Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pear Custard Pie

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and stuffed their bellies full of delicious food.  We spent ours in Clinton, NY with Steve's family and we had lots of fun visiting with everyone especially his adorable 14 month old nephew.  We ate delicious food and even got to go home with some leftovers (which we ate that same night :).   However, one turkey just wasn't enough for Steve.  For months he's been talking about how he wanted to get a turkey from the lady we buy our meat from at the farmers market.  So we put ourselves on the list and got a 12lb heritage bronze grass-fed and organic turkey. 

 Now a 12lb turkey probably pales in comparison to many of the turkeys that graced the tables of Thanksgiving eaters this year, but for two people it's still A LOT of turkey.  Plus you can't just make turkey, you have to make sides, and desserts!  So we invited people over and had a delicious second thanksgiving.  Besides the turkey our menu included garlic mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, sausage and cranberry stuffing, rolls, pear and Gorgonzola salad, and for dessert a pear custard pie and a delicious chocolate dome thing that Melissa brought. 

As much as I wanted to document and blog the whole feast, it didn't happen.  I did manage to snap a few pictures of the Pear Custard Pie I made which is another recipe from my Simply in Season cookbook.

This pie was pretty good.  I have a hard time with custardy things cause I can never figure out when they've set, but I think this turned out okay.  I definetly wished I had had better pears though, these just weren't ripe enough. 

The recipe also didn't have any spices in it so I consulted my handy dandy Flavor Bible and decided to add some ground cloves and cinnamon.  Ground ginger and nutmeg would also be acceptable spices to add.

Pear Custard Pie
  • 9 inch unbaked pastry shell (check out the recipe I use here)
  • 4-5 cups peeled and sliced pears
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • various spices - ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon etc.
Preheat oven to 450.

Peel and slice your pears and then throw them into your pie crust.

In a bowl mix together all the other ingredients and then pour over the pears.

Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 and bake until set, roughly 30 minutes.  Mine took longer though.

It really can't get much easier than that! 



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos

The first time I ever had these was when Lizz made them for me when I went to her house to watch The Biggest Loser.  They were so delicious that they became one of our Tuesday night staple foods.  


Despite loving them so much, I had never made them for Steve and myself.  Well now that I own the book that the recipe is in, Simply In Season, I really had no excuse.  These are simple, easy, and most importantly delicious. 

I strongly urge everybody to go and make these.  The only thing that would make them better is topping them with some salsa and/or sour cream.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes (peeled and diced) -  I used 1 large sweet potato and it was plenty
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (I used 2 cans)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 flour tortillas - I made mine big so I only got 5 out of it
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
This is definitely a recipe that you don't want to skimp on the spices with.  If you don't have the cinnamon or cumin you need to get them, the combination of those two spices really takes this recipe over the top.

Chop up your onion, and sweet potato, if you have a food processor this will save you a lot of time.
Saute your veggies in a large saucepan with 1tbsp olive oil.  You want to saute them just until they are tender.  If they start to stick the book reccomends that you add water or apple juice, I just added more oil.

Meanwhile, heat your oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 baking dish. 

Once your veggies are done add the black beans and the spices and cook for another minute or two. 

Spoon the mixture onto the tortillas and top with some cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes and then serve with salsa and sour cream.  Enjoy!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Weeknight Dinner - Creamy Carbonara

Quick and delicious - perfect for a Monday evening.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Introducing the I'm Hungry Monthly Competition "Rethinking Breakfast!"


Steve and I (we'll Steve is still in bed and doesn't actually know about this) are pleased to announce the first of what will become a monthly competition - Rethinking Breakfast

I love breakfast, I love it so so so much.  It's my favorite meal of the day, and it includes my favorite foods.  I love everything breakfast, omelets, pancakes, french toast, waffles, Eggs Benedict, you name it!  The problem is, I have to get up very very very early for work and I've found that I'm just too lazy/tired to make myself get up early enough to prepare breakfast.  So now my breakfast has to consist of something I can eat on the go or prepare at work.  Here's the problem, I'm getting really tired of oatmeal and hard-boiled eggs!  Because of this I find myself turning into the dreaded drive thru far more than I'd like to admit.  Not only is fast-food extremely unhealthy, and ungreen, it's taking a major toll on my wallet! 

So my fellow foodies here is where you come in!  I want you to suggest me breakfasts.  Each month I'll post an entry along these lines asking for your suggestions.  Post all your recipe ideas in the comments of this blog entry.  I will choose recipes that I think sound delicious and that I would want to make and at the end of the month I'll pick one which I feel is the best one for my breakfast needs.  On the first Saturday or Sunday of each month (whichever day I happen to have off from work) I will post the winner and I will write up a blog post about the recipe. 

