Month: February 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes with Toasted Pecans

On Wednesday night, some friends and I had a wonderful idea. Let’s have a breakfast-for-dinner party. Why hadn’t we thought of such a brilliant idea before? If you want to take a look at some pictures from our soiree, be sure to pop on over to our instagram account. Heck, while you’re there you should enter our #minicandy cookbook giveaway. You could win some adorable prizes.

So since Wednesday, I’ve been dreaming of breakfast. Everything from maple-cured bacon to sweet potato hash to … you guess it, pancakes! And why make regular, boring, boxed pancakes when you can end up with something like this?Check it out in the section below and also how this unique recipe complimented our idea of a breakfast-for-dinner party. Initially, we were a little apprehensive about the success of the idea and whether all the guests will find it engaging. Our worries turned into satisfaction and overwhelming joy when we almost became trendsetters for the variety theme.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Toasted Pecans
Excerpted from Powerful Paleo Superfoods by Heather Connell

Pancakes are a Paleo treat in my house, mostly served on weekends and especially after the request/begging of my six-year-old twins. On a crisp fall morning these pancakes are a favorite to warm the soul. Try switching up the pumpkin purée for sweet potato purée or ripe banana purée.

2 cup (120 g) pumpkin purée
2 eggs
1 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil, melted, plus more for griddle
2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup (60 g) almond flour
1 tablespoon (8 g) coconut flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 cup (38 g) pecans, chopped

Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat (watch the temperature carefully to keep the pancakes from burning). In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, eggs, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla. Using a hand mixer, combine the ingredients until smooth and blended. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda to the wet ingredients and mix again until everything is incorporated.

Melt 1 teaspoon of additional coconut oil in the hot griddle or skillet, making sure the oil coats the surface evenly. Pour about 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 cup (60 to 80 ml) batter to the skillet for each pancake. Allow the pancakes
to cook on one side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden. (These don’t cook like traditional pancakes, so don’t flip the pancakes too soon or they will break apart.) Then, using a spatula, carefully
flip the pancakes over to cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

While the pancakes cook, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4) and evenly spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Toast the pecans for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Top the pancakes with toasted pecans and serve.

Powerful Paleo Superfoods

Unlike other superfood lists you may have seen that include things like soy, legumes, quinoa and goji, the Paleo community has a very different idea of what constitutes nutritional power foods. With superfoods like grass-fed bison, bone broth, and coconut oil you are on your way to amazing health benefits including reduced incidence of diabetes, autoimmune illnesses, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Paleo expert Heather Connell will guide you through the top 50 Paleo superfoods from power proteins like salmon and locally farmed beef to super fats and Paleo-approved fruits and vegetables.

Powerful Paleo Superfoods is your essential guide to getting the best out of your caveman lifestyle.

As American as Cherry Pie

I know, President’s Day is now behind us, but I couldn’t help but share this all-American pie recipe from the upcoming cookbook Ms. American Pie. To many of us across the country, it doesn’t get more American than cherry pie. Imagine this one cooling in your window (for some of us it wouldn’t take long before it froze right over). Hopefully this warm and gooey, incredibly delicious pie will usher in spring and summer. At least we can hope, right?

The first few months in the new year in Japan has all the Cherry trees in full bloom, those exotic nature colors and sweet and tangy berries are must have in the list, and as American one can get is make a cherry pie which is also well kept secret recipe passed on to the next generations in families, the amazing crust and the rush of gooey berries, full report on the reviews and feedback help investors to use the software and earn good profits.

Cherry Pie
Excerpted from Ms. American Pie by Beth Howard

For some people—er, me—apple pie is a favorite. For others, it’s unquestionably cherry that rocks their world. I get asked every weekend at the Pitchfork Pie Stand if I have cherry pie. My response is a quick one:

“Who’s going to pit all those cherries?!” But cherry pie is bred deeply in the American DNA, and for that, and its bright and cheery appearance, there is a place for it when offering gifts of healing to others.

