Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Art of Food Coloring

Frozen Mint Brownies, originally uploaded by mud pie gourmet.

I'm a natural girl. Well, I love a nice pair of leather shoes (in peacock, please) as much as the next person, but I recycle, I use my own bags at grocery stores, I get after the kids for wasting water and electricity (and sometimes my hot husband, too. Uhh, sorry about that. I swear, I'm not a nag), I try not to buy foods with preservatives or added colors. But, I just can't do mint brownies without adding the green food coloring. I've tried it. It messes with my mind. It's almost like they don't taste as minty just because they don't have green icing. You see yellow, you think, "Lemon." Red--Cherry or Cinnamon, Purple--Grape. Green is mint. You can try and keep them natural and just go with the white icing, but yours just won't taste as good as my green ones.

Frozen Mint Brownies

3 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour and dash of salt


3 T butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2-4 drops green food coloring

2 sq unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate
2 T butter

Melt chocolate and butter together for the brownies. Beat eggs and add sugar. Add chocolate and butter mixture and mix. Add extract, flour, salt and mix thoroughly. Spread in a 9x13 greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool completely (I rush cooling process by putting them into freezer).

Mix frosting ingredients together and spread on cooled cake. Cool in fridge, covered (or freezer for faster).

Make glaze by melting chocolate and butter. When at room temp, spread on top of frosting.

Place in freezer for 5 minutes to set chocolate. Cut brownies. Place in a container and keep in the freezer until you eat them! They are best right out of the freezer.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Peachy Keen

Everything is just Peachy Keen, here! We are having a busy summer and doing lots of local things. Hence, flog is the first thing to go. At night I am sleeping hard and having crazy dreams because of it. I sometimes have dreams (well, nightmares, really) about 20 page papers that I have to turn in, but haven't started, terrorist attacks (hey, I live in D.C., what can I say?), and dreams where I have to sing and dance to a song that I don't know the words or the dance moves to. Can you relate to any of those?

Okay, how about this one: peach picking in July in Virginia. Seriously, I do have dreams about this. But, I also have done it. When I was a teenager my mom would drag us out of bed on a HOT July morning to go peach picking. Let me tell you something about Virginia in July: Hot. Humid. Now, add PEACH FUZZ to that equation and you get = MISERABLE. Gnats, other bugs and peach fuzz sticking to you. It was not my idea of a great time. My mom has since learned: You go to the farm and pick UP the peaches. Ahhh, you still get that farm fresh taste without the torture. I'm sure someday I will wake my kids up at the crack of dawn to go to some farm over an hour away just to pick peaches, but until then, I'm going to let my mom pick my bushel up for me. And then I am going to enjoy those peaches every meal. I froze about half of the peaches, ate a lot fresh, and then I came up with a crostata with them and some blackberries. I hope you have dreams about this crostata instead of showing up to school neck-ed (yes, I meant to write neck-ed).

Peach and Blackberry Crostata

(Barefoot Contessa's recipe from her Apple Crostata--why mess with a good thing?)
Makes 2 tarts

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 lb cold, unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup ice water

For the pastry, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times sto combine. Add the butter and toss quickly with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12-15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add 1/4 cup ice water all at once through the fee tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and form into 2 disks. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

For the filling:
3 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 cup blackberries (fresh, or frozen ones that have been thawed work)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
1 T fresh lemon juice

Combine above ingredients and let sit while preparing topping.

1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 T cold butter, diced

Combine above ingredients in a bowl.

Roll the pastry into two circles on a floured board. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you will need 2 pans). Divide peach mixture in half and place on the two pastries (leave excess liquid in bowl), leaving a 1 1/2 inch border. Top each pastry with half of the flour mixture and toss. Add remaining flour mixture to the top. Gently fold the border over the peach mixture, pleating to make a circle.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nantucket Weekend GIVEAWAY!!!!

This is totally off from cooking, but talk about SWEET.  This amazing woman makes D-Aaaaaa-R-L-I-N-G clothing and gives it away.  Yes, please.  

Nantucket Weekend GIVEAWAY!!!!  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Get Thee to a Factory

A Cheesecake Factory!! I'm taking time in our busy summer schedule to go to the Cheesecake Factory today for $1.50 cheesecake (Dine-in only). Just wanted to let you know so you could share in the sweetness.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Berries with Lemon

Berries with Lemon, originally uploaded by mud pie gourmet.

I have a theory. If prostitutes just spent a little money and bought themselves a nice, elegant, form-fitting (but not too tight or too short) black dress, their business would increase a hundred-fold. This does not mean that I condone prostitution, quite the contrary, actually, but, come on!! Simple is more elegant and appealing. Which brings me to my recipe...

Berries with lemon and a little sugar. That's it. So simple, but so yummy and elegant and appealing. My little black dress in a bowl. Here are the measurements:

Berries with Lemon

3 cups blackberries
3 cups strawberries, sliced
2 cups raspberries
1/4-1/3 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of the berries)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and let sit to let the lemon flavor soak into berries (30 minutes-overnight). Serve plain, with ice cream or whipping cream.

You can play this up a little with blueberries or grapes (halved).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Yogi's Love

Jicama Slaw Sandwich, originally uploaded by mud pie gourmet.

HELLLLLLOOOO!! I am finally back. Our camera broke and the new one has arrived. I couldn't post recipes without pictures (this is why I love the Barefoot Contessa books--a picture for every recipe!).

With the fabulous weather we have been having here in the hometown we have been going on picnics. The kids get so excited when I tell them that is the plan and they immediately help me get things ready. What is it about picnics? Yogi loved them, and during college I went on 3 dates in one week where the guy took me on a picnic (seriously--did they think they were original?), and on the Bachelor they always have a date where they have a picnic. Basically, who doesn't like picnics?!

Here is a great sandwich for enjoying these Spring days. I used jicama slaw to give it a good crunch. It has a Mexican flair in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Garlic Chicken Sandwich with Jicama Slaw

Serves 4

2 chicken breasts cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T lime juice
1 T olive oil
1/8 tsp cumin
Kosher salt and ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a ziplock bag and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat (or use a grill). Saute chicken for about 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from heat.

Jicama Slaw

3/4 cup jicama, julienned
1 T finely chopped onion
1 T chopped cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
1/8 tsp cumin
2 T plain yogurt
1/2 tsp minced jalapeno or serrano pepper
Kosher salt and ground pepper

Combine ingredients.

Pepper Jack Cheese
Whatever else you love!

Place chicken on good bread. Top with sliced tomatoes, avocados, Pepper Jack cheese and jicama slaw.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Bun is Out of the Oven

Here's the reason I haven't posted in so long. I'm getting used to having 3 kids and hopefully I'll get some recipes up soon. Photo is by the fabulous Reb.

We celebrated St. Patty's day yesterday w/ the in-laws--Corned beef, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and of course: Rainbow Jello! Thanks Mom Mud for the food, and sorry we didn't help clean up. I'm off to eat my Jello leftovers.