Tag Archives: mix

Pistachio Pie

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I have succumbed to the pudding pie.  You are just so quick, so fast, so easy, so cheap.  You have 4 ingredients none of which require any more prep than opening.  My stove is not even consulted (except for baking the pie crust).

If this was anything else, I would probably try to figure out how to make this without using the pudding.  But, alas, I am a graduate student or aka poor.  I went to the store and I literally had in my hand the package of pistachio nuts, and the package of pistachio pudding mix.  Hum….$10 or $0.49….did I mention I was poor?

This is the same feeling I have when I read recipes where they garnish with macadamia nuts, or they use truffle oil on cooking shows.  Really.  You think normal people have access to that?

So I went with the pistachio pudding mix.  Artificial flavoring is my friend, apparently.

In the theme of fast food, this is a as you like it kind of recipe (Burger King reference).  By varying the amount of pudding mixture used, you can drastically change both the flavor and the texture of the pie.

1 pudding mix will give you a slightly green pie that will have the consistency of ice cream and have a slight pistachio flavor and is not overly sweet.

2 pudding mixes will give you a greener pie, but it will still be reminiscently milky, and the consistency will be a little less like ice cream and more like frozen yogurt.  It will have a slightly stronger pistachio flavor, and a much stronger sugar flavor.

3 pudding mixes will give you a GREEN pie and the consistency will be like pudding, even after it’s been in the freezer overnight, it will just be like frozen pudding.  It will have a strong pistachio flavor, and a strong sugar flavor.

4 pudding mixes would be excessive and possibly implode.  But definitely let me know if you try it and survive.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 ½ cup cold milk

1-3 packages instant pistachio pudding mix

1 cup whipping cream

1 9 inch pie crust

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A note on the pictures.  Since the different amounts of pudding used make the pies look very different at all steps, I have included pictures from the 1 and 3 pudding pie.  The picture on the left is always for the 1 pudding pie.  The picture on the right is always for the three pudding pie.

Heat the oven to 350OF.

If you’ve let your pie crust warm up, you can directly roll it into your pie tin.  If you’ve just taken it out of the refrigerator and are impatient, like I was, roll it out on a flat surface.  This is a little easier and will lead to fewer tears in the pie crust.

Take your pie crust and firmly press it into the pie tin on both the sides and the bottom.  With a fork, stab the pie crust multiple times making sure that there is no space bigger than your thumb that isn’t pricked.  This always makes me feel that a porcupine has had a fight with my pie.

Take the top edge of the pie crust, and fold it between your thumbs in order to make the ruffling.  Try not to pull the pie crust away from the side of the pie tin when you do this, as it can lead to the pie sinking down, which actually did happen to me with the 1 pudding pie.

Also, don’t look at the pie crust from the 3 pudding pie too closely, I tried this new gadget when I was making it and it didn’t work at all.

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Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  After pie is done baking, remove from the oven and let cool completely.

In a mixing bowl combine your cold milk and pistachio pudding mix.  Even if you use three packages, this will mix pretty easy with just a spoon.  Mix until the pudding mix is completely incorporated.  If you are using 1 or 2 mixes, this will be pretty smooth, but if you’re using 3 mixes it will look a little grainy and be very thick.

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Pour the milk mixture into a freezer safe container, preferably with a lid, and freeze for about 30-45 minutes until the mixture is completely solid and cold to the touch.

After the milk mixture is frozen, take it out of the freezer, and scrap it into a mixing bowl.  You can use the same one as before and add the whipping cream.  If you’re using 1 pudding mix this will blend really easily with just a spoon and will be almost white, with 2 mixes it will be a little harder but you should still be okay to use just a spoon, with 3 mixes you’re probably going to want to use an electric beater since it gets really thick and it will be GREEN.

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After the whipping cream is mixed in, pour the mix into the prepared pie crust.  Smooth out if necessary.  Return to the freezer and freeze overnight.

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While this does end up taking you awhile from all the freezing steps, I’d say all and all you’re actually actively working on the pie for less than 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

And I just think this looks funny, this is what the 3 pudding pie looks like when you first pour it into the pie crust.  It’s defying gravity!

