I’m Thankful For Pecan Pie

I forgot my  camera at my apartment! That’s why Thanksgiving is in Instagram. Pecan pie is the best. And I don’t even like pie. It’s the only pie we made this Thanksgiving and it was perfect.The recipe tells you not to disturb the pecans when pouring the egg mixture on top… I definitely disturbed the pecans. But once you bake it… it doesn’t matter. It’s so delicious! My feet hurt so much from standing all day to help prepare Thanksgiving this year that I sat on a barstool to make this pie. It was pretty pathetic. I know it’s a little late for a pecan pie recipe, but it’s never too late to be thankful!

This year I’m thankful for lots of things:

*my mom and dad, for helping me so much this year
*brussel sprouts, for existing
*that I have the opportunity to study in Italy next semester
*my dog, Sophie

Let’s be serious. Thanksgiving is really about food, but it’s the only time I actually think about what I have to be thankful for. That’s bad. I should definitely be thinking about that more than once a year. I’m thankful for pecan pie right now? See, I’m doing better already!

  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
  1. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon.
  2. Arrange the pecans on the bottom on the pie crust.
  3. Pour the egg mixture over the pecans slowly, try not to disturb them (I didn’t know pecans could be disturbed.)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes.
  5. Cool for 2 hours before serving.
  6. Top with a giant dollop of whipped cream!

And since I’m doing an entirely Instagram post… here is my favorite girl, Soey and my new roommate this semester Cat Benatar.

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I Love Breakfast

I love breakfast. It is the best thing in the entire world. To me, there is nothing better than eggs. Sweet breakfast is okay, but when it comes down to it, I always pick savory. I don’t understand people who “never eat breakfast” or “can’t eat immediately after waking up”. What is that? There is no point in waking up if there are no eggs, toast or bacon on the other side of your warm, flannel sheets. I fall asleep thinking about the breakfast sandwich I will eat in the morning. Is this making me sound fat? It’s okay. I just really love breakfast. There is no recipe here, just a need to share the greatest love of my life. Oh god, now I sound fat and pathetic. But sometimes, a sunny-side up egg and some quick oats are all you need. Breakfast is my cheerleader. It tells me, “You can do this! It’s 8:00 and look how happy I’m making you. Go change the world!” Okay… my eggs aren’t always so enthusiastic, unless of course they are sunny-side up. Make an egg, have some coffee and let your breakfast cheer you on too. 

Herb Crusted Tofu with Avocado Lime Sauce

I’m loving herbed things lately. I am also loving tofu. That’s why this is perfect. It was also one of those things where you are watching Giada on Food Network and you just magically have everything she used for a recipe in your fridge. No? That’s not a thing? Well in this case, that’s exactly what happened.

When you use tofu it comes packaged in water. You have to drain the water, then get all the water out of the tofu. I like to use a dishtowel because it’s kind of wasteful to use paper towels (you’d use so many because tofu is a super scary water sponge). Basically, I just wrap the clean dishtowel around the tofu and gently press on all side until no more water comes out. Also, I always buy extra firm tofu, but you can buy whatever you like best. I am no tofu expert. I love recipes where the instructions are basically blending everything together. This is the case here. You blend everything except for the tofu and the herbs you cover it with. Perfect.When I made my herb mixture I over salted. It’s important to be literate when cooking… and if not literate, at least logical. Apparently I am neither.Sear those little cuties until the herbs create a crust. The lime and avocado in this cream sauce are so yummy. This supper makes me feel good and healthy… for five minutes before I raid the fridge for two slices of cheese and a brownie. But let’s operate under the illusion that I ate only this.

1 package tofu
1 avocado
1 lime
1 tablespoon herb de provence
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic

  • Drain tofu and pat dry with towel. Cut in half lengthwise. Cut into eight triangles.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and roll in a salt/pepper and herb mixture. Set aside.
  • Slice the avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out with a spoon and put in food processor. Add the garlic, olive oil, lime juice and a dash of basil. Pulse until smooth.
  • Heat a skillet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sear the tofu pieces on each side.
  • Transfer to a plate and spoon avocado sauce on top.


