Chocolate Eclair Pie

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Today is National Pie Day!!! To celebrate I’m sharing this wonderful Chocolate Eclair Pie recipe.  You don’t have to make this recipe in a pie plate, you could easily make it in a 13X9 baking dish to serve more people if you want.  Either way, it still taste just as yummy!

Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
Filling:
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Topping:
  • 1 8 oz. container whip topping (just enough for a thin layer) or one batch of homemade whipped cream.
  • chocolate syrup or homemade chocolate sauce.
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9″ round pie plate or 9″X13″ glass baking pan.

For the Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Mixture will be very wet. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won’t be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease. No big deal but I like the crust to go up the sides a bit.

eclair crust

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don’t want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don’t touch or push bubbles down).

eclair crust2

For the Filling:

  • Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, egg, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Add cornstarch and flour; whisk until smooth and pale yellow. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine milk and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Stir over medium-high heat until milk begins to steam. Whisking constantly, add half the hot milk to the egg-yolk mixture. Stir until smooth; add combined mixture back to remaining hot milk in the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking rapidly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.
  • Place over ice bath and let stand, stirring frequently, until cool. Remove from ice bath, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface until ready to use. (If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)
When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of whipped cream however thick you want it. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. *If you want to make this even better use homemade whipped cream.

ChocolateEclairPie

Alternative filling recipe:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 cups milk
Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding by beating the pudding mix and the milk for 3 minutes and put in the fridge until set. Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in fridge.

Spiced Indian Vegetable Stew

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This hearty dish is full of flavor and great on a cold winter’s night.  Serve with fresh hot naan on the side.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup small-dice carrots
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons seeded minced jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 cups small-diced potatoes
  • 3 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped cored tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces paneer*, cut into 1/2-inch dice (optional)
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • thinly sliced scallions

 

Directions:

Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy dutch oven. Once melted, add the onions, carrots, ginger, jalapeno, garlic, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne. Saute until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cauliflower, saute for 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and saute for 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, lime juice and salt; stir well and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Two minutes before time has elapsed, stir in peas and paneer. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallions before serving.

 

* Dating back to ancient India, paneer remains the most common type of cheese used in traditional South Asian cuisines.

 

IndianStew

 

Roasted Indian-Spiced Vegetables with Chickpeas and Raisins

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This is a delicious recipe!! A great dish to try if you aren’t familiar with Indian cuisine. I served it with couscous and it was a big hit with my family.

Ingredients:

  • 28 ounces baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 5 grinds black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2- x 1/2-inch matchsticks
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1/2 of a large onion, cut into 1/2-inch wide slices
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currants
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed, strained lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • About 2 cups plain  yogurt, for serving (optional)

Directions:

1. Place two oven racks in the top two-thirds of the oven. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the top rack and heat the oven to 400°F. Once the oven is hot, carefully remove the hot pan. Using tongs, toss the potatoes well with half of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and all of the pepper. Roast until the potatoes are tender and golden brown and crispy in many parts, about 35 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway through.
2. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; spread on one side of the pan and roast for 15 minutes (put this pan on the lower oven rack); remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to flip over the carrots. Onto the empty half of the baking sheet, use tongs to toss the cauliflower florets and onion, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Keep the carrots and cauliflower separate as best as possible. Return the pan to the oven and roast the carrots and cauliflower until both are tender when poked with a fork and golden brown in a few spots, about another 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of boiling or very hot water. Let sit until the raisins are tender, about 30 minutes, then drain.
4. Pour the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and onion (with their oil) into a large bowl, then add the drained raisins, drained chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice, tumeric, garam masala, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss well with tongs. Divide among the serving plates and add a dollop of plain yogurt alongside each portion (optional).
Roasted Indian Spiced Veg 2 Roasted Indian Spiced Veg

Texas Sheet Cake

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This isn’t a fancy looking cake for a special occasion, but it’s great for gatherings, potlucks and picnics when you want a little something sweet and need to feed a crowd. This is a very simple fool proof recipe that is delicious! Recipes for this cake have been found in cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. This cake has been known by many different names, but I found among all these recipes the use of buttermilk, pecans and most importantly, the cake is baked in a baking sheet or a jelly roll pan- so it is large in size, but the height is a mere one inch.

Ingredients

sheet cake:

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1 cup hot water

frosting:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped toasted nuts (pecans or walnuts)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 18 x 13 inch sheet pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.

In a small to medium sauce pan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and coffee; increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Follow with the egg mixture and stir until all the ingredients are completely combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rap on the counter a few times to distribute evenly. Bake the cake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and frost immediately.