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Coconut Cream Pie

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Coconut probably is one of my favorite ingredients.  When I found out that South Indian cuisine had a lot of coconut in it, I went on a quest to find someone from South India who could give me some recipes.  I was successful in finding two.  Unfortunately, one of them doesn’t cook with coconut much, and the other one was vegetarian.  But never fear, my quest continues.  I’m hearing batman music right now, that’s probably just in my head.

But until then, there’s always pie.   Ummm….pie.  Pie should be its own food group.  And since I’m not likely to be leaping any tall buildings any time soon, bring on the pie!

Just so as you know though, this is a pretty healthy pie as far as pie goes.  This is an old school recipe, back before pudding was used as a base for cream pies, so you cut back on preservatives by making the pudding base yourself.  Also, it has only a small amount of butter, and less than a cup of sugar.  If you’ve got a sweet tooth and trying to cut back on the sugar, or if you’re not really a fan of suggery sweets this is the pie for you.

If you want an even healthier pie, or a lighter pie, you can separate out your eggs and use only egg whites, it will make your pie whiter, where this one has a decided yellow tinge, and it might also make it a little firmer, but it won’t affect the taste much.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 pie crust

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ -2 cups coconut

1 tablespoon butter

2 eggs

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Preheat oven to 350O F

Take the pie crust and carefully unroll it into a pie tin that is dry.  Do not butter or oil or flour the pie tin.  If you let the pie crust sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, this is easier, but it’s not essential if you’re careful.

Press the pie crust firmly down into the pie tin, and then pinch the upper crust between the forefingers of both hands in order to create the ‘wrinkle’.  Do this all the way around the pie, this will both make the pie have the traditional look, and help prevent it from sinking or burning.

Again, make sure the pie crust is pressed down well and is not lower on one area of the pie tin than another.

Take a fork and pierce the bottom and sides of the pie crust making sure there are no open space of more than 1 inch.  This will let air out of your pie crust while you bake it and prevent it from puffing up.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until the pie crust is golden brown.

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You might want to check it occasionally, and if it starts to puff up anyplace, you might be able to save it by pulling it out of the oven early.

While the pie is baking heat the milk in a saucepan under medium to low heat.  Add first the flour, cornstarch, and finally the salt a small amount at a time stirring well after each addition.   Make sure you completely blend in each of the dry ingredients into the milk and don’t leave any lumps.  Should take around 5-10 minutes, the smaller the measurement of the dry ingredients you try to add at each time the easier it will be to blend.

Add the sugar ¼ cups at a time and stir continuously until the mixture starts to thicken.  Takes about 5 minutes.

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Turn the heat down to low and stir continuously to incorporate ½ cups coconut and butter until the butter has melted.  Takes less than 5 minutes

Add the eggs, one egg at a time, stirring continuously until the eggs are well blended.  Pour into the prepared pie crust.

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Top with the remaining coconut.  Chill overnight.

Congratulations, that was it, you’re done!

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Takes about 20-40 minutes cook time and needs to chill overnight to set up.  Since it hasn’t been baked at all, it will only be semi-solid even when it has set overnight, so try not to leave it out of the refrigerator for long.

Enjoy!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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I know I just made a post about how I generally avoid recipes that have a page worth of ingredients, but it doesn’t count if half the ingredients are things I keep in my house.  Right?  Yah, that sounds like an excuse to me too.

Anywho, I really like Asian food, I mean what’s not to like.  It’s hot, spicy (not always the same thing), it’s always served with either rice or noodles, and generally not the worst thing you could eat health wise.   But notice I do say generally.  This is because a lot of times really good Chinese food is fried.  I do so love my fried foods.

It’s a shame I don’t have the metabolism of a high schooler any more and can’t just eat fried foods all day.  Plus they tell me it’s bad for me, something about clogged arteries and heart attacks.  To bad.

I’ve wanted to try to make homemade Chinese takeout for awhile, but the way of getting crispy chicken without deep frying it was eluding me.  It all comes down to how you coat or bread the chicken.  I got this idea for coating the chicken from here http://stuffcynloves.com/2013/05/03/best-general-tao-chicken-recipe/.   It works really well as a pho-fried food breading.

