Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts. This is my version of the Southern classic.

1 pre-made pie crust (you can make you own, but I'm too lazy for that)
1 1/2 to 2 cups pecans
2 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I like it a bit sweet, so I use 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons flour (though I've used pancake mix before as the flour had weevils in it)
1/2 cup of sugar (I prefer Sugar in the Raw)
1 cup light Karo corn syrup
A splash of Laird's AppleJack (optional, but it's delicious so you should use it.)
A dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Using a nine inch pie pan, lay in the pie crust and cut off any access. Add in the pecans. In a bowl mix the other ingredients until completely blended. Side note, if I was hard pressed for an amount, I'd use 1 tablespoon of the AppleJack, but that is based entirely on taste. Once the mixture is mixed, pour over the pecans. Bake for 1 hour.

I love my pecan pie still a touch warm and with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. It's absolutely heavenly.

Monday, December 3, 2012


On chilly days, soup really hits the spot. It's also inexpensive to make and lasts for a few days. I've never made borscht before and decided to give it a try.

Around 1 pound of peeled and chopped beets
2 large Russet potatoes peeled and chopped
1 large or 2 small onion (I had white on hand, but you can use any variety you like) chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
48 ounces of whatever meat broth you like (I had chicken broth left over from Thanksgiving)
32 ounces veggie broth
3 carrots chopped
1/2 stick to 1 stick of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Hungarian hot paprika to taste (if you forced me I'd say I put in a couple teaspoons)
A couple splashes of red wine vinegar

In a large soup pot, melt the butter of a medium heat and toss in the onions and garlic. Salt the onions and garlic because it really draws the moisture out and makes them so soft and enhances their flavor. Stir often for about 15 minutes or till soft. Add the chopped veg, the broth, salt, pepper, paprika, and the red wine vinegar to the pot and let simmer.

Usually root veg takes about 45 minutes, depending on the uniformity of the cut and the cut itself, but I let mine simmer for around 1.5 hours. When I have time I like to them go for a long time because the flavors really develop and marry perfectly together.
When the veg is tender enough to push a fork through, remove from heat and use an immersion blender or regular blender till just sort of smooth. A little bit of chunkiness adds character!
Borscht is often served with sour cream and dill. I forgot to get dill, but had caraway seeds so I added it to the borscht. It turned out rather good!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon and Chives

8 or 9 large Russet potatoes (when I made this, I used 6 and whilst good was a little thinner than I prefer)
1 32 fluid ounce box of beef broth
1 32 ounce of vegetable broth (I like to use both a meat and a veg when cooking. It makes the dish more flavorful than just using on type of broth) 
3 bacon strips was all I had, but you can use as much as you prefer
1 large onion diced
About 1 tablespoon of diced garlic
2 cups of milk or 1 cup if you're using whole milk or cream
About 1/4 cup of chopped chives

In a skillet fry up the bacon. Once bacon is done, lower the heat to low and add the diced onion and garlic to the bacon grease. Sprinkle some salt and let caramelize. Stir often for about 15 minutes. They should be soft and not fried. In a large pot, add the diced potatoes and cover with broth, salt and pepper, caramelized onions and garlic. Let the broth and potato mixture come to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. It should take about 45 minutes for the potatoes to be soft, but sometimes I like to let it simmer for a couple hours because it makes the flavor even better. I like to use a masher because I prefer a bit of a chunkier soup, but if you prefer smoother soup use a blender (immersion blenders are fab). Add the milk and let it simmer for about 15 more minutes. Just before serving add the crumbled bacon and chives to the soup. Doing this will insure they don't get soggy. Enjoy!

The nice thing about this soup is that the bacon adds a lovely smokiness and the chives add a nice brightness. It lasts for a few days and tastes even better a day or two later.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Broccoli Side Dish

Every Saturday or Sunday Mr Kitten and I get loads of veg for snacks through out the week. Last week we grabbed one too many bags of broccoli. I hate wasting food, so tonight he steamed some tilapia (salt, pepper, paprika, and basil) and I cooked up the broccoli.

1 pack of prepared broccoli
1 Tablespoon of butter
About 2 tablespoons of water
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
A couple pinches red pepper flakes

In the butter saute garlic for a couple minutes. Add water and broccoli. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cover for 10 to 15 minutes. You want the veg to still be sort of firm but not raw. And that's it!

If I had nutmeg on hand, I'd've added a dash of that too. Nutmeg really adds something delightful to green veg. Also, if you don't have broccoli on hand, spinach or mustard greens would work just as well.

So, no recipes on here yet. I'll get to work on that later this week. I have been thinking of new and exciting meals the past couple days. Being from Texas, I love Tex-Mex (or as we call it there, 'food') and Indian cuisine is my ultimate comfort food. So why not combine cuisines?! They use a lot of the same spices so I think I could come up with a few delicious Tex-Mex Indian dishes. Maybe a curried pork quesadilla or tacos?