Monday, September 28, 2009

Gonna Make A Fallin In Love Chocolate Mousse Pie

There were five bloggers that shared a love of pies and a collaborative project was born. It's called the Great Pie Bake Off. Join us as we bake our way through unique pie recipes and write about our journey.

"I'm telling you Jenna your make-up job was too good and your magic LOVE pie"

As we embarked on this week's assignment-making pie's from the movie "Waitress" I started to wonder about what made pies so magical. For Jenna it was memories of her mother creating pies.

For me it was learning to make pies from my Aunt Susan. We would visit my Dad's family every Thanksgiving and she was the Pie baker of the family. I would get to stay at her house the night before Thanksgiving and we would wake-up and make pies the next day...Pecan, Pumpkin, Apple and Chocolate Pie... It is because of her that I love to make pies and to her I dedicate this post...

"Fallin in Love Chocolate Mousse Pie"

9-inch baked pastry shell
1 14-oz. can condensed milk (not evaporated)
2/3 C. water
1 (4 serving) pkg. chocolate pudding mix (not instant)
1 1-oz. square unsweetened chocolate
2 C. (1 pt.) whipping cream, stiffly whipped

In large saucepan, combine condensed milk, water and pudding mix; mix well. Add chocolate. Over medium heat, cook and stir rapidly until chocolate melts and mixture thickens. Remove from heat; beat until smooth. Cool. Chill thoroughly; stir. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Chill 4 hours until set.

Serves 8.

This pie is one I will keep in my collection moving forward. It's the best tasting chocolate mousse pie. Light but rich and I love it in a pastry crust.

Now this post is just one installment! Be sure to check out my fellow bloggers to see their pies!

Marshmellow Mermaid Pie

I don't want Earl's Baby Pie

I Cant Have No Affair Cause Its Wrong and Earl Might Kill Me Pie

Baby Screamin Its Head Off In The Middle Of The Night And Ruining My Life Pie

And in honor of Adrienne Shelley:

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Comfort me with Rice Pudding

It's over...

Our yearly event at work (Krystal-think small square burgers of the south) - the Krystal Square Off ended today with the Championship.

I am beyond exhausted...

And while I lay in a fetal position until I get additional strength to go through next week I decided to make a great dessert for someone so weary...

Diner Style Rice Pudding (another great recipe from the Epicurious Iphone App)

You just put it on the stove top for a while and your done. It's sooo rich and comfoting - a perfect way to recoup from an exciting weekend.

Diner-style Rice Pudding

Yield: Makes 6 servings
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup short-grain rice
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses, optional

Bring milk, rice, and salt to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Cover and gently simmer until rice is very tender and liquid is almost absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours.

Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon to blend in medium bowl. Stir in raisins. Gradually stir egg mixture into rice mixture. Stir over low heat until mixture is just thickened, about 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Stir in optional molasses. Cool. Refrigerate until well chilled. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.)

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy National Pancake Day!

You are never too busy to celebrate a food holiday. And this is one that hubby can really get behind.

In honor of National Pancake Day I made a special fall inspired dish in honor of the 5th day of fall: Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes. I found it on the Epicurious Iphone app.

So Happy Fall and Happy Pancakes!

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes

Yield: Makes about 12

1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegetable oil
Maple syrup

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches. Serve with syrup.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Night Fight: Bosox vs Yankees

File this under another quick and easy meal but after an exhausting day it's great to have these meals in my toolbox.

We call this "Friday Night Boston Red Sauce Tortellini"

Add Stars Wars Figures to ensure the force is with the Bosox and watch the evil empire lose...

-- Posted from my iPhone

Quick Dinner and to bed!

Unfortunately work has a habit of taking over my nesting duties...

And because of THIS I will be super busy for the next few days.

However I love adjusting my nesting schedule and coming up with easy quick meals to combat the lack of time..Last night we had Spaghetti with Pesto, tomatoes and chicken sausage...

Robots sold separately...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sewing Class-Take 1

I've been obsessed with craft blogs as I've said in previous posts...

So in response to this I decided to take a real sewing class so I would know what I was doing and not just act like I did...Acting like you know how to sew works for square projects - i.e. Curtains, napkins, etc... However when you want crafts to look nice and give them away as presents without someone wondering why their napkin looks like a trapezoid and not a square (not really but you get my point) you need to know what you are doing.

My best friend and I decided to do this together. She herself has had her new (awesome) Singer Sewing machine for 3 years and hasn't really known how to completely work it.

So last night was our first class....And normally in my world something ironic (think Murphy's Law) will happen that makes for a funny story later. But actually it was a great experience. Our teacher was passionate about sewing and was very knowledgeable. She inspired me to want to do some great projects.

