recipe

Lenita’s Chocolate Pie

by Kelsey 

This recipe is brought to you by my friend Anna’s grandmother, Lenita. Anna made this pie in college a few times, and the first time, I probably demurred something about preferring cake to pie then proceeded to eat it straight out of the pan with my friends. To this day, it is one of the very few pies that I genuinely adore.

I’m made this delight a few times since college, and I still eat it much the same: wearing sweatpants, standing over the counter in my kitchen, fork in hand. Plates are for amateurs.

The recipe is below (to make 1 pie), with a few additional comments from me (i.e. how not to make my mistakes):

1 ‘deep’ dish pie crust.  She used the frozen ones and you bake it for about 2-3 minutes before you add the filling. (if I’m using a frozen pie crust, I’ll throw it into the oven at the same temp. for the pie-baking: 350 degrees. I’ve also made homemade pie crust once, which I did not regret, although I did regret making it too thick/not cooking it long enough beforehand).

Filling

  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa.                Get a good one like Hershey’s or similar. It’s worth it.
  • 3/4 stick butter               Don’t use light butter or margarine. (Words to live by, am I right?)
  • 1/4 T. vanilla
  • 1 can Pet evaporated milk
  • 3 egg yolks – beat well and set aside
In a double boiler (remember, fancy word for bowl over a pot of boiling water – I bought mine on – yes, you guessed it – Amazon) add sugar, flour and cocoa. Gradually stir in the Pet evaporated milk over low-medium heat for at least 5 minutes. If you don’t get it hot enough, it won’t cook. (Straight talk. I tend to put mine on medium-high. Also, keep a close eye to ensure that your water in the double boiler does not run dry.)
Sweet double boiler action.

Sweet double boiler action.

Take a few spoons of the hot mixture and add it to the beaten egg yolks. Stir well and then add a few more spoons and stir again. Gradually pour the egg yolk mixture into the bouble boiler and continue to stir and cook until thick.

Last, stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into pre-baked pie shell.
Meringue
  • 3 egg whites*
  • 1/4 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 t. cream of tarter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
Beat egg whites with electric mixture at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla until stiff peaks are visible when you lift up mixer out of meringue. Spread over the top of the pie filling. Bake 10 -15 minutes on 350 until golden brown.
*Real talk. For those that love to eat raw cookie dough and brownie batter as much as yours truly, I tend to  buy pasteurized eggs, as I’m also paranoid (read: salmonella). That said, pasteurized eggs, for some reason, do not make good meringue, folks. For this recipe, I suggest using non-pasteurized eggs. Also, I tend to use 4 eggs whites, because I don’t play around with meringue. I want some serious volume on this pie.
Look at that volume.

Look at that volume. If meringue were hair, this pie would have its own shampoo ad. You know what I mean.

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Recipe: Garlic Pickles

By Lindsey

Looking for a weekend project? Like pickles? This is the post for you. Also, if the following video is the first thing you think of when someone talks about making homemade pickles, we should probably be friends.

But I digress.

For my pickle project, I modified this recipe from The Kitchn as follows.

Garlic Dill Pickles

Makes 2 pint jars

58809B4D-F9D3-4045-8B71-F42E4FD3F963Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Kirby cucumbers

1 head of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons dill weed (or dill seed)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
8-10 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons kosher salt

 


Instructions

  1. Wash your jars and lids. I made refrigerator pickles, so I didn’t sterilize for long-term storage. If you’d like to go for pickles that will stand the test of time, see the Kitchn’s instructions.FFE382ED-1531-4AE4-A01F-F84672AB54A6
  2. Wash and trim your cucumbers, making sure to get rid of those stumpy ends. Slice them up according to your preference. I chose coins, because I thought they’d be easier to pack. I think I was right.
  3. Divide your chosen garlic and spices equally between your two jars.
  4. Pack your jars with those soon-to-be-pickles.
  5. Boil your brine. Bring the vinegar, water and salt to a boil in a sauce pan.B846E177-769B-42F3-BB72-6FB3867A81CF
  6. Pour the boiled brine over your pickles, making sure to cover the tops of the cucumbers (but not so full to spill). I increased the brine ingredients above, because the original recipe didn’t have quite enough for my thirsty pickles.
  7. Tap the jars to remove air bubbles before tightening those lids!
  8. Let the jars cool, then refrigerate. I waited a week before opening mine. They should keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Notes: I couldn’t find dill seed at my local supermarket, and I didn’t feel like trekking to Whole Foods. Dill seed is recommended in every recipe I found, but *spoiler alert* my pickles turned out just fine with dill weed.

End result? Slightly vinegar-y, crispy pickles. Plus, I felt like a homesteader/hipster for a little while. You can pickle that!

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Recipe: Carnitas with Cilantro Lime Red Cabbage Slaw

By Kelsey

No lie, this is the best meat dish that I have ever made. Full disclosure, I don’t cook many meat dishes (except BACON). But this recipe is difficult to botch. It may look labor intensive, but trust, it’s not. It just takes a little bit of time.


