10 Years of Sushi

Today is not only one of my favorite times of the year but is is also our 10 year anniversary. It’s been good, bad, and even ugly at times but we always seem to make our way back to each other. We both love Halloween and it’s become our special anniversary day because we had split-up for a couple of months but got back together on Halloween in time to get dressed up, hand out candy and of course go to our favorite restaurant for sushi.

This year is a little different, because of the pandamic and also because we are fighting or should I say we are a little distant from each other today, but I decided that I was going to continue with the surprise that I had planned regardless of if he’s here or not and maybe it will be the catnip to the tom cat that will get him over.

I was already going to post a recipe for the pumpkin bread that I make every year for Halloween but this year I changed it up and made it a savory style which came out excellant and is now on the menu for good.

 

Then I found that our favorite sushi restaurant “Blue Sashi Sake Grill” had posted their recipe for our favorite soup the “Coconut Crab Soup“, so yes I’m making that and ordering sushi for delivery today.

 

To complete this Halloween I found the perfect dress from Retro Vixen that is sure to make his heart beat just a little bit faster.

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Here’s to a wonderful Halloween with more treats than tricks for everyone. Enjoy the tasty soup and pumpkin bread if you dare….Happy Halloween!!

Coconut Crab Soup

Savory Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) can Pumpkin
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup olive oil
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup chopped fresh sage
1 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour pan; set aside.
In large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda,
salt, ginger and pepper.
Add eggs and oil, beating well
Stir in pumpkin, the sage and 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese
Mix until blended, pour batter into prepared pan
Bake for 65-75 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean
Cool in pan and sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan
Remove from pan and cool completely

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Apple Pie Season

Hello my readers, it has been a moment since I’ve touched based with all you lovely’s but things have been so crazy at work and just trying to get my time down to a science. I am trying not to give up but sometimes I feel like this is a young persons game but I really do enjoy cooking and sharing the food I like, especially now that I’ve found this awesome book that has me wanting to try everything. So hang in there with me guys we will get this together.

Now it’s that time of year were apples are in full season and that means now is the perfect time to make apple pie, which is the next listing of foods you have to try.

Let’s talk a little about apple pie, as far as I’ve ever heard is the old saying “as American as Apple Pie” but come to find out that apple pie really got started in England back in the 14th century and those pies were not only filled with not only apples but also spices, figs, raisins and pears this is a far cry from what we call apple pie now. To be honest it sounds pretty interesting and I may have to try and find a recipe for this one, ok getting back on track for todays apple pie.

This is the first time that I’ve ever made any type of dough for a pie, usually I just get a frozen pie dough and make a deep dish apple pie without having to crimp a crust. Now I’ve learned how to make a crust and it’s so cool. I’ve made this pie twice and I still need to perfect my finished product but it tastes amazing, especially this cheddar cheese crust.

I did add a few things because the first time I baked the pie it was so watery it was like my apples were swimming in syrup, so doing a bit of research I found that adding a little corn starch will help with that. I also did it by hand because I don’t have food processer and boy you gotta have the hand strength to crumble that dough just right.

I will be making this pie again until I get the crimping right and I get the apples right so I hope my friends and family are ready for apple pie.

Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust adapted by Mimi Sheraton 
Makes one double-crust, 9-inch pie; serves 6

For the pastry:

1 cup grated sharp white aged Cheddar cheese
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups shifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
5 large apples (I used pink ladies)
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon butter cut into tiny pieces

Make the pastry:
Measure out 1 2/3 cup of shifted flour with the salt and nutmeg. M
Add the grated cheese and butter to the flour mixture.
Cut the butter and cheese into the flour with a pastry blender till
combined into a course texture.
Slow trickle in the ice water, 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring between
each addition, until the leaves the side of the bowl.
Place the dough on a lightly floured board and divide it in half.
Form each half into a ball and lightly knead each ball with the the palm
of your hand. Reshape each half into a ball and wrap each with plastic
wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degree

Remove dough from the refrigerator and let the dough warm up a bit.
Roll out each dough ball on a floured surface to a 1/4 thickness.
Fit one half of the rolled out dough into the bottom of an ungreased
9-inch pie pan, leave the extra hanging over. Roll out the second half
and put it over the lined pie pan and wrap with plastic wrap and
refrigerate until the apples have been prepared.

Make the filling:
Peel and core the apples and slice them vertically to about 1/4-inch
thickness. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent
discoloration.
Toss the apples with the sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and
the corn starch.

