions
1 yellow onion
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
Click here for directions
I have already made this rice pudding a couple of times before. Rice Pudding is among my top favorite desserts, so naturally, it was among the first recipes I ever made after I got Baking: From my home to yours for Christmas 2007. The first time I tried it I made rice soup and had no idea what happened. The second time everything worked out like it should. I was curious to see how my third time would go. Would I get soup or would I get pudding… hmmm, time would tell. The second time I made it I must have cooked it longer, but this was before I started blogging and writing down all my thoughts and experiences so I couldn’t remember that far back. Come to find out, there is actually a discrepancy in the book regarding the cook time. It should be 55 minutes instead of around 30. Good to know. I ended up cooking for close to an hour but it was still a little runny. Next time, I’ll go even longer and see what happens.
Kozy Shack has always been my good old Rice Pudding standby. Oh Kozy Shack, how I love thee. I have tried many different recipes over the last few years looking for one that even came close to the perfection of KS, never finding one. But Dorie’s recipe gives Kozy Shack a run for it’s money. If I have extra time and the willpower to wait out the excruciating six hour chilling period, Dorie’s is the recipe I will use. Taste wise, it’s perfect. The only thing you need to worry about is to get the cook times right so the consistency is what it’s supposed to be.
I’m tired so it’s a short post from me today. I can’t wait to just curl up in my blankets and start season 8 of CSI on dvd. Stop by Isabelle’s Les gourmandises d’Isa for the recipe and to see how she fared with her choice. Next week, it’s Thanksgiving Twofer Pie chosen by Vibi of La casserole carrée. See you next Tuesday!
Sometimes, a recipe will sneak up on you. You make sure you have all the ingredients way ahead of time, then you put off making said recipe until the last minute. Then you read over the directions and realize what you’re making requires 1.5 hours of rising time, two hours of slapping down dough every 30 minutes, overnight chilling and then three hours of rising time once chilled overnight. Geez!
It’s my own fault though that I didn’t read this recipe that closely beforehand. And that I didn’t catch what should have been the instant trigger… “yeast”. So, I hate to say it, but I was waking up for a few minutes at a time last night all night long playing around in this dough. I even set the alarm for 3 am to have proper rising time before baking this morning before leaving for work. What can I say? I was dedicated to Yolanda of The All-purpose Girl‘s choice of Kugelhopf for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. I was getting it done. And on Tuesday.
My thoughts: The mixer does all the work for you so making up the dough is easy. I added an extra egg white by mistake, but don’t think it mattered all that much. The dough came out really soft and stretchy. Then you had to wait, wait, wait. I had no issues really with the rising, although it didn’t rise as much as I expected it would.
The taste: This was one of those baked goods I really need to watch myself with. It’s subtle with the sweetness so you don’t have the “Too sweet, ugh I’m sick!” reaction kick in to make you stop eating. It’s easy to have a little, then a little more, then a little more. I thought I was tired of raisins right now, but the raisins were good in this. The texture of the Kugelhopf was really interesting. It was kind of bready, kind of cakey, and the top with the butter and sugar soak was…. I’m really drawing a blank here on how to describe it, I want to just say “different”. But that’s not a good description. Oh well.
I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to make this again since I’m a much bigger fan of shorter preparation times, but I thought this cake was worth the wait in the end. Thanks, Yolanda for choosing it, I would have never made this myself. Make sure you stop by here at The All-purpose Girl to see the recipe and what Yolanda thought of her choice.
Next week is Arborio Rice Pudding White, Black (Or Both) as selected by Isabelle of Les gourmandises d’Isa. Awesome, I have made this before and it’s soooo good! I can’t wait for next week!
I can’t finish a regular book to save my life, but I read cookbooks constantly. Normally, I have about five I’m looking through at any given time and my sidebar obsession tracker usually lists at least three. But every now and again I’ll get completely obsessed with just one. Right now, it’s Food Network’s Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life. I found I’m not the only one taking notice of this book, there’s a new blogging group that recently formed called Craving Ellie In My Belly or “CEiMB” for short that is tackling one recipe a week from The Food You Crave.
What I like about this book is that it’s all food I would pretty much normally eat, just done in a healthier way and not made up of any weird ingredients. The weirdest things are probably Pearl Barley and Buckwheat Flour and those aren’t even weird. Who doesn’t want to eat a little bit healthier if it really isn’t that much of a sacrifice, ya know? This past Friday night at my co-worker’s party, the Wii said I was slightly overweight. Just a smidge over the normal line. So it’s time to whip myself back into shape, baby! The great thing is that this is the one cookbook of mine the boyfriend has gone through and said “that sounds good… this sounds good… that sounds good…” so it’s great to have him on board with me trying some of this stuff out for our dinners. Normally all I ever hear is “eh” from him.
The first thing I made from the book was the Stuffed Turkey Burgers and they were excellent. I highly recommend them. Those got me on a lean ground turkey kick and since I found it so cheap at the store this week I wanted to try Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf next. The CEiMB group had already done this meatloaf and looking through their posts in my reader I found it had gotten pretty decent reviews from most. And Food Network members give it four stars out of five. The interesting thing about this recipe is the addition of quick cooking oatmeal as the binding ingredient. That sort of surprised me and when all was said and done, you couldn’t even tell it was in there. The only change I made was using leftover jarred Roasted Red Peppers from the turkey burgers instead of fresh. Everything else was followed to the letter.
I also made Smashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives that are pictured alongside the meatloaf in the book. These were really good also. The potatoes are steamed over boiling water which was a new technique for me at home. Not too much to say, they were super easy and tasted pretty good. The only changes I made were using dried chives instead of fresh and guesstimating what 1 1/4 pounds of little baby potatoes would be instead of using big ones.
I really should have showed a picture of the inside of the meatloaf but I was hungry and wanted to eat. My bad. I definitely would make both of these again. I’m really looking forward to trying out some more of the recipes. I already got stuff from the store to make a few more things this week. Check back to see how they turn out!