Basic Pie Dough for double-crust pie 
½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into large chunks
½ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
2½ cups flour, plus at least ½ cup extra for rolling
Dash of salt
Ice water (fill a full cup but use only enough to moisten dough)

5 to 6 cups pitted fresh cherries (sweet, tart, or a combo of both)
1½ cups sugar (or less if cherries are sweet)
3 tbsp tapioca, or 4 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter, to pat on top of filling
1 beaten egg, to brush on top crust

Prepare the Basic Pie Dough for a double-crust pie: 
★ Flour is your friend when it comes to rolling dough. It’s what I like to call your “insurance policy.” Contrary to what other cookbooks will tell you, extra flour will not make your dough tough. Adding flour to
your rolling surface will keep your dough from sticking—and will keep you from running to the store in frustration to buy pre-made pie crust.
★ That said, always start from the center and roll out to the edges, rolling in one direction. You can push, you can pull, but don’t roll back and forth like a crazy person. I like to think of rolling dough as a dance; stay fluid in your motions. Also, put a little body weight into it so you can really stretch your dough. Too little pressure won’t get your dough to roll thin; too much pressure will mangle your dough. Try it out, get a feel, don’t be afraid to experiment.
★ Keep your workspace clean. Take the time to scrape the gunk off your rolling surface as well as your rolling pin. This is another one of those “insurance policies” to keep your dough from sticking.
★ When rolling dough, use your pie dish to calculate how big you’ll need it. Allow for enough extra width to account for the depth of the dish and make sure the extra inch or two of overhang from the dish has enough bulk for crimping the edge.
★ Size isn’t the only goal when rolling dough. You want to aim for a certain “thinness.” My pie teacher, Mary Spellman, taught me what her mother taught her: Roll it thin enough so you can just start to see the stripes of the tablecloth through the dough. I always think about this transparency, even if there are no stripes on my rolling surface.

1. In a deep, large bowl, work the butter and shortening into the flour and salt with your hands until you have almond- and pea-sized lumps of butter.

2. Then, drizzling in ice water a little at a time, “toss” the water around with your fingers spread, as if the flour were a salad and your hands were the salad tongs. Don’t spend a lot of time mixing the dough, just focus on getting it moistened. Translation: With each addition of water, toss about four times and then STOP, add more water, and repeat.

3. When the dough holds together on its own (and with enough water, it will), do a “squeeze test.” If
it falls apart, you need to add more water. If it is soggy and sticky, you might need to sprinkle flour onto it until the wetness is balanced out. The key is to not overwork the dough! It takes very little time and you’ll be tempted to keep touching it, but don’t!

4. Now divide the dough in two balls (or three, if your pie dishes are smaller) and form each into a disk shape.

5. Sprinkle flour under and on top of your dough to keep it from sticking to your rolling surface. Roll to a thinness where the dough almost seems transparent.

Prepare the Filling: Mix cherries, sugar, tapioca, and salt together in a large bowl. Let sit for about 20 minutes to let tapioca activate, then pour into pie shell.

Add a pat of butter on top, then cover with the top crust. Trim and crimp edges, brush with beaten egg, then poke vent holes. Bake at 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5) and bake for another 30 minutes or more. Filling should be bubbling.

Go for the lattice top on this pie! Those cherries will look so pretty poking out from underneath with all their messy, delicious-looking juice oozing out.

If you use frozen cherries, you don’ t need to thaw them first, but you will need to let them sit longer in the tapioca before baking— about an hour. You will also need to increase the baking time by about 30 minutes so they cook fully.

If you use cornstarch instead of tapioca to thicken, and you don’t mind doing an extra step—and having another dish to wash—you can pre-cook the cherries in a saucepan over the stove, stirring in the sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and heating, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Ms. American Pie

Beth M. Howard knows about pie. She made pies at California’s Malibu Kitchen for celebrities including Barbra Streisand (lemon meringue), Dick Van Dyke (strawberry rhubarb), and Steven Spielberg (coconut cream) before moving back home to rural Iowa. She now lives in the famous American Gothic House (the backdrop for Grant Wood’s famous painting) and runs the hugely popular Pitchfork Pie Stand.

With full-color photos throughout, Ms. American Pie features 80 of Beth’s coveted pie recipes and some of her own true tales to accompany them. With chapters like Pies to Heal, Pies to Seduce, and Pies to Win the Iowa State Fair, Beth will divulge her secret for making a killer crust without refrigerating the dough and will show you how to break every rule you’ve ever learned about making delicious, homemade pie.

