Monday, June 16, 2014

Miss me? Here are 3 yummy desserts!

Holy cow! I haven't been on here in forever. Over a year! I have tried and failed and tried and succeeded with many dessert recipes over the past year. I'm going to highlight some of my favorites! Yay!

Can I start be saying what a crazy year it has been?!   
Ups, downs, downs, more downs, and a few ups kind of sum it up.

Unfortunately (and not so unfortunately) experimenting in the kitchen is one of my outlets. It gives me something to focus on other than my stressful life. I life, stressful? No kids, no job, no life must really suck. You don't know the half of it...and if you do, then consider yourself one of my closest friends! Go you! High five! I will say that even though life has thrown a big ol' wad of elephant crap at my face, I'm still my same cheerful, optimistic self. I've always been good at seeing the big picture when I need to, knowing when to think logically vs. emotionally, and especially good at forgiving. Maybe to a fault. Despite the poo poo in my face, I'm okay. Thanks, kitchen. And family...and church...and friends...I suppose I should thank you all too for keeping me somewhat sane.

Alright, enough about me. Time to oooh and aahhh over my yummy treats. Most of these were found on Pinterest. Thanks, Pinterest. However, I usually end up tweaking the recipes just a little. What can I say, I'm a genius rebel.

So first, pie. More pie! I know my last post a year ago was about pie, too.


Minnies Chocolate Pie

You know the one...from The Help!

Don't worry. I didn't add the secret ingredient. 
So  I searched far and wide for this recipe. There were many to choose from. This one turned out to be the winner!

It is SOOOO easy to make. The recipe can be found HERE and the crust recipe I used can be found HERE .  This is now my go-to crust recipe. If you make it correctly, it should be incredibly flaky, buttery, and delicious. Just follow the directions!

With the pie, I lowered the temperature on my oven to 325*F. But, that is just my oven. You might have perfect success at 350. It is best served at room temperature with some homemade whipped cream! If you don't know how to make that, dishonor on YOU, dishonor on your COW!


Chocolate and regular whipped cream with strawberries.

This has got to be my new favorite dessert. Its basically a giant meringue cookie, but because it is so large the inside doesn't harden and turns into a delicious marshmallow-y center. Think: Top of a lemon meringue pie. Eh, eh?? I had my first taste while in Mountain View, CA visiting my dad. An Australian family made it for us during a dinner party one night. It was gone in seconds.

This is one of the hardest desserts I've made. The recipe itself it very simple, however the technique takes trial and error. The lady who made it for us told me the recipe but I didn't write it down. Le sigh. Luckily I found one nearly identical on the interwebs. Of course.
The fluff flattened from the weight of the whipped cream and strawberries. whoops.
 The trick is to not over beat the eggs. Doing so will make the Pavlova leak a clear yelowish goo and the center will be more "month old marshmallow" as opposed to "fluffy marshmallow fluff". eww. Just kidding, it still tastes wonderful, trust me, it took a few tries to get it perfect but I still loved all my little imperfect pavlovas. It's just the texture that was off.

It's okay if it cracks a little. Don't cry about it.

Second trick? Let it rest in the oven with the door cracked over night or alll day. Whichever is more convenient. It has to rest in there to a souffle. Don't open the oven until it is done! Don't take it out until it is cool! And DON'T put the toppings on it until right before you serve it. Just don't.

French Macarons

 Whaaaaat?! Yeah, I tried it. Failed once. Success on my second try. Boom.
Looking good so far!
So close.

Nailed it!
This is probably the greatest recipe for the French Macaron. It is straight forward, easy to follow, and has great results. The flavor of the cookie can be altered by using different extracts. My first batch was lemon. Everything was going so well until the last 2 minutes in the oven. The tops kind of crawled away...(Their cookie guts leaving a trail behind them). I had to scoot them back into their correct positions on the pan. Result? Yummy, good texture.. but, ugly. Just not the pretty macaron you see in stores!

So, what did I do differently the second time? I lowered the temperature. Preheat to 350*f, and lowered to 300 when I put the pan in. I'm starting to think my oven is too hot. Hmm. The second difference? I blended up the almond flour and powered sugar to create a finer powder. The first ones were lumpy because my flour was grainy. Also, when folding the dry mixture into the merengue, mix until it's "lava texture"... Whatever that means.. I found it means smooth enough to run off the spatula but firm enough to hold its shape for a few seconds until it's melts into itself, if that makes sense. Google it if you have to ;) 
The last tip?  I banged the CRAP out of those pans to get all those pesky air bubbles. I probably could have done it even more! Next time. Want to know why my tops ran away?! They had gas and bubbled up and shot off like rockets. Never again!
Bang, bang, bang!

My second batch was a chocolate almond flavor. I added 3 Tbs of cocoa to the dry mix and used almond extract instead of vanilla. Result? Heaven. Pure Heaven. I also added a tablespoon-ish of cocoa to the filling recipe. But vanilla or almond would be just as good.

Oh, and I went to Disneyland. 

Let's see if I can keep this up this year!

Thank you and goodnight.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pine Nut Pie...A Twist on Traditional Pecan

Ignore the broken crust.

Before we get to that <--- Let me start off by saying that Christmas was wonderful! I got Keith some books, and he got me a knew knife set and block. Whoop! You don't know how happy I am to have functional knives. I've been living for 10 months with knives that might as well be plastic. Plastic may have even been better.

