Pump it Up

26

Posted by Adam | Posted in , , | Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ok... repeat after me.... I have everything under control. Life has been pretty wild the past few weeks on my side of the fence. The parents came up, the house cleaning and settling commenced, work got wicked busy, and I had my mind blown last weekend at a nutrition seminar.

Take your Omega-3s... like a lot of them, everyday. But I won't get into that now :)

Long story short... to any of you that successfully balance work, play, baking, the internet, personal relationships and still smile... my hat goes off to you. You are my hero, complete with a fancy cape and a giant whisk emblem on your chest :) Hopefully I can ride shotgun with you eventually. I bought a daily planner the other day, so I'm on my way...

So I'm going to enter this post with something you've all had probably waaay too many of lately. Pumpkin recipes. You know you love 'em. It makes me wonder though... do markets even sell pumpkin during other times of the year? I think that same Libby can sits on the shelf from March until September or October. Pumpkin pie in spring? While I'd still eat it, it would feel a little weird I guess :)

I wanted to throw together a quick cookie recipe, so I simply shot this from the hip. I took a few of my favorites spices and mixed them together, and as I was doing it, I had an idea.

I've never in my life bought pumpkin pie spice... (does anyone?) or apple pie spice. I've always had those individual spices around the house for savory and baking dishes, so the thought was always a little silly to me. Plus, we always kinda "cloved up" our pumpkin pies, so it's nice having that kind of control.

So here I am, adding in some ginger, and... sure some cinnamon, and some.... *turns head away not paying attention*

Dude, is that garam malasa? That's kinda cinnamon spiced... that'll be either really wild, or wildy terrible :) You only live once... according to non-karma based religions.

And that's my story :)

Warning... Pictures taken hastily at work while being devoured by patients and staff... I apologize for the off color... it's tough taking pics during the day when it's dark when you get up :)



Mixing and Not Paying Attention Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dr. Adam
-1/4 cup butter, melted

-1/2 cup packed brown sugar

-1/2 granulated sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 egg

-3/4 cup canned mashed pumpkin


-1 3/4 cups AP flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp ginger

-1/2 tsp garam masala

-1/4 tsp salt


-2 cups or so chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 350*. Use parchment paper (love this stuff) or grease your sheet pans. In a large bowl, add the sugars and melted butter together. Mix until smooth, and add the egg, vanilla extract, and pumpkin. Continue mixing with a wooden spoons until brown satiny smooth.

In a separate bowl, or just added to the wet bowl... add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and garam masala if using. Gently stir together until no lumps remain and it is combined well. Add in the chocolate chips, and fold in gently.


Spoon by tablespoonfuls onto your cookie sheets, leaving some room for spreading and baking. These spread more upwards than anything. Bake on the center rack for 10 or so minutes, or until they spring back when pressed. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes about 30 cookies.



So you're thinking... what's it like with that out of the ordinary spice in there? It works. It's possible I could of maybe upped it a little bit more to 1 teaspoon to make it more pronounced... but I dig it. I think it adds a little confusion, a little spark to the same old spice cookie. All I have to do now is add some molasses next time and it'll be guitar hero quality.

Once again, thank everyone so very much for your warm thoughts and compliments on my new home. It's actually really homey now, and I'm taking a little each Sunday off to work on it just a little bit. It might take a full year, but I'll get her up to speed soon enough :)

I'll be around to visit soon, and until then... all my best :)

Pardon the Dust and Mess

39

Posted by Adam | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009

Alright, so basically I'm in a living limbo of two places. Like a purgatory of place staying. I am in the process of packing and leaving house A... and moving into House B, which is my ACTUAL, name on fancy hundred page paperwork House :) Everyday I fill my car with stuff and take it over after work. It's a slow process, but it's coming along. My parents also filled this crazy thing up, which was nothing short of amazing.

At first I was afraid my house was going to be a white walled, empty, and boring. But now I realize that with some good old family hand-me-downs and a little creativity, the sky's the limit :)

Here's a couple pics... I'll call them before pics... as in before Adam. I don't think anything too drastic is going to happen at first, mostly due to time and $$ (both precious post-grad commodities). But like for instance, I already got a new oven and fridge... the building blocks towards a kitchen and home greatness :)


So, as I humpty dumpty my life back together in the next week or so, bear with me on the lack of food blogging. I kinda need to find my bowls and spoons again first...

Me unpacking...