So why should you help me think up breakfasts?!  There will be prizes!  This month, the person who gives me the best Rethought Breakfast recipe will receive a copy of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.
 How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food
So you want to help a poor gal out and suggest some breakfast recipes - here are some rules and general guidelines about what i'm looking for.
  • I'd like it to be healthy - Now this doesn't mean it needs to be like 50 calories, in fact I want a high calorie breakfast (300-400 cals) because I usually have to go 5-6 hours before I can eat lunch.  
  • I don't like to eat processed foods so try to avoid those - I especially have an aversion to frozen potato products which I find in a lot of breakfast recipes. Also no fake egg products.
  • I must be able to eat it on the go or eat it at work - this doesn't mean it can't involve prep time IF i can do that prep the night before.  If I can make something up in advance and then just reheat it at work that would be best!  (I only  have a microwave at work, no toaster).  
  • In regards to the bullet above if I can make it in advance and it makes enough for multiple breakfasts that's even better.  I don't mind putting something together at night, but I don't want to spend my whole evening working on it.
  • It shouldn't be too expensive to make.
  • It must include a good source of protein - this is very very important.  
  • I don't like milk or seafood. (although i will eat milk in other things, just not on it's own).  Besides those two things I'm pretty open to eating anything (seriously anything, you should see the stuff Steve's been making me try!)
  • Only one entry per person per month - this seems like a fair way to do things.  
  • If I find that there is more than one recipe that is really awesome I may do runner up prizes.
  • If you win a prize you must skip a month before participating - again to be fair
  • If you win, you must be okay with me posting the recipe on my blog.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Charlie and Macie cut a goat’s legs off at the knee and put them in the slow cooker - A post by Steve

Recently, Charlie and Macie stole goats and brought them back to the apartment, where they slaughtered, skinned, and butchered them. Unfortunately, those guys are not allowed to cook, so I had to make up the goat for them. They wanted the shanks, so that’s what I made. I based my preparation off of this recipe:

Here are the shanks sitting on a plate, waiting to be spiced and browned. 

And here are some carrots, onions, and celery ready to go into the pot. I would have liked to add more carrots and celery, but that was all we had at the time.

I’m sorry I lied about where the goat came from. Charlie and Macie did not kill the goat, nor did they butcher it. The goat shanks came from the farmer’s market, where they were a super-good deal at $2.25 a shank. I don’t remember the name of the farm though. Maybe I’ll figure it out on Saturday.

Here is a picture of the finished shanks. I reduced the sauce on top from the braising liquid in the slow cooker, most of which consisted of some nice homemade chicken stock. Now I need to make some more stock up.

This is a good food to eat because it has a big bone sticking out of it which you can use as a handle. However, etiquette suggests that one should use a knife and fork to remove the meat from the bone like a decent person. Look in your heart. How do you feel?

I would have liked to make up a more interesting side than boiled potatoes, but here we are. For better results, roast some turnips, rutabaga, sweet potato, carrots, onions all together and eat that up. It is Fall after all.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Winter Squash Bars

Fall is finally here!  Okay I'm a little late, it's actually been here for a few weeks, but nonetheless it's here!  Even though fall means summer is really over and winter is just around the corner, I can't help but be excited by this beautiful season.  The colors, smells, and flavors that this season produces is in my opinion the best.  What can be better than a cool crisp day, chilly enough that you need a sweater, but still warm enough to enjoy the breeze on your skin?  Or a delicious baked apple dish, or a warm hearty dinner exuding a multitude of flavors?

Fall makes me want to bake, bake, bake, and so what better to kick off the baking season than with something that incorporates squash, practically the spoke-vegetable for fall.  I recently got a new cookbook for my birthday (thanks Lizz & Laurel!), Simply in Season, and it's great!  Not only is it full of simple delicious recipes, but it's a cookbook for cooking seasonally.  I'm excited to work my way through all the fall recipes using local ingredients from the farmers market.
As I flipped through the book the first fall recipe that caught my eye was one for Winter Squash Bars.  They sounded pretty healthy, and like something that would make a nice snack, so on this beautiful fall morning I set in to making them.

I made a few changes to the recipe in lieu of white sugar I used brown to give it a deeper, richer flavor.  I then reduced the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup.  I also used applesauce instead of oil for a healthier yet deliciously moist version of these bars.  I made a ton of applesauce last fall and it's come in handy for baking things such as this.  I'll put my changes in parenthesis.

Winter Squash Bars - makes 24
  • 2 cups squash - cooked, and pureed
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar - (1 cup brown sugar)
  • 3/4 cup oil - (3/4 cup applesauce)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 cake pan.

In a bowl mix together squash, sugar, oil(applesauce), eggs, vanilla, and salt.
 Add flours, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
 Pour into pan and bake for 25 minutes.
 Voila!  Could it be any easier?!
Nutrition (using my adaptations) - 1 Bar
Calories: 84
Fat: 0.9g
Protein: 2.1g
Carbs: 20.5g