Recipes

Crack Pie Goodness

Holiday Sweets: Crack Pie

This Thanksgiving, I’ve skipped tradition by toting pumpkin or pecan pie to dinner.  As I do with most planned things, I took quality time to research which sweet treat I’d be bringing to this Turkey Day.

My mom and I ...

Texting with my mom.

What did I choose? Crack Pie.

I’m in love with it.  Apparently, everyone else is, too.

Bon Appetite never steers me wrong so when I read up on the pie’s back story and recipe, I was sold.

This dessert is the in-house favorite with a heavy fan base created and sold at New York’s Milk Bar. At $44 bucks a pop, you have to wonder why the buzz, right?

Have one bite of this and you’ll know why.  The brown sugar, cream, and mild custard base is heavenly.  One person at my Thanksgiving table proclaimed, “It’s like the good part of pecan pie without the pecans”.

Some dessert recipes are challenging to make but, this one is incredibly easy. So easy, I’ve made it twice in the past 3 days.

Find it at http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/crack-pie or follow the directions below …

Ingredients:

Crust:

Nonstick oil spray (I used a flour-based one)

9 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

5 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Directions for the crust:

- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Spread this mixture onto prepared baking pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie.

- Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.

Directions for the filling:

- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla until well blended. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble) on center rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight.

- Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.

Pretty much says it all.

Pretty much says it all.

photo-10

Spring Has Sprung

We’ve all filled our medicine cabinet with Zyrtec and Claritin. We’ve also had our cars “christened” with powdery yellow pollen.

Spring has finally come, Richmonders.

In celebration of this Easter holiday, I’ve given into gluttony with homemade biscuits, a Paula Deen sausage gravy recipe http://www.food.com/recipe/paula-deens-sausage-gravy-237985/review and breakfast casserole.  It was disgustingly fantastic.  3 hours later, I’m still full.  :)

photo-8

Gettin’ all Pinterest-y


So, yeah…Pinterest. I know it’s all the rave. And I’ve given in, just a little. I’ve logged in, created an account, and put in my share of relentless browsing.

My friend is obsessed with this site. Most of her conversations start…”so, I was on Pinterest last night and…”

This friend had started collecting a few pastry recipes from Pinterest and asked me if I’d like to try them out for an official “pie day”. Of course, being the culinary amateur and foodie that I am, I didn’t turn this down.

We dedicated a Sunday morning to put her freshly printed recipes to the test.  My friend arrived that morning champagne, oj, and ingredients. We started out simple, with a pie- blackberry peach. We decided to adorn the top of the pie with a polka dot design- idea from Pinterest (duh).

Next, was my favorite. Cinnamon Apple rolls.  It’s one of those recipes that’s do simple you’d kick yourself because you weren’t bright enough to think of it. You can find the recipe with all the details here… http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/10/easy-bite-size-apple-pie-recipe.html?

If you’re too lazy to click, here’s the deal- sliced apples rolled in pie dough dusted with cinnamon and drizzled with icing. Easiest recipe ever.  When these came out of the oven, the noise of girly ooohs and aaahs from my kitchen made me wonder if I’d accidentally stumbled into a baby shower.

We saved pie pops for our last recipe. What’s a pie pop?  Glad you asked…a mini pie placed on a lollipop sick and baked.

Making these was hilarious. Why? Because I had the bright idea of putting cookie dough as one of the pop fillings and later watched them burst the dough apart in the oven. Dough rises… I know this now. Besides my brilliant filling, we also used raspberry, chocolate, and apple. They were pretty good and perfectly cute.

The recipes didn’t disappoint, in fact, I’d like to cultivate my own collection of Pinterest inspired recipes.  Im also starting on a canvas piece that’s completely Pinterest inspired.

Rock on, Pinterest.

blog3

Oh, Texas, How I’ve Missed Thee

Since it’s the Thanksgiving holiday and all, I decided to be rather traditional and travel back home for the occasion.  I, along with every Richmond area college student (rolls eyes) crammed myself in an airplane to get back to “The Lone Star State” to mingle with family & eat till I had a rather noticeable food baby.

It’s pretty intriguing, traveling back to where your from.   Makes me realize how much I’ve missed … the food.

For all you that understand the big & ridiculous hoopla over Texas culture and cuisine, maybe you’ll understand the irony of my official sign of welcome … a passing Blue Bell truck.  For those of you who don’t know what the heck I am talking about, Blue Bell is the best greatest ice cream…ever.   When I got to my parents house, I even peeked in the freezer to see if they still were up to date with stocked Blue Bell.  They were.

For dinner last night, my mom made King Ranch Chicken.  A simple Texas staple- a casserole consisting of chicken, cheese, tortillas, and 1,000 calories per serving.  I love the nostalgia of casseroles- something I never make at home but when I have it, I cherish it.

It’s something you can easily prepare and takes no time to make.  Note, this is something to make when you’re cooking for others, unless your prepping yourself for the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.  Here’s the recipe…

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers- Rotel, baby.
12 (8 inch) corn tortillas
3 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add chicken and bouillon and boil for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through (no longer pink inside). Reserve 1 cup broth. Remove chicken from pan and dice; set aside.

2. In a separate large saucepan combine reserved broth, onion, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers. Mix together and heat through, stirring often.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. In a 9×13 inch baking dish layer casserole as follows: 4 torn tortillas, 1/2 of diced chicken, 1/3 of soup mixture, more tortilla strips, remaining diced chicken, 1/3 of soup mixture, more tortilla strips and remaining soup mixture. Cover with cheese.
4. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.
It’s pretty amazing and if you want to get creative- this recipe begs for additions like peppers, chilies, or chili.  Make it your own.
Enjoy.
enchiladas plated

On Menu Tonight (because I can’t eat out every night): Veggie enchiladas

In an ideal world, I’d have the time and funds to venture out on restaurant exploration every night.

In a perfect world, I’d also be able to have all the calories removed from my meals.

This is reality;  I limit my “going out-ness” to a few nights (even one night) out of the week.  I still have to budget just like anyone else but, I really don’t mind.   I will admit, I love preparing some awesome meals at home.  I love my kitchen (thank you to my handy girlfriend ); it’s my domain for my creative concocted dishes.

The other night, was one of my favorites, chicken enchiladas.  I’ll admit, this wasn’t something I made up myself, this was a recipe from my personal kitchen bible,  Real Simple: Best Recipes cookbook.  I love this thing, it’s smeared with buttery fingerprints and dog eared pages.

The recipe is easy and simple…how ironic.  The recipe is centered around rotisserie chicken.

Ah, rotisserie chicken, it has the potential to be the base for any easy and great meal.  It’s inexpensive and allows you to create and re-create dishes using this as a staple key ingredient.  Any leftover chicken?  Step up and create  quick chicken salad for lunch or snacking.  It’s effortless and  it’s pretty much guaranteed you have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen, of course, unless you’re in Kiera Knightly’s kitchen.  I kid I kid!

Here’s the recipe:  Chicken Enchiladas With Green Salsa | Real Simple Recipes.

It’s simple and you can absolutely make it your own.  Translation = you don’t have to follow the recipe word for word.  A trailblazer myself, I know I don’t!  Instead of the cilantro topping, I opt for green enchilada sauce, this balances the salty and sweet flavor of the dish.  I use more zucchini instead of onion AND I put extra cheese in the stuffing mixture and some on top…go figure.

Enjoy.  It won’t make cooking at home the same as going out but, at least you can do it in your pajamas and make it your way…and no, this is not Burger King.