Saturday, May 4, 2013
It’s time for caramel y’all. My foodie besties and I are celebrating spring and Cinco De Mayo with a CARAMEL WEEK! I’m not sure why, but the timing was great, because I’ve had some major caramel hankerin’s lately.
It came to me in a dream one night, and thus I adapted this pie from my Nutella Pie.
Not really from a dream – well, maybe a daydream.
You know, it’s like I literally have visions of sugarplum fairies (and unicorns) dancing around in my head all day.
I once told my mom inside my head looks like a box of Trix exploded. #nojoke
How many hash tags have you used lately?
Mama brought me this BOMB DOT COM (that’s right) caramel sauce recently. BY ALL MEANS, if you’re totally an over-achiever, make your own caramel sauce.
But … I’ve had two caramel fails, and feeling a little guilty about wasting so much butter, I decided I’d use this delectable treat.
Fran’s is based out of Seattle, and mom read all about it and ordered us some chocolates and various treats to try. Couldn’t pick a favorite if I had to. Next time I’m visit Country Cleaver, we’re making a pit stop to Fran’s.
Another good choice is the Salted Caramel from Trader Joe’s, but there are no TJ in Austin.
This icebox pie is perfect for caramel since it can get so sickly sweet – this way the fluffed up whipped cream brings a nice air to it.
Add more whip cream, and it’s like a mousse.
Layer it with chocolate cookies, brownies, or cake, and you’ve got trifle.
It’s versatility at it’s best people.
Plus, no turning on the oven.
I made a little extra so I’d have individuals to share with friends, and a whole pie for the husband.
I discovered my husband is happier if I have a whole pie, cookie, cake just for him, and it’s not missing a piece that I used for food photography.
Be sure to check out everyone else’s DELICIOUS CARAMEL CREATIONS for our #themeweek.
~Peace, Love, and Salty Caramel Y’all
Salted Caramel Pie
adapted from my Nutella Pie
2 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
11 oz. caramel sauce
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini pretzels, for garnish
Place chocolate cookie wafers in a sealed bag. Crush with a rolling pin until cookies become fine crumbs. Pour in melted butter, and mix around until thoroughly coated. Press the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate, or individual ramekins, saving a few pinches of crumbs for the garnish.
In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and 3/4 cup powdered sugar using electric beaters, about one minute. Add 11 oz. caramel sauce and beat until fluffy, about three minutes. Don't stop once it's just combined - three minutes adds air, making it nice and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until stiff peaks have formed - this takes about 3-4 minutes. Starting with 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture, fold the whipped cream into the caramel mixture. Once it's combined, add the remaining whipped cream to the caramel mixture, folding gently until thoroughly mixed. Pour the mixture into a 9 inch cookie crust. Top with mini pretzels and crushed cookie crumbs, or simply a drizzle of hot fudge. Freeze 4 hours or until firm. When ready to serve, let the pie sit out 20 minutes to soften.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Spring is here! Wait, more like summer is here!
Truthfully, in Central Texas you never know.
One day it’s 80, then we’re back to 55 and break out the skinny jeans and tall boots.
Well my strawberry pie transitions nicely for our crazy weather patterns. The first couple times I tried this pie, I was not a fan.
I’m one of those weird sweet tooth people that usually prefers things chocolate. I would eat this pie and dream of adding some gentle chocolate curls on top. Or perhaps it needed a light chocolate layer on the bottom, under the fruit.
Once my mind cleared of its chocoholic haze, I was clear to see the beauty of this pie. Fresh and fruity, with a light fluffy topping.
Very similar to strawberry shortcake, but all neatly packed in pie form, all in one bowl. No syrupy strawberries to get soggy, no biscuits to dry out and get hard, just a perfect piece of pie. Now, don’t y’all get me wrong, I won’t turn down strawberry shortcake made on biscuits with fresh whipped cream any day, but I love me some pie too.
Anything is better in pie form. You can’t beat a recipe that’s versatile too! Got leftover blueberries in the fridge that you forgot to add to the pancake batter? Throw ‘em in! Blackberries leftover from your smoothie? Yup. Raspberries that are on the verge of overripe? Yummy. Mix up your berries in this pie. Use sugar free Jell-O or sugar free Cool Whip if you’re diabetic. And heck, if you need some chocolate, yes, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. Sure makes me happy.