Preparing the pie:
After taking the refrigerated pie dough, place a layer of apples on the
bottom of the pie crust, place the rest of the apples on top and level
them out. Dot evenly with pieces of butter.
Fit the top of the pie crust and crimp to the bottom crust.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until
the top crust turns a light brown for another 25 minutes.

Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush the mixture all over the top
crust, sprinkle the top liberally with sugar and return the pie to the
oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve warm or cold

Apple Pie

Not the best looking pie but it does taste good

Enjoy the pie and let me know if you guys make it and what you think of this cheddar cheese crust. 

 

 

 

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Apple Pandowdy

This week we continue our journey through “1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die”, we are still in America and we are trying out an old American treat call the Apple Pandowdy. This apple dessert was very popular in the colonial period and it happened to be one of the first ladies Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, favorite dessert.

This dessert has seen a lot of changes over the years from when it was first introduced and the interesting name pan-dowdy came about because it was so plain or some say because the crust has been cut-up or dowdy during baking. Whichever the reason the pan-dowdy is basically fruit baked under a crust similar to a pie but the bits and pieces of the crust  has been cut-up to be submerged into the fruit filling liquid. In the eighteenth-century this dessert would take all night as it cooked in the embers of the dying fire. Thankfully it doesn’t take that long anymore to bake a really interesting dessert.

Apple Pan-Dowdy

 

I was lazy on this one and didn’t make a crust, I used a frozen pie crust and broke it up over the filling, though next time I should try the roll-out pie dough.

This is a dessert I will have to make again because I over cooked it so it came out a little dry when it should have some juice to it. Other than that it was really good.

Now next week I will make a handmade crust even though I’ve never made one, but its for an apple pie that’s next on the list. So come back and check it out.

Apple Pan-dowdy
Adapted from Four Flour

Ingredients:
5 Large baking apples (I used Pink Lady's)
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Molasses
3 tablespoons Melted Butter
1/4 cup Water

Directions:
Preheat oven at 400

Core, peel and slice the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to
keep from browning. Mix the apple slices with the sugar and spices.

Whisk together the molasses, butter and water.

Place a crust on the bottom of your skillet place apples on top and
pour the molasses mixture over the top.

Place the top crust that has been torn on top.

Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and
dowdy the crust (pushing the crust down into the apples).

Reduce heat to 325 and bake for an hour

Serve with whip cream


 

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Alinea, Ambrosia and The Hot Brown

We are starting our journey through the “1000 foods to eat before you die” book and our first stop is going to be right in the American/Canadian region and the top two to begin with was the restaurant Alinea named one of the best molecular gastronomy restaurants located in Chicago. Chef Grant Achatz is the man behind this top restaurant which offers up food that looks both delicious and funky fun.

This is one of those places I would visit for a very special occasion and of course have the money saved up for the bill (smile). They do have a cookbook out and I hadn’t plan on getting it but I think I will just have to add it to my collection this coming pay period. Since I don’t know when or if I will ever get to Chicago to try this little place first hand, I did send an email to see if they would do a Triple D kind of special and overnight me a meal, so we shall see what they say.

Next up in this journey was a dish called Ambrosia which came about in the 1800’s and it was said to be what the Ancient Greek gods ate for immortality. The original recipe only called for navel oranges, coconut, and sugar. It was not like it has evolved into this crazy concoction of oranges, pineapple, marshmallows, whip cream or even mayonnaise, “ugh”. 

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1000 Foods

One of the greatest gifts I received this year for my birthday was a book and not just any book, this book titled 1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. This book is a food lovers dream bible, it covers pretty much every country’s food passion to create a straight-up culinary journey of the senses. The book is broken down into eighteen different regions and cultures. Under each ingredient, food or even restaurant there is a way to get it to you, through a website, a physical address, a phone number and in some cases theres even a cookbook listed oh and sometimes a recipe for you to try.
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To say I was excited when I received this book was an understatement, I was over the moon excited especially as I started flipping through the pages and reading various paragraphs, this book will become my top reference book to use over and over again. I did realize that a few of the items I’ve already had, but I will now look for the best of the best from each category and try them again.

This book will become dogeared and marked up with highlights and notes and I will have to share it with you guys.

 

I will be starting this journey off right here in the United States and Canada, so make sure you stay tuned so you can see what I’m going to eat and what I’ll be learning about for the rest of this year.

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