Pear & Caramel Pie

Pear & Caramel Pie

I've found a new pie that just *might* be my new favorite.

For a long, long time, I have loved Lemon Meringue Pie. And in most recent years, this yuzu variation, which is essentially the same thing but with a different citrus. It's the dessert I would make almost every time I would visit Popo. I would crave that pucker-y custard filling and fluffy meringue topping. I'm not sure what I did the last time I made it, or maybe it really is best eaten the same day it comes out of the oven but I have found that I am not really fond of leftover Lemon Meringue Pie anymore. Maybe I am not blind baking the crust enough or maybe I should try brushing the bottom with egg white? Has anyone tried this? But for whatever reason, the fact that the crust gets soggy/syrup-soaked in Lemon Meringue Pie no longer appeals to me. I dread it and in general I really love leftovers and have loved leftover Lemon Meringue Pie in the past. So, I have found that I don't gravitate towards Lemon Meringue Pie as much as I used to unless I know I will be sharing it with enough people to eat it all on the same day. 

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Giant Apple Cinnamon Roll

Giant Apple Cinnamon Roll

This is the result of Sunday's craving for a combination of apples, cinnamon and fluffy yeasted bread. 

I woke up last Sunday knowing I wanted to make something of that combination but the options were endless. And off went my brain. Should it be another kuchen? Or should I do this bakealong with King Arthur Flour? Should it be a loaf? A braid? A round? Should I attempt kouign-amann (someday, soon)? Apples sliced or diced? (tbh, I didn't do the KAF version because it looked a little dry and I didn't find myself with potato flour or instant mashed potatoes on hand.)

Finally, I forced myself to decide because if I didn't, I wouldn't have enough time to photograph and go to hapkido (both are very important things). And this is how this  beautiful roll came about. And why waver from something both simple and easy if you know it works? So I went back to this kuchen dough from last week. 

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Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Port Sauce and Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Port Sauce and Pumpkin Gnocchi

Right here, right now, we're in the middle of fall with Thanksgiving upon us in less than two weeks.

Here, in Northern California, the weather has been beautiful, some days almost too warm to even contemplate it being fall. But, the leaves are changing and falling, the mornings bright and the sun sets as I leave for work, which is always a treat. 

In October, I took a half day from work to relax and spend the time cooking a meal that I wouldn't normally spend the time to make during the week. And, I also decided to try making gnocchi again. Several years ago, I attempted gnocchi (of the good ol' potato variety) and much to my disappointment, it fell apart when boiled. Ever since then, I have been weary of making gnocchi again and handling the generally pretty sticky dough even though wetter doughs often result in more moist cooked counterparts. Oh, the dilemma. But, I sucked it in and made the gnocchi anyways with the help of Kristen.

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Persimmon Muffins

Persimmon Muffins

Persimmons were not in my repertoire of food until a few years ago.

Actually, I lied. They were but in a context in which I hadn't grown to love them.

The fall of my junior year of college, my friend Jenny and I took a bike ride to this bridge which is famed for its graffiti. Neither of us had ever been on our bikes for that long of a distance (5 or so miles), where the wind to the west and east is as cruel in one direction as it is exhilarating in the other.  After spending some time inspecting the graffiti, we found a few persimmon trees along the road and each picked one, like a bright orange egg waiting to be hatched. Having never really been exposed to persimmons, especially those of the hachiya variety, I took it home and immediately cut it open. But, being of the hachiya variety, and it not even close to being ripe, I was immediately exposed to my first bout of astringency. 

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Cranberry Streusel Muffins

Cranberry Streusel Muffins

Even though in this post I said I wasn't going seasonal, I think fall has finally hit me. 

Here are some things that have made me realize that summer is officially gone.

  • The first rain of fall arrived with gorgeous overcast window light and beautiful dew drops on all of the changing leaves.
  • My coworkers have returned to discussions of Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving and the temperature of the house we work out of.
  • I can now wear scarves without feeling like my neck is going to die.
  • Cranberries, apples, squash and Brussels sprouts have returned to my diet.
  • My birthday is in less than two weeks.
  • Kristen and I are already discussing what we are bringing to Thanksgiving. (Yes, we are a bit premature.)

To officially break into the large bag of cranberries I got from Costco, I made muffins. Also, I really needed to use sour cream that I had in the refrigerator. You know how the freezer and I work

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Apple Ginger Jam

Apple Ginger Jam

Jamming and canning in fall after missing the bounty of summer? Yep, that's me. 

I mentioned in this apple-y post how my dad has an apple tree which in past years hasn't produced the best apples but that this year has had some pretty good ones. It could be because he didn't prune back the tree or because it rained a lot more than usual last winter but whatever reason it is, Kristen and I actually liked these apples raw. That is until they started to get a bit sad and I decided to turn them into jam instead.

As a person who is enthusiastic about homemade foods, it is surprising that I never attempted to make jam before and completely missed summer produce. But, that is okay because these apples turned into excellent jam.

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Happy October!

I have this love/hate relationship with my freezer. It's the land of the plentiful in that it holds everything that I'm not going to eat/use immediately but it's also a death trap. Things go in there and sometimes they don't resurface for months.

Last Thanksgiving, Popo gave me a bit of pumpkin puree but I was completely pumpkin-ed out to want to do anything with it so it went in a container in the back of my freezer. But, by the time I wanted to use it, it was spring-time so it remained dormant until a few weeks ago. 

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