Brown Butter Poached Eggs with Herbed Pasta

 

Take me away. I’m sitting in a Starbucks downtown trying to write a paper. It’s raining ice outside and I downed my latte approximently one hour ago. I forgot headphones so I’m writing this paper to reggae and the obnoxiously loud baristas.

Okay, are we done complaining? That felt good. Instead of writing this paper I’m going to show you how to make my favorite thing. Pasta and eggs. Give me a minute to talk about how much I love eggs.

I. LOVE. EGGS.

On days when toast isn’t my favorite food, it’s eggs. It’s about to be a four day weekend and I’m writing a paper about e-readers and thinking about eggs. I’m cool.

I’m trying something new here. I’m not going to post pictures of every step. You guys are smart. You know how to boil water, right? Let me know what you think!

This recipe is for one, but essentially just add more eggs and pasta if there are more people.

Boil water and add the spaghetti.
Add the butter to a heated pan and stir until it turns a brown/amber color. Take off the heat and set off to the side. This egg is a dementor from Harry Potter. Every time I poach eggs I think about dementors. Weird? Possibly.


Remove your poached eggs from the water and transfer to a paper towel. Blot and then put them in the brown butter. This is when I start drooling. Eggs and butter. It’s all the world needs. 
Season the pasta with salt and pepper and some herbs. 
Add the olive oil, reserved pasta water and top with the poached eggs. Also, you should probably just dump the rest of that browned butter right on top. You know you want to. 

1/4 pack of spaghetti
2 eggs
dried basil
dried parsley
1/2 stick of butter (just got with it)
3/4 tablespoon of olive oil
1/8 cup reserve pasta water

  • Boil water. Salt the water and add the spaghetti. Cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/8 cup of cooking water. Drain and return pasta to the pan.
  • Brown the butter over medium heat, stirring continuously until it looks amber. Take off the heat and set aside.
  • Boil 4 inches of water in a skillet or saucepan. Reduce to a simmer. Swirl the water until it creates a whirlpool. Crack the egg into a mug and slowly slide it into the center of the whirlpool. Watch the egg white swirl around the yolk. Only cook it long enough for the whites to set. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel to blot.
  • Transfer to the browned butter. Spoon the butter on top of the eggs.
  • Season the pasta with herbs, olive oil and reserved water.
  • Top with poached eggs.

 

 

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Blondies

I am sick. I have eaten oatmeal every day and I have drank about 10 gallons of green tea. The last thing I wanted to do was make salted caramel pumpkin blondies. I was so excited about these. Truly excited. I made a special trip to the grocery store for pumpkin puree. Then my sore throat went from an annoyance to what I now think is a sinus infection. The reason I made salted caramel pumpkin blondies is because one of my professors wrote me a recommendation letter two days before it was due. She deserves something delicious. Thank you Meta! I also am giving her some apple butter that I made. Seasonal gifts are the best. Let’s hope she likes fall. So please excuse the bad photography, it was late and like I said, I didn’t want to be baking anything, nevertheless taking pictures of it.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks room temperature butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup salted caramel sauce 

Combine all the dry ingredients. Cream together the butter and brown sugar until very light and fluffy. This is the part where I wish I had a KitchenAid.  Add the egg and vanilla.Add the pumpkin puree.  Add the reserved flour mixture slowly, and stop when the batter is just combined. I skipped some pictures. I’m sick, remember?Spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray.  Add half of the batter and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.Pour over the caramel sauce. Cover the caramel with the remaining batter. I skipped a picture of this too. It was actually kind of messy but I’m sure you’ll be able to do it better. I believe in you.
Return the blondies to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean. Let the blondies cool before cutting.

 Pour some more caramel sauce over the top. I didn’t take a picture of this either because these weren’t for me! But I snuck one anyways. So much fall deliciousness.

This recipe is from bakedbree.com

Salted Caramel Sauce

When you look at this photography… rememeber…sick, very sick. Not wanting to make pumpkin blondies. I actually just wanted to eat this sauce with a spoon. It’s pretty delicious.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (used 2 cups by accident, oops.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 vanilla bean, sliced and seeded
1 teaspoon sea salt

Pour the cream into a measuring cup and add the vanilla and sea salt.  Set aside. 
Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring the sugar to a boil.Whisk in the cream mixture.  It will bubble and go nuts, but keep whisking. It will eventually come together but this is a really thin sauce anyways. Pour into a jar and keep in the fridge. Eat it… from the bowl.

Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup


I have never been a fan of Rachel Ray. Until recently when I started watching her every single day. It’s part of my 4pm Food Network line up. Rachel Ray, Giada, Barefoot Contessa (she is such a snot but I love her recipes), then Paula. So I saw this recipe on 30 minute Meals one day and have been wanting to make it ever since. I finally did! They didn’t have ancho chiles at my grocery store so the produce man told me to use a different kind. To be honest, I can’t remember the name but I believe they were Poblano chiles. Poblano chiles are apparently Ancho chiles before they are dried. Who knew? I also left the corn out because I didn’t have any!


6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Cooking spray
2 large ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed
1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ears corn on the cob, husked, kernels removed or 1 cup frozen kernels, defrosted
1 large red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno chile seeded and chopped or thinly sliced
1 red chile pepper, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/3 palmful
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika, half a palmful
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, eyeball it in your palm
1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon honey
1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 cups water
2 limes
2 ripe Hass avocados, halved
Sour cream, for garnish
cilantro leaves, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tortillas into half inch strips. Scatter on a baking pan and spray with cooking spray. Put them in the oven until they are brown and crispy.
While the tortillas brown, add the ancho chiles and the chicken stock to a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until the chiles are tender. Take off the heat and let them cool. 
While they simmer, put vegetable oil in a large soup pot and add the corn. Saute until brown on the edges then add the onion, red chile, garlic, and jalapeno.
Season with cumin, smoked paprika and cinnamon. Saute for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes. I used real tomato because I didn’t have canned tomato.
Puree the anchos and the stock in a food processor, then add it to the soup pot. Stir in the honey and the shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Thin the soup with 1 or 2 cups of water and simmer over low heat to combine flavors, about 5 minutes.
Zest and juice 1 lime and add to the soup pot. Seed and dice the avocados and add to a small bowl. Dress with the juice of the remaining lime. Avocados are so beautiful, I had to put this picture in.
 Add the crispy tortilla chips then ladle the soup on top. Dress with sour scream and cilantro. The lime is out of control in this recipe. It makes it so fresh tasting. I think my Mom would really love this recipe, so Mom… make this. 

 

 

 

 

Pesto/ Pizza/ Firemen

This pesto was the cause of the most dramatic night thus far in my new apartment. Was this pesto worth it? I would say so. I was just trying to make pizza. Pesto pizza. Delicious pesto pizza and because everything in our house is on a slant (we’ll call it quaint) the olive oil from my pizza stone dripped onto the bottom of the oven. This omitted a bad smell. Along with that smell, there was an odor of gas filling up the apartment. Next thing I know, every alarm in the apartment is beeping and screaming, so in a fit of frazzlement I hit the quiet button. I tell my roommates not to worry, it must’ve been the burning olive oil. After I get the pizza in the oven I decide to take a second look. Opps, it wasn’t the smoke detector but the carbon monoxide detector that was going off. I was slightly concerned… so I opened the windows and continued cooking my pizza.

At this point, I was so scared to continue using the oven that I didn’t even want to cook my second pizza. I tried to enjoy my pesto pizza but I couldn’t help thinking,
“Tonight I am going to die. Like that episode of CSI where the whole family wakes up blue. Oh wait, they don’t wake up.”

Soon after, one of my roommates didn’t feel well so we decided to gives our friends at the Boston Fire Department a call. They shot over here lights swirling, sirens blaring (so dramatic) and checked the carbon monoxide levels in the place. Turns out we were fine but I met a few firemen (always a plus) and got to sleep safe and sound. So here’s the pesto that started it all…

Oh wait! My adorable, perfect, pumpkin muffin of a little sister bought me a spice rack for my apartment! She knew I wanted one so badly so she went out and bought me one with her own money. HOW NICE IS THAT. It’s even prettier from the back! Thanks Brie!Oh right, pesto…1 bunch of basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
grated parmesan cheese

