desserts, fall desserts, pecan pie, pecan pie bars, thanksgiving

Peacan Pie Bars

From the “I’ll just leave this right here” files, I’m sharing with the best dessert of the week.  For the past few days I’ve been baking every night for my coworkers (apple cider spiced cupcakes, ‘crunch’ bars from Dorie Greenspan), trying to keep them fat and happy during the onslaught of madness from the holidays. Well, if this doesn’t send them into a blissful, sugary state…then I just don’t what will.
My recommendation for you:
Don’t worry about the floralness of the honey you use. I used some from Sparky’s of Maine and it was pretty intense but that calmed down after they baked.
Serve these with some vanilla ice cream or gelato.
And a cup of coffee from Bard.
I’m having one right now with my coffee. It’s perfect.

Pecan Pie Bars
(from Just a Taste)

For crust:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt

For topping:
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

First make the crust by creaming together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.

Press the crust into the foil-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a saucepan and stirring it over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, then stir in the chopped pecans.

Remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over the hot crust spreading it to cover the entire surface.

Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Remove the pan and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan.

Use the foil overhang to lift out the bars and transfer them to a cutting board. Peel off the foil, slice into bars and serve.

bad memories, food poisining, miyake, momofuku, pork belly dreams, thanksgiving

Just Like The Pilgrims Had..

There was:
Shrimp and Artichoke dip
Ginger-Miso Green Beans
Black rice with Taro and Roasted Garlic
Momofuku style Pork Buns with Miyake ‘Special Sauce’
“It’s Not Libby’s….” Pumpkin Pie.

I boycotted Turkey again this year. I did feel a bit bad for the Missus as I completely forgot to break out the can of cranberry sauce out to make it feel a little more authentic. I couldn’t even get all of the ingredients for the pie right.
The interaction:
Me: What recipe are you using (for the pie)?
Her: I just use the one on the back of the can.
Me, realizing there is none: There isn’t a recipe on the back of the can.
Her: You didn’t get Libby’s?

This will be remembered not as the year I spent 12 hours recreating Miyake’s Noodle Bar Pork Bun recipe but as the year that I forgot to buy Libby’s. This will also be the year that I realized that the Missus near refuses to cook a recipe without following it exactly to the letter.

Me: Honey, we don’t have ground ginger but I have some fresh so you can just grate some of that in.
Her, reading the recipe: Honey, do we have ground ginger?
Me: No, that’s what I just told you.
Her: So, what am I suppose to do?
Me: I just told you.
Her: It’s not going to be the same.
Me: It’s fine.

Her: Do we have a 12 ounce can of evaporated milk?
Me: No, we have condensed and I thought it was evaporated.
Her: *sigh* What can I do?
Me: Use milk and half and half?
Her: Will that work?
Me: It’ll be fine.

This was the year of confidence building. It also marks the first time the Missus has really cooked for me in our new kitchen since we’ve moved. And, it may not have been Libby’s, but it was damn good.

cheese, deer meat, pixies, thanksgiving

Caribou and Cheese

A cheese plate, or course, to many is still something akin to cubed yellowish/orangish/whiteish cubes of cheese in a pile–perhaps with frilled toothpicks to assist in their retrieval–left for hours to sweat and then dry out. To others, like Erik at PFH, it’s both art and ritual.

This Thanksgiving, for as tender as the venison was..

(And we’re talking ‘melted away like sashimi grade tuna’ tender..)

..the part that stayed with me was the cheese.

Starting from the top position, working clockwise:
Longfellow Creamery’s Camembert–past. cows milk–k. hortons
Wild Boar Sausage from Cheese Iron
Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve–raw cow– from Cheese Iron
Landaff–raw cow–from Whole Foods
Herve Mons Tomme de Berger–raw goat/sheep–from Whole Foods
von Trapp Oma–past. cows milk–from Cheese Iron
Duck Proscciuto from Cheese Iron
Rolph Beeler ForsterKase–raw cow milk- from Cheese Iron
Raw Honey from Sparky’s Maine
Adriadic Fig Spread

Normally, I would have a little more balance in the plate–not so many washed rinds, some solo representations of goat and sheeps milk cheeses–but couldn’t resist the offerings I came across at the Cheese Iron and WF. But, the increase in flavor, which was perfect as we worked our way clockwise around the plate, made up for the lack of diversity.

The charcuterie, particularly the wild boar salami, paired amazing with some of the stronger cheeses on the plate, even standing up to the hefty earth of the Forsterkase. The duck proscuitto, however, lost the slight sweetness it had the day we tasted it as it sat in our refrigerator and became stronger than we cared for. If you do pick some up, I recommend eating it that day or the next.

The next day, we headed to Boston to catch an AMAZING show from the Pixies for the 20th Anniversary of their ‘Doolittle’ album. We were invited to the private after show from a friend, but too tired and a bit too hungover to handle traveling across town, we called it a night early and headed back home the next day.

1. Dancing The Manta Ray
2. Weird At My School
3. Bailey’s Walk
4. Manta Ray
5. Debaser
6. Tame
7. Wave of Mutilation
8. I Bleed
9. Here Comes Your Man
10. Dead
11. Monkey Gone To Heaven
12. Mr. Grieves
13. Crackity Jones
14. La La Love You
15. No. 13 Baby
16. There Goes My Gun
17. Hey
18. Silver
19. Gouge Away
20. Encore:
20. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)
21. Into The White
22. Encore 2:
22. Where Is My Mind?
23. Caribou
24. Vamos
25. Gigantic

It was a tiring week, but a thankful one.

(the most colorful Thanksgiving meal I’ve ever made–and a shitty plate job )

Hope yours was as good as mine 🙂

The Cheese Plate on Foodista

5 years in Maine, deer meat, pixies, thanksgiving

Things About This Week

1)Going to see the Pixies in Boston on Friday.
2)Celebrating my 5th Anniversary of moving to Portland this Saturday
3)My Father’s 65th Birthday is Saturday.
4)My partner officially becomes unemployed again on Wednesday, as her temp job comes to an end.

I’m looking forward to 4 of these things and I’m sure you can guess which ones. As our finances crunch once again, we’re going out with a bang this coming week. Because of getting food poisoning last Thanksgiving, from a raw oyster that never made it into the stuffing, I decided to go a different route this year and cook a rack of venison that I purchased when I was home last month.

While I’m still unsure of the preparation of the venison, I know I’ve got a killer Cranberry Apple and Pear sauce to go with it.

Before hand, to avoid having to do anything for a pre-meal snack, we swung into the Cheese Iron after hearing Vince had brought in some duck prosciutto. I am a bit conflicted about even mentioning it because it’s good enough to horde for yourself–in fact, it’s a bit mind blowing. Sliced perfectly thin, the thin line of fat at the top simply dissolves the second it hits your tongue.

It will be coupled with a boar salami, Rolf Beeler ForsterKase, Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve and the von Trapp Family Oma, which I first had at Evangeline.
And, like every other time I’ve walked through their doors, I had a set budget… and to stay true to form, I spent twice as much. But, really, who can blame me when something like this:

is put in my face.

This week is set to be a truly hectic, gluttonous and thanks filled one and I’ll probably post about how it truly went sometime next week… until then, a happy one to you.