Sweet Potato Pie
Last week the /52weeksofcooking challenge was to prepare pie – no restrictions on what kind just have to make a pie. I debated a few options, as I was doing this post-Thanksgiving I didn’t want something super sweet and also wanted to try something new. Growing up I had heard of Sweet Potato Pie thanks to movies and TV shows (ER!), but I was in college the first time I ever had sweet potato pie. It was amazing! Not as sweet as pumpkin pie but still more sweet than savory. At school they served it with a standard butter crust which was perfection when it came to flakiness but left me wanting something with a bit more bite. Which is why I decided to do a pat-in-pan graham cracker crust for my pie, in the hopes it would provide a bit of a contrast to the uber soft sweet potato filling.
I served this topped with some homemade slow cooker caramel, and it was delicious! Turns out this was my husband’s first time eating sweet potato pie and based on the large slices he cut himself the following day I’m going to say it was a success.
Sour Red Cabbage
Confession: I’ve never been a huge fan of pickled/brined vegetables – with the exception of dill pickles. So when I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking this week was brining, I was more than a little nervous. Since this isn’t the right time of year for cucumbers I decided I had to branch out – and while a full out canning operation is out of the question right now I found a number of quick pickle recipes and decided to give one of them a whirl. While most of the recipes I found featured radishes and carrots, I had seen some great looking red cabbage at the market and decided to give that a go!
I served this warm with dirty rice and it was incredible! The sour crunch of the cabbage was perfection, especially against the spicy and soft dirty rice. The best part is how tasty this was the next day, which is why in the future I would make this dish the night before instead of the morning of. All in all it was a great introduction to the world of brining, and maybe next fall I’ll be brave enough to make my own pickles.
Thai Basil Kiwi Sorbet
September is month full of holidays – both religious and personal since Joey and I are both September babies. I always look forward to what new kitchen gadget will be added to my collection and this year did not disappoint! I got an amazing new Doctor Who apron (cuz apron’s are cool), along with a Kitchen Aid Food Processor, and the ice cream attachment for my stand mixer. While the food processor is currently in storage, look for a future post on all that, the ice cream attachment went straight to the freezer. After looking at the instruction booklet I decided to go with a sorbet, that way I could figure out the basics of the machine before moving on to a more elaborate creation. One of the /52weeksofcooking challenges I missed earlier this summer was to use tropical fruit, so I decided this was the perfect opportunity to knock that out! To add a POP to my sorbet I picked some fresh Thai Basil from my garden, thinking that might enhance the sourness of the kiwi I decided to pick up at the store.
Simple syrup is something I normally keep on hand, mostly for iced coffees but it’s insanely easy to make. Just bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil, then turn to a simmer and stir for 15 minutes before placing in an ice bath. Chill and then place in the fridge until it’s ready!
Sukkerbrunede Kartofler – Caramel Potatoes
This week /52weeksofcooking challenged everyone to try a Scandinavian dish, something totally new to me. Outside of reading Yes, Chef last year and various Kirsten books growing up I’ve had very little exposure to Scandinavia in general, let alone the cuisine. So I decided to reread a few chapters of Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir to see what dishes he mentioned and quickly realized that wasn’t going to work since most of the dishes he mentions are fish centered and not easily vegetarianized. However more searching led me to Aquavit, the Nordic restaurant that Samuelsson cut his teeth on in NYC – and their incredible seasonal menu and cookbook. I was quickly drawn to a side dish from the cookbook: potato brulee. I’m a huge fan of anything that involves caramel, or caramelization, and was intrigued by the idea of caramelizing potatoes. A few more Google searches brought me numerous recipes for Sukkerbrunede Kartofler, caramelized potatoes, and with that I had my dish. These potatoes are beyond simple to make and come out more earthy than sweet, which I was pleasantly surprised by. I decided to use some new red potatoes from the local farmers market, but I have a feeling that most potatoes would work well for this dish.
I served these potatoes with some BBQ tofu, a simple salad, and some homemade bread. I’m not sure how well these potatoes would reheat and didn’t have a chance to find out since those of us at the dinner table quickly finished off these crunchy potatoes. I’m looking forward to trying a few more dishes, specifically the beet and asparagus dish (minus the roe) which sounds like the perfect spring meal.
I’m writing this post as the smell of cinnamon and banana deliciousness slowly takes over my kitchen. I happened to be on Facebook this afternoon when I saw there was a possible orphan in group C of the Secret Recipe Club. Never one to pass on trying a new recipe I volunteered and was linked up with the awesome Toni of Mommy’s Menu. I was instantly pulled in by her incredibly vibrant header which features all sorts of sweet and savory treats. Knowing that going to the grocery store wasn’t an option I set out to find the perfect recipe that would incorporate things I had on hand. In the end my husband found the recipe, looking over my shoulder and saying “those look gooood”. After verifying the ingredients with those on hand I headed to the mixer and got baking! I wound up being a little short on shortening so I subbed some unsalted butter and carried on.
These cookies were OUTSTANDING!!!! The banana wasn’t overpowering but it was clearly there, which was perfect. I also pinned more than a few recipes for the future, when I’m not limited by ingredients or time. Thanks Toni for some awesome cookies and some delicious treats to look forward to.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies
A little over a year ago I went to a party celebrating the launch of the Food 52 Cookbook, and at that time had some of the most amazing cookies ever. These cookies were simple and delicious, and could easily be converted to a vegan version making them perfect for family gatherings. Since then I’ve been messing around with the recipe, adding this and that to get the perfect flavor and consistency for my family. Currently I have three versions of this cookie: vanilla, chocolate, caramel and working on a nutella variation. These cookies are easy to put together, and feature ingredients that most people probably have on hand at all times making it even quicker and easier to have fresh cookies.
I’m submitting these chocolate goodies to this week’s r/52Weeks cooking challenge, which is all about chocolate. Nothing like some chocolate indulgances right before the next round of holidays, will have to do my best to avoid recreating some of the recipes I’m seeing!
To make the vanilla, caramel, or peppermint versions leave out the cocoa powder and add 1 tsp of the desired extract. I’m sure other variations are out there and I’m looking forward to trying them all!!!!
Cinnamon Waffles with Cinnamon Vanilla Apples
Disclaimer: Nothing about this recipe is healthy, but sometimes indulgence is a good thing. This week the challenge for /52weeks was an ingredient challenge featuring cinnamon. I debated doing a savory dish for a while, such as a curry, but then decided I wanted to do more of a special breakfast recipe. In the end it came down to a cinnamon sugar bread pudding or waffles, but that was before checking the bread supply. However cinnamon waffles isn’t enough for a cinnamon challenge, so I decided to make up a some cinnamon vanilla apples to go on top. After all, if I’m going to go down the unhealthy road I might as well go all the way. The end result was a cinnamony treat perfect for a special brunch or making a breakfast special.
Sometimes it feels good to veer from the normal diet and indulge in something delicious and not so nutritious. This certainly isn’t an every day breakfast but as a sweet treat, why not?!?