Joseph and I were days away from canceling our U-verse subscription a couple months ago. Then we discovered Food Network and the Cooking Chanel.
Bitchin’ Kitchen airs on the Food Network in the US and Canada and is adapted from Nadia G’s web series. Â It took me a while to get used to the show, and I think I made at least five tweets complaining about her. But Joseph finally talked me into watching an entire episode, and I fell in love. Nadia G is funny, strange, beautiful (seriously, she is hard to look away from), and she really can cook. Â She has an obvious passion for quality of food, but the show doesn’t take itself too seriously. It fits right along with our sense of humor, and it’s the only cooking show on TV that makes Joseph and I laugh. It is seriously bizarre and hilarious.
So a few weeks ago I for the first time was inclined to make a recipe I saw on TV–BK’s Pink Grapefruit Meringue Pies. Â They are perfect! I will definitely be making these instead of boring old lemon meringue pies from now on. The dark chocolate graham cracker crust is divine with the citrus filling, and the meringue is not too sweet.
Pink Grapefruit Meringue Pies from Bitchin’ Kitchen”
20 graham crackers
Â½ cup semi-sweet dark chocolate, grated
Â¼ cup brown sugar
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs at room temperature, yolks and whites separate
1 Tablespoon grapefruit zest
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
Â¼ cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
Â¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Â½ cups water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 Â¼ cups sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Â¼ teaspoon white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
In a re-sealable bag, crush graham crackers. Transfer crushed graham crackers into a big bowl and mix in: dark chocolate shavings, brown sugar and melted butter. Line 4 4-inch pie molds with the crust mixture. Note: I used a food processor to crush my graham crackers and only needed to use about half the mixture.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then cool.
In a bowl, combine 4 egg yolks, fresh pink grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice, a pinch of pink grapefruit zest, and a pinch of lemon zest.
In a heavy saucepan mix water, cornstarch, 1 Â¼ cupsÂ sugar, and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture thickens. Slowly add this mixture to the citrus-ey yolks.
Pour mixture back into the pot, reduce heat to low, add 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter and whisk for 8 more minutes, until very thick. Cover and refrigerate.
To 4 egg whites add 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar, and 3 Tablespoons white sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
Spoon citrus filling into graham cracker crust and top with lots of meringue. Bake for 10 minutes, until the meringues brown slightly.
I love the show so much I bought a t-shirt!
I take a lot of pictures of food. I just really like food and want to take photos of it, even if I have no use for the photos. So you’re getting some of my leftover food pictures.
This is something I eat a lot: an egg sandwich. Toasted wheat bread, Miracle Whip (I know, it is disgusting–but it is my egg sandwich secret!), and a fried egg. I grew up eating these and think the very first thing I ever cooked was likely an egg sandwich. I’ve been fryin’ eggs since childhood.
One of my other favorite sandwiches! Toasted wheat bread, mayonnaise, mustard, turkey, swiss, and avocado.
I have a sandwich problem. I also have an avocado problem. Â This photo is making me reminiscent! I used to get these spicy salami sandwiches at the commissary in Italy.
But I have to say there are definitely some benefits to being back in Texas!
Blue Bell, you have no idea how much I missed you.
It’s nice to get a chai tea frappucino whenever I want. However, I definitely miss Italian cafes much more more than I ever missed Starbucks.
I miss Kinder chocolates but stock up every time I go to World Market.
The best part of spring!
I usually use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to make something ridiculously decadent and pink. I did really well this year.
The frosting isn’t raspberry or strawberry: it’s blackberry. I love a little blackberry jam on my toast but can’t eat more than a thin layer. The sour berry lends itself perfectly to sweet frosting! It makes an extremely rich and deep flavor, rather than something too sweet.
And the decorating was really easy too. Get a 1M or 2M decorating tip, make a circle, and then swirl around the circle two or three times! My frosting was a tiny bit too runny, but that’s okay. My decorating inspiration came from the wonderful I am Baker, who posted a great rose tutorial here.
Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake
2 c sugar
1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
¾ c cocoa
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c milk
½ c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch pan.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Blackberry Buttercream Frosting adapted from Sammyw
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
½ c seedless blackberry jam
4-6 cups powdered sugar
Beat butter and jam with electric mixer with paddle attachment. Cream until well incorporated, bout two minutes.
Gradually add powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
To assemble a layered cake, cut in two however you like. Spread a layer of blackberry jam along bottom layer. Place the second layer on top. Decorate with blackberry buttercream frosting.
With snowstorms rolling through the US, soup is absolutely necessary. I firmly believe there is no better way to get warm (though I have a contender–I managed to fit my warm house shoes inside Joseph’s, and my feet feel amazing).
I made this soup last week, and when preparing this week’s menu had to add it again. At first, the recipe sounded pretty disgusting, but I’m glad I stuck through! It’s more like a baked potato soup with bits of cauliflower. They go together very well, and this is going to be made a lot around here.
Chunky Cauliflower, Cheddar, and Potato Soup from Relish!
2 russet potatoes , skins left on and roughly chopped
4 cups cauliflower florets (about one head)
2 carrots , roughly chopped
2 garlic clove(s), roughly chopped
1 white onion , roughly chopped
1 Â½ teaspoons salt
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups beef broth
1 Â½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Â¾ cup milk
Â¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
Â¼ teaspoon dry mustard
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Â¾ cup buttermilk
4 green onions , chopped
Place the potatoes, HALF of the cauliflower, carrots, garlic, onion, salt and broth in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
While this is simmering, steam the remaining cauliflower for 5 minutes, or until tender, but still a little crisp, drain and set aside.
Remove the potato cauliflower mixture from stove after 15 minutes, and let cool 10 minutes. Puree the entire mixture, in batches in a blender until smooth and creamy. NOTE: make sure to let the steam escape! Return the mixture to the pot and add in the cheese, milk, caraway seeds, mustard and pepper. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
Stir in the steamed cauliflower and heat for a few more minutes. Just before serving, mix in the buttermilk. Serve soup garnished with green onions and extra cheese, if desired.
When I was 16, I traveled alone to Okinawa, Japan to visit a friend who had recently moved there. It was an absolutely incredible trip, and I’m very lucky to have had such an experience at a young age. My family has always traveled a lot, but as a shy 16 year old (who had never even ordered for myself at a restaurant), the solo trip was life-changing. Â It only took one major airport break-down and the encouragement of a very kind pilot to safely get me through Narita Airport.
As well as a lifetime-worth of of self-confidence, a new-found obsession with Japan, and a suitcase full of stationery, I brought home Taco Rice. This was also one of the first things I ever cooked for myself and shared it with my family as soon as my flight landed. Recently sharing one of my favorite family recipes, Oven Hot Dogs, made me want to divulge more of the staples of my house. Â Like OHDs, I’m not sure what makes Taco Rice delicious, but it is. Â Joseph even had me cook this the first time I met my now-mother-in-law. Â I told my dad I would be posting the recipe today, and he said, “Oh my gosh! Â I haven’t had Taco Rice in so long! Â I have to make some of that now.” Â It’s good.
My friend Chantell, whose wonderful family I stayed with for the week, took me to a little restaurant popular among the Americans there. Anyone who has lived in Okinawa may know of this dish already. The restaurant might have been called “Pizza House,” but I could be getting that confused with a restaurant in Italy dubbed “Spaghetti House” by my fellow Americans. Â They specialized in pizza, but Chantell wasÂ familiarÂ with the restaurant and promptly ordered us Taco Rice. Â Thanks, Chantell!
It’s simple. You can add onions, avocado, hot sauce or whatever else you want to it. I’m sure it would be wonderful that way, but I can’t do it myself. To me, Taco Rice is perfect as it is because it will forever represent that wonderful trip.
1 lbs. ground beef
3 c cooked rice (1 c raw)
taco seasoning of your choice (This is my favorite)
cheddar cheese, grated
Prepare rice. Brown ground beef and seasoning according to package or recipe directions.
Make a mount of rice on a plate and top with ground beef. Layer on chopped lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, and diced tomato. Pick up a spoon and enjoy!