For the frosting:

When the cake has 5 minutes left in the oven, start the frosting. In a medium to large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder until combined. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely incorporated. Fold the toasted nuts into the frosting and immediately pour over the warm cake. Use an offset to help gently spread a thin layer over the entire surface.

Cool frosted cake on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the frosting to harden a bit.

 

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Vegan Peanut Butter Pie

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So simple, but highly addicting!!! This pie is delicious and full of flavor. No one will be able to tell that there is tofu in this pie.

Note: full fat coconut milk or coconut cream, needs to be chilled overnight (no shaking the can! You want the cream and liquid to remain separate).
Ingredients
CRUST
  • 1 sleeve graham crackers
  • 4.5 Tbsp melted vegan butter or coconut oil
PIE
  • 12 ounces firm silken tofu, slightly drained and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or sub honey if not vegan)
  • 1 14-ounce can (~ 1/34 cups) full fat coconut milk OR coconut cream
CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING
  • 1 cup semisweet or dark dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used  almond milk)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly oil a standard glass pie pan (8 inches x 1 1/4 inches).
  2. Add graham crackers to a food processor and process until you achieve a semi-fine meal. A little texture is OK, just remove any large pieces that didn’t get ground. Add melted butter and pulse to combine.
  3. Add to greased pie pan and press down with your fingers to flatten. You can lie a piece of plastic wrap over the top when pressing down to ensure a more uniform layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Add tofu, peanut butter, maple syrup or agave to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more agave for added sweetness or a pinch of salt if your peanut butter wasn’t very salted.
  5. Next, scoop out the cream of our coconut milk or cream and whip into whipped cream in a large, chilled mixing bowl.
  6. Fold the peanut butter-tofu mixture into the whipped cream.
  7. Pour filling over crust and pop in the freezer to chill. Once it’s fairly chilled and slightly firm (about 1 hour), prepare your ganache.
  8. Add chocolate chips to a bowl and heat your non-dairy milk to a low simmer. Then pour over chocolate chips and don’t touch for 5 minutes to allow it to melt. Then stir gently with a spoon or rubber spatula until a smooth ganache forms. If it doesn’t quite melt, you can also heat it in the microwave in 10 second increments until smooth and melted.
  9. Spoon over the top of the pie and spread in an even layer with a knife or spatula, working quickly as the ganache will get clumpy if it sets too long.
  10. Top with crushed, salted roasted peanuts (optional) and pop back in the freezer to set. 20-30 minutes before serving, remove from freezer and serve. Alternatively, you can chill this in the fridge, but it is much more delicate to slice and serve, but just as delicious.
  11. After the initial chill, make sure you cover the pie with plastic wrap to keep it fresh.

Garlic Knots

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It really doesn’t get much easier than this for a delicious dinner roll.

Ingredients
Knots
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3¼ cup of flour
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp regular active dry yeast
Garlic Basil Butter
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix yeast, sugar and warm water. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes until yeast foams up.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, mix the flour and salt together. To it, add egg, butter and yeast mixture. Mix using a dough hook attachment until it’s all well incorporated and dough forms into a ball. The dough will be a bit soft.
  3. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, cover up with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Punch down dough and knead it a bit, then cut the dough into 15 pieces. Roll each piece into long ropes about 15 inches and form into knots and place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  6. Mix the butter ingredients together and brush over knots. Let knots rest for another 10 minutes then bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until golden.
  7. If there’s any garlic basil butter left, brush again on knots before serving.

Roasted Cauliflower White Cheddar Soup

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This is an amazing soup for fall! It’s full of flavor and easy to make.

Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (2 – 2 1/2 lb), cored and chopped into small, bite size pieces
  • 3 to 4 large cloves of garlic, whole & skin removed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 14 oz low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp dried parsley or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh
  • 1/4 tsp (slightly heaping) dried thyme or 1 tsp chopped fresh
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 oz shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1 oz finely grated parmesan cheese (slightly packed 1/4 cup)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower and whole cloves of garlic on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to evenly coat, then spread into an even layer and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add in onion and saute until tender, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add in flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in milk followed by vegetable broth and cream. Add in parsley, thyme, bay leaf, half of the roasted cauliflower, and all the garlic. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low. Puree the soup in a blender (being careful as your working with hot liquids) or use an immersion hand blender to puree soup in the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the other half of the roasted cauliflower. Remove from heat and stir in sharp white cheddar and parmesan cheese. Serve warm garnished with fresh bread or croutons if desired.

* To cut down on fat and dairy, I added 1 cup of peeled, cooked diced red potato to the soup instead of the 1/2 cup heavy cream. When you puree the soup the potato adds a creamy consistency and helps to thicken the soup. I also used unsweetened almond milk for the 3 cups of milk.