52Weeks · Baking · Dessert

Don’t We Go

Banana Cream Pie

banana_cream_pie

A bit late, but finally have my post from Pi Day!  Since Pi Day was also game day I knew I had to make something, and it had to be something awesome.  Thankfully /r/52weeksofcooking pointed me in the right direction with their banana theme.  I had never made/had a banana cream pie but figured it couldn’t be too hard – just a more solid version of banana pudding.  I searched the internet for inspiration but most of them involved ingredients I didn’t have on hand, and since I was doing this last minute the day after an embryo transfer going to the store just wasn’t going to happen.  So I decided to use a custard recipe I acquired many moons ago and just modify it as needed.  For the crust I went with my standard push-in-pan using vanilla wafers.  One day I’ll figure out how to roll a pie crust but until then push-in-pan it is!

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Hope your sweet tooth is ready for this week as I’ll have another dessert recipe on Wednesday as part of #15Cheesecakes!

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert · Home Cooking

Gotta, Gotta

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin_choco_cookie

When I was in college it was my best friend’s “job” to make a batch, or five, of pumpkin cookies after fall.  After college I realized that if I wanted my pumpkin fix I needed to figure out the recipe or accept a life without these delicious treats.  The main trick I have found is to pre-roast the pumpkin and store the mash in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to use.  In a pinch, canned pumpkin can also work but just make to grab mashed pumpkin and not the pre-made pie filling as it tends to be too runny.  As for the chips, I’m a fan of milk chocolate but as long as chocolate is being used there is no wrong option.

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These cookies are so good – your dogs might climb up on to the table cat ninja style and eat the last dozen.  Thankfully milk chocolate is not as toxic for dogs as semi-sweet chocolate and Calli is good to go.  Lesson for the future as now we know that she can jump in to the table, regardless of chair placement.   At least we got to enjoy a few dozen before that happened!

I’m sending these over, slightly last minute, to the /r/52weeksofcooking pumpkin challenge!  I also sent a large number of these to my office, where they were totally and utterly destroyed in a short amount of time.

52Weeks · Baking · Breakfast

Out in the Rain

Peach Dutch Baby

Peach Dutch Pancake

There is nothing like a good rain storm to make everything seem fresh and new and wonderful.  There is also nothing like waking up on a rainy day to the smell of peaches and cinnamon – or baking something that smells like cinnamon and peaches!  Hurricane Arthur decided to chill off the coast a few days ago and while I waited for the heavier bands to go away I decided to make my hubby a delicious (and not so nutritious) breakfast featuring fresh peaches.   I’ve had dutch babies before and while I thought I made them before apparently that was not the case – so husband was quite surprised by the fluffy breakfast item.

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I enjoyed mine “naked” but powdered sugar would be a great addition to this treat for those who like things on the sweeter side.   I’m sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their pit fruit challenge – and as a bonus this recipe would also work fantastically with cherries and other pit fruits.  In fact I might give a cherry version a try this weekend – regardless of weather!

52Weeks · Baking · Breakfast · Casserole · Random Recipes

As I go Out

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

Mushroom Bread Pudding

I’m so thrilled to be getting back to Random Recipes, hosted by the awesome Dom.  Random Recipes is a bit different than my other challenges in that it sends me back to my books, some of which can get rather neglected.  This month the challenge was to pull out all our new books and randomly select the book from that group.  I was lucky enough to get four books this year: Indian Slow Cooker, Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking, Dining with the Doctor, and The Heart of the Plate – which was the “winning” book!  I used my same random method (Joe picking a number) to select the winning page which led me to a Mushroom Bread Pudding, and wow did I wish for a different page at that point.  The last time I made a bread pudding was Home Ec back in middle school, so it’s been a fair bit of time.  However I had some leftover sourdough bread so with the addition of some fresh peasant bread I at least had the basic ingredients.  I also adjusted the ratio a bit, along with the seasonings, as things didn’t look quite right at first and I was worried about it being a bit bland as written.

