Nov 17 2011

apple and quince tarte tatin

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A little over a year ago, Joseph and I began a new tradition that my sister and brother-in-law started years ago: Apple Day. You can get the full description of Apple Day straight from my sister in this post from last year (please pardon the photos, we were still working things out), but basically it’s a day to celebrate fall and one its finest fruits. To really do Apple Day right, you’re supposed to have apples in every meal of the day, but last year Joseph and I only managed to get apples into dinner with maple-mustard pork tenderloin and caramelized apples served with some delicious hard cider.

This year we did things right. I mean, my sister and brother-in-law drove up to Boston all the way from Philly just for Apple Day! We started the day with hot mulled cider and cider donuts out at Honey Pot Hill Orchard, then for lunch we made panini with apple smoked cheddar and apples. For dinner we celebrated with a Belgian apple lambic as an aperitif and then Joseph made amazing (and enormous!) smothered pork chops with apples and cider from America’s Test Kitchen, which we served up with Farnum Hill Cider. And then there was The Dessert.

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I have to admit, I was uninitiated to tarte tatins, but after seeing photos online, I was determined to make one. What’s truly spectacular about tarte tatin is that melted butter and sugar meld together into caramel on the bottom of a skillet as you cook the fruit in it. David Lebovitz’s book Ready for Dessert has a recipe for an apple and quince tarte tatin that instantly drew my attention. I had never cooked with quince before and didn’t really know much about it. I had seen it in recipes in colonial American cookbooks, and had come to the delusional conclusion that no one really cooks with it anymore.

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Aug 24 2011

s’mores pie

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Nothing brings back the excitement of summer as a kid like a toasty golden brown marshmallow. Ok, let’s be realistic, mine were usually crispy and blackened…. But I just love s’mores. There’s nothing like getting marshmallows all over your hands and mouth as you take your first bite. The warm, gooey marshmallow, the crunchy graham cracker, and the melty chocolate that ties it all together is one of the most genius food combinations and making s’mores is almost as fun as eating them.

I have so many great memories throughout my life of roasting marshmallows for s’mores. There were the campfires at my first sleepaway camp, marshmallows over a bonfire with college friends, roasting marshmallows over a gas stove using forks instead of sticks (you MUST resist the urge to lick the gooey marshmallow off of the scalding fork, something my friends and I all failed at because it is simply natural instinct to lick the warm marshmallow), marshmallows roasted over a wood stove in a cabin with family, and most recently, s’mores over a campfire at a wedding (best idea EVER).

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This s’mores pie is the perfect way to cling to what’s left of summer and enjoy the holy trinity of graham crackers, ooey, gooey marshmallows, and some serious, serious chocolate, and share it with others all without building a fire or burning your tongue on a hot fork. ‘Cause even though it’s fun to roast your marshmallows over an open flame, there are some days when it’s just not going to happen and this pie is perfect for those days. This pie makes me so happy.

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Aug 13 2011

creamy peanut butter pie

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Like the rest of the food blogging community, I was shocked and horrified by the news that Jennifer Perillo’s husband, Mikey, passed away quite unexpectedly of a heart attack last Sunday. My jaw dropped and tears streamed down my face when I read Jennifer’s twitter feed that day, which went from counting down the days to their vacation to “He’s gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces.”

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I can’t begin to imagine the pain of losing your spouse so suddenly like that. It’s my biggest fear. To lose Joseph would be to lose my heart and my soul. I don’t know how I would breath.

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Dec 1 2010

pumpkin pie

 pumpkin pie

As much as I love pumpkiny foods, I’ve never really been a big fan of pumpkin pie.  I guess it’s the texture (so mushy).  But it such a classic Thanksgiving dessert that I figured I should make one.  I was also inspired when I found this recipe when flipping through Joanne Chang’s new cookbook at the bookstore. I’m a big fan of Joanne Chang from her bakery, Flour Bakery and apparently this pie has gotten all kinds of accolades, so I figured, hey, why not?   I went home and quickly found the recipe on the Food Network website.

 pumpkin pie

The funny thing is that when I got in the car the day before Thanksgiving, there was a woman explaining a pumpkin pie recipe on the radio and I kept thinking, wow, that sounds exactly like the pie I made the night before.  And indeed it was because it was Joanne Chang on the radio!  It’s a little embarrassing how much I enjoyed listening to her on the radio.  I’m so clueless when it comes to pop culture, so food people end up being my celebrities. Continue reading

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