Savory Apple Hand Pies

Savory Apple Hand Pies

With mushrooms, rainbow chard, onion and Gruyère cheese but that title was way too long.

I was inspired to do these for Pi Day but wanted to take a stab at something savory because all I make are sweet pies. Hello, Yuzu Meringue, Cranberry Apple Ginger or Mini Apple Hand Pies!

One of my friends spent part of January in Australia/New Zealand where he was obsessed with their meat pies. Granted, these are not meat pies but I had a similar flashback to all of the meat pies I consumed when I studied abroad in the UK. I decided to start with a vegetarian version because this flavor combo is a tasty one. But, really, the cheese is what makes all of the difference. 

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Mandarinquat Upside Down Cake

Mandarinquat Upside Down Cake

I've been on the fence when it comes to upside down cakes after having difficulties with them several times in a row.

But after those mishaps, I realized that I can't treat an upside down cake like the cake I want to eat.

A fluffy, moist cake, like this chocolate cake, is not going to cut it for a upside down cake. Instead, you want a dense cake that will only soak up that sauce on the top or bottom (depending how you look at it) and keep the rest of the cake sturdy and solid. In a more porous cake, the caramel sauce that the fruit nestles in will soak all the way through making the cake soggy.

 It makes for very sad results.

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Maida Heatter's Mile-High Cinnamon Bread

Maida Heatter's Mile-High Cinnamon Bread

I have a fascination with swirled breads.

And this cinnamon bread is a beast. But a beautiful one.

But, so unlike the cinnamon bread that I am used to. For example, this and this. The one my mom makes has thick swirls and an ooey gooey center. 

I am a big fan of that ooey gooey center but am willing to sacrifice that for the amount of swirls that you are able to achieve with this method. 

This post on Food52 caught my eye for many reasons. 1) It's Food52, 2) It's bread and cinnamon bread at that and 3) Maida Heatter. Maida Heatter's smiling face has graced the bookshelves of Popo's, my mom's and now my kitchen since as far back as I remember. In particular, Maida Heatter's Book of Great American Desserts which I was sooo happy to pick up at Powell's Books in PortlandBut this bread is from another book of hers (Best Dessert Book Ever) so of course I didn't know of it's existence or I would have tried to tackle it years ago. 

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Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

I was afraid this was going to turn into a Recipe Mishap but luckily, the third time really can be the charm. 

The mint almost spoiled these cookies which is a little nerve-wracking when one of your favorite flavor combos is mint and chocolate. Hello Mini Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches and Thin Mint Doughnuts!

I think peppermint extract does something to egg whites when you try to whip them because with the first two tries, the egg whites refused to get to the soft peak stage. At first I thought that a bit of egg yolk had gotten in the bowl so I tried again after carefully separating the eggs. But, the same thing happened the second time around which was really, really puzzling. 

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Chocolate and Almond Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate and Almond Sandwich Cookies

The original name for these cookies is "Romeo's Sighs and Juliet's Kisses" which if you ask me, is not really indicative of the type of cookies these are so I decided to rename them.

It is so much less romantic than the thought of Romeo's "Sighs" and Juliet's "Kisses" sealed together with a sweet filling. Sadly, even the romantic in me couldn't help but cringe at the name.

But, these are Valentine's Day appropriate so their romantic value is not completely lost by my unwillingness to call them by their original name. 

 

 

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Pita Bread with Hummus

Pita Bread with Hummus

It's been a long time since I've made bread

But this began with the hummus. 

Hummus from scratch was one of the first things I made as a sophomore in college as I was exploring what it meant to cook for myself. I made it in the winter, similar to this one, as a healthier snack option than the box of Wheat Thins from Costco that my roommate Mackenzie and I went through within days. If memory serves correctly, I tried to put spinach in that hummus but it did not bode well. It was not smooth, it was not homogenized. I had clearly done something wrong but with no clue as to what that was. Maybe it was the canned chickpeas or my food processor but after that experience, I didn't trust my hummus making skills.

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