Pie Contest!!

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Last Friday our church was having a fun pie contest. I submitted my name, but wasn’t sure if I was going to actually make a pie or not. I finally decided to make one on Thursday evening and it was off to the store!! I had thought about a few different “creative” pies. Just a normal pie with a twist, nothing terribly hard. I chose the one that sounded most appetizing, easiest, and least expensive (I am in college after all). And here it is:

Cherry Limeade Pie

Sorry the lighting is bad 😦  It’s pink, not too bright, yet not too pale. And on top of the whipped cream is lime zest.

Recipe

1/2 cup lime juice (I used fresh, but you could use the bottled kind too)

3 egg yolks (NO WHITES)

1 can sweetened condensed milk (Yummmmmm)

8-10 maraschino cherries-chopped

Maraschino cherry juice–I just poured it out of the bottle until I had it like I wanted it…..1/4 cup perhaps?

Mix all ingredients together very well. Pour into a graham cracker crust (mine was store bought). Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (until it’s slightly firm). Cool on the counter for 10-20 minutes and then refrigerate it until it is completely cool. Top with whipped cream 🙂

 

I thought this pie was delicious. I was very pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. I was worried it would be too tart, but it wasn’t. It was sweet and delicious. Someone described it as “Sonic in a pie!” I will definitely be making it again, but perhaps without as much whipped cream.

I didn’t win the contest or even place, but I don’t care. I think my pie was better than the ones that did win and that’s what matters 🙂

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Beeting around the Bush

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The flavor of the week: Beet. I will just start by saying, I liked it. There are things that can improve but I liked it. The best thing about the ice cream is not the flavor, or the vitamins, but the color. It is the brightest fuchsia you will ever see in your life and that is a main component of why I want to tweak the recipe until I get it right. But to be truthful, beets taste like sweet dirt.

So I started off with three beets. I don’t know what would classify a beet as medium or large, but I got a bundle with three burly beets. I roasted them in my oven until tender, peeled them, and then made a rough puree. Then I added a bit of orange zest and the juice of an orange, blended some more. I had this crazy idea that beets were tangy, so I decided to use sour cream to bring out the tanginess? So half a cup sour cream, one cup half and half, and a cup of sugar. Pureeing it was like pulling teeth but I achieved it. I attempted to strain the solution, but my strainer is much too large. So I didn’t get all the grainy bits out (which was a main reason why some people didn’t like it). I chilled it and ran it through the machine and viola!

So next time I attempt this (which may be in the middle of this week) I will put in less beet, and more orange. And strain it with gusto! Hopefully that will make it more palatable.

My fingers are still stained from the beets.

Godiva.

The Smorgasbord of Iron Chef

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So last night’s Iron Chef night sported an amazing array of tasty treats. It looked something like this:

Well, maybe not, but it was still delicious.

We featured the delicious azuki ice cream from Gentleman Godiva (one of my faves so far!), homemade cheesecake, brownie smores, mini veggie empanadas, waffles with fruit, crab cakes, and mint spring rolls with sweet chili sauce. As you can imagine, we all got rather full rather quickly.  It even kind of seems like every Iron Chef is a miracle on par with the loaves and fishes–there’s always more food than we think there will be, and everyone gets plenty.

On a side note, it was rather lucky that the Duchess retired to bed early, as the secret ingredient was veal. Not very vegetarian-friendly.

Love and grub!

Miss Coco Peru

Azuki Ice Cream Part II

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The ice cream was a success in my book. Most people enjoyed it but for those who didn’t, I can understand not liking azuki. First off, seeing beans in your ice cream can be a bit disconcerting. Second, the flavor is kinda weird (I will be the first to admit that). But I give it a thumbs up, Coco Peru gives it a thumbs up, and an Asian girl in my apartment complex seemed to really like it because she finished off the rest that I had.

If I were to make this again in the future, I might lay off the whole red beans and make the ice cream just from the paste. This would, however, make the ice cream less healthy because the beans make it a good source of fiber.  It was just really bizarre eating my ice cream and then biting into a bean. And now I don’t know what to do with the rest of the red beans.

Different topic: I think I have finished my list of flavors for the challenge.  It isn’t written in stone and I would love for my readers to comment on what they may think (even veto) on the flavors. So here is the list: beet, balsamic/strawberry, sweet corn, pine nut/oil, goat cheese, blood orange, butternut squash/cranberry, orange/carrot, pomegranate, cilantro, ginger/chocolate, sweet potato, jalapeno, pandan/coconut, brie, pumpkin pie, wassail, country gravy/sausage, wasabi, carrot, cucumber, cranberry sauce/stuffing, red wine/cherry, tomato gazpacho, poppy seed/lemon, and black sesame. I request a caucus on these flavors and let me know which should not happen.