Enjoy

Ingredients

1 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons flour

2 eggs

1 cup panko

Chicken thighs or breasts

4 Tablespoons peanut butter

6 tablespoons soy sauce

1 Green pepper (sorry forgot to include in the picture)

1 package mushrooms, about ½ pound

2 sticks celery

4 green onions

2 heads brocoli

1 can crushed pineapple

6 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Oil for frying

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If you’re working with chicken thighs, deskin and debone, and try to cut off any large chunks of fat.  For either chicken thighs or breasts, cut into approximately 1 inch pieces.

Set up a line of three bowls.  In the first bowl, pour 1 cup of cornstarch.   In the next bowl mix together the 2 eggs, salt, baking powder, and flour which will make a thick goo. In the last bowl pour the 1 cup of panko.  You can use breadcrumbs instead of panko, but the chicken won’t be quite as cruncy.

Dip each piece of chicken into first the cornstarch, then the egg mix, and finally the panko.  Try to shake off any extra cornstarch before coating your pieces with the egg mixture.

Put just enough oil in a deep skillet to cover the bottom and heat under medium to high heat.  After the oil is hot, put in the chicken pieces, evenly spaced and so they don’t quite touch.

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Cook until panko starts to brown and then turn and cook on the other side.  Make sure the chicken is cooked through and remove it from the pan, takes about 10-15 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking finely chop all your veggies and put in a big bowl, it’s a lot of veggies.

In a small mixing bowl add the peanut butter and 4 tablespoons of soy sauce.  Mix a little, until the peanut butter is not a blob in a sea of soy sauce but it’s not going to make a smooth mixture.  Pour the mixture onto the veggies and mix well.

Pour the veggie mix into the skillet and cook on medium to high heat stirring often until the veggies soften.  Takes about 10 minutes.

While cooking the veggies mix in a suacpan the pineapple, sugar, apple cider vinegar, remaining soy cauce, cornstarch, and garlic powder.  Mix in each ingredient one at a time beginning with the pineapple and mix well after every addition.  Cook under low heat until everything is well incorporated, you’re difficult ingredient here will be the cornstarch.  This really only takes 5 minutes or so.

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After the veggies are soft turn heat down to low and add back in the chicken.  Stir once or twice until the chicken is evenly mixed.  Add the pineapple sauce to the skillet and mix well.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so and you’re done.

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Serve with either rice or butter noodles.   If you’re a fan of broth with your rice, double the sauce mixture.

Really this is a pretty easy recipe, but it does take some time.  Around 45 minutes to an hour start to finish.

Enjoy.

Cheesy Salad Sandwich

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I’m personally a big fan of salad.  I feel that a lot of times salads get a bad name as being smothered in dressing, or having everything in them but the kitchen sink.  But they can’t be all bad.

My mom actually makes that second kind of salad and it’s amazing.  She makes the dressing from scratch and everything, but when I finally got her to give me the recipe for it, it seemed to be a mile long.  While I know that it would not be complicated to make, I generally balk at the idea of making something that has more than 20 ingredients.

I’m also not a huge fan of lettuce.  Since lettuce is the principle ingredient in most salads, and it has no taste, I suppose those other 19 ingredients are necessary to make the lettuce taste like something other than crisp green water.  And depending on how long your salad has been out of the refrigerator, you even loose the crisp.

So I’m going to say this is not so much of a recipe, as an idea, inspired by something similar I found in a cookbook.  Why not take the lettuce out of the salad?  And while I was at it I figured I could add some bread too.  Bread improves every meal, and I’m an even bigger fan of sandwiches than I am of salads.

Enjoy

Ingredients

1 tomato

½ cucumber

1 red or orange bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

2 sticks celery

2 green onions

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ cup Italian Salad Dressing

Shredded Swiss cheese

Bread

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Finely chop all the vegetables.   Mix well with the black pepper and Italian Salad Dressing.  I feel you could almost use any veggies you wanted in this, my only caution would be to try to keep it from getting too wet, as that will dilute the Italian Salad Dressing which is providing most of the seasoning.

