Category Archives: shiba inu

pumpkin pie & whiskey carmel in a shortbread crust

welcome back – it’s been too long. what i mean is i moved – from seattle to san francisco to boston – since my last post. a whirlwind! but now that i’m here – let’s talk about pie. jeti and prepared for thanksgiving in boston – brrrr.

we were only in charge of one dish – pie. the day before thanksgiving i rushed home from work to get started on my pie. what would i make?? then, i remembered that Jeti’s Master raving each year about his favorite pumpkin pie – from birdbath bakery – in a rich shortbread crust.

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so we got started. first – the crust. i thought i would get the crust ready before heading down to the store to pickup [ahem] the pumpkin… thirty minutes later, the crust was done but the snow was just picking up.

i tried to drive the car out of the small hill in the driveway, but i failed. i knew the snow wouldn’t last long. a few hours past and the plowers came by. 9pm rolled around quickly and i finally made it down the hill, but all the stores were shut. gah – my only responsibility was pie! how could i show up without one? the next morning, i made an emergency trip to every store i could imagine, until finally concluding that Walgreens was my only option. amazingly, canned pumpkin was in stock.

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in no time at all, we had pie. very, very delicious pie. since we were only having one pie, i decided to please both pumpkin and pecan parties and whipped up a caramel pecan topping infused with a dash of whiskey.

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the shortbread began to brown, but the result was unmatched. maybe my best pie – ever.

crust

1 c. unsalted butter [softened]

2 c. flour

1/3 c. sugar

filling

1 2/3 c. 100% pumpkin

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves

2/3 c. sugar

touch of salt

1 1/3 c half and half

3 eggs

topping

1/2 c. butter

1 c. brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 shot whiskey

1 c. toasted pecans

1 tsp. heavy whipping cream

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

prepare the crust by mixing together all ingredients. press into a 9″ pie pan. make sure to press the dough up high enough on the sides to prevent sliding.

bake for 10 minutes. remove and let stand while you prepare the pie filling.

preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

make the pie filling – heat the pumpkin and the sugar over medium heat in a saucepan until the pumpkin becomes fragrant (5 minutes) stirring occasionally. remove from heat and let cool. add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. add to pie crust and move back to the oven.

bake for 12 – 14 minutes, then reduce to 350 degrees. continue baking for 35 minutes, or until the top of the pie moves like jello when you move it. if you test it with a toothpick, make sure that the center is solid (but still moist).

while the pie is cooling, make the topping on the stovetop. melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat until the butter starts to boil. stir constantly with a whisk. allow the caramel to thicken. add the salt and the vanilla. continue stirring but remove from heat. add the whiskey and the whipping cream. allow to cool slightly, then pour over the top of the pie evenly. spread the pecans over the top, and let the pie set for 1 – 2 hours before serving. you can warm it back up at 250 degrees for 10 minutes before serving if you prefer it warm.

happy baking!

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chocolate black raspberry cupcakes; champagne frosting

easter weekend and book club tonight. my first book club ever. i’ve never considered going in the past, because i figure if i don’t have time to read the book – why go? as if reading the book was a mandatory requirement of attendance or something. i’ve since been informed ‘book club’ is more a rendition of Sex In the City – a total excuse for a room full of ladies to drink wine and indulge in delicious treats while ranting and raving about everything under the sun. thus, my cupcakes and i will be there.

as much as i am craving chocolate peanut butter cake – i needed to make something a bit more ‘girly’. in lieu of Easter pastels, and managing to include my daily dose of chocolate, raspberry and champagne fit the bill.

why chocolate stout? well to be honest, the stout (such as Guinness) complements dark chocolate so well that the end result is simply a richer moister chocolate cupcake.

critic approved!

chocolate cupcake

1 c stout (such as Guinness)

1 stick unsalted butter

3/4 c pressed cocoa powder

1/2 c canola or grapeseed oil

1/3 c sour cream

1/3 c milk

2 eggs

2 c flour

2 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

chocolate raspberry ganache

6 oz dark chocolate (high quality)

1 c heavy cream

1/2 c seedless black raspberry preserve

raspberry whipped cream frosting (optional)

1 c heavy whip cream

1/3 c seedless black raspberry preserves

6 tbsp powdered sugar

champagne frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter

4 tbsp champagne

3 c powdered sugar

2 tbsp heavy cream

pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. line 24 muffin cups with your favorite cupcake liners.

