It's time for a seasonal post from the Secret Recipe Club! Our theme was Fall Dishes and I was assigned Things I Make (For Dinner). This blog is written by Sarah who, in addition to my name, shares my love of cooking, travel, and sleeping.
Fall means pumpkin for a lot of people, myself included, and I found a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting that looked yummy. For me, it also means apple; like this Apple Crisp or Apple Fritter Cake. But what about something a little different, like Nutella Ice Cream? Or something savory like Tex-Mex Stuffed Butternut Squash?
In the end, there was one dish that caught my eye the most: Pumpkin Maple Custards.
These custards are made with pumpkin, cream, milk, maple syrup, egg yolks, and spices. Simple and delicious. After the base is made, it is poured into ramekins and baked in a water bath, much like creme brulee.
I've joined a group called Improv Cooking Challenge, where each month 2 ingredients are chosen for us to make dishes with. This month was peaches and cream - yum! I scrolled through my saved recipes on Pinterest and found this Peach Cobbler Trifle that looked perfect for the challenge!
Pound cake is layered with a pudding mixture, peaches, and a crumble topping. My trifle dish is actually a punch bowl, so I only made 2 layers. But with a taller, narrower dish - you could make 3 layers.
I really liked that the pudding mixture used orange zest and sour cream to take it out of too sweet territory. I added a pinch of salt to the crumble mixture and the peaches to help in this regard, too.
May has five Mondays this year, which means - themed Secret Recipe Club post! Falling on Memorial Day, the theme for this reveal is Picnic/BBQ and my assigned blog was A Day in the Life on the Farm. Wendy and her husband are former police officers who moved out to the country and became farmers. They treat their animals humanely, are part of an organic CSA, trade with other farmers, and live sustainably as much as possible - I am so jealous! I dream of being a radical homemaker, but don't have the commitment. I was on a specific mission this month, but I look forward to perusing the blog more thoroughly.
I actually made three recipes from Wendy's blog this weekend, in order to have a full meal for the holiday. She had tons of recipes that are appropriate for the challenge, and I chose BBQ Beef Sandwiches, BLT Pasta Salad, and Black Forest Trifle. Each of these was easy to make with the help of store-bought ingredients, so that I didn't have to spend a full day in the kitchen. And each of them was a big hit!
In my last post, I mentioned that one of the recipes that I wanted to make from my blog assignment, Pale Yellow, was Vanilla Pudding Shots. Well, guess what? I made them! And they were awesome (and STRONG). I didn't have little shot cups to put them in, so I just split the pudding among four cups for my friends. I wasn't able to finish mine, so be warned that they are strong! You can mix more whipped cream in to dilute it.
Just mix instant pudding mix with milk and flavored vodka, then fold in Cool Whip. That's it - so easy! There is something about Cool Whip that helps stabilize things like this in a way that whipped cream can't. But feel free to whip your own cream and use that instead. Top with more whipped cream and sprinkles and party on!
This is True Food Kitchen's Chia Seed Pudding Pudding, made with banana and coconut milk, it is one of my favorite desserts ever. I crave it, I dream about it, I love it so much! I used to stop by after working out to treat myself (it's a healthier dessert, but still sugary). And then I moved from 5 minutes away to 35 minutes away. Sad day!
So I hit the web to find a recipe to make it for myself at home and it turns out that it was incredibly easy to find! Success! Then it turned out to be incredibly easy to make, too - double success!
Please try this wonderful treat for yourself, and enjoy!
Chia Seed Pudding
adapted from Dallas News
2 1/2 to 3 large ripe bananas (divided use)
18 oz canned coconut milk, or coconut cream if you can find it (not cream of coconut, just unsweetened coconut cream)
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 small pinch kosher salt
6 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp toasted coconut chips, for garnish
Combine 2 large bananas with the coconut cream, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt in a blender. Purée until smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the chia seeds; blend on low speed to combine. Place mixture in a sealed container to set; stir after 20 minutes. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving (may be prepared to this point up to 48 hours in advance). Top with banana slices and toasted coconut chips.
