Thursday, August 20, 2015

Best (and most expensive!) Key Lime Pie Ever

Ok, so I have completely slacked here on the blog ALL summer long. It's been complicated. We're living at our home-away-from-home while I work at a camp, and the kids attend, and D flies back- and-forth visiting when he can. It's been a ton of fun, but also an incredible amount of hard work for this mama. Combine that with the lack of a reliably available computer, and no available time to sit and blog, and here we are, approaching the end of summer, and with this one lonely post!

Let me say that when Bon Appetit said this was its Best Key Lime Pie Ever, they weren't kidding! This pie is amazing beyond belief. The crust is perfect (hello, I'm never make a crust without coconut oil again!), and it's more tart than sweet (just how I like my key lime pie). Best of all, the Greek yogurt in the topping just makes it so superbly tangy. Yum...

I will say that although this was the best key lime pie I've ever made, and probably ever eaten, I do prefer a more custard-like filling (like a lemon meringue pie). I will certainly be using my usual filling recipe  (with key lime juice), and sticking with this amazing crust and topping in the future.

Finally, although this pie was certainly the best ever, the making of the pie was not! In the process, I managed (don't ask me how) to dump a large amount of key lime juice into the keyboard of my laptop. As the Apple guy said, "there is a lot of liquid damage in here"...and we'll leave it at that! So, this pie was the best, and also the most expensive key lime pie on record...

In other summer cooking news, I've been experimenting around with chocolate chip cookies with whole wheat, and coconut oil (total success). Pizza dough with varying flours (pizza or 00, bread, all purpose, and wheat), and even adding flax seed here and there. And, I've made a really great raspberry, blueberry pie with a crumb topping (see this always-a-winner peach pie recipe for inspiration!). With D being away most of the time, I haven't been slaving trying out too many new things with the kidos, but rock shrimp tacos were amazing, and so is easy farm fresh corn tossed in warm, melted butter with some fresh basil. More than that, it's been a bunch of salads, pizzas topping with CSA veggies, baba ghanoush, hummus, and other easy, warm-weather-friendly treats. Also, the ice creams keep coming, with my latest hit being a maple ice cream, with candied maple walnuts. Can anyone say delicious? I hope everyone has been enjoying summer!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Massaman Curry

Massaman curry is one of my favorites. It's quick, easy, delicious, and allows for many different takes on the underlying theme of onion, sweet potato, red pepper, and curry. Simple saute sliced onion in olive oil, add diced sweet potato and red pepper. Add a can of coconut milk, and a can of massaman curry paste. I then added broccoli florets, and simmered away until the curry sauce had thickened. Meanwhile, I had my rice cooker going with long grain brown rice. Once everything was cooked, I topped the rice with the curry, and sprinkled peanuts, coconut cashews (a favorite find at Trader Joe's), and fresh chopped cilantro. This whole meal took about 30 minutes, is full of flavor, color, and fabulousness. D and I spent the meal discussing how meals like this are the reason we never end up getting take-out from the Thai restaurant up the street!

Greek Yogurt Almond Blueberry Pancakes

Adapted from Sweet Peas and Saffron's Recipe

1 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbs almond meal
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs malted milk powder
2 tbs milled flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
zest from one lemon
3/4 c Greek yogurt
1/2 c buttermilk (more as needed)
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
blueberries, washed and dried

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, buttermilk, egg and almond extract. Add the dry to the wet, and stir with a silicone spatula. If the batter is too thick, add a bit more buttermilk, a tablespoon at a time. Fold in the bluberries. Cook in a cast iron skillet, and enjoy!

I had seen this recipe for extra fluffy blueberry almond pancakes a couple of weeks ago, and filed it away to try out one morning.
This morning D was actually off (he's working the past 10 days straight), and with the kids out of school for the summer, it felt like a weekend morning. Off to the kitchen I went, excited to try out this new recipe. Boy, am I so glad that I did! These pancakes are fabulous, and the kids said they even preferred this recipe to our normal go-to pancake recipe!

They're a tiny bit tart and sweet at the same time, almondy, and light. The lemon peeks through, and perfectly balances out the blueberries. I enjoyed mine topped with a small amount of maple pumpkin butter and maple syrup. A perfectly delicious way to start our day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fallafel, a New Twist

1 c chickpea flour
3 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp corriander
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c HOT water
sesame seeds

Place all ingredients up to the water in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together, and then add the hot water. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to mix together. Chill fallafel mixture in fridge for 30 minutes (or more).
Heat a deep fryer to 375F
While heating, roll fallafel mixture into balls with wet hands, and then roll the balls into a shallow dish filled with sesame seeds.
Place the rolled fallafel into the fryer, and fry for about 1 minute, flip, and fry for another minute or until the balls are golden brown.

We love fallafel, and when flipping through an Ottolenghi cookbook, I saw a recipe for fallafel in which he rolls the balls in sesame seeds before frying them. What a brilliant idea! This way the fallafel is crispy, crunchy on the outside, and soft and pillowy on the inside. Total success!

We enjoyed our fallafel balls dipped in hummus, with slices of avocado, cucumber, tomato, carrots, and with some homemade pita and Greek yogurt too! A fast, fresh, delicious dinner.

Animal Crackers

This family loves animal crackers (who doesn't?), and when I saw a recipe for animal cookies on the King Arthur Flour blog, it was a "must-try". Although our cookies certainly didn't look like the ones on their blog (how did they do that???), ours were delicious. Not too sweet, slightly oaty, and a perfect snack. Yum, yum!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Arepas with Guacamole, Black Beans, Kale, and Queso Fresco

 Full disclosure here...I'm not sure I have ever had an arepa before today! But, for some reason arepas been on my to-make list for quite some time now. While purusing the really well-stocked local supermaket "International" aisle, I came across Masarepa flour, and I jumped at the chance to try out this arepa recipe I had seen a few weeks prior on Bon Appetit's website.

These arepas were much easier to make than I had anticipated. I actually thought that I was failing at the process, until I bit into one topped with everything, and it was GREAT!

To serve our arepas, I sliced them open, and filled them with a mixture of sauteed onion, kale, and black beans, homemade guacamole, and grated queso fresco.
Did someone say "yum"?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Bowties with Snap Peas, Ricotta, and Mint

I had super high hopes for this easy dinner posted on Smitten Kitchen. The bowties with sugar snaps, lemon, and ricotta contains so many items my family just adores. Sadly, this meal was a bit lack luster. The flavors were certainly fresh and summery, but it was slightly bland. I think adding a bunch of lemon zest, along with some red pepper flakes would really kick this meal up to the next level. But, we all know how picky I am! And, ricotta, fresh veggies, and pasta really make for a delicious dinner.