Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tammy's Cranberry Sauce

I got this recipe from my mom, Tammy.  Hence the name.  She makes it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Since Sean and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving in southern Maryland with his sister and her husband, instead of heading home, I wanted to bring a little bit of home along with me.  

This recipe is so easy to make, requires not much more effort than opening a can of cranberry sauce, and is way better than just the canned stuff alone.

You'll need:

3 oz. box raspberry Jello
1 cup hot water
1 lb. can whole berry cranberry sauce
8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Dissolve the Jello in the hot water.  Add the cranberry sauce and stir well.  Add the other ingredients and mix well.  

Pour into a jello mold (or any other container) and chill for several hours.

Voila!  Cranberry sauce!

Monday, November 19, 2012

White Cheddar Corn Soup

This recipe was found on the blog Amanda's Cookin'.  I have modified it slightly.

You'll need:

1 1/2 tbs butter
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
5 cups frozen corn kernels
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp each: salt, black pepper, dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup milk, or heavy cream
2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute the onion and bell pepper for about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes or so.

Add the broth, corn, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and dried thyme.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf.  Blend with an immersion blender until it has reached your desired consistency.  Alternately, blend it in an actual blender, but do so in batches.

Add the milk or cream.  Stir in the cheese until fully melted.  Eat!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Baltimorean Tour de Pizza - Part 1

You like pizza.  I like pizza.  Let's take a tour of some of Baltimore's finest pizza-serving establishments.  Without further ado, let's embark on the first leg of The Baltimorean Tour de Pizza!

Stop #1: Joe Squared

I visited the Powerplant location with my friend Emily, rather than the one up in Station North, since the Powerplant is closer to where we both live and neither of us had our cars that day.

We shared an order of hot wings.  I have to say, Joe Squared has the best wings of any place that I've tried in Baltimore.  They're not the same as what you can find in the Pittsburgh area, but they're pretty darn good.

I had the crab and avocado risotto.  Their risottos are awesome, and you can order a half size (what I got) if you feel like it.  They have some interesting and creative flavor combinations, too.

She enjoyed the quattro formaggio pizza.  Always an excellent choice.

We split an order of the Maker's Mark Bourbon Pecan ice cream.  To quote Emily, this ice cream was "hella good".  The perfect way to describe it.  I'm already on the lookout for recipes so that I can make something like this at home.

Stop #2: Home Slyce

The next stop was Home Slyce Pizza Bar on Charles Street with Sean and our friend Melissa.  

Sean and I split a cheese pizza, which was tasty.

And Melissa got a slyce.  Which looks like a boat of pizza.  Deeeeelicious.

This place is relatively new to Mt. Vernon, though we've been there before and have ordered takeout a few times.  Good stuff.

Rounding out our initial leg of the Tour de Pizza was a trip to...

Stop #3: Iggie's Pizza

Stop #3 on the tour brought us to Iggie's Pizza, one of our favorites.  Sean's sister and her husband (Devon and Joe) came up to Bmore and took Sean and me out to lunch for Sean's birthday.  We had never taken them to Iggie's, so we figured this would be a good time to go.

They now have Diet Coke in glass bottles!  Maybe not the most exciting thing in the world, but Joe sure was excited.

Devon and Joe ordered the Seis Formaggi, which, as the title implies, is a 7 cheese pizza.  It's the first time I've seen it on the menu, and it was very good.

Sean and I ordered our old standby, the Salsiccia.  Yum.

You really can't go wrong with Iggie's.  If you are a guest of ours, and we have never taken you here, that situation needs to be rectified.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed eating at each of my pizza destinations, after hitting all 3 places up in the span of ~36 hours, I feel like I need to go on a detox diet.  

Even so, I plan to continue my pizza odyssey by revisiting some tried and true favorites as well as by exploring some new places.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know! =)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Hi everyone!  Not that it's possible for you to have forgotten, but Thanksgiving is coming up in exactly 1 week.  We'll be spending the holiday at Sean's sister's house, and I volunteered to bring the dessert as well as some of my mom's cranberry sauce.  Keep an eye out for the recipe for the cranberry sauce and the other pie I plan to make.  Hopefully that one goes well on Thanksgiving morning so I can share it with you, because it looks like it will be awesome.

Having never made a pie before, I wanted to practice a bit before the holiday came, in order to work out any potential issues.  

I found this recipe on the side of a can of Libby's pumpkin puree, and it can also be found here.

You'll need:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie shell/crust (or use this recipe, like I did)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

Mix the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Beat the eggs in a larger bowl.  Add the pumpkin puree and sugar mixture.  Mix until combined.  Gradually add in the evaporated milk.

Pour into the pie shell.  Bake for 15 minutes at 425.  Lower the heat to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out cleanly when inserted near the center.  Cool on a wire rack for ~2 hours.

Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Maybe not the prettiest pie ever--the crust isn't exactly perfect--but it sure was tasty!  And I'll be making it again next week, for sure.  I'm glad I got the chance to practice before the holiday.  Even though it's difficult, I'd advise waiting the full 2 hours for it to cool.  It allows the pie to really set up.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Party Punch

Sorry for the hiatus!  Here's a quick and easy recipe for punch for serving a crowd.  I honestly can't remember where I found this recipe, and have a feeling that it's the result of combining several different recipes.

You'll need:

1 tub of orange sherbet
1 carton/bottle orange-banana-pineapple juice (or some other tropical mixture)
2 2 liter bottle orange soda
rum, as much as desired
several limes and an orange, sliced thin, for garnish

Mix it all together in a large serving vessel, ladle it out, and enjoy!