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Monday, August 19, 2013

Charred Corn Crepes- 3 ways

So we've definitely still been cooking- I just haven't been blogging. I've decided that even if I don't have the time to write full-on blog posts about recipes we like, that I'll still post them because I want to remember which ones were hits! Here's the latest from tonight:

We tried the charred corn crepes from smitten kitchen and they were a hit! They were very versatile. We  enjoyed them three ways:

Taco style!

Simple tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro

And for dessert with maple syrup! 

They were pretty easy and very delicious. Basically you char corn (we did it in a cast iron pan), blend it with crepe batter, and cook it! We highly recommend these!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

TWD: Upside-down Rhubarb Cake

We used frozen rhubarb from our garden last year and only had enough to make half the recipe. We put it in an 8x8 pan and the cake turned out pretty good! The caramel got overcooked- probably because the instructions didn't give a temperature. Overall though the cake tasted good, especially with powdered sugar sprinkled on top! You can get the recipe here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

TWD: Rustic Potato Loaves

This was a nice easy recipe, with a short, simple ingredient list.  The directions were easy to follow, and most importantly it tasted really good, especially with good salted butter.  Also, the shape was cool and unique :-)

You can find the recipe here.

This post contributed to by both Sara and Kyle

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TWD: (No) Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm glad there was an easy recipe this month because I definitely didn't have time for croissants! We altered these a bit because we don't drink coffee, so they just ended up being chocolate chip cookies. They were fine, but not amazing, probably because we altered the recipe. They do make awesome dough though! Not quite as good as my favorite, but that's hard to beat :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A few things we've been eating lately

I haven't had a ton of time to blog lately, but we've still been eating. I figured that it still might be useful to post abbreviated blog posts with just links to recipes we've liked. It'll not only help us remember what recipes were a success, but also maybe help you find some to try yourself. These are all easy and cheap, because that's what we can handle right now. All but the tortillas are great as leftovers.

Curried Apple Couscous
Super quick and easy. We doubled the apples, halved the butter, left out the pine nuts, and replaced the mint with cilantro and green lettuce. This is a house favorite! I'll probably do a real post on this when I have time. For leftovers, leave the greens separate to top the apples and couscous with after reheating.

Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Soup with Ginger
We followed the recipe exactly and it was great!

Tomato soup and cheese sandwiches
Takes longer from start to finish, but not a ton of active time. I browned the tomatoes in the pan instead of roasting to save time and dishes.

Tacos and quesadillas with homemade tortillas and refried beans
We fried the tortillas in a little oil to cook them because I over-oiled the cast iron, and they were great!
We only loosely based the refried beans off this recipe. Basically we cooked onions in oil until translucent, added pinto beans and garlic. Then we added lime juice, jalapeno- based hot sauce and salt to taste.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TWD: Boca Negra

What a decadent chocolate cake! I am not sure if we'll be making this again though. It was really hard to tell when it was done. The directions said that it was done once a crust formed on top, but after I took it out of the pan it was still really goopy for my tastes, so we put it back in for a while. We made a couple ramekin sized cakes and a big one to give away, so luckily we got to experiment. We found that we liked the cakes best when they were cooked to 195-200 F. Perhaps since we know that, they might be worth another whirl. They were quite rich, and delicious. The white chocolate cream (basically ganache) was wonderful! I'd definitely make that again. If you want the recipe for both, you can find it here. I substituted water and chocolate extract for the bourbon in the cake and vanilla extract with a little less white chocolate in the ganache.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Pomegranate Meringue Rose Tartlets

Here's the perfect treat to impress your sweetheart! With a pistachio-studded crust, rose and orange flavored white chocolate ganache, and a pomegranate meringue, it's the perfect medley of Middle Eastern flavors to end (or begin) a romantic night. While you may not have time to bake it for tomorrow, there's always this weekend to celebrate! Also, this lovely tart would fit in perfectly with a celebration of spring in a couple months.

Pomegranate Meringue Rose Tart
Makes 8 4" tartlets
From Saveur

Note: The original recipe made one 9" tart. I've modified it to make 8 4" tartlets because those are the pans that I have. If you want to make one big tart, see the original recipe for the correct proportions. You'll need a candy or instant read thermometer for this recipe. You could probably make the crust by hand by chopping the pistachios with a knife and using a pastry cutter for the dough, but I haven't tried that. You can pipe or spread on the meringue. The original recipe just has you toast the outside of the meringue, but we liked the texture better after cooking it for a while at a lower temperature. You can try either way.


3/4 cup pistachios (3 1/8 oz)
1/4 cup sugar (1 ¾ oz)
1 1/2 cups flour (7 ½ oz)
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and chilled (4 oz)
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup cold water (2 oz)

18 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup orange juice (6 oz)
1/8-1/4 tsp. rose water (to taste)

1 1/2 cup sugar (10 ½ oz)
3/4 cup pomegranate juice (6 oz)
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
¾ tsp. cream of tartar
6 egg whites
20 drops red food coloring (optional)

In a food processor, combine the pistachios and sugar and pulse until finely chopped. Add the flour and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the chunks are all smaller than peas. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse just a few times to combine. Press the dough into two equal disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour, or freeze for thirty minutes.  Find something circular that has just less than a 6" diameter. If you can't, you could cut a guide out of cardstock or you can just eyeball it. Flour a counter top and roll out one disk to a little less than 1/8" thick. You'll want to be able to get 3 circles out of one roll, and use the scraps for the 4th tartlet. Using your circle guide, cut out three circles. If you're eyeballing it, you can use the tart pan bottoms and cut an inch out from around them. Press the dough into three tartlet pans. Press the scraps into the 4th pan. If you can't get a whole three circles out, it's okay to use scraps for 2 tartlets. Repeat with the second disk. Prick the bottoms with a fork. Chill for an hour in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F. Put all the tartlet shells onto a large baking sheet and bake until beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool before adding the ganache.

Put the orange juice in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. While that's heating, put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl. Once the orange juice simmers, strain over the chocolate. Remove the strainer and stir with a heatproof spatula until the chocolate is melted. Mix in rose water to taste. We used about 3/16 teaspoon. Quickly pour the ganache into the tart shells. Let it cool completely before adding the meringue.

Get a pastry bag with a large star tip ready. Boil the pomegranate juice and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring it up to 250 F. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch, cream of tartar and egg whites in a stand mixer (or bowl to use with a hand mixer). Beat until soft peaks form. Once the pomegranate syrup has reached 250, pour it into a glass measuring cup. Beat the eggs on high in the stand mixer and slowly pour the syrup in. Add the food coloring while it is still beating. Beat until firm peaks form. Immediately pipe or spread the meringue onto the tartlets.

To finish:

Toast only for a gooey meringue: Chill in the fridge until the meringue is firm. Broil or torch the meringue until desired color. Be careful! It browns fast. Enjoy with your love when cool!

Bake for a more marshmallow-like meringue: Follow above directions. Take the meringue out of the oven if using the broiler. Set the over to 300. Give it time to cool down (ours took about 10 minutes). Bake the tartlets for an hour. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the tartlets inside for another 1-2 hours to dry out more. Enjoy!