Monday, April 23, 2012

key lime pie: guest post by big sis courtney walker

You may have noticed, if you've been reading this blog for very long, that I have a super rad family who is just as obsessed with food as I am. I've gotten many recipes over the years from my sisters and I keep pestering them to do some guest posts for me. Finally, one of them got worn down enough to hook a sister up! Courtney is the writer in the family and even published a novel—it's called On The Fringe and it's amazing! You should definitely read it. So here is her post (the photos were taken by her brother-in-law, Paul Walker—no, not THAT Paul Walker) so, check it out!

(Doesn't it look amazing???)

Caroline, my favorite little sister, has hinted/suggested (no bribing yet) many times over the past year that I do a guest post on her awesome baking blog. I happen to be a writer; though please don’t judge me. Normally I write young adult fiction with a lot of angst and super sticky situations in which only teenagers find themselves—not intros to recipes. Caroline is much better at this, I promise. However, I do love to bake as much as she does, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to help her out—plus, I need to start documenting some of the yummy things I make and eat too fast.

Sunday afternoon is my favorite baking day because after church and a big lunch/ dinner…I either want to nap or bake, depending on my mood. Sometimes both. Yesterday I managed a long nap and then woke up, ready to make whatever pie my kids suggested. Their vote? Key Lime Pie. I couldn’t argue with that —not only do I love it, but it is very quick and easy to make. So, I tweaked a few recipes, taking the best out of each one (which is what Caroline always does, right?). And this was the perfect, scrumptious result. Pictures included!!

Key Lime Pie with Chiffon Whipped Cream

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 325.
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix together and press into regular (not deep-dish) pie pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray just on the bottom. Press onto the sides and bottom of pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

For the filling (this is the easy part):

Preheat oven to 350.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup key lime juice
grated lime zest from 1 lime

Mix above together in a bowl until smooth; pour into baked piecrust. Bake in oven for 8 minutes, or until pinhole bubbles burst the surface of the pie. Don’t over bake. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Place in fridge until ready to serve, even overnight, if needed.

For Chiffon Whipped Cream (prepare this right before serving):

2 egg whites
4 Tablespoons sugar, divided
sprinkle cream of tartar
1 ½ cups cold whipping cream

Whip egg whites until soft, about 2 minutes; then beat in 2 tablespoons sugar and cream of tartar until medium-stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In separate bowl, beat whipping cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until medium-stiff peaks form (don’t overbeat – just make sure it is stiff but still creamy). Fold egg whites into whipped cream and then spread over cooled pie.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

I found this recipe last summer, and made it with my good pal, Julia last summer along with another favorite jam, Rhubarb Raspberry Jam. With the recent influx of good strawberries, I decided to have another go at the recipe. It's super easy to make, and the balsamic really brings out the flavor of the strawberries and adds more depth. So, if you find yourself with an extra basket or two of strawberries, I suggest you make this happen!
Easy Balsamic Strawberry Jam Recipe
2 cups of chopped strawberries
1 cup of sugar
2 Tbl. of balsamic vinegar
Cook strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a medium pan on med-high heat for about 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. I usually eye-ball the thickness of the sauce to determine when it is done. When the jam mixture has reduced to the consistency of thick honey or 220 degrees F. remove from heat and allow to cool. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

restaurants i love: mama's plantation

I feel like maybe I should have been born in the South. I love comfort food more than any other kind of food. I've always been in love with mac n' cheese, peach cobbler, cornbread, yams and other Southern fair. My first real experience with Southern Comfort Food was at Folks in Atalanta as a teenager. I couldn't get fried green tomatoes off the brain. When I visited my friend Liz in New York years ago, she knew about my love and took me to Spoonbread in Harlem (funny story, that's where I met my good friend Rachel for the first time, but we didn't become friends until years later—when I first moved to Salt Lake). I've also become a convert to Roscoe's Chicken n' Waffles in LA thanks to Broek and RenĂ©e. I have long since lamented the lack of this kind of food here in Utah, and how it seems that I have to globe trot to satiate my cravings, but recently went with some friends to (the new to us) Mama's Plantation in Sandy. I've been back about 4 or 5 times since my first visit in late February. I LOVE this place! I love the catfish, fried okra, yams, and the cornbread is sooo amazing. This is definitely one of my new favorite spots, and recommend it to anyone and everyone. You will be full for like two days afterwards, but it will be a fullness of food, comfort and joy.

(all my photos were taken with my phone in low light, so forgive the excessive use of filters to make up for this)
 delicious cornbread

 amazing fried okra

scrumptious yams

delightful peach cobbler

PS: If this post seems like a name-dropper post, I apologize, I just happen to know super legitimate people and they love food like I do. We can't help it.