Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I saw these fantastic looking cookies on Pinterest the other day and knew they would be perfect for St. Pat’s. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather ever since coming back from a conference, so I knew that some kind of shamrock/leprechaun/rainbow cupcake design just wasn’t going to happen. These rich chocolate cookies have Mint Oreo chunks, green mint chips, and semi sweet chocolate chips all packed inside. The green chips and green Oreo pieces add just enough color to let these cookies qualify as a holiday treat.

I like to take everything to excess, so I sandwiched some creamy mint chip ice cream between these chewy cookies. It made them even better.

 

I followed the recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod to the letter. The only improvement I would suggest is to add even more Oreo pieces.

Click here for the recipe 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Pies! and Science!

I couldn’t help myself, I needed to make some pie for Pi day. Leaving aside the valid point that Pi might not be the best constant to be using, it is an excellent reason to make (and eat) pies every March 14th.

When I got home this evening, I realized that I didn’t have enough ingredients to make a full sized pie. Instead of going to the market like a normal person, I remembered that I have baby pie pans, and could make mini pies instead. Here is where the science (math) comes in. If a recipe of pie crust makes 2 crusts for 9″ pies, and I make half a recipe, how many different baby pies can I make? Ah, it’s like the 3rd grade all over again!

Let’s start by determining how big the baby pans are.

4.5″ in diameter. So, if a 9″ pie pan is 9″ across, plus 1.5″ depth, it would be the equivalent surface area of a 12″ circle. So the area of that circle is …

and if our baby pans are 4.5″ across with a depth of .5″ it is equivalent to the surface area of a 5.5″ circle. So the area of the mini pan is…..

so 113.04/23.74 = 4.76. We can make about 4 and a half pies from a half recipe. Now, which four pies shall we make?

Mini Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 oz cream, whipped
  • 1 pre baked mini pie crust

Begin by whipping the cream, place in the fridge for later. Beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into the baked pie crust, and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Mini Fresh Strawberry Pie

Ingredients:

  • 12 fresh strawberries
  • 2T sugar
  • 1T cornstarch
  • 1 pre baked mini pie crust

Cut up half of the strawberries and put them in a small saucepan with the sugar and cornstarch.  Place over medium heat and begin to crush the berries with the back of a spoon.  Cook until bubbling and the juices have thickened.  Let cool. Place a spoonful into the bottom of the pie crust.  Slice 5 berries in half, and pick the most attractive ones to cover the top.  Choose one small berry for the center.

Baby Brown Sugar Pie

Now, I know you might be thinking that this pie is ugly, but you have to trust me that it tastes amazing. This pie should only be made in mini form.

Ingredients:

  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • 1 unbaked mini pie crust

Spoon brown sugar into the pie crust until it nearly reaches the top. Top with a generous pat of butter. Bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes or the sugar has become molten. Let cool.  Enjoy the sweet buttery candy flavor of this pie in small bites!

Mini Nutella Pie


Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of Nutella
  • 1 pre baked mini pie crust

Combine the cocoa powder, sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add the milk, and whisk to blend.  Place the pan over medium heat and cook until thick (you’re making a pudding!). When it’s thick, remove from the heat and add the vanilla and Nutella. Stir well. Spoon into pie crust. Rainbow sprinkles make an excellent garnish.

Happy Pi Day everyone! I hope you enjoy eating some delicious pies and refreshing your memory about our favorite irrational number! 

Sticky Rice with Mango, and an experiment

Life has been extremely busy these days. On the evenings we are home early enough to eat dinner, I just haven’t been able to gather the energy to cook, so we do the next best thing and order Thai.  Oh, delicious tofu panang curry and spicy pad kee mao, you have saved us from skipped dinners many times. Last time, I added a new dish to our order, the default dessert on every Thai take out menu: Sticky Rice with Mango.

For such a literal sounding name, it leaves out the most fabulous part of this dish, the sweet, creamy coconut sauce. Sticky sweet coconut rice was topped with juicy ripe mango slices, and I kicked myself for ignoring this bland sounding dessert for so long.  Tonight, I tried to recreate this dish in my own kitchen.  I’ve been putting off blogging for a long time because I haven’t had time to properly photograph and edit my work. In the spirit of not letting perfect be the enemy of good, this post (and possibly future posts) only uses shots from my iPhone.

 

Sticky Coconut Rice with Mango

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup short grain sticky rice (I used Calrose rice)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 juicy ripe mango

To begin, wash and then soak your rice for about an hour. To wash, put the rice in a bowl and fill it with water. Rub the rice with your hands until the water is cloudy, then change the water and repeat. I usually do that 3 times. Then let the rice soak in fresh water for about an hour. Drain, then put the soaked rice in your rice cooker. Open the can of coconut milk, spoon the solid coconut cream into a small saucepan, and pour the liquid into the rice cooker. Add more water if needed, and cook the rice.

This little rice cooker is the best $15 I ever spent.

When the rice is done, take the pan with the coconut cream, and add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.

Cook it on low until the cream melts and all the sugar dissolves.

Slice your mango.

You can scoop out the rounds of mango with a spoon, like you would an avocado.  Peel the strange center chunk with the pit, and give it to the first cute hound that crosses your path.

Pour half of the sweet sauce into the cooked rice, stir and let sit for a few minutes. The rice will soak it all up. Then spoon a mound of coconut rice into a bowl, top with mango slices, and pour more sauce over the top.

Enjoy!  Now, if only I could master the panang curry or pad kee mao. This dessert is perfect after a spicy meal.

I hope you liked my experiment with blogging with iPhone photos! It’s something I might try more often, since I miss blogging so badly.

See you soon!