Archive for ‘Holidays’

November 21, 2010

Gluten -free Pumpkin Cheesecake

This year I am going to my grandparents for Thanksgiving. My grandma has a gluten allergy so I wanted to make something she could also enjoy. Gluten is in so many things so making something is challenging. If you have read an Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen you’d know that corn is in things you would never have imagined. Wheat is another item that is in many things we eat. And if it is not specifically included in the food, it could have been processed in a plant that also processes wheat items – thus contamination! Oh the dilemmas of the commercial food industry! (another topic) However, all of that made me extremely conscious of the ingredients and brands I used (and I checked with my grandma on the ingredient list as well, which if you are not a person who is well versed in gluten free cooking, and you are cooking for someone with an allergy do give them your ingredient list with the specific brands you used so they can make sure it is all ok). You can also email the companies and ask about the gluten content of their products.

For this recipe I used my Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe of which the cheesecake filling was already gluten free without alteration. NOTE: some cheesecake recipes call for flour – I never use flour in mine, but that is a gluten no, no (if you didn’t already know). The only thing I had to alter was the crust, I used Trader Joe’s gluten free gingersnaps for this recipe. There are gluten free graham crackers and other cookies out there as well. I use McCormick spices, which I remembered my grandma told me that she contacted McCormick and confirmed no gluten was contained in their spices.  The sound of gingersnaps with the pumpkin sounded very holiday-like and boy was it fantastic. (I substituted half in half for the heavy cream, and Greek yogurt for sour cream. Those substitutions made a slight difference. I realized at the last minute that I didn’t have enough heavy cream and that my sour cream had dip in it instead of sour cream).

2 c ground Trader Joes Gluten Free Gingersnaps
2T. brown sugar (or granulated) C&H
5T. melted butter

IN a food processor, process the gingersnaps until they are a fine crumb. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and press into the bottom of a spring form pan or a deep pie dish. Bake @ 375 degrees for 7 minutes or so.

3- 8oz. pkgs cream cheese (Philadelphia) (softened)
3/4c granulated sugar (C&H)
1T vanilla (Spice Island)
5 eggs
1/8 cup heavy cream

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until combined. Add eggs one at a time and make sure the egg is incorporated well before adding the next egg. Beat in whipping cream.

15 oz can pumpkin puree (Libbys)
¼ t. ground ginger (McCormick)
1 ½ t ground cinnamon (McCormick)
¼ t. ground nutmeg (McCormick)
¼ t. ground cloves (McCormick)
1/8 c. sour cream

Whisk the pumpkin mixture together, then fold into cheesecake filling.

BAKE cheesecake at 300-degrees for 1 hour and 5-10 min (or until middle set). I allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven, with the oven off and the door propped open. This helps prevent all those cracks and craters you can get in your cheesecakes when the hot cheesecake hits the cool air outside the oven. I read that slowly cooling a cheesecake can prevent some of that cracking and so far it appears to work for me. Cooking the cheesecake at 300 instead of 325 cooks it slower and more gentle. I have used water baths which makes the cheese cake creamier and without a water bath the cheese cake gets more dry with a crumblier texture – this is all about what you prefer.

November 14, 2010

Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Caramel Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is from I did not alter the recipe except I used a different pie crust recipe. Today I have been working on Thanksgiving and deciding what desserts I will be making. There is another (but very time consuming) recipe on my “to try list,”  it is a three layered pumpkin custard, whipped cream and mousse pie. Should it turn out I will post that pie as well. As for this caramel pumpkin pie, it came out fantastic! Caramel adds a kick to this pie, if you make this pie and did not tell anyone it is caramel pumpkin everyone would probably just think you make the best tasting pumpkin pie. Just tell them you used a “secret” ingredient!

I had some left over filling because my pie crust shrunk more than I anticipated so I put the rest of the filling into custard dishes and cooked them for 30-35 minutes. You could make the whole recipe into custard dishes rather than a pie. Caramel Pumpkin Custard.

