1/2 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. ranch dressing
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1/4 c. bleu cheese crumbles
1/4 c. feta cheese crumbles
Place chopped cabbage in a bowl. Add ranch dressing and mix until all the cabbage pieces are coated. Add vinaigrette dressing, adjusting for taste (adding more makes it a bit spicier). Stir in cheeses and serve.
Yes, it's a little ridiculous to name a salad after a front porch when the front porch looks like this:
Pumpkin Pie Spectacular
from November 2009 Southern Living, adapted to the way I made it
1 deep-dish 9-inch pie crust (buy it or make your own)
2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 40 gingersnaps)
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pecan Streusel (see below)
Ginger-Spice Topping (see further below)
Preheat oven to 350°. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.
Stir together crushed gingersnaps and next 3 ingredients. Press mixture on bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of piecrust, to make a crust-within-a-crust. Yum.
Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).
Watch the rerun episode of The Office where Jim and Pam start dating. Sigh profusely and wish the happy couple lots of joy.
Stir together pumpkin and next 6 ingredients until well blended. Pour into prepared crust. Place pie on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. If there's extra batter, pour it into little souflee cups or a smaller pie pan to bake with the rest.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle Pecan Streusel around edge of crust. Bake 40 to 45 minutes more or until set, shielding edges with aluminum foil during last 25 to 30 minutes of baking, if necessary. Let cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Dollop slices with Ginger-Spice Topping.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Stir together flour, brown sugar, melted butter, and chopped pecans.
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Beat whipping cream with mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Stir in cinnamon and ginger. (Substitute frozen whipped topping if desired - just stir in the cinnamon and ginger).
I made this pie for Thanksgiving (yeah, so I'm a little late in posting the recipe). It was definitely a process (3 hours of process actually), but worth every minute. The gingersnap crust-within-a-crust is incredible, and the struesel on top is like candy. Hmmm. So good.
I would like to dedicate this pie to Mr. Roy Blount Jr. The name may sound familiar to those of you who listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, the NPR news quiz that airs on weekends. He's an occasional guest on there, as well as appearing on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion every so often. He is perhaps the dryest, funniest Southerner I've ever heard. I encourage you to google him or find him on youtube, just for the sake of hearing a genius with a Southern accent (they're not as rare as some think). My favorite essay of his, and the reason I'm dedicating this pie to him, is called "The Way Folks Were Meant To Eat."
Try it out (the pie or Mr. Roy Blount Jr., I don't care which).
And let me know what you think.
Coasters, maybe? Ornaments? Still not sure. I'm feeling the ornaments thing, but I like them as a set. They measure about 4.5" x 4.5" ... too big for ornaments? Hmmm.
Hand stitching is actually more fun than I thought it would be.
Check out the back - such an awesome green!
Some things I'm particularly excited about:
-the way the brown pops out
-the improv-ness (improvisationalism?) of each block
-the way the binding blends in with the back and shows up more on the front - a little edging effect
-the size - about 39"x39" - a little bigger than other baby quilts I've done, but perfect for a baby to lay/play/roll on
I ended up going with brown for the stitching. Bold, I know. It really contrasts with the white and pink, but (surprisingly) it works well with the backing fabric, and (unsurprisingly) it matches the brown on the front. Check it out:
Here's one more picture, just a close-up of one of the blocks ...
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Melt butter in a small pan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Continue stirring until butter separates. Add to mixing bowl. Cream butter and sugars together until smooth (this won't look like your traditional "creamed butter and sugar" fluffiness, but go with it anyway. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times), and beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix until almost blended. Add the chocolate chips and coconut and mix. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and store in an airtight container up to 7 days. Makes 2 to 3 dozen (depends on the size of the cookie!).
OK. This was a little bit of an experiment. My general rule is to not experiment with baking, only with cooking ... but I ran into a snag when I went to make these cookies: the only butter I had was frozen, and I didn't have time or a microwave to defrost it. So, I had to come up with something. I remembered a friend had made chocolate chip cookies with browned, melted butter because the test kitchens of Cook's Illustrated had suggested it.
Browned butter? Hmmm.
I decided just to melt it and let it sit in the pan for a few over medium-low heat to see if I got anything brown. I didn't. Maybe I didn't let it heat long enough. What I DID get, though, was butter separation. The oily stuff stayed on the bottom and foamy stuff came to the top. I didn't skim it, though that seemed like something logical to do. Again, hmmm.
