Posts tagged ‘dessert’
Hard to believe that I’ve been married for a month already! I’m positive it was the fastest month ever.
Things I’ve learned (food related) during my first month of marriage:
- I don’t have to do it all myself: This week’s menu is probably the one I’m happiest with yet and a large part of that is due to the fact that I asked my Man what he thought we should have. He really is full of good ideas (eggplant parm being one of them) that just don’t occur to me.
- All my cooking doesn’t have to be perfect: My husband isn’t opposed to eating vegetable tetrazzini that didn’t come out just right or curry that doesn’t take like much. If it’s food, its probably edible. Takes a lot of the pressure off of me.
- Food shopping as a couple keeps us out of a lot of trouble: We’re perpetually talking each other out of items we don’t need. The supermarket is a very tempting place, but usually one of us has enough sense at any given moment to talk the other out of whatever unhealthy/overpriced/unnecessary item the other is considering.
To celebrate our first month, I decided to bake a lime pie for my Man. He’s really into key lime pie, so when this recipe for Key Lime (Or Not) Pie appeared in my Reader a couple weeks ago I had to find an excuse to make it. I used regular limes (and actually cheated by using lime juice from a bottle for half the juice).
It was a little bit of a risk, as I’ve only made one pie before and never with a graham cracker crust. In the end however, the pie turned out great, though a little yellower than I expected. Still, it tastes really lime-y (the green flecks are lime zest, in case you were concerned).
The only imperfection in my pie (I think…my husband may have other opinions) is that the crust is really crumbly:
The theory is that the crust just needs more butter. We don’t mind crumbly crust though…it still tastes really good. Overall, this pie was really easy to make, though it does take some time, since the crust has to be baked at least 1/2 an hour before the pie filling can be added.
Another cool part of this pie: I used the egg separator that came with our measuring cups to separate the 4 yolks I needed from their whites. It was one of those things that we didn’t expect to ever use, but sure enough, it came in handy. See what a good job it did:
Once upon a time, there was a great song by the (now disbanded) band, Five Iron Frenzy:
Feeling that it was inappropriate to sing this song without ever having eaten rhubarb pie, my sister convinced me to make a rhubarb pie yesterday. I have never made a pie. I have never had rhubarb. But my sister has this strange way of making all her ideas sound like good ones, so we did some research. We settled on this Fresh Rhubarb Pie recipe and this “Best Ever Pie Crust” recipe, both from allrecipes.com.
We made the crust, which needed to be refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight, last night at 11pm. Way past by bed time, but the recipe was incredibly simple. The 2 balls of dough were done and in the fridge by 11:30.
This afternoon we began making the pie.
The setup: Pie plate, my sister chopping rhubarb, 2 balls of dough, my mother’s pastry mat (I told my Man today that I need this one), and my laptop which provided us with the recipe.
I was very proud of the job I did rolling out this pie crust:
Then we filled the crust with the chopped rhubarb and sugar/flour mixture
The pie baked for 55 minutes total and this was the final result:
My sister and I were thrilled (but not shocked) to discover that rhubarb pie tastes as good as it looks. I’m sure the cup and a third of sugar that’s in the recipe helps, but that’s beside the point. Rhubarb pie is delicious, and you should make one while rhubarb is still in season.
And, when you’re done baking, put on some Five Iron Frenzy music and have a dance party in your kitchen like my sister and I did.
Fore Street Restaurant
Whole Foods Market, though completely wonderful, was just an errand on the way to the climax of my day. I had 6 pm reservations at the Fore Street Restaurant in Portland (Maine). Fore Street made an appearance in a recent issue of Down East Magazine in “Where to Eat Now”, but what really got me interested in checking it out was its nomination for a 2009 James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant”. When I saw that a Portland establishment had been nominated for an award, I knew I had to go, especially since Fore Street is focused on local, fresh ingredients, which sounded right up my alley.
I don’t eat at “fancy” restaurants much, but the meal really made me question why I don’t. From the moment we entered the restaurant, I felt at ease. First of all, though Fore Street is beautiful, it’s just rustic enough to feel cozy. Our waiter, Lance, was incredibly kind and helpful. The menu was relatively long and though I’ve never been somewhere where carpaccio or foie gras was actually being served, they apparently don’t just exist on television. That said, there were many items on the menu that sounded delicious and I wish they didn’t change their menu daily (!!!) so I could try to experience more of the items on it. I settled on duck, cooked in their wood-burning oven. My Man ordered pork loin. We split a side of delicious Maine garlic mashed potatoes. I had never had duck before, and it was incredible. I figure if you’re going to eat at a good place, you may as well order something different because it’ll be good. Yay for trying new things, again. We also had some really excellent pino grigio (I forgot how good quality wine was!) We had a wonderful meal at Fore Street. I would absolutely recommend it to someone looking for perfectly prepared food, though be prepared for $25-40 entrees.
Forgoing dessert at the Fore Street was a hard decision (though we were pretty full…) My Man and I had other plans; on the way home we stopped at another place we adore. The Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick is a frequent stop for my family (my sister once went 3 times in one weekend…and its a good 40 minutes from our home!). I’m sure Brunswick isn’t the first place you’d look for good gelato, but it’s well worth it. The gelato is created fresh from scratch right in town. They always have at least 20 flavors available and I’ve never had a bad one. Tuesday night’s choice for me was half strawberry (sorbetto, actually, not gelato) and half chocolate gelato; my Man had half espresso gelato and half chocolate caramel. Delcious. Gelato Fiasco is also very generous with samples, has games for customers to play and provides free wi-fi. They’re open 7 days a week, 11-11. If you’re ever in mid-coast Maine, definitely check them, or one of their partner locations, out.
Yesterday I finally got around to making Lime Sugar Cookies with Pumpkin Seeds from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook. I borrowed the cookbook from the library months ago, and the cookies were one of the few things that really intrigued me at the time. I found them both easy to make and delicious.
Generally speaking, cooking is still not something that comes naturally to me, at least creatively. I never would’ve thought of these cookies on my own. It’s just occurred to me, however, that it’s just a sugar cookie recipe with lime zest, lime juice and rough chopped pumpkin seeds (pepitas). I really should work on coming up with these sorts of ideas myself.
Anyway, I highly reccommend them, and the cookbook, which probably deserves another look from me. Everyone in my family is eating these cookies, which really says something.
Despite last week’s baking near-miss, I gave it another shot this week. If my students will eat half-cooked brownies, there’s probably not much I can do wrong. Generally speaking, I don’t think baking is my thing; I’m not really into eating baked goods, so spending lots of time making them doesn’t make tons of sense to me. But I feel like its a skill I should hone and I suspect high schoolers aren’t too into vegetarian pasta dishes as an after school snack. I may as well practice on people who will enjoy whatever I create.
Once again, I got my weekly ego boost. I could really get used to this. I made really simple white cupcakes from my mother’s old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and it was really easy and went really well! I did “cheat” and use canned frosting, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. At least someone is raving about my food (I know high school boys eat anything…but they don’t always dish out compliments!)
In summary: I can bake after all–from scratch even! If I can do it, you can do it. And I’m making cookies for our next meeting.