One Year Ago - Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel
Two Years Ago - Miso Tahini Soup
Three Years Ago - Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Broccolini
Four Years Ago - Lasagna with Cinnamon
Five Years Ago - Spiced Pumpkin and Lamb Tagine; Thai Pumpkin Soup; Spiced Carrot Soup
I'm gonna be honest with you guys - I totally messed up this pie, in three different steps. Ugh. More on that later. But as it turns out, it didn't even matter - it still came out super delicious! So I definitely call that a win.
We are doing a special Holiday Treats edition of the Secret Recipe Club! My assigned blog was I am a Honey Bee written by Nicole. We both live on the East coast and share a love of Buffy, tattoos, Greece, eggs bene, and a fear of open water and having to open gifts in front of others. I like that her blog includes reviews in addition to recipes, just like mine!
Anyway, I went to look for desserts on her blog and noticed a page called The Year of Pies, where she posted a pie recipes every week for a year. A year! I didn't to look at any other category, ladies and gentlemen, I was home. But would it be caramel pie? One of four different kinds of chess pie? Maybe Reese's or Thin Mint pie? So many to choose from! It was around this time that I began to feel woefully inadequate for my own dessert selection, and sorry for whoever drew my blog... I hope you were able to find something!
I scrolled down to the end of the year to look for holiday dessert and saw this No Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie. I love eggnog! And easy recipes! I wanted to make this right away.
Corn pudding (or spoonbread) is one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides, and I love this recipe in particular because of how easy it is. There is a little bit of sauteing involved, but then everything goes into a blender, and then directly into the baking dish - easy.
Cream, butter, eggs, corn, sauteed onions, and a bit of flour and sugar - what's not to love?
It is kind of like a corn souffle that's a little bit sweet, and really buttery. It's hot and soft and creamy and kind of melt in your mouth. I made it for a friend that had never had it before and totally made a believer out of her. So let's make this beauty!
Merry Christmas, y'all! We went on a bit of a crazy roadtrip (which I will tell you about later, because there are restaurants involved) and didn't get back til late on the 22nd, which left us in a bit of a scramble to get ready for Christmas. We managed to get some outdoor decorations up (check out the wreath I made!), but no tree or anything indoors.
We also spent all our holiday money on travel, so no presents this year. But we did have a nice Christmas dinner (I mean, come on - how could I not, right?). Honey Baked Ham (going store bought on the main let me focus on sides); Spinach and Gruyere Strata; Sweet Potato Gratin with Caramelized Onions; and Bacon Popovers.
And a Cranberry Raisin Tart with orange zest and spices for dessert.
Oh yeah, and breakfast! Can't forget Christmas morning sweets! I made these Cranberry Orange Rolls by Smitten Kitchen - yum!
This is a classic desert that works really well for Independence Day (Anything with berries does, really). It's quick to put together and very pretty, so keep it in mind for next year!
All you need is sponge cake, pound cake, or lady fingers; canned custard or pudding mix; whipped cream; and fruit. Then layer them up however you want and let it sit together in the fridge for a few hours to meld.
I used lady fingers (brushed with Cointreau), vanilla pudding, whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The amounts depend on your serving dish and your preferential ratio of fruit to cream. I used 2 packs of lady fingers, 2 boxes of pudding, 1 can of whipped cream, 1 medium container of strawberries, and 1 pint each of blue berries and raspberries. My layers were lady fingers, pudding, strawberries, whipped cream, lady fingers, pudding, whipped cream, blueberries and raspberries. I probably could have used more berries.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary! We went on a lovely trip to Texas over the weekend, but our actual anniversary fell on a Tuesday. We had plans to eat at some very nice restaurants on our trip, so we decided to stay in on our anniversary and have a nice home-cooked meal. I made steak with compound butter, spinach and Gruyere souffle, and vanilla bean panna cotta with mixed berries.