1c. sugar
1/3 c. water
2 c. heavy cream
15oz can 100% pure pumpkin (not pie mix)
1 ¼ tsp. ginger
1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1-pie crust (precooked)

Preheat oven to 375°

Make Caramel:
Stir sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat bring the sugar to a simmer, and cook until the sugar turns to a golden brown color. (do not burn the sugar it will become bitter!) Do not stir during this part just swirl the pan a little and wipe down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in cold water if the sugar sticks to the sides of the pan. Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream and stir the mixture until the caramel is dissolved, it will boil vigourously. Stir in remaining cup of cream and bring the mixture to a simmer, turn off the heat.

Whisk together the pumpkin and spices in a large bowl. Whisk in the hot cream mixture, then whisk in the eggs stirring until well combined.

Pour filling into cooled pie crust and cook for 55-60 minutes. The center will look slightly wet but the edges will be puffed and cooked. Allow to cool on a rack for 2 hours, during this time the pie will continue to set.

Apparently pumpkin pie is a “soft crust” pie which means you don’t pre-cook the crust, instead pour the filling into the uncooked crust and bake the pie all at once. While that is ok, I have found I really like the texture and flavor of a pre-cooked pie crust – in pumpkin pie or not.  Apparently the people over at Gourmet feel the same as me as their recipe calls for a pre-cooked crust. BUT if you prefer soft crust then by all means, you do not have to pre-cook the crust in this recipe.

Praline Topping
1/2 stick cold butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2T flour
1/2 cup coarsley chopped pecans

Mix the flour and brown sugar, then with a pastry blender or fork cut in the butter. Stir in the coarsely chopped pecans and sprinkle the mixture over the pumpkin pie before baking.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Streusel

November 13, 2010

Pie Crust (Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home)

(Updated 11/21/10)

Thank you Thomas Keller for this pie crust recipe. Pie crust can be difficult and it will probably take you a couple tries to get it right, if it’s your first time. Thomas Keller is the famed chef/owner of the restaurant the French Laundry in Yountville near Napa California, and owner of Per Se restaurant in New York (along with numerous others).  I purchased Keller’s cookbook ad hoc at home, which include recipes Keller makes for his family at home, and now at Keller’s family style restaurant, Ad Hoc. Recipes in this book are sometimes difficult, he is after all the chef and owner of two restaurants with 3-star Michelin guide ratings (top rating) and considered one of the top 50 restaurants in the world! So I did not anticipate the recipes to be anything less than fantastic and step-intensive. It is what I like to do, challenge myself to become a better cook. This book is not for those who are looking for the fast easy meals, it’s for those serious about the process of cooking and learning to be better. Not to say there aren’t recipes in this cook book that are simple. One of those simple recipes is pie crust – but can I really call any type of dough recipe simple? Maybe not for everyone.

Many of you may know I am not much of a baker, however I think I am actually beginning to break of out that and becoming a pretty good baker, so hopefully I won’t be able to say this much longer. In the past my attempts at homemade pie crust have been plausible attempts at best. My journeys with doughs and breads are very cautious and I follow baking recipes very rigidly, because baking is very scientific.  And now we have come to my relationship with baking – which is complicated. I cook by throwing together ingredients that I think work together. I know when I read a recipe I can deviate from it quite a bit, and I know how to use certain techniques and apply it to a multitude of ingredients. Baking is a very structured use of fat, flour, and a leavening agent and of course adding other ingredients which determine the final product – breads, cakes, pastries, brownies, etc.  All which I love and I do enjoy the baking process.  It’s very difficult to explain to someone how pie dough should feel or how bread dough should bounce back. Until you experience it for yourself (a number of times) I know I am not sure if it really is the way the dough should look and feel.  However, the more I bake the more I realize that while the basic ingredients are virtually static I can play with the measurements to get different results and this is the only way I will learn.

