Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie

This recipe was a gift from my dear Friend Ashley. She was kind enough to share it with me and for that I am grateful. This pie is amazing and I highly recommend making it!!
She wrote
I got the recipe from a book called "A Return to Sunday Dinner" by Russell Cronkhite, who was the executive chef at the Blair house for 12 years.  My American knowledge is still pathetically limited, but the Blair house has something to do with the president and/or political big-wigs.  I've loved all of his recipes so far.

Crust:
2 1/2 dozen Oreo cookies
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400*F.  Place the cookies (including the cream filling) in a food processor and blend just long enough to achieve fine crumbs.  Add in melted butter and pulse until completely combined.  Press mixture into bottom and up the sides of a 2-inch deep pie pan.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Cool.
This was the worst idea ever... as in grating the chocolate. Poor Kevin willing did so and we discovered it went Static Electric. Chocolate bouncing everywhere landing all over the kitchen, down shirts. And then starting melting... Later when I twitter the problem I was told to we should have frozen the chocolate and then grated it. LOL lesson learned.
Filling:
1 tbsp rum flavoring
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
6 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
2/3 c sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3 c half-and-half
4 lg egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 c unsalted butter
3 ripe medium bananas
1 pint heavy cream
1/3 c sugar
2 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated
Error 2 my pan was only 1 inch deep and it needed to be two inches. 
So I had to divide it and make two pies that were thin
OH and I didn't clue into this until it was too late
Aka I had custard cooling and needed another crust
So the second crust was not cooked like the first
Though because it was cooled for so long the lack of cooking made no difference in taste

1. Combine rum and vanilla flavorings in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it.  Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then whisk together until smooth.
2. Finely chop the 6 oz of chocolate and transfer to a separate larger bowl.
3. Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt in heavy-bottomed saucepan and gradually add in the half-and-half and egg yolks, whisking lightly until smooth.  Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is smooth, thick and bubbling, 6-8 minutes.
4. Quickly add 1 1/4 c of hot custard into the bowl with the chopped chocolate.  Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is completely smooth.  Immediately pour the chocolate filling into the baked crust and transfer to the freezer or fridge to cook for 5-10 minutes.
MEANWHILE- Quickly add 1 c of the remaining hot custard to dissolved gelatin and stir so that the gelatin is evenly blended; pour it back into remaining custard and whisk together.  Let the rum custard cool for about 5 minutes.  Cut the butter into pats and whisk them into the custard until the butter is completely blended.
5.  Cut bananas into 1/2" thick slices and toss them with a little rum or rum flavoring to maintain color.  Layer over cooled chocolate custard in the cooked crust, then spoon the rum custard over the bananas and smooth surface with a rubber spatula.  Cut a 9" circle from a sheet of waxed paper and lightly coat with butter and place directly on top of the custard to keep a skin from forming.  Chill in refrigerator until set, about 4 hours (or overnight to let the flavors intensify); then without removing the waxed paper, cover with plastic wrap and return to the fridge.
PRESENT THE PIE:
1. Pour cream into chilled bowl of mixer and add 1/3 c sugar; mix with chilled balloon whisk at medium speed until sugar has dissolved, 3-4 minutes.  Then whip on high until stiff peaks hold, about 2 minutes.
2.  Remove waxed paper from pie.  Mound the whipped cream with spatula, or use a pastry bag to pipe large rosettes of whipped cream over entire surface of pie.  Sprinkle with grate chocolate just before serving; if desired, garnish each portion with additional banana slices.
In the end I totally forgot to add the chocolate shavings... 
But it was delicious! 
And both pies were mostly devoured. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another Hairstyle

I did a wedding hairstyle post here. So far this is absolutely my favorite

I don’t remember exactly what brought it up but someone mentioned the other day that woman tended to hold grudges for a very long time. They then proceeded to ask me what was the longest grudge I have ever held. My longest has been held for 15 years, it was an uncontrollable grudge one adult in my life handled a situation badly and the other adults in my life did nothing to protect the innocent person, I will forever hold a grudge against those people for damaging that person, she was too young to even remember it and her version of it is very twisted now because she trusts those people. Anyways I just recently  remembered another grudge. This grudge has more significance to me because directly affects me person and some things coming up in my future. I don’t know how to handle the situation. This grudge is only 9 years old but is very freshly in my mind

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cinnamon Wishes

From Easter
Last Weeks Wishes
1. D&D!! - always a good time
2. Have a blast on Tuesday - what was Tuesday... oh yea that got cancelled. I planned a dinner with Abigail as she is headed to California for a couple weeks and it was her birthday. She ended up cancelling due to being sick, what she didn't know was that I had planned it as a Surprise Birthday Party with a bunch of People coming. She arrived home to a husband trying to figure out what she was doing home and he ended up telling her everything. Poor girl called me crying because she ruined my surprise. But she was so sick, it was totally fine that she needed to rest. We ended up meeting the next day, except no one could come except her husband and me. But we went to Pacini's for the bread bar! Enjoyed dessert and went through pictures. It was a wonderful night still. Oh except that I forgot her birthday book and her birthday balloons and she bought me WINE...
Love this girl so much.
3. Write up some blog posts - I did and didn't... oh well.
4. Call my Mom - yup. Can't wait for May 3rd
5. Stare at budget - good lord so terrifying. But five years ago I won't have know what to do with it. Today it'll be hard but we should be able to clear it by September if we are diligent. And with a wedding we need to be diligent.