~Peace, Love, and Pie y’all.
Strawberry Jell-O Pie
Adapted from Southern Plate
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Water
3 tablespoons strawberry Jell-O
1 pint strawberries, sliced thick
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 9 inch pie crust, baked and room temperature
1 container Cool Whip, thawed
In a medium pan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and Jell-O mix. Add the water and cook over medium, stirring constantly until the glaze becomes thick and clear. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, and transfer to a wide bowl and let cool completely. Slice the strawberries into thirds or quarters and fold gently into the cooled glaze mixture. Pour the mixture into the pie crust, and top with Cool Whip. Chill for about an hour before serving.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
SPRING BREAK HERE IN TEXAS!!!!!!
My closest friends have RVs, so they all decided to go camping at Lake Georgetown this week. Lucky me, I got to tag along. This was pretty much our view for 3 days.
Texas weather looks like yoga pants in the morning, and shorts and tank tops by 2:00.
We all got our first sunburns of the year! (YAY)
And I was the camp nerd in my big lifeguarding hat, because I’m afraid of wrinkles and age spots.
But I’ll tan my legs all I want, ha.
Aaaaand this was our view by night.
Not much difference, huh?
Complete with s’mores.
And marshmallows in the shape of easter bunnies.
The kids LOVED that.
We also took the kids on scavenger hunts, led leaf and glue art projects, and laughed as the kids teased and chased the boys at the campsite down the way. *sigh* It was just like The Wonder Years.
I’ve become a sort of camping weenie, but RVing it is sooooo convenient. Because, you know, you can use the commode and wash your face, and brush your teeth, all without a hose. AND escape the wind, or heat.
Here was our breakfast out on the range!
And yours truly, The Hill Country Cook herself, didn’t do a lick of cooking! I just leaned back and took pictures.
Our camp chef made eggs and sausage on a disc.
As in, a tractor disc.
Here it is, on it’s stand. It’s the BEST way to cook eggs for tacos while camping.
Down in Texas, breakfast tacos are what it’s all about.
My favorite is eggs, beans, bacon, and cheese, all wrapped up in a soft flour tortilla. At our local taco shack here in town they call it The Bud Light.
Can’t wait till it warms up, and I talk them all into camping again, and next time we can get IN the water!
THEN, the last hoo-rah!
On Friday, my friend Amy, who is the girl to talk to when it comes to the local music scene and fun Austin outings, let me tag along on a SXSW outing.
SXSW, in case you’ve lived in a cave, is South By South West. Or now commonly referred to as “South By.”
As it began in 1987, it’s grown every year, and has outlets for film, music, and technology. It’s the event to attend in Austin.
All of my seven years here in Austin, and I hadn’t been yet. So I begged and pleaded to Amy to take me to something.
Well BOY did we have a great night.
We started by stopping at the UT (read: University of Texas, Austin [longhorns]) baseball game. This is her regular weekend hangout and she had to say hi to the peeps.
Well, this is a pretty awesome tailgate if I’ve ever seen one. School buses and bread trucks painted burnt orange, complete with rooftop balconies.
You (read: me) climb up this really, really steep and scary ladder, and then try not get blown off, fall off, slide off, or jump off the roof of the bread truck. All while watching a baseball game.
After I relaxed, it was PRETTY AWESOME.
THEEEEENNN, we drove down to San Marcos to see Diamond Rio play for SXSW.
That would’ve been pretty cool by itself to see a Country Music Icon like that, but of course, Amy knew the guy who does all the booking at this venue, Texas Music Theater, so HE BROUGHT US BACKSTAGE to hang out with the band!!!!!
OH, also, Six Market Boulevard opened for Diamond Rio, and they were awesome as well. I’m downloading their songs tonight on iTunes.
Anyhow, so we chatted it up with Diamond Rio, and talked to the keyboardist Dan Truman about these cool essential oils his sister sells, DoTerra, anyone know anything about them? I kinda want to try them!
AND we each caught a guitar pick!
PRETTY COOL END TO A SPRING BREAK, huh?
*sigh,* Back to reality tomorrow.
~Peace, Love, and South By Y’all.