After my past experience with pie crust and my two attempts this particular day, I decided to get daring and add more water than what the recipe called for in this recipe. I remembered back to my bread making class with Peter Reinhart in Reno, he told the class he had to alter his own recipe to add more water because our environment was drier than he was used to.  Yet another hurdle in baking! The environment in which the recipe in a cookbook was developed may be completely different from your environment, which also lends to my cautiousness when thinking about baking!  You have to have some kind of intuition and understanding of the scientific parts of cooking to know when you may not have to let your dough rise as long, or when to add more water or less leavening. It’s complicated! (Updated: Thus, I always fall back on my good friend (our relationship is strictly me with his book or Good Eats on the tv) Alton Brown. I will trust anything this guy tells me – he gets down to the scientific part of food/cooking/baking and it helps my understanding with how cooking and baking work. I was perusing Alton’s baking book and read his section on pie crust. His advice was to use as little water as possible to prevent your pie crust from shrinking. So out the door my “more water” method went, not that my crust didn’t come out, but it shrunk substantially and I was looking for a fix for that. The other suggestion of Alton – keep all your equipment and ingredients very cold! I will redo with this tips in mind and will post updated photos).

  • 2 ½ c. flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ sticks (10 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ice water in a spray bottle

You can make this dough with your hands, a pastry blender, or by pulsing in a food processor with a dough blade. (knead with your hands though)

Straight from the fridge, cut the butter into cubes and place in your bowl then stick it all in the freezer for about 15 min. In another bowl, mix the salt and flour. Add the cubes of very cold butter and toss with the flour to coat. Then start working the butter into the flour until the butter pieces are no larger than pea size.  Spray the surface of your flour with just enough to wet the flour with water pulse a few times until the dough just holds together when pinched.  Add more water if the dough is too dry and crumbly, but be careful of the water it’s not good for the flakiness of your crust – per Alton Brown use as little water as possible. 

Do this part with your hands if you used a food processor: Knead the dough until it is completely smooth and the butter is incorporated.  Divide the dough in half and shape into a 1” thick disk. Wrap with plastic and chill in the refrigerator at least an hour (more time is fine too)– the dough can be stored in the freezer for later use at this point as well, just move it to the refrigerator the day before you want to use the dough.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator allow the dough to sit for a few minutes at room temperature. I placed the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap it is easier to work with and lightly dusted my rolling-pin and the dough with flour.

Roll out the dough to a 13”-14” round, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Roll from the center, rotating the dough about a half inch frequently and adding a little flour to the dough to prevent from sticking to the rolling-pin.

Flip the dough (dough-side) onto one hand (keeping the plastic wrap attached) And lay into your pie plate. I used a Quiche pan, but you can use any pie plate you wish. Gently press the dough into the corners and up the sides of the dish, remove the plastic wrap.

Pie Dough

SIDE NOTE: Some recipes you will want to pre-cook the pie dough, Keller’s recipe did not include instructions on precooking so here are my directions: 375° – cover the pie crust with foil and pour pie weights (dried beans) onto the foil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is light brown. Then remove the foil and weights and cook until the crust is lightly browned on the bottom. Ready to use!

Just an example of the pie crust in use…

Caramel Pumpkin Pie

November 1, 2010

Pan Dripping Turkey Gravy

This recipe is a traditional type pan dripping gravy, with a twist. The turkey stock is made with roasted turkey wings to add depth to the stock. This gravy recipe is a collaboration of difference sources. I was watching Tyler Florence on Food Network one year and Tyler made gravy with a roasted turkey wing stock and I have made my stock for gravy with a roasted turkey wing stock ever since. Roasting wings is much easier than making an enitire roasted turkey or chicken. The wings have a lot of flavor so you will not miss out on using the entire bird. The base for my gravy I learned from my mom, which she learned from my grandmother. The milk idea I picked up from a friend one Thanksgiving and the brown gravy mix I have heard numerous people say they add to their gravy for added depth. So this recipe is a melting pot of tips and tricks I have picked up over the years. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8

Turkey Stock:

  • 2 Turkey Wings
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • water
  • salt and pepper


  • pan drippings from roasted turkey
  • butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups turkey stock (see above)
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Roast wings for 2 ½ hours.
  3. Chop onion, celery, carrots and sauté in butter.
  4. Add thyme bay leaf and wings (with drippings from the roasting pan). Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim any foam and reduce the heat and simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours until the water reduces.
  5. Strain off the solids and cool the stock if you will freeze it, or use it right away.