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Just as you can use almost any veggies, you can use almost any bread.  If necessary, cut the bread in half.  On each half, or slice, sprinkle enough of the Swiss cheese to just cover the bread.  Cover the bread with a paper towel and microwave for 1 minute.  This will melt the cheese without drying it out or burning it.

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Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of the veggie mixture onto one half of the sandwich and place the other half on top.  Makes 4-8 sandwiches depending on the size of the sandwich.

Enjoy.

Chai Cheescake

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The first time I made this was actually for a going away party for one of my coworkers.  I had a reputation in the department as being a good baker, and I asked her what she would like me to make.   She asked if I could make a cheesecake out of tea.

Well, I have to say, that was one of the strangest things I had ever heard, and I definitely hadn’t expected her to say that.  It had never occurred to me to try to bake tea into a cake, let alone a cheesecake.  She was a pretty good friend of mine, so since she had asked, I set out to apply.  So I did what any 90s kid would do.  I googgled it.

And…there are a lot of recipes for green tea cheesecake.  They all use the same basic ingredient list, tea, cream cheese, sugar, and eggs.  That’s not very hard.  Since she was Indian, and not Japanese, I figured she would prefer Chai tea to green; and that was when the recipe building began.  Several pies, and one very happy but sugar high family later; I had made my very first recipe.

It also started a persistent need to improve upon every recipe I’ve cooked since.   I’ve ended up with some really good recipes, some really awful recipes, and sometimes a very angry Megan.  But meh.  You win some, you lose some.

Anyway, Enjoy!

Ingredients

6 Chai tea bags

I used the Bigelow Spice Chai, which has a lot more flavor to it; I’ve also used the Bigelow Vanilla Chai which yields a much milder cheesecake which tastes a little more like regular cheesecake.

1 cup water

2 8-ounce containers of cream cheese

½ cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 9 inch graham cracker pie crust

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Sorry I forgot to include the lime juice in the photo, I just use the Kroger brand.

First thing, get the cream cheese out of the refrigerator.  I really hate to wait for things to come to room temperature, and I’m usually the one who gets impatient and just uses the butter cold, but unfortunately with this recipe it actually has to be room temp.  Unfortunate.   Cut the cream cheese into cubes, and it will defrost faster.

Heat water to boiling and measure out 1 cup of boiling water and put in all six tea bags.  Cover the 1 cup of water with a plate or anything else non-paper that will completely cover the container’s mouth in order to steep the tea.  I actually used the pie crust tin.

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Preheat oven to 350OF.

After the cream cheese has come to room temperature, about 20 minutes when it’s cut up, add the sugar and blend well.   If you’re using a hand mixer this will only take a few seconds.

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Add the egg, the steeped tea, and the lime juice and blend well again.  This will be pretty messy as it makes a really liquidy mixture so make sure you’ve used a bowl with high sides.

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This should make a completely viscous mixture.  If your mixture looks like the above picture, skip the next paragraph.

If your mixture has lots of little white chunks in it, that’s the cream cheese, because it was not at room temperature yet when you started.  You can blend all you want, it won’t get well incorporated.  Don’t worry though, you can still bake it.  It will just not have as even a consistency, as those little chunks of cream cheese will bake differently than the rest of the mixture.

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Pour the mixture into the graham cracker pie crust; do not over fill the pie crust so you will probably have a little filling left over.  Very carefully place the pie crust in the oven; it will be very easy to spill so watch your step.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is starting to turn brown.

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Pie should still be a little jiggly, like jello, if touched, but should appear solid and a little puffed up.  Turn the oven off and leave the pie in for an additional 1-2 hours, until it is no longer jiggly.  Try to open the oven as little as possible, since this lets out your heat.

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When the pie is done, it will have deflated and will pull away from the tin slightly.  It will still be a little semi-solid if you serve it immediately, for it to properly set up it has to be refrigerated for 3-6 hours.

Sever warm, or refrigerate for 6 hours to cool completely.  Enjoy