Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Well, even if I don't post here very often, I am thankful for this space. I often think I'll remember how I made something and of course, I never do. So to be able to search the archives here really helps me clear the cobwebs in my cranial attic.

I didn't cook or travel for Thanksgiving this year, which never happens. At first, I was kind of sad about that but then I realized how great it is to enjoy the various spreads at other peoples' homes and not have to clean my house or do dishes afterwards. It also opened up my whole morning since we didn't have our first dinner until 3. Ben just bought a canoe so we took it out for a spin on the bayou, with some champagne, naturally.

Before I tell you about the recipes I test drove, a couple of musings:

-I didn't mean to put cayenne pepper in my pancake batter this morning but it actually wasn't too bad.

-I have had my food processor since receiving it as a birthday present in 2008, so almost 7 years. I JUST used the blade to shred potatoes and parsnips. It's like magic! How did I just figure this feature out? Also, shredded potatoes turn black overnight. Now I know.

To bring to our friendsgiving celebrations, I made potato-parsnip latkes with horseradish-dill sour cream. It was a Smitten Kitchen recipe so it goes without saying that it all worked well (even with black potatoes) just as written. They are also delicious room temperature, in case you wondered. I did, and read every single one of the 100 or so comments on her page to find out what others had to say about that.

I also made two desserts, a salted caramel-chocolate ganache tart and an Atlantic Beach pie, kind of a love child between key lime and lemon meringue. Both were very good but require notes.

Salted caramel-chocolate ganache tart

Damn, now I can't find the recipe. Well, it's easy. Basically, crush 36 Oreos with a stick of melted butter to make your crust. Press it into a tart pan and freeze for ten minutes. Then melt one stick of butter with 2/3 cup brown sugar in a sauce pan until it bubbles. Stir constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream. Allow this cool for a few minutes, then pour it over your crust. Put it back in the freezer for 30 minutes. Finally, melt 12 ounces of dark chocolate with 1 cup of heavy cream and stir until completely mixed. Pour it over the caramel and out in the the fridge until time to serve.

My thoughts:
-The recipe called for sea salt sprinkled on top. I put it in the caramel but didn't taste it too much.
-The recipe also pushed cookie crumbs along the bottom and up the sides. I just did the bottom but realized that was a mistake as it was hard to remove from the tart shell. And then the softened caramel oozed out of the sides.
-The final product was insanely delicious but it gave me a terrible headache because it was so very rich. Proceed with caution.

Atlantic beach pie

This recipe was really easy and really good. I think I liked it better than the chocolate bomb, but maybe only because it didn't put me in pain. One important note, and I'm shocked I didn't see anything about it in the comments. The recipe calls for 1.5 sleeves of Saltines or 6 ounces. I put in two sleeves and that was only 4 ounces! Plus, it made way too much by about two times and there wasn't enough butter to bind. My advice would be to just use one sleeve of crackers (ignore the weight) and the same amount of butter and sugar. I also ignored the note to not sweeten the whipped cream because it's Thanksgiving ya'll! I didn't use a lot of sugar but still....

Finally, I am making a cake as we speak for my friend Paige's birthday. She really loves Ooey Gooey cake and I searched about 4,000 recipes before I found one that didn't start with one box of yellow cake mix. I tried it once last year (of course I didn't make note of the recipe I used) and it didn't really turn out. So hopefully this one will be good and if not, at least I've documented that here.