Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Clams Casino

I love to cook and entertain but sometimes I am just happy to spend the night doing nothing. I am very lucky that I have many friends who are more than happy to chip in and get their hands dirty when I feel more like sitting on the couch and drinking some wine! My friend Jema and I decided that we were going to visit a friend with her new baby and it would be better that we spent the night at my house so we could get an early start... next thing you know we were planning a feast that was starting to be a bit excessive!

There is nothing better than friends who don't judge because after all of the food we ate that night there may have been some jeans traded in for pajamas and waist bands of all type banned from the room. Jema was so kind to come and take over the kitchen and make the deliciously decadent start to our feast. Be warned if you order clams casino on a restaurant menu you will most likely end up with something stuffed with breadcrumbs and only a bit of bacon... but that is absolutely NOT how we do it!

click through for the recipe....

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Deviled Eggs

Our house is eggtastic! My boyfriend wakes up around the same time as me and while I am busy showering and dressing he sometimes makes me a hard boiled egg for breakfast. His cooking skills are basically one step only - sausage in pan or pasta in water...he even simplifies things like a grilled cheese by putting it in the oven instead of using a pan on the stove top! But I always appreciate it when he takes the time to make me breakfast, especially since I am pretty much non-functional in the morning. Well he loves deviled eggs and I have been promising that I would make him up a bunch since we almost always have a dozen eggs hanging around.

Along came football season and the creative cooks at seriouseats.com  have come up with a spicy version of the deviled egg as well as one that uses a touch of sour cream instead of mayo... delicious! I am not as adverse to mayo as I used to be but if there is a substitution I am always going to try it. There is nothing that my guy likes more than spicy so when I saw a version with sriracha sauce I knew exactly where to start. I love the idea of a Bloody Mary and some deviled eggs to start the day... though I think I should make sure to leave that to the weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Moistest Pumpkin cake ever!

So AGAIN this year there is a pumpkin shortage and when I went to the store they were just about cleaned out! I guess that means all of the plans I had for pumpkin cheesecakes are going to be on hold till next year? I was happy that I got one of the last few cans and made this cake because true to its name it was so absolutely moist and delicious. However, as usual I decided that I couldn't wait to spring my cake open (the restless peanut gallery who kept asking "is it done yet?" may have contributed to that!) though it was far from cooled so it kinda crumbled making the picture a little less pretty. (Food Photo hint #14595 if you mess up your cake stick it in a martini glass and pretend that's how its suppose to look!)

The cake took a bit longer that expected at least 20 - 30 min more due to subbing out the bundt pan for a springform. It was a good option as the batter was perfectly contained though it did rise above the edges in the oven but I think that I would like to invest in a proper bundt cake form. I first found this pudding pie recipe that sounded absolutely sinful with airy light layers on creamy mouse but in the end the cake won out with my friends. If I and lucky enough to find more cans of pumpkin you know what I will be doing later! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cinnamon Peach Tartlets

A friend went apple picking in the beginning of the fall and surprised me with a great harvest to bake up. First, we made a great apple maple tart then we are worked with the peaches. I never knew that you could pick peaches in the fall (disclaimer...this was baked months ago - I am a bit behind on my blogging!). This ended up in a major discussion about crumbles and crisps and cobblers. There are small differences between some of these desserts though in general the idea is the same - some sort of crust with fruit. We decided to just stay simple and avoid some of the extra sugar and crust, as delicious as they can be, to show off the natural taste of the local fruit.

This crust for this tart is the same pate brisse that I often use - its delicious, simple and I know it by heart. What more can you ask of a crust?

Toss fresh sliced peaches in cinnamon and sugar to coat
Set aside for 20 -30 minutes to break down
Place into mini tart shells and bake for 25 min at 425 F