how do you make lemon pound cake even more awesome? with lemon zest and organic valley cultured butter and a few blueberries. super good recipe from america’s test kitchen made by odin and his cousin!
he made a batch for his class and thankfully we had a few left to enjoy for ourselves the strawberry heart is a nice touch.
the recipe is based loosely on valentine’s cupcakes: vanilla cupcake recipe with buttercream frosting.
i asked him if his classmates enjoyed them and he said several asked him for the recipe so i guess it they were a hit!
i have no idea how it’s possible that i’ve never posted this recipe for eggnog pie. clearly a great use for our the last carton of eggnog. it’s simple and delicious. i will admit that i sometimes have trouble getting it to set properly and it turns out more like eggnog pudding in a pie shell but it’s still great, just eat in a bowl! this time it set well and has a consistency akin to banana cream pie.
1 8″ graham cracker cracker pie shell
– place first 3 ingredients in a 3QT heavy sauce pan and whisk together.
– whisk egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.
– add 1 3/4 eggnog mixture to dry ingredients in the sauce pan and whisk together.
– cook at medium heat until thickens, stirring constantly.
– remove from heat, add vanilla and remaining eggnog. whisk well.
– pour in shell. refrigerate for 24 hours to set.
pairs well with whipped cream.
and after you eat a slice you can enjoy the view of the eggnog pie chart, clearly showing the percentage of the pie chart that resembles pac-man
typically we travel for thanksgiving and i’m not “in charge” of The Bird so i don’t have strongly held opinions about The Best Method to Cook To Cook a Turkey. but this year, we stayed home and i found myself wondering how on earth i was going to cook the Twenty Three Pound Organic Poultry Monster in our freezer that was too big to fit in any of our pans. and i know enough about turkey to understand that cooking a bird that big without special prep would probably result in a bird with dried out breasts. what to do? spatchcock the bird by removing the backbone and flattening it out before cooking.
i learned about the technique from a serious eats article from a few years back, “How to Cook a Spatchcocked Turkey: The Fastest, Easiest Thanksgiving Turkey”:
“This particular method is for folks who don’t give a damn about whether or not the whole, barely-adulterated bird makes an appearance at the table, but want the fastest, quickest, easiest route to juicy meat, and ultra-crisp skin. Basically, it’s a method for lazy folks with great taste. ”
i don’t know about the lazy part, but i do know i don’t care much about having a perfect bird presented on the table but i do care a lot about the juicy, crispy, fast part! and as an added bonus, i could cut the bird in half and cook the monster in a more manageable manner. ( side note, apparently spatchcocking turkeys is A Thing thanks to mark bittman ).
i followed the serious eats directions and removed the backbone and cooked at 450F for about 90 minutes. whoila! crispy skin and incredibly juicy meat.
henceforce, if i’m in charge, all the turkeys will be spatchcocked!
when you have backyard chickens you discover the divine pleasure of a perfectly cooked, fried egg straight out of the nesting box. and by perfectly cooked, i mean crispy edges with tender whites ( not snotty! not overcooked! ) and runny yolks. it’s a tough trick to get the trifecta of crispy, tender and runny and i could never get it consistently until i read this cooks illustrated fried egg recipe ( great magazine, highly recommended ).
it explains that yolks and whites set at different temperatures. yolks set at 158F and whites set at 180F, so the trick is getting the whites to cook before the yolks. you can get the whites to set first using the “hot and fast” method by using a fat with a high smoke point. drop the eggs in a sizzling hot, hot, hot pan and the whites set before the yolks know what hit ’em.
the cooks illustrated recipe recommends using a vegetable oil, but what has a higher smoke point than almost any vegetable oil and has a delicious buttery taste that you want with a fried egg? ghee ( aka clarified butter )! throw in a few tablespoons of butter into the pan right as you add the eggs to add a boost of extra butteryness. awesome eggs every time.
you can take this general philosophy to its logical conclusion and jump right on the crispy egg train.
– preheat ghee in skillet on low heat for 5 minutes
– crack 2 eggs in bowl and season with salt and pepper
– turn up heat to medium-high until sizzling hot ( and! i! mean! sizzling! )
– add butter and quickly swirl around pan ( this is a little tricy because you don’t want to burn the butter. act fast and don’t burn yourself ).
