Wednesday, November 24, 2010

chocolate pecan pie

So, after tasting this pie, I realized that it deserved its own post.

While I was searching for a special pecan pie recipe, my mom suggested chocolate pecan pie. And really, what could be better? It's's's pie. I'm in. So I adapted a recipe out of our ancient Betty Crocker Cookbook. I accidentally underbaked mine a bit, but honestly that worked to my advantage. I ended up with an ooey-gooey chocolate pecan pie. Oh man. I'm double in.

For my pie crust, I made half a recipe of Smitten Kitchen's all butter pie crust. Though I only had a little sample (to avoid the wheat hangover), it was a really great crust, and very easy. But, if you want to substitute your own pie crust recipe or a frozen pie crust (hey, I know how it goes), that's cool too. The point is, you need one pie crust in a pan to serve as a vessel for chocolate and pecans.

I have to admit that this is probably the world's easiest pie. It's almost embarrassing. All the more reason you should make it.

(makes 1 10-inch pie)

1 pie crust
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted & cooled
1/2 cup corn syrup (I know, I know, but this is tradition we're talking about!)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375. Press pie dough into a 10" pie pan.
Beat together eggs, sugar, butter, cocoa, and syrups. Stir in pecans. Pour into prepared pie pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the pie only quivers slightly in the middle when you jiggle the pan.

Friday, November 19, 2010

what i'm baking today

Traditional Apple Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie (Oooo it looks like the surface of some foreign and delicious planet.)

Apple Galette (This was a happy accident because it was just leftover apple pie stuff. I had no recipe and no idea what I was doing, so this is more-or-less a miracle.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

gf chocolate chip sandwich cookies with peanut butter frosting & a love story

Alright world, it's about to get sappy and personal. Here's something you might not know about me: I have a boyfriend. He lives three hours away in my hometown. I'm living here so I can, you know, go to college and have like, a future and stuff. What can I say? I'm practical. (If we've ever talked for more than five minutes, you'll probably find that previous statement hilarious.)

I like to keep things in my life pretty easy. But if you've ever been in a long distance relationship, you know that it occasionally sucks. Sometimes you want something a little more tangible than a phone call. Maybe he buys a bus ticket, or you drive home for the weekend if you can.

Unfortunately, we can't always meet up for the weekend. Life is busy--that's unfortunately just how it goes. Nevertheless, love is a bewildering thing, and sometimes you feel compelled to make some kind of gesture. Sometimes you just have to send that sweet boy a letter, a mix cd, and some cookies. And that's just what I did today.

I made the cookies gluten free because...well I had to be able sample them, didn't I? I got the recipe directly from the Land O Lakes website, and it was really great. The frosting recipe was adapted from All Recipes. The only change I made was to substitute almond milk for the heavy cream. I used plain ol' JIF for this one; I've found that natural peanut butter doesn't work very well for frosting.


1. Make the cookies. Allow the dough to refrigerate as long as possible before you bake. The firmer the dough, the better they will cook up.
2. Make the frosting.
3. Allow the cookies to cool, and sandwich them with a spoonful of frosting in between.

Send them to your honey, your Momma, or just pig out and appreciate how much you love yourself, you fabulous human being, you!

turkey chili texas style

Let me start by dispelling a misconception about Texas chili. Many non-Texans seem to be under the impression that Texas chili is bean-less by doctrine. Myth! I don't know who spread this rumor, but we definitely love beans in our chili.

Chili is definitely one of those "soul" foods for Texans. My sister always tells a story about the time she lived in Rhode Island. She tried to throw a neighborhood chili cook-off, and a bunch of people showed up with clam chowder. Clam chowder? What a joke. The fact that someone would rather eat clam chowder than a spicy, meaty chili is incomprehensible to me.

It's funny how attractive soulful comfort foods can be. When I started making this chili, I had the intention to make a white chili with hatch chilis and spinach. But as I cooked, I couldn't resist turning back to my familiar flavors. Chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, mmmm. I wanted that smoky chili that would make my nose run without burning my mouth. In other words, I couldn't resist making a chili that felt like home.


1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tbs cumin
1/2 tbs chili powder (to start, add more depending on your heat preference)
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil

In a large pot, brown the turkey over medium heat. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Reserve a tablespoon of the fat in the pan.
Add the onions with 1/4 tsp salt, cooking until translucent. (If they start to stick, add a little olive oil.) Add the garlic and red pepper. Cook for a minute (don't burn!), then add the turkey back into the pot.
Add the the beans, tomatoes, and spices. Put on the lid and reduce to med-low heat. Allow to simmer for another 30-45 minutes, until the chili is thick. I suggest adding a little salt at at time, to taste. Remember that you can always add more salt. but you can't take the salt away once it's in.