Sin City’s Cocktail Cures and the Iberville Street Cocktail

When you think of Sin City, you think of big nights out hitting the restaurants, bars, nightclubs and casinos—and there’s a good reason for that! Las Vegas is the party and gambling capital of the world and, as such, is renowned for a certain style all of its own.

While cooking or specific foods may not be immediately associated with Vegas—no one goes there specifically for the food, although there are many top class restaurants serving all kinds of cuisine—one thing everyone does on the Strip is have a drink.

When they are too much immersed in the addicting gambling game, very little attention is given to the details of food they eat. However, the same is not the case for drinks. These specially made drinks serve as energy syrups during the electrifying game and have become almost like a trademark of the casinos in the region.

Yep, we’re talking about ‘cooking’ up some Vegas style cocktails! Now that’s the kind of cooking we want and, what’s more, with Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today, you can whip up a cocktail not only to get yourself in the party mood, but also to make you feel better the morning after.

Apothecary Cocktails Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today

Old Fashioned Cocktail Cures

As Warren Bobrow, cocktail master extraordinaire, tells us in the book, back at the start of the 20th century, it was completely commonplace for American and European pharmacies to knock up their own cures—and they almost always included alcohol.

Whereas we think of a cocktail as something to get the party started, the chemists back in the day thought of them more to just help people get through the day. Whether people were looking for something to help with indigestion or sleeping problems, there was a tincture for it.

The Deep Healer Cocktail

This book shows you how to make them at home—that way the morning after the night before at the casino won’t seem so bad. All you need to do is crack open the book, find the remedy for whatever ails you (headache, nausea) and imbibe the cocktail while playing online at—the fun doesn’t have to stop just because you’re hungover!

Old Recipes Become Hip

New York’s Apotheke bar, the Apo Bar & Lounge in Philadelphia, and Tacoma’s 1022 South have all been behind the resurgence of interest in old fashioned cocktails and ingredients. Everything vintage is in these days, after all, and the coolest people from coast to coast are giving these recipes a bash.

The book shows you 75 original and new recipes for medical cocktails, including ingredients that were extremely popular in Victorian times—including Chartreuse, Vermouth, and Peychaud’s Bitters. When you find your favorite drink and perfect it at home, you should be able to get most well stocked bars to make it for you as well.

Image credit: Cowfish/Wikipedia

It’ll be like having a medical cabinet full of cures at your disposal—but much, much more fun!

The Iberville Street Cocktail
Excerpted from Apothecary Cocktails by Warren Bobrow

The Iberville Street Cocktail, a tasty variation on the Sazerac theme, would have been just as effective as the Sazerac against tummy troubles—mostly due to the generous use of those healing Peychaud’s bitters, which coat the inside of the stomach. French-born pharmacist Antoine Peychaud developed his recipe for bitters in 1830—long before safe food-handling practices became de rigueur—to relieve stomach illnesses of the era. His soothing recipe contained anise, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, along with copious amounts of brandy.

For a time, Peychaud’s combination of herbs, spices, and alcohol were available only in pharmacies, and were even meant to ease the symptoms of more serious diseases, such as dysentery and ulcers. Today, luckily, you don’t need a prescription to make an Iberville, which includes absinthe, brandy for tension relief, and grapefruit juice for a hit of healing citrus.

2 ounces (60 ml) Lillet Blanc
1 ounce (30 ml) brandy
4-5 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
4 ounces (120 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1⁄2 ounce (15 ml) absinthe
Large piece of lemon peel
1 orange zest twist

Add a couple handfuls of ice to a Boston shaker; then add the Lillet Blanc, brandy, bitters, and grapefruit juice, and shake well for twenty seconds. Wash a short rocks glass with the absinthe by pouring the absinthe into the glass, swirling it around, and pouring it out. Rub the inside of the washed glass thoroughly with the lemon peel. Strain the stomach-healing mixture into the glass, and garnish with a flamed orange zest twist (hold the orange twist firmly behind a lit match, and pinch it to release its natural citrus oils). Sip slowly
for quick relief of uneasy stomachs.