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!