Tag Archives: dessert

Riesling Poached Pears

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Now, I’m no baker, but I love dessert. It seems like a meal isn’t complete without a little something sweet at the end. Eventually I want to learn how to make a chocolate tart, soufflé, or something else that’s sweet and fancy, but that’s a question for my friends in the baking program at school.
In the meantime, this is a great dessert for those who want something quick, tasty, and maybe even a little boozy? Booze is a natural pairing with dessert (or any course), and these pears, poached lightly in Riesling, are an utterly scrumptious way to end a meal. I made these for my mother’s birthday, and she loved them, and we decided to save the leftover poaching liquid to use this spring experimenting with cocktails. See, everybody wins.

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Ingredients
1 bottle sweet Riesling [i used some wine I got for $5 at Trader Joe’s]
2 cups sugar [$2]
1 lemon [$1]
5 pears [$5]

Directions
Peel and core the pears using a peeler and melon baller, respectively. Add wine to a pot with lemon peel, the sugar, and enough water to cover the pears. Bring to a simmer and add the pears to the liquid.
The pears should be covered with parchment paper or a lid that will ensure they do not float in the liquid. They must be submerged. I used a lid that was a little smaller than the opening of the pot so it could sit snugly on top of the pears and push them slightly down.
Poach the pears until tender, about 30-40 minutes. Test done ness with a knife inserted into the flesh.
When the pears are tender, let cool slightly in the liquid. Pears can be stored in the poaching liquid until ready to serve, or for up to a few weeks. They only increase in flavor.
When ready to serve, cut pears in half and take a 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid in a saucepan and reduce to a syrup. Top pears with the syrup and whipped cream, if desired.

Enjoy!
-L

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Recipe: 7 Layer Magic Bars

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I love when a new recipe just falls into my lap, especially one as delicious as this. My friend Sierra, who is a standard fixture in my home and life, made this for me the other day. It was incredible. I was fighting people for the last bite. This is a crazy simple dessert, but crazy delicious. Coconut, butterscotch, condensed milk (The Russians favorite), nuts, and a touch of chocolate combine for a variety of flavors and textures. Super sweet but addicting. I urge everyone to try it.

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Thanks, Sierra. Now I’m never gonna be the same again. She was even nice enough to send along the instructions on how to make these delicious bars her way.

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Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter [$2]
1 1/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs [$2]
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips [$3]
1 cup butterscotch chips [$3]
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecan) [$5]
1(14 oz.)can sweetened condensed milk [$2]
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut[$3]

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.
Place butter in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan, and let it melt completely. Mix in graham-cracker crumbs and press evenly and firmly to the bottom of the pan. Layer chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and nuts. Cover evenly with condensed milk and then top with flaked coconut.
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, or until coconut appears toasted / golden brown.
Let cool, cut into bars and enjoy!

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-L

Recipe: Pumpkin–Coconut Pie

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I have a confession to make: up until a few months ago, I didn’t like coconut.  I’ve always been hesitant about the flavor and the texture of the flakes, but I have so many friends that love it, I have been slowly incorporating it into my life.  Enter this awesome recipe from Food Network, which I tweaked and baked last night, to rave reviews.  It’s a mix of fall flavors and tropical flavors that remind me of Caribbean isles, and it comes together beautifully.

Ingredients:

1 pre–made pie crust (I like Graham cracker) [$3]

1 can pure pumpkin [$1.50]

1 can condensed milk [$2]

1 can coconut milk [$2]

1 small bag coconut flakes [$3]

eggs [$2 for a 8 pack]

I had vanilla extract, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice at home already, but if you don’t, you’ll need to grab some.

Directions:

Heat oven to 325.

Mix the can of pumpkin, 1/2 a can of each the coconut milk and condensed milk, 2 eggs lightly beaten, 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract and ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to taste.  I did about a teaspoon of each, it goes a long way.