Smash and peel the garlic. Add it to the food processor with the basil and pine nuts. Isn’t my baby food processor adorable? 
Pulse together. Stream olive oil in while the food processor is going. Because I have a baby food processor I can’t add anything while it’s still going. It still worked though. And that’s it! Seriously. It’s beyond easy. I should’ve stopped here because then the fire department wouldn’t have shown up. I didn’t.


pizza dough
tomato
sauce
mozzarella
pesto

Roll out the dough. If you’re smart this is the part where you put the dough on the pizza stone. I am so bad at this part. Reference pizza bianca.
Slather on that pesto. MmmmmAdd the mozzarella. Don’t be shy. I added so much mozzarella. But I didn’t take any pictures from this point on. Just use your imagination. Me running around fanning carbon monoxide detectors like they are smoke alarms. Trying to move the pizza to the stone and quickly realizing it needs to be a calzone. I did manage to get a picture of the last slice. Pesto pizza should be an enjoyable experience…so try not to set off carbon monoxide detectors while you’re making it.

On my second pizza I put sauce, mozzarella, tomato slices and basil. Double yum. I hope your pesto pizza making experience is less dramatic than mine!

Baby’s First Dinner Party – Pasta with Meat Sauce

I did it! With the help of my roommate Michelle, I threw a dinner party! When it came down to the menu the question was really this…What will feed the most people for the least amount of money? Pasta.

The best part of this whole thing was setting the table, using my new knives and finally being able to feed my friends! Oh, and pretending I am a real adult. It’s always fun to pretend.

My camera charger is STILL missing. You’ll have to excuse the photography for now until it decides to stop being a diva and come out of hiding.

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic
Basil (as much as you want)
1/2 pound ground beef
Salt & Pepper
2 boxes of pasta
1 medium onion
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of nutmeg

Dice the onion and garlic. Notice my new knife that I’m obsessed with.

Brown the meat.

Add onions. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season however you want, I added basil and a little more garlic, salt and pepper and kept tasting until I liked it. Simmer for 25 mintues. 

Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and salt generously. Add the pasta and cook according to the package. Once it’s done, drain it and put the pasta directly in the sauce. Add some water from the pasta if you need some extra liquid in it. This is when I set the table. I was so excited about this part. We didn’t have enough matching dinner plates so I only took a picture of four places we really had seven people eating.

I can’t wait to have a dinner party where I serve something besides pasta! But for my first one it went pretty well! (Besides my completely burned garlic bread, opps).

Memere’s Banana Bread

I moved into my first apartment! And this is the first thing I made in my new kitchen! My mom bought all my groceries for me before I moved in because everything in Boston is so much more expensive (what a good mommy) but the bananas didn’t travel very well. By the time I had unpacked the kitchen and gave everything a place, the bananas were brown and mushy. Banana bread it is. [note: if you’re bananas are brown and nasty and you’re not in the banana bread making mood, put them in the freezer and take them out when the mood strikes…which for me is like, everyday.]

Once I finished this post I realized I wrote all the directions under the picture instead of on top which is like… not right. I’m just too tired to fix it. It’s like a matching game. Match the direction to the picture. Don’t worry, it won’t happen again.

Things I Learned While Making This:

I own the world’s worst rubber spatula.

I am much cleaner in this apartment than I am at my own home. (sorry, Mom)

Taking pictures with my point and shoot camera because my DSLR battery charger is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND isn’t as bad as I thought.


Excuse the blasting light from the left.

3 medium sized bananas (mashed)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup crisco
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add the sugar and the crisco.Then the egg. Mix together.Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat together. This is about the time when I realize I own the worst rubber spatula every created. I want to know who produced it and was like, “This is a good idea. This will definitely work.” I wish you could feel this spatula through the computer. It’s just… bad.Pour the delicious batter into a greased pan. Use said horrible rubber spatula to get all the batter out of the bowl and off the beaters. I just wanted to interject a picture of my recipe binder that I crafted last night. It has a combination of my Memere’s recipes, my Mom’s recipes and random stuff from cookbooks at my house.

Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. This bread was served to a house full of helpful parents and relatives and roommates. Welcome home, Kate!