Weekend Scenes

Friday afternoon snack, beer and Persian flatbread
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And kept it healthy with bacon waffles with bananas for dinner
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The weekend wouldn’t be complete without a pie. That’s a peanut butter and jelly pie on a pretzel crust. Want to know how to make it?

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Last week, I planted some tomato seeds. They sprouted!!!

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And then I hung out with this guy. He was super fussy, but he just wanted to be held.

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Later today… More waffles!!
How was your weekend? Any highlights?

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Pies before Paleo

This weekend consisted of lots of eating.  I’m definitely ready to start the paleo challenge tomorrow.  I feel like my body needs a cleanse.

Friday night, as I had mentioned, I went to Newport Landing for OC Restaurant Week.

I had Manhattan Clam Chowder, Potato Wrapped Salmon, and Molten Chocolate Cake.  Tasty!

Then Saturday night, there was another birthday dinner at an Argentine restaurant in San Diego called Puerto La Boca.  Jesse and I headed down to San Diego a bit early.  We sat at the bar and had a drink ($3 wine!) while we waited for everyone to arrive.

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By the time dinner happened (about 9pm?), we were starving.  Empanadas, Bread with Chimichurri, Meat, Salad, French Fries.  All tasty (and garlic-y like woah).

Then today, a co-worker is having an engagement party.  I offered to bring pies.

He requested Avocado Pie (because he loved it last time)

avocadopie

A Banana Cream Pie using this recipe from Epicurious.

bananacreampie

And Chocolate Mousse  (I’m totally NOT happy with how this one looks.  Womp.  But hopefully it will taste awesome!)

chocolatemoussepie

This is by no means a normal weekend, so I definitely feel ready to eat normal food.

How about you?  Ready for the Paleo Challenge?

30daypaleochallenge

I’m totally pumped!  I keep talking about it.  I think my boyfriend is already annoyed.

Pretty soon I’ll turn into one of those people…


 

“Is this Paleo?”

Bourbon Banana Pie

I wish I could say that New Years Resolutions mean that pies are on hold for a while.  But no.  No no, I don’t wish that, because pies are always a good idea.

You know what else is a good idea: bourbon.  Oh and bananas.  We can’t forget bananas.  I eat one everyday; they’re good for you.  I don’t have bourbon everyday; we won’t talk about that.  But in this pie form, I might be willing to do so.  Although pie everyday might not be a good idea either, resolutions remember?

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How about a resolution to try new things?  I’ll be honest, the bourbon flavor is subtle, not overpowering.  It’s pretty much perfect, like this pie.  And really aren’t you tired of traditional banana cream pie?   If you are, or even if you’re not, try this:

BourbonBananaPie2

Bourbon Banana Pie

1 stick of butter, melted
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup mashed banana (about 1 1/2 medium bananas)
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp Bourbon or other Whiskey
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar

Pre-heat oven to 325F.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and powdered sugar.  Press into a 9 inch pie dish.  Put in the fridge until ready to use.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks for a few mins.  Beat in banana, sweetened condensed milk and 1 tbsp bourbon.  Pour mixture into prepared pie dish.  Bake for 45 minutes (or until no jiggles when you shake it).  Allow to cool completely.  Once pie has cooled, make topping.  Mix together sour cream, sugar and remaining 2 tbsp bourbon.  Spread over the top of the pie.  Refrigerate for a few hours and serve!

BourbonBananaPie1

So given my obsession with adding alcohol to everything, it might seem like I’m an enormous lush.  Trust me, I’m not cool enough to be one of those people.  Pie on the other hand…

I’m definitely cool enough for pie.  So are you.  Go make this pie!  or Pin It for future reference 🙂 This is one you’re going to want to try.

Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie

So today I realized it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post.  I blame it on one thing: The Walking Dead.

I’m about 859395 minutes late to the party, so I spent the last week watching the first two seasons.  It was an enormous race to watch all the episodes before the new episode on Sunday.  Good news: I’m all caught up.

Now I freak out when my lights flicker, but that’s okay.  If fictional tv shows freak you out (like they do me), just think of pie.

Then head into the kitchen to make this…

Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie

Single Pie Crust:

175g All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
pinch of Salt
1 stick of Butter, cold
2 tbsp (maybe more) Ice Water

Filling:
6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp bourbon/whiskey

Caramel:

1 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Bourbon
few pinches of salt

Topping:

1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp White Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of Salt
3 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp bourbon

Prepare pie crust by combing flour, sugar and salt.  Using your fingers, break the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse crumbs (even pea sized is fine).  Add ice water and bring it all together into a ball using your hands.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours.  You can make this up to two days in advance.