Pour mixture into the pie crust, it will be very liquidy, but it will firm.  Put in the oven for an hour, then take out and rim with the coconut flakes and place in the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the pie is no longer giggly and the coconut flakes are toasted.

Look how toasted the flakes should be

Look how toasted the flakes should be

Let cool then serve with whipped cream, if desired.

A happy fall indeed.

A happy fall indeed.

-L

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Apple–Berry Mini Pies

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IMG_2304Fall is apple season, and in honor of that, there should be pies.  If there should be pies, why not mini pies? They’re a lot cuter than regular pies, and easier to make (lattice top not required).  I saw this great recipe from Food Network, and of course put my own spin on them, making them the perfect little fall bites.

Ingredients:

3 apples (I used Golden Delicious) [$1.50]

1 pint raspberries [$3]

2 packages (or 1 if you only want to make about 10) premade pie dough [about $2.50 a pack]

1 lemon [.50 cents]

ground cinnamon (I had it already, but it normally runs about $3 for a container)

1 egg (I already had it on hand, but it runs about $1 for a six pack)

flour (I also had this in my pantry, but a bag costs about $2)

sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut up apples into small pieces and mix in a bowl with the raspberries, lemon juice, and a few tablespoons of sugar.  Put in a pot over medium high heat and cook until berries become soft, about 6 minutes. Throw a teaspoon of flour on the fruit and cook for a few minutes more. Set aside and let cool.

Roll out pie dough on a floured surface and use a cookie cutter or, if you’re me, a small glass to cut out circles from the dough, I had enough from one box to make about 10 little pies.  Place circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put a little filling on each circle.  Top with remaining dough and use a fork to press the edges together and cut a little x in each one.  Brush with a beaten egg and top with a little sugar and put in the oven for about 25 minutes or until golden.

Serve with ice cream and be happy that apple season is here.

Dessert of champions

Dessert of champions.

-L

Recipe: Strawberry–Nectarine Cobbler

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IMG_2254I have a confession to make…I’m not much of a baker.  Most of my desserts are made with pre–made pie crusts, or are tarts that are made from pre–made pastry.  Not saying they don’t taste good, they do, but something about actually baking, like making my own biscuits or anything that rises, freaks me out a little.  It’s so precise, and I like to cook as I go along, adding more ingredients if necessary.  With baking, you have to get the proportions correct before you put the dish in the oven, and hope for the best.

Then I saw this recipe for a cobbler, and I knew I had to try it.  I even went out and got a new set of measuring spoons to make sure I would get the ingredients correct. My set’s markings on the cups has been faded for years.

True Life: I eyeball all my recipes

True Life: I eyeball all my recipes

The great thing about this recipe is it uses stuff that most people have in their pantries, and if you don’t, buying the dry ingredients will last you for a while so it’s a good investment.

Ingredients:

3 nectarines [$3]

1 qt strawberries [$4]

1 lemon [.50 cents]

cornstarch (I already had this on hand, but costs around $2)

All purpose flour (Already had this on hand but costs around $3 or $4)

sugar (I had this on hand as well,but a small box is around $1)

Baking soda [$2]

baking powder [$3]

buttermilk [$2]

butter (Had this as well, $2)

vanilla extract (…and this too. $4)

Ice cream (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400.

Cut up the fruit and put in an oven–safe dish (I just used the same roasting pan I use for my meats cause I don’t have a oven safe pie dish, or any pie dish for that matter). Cover with 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, lemon zest, and a little juice if you want a little more zip. Place in the oven for 25 minutes until the fruit gets nice and gooey.

Melt 1/2 a stick of butter and mix with 1/3 cup buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract when it has chilled.  In another bowl, mix 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of both baking soda and salt. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry and combine.  It kinda feels like the biscuit dough that comes out of the pop–able cans.

When the fruit comes out of the oven, separate the dough into 6 mounds and place on top of the fruit; top dough with more sugar.  Place back in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.