But first let's look at some of my practice runs....

Houston we have a problem...

In the wise words of my husbands favorite singer, Huey Lewis (although his early work was a little "new wave" for my tastes) it's hip to be square

So next week is when we actually start on our tote bag project...I will leave you with the following photos:

The "I don't know what I'm doing" smile

"you break my concentration and you die"

You can taste the drama, right?

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Last Minute Cookies

Today has been a blur. Worked, gym, came home, made pizza and then realized I also needed to make cookies for hubby's staff meeting (last minute request...really)

I wolfed down the pizza or I would have included the photo.

But here are the last minute Oatmeal cookies made from Alice Waters cookbook, Simple Food.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, September 21, 2009


I'm obsessed lately with crafts and learning how to sew. So much so that I've been spending my spare time staring longingly at cute seasonal crafts and planning all the Fall & Holiday crafts I can make.

Visions of a stuffed Owl for my nephew dance in my head along with Christmas hostess gifts that I will bring to the happiness of my hostess....

I'm a little miffed that as a part of a new generation of women I was not exposed to sewing in Home economics nor was I exposed to home economics period.

On Wednesday I plan to right this wrong by taking a beginning sewing class. Below is my pattern and the fabric chosen.

As you can see we will be making a "tote" bag. It's a start. Next stop owl...

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dinner and Decorations

The end of the weekend is here already and since I'm still figuring out where it went I will leave you with pictures of my fall decorations (on schedule to be up until Nov 1st) and dinner (skirt steak with roasted sweet potatoes and blue cheese sauce)

-- Posted from my iPhone

More Breakfast Love!!!

Weekends are a great time to experiment with new recipes and fritatas are a great way to experiment with different items you have on hand.

Here is a chorizo & potato fritata with queso fresco...

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Great Morning!

We were up and attem early with French Toast today. Happy weekend everyone!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Night At The Movies...

Included Charlie Wilson's War and this...

Homemade chocolate pudding...

-- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In other Rose News...or How my Garden Became a Baseball Team

I talk alot about my struggle with my David Austin roses but I don't talk alot about how well my other roses have done this year.

It's actually been a productive year on the rose front. I've learned alot and traveled farther in my knowledge of how to care for the to get great results.

My biggest learning was: Roses are a lot like pets. You need to feed and water them very regularly and I admit I failed in the past on this front...But this year they rewarded my  new efforts.

Now if I can keep said roses from being run over by a said mower I will be batting 1000.

And speaking of baseball terminology, I was thinking the other day of how baseball (Go Bosox!) and my garden had some similarities...

More specifically how my roses were similar to the players (go Bosox!).

I have a Dustin Pedroia: performs all the time-a workhorse

I have a JD Drew: when it blooms it's just at the right time and it's beautiful.

I even have a Jacoby Ellsbury: diminuitive in stature but when it performs it performs big...

So as the manager of this ball club I'm going to keep being more hands on... Here are a few of my players... JD Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Oh and GO Bosox!!!!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Asian Chicken Soup

I have a sniffle ridden sick husband.

Mr. Head Cold cannot shake this sickness so I decided to start forcing hot tea and liquids into him. I thought tonight would be a good night for chicken soup.

I developed an easier recipe that incorporates Organic Asian Potstickers (chicken with Cilantro), organic chicken broth, peas and once it comes to a boil you add a beaten egg (think egg drop soup)

The reason I like this easy recipe is that it includes all the same ingredients of chicken soup...but with different flavors.

I also combined butter and chopped garlic on a ciabatta roll and broiled it.

Hopefully now I will be seeing a little less flem from my dearly beloved.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ciao Bella Cake!

This past Sunday I was searching for a project and fell upon two great recipes. One was a chocolate cake recipe by Nick Malgieri and the other was an Italian Meringue Icing. I wasn't too sure of what an Italian Meringue was so I did a little research.

The idea that meringue was invented in the Swiss town of Meiringen (someone with nothing to do) by an Italian chef named Gasparini. This fact is refuted though...
(those Swiss and Italians do not get along)

However the name "meringue" first appeared in print in Fran├žois Massialot's cookbook of 1692.

There are several types of meringue, the sweetened, uncooked beaten egg whites that form the "islands" of Floating Island, the partly cooked toppings of Lemon meringue pie and other meringue-topped desserts, and the classic dry featherweight meringue.

An 'Italian meringue' is made with boiling sugar syrup, instead of caster sugar. This leads to a much more stable soft meringue which can be used in various pastries without collapsing.

A 'Swiss meringue' is whisked over a bain marie to warm the egg whites, and then whisked steadily until it cools. (yeah, way too much work) It is then baked. This recipe is often used for Pavlova bases.