Once your dough has rested sufficiently, you can start to assemble your pie.  Roll our dough and place into a 9inch pie dish, trim the edges, make them look pretty if you’d like.

Next make the caramel.  In a deep saucepan, melt sugar over medium heat.  Do not stir.  Once it reaches a golden brown color, remove from heat.  Stir in butter (it will bubble a lot, keep stirring), then stream in cream while stirring then stir in bourbon and salt.  If you get some clumps it’s not a big deal.    Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350F.   Stick the prepared crust in the freezer while you make the filling and topping.  For the filling, I like to throw all the ingredients into a large ziploc bag, close it and toss it around.  A bowl works too.

Set aside while you make the topping. Next make crumble topping.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add butter and using your fingers work it into the mixture.  Drizzle in bourbon and toss to combine.  The mixture should look sort of like crumbs.

Next assemble the pie.  Pour a bit of the caramel into the pie crust and spread.  Next lay in half the apple mixture, pour some more caramel sauce (maybe 1/3 of it? also note if your caramel cooled too much and hardened just warm it up a bit on the stove).  Add the remaining apples and drizzle with some more caramel.  You should have about 1/4 of the caramel left over.  Sprinkle the crumble topping on the apples, then drizzle remaining caramel on top.  Place pie on a baking sheet and bake 45-60 mins or until golden and the fruit is bubbling in the middle.

Remove from oven, allow to cool completely then serve!

I recommend having this with a glass of bourbon while watching The Walking Dead (or maybe Vampire Diaries is more your supernatural style?).

Avocado Pie

My boyfriend told me that the first time he heard about me (right before we met over 2 years ago on a random trip to Las Vegas) he thought I was going to be a rich snob.  Makes sense.  I went to Cornell at the time and when I first meet people I tend to be quiet.  I guess that translated to rich-bitch-face for me.  But luckily, we moved past that.

2 years later, he’s coming to find that I’m quite the opposite.  I might be the cheapest person I’ve ever met (after my mother that is… I had to get it somewhere right?).  Yesterday, I had us walk to Costco before going to the movie theater so we could buy the cheaper tickets there.  $8 savings!  I say yes.

My frugality translated to food as well.  For a long time, I would NEVER buy avocados.  $1+ for an avocado seemed outrageous.  But now, I’m growing up.  And guys… I buy avocados.  In fact, I just bought 2 right before writing this post.  Is my cheapness fizzing away?

I don’t think so (the avocados I just bought were on sale), but if you’re cheap like me but want to use your avocados to your full potential, here’s how:

In pie form.

Yes, it’s sweet.  Not savory, and truth be told, I don’t really taste the avocado in it.  What I do taste (and trust me I tasted this one a lot, I ate it for breakfast 3 days last week…) is delicious creamy-ness.

Avocado Pie

from Blue Ribbon Pies (mostly)

1 stick of butter, melted
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large avocado (or 1 1/2 small, which is what I used), lightly mashed
1/4 cup lime juice
2 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 can (15 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar

Prepare crust by mixing together melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 powdered sugar.  Press into a 9” pie pan.  Put in the freezer until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 325.

Our lime juice over avocado slices and set aside.  In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick (few minutes took me about 5?).  Add avocado and lime juice and beat, add vanilla and continue to beat.  Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until well combined.  Pour mixture into prepared graham cracker crust.  Bake 20 minutes.

Allow to cool completely.  Meanwhile, mix together sour cream, vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar.  Once the pie is completely cool, spread sour cream mixture over the pie.  Chill for a few hours (I chilled it over night) then serve!

Ok so cheapness aside, I can’t take credit for this recipe.  I owe it to my lovely friend, Rhoda.  She shares my affinity for pies and cost-effectiveness, which I greatly appreciate.

But take my word for it, make this pie no one will think you’re a cheap-o.  They’ll think your awesome for 1. giving them pie, 2. making an amazing pie that looks crazy but tastes great!

Passion Fruit Cream Pie

There are a few things I’m certain about.

1. If you are at a party full of latinos and you want them to dance, play this song:

Everyone will be on the dance floor within 30 seconds.  Truth.