melt butter in a sauce pan. add oil, cocoa powder, and stout. whisk until thoroughly combined. let cool.

sift flour, sugar, soda, and salt together. in a separate bowl, beat sour cream, milk and eggs. add stout sauce. slowly fold in flour mixture until just combined. pour batter into your cupcake liners, filling each 3/4 way to top. bake for 15-17 minutes, until the centers are clean on a toothpick. let cool.

while the cupcakes are baking, chop dark chocolate chunks and put in a heat proof bowl or double boiler. heat heavy cream for ganache in a sauce pan until just bubbling at the edges. pour over heavy cream over the chocolate chunks and stir until chocolate is melted (may need to heat over double broiler. add raspberry preserves until smooth.  allow to cool for a few minutes, but not too long that the chocolate begins to settle.

using an apple corer, gently remove the centers of the cupcakes. push the corer down until it feels like you are about 1/2 way to the bottom.  fill with ganache. allow to cool completely.

now, you do not need to make both frosting recipe’s, so take your pick.

raspberry whipped cream frosting:

whip on high heavy cream, preserves, and powdered sugar for 5 minutes or until peaks are forming. fill plastic sandwich bag or a piping bag. frost cupcakes in the design of your choice!

champagne frosting:

whip butter and heavy cream until light and fluffy. begin adding powdered sugar 1 tsbp at a time. whip on high until powdered sugar is fully incorporated. alternate between powdered sugar and champagne. using a piping bag to frost your cupcakes – enjoy!

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halibut sliders; chipotle aioli

preface: this is not mine, but my boyfriend’s concoction [seriously]. these little guys may not be photogenic, but let me tell you they are quite the treat. you can serve them with the sauce of your choice. i find they are particularly delicious when smothered with chipotle aioli.

no food group gets the dogs as pumped up as fish. unfortunately for them, dogs are quite allergic to onions – the second most important ingredient in this recipe. given the right incentives [raw fish], dogs seem to leave all their manners at the door. just because we’re cooking fish tonight doesn’t mean it’s cool to jump on the counters. i mean, i see your argument… but no.

the sliders are straight forward, seeing that you have a food processor. which is why serving them to 12 wasn’t a problem [or maybe that was because Nick made them?].

i always love the idea of having guests over, and cooking up a feast for them to consume. the preparation is so stressful and nerve-racking fun and self satisfying. but i will forewarn you, cleaning up after this one is quite the predicament. to do it, or not to do it. in my case, lesson learned. definitely DO it. otherwise your kitchen may need a 24 hour ventilation period.

it’s worth it though, stink or no stink – these are worth it.

halibut sliders

3/4 – 1 lbs pacific NW halibut (substitute salmon)

1 red onion

1 egg

1 bunch green onions

8 slider buns (brioche mini buns work quite well)

1/2 c canola oil

skin and bone the halibut. dice largely and place into your food processor. dice 1 c red onion and one bunch green onion, place in the food processor with the fish. add egg white from one egg. pulse lightly until the fish is broken up. form patties [balls] in parchment paper or plastic wrap about 2″ in diameter. refrigerate for 30 minutes. heat canola oil in pan on medium. fry halibut patties for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

warm oven to 325 degrees. slice buns and toast in oven for 5-8 minutes.

slather buns with aioli and patty – enjoy!

chipotle aioli

1/3 c mayo

2 tablespoons chiles in adobo sauce (canned)

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1 lemon

3 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp cumin

dash of salt and pepper

chop chiles, cilantro, and garlic. squeeze 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. add all ingredients to food processor. process until smooth. cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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chicken sausage penne

she’s easy. the dish, that is. this quick meal is for that endless monday [or i should say, THIS endless monday]. i keep the kitchen stocked with the basics for days like today. variety pack of garofalo pasta, lucini marinara, spinach bin, and an assortment of frozen meats – all of which i can find at the local costco.

we had a few friends over for a relaxing sunday dinner last night. what i thought would be a great way to kick off the week, but in fact resulted in an a.m. headache most likely caused by one too many glasses of ‘fun’. the dogs go haywire over guests. it’s like, ‘they must have all come to see me!’… thus when the people are not so enthused with my energy, i must not be jumping high enough. speculating this outcome, i picked up some smoked & dried deer hoofers.

 i ignorantly neglected their presence as they chomped down on the new fab treats. until someone kindly said, ‘those dog bones seem to be staining your rug’. my fairly new, [formerly] off-white wool pebble rug. that’s probably what caused the a.m. headache, right? yes, certainly the wine’s dog’s fault.

