Archive for November, 2008


Thursday, November 6th, 2008

What I should have been doing: packing.
What I did instead: made an apple pie and a vegan loaf

If you haven’t seen it before, check out The Magical Loaf Studio, where you can “Design Your Own Adventist-Style Vegan Dinner Loaf!”
Don’t be skeptical! I’ve made a few different loaves and they’ve all been pretty delicious. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends in your pantry, too. Today’s loaf included black beans, carrots, shallot, garlic, wheat germ, cooked oatmeal, soy sauce, tomato paste, mustard, and a variety of spices. The neat thing about throwing the vegan loaf together is that you can taste it before you bake it, unlike meat or egg-based loaves.

Moving on to dessert. I rolled out the crust and put it in the pie dish. So pretty before baking!

Apple Pie

How was that for foreshadowing? Imagine my dismay when I opened the oven after 8 minutes and found that the pie crust had slipped down from the rim in some sections. Goodbye pretty crimps! Oh well. I forged ahead with apples (a mix of Mutsu, Cameo, and Fuji apples from last week’s CSA share) brown sugar, and a crumble topping.

Apple Pie

The pie baked for about an hour at 350. I did not manage to take a picture before some of the pie went missing.

Apple Pie

Was this the prettiest pie ever? No.
Was it a tasty pie? Yes.
Would it have been better if I’d followed an actual recipe? Hmm. Maybe?
Was it good enough for a Thursday night? Yes!

Mom, I promise I’ll pack tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I have a lot of cookbooks.

I enjoy reading cookbooks. I don’t often follow a recipe when I’m cooking, but I love reading recipes and paging through books for inspiration. I follow recipes much more closely when I’m baking and it’s always a joy to find a book where the recipes consistently *work*. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but Secrets of a Jewish Baker: Recipes for 125 Breads from Around the World is one of those books. After following 3 very different recipes (challah, pita, cracked wheat bread) and finding success each time, I feel confident that anything else I try from this book will turn out well. Tomorrow I’ll post pictures and my adaptation of the Cracked Wheat Bread recipe.

In the meantime, I thought I’d start to document my bookshelf. I think it will take me a few days to get everything listed.

Pumpkin Pie, Part 2

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

One can of pumpkin? Check.
One can of evaporated milk? Oh. Well, no.

I had a can of sweetened condensed milk in my pantry and I didn’t want to go to the store, so I poked around until I found a pumpkin pie recipe that called for sweetened condensed milk.
Here is my adaptation of the recipe. You can find the original recipe here.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sour cream
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs

*if you’re using the crust recipe from the previous post*
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out the pie crust and fit into a 9 inch pie plate. You definitely want to use a deep dish pie plate, but my Emile Henry pie plate was almost *too* deep. Pierce crust all over with a fork. Bake the crust until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Cool crust on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Whisk pumpkin, condensed milk, sour cream, and spices in large bowl to blend. (I used the whisk attachment on my mixer.) Whisk in eggs.

Pour filling in to crust. Bake pie until filling is puffed around sides and set in the center, about 55 minutes. Cool pie on rack. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours, or if you’re impatient, eat a piece when the pie is still warm and then another piece later when it’s cool. It really does change when you let it cool and set.

Pumpkin Pie

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

I don’t make pie very often, because I don’t often feel like dealing with homemade pie crust and I haven’t come across a store-bought crust that I thought was worth it. This might be the pie crust recipe that changes everything. Oy, like I really need to be baking pie on a regular basis.

pumpkin pie

Easy Food Processor Pie Crust
makes 2 crusts
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
(I like Spectrum Organic Shortening)
6 tablespoons ice water

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening; and blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons ice water and continue to mix until dough begins to clump together, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if it’s too dry. Divide dough in half, flatten each half into a disk, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

On the edge of your seat? Tomorrow I’ll post the pumpkin filling part of the recipe. I’m heading to the polls at 6am so I must skedaddle off to bed. Happy voting!

November, November.

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

November is the month for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. Why did they have to concentrate these activities in November? Is it the N? November is such a busy month. What about March? There’s nothing major going on in March.

I had every intention of doing NaNoWriMo this time around, but with my travel schedule this month it seems unlikely that I’d be able to write 50,000 words by the end. Maybe NaBloPoMo is more realistic. Sadly, that means I should have posted yesterday. We’ll see how much progress I make on either one of these projects. I’m also getting back in to running. Maybe November *is* the month for ambitions or ambitious projects after all.

This morning I woke up early (thanks, fall back day!), went running at the gym, and spent the rest of the day cooking and baking, rather than writing. Here’s what I made today: socca, two loaves of cracked wheat bread, five dozen chocolate chip cookies, one pumpkin pie, and pressure cooker brown rice “breakfast pudding”. Photos and recipes to come this week. I will say that while everything is delicious, I’m particularly proud of the bread and the pumpkin pie. I tried a new pie crust recipe (easy, will share) and a new filling recipe (also easy) and it was definitely a success. I accidentally left an ingredient out of the filling and it was still delicious (no, it wasn’t the pumpkin).