On another note, if you didn’t know, I want to open an ice cream shop. This has become my passion, and makes me laugh because I am getting my degree in microbiology. So I have been thinking up names for my ice cream shop and I think I want to name it “Virgin Guadalupe Ice Creams.” But I don’t need to worry about for a while.

Next week will be beet ice cream

Godiva.

Korean food!!

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Last night Godiva, Coco, and I went to our favorite Asians’ house. Oma (their mom) told us she would make us delicious Korean food so of course we were game. When we got there we were hit with a delicious aroma and even more delicious Asian hugs 🙂 I went in the kitchen to see what was being made and I found a table full of food.

Tofu-my personal favorite. It was cubed and pan fried in a sweet and spicy sauce. I asked her what the sauce was and she said ketchup, Asian hot sauce, and honey

Bean sprouts and bok choy- a generous mound of bean sprouts with some bok choy leaves sauteed for a little bit in a sauce…I think it was a soy sauce?  And I believe it had some seasame seeds in it too. I ate this on my rice so that the juice would get into the rice. I really enjoyed it as well.

Squash-big chunks of what I believe to be acorn squash. It was baked in a sweet sauce to just the right texture. It tasted like a sweet potato, but richer and not as sweet because it was a squash. I really loved this as well.

Eggs- scrambled eggs with peppers and onions, but they were baked in a pan instead of scrambled on the stove. And they were sweet. I was expecting this because the last time I had Asian eggs was at a sushi night and they were sweet too (I know they were Japanese and these were Korean, but they’re similar, right?).

Meat-there was also a big roasting pan full of meat. It looked like beef. And smelled like beef. It looked good, but not very appealing to me. I know it was delicious though because Brother Peru ate three helpings.

So here we are, Korean food is delicious. I can now agree with a previous professor (who was Korean) when he said that Korean food is the best food in the world. Ok, I don’t know if it’s my very favorite because I haven’t tried all the food in the world, but it’s at the tippy top of the list.

Goodbye (waving enthusiastically with a peace sign)

Duchess Avalon

Azuki Ice Cream: Part I

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I am so excited about my ice cream that I can’t even wait til’ tomorrow to talk about it. So I thought today I would talk about it and tomorrow will be the response. Yay.  So anyway, let us start with what azuki is. Azuki is an Asian red bean that is prepared by boiling in water and sugar. Usually dumplings are filled with azuki paste, so you might have had it in the past.

The first thing you need to do to make this ice cream is to make an Asian friend. They will help you find red bean and without one, you will most definitely get lost in your local Asian Market. I got two kinds of red bean: whole and paste. The paste has a lot of the bean flavor yet the whole red bean gives texture. I made a milk solution of: 2c whole milk, 1c cream and 1/2 c sugar. Let the solution simmer on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and then add your beans. I put in 1/2c whole red bean and 1/2c paste, but if you don’t want beans in your ice cream, then just use paste. Warning: red beans do not look delicious… nor do they smell very delicious from a can, but have faith that the ice cream will taste good. I added the beans and stirred until they no longer aggregated together and the base was nice and red/brown. In a small bowl, I took three egg yolks (I separated them all by myself!) and whisked them until smooth and I added small spoonfuls of the ice cream solution and added it to the eggs. I needed my roomie’s help for this and you need to whisk like your baby’s life depended on it so you do not curdle the custard. After a few spoonfuls, I poured the eggs into the ice cream solution and whisked for five minutes… vigorously. I did not want the custard to curdle so I took extreme precaution and turned my heat way low. After about 4 minutes, the solution thickened and I was in good shape.

I have tasted the solution and I think this will be my favorite ice cream. So let’s hope nothing goes wrong in the next 24 hours and I will redeem myself from last week’s bitter disaster.

I have no clue what to do with my excess azuki.

Godiva.

Ratatouille!

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Ratatouille…I think that’s the closest thing to what I made the other day.

First, I sautéed up some zucchini in olive oil, with a general portion of chopped fresh garlic. Next went in the chopped mushrooms, tomatoes, and cilantro (cilantro goes with anything!).  Meanwhile, I cooked up some couscous in my favorite bowl (it’s wide enough to layer couscous and topping). The veggies went on top with an extra helping of chopped cilantro.

Cooktime was short, as was prep time. The whole thing took probably 15 minutes. That’s all it takes to eat deliciously!

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