 

after getting to the office half an hour behind schedule, forgetting a freshly made latte on the console at home, and neglecting to transfer my wallet from my other bag, i was ready for clock to say something [anything] other than 9am. needless to say, EASY was the way to go.  and i’m happy to report, easy was mouthwatering.

the critics generally agree – scrumptious meal bits near oven – though they are quite dissatisfied with the destiny for their deer hooves.

 

chicken sausage penne pasta 

2 c penne

1/2 yellow onion

1 1/2 c marinara

1/2 c half & half or heavy cream

2 links of precooked sausage

1/2 c parmesan

1 basil leaf

 boil 4 c water with a dash of salt. add penne and cook for 11 minutes. saute thinly sliced sausage links over medium heat with 1/2 c of chopped onions. stir in marinara. grate your parmesan coarsely. add cream to your marina and reduce heat to medium-low. continue simmering until the pasta is done cooking. strain the pasta and return to pan. add marinara sauce to your pasta and gently fold in your cheese. serve immediately & enjoy. serves 3-4.

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chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

last night, my roommate returned home with a box of twelve Trophy cupcakes, strictly reserved for her trip to the east coast to visit her ‘friend’. ugh – how unfair. i needed to have one. unfortunately, making one measly cupcake isn’t very practical now, is it? certainly a hefty downside to all of this baking is the urge to consume it all [hefty, hefty downside…]. the excuse: life is short.

so i thought, ‘i should probably go for a quick jaunt’ with the fat mildly overweight pooch tonight [and feeling slightly guilty about the three cupcakes i’d managed to consume in a 24hr period]. preparing for a run is somehow a very chaotic event in my house. the ultimate wiggle-whine out of Jeti begins about 10 minutes before I’m even thinking about slipping my running shoes on, and thankfully ends as soon as the door opens.

the run started out solid – some Girl Talk on the iPod, good weather… until about a mile in when i realized my foot was damp. that’s weird, i didn’t think my feet were this sweaty. lucky me. they aren’t. Jeti apparently confused my leg with his beloved fire hydrant. well that was it, tonight’s run wasn’t meant to be – cupcakes or no cupcakes. 

chocolate paired with peanut butter is a staple in this house. you really cannot go wrong with this happily married couple. unless you plan to give it away [sin]. or perhaps if you’re allergic to peanuts [pity]. peanut butter brownies, peanut butter & chocolate ice cream, peanut butter & chocolate crepes… endless possibilities.

this is only the beginning.

chocolate ganache cupcakes; peanut butter frosting

cake batter

2 c flour

2 sticks butter

¾ c unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c sugar

1 ½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 eggs

2/3 c sour cream

1 c milk

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

warm milk & butter on stove, stirring constantly [ do not boil ]. add cocoa powder and whisk until fully blended. turn off heat and set aside. sift flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate bowl, beat eggs, sour cream and sugar together for 1 minute. slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture. lastly, once cooled, fold in chocolate mixture.

fill 24 cupcake liners ¾ of the way full. bake for 15-17 minutes.

ganache filling

¾ c heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp unsalted butter

8 ounces of chocolate

melt 2 tbsp butter in a sauce pan. add 3/4 c heavy whipping cream until warm. add 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. warm and stir until ganache is smooth and creamy. remove from heat and allow to cool.

remove cupcakes from the oven. allow to cool for one minute. transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and let sit for 15 minutes. once cooled, remove the centers of the cupcake using an insert, or if you have an apple corer, i find that very handy! try to remove 3/4 of the way through the cupcake. taste centers for deliciousness.

fill centers of cupcakes with ganache.

peanut butter frosting

1 c peanut butter

10 tbsp unsalted butter

2 c confectioners sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3-4 tbsp of milk [as needed]

whip peanut butter and butter together. add vanilla. add confectioners sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. alternate between sugar and milk as needed to keep the frosting moist. beat for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. once ganache has set, frost cupcakes as you please! i used a pastry tip to make little blossoms. refrigerate cupcakes for up to 2 days. enjoy!

warning: dangerously delicious.

