Happy Pi(e) Day!!!
Math has always been my favorite subject (I’m the kind of nerd who gets excited when I have an excuse to do math), and I adore pie. So it’s no surprise that Pi(e) Day is my absolute favorite random holiday of the year!
This key lime pie is easy to make, delicious, and also totally color-appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day this week.
And even if you think these food holidays are ridiculous… when is it ever not a good day for pie? 😀
Recipe from The Daring Gourmet.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp butter
- 2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup fresh key lime juice
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- To make the crust, place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and bake for 7 minutes. Let the crust cool completely before adding the pie filling.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large non-metal bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest, and the sour cream. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust and bake for about 10 minutes. Make sure to not brown it.
- Let the pie cool completely, then transfer it to the fridge to chill for at least two hours before serving.
“We’re making pot roast and artichokes tonight if you wanna come over.”
I had planned on stopping by my dad’s house that evening anyways to check in on him, so when my sister texted me, my answer was an obvious yes.
“Shall I bring anything?”
“If there’s a vegan side dish you want to bring, that would be cool cause I think Vivian [our brother’s girlfriend] is gonna be there and she’s vegan.”
I’m always up for a food challenge, so I dug through my bookmarked recipes, looking for something tasty. It needed to be something easy, too, as I only had a few hours to run to the store and cook something before I was supposed to be at my dad’s.
This Miso-Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms recipe from A Thought For Food fit the bill perfectly. Vegan, easy to make, sounded tasty, and (hopefully) filling enough to act as a main for Vivian.
Within a few hours, my kitchen smelled delicious.
We may have snuck more than a few bites before we left for dinner.
Dinner was a rousing success! Everyone loved the miso potatoes and mushrooms. The pot roast, brussels sprouts, and artichokes my sister and her girlfriend made were delicious.
I’ve already invited myself over to do it again next Sunday. 😀
Recipe slightly adapted from A Thought For Food.
- 1 lb fingerling potatoes
- 1 lb white mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsps minced ginger
- 3 tbsp white miso
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp chopped parsley (optional)
- 4 stalks green onions, chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the miso, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Add the potatoes and mushrooms to the bowl, and toss to coat.
- Transfer potatoes and mushrooms to the lined baking sheet. Place in oven and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, stirring halfway through.
- Transfer roasted potatoes and mushrooms to a serving bowl. Sprinkle fresh parsley, green onions, and sesame seeds on top.
When you’re just having one of those days (months… years?), when the stress is piling up and life has got you down, nothing beats the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.
Historically, the easiest way to get me out of a funk is with a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream (with a nice, thick peanut butter swirl, of course!)
But these brownies? Oh yes, they’ll do. They very much do the trick.
Richly chocolatey, with a thick, creamy peanut butter layer. I’ll bring the brownies, and we can commiserate together.
Recipe from Becca of Cookie Jar Treats, found on Fridgg.
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease foil with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while you make the brownie batter.
- Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold to combine.
- Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Pour the peanut butter filling over the brownie batter, and spread the peanut butter filling towards the edges.Cover the filling with the remaining brownie batter.
- Place pan on the center rack and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out mostly clean with the exception of a few moist crumbs and a bit of peanut butter filling. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan for at least half an hour before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, slice and serve.
I know I’ve been going on and on about my new toaster oven, and by now you’re probably thinking, “toast is great and all, but how much toasted bread can one girl eat?”
Well, I’m here to tell you the very, very best reason to pull your toaster oven out of storage.
Make the cookie dough over the weekend, and if you have the time, roll the dough into balls, then stick them in the fridge. Then, during the week, any time you want a warm, gooey, fresh-baked cookie? Just place a ball of dough or two on a little parchment-lined baking sheet, stick it in your toaster oven, and 15-20 minutes later, fresh-baked cookies! The best.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from my Aunt Lydia
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) good European unsalted butter (I used Plugra), melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (we prefer TCHO dark chocolate baking drops
- Heat oven to 325°F. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
- Mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, or up to two days.
- Form 1/4 cup-sized balls of dough, and place on prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of space between cookies.
- Bake, switching the positions of the cookie sheets halfway through, until cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden but centers are still soft and puffy, about 15 to 22 minutes (every oven is different – my aunt bakes hers for 22 minutes, but mine, baked using the convection setting on my toaster oven, were done in about 15 minutes, so keep an eye on them).
- Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve warm, or store in airtight container.
The word “resolution” seems so big and intimidating, and I feel like most people who made New Year’s Resolutions have probably already fallen off the boat by now, three weeks into the year.
Personally, I find things stick much better when I make a list of smaller, way more attainable goals. (Am I gonna lose twenty pounds this year? HAH! Not likely. But can I run a 10k? Okay, that’s totally doable.)
(Of course, I’m the kind of dork who puts together a spreadsheet of my goals, and checks them off daily. It works for me, but I understand if most of you aren’t nearly so nerdy.)
This year, I’ve decided I want to become a better cook. As glamorously delicious as my life may seem from my food blogs and Instagram (*snort*), most meals around here consist of roasted veggies, rice, and whatever meat we happen to have on hand. Or cereal. I eat an embarrassing amount of cereal for dinner.
So I made a list of goals for 2015:
- improve knife skills
- learn how to use pressure cooker
- cook something new every week
- cook a larger variety of flavors and techniques
- find a go-to chili recipe
- make proper bolognese lasagna
- use waffle maker
- make gumbo
- learn to cook more spontaneously, whatever’s good
- make more dumplings
- make it a habit to clean as I go
- learn how to brown butter
- clean out freezer and pantry
- make ramen from scratch
- cook soft shell crabs when they’re in season
- cook a larger variety of seafood
- cook more limited-availability ingredients when they’re in season (like meyer lemons)
I don’t expect to complete them all (I’ve already failed on #3), but when I’m trying to plan out my week, or at a loss as to what to make for dinner, the list has definitely helped nudge me in one way or another.
This butternut squash recipe, from the January 2015 issue of Bon Appetit, was my first attempt at satisfying goal #4 – make more exotic foods. And a very delicious attempt it was! I’ve already made it three or four times, and I have more butternut squash cut up in the fridge, waiting for the gochujang treatment.
If you’re sensitive to spice, you may want to halve the sauce recipe, as it can be quite spicy. That’s also why I prefer to cube my butternut squash, rather than slicing it as directed by the original recipe – more squash per bite results in a slightly less spicy dish. Regardless, it’s delicious, and I highly recommend it! Would go great with any sort of grilled meats, especially galbi or steak.
Gochujang is a spicy Korean fermented soy bean paste, and can be found at many Asian supermarkets. If you can’t find it near you, this is the Gochujang that I use. (Affiliate link)
By the way… anyone have a good chili recipe? 😀
Butternut Squash with Gochujang and Sesame, from Bon Appetit
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 2 tsp shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- green onions, thinly sliced
- flaky sea salt
- Preheat to 425°F.
- Whisk sesame seeds, oil, gochujang, and shoyu in a large bowl until combined. Add butternut squash and toss to coat.
- Transfer the butternut squash to a rimmed baking sheet, and arrange it in a single layer.
- Roast for about 25–30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until tender and browned on some edges.
- Serve topped with green onions and salt.