Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate Tiger Stripes

Pie Crust:
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. + 1 Tbsp. shortening
Filling in the pie crust
2-3 Tbsp. cold water

Pumpkin Filling:
1 egg
1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 1/4 c. cream 

Chocolate Stripes:
2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. filling mixture, reserved

To make the pie crust: Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in shortening and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until all flour is moistened (1-2 teaspoons water can be added if needed).
Before baking

Gather dough into ball. On a lightly floured surface or pastry cloth, shape into flattened round. With flour covered rolling pin, roll dough 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan. Fold pastry into quarters. Unfold and ease into the pan.

Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Use a fork to press the pastry around the edge. Fill with filling.

To make the filling: Preheat oven to 425 F.

Beat egg slightly, then beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into pastry lined pie pan, reserving 1/2 cup for the chocolate stripes.

Ready to eat!
To make the chocolate stripes: Melt the chocolate and butter together. Whisk together with the reserved filling mixture. Scoop into a piping bag with a flat piping nozzle. Pipe tiger stripes onto the top of the pie filling. The chocolate will sink a little into the filling, so keep piping the chocolate along the stripes you've made.

Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 350 F. Bake 35 minutes more. Let cool before serving. Refrigerate the leftovers.

Buttercream Icing

This icing goes great with my sugar cookie recipe, which you can find here: http://trinitywolf3.blogspot.com/2012/09/sugar-cookies-icing.html

1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. milk
lots and lots of powdered sugar
food coloring, optional

Mix the butter, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk together. Add 1/2 a cup powdered sugar. Mix together. Add more powdered sugar, a quarter cup at a time until you reach the thickness you want. If your frosting gets too thick, add another tablespoon of milk, but no more than 4 tablespoons total. Continue to balance sugar and milk until you're happy with the consistency. Frost cookies however you want.

I used the frosting to make these pretty rosette cookies. They were so delicious.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Copycat In N Out Double Double Burger, Animal Style

1 1/2 onions, diced
oil or butter
The Secret Sauce
4 hamburger buns
16 oz. ground chuck, 80% lean
16 slices American cheese, sliced, whole milk (I used Boar's Head from the grocery deli)
yellow mustard
4 lettuce leaves
16 pickle slices

Secret Sauce
5 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. mayo
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. dill pickles, minced
2 tsp. yellow mustard

Carmelizing the onions, beginning stages
Cook the onions in a little oil or butter in a pan, over medium heat. Let them brown a little, then add a little water to the pan to reliquify the juices. Let the water cook down and let the onions brown a little more. Repeat this process with the browning and water for at least an hour; it could even be an hour and a half. Don't rush this process. Cook until the onions are a real deep brown color, where they're falling apart and spreadable, like a jam. Onion jam.

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Burgers with mustard, cooking

Lay your hamburger buns, open, on an ungreased cookie sheet, and toast for 2 minutes.

To make the sauce: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, then set aside.

 Split your ground chuck into 8 equal 2 oz. pieces, and flatten. Cook in a tiny bit of oil on one side, while adding a large dollop of yellow mustard to the uncooked side. Flip when ready, then cook until cooked through, or however you like your burgers cooked.

Lay a single slice of cheese on each meat patty right before the meat is done cooking, so the cheese is melty.

To assemble: Spread a good amount of the sauce on the bottom bun. Add 4 pickle slices on top of the sauce. Add the lettuce leaf. Then layer one patty with cheese. Spread a tablespoon or two of the onions on top. Then add another patty with cheese. Top with the top bun. Enjoy this ooey gooey goodness. One of the best burgers I've ever had.

Ooey Gooey Goodness
Makes 4 Double Double burgers.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Letter and Color Themed Meals

If you're wanting some ideas on how to create some fun themed meals, here are a few letter and color suggestions with recipe links.

Foods That Begin with the Letter A:

-Arugula leaves with chopped and toasted Almonds and diced Apples with Annie's Natural Dressing (your choice of flavor)

-Artichoke Alfredo over Angelhair pasta. Here's a link to my Fettuccine Alfredo. Instead of using the fettuccine noodles, use angelhair noodles, and add 1 can of artichokes (13-15 oz., the kind that come packed in water). Drain most of the water from the can, then cook them on the stovetop over medium heat in a tiny bit of water for about 5 minutes. Add them to the alfredo when you're adding the noodles. It's delicious.

-Arnold Palmers or Apple Juice for drinks

Foods That Begin with the Letter B:

-Brown Bread with Butter

-Breakfast Bao. All the same ingredients, except when you come to the pork, use Jimmy Dean pork sausage and scramble a few eggs. These are so good!

-Broccoli Beef. I have 2 different Broccoli Beef recipes, so look them over and see which one you like best! Broccoli Beef 1 or Broccoli Beef 2

-Belgian Beer for drinks

Orange Foods (I've done this theme for Halloween a few times):

-Orange Chicken


-Cheetos (for one meal a year, it's totally acceptable)

-Pumpkin Pie

If you don't want to make the orange chicken, you can always make macaroni and cheese!

-Orange Juice to drink

Have fun being creative!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cauliflower Gratin

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
8 baby bell peppers, diced
Cauliflower, bell peppers, and cilantro
1 Tbsp. cilantro
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder (however much you want)
1/2 c. bread crumbs

3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour 
1 1/2 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1 c. cheese (I used some Dubliner cheddar, a little Asiago, and Parmesan)

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Cauliflower Gratin ready to bake
Toss the cauliflower, bell peppers, and cilantro with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Arrange in a baking dish. Roast the vegetables for 20-30 minutes until a golden brown.

When the cauliflower and peppers come out of the oven, reduce the heat to 350 F. Set aside the dish with the vegetables.

Ready to eat
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the flour, and stir. Add the milk, and turn up the heat. When it is starting to come to a boil, stir for 30 seconds, then reduce the heat to low. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.  Remove from heat.

Pour the sauce over the roasted vegetables. Toss to coat. Layer the bread crumbs over the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling in the corners and brown on the top. Serve warm.

Here's a link to the original recipe I adapted: http://www.closetcooking.com/2012/10/roasted-cauliflower-and-aged-white.html

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 1/2 lbs. chicken, cut into large chunks
2 c. onion, chopped
2 c. green bell peppers, chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 lbs. cooked andouille sausage, cut into slices
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 c. long grain white rice, uncooked
6 c. chicken broth
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add chicken in batches, and cook until brown; about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a plate. Reduce heat to medium, then add onion and bell peppers. Saute until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 more minute. Add sausage, bay leaves, and all the spices. Saute about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir to coat.

Pour broth over rice mixture in pot. Add chicken; press to submerge in liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 30-35 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Recipe courtesy of John Guy