Turkey Stock

  1. GRAVY:Once you remove your roasted turkey from the pan, place the whole roasting pan over the med-low heat on the stovetop (my roasting pan takes up two burners so I turn both on med-low heat). Or transfer the pan drippings to a pot.
  2. Once the pan drippings are bubbly add enough butter to make about ½ cup of fat. Whisk in the flour and cook stirring frequently about 2 minutes.
  3. Once the roux is golden brown whisk in the turkey stock, milk and gravy mix packet, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. (I add the milk to help cut the greasiness from the turkey drippings but keep the flavor of the drippings).
  4. Simmer until the gravy has thickened to your likeness, about 10 minutes.
I submitted this recipe for a contest with Food52 which all winners will be added to the Food 52 cookbook that results from the year of contests. As well as the chance to win some money to Williams Sonoma, and other gift packages from Viking cookeware, and OXO. Wish me luck! Hope you try this gravy this holiday season, it’s super good! I will be making my wing stock shortly!
August 5, 2010

Cheesecake Cupcakes

For Kim’s birthday I decided to make cheesecake cupcakes since her favorite is cheesecake.  I have been making cupcakes each month we have birthdays in the office, which helps me develop better baking skills too. So I came up with this genius idea! Ha Ha I know I’m sure there are plenty of cheesecake cupcake recipes out there, but they are NOT all as good! This one got requests for the recipe…so they must be pretty good.

I made three different flavors – chocolate cheesecake, regular, lemon curd…


Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

2 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4c. sour cream
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 package of crushed Oreos

Heat the oven to 350°

I like to use my food processor to crush the Oreos, they come out more consistently. You can also put them in ziploc bag and pound them or roll over them with a rolling pin, or glass cup.

Mix together the softened cream cheese and sugar until forms a whipped consistency. Add vanilla and sour cream until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and incorporate each one well before adding the next. stir in the cocoa powder.

I have found the foil cupcake cups are sturdier and work better for all cheesecake cupcakes. Put foil cups in each muffin tin. Add some crushed Oreos in the bottom of each cup, just enough to cover the bottom. Fill the cups all the way full with cheesecake mixture (unlike regular cupcakes you want to fill these to the top so they are full and you get thicker cupcakes).

Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

IMG_4375 For decoration I cut an Oreo in half and pressed it in the cupcake. The key is to do this immediately after pulling the cupcakes out of the oven otherwise the cupcakes crack and get messy.


Tragedy strikes…

I dropped the whole carton of eggs and an egg broke…but not the one you’d think! The one that broke wasn’t the one that hit the floor, but the one in the egg carton!!! WT….ha ha ha!


Okay on with the rest of the cupcakes…

Regular and Lemon Curd Cheesecake Cupcakes


This is the same recipe used for both of these cupcake versions, and just a slightly altered version from the chocolate cupcakes.

2-8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1c. sugar
1t. vanilla
2T. sour cream
2 eggs
1T lemon zest
1 box vanilla wafers

Heat the oven to 350°

Mix together the softened cream cheese and sugar until forms a whipped consistency. Add vanilla and sour cream and lemon zest until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and incorporate each one well before moving on.

Put foil cups in each muffin tin. Add a vanilla wafer to the bottom of each cup. Fill the cups all the way full with cheesecake mixture.

Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes.


For lemon cupcakes, just add a dab of your favorite brand lemon curd and spread over the top of the cupcake.

That’s all! It’s that simple and just about that fast too. These are very impressive but simple cupcakes. Let me know what you think!

April 6, 2010

Easter Breakfast – The Quiche

Quiche is a great dish. An all in one dish packed with protien and veggies (if you choose) and it is so versatile it can be eaten on a napkin with your hand, on a plate at a fancy table, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Always a hit at parties as well. These are two great ones.

