Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fudgie Pie

My mother found this recipe this year and it reminded her of a fudge pie her grandfather used to make. It's not exact but for this chocoloholic it's good enough. ;)

Fudgie Pie


1 refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2  C unsweetened cocoa
1 T all-purpose flour
3/4 C milk
1/3 C light corn syrup
1 T butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 C frozen whipped topping (Cool-Whip)
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Flute edges. Place pie plate in freezer until ready to use.

3. Combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa and flour in a large bowl.

4. Combine milk and next five ingredients (milk through egg whites); stir with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to brown sugar mixture; stir until combined.

5. Pour mixture into crust. Bake at 350* for 40 minutes or until just set.

6. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover; chill at least 4 hours.

7. Spread whipped topping evenly over filling; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cocoa, if desired.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mixed Berry Pie Bars

I found this recipe on Brown Eyed Baker and while I may have done something slightly wrong (I couldn't get the bottom cookie-like crust out of the pan easily) it got HUGE raves at tonight's family Thanksgiving!! It was super yummy it was the only dessert we brought back home and didn't leave for the host family. Haha

For the Crust and Topping:
Zest of 2 lemons (I'm not a fan of lemon zest so I used about 2T lemon juice)
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

For the Blackberry Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
6 cups fresh blackberries (I used a combination blackberry, strawberry, raspberry mix)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and the lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until all of the sugar has been moistened. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the lemon sugar, all-purpose flour and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the pieces of butter are no larger than the size of peas, about 10 to 12 pulses.

3. Measure out 1½ cups of the crumb mixture to use for the topping and put it in the refrigerator until needed. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.

4. To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust and make sure all of the blackberries are in one layer and not sitting on top of one another.

5. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ajiaco - Colombian One Pot Wonder

(Found this recipe on NY Times...going to try it out very soon)

Colombian-Style Chicken, Short Rib and Potato Stew
Adapted from Ana Jovancicevic
Time: 31/2 hours

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
1 pound beef short ribs, rinsed and patted dry
2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 bunches cilantro, with roots if possible
2 russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated (about 4 cups)
1 1/4 pounds small Yukon Gold or red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large ears of corn, husked and cut into 1-inch rounds
3 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped scallion
3/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 habanero pepper, plus more to taste
5 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup capers with brine
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced, for serving
Sour cream, for serving.


1. Season the chicken and beef all over with salt. Let stand 15 minutes. In a large pot, combine the chicken, beef, onion, dried oregano and 2 teaspoons salt. Rinse away any grit from the cilantro (do not trim), tie one bunch with kitchen twine and drop it into the pot. Pour in enough cold water to just cover the meat (about 12 cups). Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large platter and let cool.

2. Stir in the grated potato. Continue to simmer until the beef is meltingly tender and the potatoes have melted into the broth, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the meat to a platter. Once cool enough to handle, shred the beef and chicken, and discard the bones, skin, fat and gristle.

3. Stir the chopped potato and corn into the pot. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions, shallots and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Chop 1/3 cup of cilantro leaves from the remaining bunch and stir into this salsa. Wearing gloves, remove and discard the habanero seeds; finely chop the habanero and add to the salsa.

5. Return the chicken and beef to the pot. Stir in the spinach, capers and black pepper. Cook until the meat is warmed through and spinach is wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Ladle into bowls, topping with salsa, avocado and a dollop of sour cream.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

The Genius Behind Pok Pok

I was browsing the NY Times Travel section when I came across an article (excerpts below) about the NY Times traveling to Chiang Mai, Thailand with Portland creative genius, chef and restauranteur Andy Ricker.

"Mr. Ricker, a 47-year-old, six-foot-tall native Vermonter now based in Portland, Ore., has become an unlikely ambassador for Thai food in the United States. Your only visual clue that he is someone who knows his nahm phrik noom from his nahm phrik ong is a glimpse at his right arm, which is tattooed with a mortar and pestle, bird’s eye chiles, and the holy trinity of northern Thai herbs — cilantro, green onion and phak chi farang (the last often known in the West as sawtooth)."

I have been to 3 of the 4 restaurants Ricker has developed here in Portland (Ping, Pok Pok and the Whiskey Soda Lounge) and while being a lover of Thai food I can't help but agree with the author of this article that until I went to Ping I hadn't experienced the vast universe that can be (and is) authentic Thai.

"I was struck by his refusal to pander to Western tastes. Instead of pushing pad thai and peanut sauce, he serves hoy thawt, an egg-and-mussel crepe found at Thai night markets, and northern-Thai-style laap. Rather than the tart, spicy minced-meat “salad” from the northeast that most adventurous American eaters recognize, this version is spiked with blood and offal, and fragrant dried spices that give it a beguilingly bitter edge. Mr. Ricker now presides over a mini-empire in Portland with four restaurants (including Ping and Whiskey Soda Lounge) that serve food you rarely see outside of Southeast Asia."

The first time I went to Ping was with my coworkers in a celebration of the holidays and my boss's 5 year anniversary with the company. I blogged about it here. I feel so in love with the cuisine that when a friend came up from the Oakland area we went right from the train station to reservations at Ping. I've only been twice but it's always on my radar for possible dining options. 

During that same out-of-town visit, the friend and I went to Pok Pok for lunch (my first time there even though it's only a few minutes down the road from where I live). We sat at the counter and was helped by a knowledgeable bartender who helped me select the perfect drinking vinegar to compliment my Khao Muu Daeng. 

A few months later I figured I had to complete the Holy Trinity (this was before Pok Pok Noi opened) and when another friend came into town we headed to the Whiskey Soda Lounge for some drinks and bar snacks. (Warning: Beware the Miang Kham! I can do spicy but these little chilies scorched my mouth. Iron taste buds needed).

I've always had a desire to go to Thailand...and perhaps someday I'll make that dream come true...for now I'll settle for the flavors Andy Ricker offers.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Foodie Holiday Gift Ideas

With the holidays approach quickly, if you're anything like me, it's time to brainstorm gifts for family and friends. As I am a self declared foodie I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite Foodie Gift ideas that I'm waiting to (someday) find under the tree. (Whether I put them there for myself or not. Haha).

Pasta maker
A fun non-traditional kitchen apron. 
A KitchenAid standup mixer
Bread machine
Cast Iron bacon press
Tortilla Press

 What are some food-themed gifts you are looking for this Christmas?
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