Carnitas

via Smitten Kitchen (via The Homesick Texan) Recipe

My single lady take on the above:

~ 3 LB Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder, because meat terminology is weird)

Juice of 2 Limes

Juice of 1/2 Orange

Salt

Pepper

Corn Tortillas

Instructions:

1)  Cut the pork putt into ~2 inch square chunks. Also, remember not to trim any fat from this relatively fat-laden cut. This is all of the flavor, and you want it in this dish.

2) Take these chunks and place them in a dutch oven (or similar pot) with the citrus juices above and salt/pepper to coat. The original instructions say to fill with water just enough to cover the meat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer (uncovered) for 2 hours. *In my experience, even at a simmer, I kept adding water almost every half hour or so to prevent running dry. Perhaps my simmer was too aggressive, but remember to keep an eye out if more water is needed. Otherwise, forget about this meat, let it do its thing.
IMG_1544

 

 

 

 

 

3) After 2 hours, raise the temperature to medium-high until any remaining water is evaporated. You will be left with fall-apart pork and residual fat. Now is the time to return to the stove and cook this pork to crispy, crispy goodness, stirring as needed.


There is nothing I love more with carnitas than a good vinegar slaw. I used some inspiration from the internet (and whatever I had in my kitchen) to make this concoction below:

Cilantro Lime Red Cabbage Slaw 

1 Small Head of Red Cabbage

2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

3/4 Cup Cilantro, roughly chopped (or more, if desired)

Juice of 1/2 Lime

Salt to Taste

Drizzle of Olive Oil

1 Small Shallot, thinly sliced

Instructions:

Mix all of this up, and if possible, let sit overnight to let all of the flavors mingle. It. Is. Killer.

There are numerous sauces that would be delicious on a carnitas taco, but a friend shared this recipe with me, and I knew that it would be amazing. This recipe below is traditionally used on barbecue, to my understanding, but its slightly sweet flavor perfectly balances with the salty, savory carnitas. It may also be tweaked a bit spicier, depending on preference, by adding more cayenne or horseradish.

*Note – I’ve never purchased real horseradish in the grocery before, and after searching everywhere in the aisles, to no avail (only horseradish mayo-based sauces). I found horseradish in the dairy section (with help) refrigerated by the cream cheese. Go figure.

Alabama White Sauce

1 Cup Duke’s Mayo

1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp fresh ground pepper

3 tsp horseradish

1/2 tsp course salt

1/2 tsp ground cayenne

BOOM.

I might also suggest garnishing with another squeeze of lime, extra cilantro, or avocado if you have some around. Enjoy.

IMG_1550

Recipe: Peach Bourbon

by Kelsey

This lovely summer beverage comes to us from The Peach Truck. Get excited.

Ingredients:

3-4 Fresh Peaches

1 750ml bottle of your favorite Bourbon (go for some nice quality)

2 tbsp granulated sugar

2 whole cloves

3 whole allspice berries

Etc:

Large Mason Jar (The one I purchased holds around 3 pints.)

Cheese Cloth


1) Find some lovely peaches. If you aren’t in an area serviced by The Peach Truck, I would suggest hitting up a local farmer’s market or good quality grocery.

2) Cut your peaches into quarter, discarding the pit, placing them in the bottom of the mason jar. Next, add in your sugar and spices.

3) Finally, pour in that sweet, sweet bourbon. Seal tightly and let this concoction ruminate out of direct sunlight for 7-10 days.

I outlined these steps in a video for your viewing pleasure.


*Fast Forward 10 days*

Drunk Peaches

Drunk peaches.

Behold, our adorable, tipsy little peaches:

There may be a better approach, but I covered a funnel with the cheesecloth and strained the bourbon mixture back into the original bourbon bottle. This final product should keep indefinitely.

IMG_1535

Bottling in progress.

Final Thoughts:

This final mixture didn’t have quite as potent of a peach flavor as I was anticipating, but this could come from the fact that the day I set out to make peach bourbon, the peaches I brought home were not as wonderful as first appearances suggested. First impressions, am I right? They were also a bit smaller than those shown in the Peach Truck’s tutorial, so in the future, I’ll definitely add more.

The final product, for me, had a warmer, sweeter flavor than unaltered bourbon, sweeter and a bit spicier, but not very peachy. I fully intend to make a second batch, with larger peaches (perhaps adding 5-6 instead of 3-4), as well as letting it settle for 12-15 days as opposed to the 7-10. I will post an update of results from this second test round.

Also, lest your forgot, there is no reason to discard perfectly saturated bourbon peaches. Mine are slumbering in the freezer right now.I have grand intentions to utilize their respective gifts as makeshift ice cubes in an upcoming cocktail or better yet, as a wildcard addition to a simple peach cobbler (don’t forget to add a large scoop of vanilla ice cream). Boom.

Conclusion – All the peaches.