2.  My sister and I have a 20 degree temperature range of comfort.  Anything below 65F is too cold, and anything about 85F is far too hot.  I have no idea how I lived in central NY for 2 years.

3.  This is my new go to summer dessert.  Really this has to do with #2 and the fact that my apartment is an oven, therefore I refuse to turn on the oven.

Passion Fruit Cream Pie

For Crust:
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For Filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1  1/4 cup passion fruit curd (recipe follows)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 Mango diced, or sliced strawberries, thinly sliced lemon, extra whipped cream or other fruit for topping

Passionfruit Curd
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup passion fruit pulp (Goya has some frozen, check out the freezer section or a latin grocery store)
4 tbsp butter

First prepare the passion fruit curd, it needs to cool completely before you make this.  In a glass bowl that fits over a saucepan, combine eggs, passion fruit pulp and sugar.  Place over a sauce pan with boiling water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl).  Stir constantly until thick (this will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes).  Stir in butter and pass through a fine mesh strainer.  Set aside to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.  This can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Once you’re ready to make your pie.  Melt butter in a bowl.  Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Press into 9” pie dish.  Place in freezer while you prepare the filling.

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and 1 cup of passionfruit curd.

In a separate bowl, beat heavy whipping cream until it holds firm peaks.

Fold whipped cream into cream cheese/passion fruit mixture.  Pour mixture into prepared pie dish.   Spread any remaining passion fruit curd (will be about 1/4 cup) on to the top of the pie mixture (that is if you haven’t eaten it already because it’s so deliciously good).

Top with your fruit of choice and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until ready to serve.    I topped one with mango and one with thinly sliced lemon pieces.

Note that decorating this with lemons is totally misleading.  Half the people at the party I took this to were expecting it to be a lemon dessert.

The good news is you totally can make this into a lemon dessert!  All you have to do is replace the passionfruit curd with lemon curd and TA DA! Instant no-bake lemon dessert!

Now, let me be honest, I’ve made both a lemon version and a passion fruit version… The passion fruit version wins.

Topped with mango.  To die for.

Either way, I’m thinking that this is my new favorite no bake dessert.

It might even beat the peanut butter banana cream pie… and that’s saying a lot.

Ok but we’re all friends here, turn on some music (or maybe the song I linked above), dance in the kitchen and make both the passion fruit cream pie and the peanut butter banana cream pie.  I’m certain you (and whoever you decide to share them with) will love them.

Milk Chocolate Brownie Pie with Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Crust

Remember when I told you to look forward to pies?  Well I didn’t make you wait long.  Here it is.



And let’s be honest about this.  Not all pies are pretty, but even if they’re not pretty they can still be tasty.  Let’s call it functional, not beautiful.  I’m pretty certain this pie won’t get as many pins as other ones.

You know what makes this even more functional: it’s easy.  Not that other pies are hard to make but with this one, you don’t have to deal with rolling a crust, peeling or chopping fruit, making a topping or even pulling out the hand mixer.

This pie is essentially chocolate chess pie.  However, no one seems to know what that is (not even me really…).  So my original intention was to call this Chocolate Milk Pie, because to me, it tastes like chocolate milk in a pie form.  But when I took it to work everyone kept calling it brownie pie.  I guess that might be a more accurate descriptions.

Hence…

Milk Chocolate Brownie Pie with Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Crust

adapted from Chocolate Chess Pie

For Crust:

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp peanut butter
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For Filling:

4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
5 oz evaporated milk (you can buy 5 oz cans)

Pre-heat oven to 325F. Prepare the crust.  Melt butter and peanut butter together in a bowl.  Add sugar and graham cracker crumbs.  Combine and press into a 9inch pie dish.  Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Mix all the ingredients.  Pour filling into the pie dish.  Place use a pie shield or line the edges with aluminum foil (this really is crucial).  Bake 45 minutes to an hour or until the top is cracked but the inside still looks gooey.

Allow to cool completely and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional).

The inside will be ooey, gooey and lovely.  I can guarantee you’ll love it, even if it’s not the most visually appealing.

But you know what is totally appealing (aside from this pie of course)? Birthday countdowns.

Boyfriend’s birthday in 1 week. My birthday in 2 weeks.  That means lots of pie/cake-making is on the way.

FYI, I’m totally okay with making a birthday cake/pie for myself.  Is that weird?