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look, guys, I did it!

Then scoop some out on a plate, top with ice cream if desired, and pat yourself on the back.  You have baked.

It tasted like victory.

It tasted like victory.

-L

Recipe: Peach–Bluberry Tart

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First off, happy 100th post to me! It’s been so fun writing this blog and I hope my readers enjoy my cooking as much as I enjoy making it.  Here’s to another 100 blog posts.

Sometimes you can get inspiration from anywhere, and just a picture can set off a wonderful cooking experience.  That’s what happened to me.  I was looking on Food Porn Daily, a site that has beautiful photos of food for you to click on and drool over.  I love the site. It is addicting.

Last week, I was looking around the site when I saw a blueberry–peach tart that looked to die for.  I clicked on the link from the site from which it came and found an easy–to–follow recipe and decided to make my own.

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It tasted just as good as it looked

Ingredients:

1 package frozen puff pastry [$4]

3 peaches [$1.50]

1 container blueberries [$3]

1 container cream cheese [$2]

Sugar (I already had some in my pantry) [$2]

Apricot jam and vanilla ice cream, optional.

Directions:

Let the puff pastry thaw and preheat the oven to 425.

Slice the peaches and add the berries in a small bowl.  Toss with sugar, a little flour, and a pinch of salt and let cool in the fridge while you prepared the other ingredients.

Roll out pastry on a floured surface until its a somewhat rectangle (mine was a bit rustic, cause it tore twice. So just eyeball it). Outline a 1–inch border on the pastry and prick inside of the border with a fork.  Sprinkle some sugar on the border and put pastry in the oven for about 13 minutes.

Take the cream cheese, softened, and throw a few tablespoons of sugar in.  Beat with a hand mixer until fluffy. Once the puff pastry is out of the oven, spread the sweetened cream cheese inside the border that was drawn.  Take fruit out of the fridge and place on tart in whatever pattern you like, but a simple one is best so fruit cooks evenly.  Bake for another 20 minutes.

If desired, loosen apricot jam with some water and brush it on for the last few minutes of baking.  I couldn’t really tell it was there, however. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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This tart is a great way to use some of the last of summer fruits in a simple, delicious way.

Enjoy!

-L

Recipe: Easiest–Ever Key Lime Pie

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I love Key Lime Pie.  I always have and I hope I always will.  I’m actually surprised I haven’t written about it yet.  I actually searched my own blog about five times last night, unable to believe I haven’t posted about the pie.  I enjoy my desserts more on the tart side, and I don’t really like chocolate that much (gasp).  For me, fruity desserts are where it’s at.

I’m not great at baking, however, so that’s where this recipe comes in handy.  It’s easy, quick, and produces literally the yummiest thing ever for a key lime pie lover like myself.  I was definitely inspired by this The Pioneer Woman recipe, but I cut a few steps that don’t affect the taste, but make the task simpler and quicker.

Just a side note as well, I don’t get strict about using actual Key Limes.  They can be hard to find.  Use what you can and enjoy the food, not the rules.

Ingredients:

4-5 limes [$3]

1 can condensed milk [$2]

1 pre–made graham cracker crust [$4]

eggs [$1.50]

heavy cream (optional) [$2]

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Zest a few of the limes til you have about 1/4 cup zest (just eyeball it).  Juice the limes in a bowl and add 2 egg yolks and as little or as much zest as you like.  Add the condensed milk and beat with a electric hand mixer on a medium setting for about 5 minutes or until the filling is well mixed and thick. Pour filling into pre–made pie shell and put into the oven for about 15 minutes.  When you take it out, it should be slightly jiggly but not loose.

Pop in the fridge for an hour or so and let it cool.

When ready to serve, whip heavy cream with some sugar if desired and top a pie slice with the whipped cream and some leftover zest, if you have any.  Then sit back and enjoy a slice of heaven.

The prophet of dessert

The prophet of dessert

-L