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Turtle Brownie Pie

10 May

I worked at a bakery for two weeks. That’s right, two whole weeks. I wasn’t even baking. I was just at the front of the store using tongs to place croissants in boxes, toss decorated sugar cookies in waxed paper baggies, and run credit cards through the cash register.

It all ended so suddenly when I requested some time off for Thanksgiving. Foolish girl—you can’t request days off for a holiday. (Especially when you’re making an enviable $8/hr.) Needless to say, I wasn’t able to sample all of the treats before I had to take my leave.

One thing I managed to taste was their turtle brownie. And, my, it was good. Ever since then, I’ve dreamed of creating my own (better) version.

This turtle brownie pie may be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made. I always try to make delicious-tasting food, but it doesn’t always look as good as it tastes. And with food, you really do judge the book by its cover. Who wants to eat food that looks like chewed-up garbage?

This isn’t exactly a pie, but it’s round, so that’s what we’ll call it. The brownie is dense and decadent, and the top is smothered in ganache, toasted pecans, and buttery caramel sauce. (Pause. I just reached over and ate a spoonful of the extra caramel sauce. Heavenly.)

Step 1: Toast pecans.

Step 2: Whip up brownie batter.

Step 3: Make rich ganache. Lick the spoon.

Step 4: Cook some caramel. Repeat licking spoon step.

Step 5: Assemble pie. (more…)

Quiche Lorraine

8 May

Have you ever heard that lucky people are lucky mostly because they believe they’re lucky? According to my own statistical studies, this is 100 percent true.

Yesterday Ryan and I were taking an evening walk. (Awww, you’re so cute and romantic!) All of a sudden, Ryan jumped away from me and squatted beside the path, peering into some bushes. (I was sure he found a snake, spider, or other creature with which to scare me.) But, alas! He found an old $20 bill! Just sitting there patiently waiting for a lucky person to spot it.

Now according to my studies, people who believe they’re unlucky never would’ve spotted the money because they’re already so sure that nothing lucky will happen to them.

Summary: Get lucky!

You happen to be in luck today. I know you were wondering what to make with that flaky pie crust recipe I gave you last weekend. Here’s one of my favorite dishes that uses it.

This quiche is silky smooth (thanks, Swiss cheese!) and very tasty. (more…)

Weekend Challenge: Flaky Pie Crust

5 May

What a busy week I’ve had with book signings, TV appearances, and my new cooking show. I’m also in the midst of redecorating my home and restoring antique furniture. I can hardly keep up with my daily spa visits and marathon training.

If this sounds nothing like you, then make this pie crust.

I may not be superwoman, a celebrity, or a do-it-all-yourselfer, but I can make my own pie crust, and that makes up for the rest, I think. Don’t you?

This here pie crust is classically flaky. I recommend making the double crust recipe every time. Then even if you just need one pie crust, you can freeze the other one until you’re ready to use it (with much less work).

Cut your cold butter and shortening into your flour mixture.

Toss around the ice water until large, moist clumps form.

Firmly shape into a round ball.

Flatten the ball and begin rolling, one-quarter turn at a time.

Keep rolling and turning.

And rolling and turning until the dough has a 12-inch diameter. It’s OK if there are rough edges.

Press the dough into the pan, and fold the overhanging dough into the sides to form the crust. (more…)