From the geek perspective: When egg whites are beaten, some of the hydrogen bonds in the protein break, causing the protein's structure to unfold. This change in structure leads to the stiff consistency required for meringues.

In any case this cake provided the dense chocolate cake a light and sweet candy like frosting.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

You would never know that This bush looked horrible and was only $2.50 at Walmart.

Just like our pups I rescued it from the pound and VOILA!!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, September 11, 2009

Award Winning Baked Goods

I'd like to thank the academy and my kitchen aid mixer with dough hook attachment...

Yeast and I have had a difficult past but today after a horrible four day week, I came home to make this and everything floated away...

This weekend is already looking up.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vacation Book Wrap-up: Save the Bees & the Wicked Plants!!

I devour books when I'm on Vacation

Who knows why but if I forget (which I did this past trip) to bring books I have to go to buy some or I will go crazy. Its a weird tick I've developed lately. I don't know if its because when I'm home I feel like I should be orgranizing or straightening or baking or planning something to do (or watching Atlanta Housewives...Hey I make no excuses!!!)  But I never read as much as home as I do on vacation...

And then I forgot my books on my trip to Miami...

So we went to Books and Books on South Beach and not only did I find books but I found a book I had been looking for awhile - Wicked Plants and another called Fruitless Fall - The collapse of the Honey Bee and the ensuing Agricultural crisis. Now some people would look at these books and think they were a downer...I on the other hand find them FASCINATING....

Wicked Plants is almost really an encyclopedia of plants NOT TO EAT....That was my learning. Most plants that are in your garden will make you sick (note to self - no eating ornamental vegetation...) But there were some interesting stories about people with these Wicked Plants and their botanical atrocities....Great book.

The second could be considered a downer but this was a topic I had read about in the NY Times regarding CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder....Basically its all over if we cannot get these bees to stop dying. They are supposedly over-stressed - too much flyer (seriously but not their wings - planes), being feed Corn Syrup (WTF) and have more diseases than other types of bees.

I was recounting this to my best friend when she asked me in a laughing tone, why are you upsetting yourself on vacation? I see it less being upset and more like a lightbulb moment. These moments I enjoy but getting there is somewhat stressing...But I digress.

Get them both. They are wonderful and I am sad that I am already done reading them. The true sign of a good book.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Easier weeknight dinners

I'm starting to get back in the groove of everyday life.

Putting everything away from vacation and catching up with chores I didn't do when I was lounging in Miami.

That's when it's good to have a few easy dinners you can whip out. Yesterday was Pasta and Beans with Chicken Apple Sausage (Marinara, a can of beans and your favorite pasta with parmsean on top for good measure)

Tonight I made a salad.

This isn't your grandmother's salad...

I try to mix them up by throwing crazy things in them. Today I sauteed fresh corn, purple peppers, heirloom tomatoes, spinach and feta chicken sausage and goat cheese.

Or you can look at this photo of yummyness and wipe that confused look off your face. The choice is yours.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gardens of the Raleigh Hotel

Well it's time to admit that our anniversary trip to Miami is over and we are back to everyday life.

But before we go back to nesting basics I will show you some of the beautiful tropical gardens. I've always loved orchids but haven't been skilled enough to keep one alive yet (I'm going to keep trying)

Gardens like these make me miss Florida. But I wouldn't give up my peonies and hollyhocks for that...

So here are the photos to close another chapter in our travels to Florida.

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

-- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dinner Wrap Up

Our Anniversary came to a perfect end with dinner at the Blue Door located in The Delano Hotel which has a beautiful yet simple white based decor.

The restaurant itself is French inspired and was perfection.

We started with sharing an appetizer: Scallop Docedelite

The caramel like Sauce on this was heavenly...

Then Toby had an amazing dish called Banana Homard which contained lobster and caramelized banana...I had a taste. Words cannot describe...(is it really rude to actually lick your plate?)

I had the shrimp Risotto with a truffle foam. It was also amazing to my mouth...

Then dessert was molten choc cake with pistachio ice cream (my fav)

It was a perfect night capped off by a ride in their pink elevator....

And a classic film

Here's looking forward to next year!!! (I'm know going to find some way to recreate those dishes)

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my 6 year Anniversary! And while the rain threatens our ability for sun by the pool it didn't threaten us having a great breakfast.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More good food - Compliments of Miami

We ended day 1 of our long weekend with a trip to Prime 112. It was amazing. We started off with a Crab Cake (me) and Lobster Bisque (Toby)....

Then Filet Mignon with Fried Plantains (Toby) and Short Rib with Cheddar Mash (me)

Finally we split the largest piece of Peanut Butter Snickers Pie and even brought some home.

It couldn't have been a more perfect Anniversary Dinner.

-- Posted from my iPhone
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