This weeks wishes
I feel I've been too stressed out to remember that it's not other people's fault I'm in my situation. I need that daily reminder that they might be going through something too and so this weeks wishes are
1. Be kind
2. Be a good listener
3. Have patience
4. Keep things in order. (it's easier for me to be those things when my house is organized.)

Now that I think about it 1-3 related to a single co-worker... Work is getting better but she is still a daily frustration.

Friday was Good Friday and so I dragged Cat over to our house for breakfast and made Cinnamon Buns
Dough
1 ¼ cups 2% milk, just above body temperature (105 F) - I only have Skim
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 pkg) instant dry yeast
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt

Goo
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup ( I did not have Maple Syrup so I made my own... see below this recipe)
Filling & Assembly
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS
Dough
1. For the dough, measure all the ingredients into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon, or blend in a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment until evenly combined. If mixing by hand, turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, or if in a mixer, knead for about 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Goo
1. For the goo, add the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and the mixture is bubbling. Pour this into a greased 9-x-13-inch pan the prepared pan and set aside.

Filling & Assembly
1. For the filling, stir the brown sugar and cinnamon together and set aside. Have the melted butter ready.
I dumped the flour...
2. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle about 18-x-12 inches. Brush the entire surface of the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon brown sugar mixture. Roll up the dough from the longer side and then cut the roll into 12 pieces. Place these into the prepared pan, evenly spaced, cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let rise for an hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Uncover the risen sticky buns and bake them for 40-45 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. It is recommended to cool the sticky buns for 15 minutes in the pan before inverting to serve.

4. The sticky buns are best served the day they are baked.
MAPLE SYRUP. 
I didn't have any so I used this recipe (but did half instead of the full amount)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract (used Vanilla as I don't have maple)
Preparation:
Place granulated sugar in a heavy skillet. Heat until the sugar melts and turns brown.
Meanwhile, place brown sugar into a heavy saucepan. Pour water over brown sugar and bring to a boil without stirring.
Add caramelized white sugar to the melted brown sugar in the saucepan. Simmer, stirring often, until syrup is thickened.
Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and maple or vanilla extract.
They turned out amazing and we ate over half!! It wasn't perfect but it was still damn good.

HAPPY MONDAY!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter - on a Saturday

Picture Overload! Get over it! Our family Easter was yesterday and I snapped allot of pictures.
Gramma, Grandpa, and Littlest Sis with the puppy, Seriously Little sis makes the weirdest crazy faces
The Uncles - Gary and Allen. I see Gary probably two or three times a year. Allen I have seen maybe every 5 or 6 years. I think this is the second time Kevin's met him
All us pretty girls except for the littlest. 
Mom and her brothers. 
 Kevin and Mom
 Charlie and Dad
 Littlest Sis and Grandpa have a grand discussion... not in English
Mom working on the final preparations
 Gramma relaxing - Dad cutting up the ham for dinner
The Ladies out for a Walk

HAPPY EASTER

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kindle

I don't know how or when or why I took this picture but I am so glad I did. Because on Friday April 11 somehow, somewhere I lost my Kindle. I know I went out of lunch that day and read while eating on a bench on Campus. I am pretty sure I also read later that night when I was on the bike at the gym. But Campus hasn't had anything turned in and neither has the gym. And so it was lost.
I do know I made it to Thursday April 17 before I couldn't handle not having a book on me. I did read the Squawking Chicken in between that. But I was/am currently reading the most interesting tale and I haven't been able to finish it. PLUS I just got access to one of Jojo Moyes new books and those are too die for reads! So Thursday I dragged Kevin to Staples and we bought this beauty
It's black and that's about the only difference. In the end it is cheaper for me to buy a new kindle than to go without. The kindle costs 83 bucks (I always get the cheapest version), the second I read four books it's more than worth my time. In 2014 alone I read 32 books on my lost kindle, which I bought for Christmas 2011 and received on January 4th 2012. It lasted me just over two years. I think I made money on that little gray kindle.

I am so happy to be reading again! And so that is what I am off to do! Happy Saturday!
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