Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Delicious Chocolate Pie

A Delicious Chocolate Pie
I came across this recipe for the most amazing chocolate pie ever! What is unusual about it is that it is not your normal creamy chocolate pie that is reminiscent of chocolate pudding, but is instead more along the lines of the filling of a pecan pie, only without the pecans and chocolate.

In short, it is mind-blowing.

For one 9-inch pie:
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare a crust of your choice. I recommend real crust and not a graham cracker crust as the pie is quite rich and tastes better with a traditional crust. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, filled with dry beans. After 15 minutes, remove the beans and bake for another 5 minutes. Don't brown the crust.

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients. I found it worked best to add them together one at a time and mix them until smooth, taking special care with the cocoa powder to get it well dissolved. Otherwise, I found that the ingredients get clumpy and while it still tastes the same, it doesn't look quite as nice.

Pour the mixture into the cooked pie crust and bake for 45 minutes. When it is done, the center won't be solid--it will move around a bit as you take it out. You can also cover the edges of the crust with foil half-way through the baking, if you like, to keep the crust from burning. I didn't find this to be necessary, however.

That's it! Let it cool completely before serving, and you can serve with whipped cream if you like.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Baking Soda, to the rescue! (Again)

So, I have a confession to make. I'm kind of gross. This may be a surprise to some, but to those who have actually lived with me, especially when I was in college, this is not new information (I will not go into the tomato soup debacle of aught 5. You're welcome).

For those who have lived with me, they likely have discovered that I shower, you know, once and awhile, like to cook but hate doing dishes, and generally avoid things that need to be done around the house. So the requirements I have of doing something like, say, unclogging a drain are the following:

1. Use products that will not kill me or whatever is on the other side of the drain.
2. Take little to no effort on my part.

So after avoiding my stopped up drain for oh a day or so (or a week (or two)) I googled how to unclog a drain and found this gem. I've decided to give it a try.

First, dump about 3/4 c dry baking soda down your drain. Next, Take 1/2 c vinegar and pour it in after. Plug up the hole! Don't you see everything is exploding! It's science!

Wait about 30 min. In the meantime, boil tea kettle full of water. After the 30 minutes are up, slowly pour the hot water down the drain.

Voila! Welcome back to humanity! You don't live if a filthy den of disgusting clogged drains anymore!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hungarian Wax Pepper Jelly

Hungarian Wax Peppers
Back in April, I went to the local nursery to buy a Bee Balm to plant under my front stoop. When I left the nursery, it was with the Bee Balm and 6 small Hungarian Wax Pepper plants that I had won as a prize (I wasn't sure what surprised me more, that nurseries had prizes, or that I won). I have a small garden and wasn't planning on planting vegetables, but not wanting to let the plants go to waste, I went ahead and put them in the ground under the stoop as well.

To my surprise, they have done quite well, and for the first time in my life, I have been confronted with what to do with a small harvest of Hungarian Wax Peppers. If you've never seen one before, they look rather like Banana Peppers, but are medium hot. I've used some in my dinners, made some into salsa, but still had quite a few hanging on my pepper plants awaiting use.

Pureeing the peppers
So naturally, I made hot pepper jelly. I had never tried making pepper jelly before, but I figured it would be a good way to use some of them up. And I must say, the initial results have been good. The jelly is sweet, as you would expect, but has a punch to it that is pleasant but not overwhelming. You can use it as you would any jelly, if your into spicy PB&J, but I think it would be especially good on cream cheese with crackers as a summery appetizer.

The recipe is simple enough, and you can use any spicy pepper that you like, or some combination of spicy pepper and bell pepper if you want it a bit milder. Shout out if you try it and let us know how it turned out for you.

Hungarian Wax Pepper Jelly

Hungarian Wax Pepper Jelly!
6 Hungarian Wax Peppers (if you're using another pepper, alter accordingly)
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar (you could try white vinegar, but the Apple Cider Vinegar brings more flavor and helps color the final product)
6 cups sugar
6 oz liquid pectin

Cut off the stems of the peppers and remove the seeds. Puree the peppers in a blender with 1 cup of the Apple Cider Vinegar. Mix the peppers with the remaining vinegar and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring. A small amount of butter helps keep it from foaming during the cooking process.

After 10 minutes, add the liquid pectin, bring to a boil, and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and ladle into canning jars*.

*Follow your standard sterilizing and canning procedures.