Look at us and our NFL pajamas!

Now lets get to the good part. I made a pie for dessert. Inspired by Pecan Pie-- which I love--and the delicious, mouth watering Pine Nut. Pine nut pie! It was a hit, let me tell you.
 It was sweet and nutty, and was easy to eat...unlike Pecan, which is difficult because of the larger size of the nut.

Also, it was super easy to make! Easy as...PIE. Har har har.


1/4 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup Dark brown sugar
2 extra large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 pure vanilla extract
8 Tbs Butter (1/2 cup), melted
1 Tbs Heavy Cream
1 Tbs Flour
Dash of salt
3/4 Cup Pine nuts
1 9in Pie Crust

Start off by lightly toasting the Pine Nuts. You must watch them the whole time! They brown very quickly, and usually burn the second you look away. That's just how it works. Pine nuts are kind of expensive so you don't want to make any mistakes. Take them out when they are golden. Set aside to cool.

Combine Sugars, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, and cream in a bowl. Whisk/mix until well blended. Fold in pine nuts.
Prepare the 9" pie crust by lightly coating both sides with flour. Pour pie filling in crust. Cover the crust around the pie with foil and place on a lower rack in the oven.
*Don't place anything on top of the pie-- like extra pine nuts, or extra crust-- until the last 15 minutes of baking. Otherwise everything will sink in and be lost. *

Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350*
Leave the foil on until about 15 minutes remaining, then take off and add anything on top of the pie if you wish. I sprinkled pine nuts on top and placed a few decorations with extra crust.

*If made ahead of time, place the pie in the fridge and reheat it in the oven for about 10 mins at 350*.

Seriously, it was so good.
Feel free to share and Pin :]

Friday, December 21, 2012

Our first Christmas as a Mr. and Mrs. :D

Hooray! Our first Christmas as husband and wifey. I'm pretty stoked. We had decided not to get a tree this year...But...I just couldn't let that happen. So, I went to someplace classy to get a tree. CVS. I know, I'm a high roller. Wanna see it? Of course you do.

Gah, adorable. I even got stockings from the dollar store.
I was so proud of myself. My first tree. I even got tiny ornaments! Then something happened. Keith apparently had the same idea I had...but better. Darn him upstaging me! Seriously, minutes after I sat back to admire my Charlie Brown tree, I got a call from Keith saying he was on his way home from work...with a tree.

WHAAAAT. All that work for nothing. I was excited to get a real tree, but bummed we wouldn't get to enjoy my sad little tree that I was so proud of. Oh well.

Once we put up and decorated the 6 footer, however, I totally felt all better. Ignore the terrible image quality.

Look at that! Oh, Santa! Oh, Christmas! Sorry Jesus, we forgot to buy a instead of the classic symbol of Christmas, we stuck a picture of ourselves up there. Cute.

We even have a nifty fancy-shmancy legit German Advent Calendar. If you don't know what that is, shame on you. You had a lousy childhood, obviously.
Advent calendars are much more fattening with only two people...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Fantastic version of bruschetta!

So I really love bruschetta. Suddenly. I haven't always liked it, but in these past couple years I've really grown fond of it! I've made it a few times, but last night I really hit the jackpot. The bread was toasty but not hard...and, and...well, it just tasted really great, okay? okay. Let me show you what I did.
First, I put some olive oil in a pan and added crushed black pepper on medium heat. Once the oil became hot, I placed my sliced baghette in the oil. I let it sit until it becomes golden brown then I flip to the other side.

I decided to toast the bread this way instead of in a toaster oven--which is how I had made it in the past--because I didn't really like how crunchy it was. Making it this way, it still has that crisp when you bite into it, but it doesn't crack and crumble like it would if it were hard.

Once I flip the bread, I added goat cheese to the pan.(My goat cheese was in a tube so I just cut it into flat-ish slices). That's right. I said GOAT. It's a new obsession of mine.  Now, quick! To the tomatoes! You only have seconds!
Slice your tomatoes as thick as you want. I prefer them a little thinner than you would slice them for a hamburger...but not so thin that they are all flimsy and wimpy. (Also, don't use super huge don't want the slice to be enormous in diameter compared to the bread.) Then I added a dash of salt and pepper, and basil. I didn't have any fresh basil on hand, otherwise I would have used a leaf. Last, Asiago cheese. mmm.

*In hindsight, I would have prepared the tomatoes first. That way I wouldn't be rushing to get them done before the cheese and bread burnt. But I made it! phew.*

It isn't beautiful, but it sure is tasty! Fresh basil would have made it more attractive ;]

So, once everything is ready, I took the bread off the pan and set them hottest side up. Then I quickly placed the tomatoes on top with asiago side down. The goat cheese gets ooey-gooey, so a spatula or something wide may be needed to get it out of the pan. Now stick that cheese on the tomato! yeahhh, good.

Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette! I used basil flavored olive oil. Bomb dot com.

Eat it hot! =D

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Okay...I have finally caved and made a blog! Woo-hoo! Lets see how this goes. To start, let me say how excited I am to be part of the blogging club. Now I can share all my secrets to being awesome! Just kidding...but seriously. I like to make up recipes and watch TV and try and re-create recipes. This is where I will show all my success stories! Yay!This will also be a place where I keep everyone updated on my MARRIED life. 

Above: marriage
  Alright I think this is it for my first post. I don't really know what to say yet...I'll get the hang of this, don't worry!