– pour eggs from bowl into skillet ( they should just about explode when they hit the oil )
– cover skillet and cook for 1 minute ( that’s right, just 1 minute )
– remove from heat and let stand covered – about 30 seconds will get you runny yolks, 60 seconds will get you soft set yolks and a few minutes will yield medium set yolks.
i typically let sit until the layer surrounding the yolk turns white which is a good indicator the whites are completely done and i avoid serving snotty eggs. at that point the yolks are right between runny and very soft-set.
thanks to a tweet from xeni jardin i discovered that homemade soft pretzels are easy to bake and while i try to live a pretty-much-mostly-gluten-free lifestyle i love a soft pretzel as much as anyone else, so i had to give it a try. and, yes, they are ridiculously easy to make. and super tasty.
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) November 16, 2014
odin and discovered that the only thing better than a soft pretzel straight out of the oven is one slathered in melted organic valley butter
here is the recipe we followed. king arthur has a similar sourdough pretzel recipe that i’m going to have to try soon.
2 1/4 cups AP or bread flour
¾ cup of warm water
1 tsp bread yeast
1 Tbs brown sugar
⅛ tsp salt
Additionally: Baking Soda, and Salt
Pre-heat your oven to 400ºF.
Mix yeast and brown sugar in the ¾ cup of warm water and let proof for 10 minutes.
Put flour and salt in large mixing bowl. Add liquid. Knead until the ball of dough has picked up all the loose flour and is smooth.
Start a 3-5 quart pot of water boiling. Add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Let boil.
Roll out pretzels. I suggest taking golf ball sized balls of dough and rolling them in your hand until the string of dough is about the diameter of a grease pencil or sharpie. Then twist into pretzels.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or your favorite non-stick method. Boil pretzels in the baking soda water mixture for 10-15 seconds each. My rule is to let them sink to the bottom and then retrieve a few seconds after they float to the surface. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet.
Immediately before placing in the oven, sprinkle with salt to your preference. Bake for 18-19 minutes.
i made several batches of odin’s “Kick in The Asgard” hot sauce using starter fuel from our organic valley garden based on a “green dragon sauce” recipe. i ended up with about a gallon of sauce and will give most of it away to fellow gardeners. not knowing how hot the peppers were, i was happy to find that none of the batches ended up being “melt your face off” hot.
it’s analogous to a tabasco sauce – simple to make and tasty!
in the interest of full disclosure, odin doesn’t actually like hot sauce but i like the punny nature of the name. maybe someday his taste buds will change
20 peppers or so, stems removed, rough chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1 onion, chopped
3 or 4 or 8 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar to taste
combine the peppers, onion, garlic, salt and oil in a saucepan over high heat. saute’ for 3 minutes.
add the water and continue to cook for about 20 minutes. Stir often.
remove from heat and allow to steep until mixture has cooled.
place mixture in food processor and puree until smooth.
with the processor running, pour in the vinegar through the feed tube in a steady stream.
pour into sterilized pint jar and seal.
let age at least 2 weeks before using.
can be stored in the refrigerator up to 6 months.
to can: pour into clean hot jars [no need to sterilize jars if water bathed for at least 10 min. and process in boiling water bath for 10 min.
since we’re all drowning in pumpkin spice flavored concoctions that don’t contain any pumpkin leading some to deep understanding jean baudrillard and simulation, i thought i’d try my hand at making a “pumpkin pie” ice cream ( actually a custard ) made with real pumpkin. the results is incredible. it really tastes like a creamy, sweet, frozen pumpkin pie. A++ will make again.
1 cup organic valley half-and-half
6 organic valley egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. pumpkin spice
2 cups organic valley heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
1 cup organic valley heavy whipping cream
1T confectioners sugar
nutmeg seeds and fine grater
combine half and half and 1/2C heavy whipping cream and scald in a heavy saucepan.
whisk in yolks, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl, gradually whisk in the cream and then add the pumpkin spice.
return to a medium pan and stir over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. do not boil.
remove from heat and whisk in 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and pumpkin.
chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
assemble ice cream maker according to directions.
start up ice cream maker and add mixture slowly.
churn for about 20 minutes until thick, soft-serve consistency is reached.
put in a freezer safe container and store in the freezer.
to make whipped topping combine heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until mixture thickens and peaks form. do not over over mix or your whipped topping will become lumpy and buttery!
add a dab of whipped topping to a scoop of ice cream and grate a bit of nutmeg over the topping.
bacon and jalapenos make for a simple and tasty way to spruce up a hotdog ( we love organic prairie’s 100% grass-fed organic hotdogs ).
simply cut a line down the length of the hotdog deep enough to fit several slices of jalapeno. precook some bacon so it’s tender enough to wrap around the hotdog. then secure the bacon with some toothpicks. cook on medium heat on a grill until the hotdog is hot and the bacon is crisp.
top with sweet pickle relish and mustard.
served with homemade fries spritzed with apple cider vinegar for a Delicious Flavor Bonanza ®