Well, cookies are cookies, and I'll be dadgummed if I didn't just decide to use the mysterious melt anyway. I poured it into my mixing bowl and added the sugars and mixed away. As I mentioned in the directions above, this didn't look like the usual "Cream butter and sugar" outcome. I thought the cookies would be runny because of the melt. Of course, that didn't keep me from plowing ahead ... there were cookies on the horizon and nothing was going to stop me! So I proceeded to add everything else, following the directions. I threw in some coconut at the end because (a) I love coconut (b) I found half a bag of it in my freezer and (c) I thought it would add an exotic flair.
The cookies held up nicely.
They didn't run and flatten out at all.
In fact, the dough was pretty sturdy, and when I rolled it into balls it wasn't sticky at all.
What I don't know is if the sturdiness of the dough is due to the melted butter or the coconut. Hmmm.
3/4 c. canola oil
1 c. white vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried mustard
1 medium red onion
1 green pepper
1 can chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes (or 3/4 c. chopped fresh tomatoes)
1 package mostaccioli pasta
Cook pasta according to package and drain.
Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried mustard in a bowl for dressing.
Chop onion and pepper. Add with chickpeas and tomatoes to the dressing.
Stir in the pasta.
Cover and chill for 24 hours.
I confess that I didn't know that mostaccioli existed, much less was edible, until this salad showed up. But now I know. And, oh, goodness. Am I ever glad I know about it now. The longer this sticks around, the better it gets. 24 hours is good, but don't be afraid to let it sit longer. The flavor of the dressing gets all up in the pasta's space ... proof of this: our friends Aaron and Catherine brought this to the bloggiversary Friday night potluck; there was one serving left in the bottom of the bowl that we kept in the fridge for a week (yes! a week!) that I promptly consumed upon returning to town from our Thanksgiving travels. Incredible, yes, delightfully incredible.
I'm making this one again.
Now, if I can only find the mostaccioli aisle in Kroger ...
A quilting and sewing blog.
I'm new at quilting so I can't really promise much, but I want to share what I am doing. And this is the time to do it ... I've got my Christmas projects underway, lots of plans for next year, and a few completed projects laying around the house. At least I'll have the first few posts taken care of ...
We had four desserts at the potluck: dark chocolate brownies, no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting, and pound cake with chocolate sauce. My friends must know about my thing for chocolate.
Here is the recipe for the cupcakes.
Easiest Chocolate Cake makes 32 cupcakes
Recipe found in Sarah Magid’s Organic and Chic cookbook and here
2 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour 2 cups organic cane sugar 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2/3 cup organic canola oil 2 teaspoons organic white distilled vinegar2 cups cold water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners, set aside
2. In a large bowl, place sifter on top and add dry ingredients. (Or you can sift each ingredient and mix together in the large bowl).
3. In a medium bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.
4. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry, using a whisk to incorporate.
5. Using a ladle or spoon, pour batter into cupcake liners, filling batter 2/3 up in each liner.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool before frosting.
Espresso Whipped Buttercream
Makes 3 1/2 cups
2 sticks unsalted organic butter 1 cup organic cane sugar 1 cup organic whole milk 1/4 cup sifted organic all purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons strong espresso (either from a shot or from powdered espresso)
1. In small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the milk and flour, whisk until there are no lumps, then slowly add remaining 3/4 cup milk. Over medium-high heat, whisk frequently until mixture is thick and bubbling, remove from heat. Keep stirring and let cool to room temperature. (You can cheat by flash chilling in the freezer).
2. In standing mixer, add softened butter and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add sugar and beat for 3 more minutes until mixture is light and thick.
3. Add cooled milk/flour mixture, and beat for 4-5 minutes until it is thickened and creamy.
4. With mixer on low speed, add espresso, and whip at high speed for 1 minute.
5. Frost cupcakes, or cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator up to 3 days. If refrigerated, make sure it comes to almost room temperature then re-beat for fluffy texture.
Good news! This recipe can be adapted to those of us who don't have organic cane sugar laying around - just use regular flour, sugar, and oil. Either way, the cupcakes and espresso frosting taste like heaven. This is the second time in a month that I have had the extreme pleasure of eating these delights from Mary's kitchen, and I'm afraid that I will never allow her to bring any other dessert to a potluck. I won't judge you if you make a batch for me, just to see how they compare to Mary's. I may have to eat six or seven of yours just so I can give a well-informed statement about the quality of your cupcakes and buttercream frosting. And then take a few home to see what Mr. rhymeswithsmile thinks of them too. I'm just saying. I want to be fair to you.
Andrea and Tim