Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkin Pie (Paula Deen, Food Network - modified)

Prep Time: 20 
Cook Time: 50 
Ready In: 2 hours
Servings: 7

Original Recipe Yield 8.5" pie

* 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
* 1 cup half-and-half
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
* sprinkle of nutmeg
* 1 piece pre-made pie dough
* Whipped cream and almond slivers for toppings.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Added to recipe nutmeg and almond slivers for toppings. Did not use the ground ginger. Highly recommend blind baking and using Pillsbury premade (but not prebaked) pie crust.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lemon Tart Minis with Caramelized Sugar Crust

That's right, this post reveals that I not only have my own kitchen potted garden, but also that my boyfriend for some reason or other decided to buy me a blowtorch for my birthday. In-home kitchen garden include 4 stevia plants, 2 basil stems grown from seeds, 2 lemon verbena trees and many wild grown mint stems.


  • (Let's be real) pre-mixed pie dough
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon sugar for caramelized finish
  • Fresh mint leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bake pie crust dough for 12 to 15 minutes or according to the packaging instructions.
  3. Combine eggs, white sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons flour and mix until smooth; pour mixture over hot crust.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until firm. Let cool completely in baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar and cut into 12 triangles.
  5. OPTIONAL - with baking blow torch, circle with medium to light fire under sugar is caramelized and surface makes a tapping sound when tapped with spoon.
  6. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Posted recipe is a modified version of Melissa's Lemon Tart Triangles recipe. View original here
Tough enough to be part of the TM Team? I think so!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Calzone Cupakes

I love everything in cupcake form, which is why I immediately jumped on the Cupcake Calzone recipe the moment it was spotted. Created by the Cupcake Project, below is my slightly modified version:

Yield: 12 calzone cupcakes

1. Prepare your favorite dough.
Cupcake project recommended Pizza Dough, however, I found I preferred the longer dough setting on my breadmaker.
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1 tbsp garlic olive oil (I used regular extra virgin olive oil.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 C flour (if making whole wheat, use 1/2 cup whole wheat flower and 2 cups white flower)
  • 1 3/4 tsp yeast
Put all ingredients in a bread machine on the dough cycle according to the instructions for your model.

2. Prepare your favorite calzone filling.
  • 1/2 large zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • juice of 1 lime
Mix everything together.

3. Prepare the calzone cupcakes.
  • Filling (from above)
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 C crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Roll out the pizza dough about 1/4" thick and line the bottom and sides of the indentations in a cupcake tin.
  3. Put a thin layer of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of each piece of dough.
  4. Fill the cupcake with the filling.
  5. Top with another thin layer of mozzarella cheese and some crumbled feta.
  6. Top each cupcake with another piece of pizza dough and press firmly around the edges of the cupcake to seal it (as shown below). If necessary, use a butter knife to cut off any excess dough.
  7. Bake for 14 minutes. Don't turn off your oven yet. You'll need it for the next step.
4. "Frost" the calzone cupcakes.

  • Hot unfrosted calzone cupcakes (from above).
  • 1 C pasta or pizza sauce
  • 12 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • Transfer the hot calzone cupcakes to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Spoon a small amount of sauce on top of each cupcake.
  • Use a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass to cut the mozzarella into circles that cover the top of the cupcake (as shown below) and place the cheese on top of the sauce.
  • If desired, top the cheese circles with a small amount of the shredded cheese. This makes the top of the cupcake look a bit bumpier - like it has sprinkles.
  • Put the cookie sheet of cupcakes back into the oven for one minute or until the cheese is just melted.
  • Remove from the oven, top with cherry tomatoes, and serve warm.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Poached Eggs

After numerous run ins with poached eggs (Saturday diner breakfasts I rarely attend, scene from Julia & Julie, Southern Living website, Master Chef episode), I finally took the time to experiment on my own. Turns out it is quite easy to make an acceptable poached egg.

I tried twice, using two different techniques and both outcomes were successful.

The first technique (upper left) is to gently drop the raw egg into a simmering pot (water + vinegar) and constantly tuck spoon around the egg to maintain the shape. The second technique (bottom right) is to stir the simmering water + vinegar and while stirring, gently drop the raw egg in. This supposidely forms the shape quicker. With both techniques I immediately put poached egg into ice water and then on a paper tower to dry off.

Some day I'll learn how to keep the water clean by preventing white yolk from dispersing throughout pot.

Future poached egg recipes to try: Shrimp & Grits Eggs Benedict published by Southern Living,