And unpacking...

And unpacking still...

Now this is just getting ridiculous...

But I'm really enjoying blogging again, and while finding time for it can be difficult, I don't mind staying up late an extra hour and having a good time. I want to thank all my family and friends for their support and insight, and I'm looking very forward to having my parents come on down this weekend from NY to pay me a visit and help out with everything.

I've always been a strong believer in "the harder I work, the luckier I get". Truer (is that a word?) words haven't been spoken lately :)

As always thanks for swinging by the blog, both new and old buddies, and I'll try and post something awesome after the weekend and the dust settles. Good dust settling, that is :)

Key Lime Pie

36

Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Saturday, October 03, 2009

I was talking to a couple people at our Harvest Festival these past few days, and came to realize something. There is no place for good coffee or pastries in my town. And by town, I actually mean two towns (about 8 or so miles apart) where our clinics are located. From what I learned, there has been a cafe in the past, but it has long been boarded up and closed. Interesting... Light bulb clicks on in my head*

I mean I can't right now for some obvious *cough house cough* reasons, but it's good to know that maybe in the distant future I could really be onto something here. Hmmm if I save a couple pennies a day I can make it happen. I'd have fresh bread, some sweets, and some awesome coffee. Get a couple of comfy couches, and keep it simple. There's a Starbucks down the road, but it's inside of a Target. Not exactly welcoming with the cash register beeping and kids eating Cheetos in the background, know what I mean?

First thing I have to do is learn how to be a good bread baker. Giz, supreme overseer of BloggerAid View and Review, sent me a copy of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, so I'll have to give my hand at that real soon, but I'll save that for another post :)

Anyways, onto today. It was a friends birthday last week, and like any good friend (you've been there), I asked what she would like. And the response I received was a very non-September answer, but delicious nonetheless...

Key Lime Pie.

I've never done one of those! What is it? Is it kinda like the famous Lemon Meringue pie? Is it super limey? I had to know these questions... but more importantly, it was a good excuse to try something I wouldn't of done on my own brainstorming power :)

So, like anything else that I'm completely clueless about, I ask somebody. Except in the case of driving directions. So I searched my lists of blogs I follow, and came across this awesome recipe. It is from Cassie, Southern Talented Bakeaholic Extraordinaire, who is a fantastic creator and comedian of How to Eat a Cupcake. I mean the title has the word "Awesome" in it. Now I don't know much, but I know fate when I see it... and this is a recipe asking for me, ladies and gents.

Here it is, with a few small changes by me... because this is how we do it sometimes :)


Key Lime Pie
From How to Eat a Cupcake

1/2 cup lime juice - It's about 3 good size limes, squeezed
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature - I used American cream cheese instead

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Zest of 1 whole lime

5 egg yolks

whipped cream, for garnish (Beat 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 Tbsp confectioners sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until desired thickness; Do not overbeat or it will turn into butter!)


Crust

1 3/4 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1/3 cup sugar (I'll reduce this to 1/4 cup next time)

1/3 cup pecans

7-8 TBSP melted butter (I only used 5 Tbsp, I think next time I'll reduce it to 4)

In a food processor, blend together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar and pecans. You want to make sure that none of the coconut is visible. Add about 7 TBSP melted butter. Pulse a few times. If it seems like it needs more butter add the remaining TBSP (Mixture should still be crumbly).

Pour contents into a pie pan and press to form a shell. Bake crust for 10 minutes at 400F (I only baked mine for 8 minutes, I'll reduce it to about 6 minutes next time). If you are using mini pie pans, prebaking is not necessary. (After baking my pie crust I let it cool for about 10 minutes before making the filling.)


Whisk sweetened condensed milk with the egg yolks. Whisk in mascarpone cheese. Stir in whipping cream and lime juice. Stir in lime zest. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes. (Filling will still be slightly wobbly; It will firm as it cools.)


So besides using lime juice of the not-key variety, and cream cheese in place of marscapone, I pretty much stuck to the recipe. It was fantastic. Very, very fantastic. It has this sweet tartness going on, and is still very light, which is perfect for dessert after a heavy meal. Like I could actually get up and move afterwards. Would I go workout? No... but at least a nice walk is possible.

Thanks everyone for all the warm house wishes and insight again. Moving is going well, and I should have some appliances moved in real soon. The power is on at least, which is a start :) Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and Happy October :)

Maybe I'll paint the kitchen key lime....