Tomato Basil Quiche

Tomato Basil Quiche

6 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 large basil leaves finely chopped
1/2 cup mozzerella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper
1 – pie crust (you can cheat and use ready made or make your own)
(You could also go crust free – still YUM!)

Heat oven to 375.
Whisk eggs, milk and cream until well incorporated.
Stir in salt, pepper, cheeses, tomatoes and basil.
Line pie pan with crust and crimp the edges. Pour the quiche into the crust.
Cook for 45-50 minutes until puffy and filling is set (does not jiggle).

Lorraine Quiche


6 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
8 slices of cooked bacon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup spinach, torn
2 sliced green onions
1 – pie crust (you can cheat and use ready made or make your own)
(You could also go crust free – still YUM!)

Heat oven to 375.
Whisk eggs, milk and cream until well incorporated. Whisk in nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Stir in cheese, bacon, spinach, and green onion.
Line a pie pan with crust and crimp the edges. Pour the quiche into the crust.
Cook for 1 hour until puffy and filling is set (does not jiggle).

Don’t forget the Scones

April 6, 2010

Easter Breakfast – The Scones

Easter dinner is the only holiday dinner that my mom makes these days. Not because she doesn’t like to cook but because I love to cook and she lets me take care of food. After all she cooked for me and my family all those years – she’s due a break. Right? 🙂

However, I can’t resist and had to make something so I made breakfast…Tomato Basil Quiche, Quiche Lorraine, Maple Oat Scones, and Lemon Blueberry Scones…they were all terrific! If you like Starbucks Maple Oat Scones (which are my all time favorite), these tasted just like Starbucks! (My co-workers also gave them RAVE reviews!)…something to add to “the Menu.”


Maple Oat Scones
1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons cold butter (small pieces)
1 large egg
1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Maple Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
5 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Using a food processor or blender, finely grind oats.
In a mixer, mix flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking powder.
Add maple syrup and butter and mix well.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with the cream.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
Add pecans and mix just to incorporate.
Place dough on a floured surface. Knead and pat dough into a 8 to 10 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place wedges on top and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until light brown.
Remove scones from oven to wire rack. Let cool about 3 to 5 minutes.
Mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Adjust the amount of milk to get to the desired consistency. Spread lots of glaze over each scone and dry about 15 minutes before serving.

Lemon Blueberry Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
5 teaspoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Add the butter and mix well. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Mix in the heavy cream.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead just a bit. Fold in the blueberries and shape the dough into an 8 to 10 inch round. Cut into to 8 wedges.
Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

Next…The Quiche

January 30, 2010

White Lasagna

After making this lasagna, I have decided I like white sauce much better than red. After I made this I said “I don’t think I’ll ever make lasagna again with red sauce.” However lasagna is just plain good red or white sauce, really! But this was TERRIFIC! Sausage, mushrooms, and spinach with alfredo rocks! I’m proud to say this is all my own recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I did not do a good job at photo documenting this one so I’ll update it soon with more photos. Until then you’ll have to settle for the finished product…

White Lasagna

1 box lasagna noodles
1lb sausage
White wine (just enough to steam the spinach about 1/4 cup)
8oz crimini mushrooms (baby bellas), sliced
3 cups uncooked spinach
1 container of low fat ricotta cheese
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 egg
3 cups alfredo sauce (recipe follows or you can use jar)
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
16 oz mozzerella cheese

PREHEAT oven to 375°.

COOK noodles according to the package directions. Lay out wax paper, spray with cooking spray and lay noodles on wax paper while you are preparing the rest.

COMBINE ricotta, 1/2 c. mozzerella, 1/2 the parmesan, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper. The rest of the mozzerella is for the top of the lasagna.

BROWN the sausage in a pan until cooked through, then drain. In the same pan sautee mushrooms until golden and almost cooked through. Add wine and spinach cover and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove cover, add salt and pepper and allow liquid to cook off without allowing spinach to burn. Drain any liquid remaining.