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I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their eggs challenge since I rarely, if ever, prepare dishes that feature 5 eggs.   This is the first of their challenges for 2014, and if things go as planned the second one will be up on Wednesday!

52Weeks · Breakfast · Mexican

Has Claws

Thai Migas

migas

“I have to do a fusion dish this week for /r/52weeks of cooking.  What should I do?”

“How about Mexican Thai?!?!”

“WTF is Mexican Thai??”

“I dunno, that’s for you to figure out”

So with that conversation I set out to figure out what Mexican Thai would be.  Due to a crazy schedule I decided to go with a breakfast dish, figuring I would have plenty of time on Saturday morning to make the dish and get it posted.  Well I was right regarding at least one of those things, but sometimes that happens.  After much googling and searching in recipe books I decided that the best Mexican/Texan dish to cross with Thai cuisine was a breakfast dish known as migas.  Similar to chilaquies, migas features fresh corn chips along with eggs, tomatoes, and seasonings.  Since I was going the Thai route I also looked at various egg curries, to get an idea of what flavor profiles would work best for what I was looking to do.  In order to go the extra mile I also made my own chips using some corn tortillas that were getting close to the end of their life.

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This breakfast was a HUGE hit and extremely filling.  The only down side was in the chip making process where I didn’t read the lines on the inside of my fryer correctly and wasn’t able to use the basket.  Luckily gently dropping them in and fishing them out with a metal spatula worked just fine!  To top it off I served Joe a Banana Lassi, which went perfectly with the heat of the dish. I left off the nuts and added 1/4 tsp of amchur powder to the dish as a nod to the more popular mango lassi.  Perfection!

Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes

Take You There

Ricotta Kugel

I apologize in advance for the brain dump of a post that is to follow, but this is what happens when one decides to see The Hobbit and then go to work the next morning.  I keep telling myself that functioning on four hours of sleep is practice for later in life, but the truth of the situation is I am not as young as I use to be and midnight showings are no longer worth the exhaustion that follows.   However I’m sure by time the next Hobbit movie comes out, I’ll have forgotten all about this and still go to the midnight showing.

Today’s recipe has nothing to do with The Hobbit and everything to do with one of the few dishes I’ve had to make over and over and over again in an attempt to make it edible.  I was in college the first time I attempted to make kugel, using a recipe from a book that will remain nameless because it was just bad.  The dish was cloyingly sweet, putting it a far cry from the amazing kugel I had experienced in Poland only a few months prior.  I tried tweaking that recipe, and recorded my attempts, but it never came together.  I then switched to a recipe I found on AllRecipes.com which had the right level of sweetness but was too dry and more rock-like than pudding-like.   With that I decided to combine elements of both recipes while adding/subtracting a few things until I finally came up with the variation that worked best for me.

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This recipe still has an element of sweetness to it, without going too far into the “should be a dessert” category.  For the rest of my Hanukkah inspired recipes please check out: Spinach Potato Knish, Cream Cheese Bread, and Sweet Potato Latkes.

Update: This post was written just prior to the horrible incident that happened today in CT.  My thoughts and prayers, and those of my family, go out to the families and victims of today’s horrible crime.  I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the senselessness of what happened and can only hope, wish, pray, and dream that something like this never happens again.  

Breakfast

Mr. Postman

Eggs over Haystack

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is one of the biggest food holidays of the year, filled with all sorts of delicious treats.  However before one can start the cooking marathon, one needs a protein filled breakfast that will keep them going until the big bird (or celebration roast) is ready to go.  This simple breakfast features ingredients already on hand for the big day, and can easily be scaled up or down depending on how many cooks are on hand to help.  This breakfast is also great for the morning after as a way to use up any potatoes, regular or sweet, that weren’t used for the big meal.

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I finished our eggs three different ways in order to figure out which was best, and to make sure it worked for all styles.   Another option would be to beat the eggs in a separate bowl and pour them over the potatoes for a variation on the Spanish Omelette.  Regardless of how you enjoy your eggs, Have a Happy Thanksgiving!