Saturday, November 24, 2007


Thanksgiving Pies

We did awesome on Thanksgiving. You'll have to check Jessie's blog for pictures of the goose and dressing, which turned out incredible. Plus pictures of yesterday's vegan thankgiving but if you're looking for pie pictures, this is the place to be. Made two piles this year. A Pumpkin (first time I've ever made pumpkin pie):

It was good and the whipped cream instructions on there were pretty good, too. I'm still pretty bummed about this but we were hurting for time Thursday so I didn't get to try the vodka crust, went with a store crust (those pilsbury ones). I defrosted it in the microwave for super long by accident but we recovered by glomming the dough into a big ball. The crust turned out just fine in the end. I supplemented the recipe with a bit of whipping cream and tinkered some with the spices in case you want to try that one yourself. We had some squashes laying around from the Freddy's 99c / pound squash sale so I used on that looked kind of like a pumpkin (we're not sure if it was or not though).

The second pie was pretty good, too. It was a Cranberry eggnog tart. Totally worth all the time and effort. I made the tart crust more like a shortbread plus dumped in some lemon zest. Yum!

It's kind of hard to see but the way this one works you stick a creamy eggnog layer between two cranberry jam layers. Combine that with the shortbread and it was fat overload city!

So, yesterday we had vegan thanksgiving for some other friends. Jessie made some awesome dishes again and I tried to mangle a chocolate cake. Since it was vegan you make some substitutions. We forgot to take pictures on it but the cake turned out great. That was totally in spite of my best efforts to bungle it. The recipe used baking soda/powder + vinegar combo to help it rise. I had the tablespoon over part of the recipe book and missed the vinegar detail plus the water that needed to be in there. Luckily it'd only been in the oven a couple minutes. So, we pulled it out, dumped it back into the mixing bowl and added the other ingredients. It turned out pretty good although the taste was a bit earthy for me. It was definitely good, just earthy.


iron maidens

In our ongoing quest for the best hair bands Fairbanks has to offer we found ourselves at the Iron Maidens last weekend. It was a pretty fun time. Just like the Megadeth concert from September only with more friends along. They've won best cover band of all time or something like that. It was pretty fun. Didn't know any songs but that's never been an excuse not to go to a show. I'm glad we don't live someplace better where we would become picky about shows rather than going to anything that isn't country (or is that a good thing?).

Here's Johnny and I rocking out:

We did pretty well. Johny got an autographed set of underoos (gulp) and we both scored several guitar picks from the band for getting so crazy up in front. It was pretty fun. Unlike the Donna's pick, these ones have the band logo and are signed by the guitar person. Pretty funny.

Saturday, November 17, 2007



Rats seems to be a current theme in my life right now. Been bumping into them here and there. This was a funky sign we saw at the pet store last week. These rats look pretty darned happy don't they.

Also had no idea it was so cheap and easy to buy rat poison in bulk. Something to do in Illinois next time you're in the area:


Party Time

Or something. Ran into Bartles & James the other day. Didn't realize they were still around.


Pie season's back!

Have been waiting excitedly for my favorite time of year, pie season. It was kicked off this past Thursday with the IARC Thanksgiving lunch. I whipped up a pair of desserts. First up, this buttermilk-maple custard I did back in the winter. It's super. If you get the chance, put it on your list. It is super easy and turns out great.
Maple Buttermilk Pie

Some people don't think you need to be this extreme in the baking but I like putting a pan with an inch or so of water on the bottom rack of the oven. It works best if you put the water in when you first start preheating the oven so you can get it nice and moist in there before the pie goes in. I've also been thinking that a pan of water in there properly heated also does a better job heating the pie. Once that moist air gets hot there's more energy floating around the oven and so if you pop open the oven for some reason (I haven't found the need) you won't drop the temperature as far (I'm guessing). To check the custard done-ness without opening the door give the door a hit and watch the wiggle of the pie. With time you should be good at seeing when it's ready so you're not overbaking out of frustration that it doesn't seem set up yet. It's a delicious pie though and dreadfully easy to make. If I had more time I would have tried Anne's vodka crust but that will have to wait for Thanksgiving proper I think.

Dessert number two was a Chocolate-Cranberry Torte. Friend Erin's boyfriend asked me for a good chocolate + cranberry / rasberry / coffee cake and so this one was one I found for them. They didn't use it and I couldn't believe it because it looked so darn good.
Chocolate-Cranberry Torte

The best part by a mile was the chocolate ganache topping. Worth your time to work into any thing possible. I'm actually thinking of doing another chocolate cake like maybe a flourless one just to work in the ganache!

In the trashy glory category, searching for how to spell ganache I came across this gem of a cookbook:
Twinkies Cookbook More Than 50 Inventive And Unexpected Recipes From Hostess

Featuring such classics as:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?