MIX mushroom mixture and sausage to the ricotta mixture.

Spray the lasagna pan with cooking spray. Place one layer of noodles on the bottom of the pan, overlapping slightly. Spread half the filling evenly over the layer of noodles. Then spread 1/3 of the alfredo sauce over the filling. Repeat once more and end with a layer of noodles. Pour remaining alfredo sauce on top and then top with remaining mozzerella and paremesan.

COVER with alumimum foil and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to 500° and cook 5-8 minutes until cheese is bubbly and brown. This is a good time to add your garlic bread too! (1/2 stick butter, 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tsp salt, 1T grated parmesan, and boule or your favorite loaf of bread. Mix butter, garlic, cheese, and salt, spread over bread, cook until browned)


2 cloves garlic
3 T butter
2 T flour
2 c. half ‘n half
1 cup 2% milk
½ c grated parmesan
1 egg yolk
1/8 t. nutmeg
Salt and pepper

MELT butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Whisk in salt, pepper and flour cook 1 minute.

WHISK in half ‘n half and milk, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until it begins to thicken. Add parmesan. Allow to cook 3 minutes.

ADD egg yolk to a bowl and whisk in a little of the white sauce to temper the yolk. Then add mixture to rest of sauce. Add nutmeg and allow sauce to thicken to desired consistency. (should be a somewhat thin).

January 10, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

I love pumpkin and oatmeal so of course this was something I HAD to try! The pancakes were really good they don’t taste at all like pumpkin pie (unless you want them to and add pumpkin pie spice). I made the pancakes with soy milk to make it a little more healthy – although buttermilk is pretty healthy alternative too. To make it more healthy use some whole wheat flour and add some flax seed.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe on Food Network (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) Roasted Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes Dottie’s True Blue Cafe – San Francisco

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups vanilla soy milk
¼ c. heavy cream
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Butter and maple syrup, for serving

IN a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add all of the wet ingredients and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until the mixture is incorporated. There may still be a few small lumps. Do not over mix or the pancakes will be tough. Cook on a lightly buttered griddle or electric skillet at 375 degrees F until the pancakes form bubbles and the edges look dry. Flip the pancakes and cook for 1 or 2 more minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with warm syrup and butter.

December 25, 2009

Prime Rib with Au Jus

Christmas Eve dinner at my house usually features a Prime Rib roast.  I am truely a meat and potatoes kind of girl and this is the BEST dinner! My family and I all like it medium rare…Mmmm. Fortunately for those of you who like your meat a little more cooked a Ribeye is still nice and tender at medium. Prime Rib is super easy – much easier than Turkey! So much better too. Add some Au Jus and it’s heaven. I don’t need anything else – okay some potatoes and veggies are good too!

6lb Ribeye Roast (bone-in)
1/4 c. Kosher Salt
a bunch poultry herbs
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. pepper
2 c. beef broth
3 c. water
1/4 c. red wine
1 sprig of thyme
packet of au jus gravy mix 

Trim any excess fat off the roast. Chop herbs very fine, zest lemon and mix salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread the rub over the entire roast and massage into the meat. Place the roast bone side down in a roasting pan with a rack.

Set the roast out 40 minutes before cooking and let rest at room temperature. (cold meat in a hot oven means tough meat!).

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Add beef broth and 2 c. water in bottom of roasting pan. You may need to add more water during the cook time if the liquid reduces too much. Roast for 20 minutes at 450 then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees (medium rare). (total of about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).

Remove the roast and rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Au Jus
While the roast is resting bring the juices in the pan to a boil. Scoop out any large pieces and skim some off any excess fat. Add the wine and let simmer 3 minutes. Add another cup of water (or more if needed) along with the sprig of thyme and au jus packet, allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes. You should have about 1 – 2 cups of sauce.

Once roast has rested cut the bones off the roast with a carving knife, cut the meat from the rib bones in one piece, following the contour of the bones. Lay the meat on a cutting board and slice across the grain in the thickness you prefer.