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potato leek cheddar soup; serrano biscuits

 

now, let me preface this post with the well-known fact that I love potatoes [which is odd, because potatoes themselves are quite… blah].  but, potato & leek soup on a cold windy day was hard to beat, until I met potato, leek, beer & cheddar soup. it’s creamy goodness melts in your mouth. so today, for no better reason then the enjoyment I get out of wearing a giant bib [anthropology calls them ‘aprons’?], I decided to go for it.

seattle is filled with delicious lunch picks. unfortunately, I spend monday through friday east of lake washington. thus, the eight dollar stale peanut butter and banana sandwich I can order for lunch at the local cafe is less than sub-par. as much as I love convenience, I don’t love it enough to repeat this mistake [ever].

despite Jet-Li and Kona’s desperate belief that I spend most sunday afternoons busy in the kitchen cooking them a weeks worth of food… I am actually just saving myself from the self-pity I endear when a busy workday sends me down the elevator to expensive mediocrity.

no meal is easier to prepare in advance for days of consumption than soup. that in mind, no one wants to eat the same soup 4 days in a row. amen to freezers. this soup happens to be both the opposite of Kona [low maintenance] and delicious enough to compete with repetition.

in the time it took me to make this soup, Kona’s accomplishments in comparison seem far superior [begging for food, taking a nap, and of course rummaging through the dirty clothes bin]. who knew female dogs also enjoy shopping [ahem, stealing]?

the spiced up cheese biscuit [inspired by my boyfriend, who douses most edibles in Tabasco sauce] dips perfectly in potato soup. serrano peppers bring a kicked up version of jalapenos to the table. these delectable little treats will not melt in your mouth, but they may melt your mouth [beware].

now, we’ve all made some pretty disastrous things. things we wish no one would have known about, seen, or in worst case scenarios… consumed. the official critics to modest cupboard are tough. and by tough, i mean if the dogs aren’t interested, something went terribly wrong. they stand by my side, support me when I’ve fallen, and keep me together through thick and thin. no seriously. right by my side, under my feet tripping me in the kitchen, leading up to the slow motion fall… and then proceed by attacking the thick biscuit batter off of my airborne spatula.

potato leek cheddar soup

3 russet potatoes

2 leeks (1lbs)

1 garlic clove

3 tbsp butter

1/4 c flour

6 c chicken broth

8 oz sharp cheddar

1/2 c lager [optional]

1/2 tsp red pepper [optional]

wash, peel, and dice potatoes into 2” cubes. boil potatoes in 6 c chicken broth for 15 minutes in a stock pot. slice lengthwise and clean between the leeks leaves. after thoroughly cleaned, dice into 1/4” strips. while the potatoes are cooking, sauté 4 tablespoons of butter, one clove of minced garlic. add leeks. simmer for ten minutes. make a roux by slowly adding the ¼ cup of flour mixing constantly. transfer the leek roux to the potato broth. turn off heat. allow to cool slightly.

now, we want creamy soup. the easiest way to accomplish this it to blend the soup in batches in your food processor or blender. my preferred method is to blend the soup in the food processor briefly, and run through the food mill to ensure there are no hiding potato lumps.

return the soup to your dutch oven or stock pot. re-warm the soup on low. add grated sharp cheddar cheese to your soup, leaving a bit on the side to serve as a topper. add red pepper and beer as preferred.

serrano cheddar biscuits

3 c flour

4 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 c milk

1/4 c corn grits

1 tsp salt

1/2 c cheddar cheese

3/4 c softened butter

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp red pepper

2 serrano peppers

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes [for the extra kick]

pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

blend flour, baking soda, salt red pepper, corn grits and sugar in your mixer or with a pastry cutter. cut in the butter and mix until lumps form with the dry ingredients. make a crater in the center of your mix and add the milk slowly. once blended, add ½ cup of cheddar cheese. once just blended, transfer to floured surface. knead in the thinly sliced serrano peppers and red pepper flakes as desired. pat or lightly roll the dough until ¾ inches thick. cut dough with a biscuit cutter, or just use a cup flipped upside down to about 2 ½ inches in diameter. place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet, and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. serve immediately after baking.

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