Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Get ready for the BEST dessert I've ever made...

Princess Cake - the most delicious combination of sweets.

as delicious as this is, 
     i did not make it,
          and it's not the dessert i've been talking about for over the past week.

Each Thanksgiving i focus on something, and hope to turn it into something special.
Last year it was the butternut squash soup with pancetta, thanks to Laurence's discovery of one of his favorite comfort foods while going to NYU.  (Ok... and thanks to Tom Colicchio's, Wichcraft and its fine selection of reasonably priced food that brings a smile and warms the belly of many looking for good, comfort food while away from home.)

This year i focused on pumpkin bread pudding.  I'd like to say more, but i'll wait until you can read the recipe before i say what's in it and what accompanies it.  

The few days before Thanksgiving i make the dish and bring it to work.  That night i work at refining it and, yes, bring another one to the office.  Based on reactions, i was able to tell when it was a hit!  Mom wants the recipe, Colleen wants the recipe, and Jess wants to share it with a teacher.  Audrie said Georg thought it was the best dessert i've ever made.  I love making something that everyone loves to eat.

Now i have to sift through dozens of photos and turn them into pretty viewing for you.  I also feel i owe it to this delicious dessert that i give it the recognition it deserves.  So before this weekend is over, i'll have the pictures and recipes posted.  All three parts of the dessert are easy and delicious.  It's probably going to take me more time to blog it than to make it.

I hope this posting has you looking forward to reading about this yummy dessert!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pretty Pickled Peppers

You don't want to know how long these have been in my fridge, but i think they get better with time.  Isn't pickling... like a fine wine?  Ok... June 13th.  And i'm sure my mother is asking "of what year?"  I had everything ready to go for this post, then i had my nasty fall and never got around to posting this.  I just re-discovered a jar of these in my refrigerator and was surprised at how tasty they were and i thought i should share with you!

As a kid i thoroughly loved raw green bell peppers.  Then, at 7, i had my tonsils removed and, ever since, you couldn't pay me to eat a bell pepper.  Whether green, orange, yellow, red or purple - i won't get near them with a 10 foot pole.  Then, on the evening of Tuesday, February 22, 2011, the stars must have aligned in a way that amazed me... i watched a little boy eat a baby orange bell pepper, and you could see how much he enjoyed it, while at the same time it emitted an aroma that i thought was so fresh.  I got up and got one of those same orange peppers, and LOVED it!  In fact, i ate two more -- one yellow and one red, and the entire time i kept thinking "i can't wait to call mom and tell her that i now eat bell peppers, albeit, not green"!

So now that i love these little sweeties, i'm finding a lot of goodies to incorporate them in, but the first thing is some pickled sweet peppers...

  • Mixed baby peppers (whatever colors you like)  
  • 1-1/2 c. white taragon vinegar
  • 2 T. pickling spices
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • herbs are optional (dill, taragon, almost anything)
Wash the peppers and stick each one with a fork so that they don't pop or burst when you boil them.Place the uncooked peppers in a pot of boiling water for just a few minutes.  You don't want them too soft; it's nice if they have a little snap when you bite into it.
Remove the peppers from the pot of boiling water and let them cool.
Meantime, boil the vinegar, pickling spice and sugar for about 5 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
Stack the peppers in a canning jar any way you like.  I lined mine all vertically and alternated colors.
Pour the cooked vinegar mixture over the peppers to fill the jars.