Monthly Archives: November 2014

Not Your Basic Bitch Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

I am tardy to the fall party. As a female living in Seattle I should have probably made up this post at least 8 weeks ago, preferably before the autumnal equinox, and ideally on the day that Starbucks released its tasty fall beverages. It was still well over 80 degrees here. I have all of the excuses.

pumpkin spice

In order to make this liqueur a little more special, I used fresh pumpkin, and whole spices. And set the cure time from 2 weeks to 6. It really allows all of the flavors from the spices and pumpkin to leach out into the vodka, and give you a much better flavor.

1 pumpkin, grated or finely chopped with the rinds removed

1 nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

2 cardamon pods

2 cloves

1 knuckle of finely sliced ginger

1/2 cup brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking

I used 4 small jars for this, but you can also use a large jug, or even the vodka bottle itself, as long as it is about 3/4 of the way full. Saute the pumpkin with a tablespoon of brown sugar to soften them, don’t let it brown. Add the pumpkin to the jug, (along with any juices that may have come out of them while they cooked) and the spices, and set it in a cool dark place for 4 weeks. I use my phone calender to let me know when I’m supposed to add things, or strain, or to tell me when its done. At the 4 week mark, strain the spices and pumpkin, and add in the 1/2 cup of brown sugar to the liqueur, give it a good shake, and put it back in the cupboard for another two weeks, occasionally giving it a little shake.


Once you hit 6 weeks feel free to start drinking it, you can put it in a little shot glass, or mix it with ginger ale to make a magical fall drink.



Filed under Drinks

Caramel Apple Pear Tart to Stick in Your Pie Hole

Its Pie time bitches. I took a month and a half off, sorda. I wanted to blog, but for reasons only known to me, the letter A is no longer on my laptop. I don’t want to talk about it, but I will say, karma might actually have foresight. I blogged like 15 posts about halfway and then would move on to what ever shiny object attracted my attention. Now I’m finishing them, at least some… So,  I made this salted caramel apple pear tart crumble. Yes the title is wordy, how else are you going to truly understand why you want to eat it so bad.

So I found this recipe in fine cooking magazine, no, the idea is not my own, but this is my bastardization of it. Its pretty much the same. I decided not to do a lattice. Caramel will stick to the top of the crumble better. And the amounts differ, because at some point I got too excited to pay attention.

I apologize for the quality of this photo. To avoid burn edges do what granny says, and line the edges of your pie with tinfoil.


For the crust

1 cup butter

1 1/2  cups+ flour

3/4 cups ground hazelnuts

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

Mix the flour, hazelnuts, salt, sugar and butter together until crumbles begin to form. Add a tablespoon of cold water, and kneed it only until the water is mixed in, and form it into two balls. Roll out one of the balls on a floured surface, and flip it into a tart pan. Reform the second ball into more crumbles by adding 1/4 cup more flour, and set it aside for the filling.

For the filling

2 pears

2 apples

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp cardamom

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp salt

Thinly slice up the apples and pears, and add in the sugar, flour, cardamom and and lemon juice and zest. Mix them up and set them aside while you make the caramel. I know I can add more spices, but simplicity makes this pies flavors come out.

For the Caramel

1/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

3/4 cups heavy cream

Making your own caramel is not as big of a pain in the ass as you would think. It just feels harried and it can be scary. So, In a sauce pan on medium melt the butter, add in the sugar and salt, and stir it until the sugar has melted into the butter. Stir it every minute or two, until your sugar butter mix begins to lightly brown and caramelize. Once things feel like they are about to get out of hand with the browning,  and you are getting what looks like tiny chunks of melted wherthers candies (or hard caramels) quickly remove it from the heat, (I would suggest putting on an apron and some gloves for this) pour in the heavy cream, and whisk whisk whisk until the caramelized sugar has softened back into the the cream. If when you pour it in, a sudden freak burst of steam pops up. Just step back for a second until the heavy cream calms the F down, and go back to whisking. Once everything has combined into a lovely sauce, let it cool for a bit while you assemble your pie. (Pro tip: double the recipe and save half for your coffee. YAY!!!!)

Pie assembly

Yes, this does seem like a lot of work. It only takes like 30 minutes to get to this point once you make it twice. I’m sorry. Sometimes delicious isn’t easy. Preheat your oven to 375. Toss your pears and apples into the pie pan, and add a large potion of your caramel evenly over the top, then sprinkle the crumble over the top. Pop that in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top has crisped, and the juices of the pie have began to bubble. That bubble is so important. Remove it, and once your pie has cooled enough to serve (because you won’t want to wait) drizzle the remains of the caramel over the top of the crumble.


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Filed under Drinks, Holiday foods

One year of blogging, and a Deliciously Simple Marrow Recipe

Well kids, Thanks for following me over the past year as I blog my zany cooking adventures. Its been a fun experience, that has led me down some odd culinary passage ways, from making a haggis, to creative abominations using squid ink in a little cake baking. Sorry friend, you didn’t know, but you really liked it! Heh. I love my little blog and have given serious consideration to buying my domain name (any thoughts on this will be greatly appreciated.)

On to the goods. I made marrow! I had this at a little bar in capitol hill. On a hot summer day this dish is a little heavy, but as our wonderfully crappy winter and fall descends upon us, its the perfect mixture of fat and carbs that will nourish your body on particularly bleak days. I’ve made this for a few people, and gotten the typical response of, “really dude? You choose to feed me that?!”. Rest assured, they shut the hell up, after sticking it in their judgmental, finicky pie holes. Its the bodies butter. And although its normally used in making soup stock, Sopping it up with a thinly sliced baguette is seriously the way to go. I tried crustini, but once you get down to the dregs of marrow, your really need something that pulls in all of that magical marrow flavor.

For this delightful treat I use cow femur, sawed in half lengthwise by my local butcher. I suggest that, because its easier to get at the marrow. I personally can and will eat an entire bone by myself, (both sides) and this is not just because I’m a fat kid. Its because a large portion of this is cancellous bone. Meaning instead of being the central, tubular portion of the bone that contains the marrow, the ends are a matrix of tiny bones that don’t really have much sustenance in them. Sorry, they are just there to look cool.

Marrow for 2

2 cow femurs split lengthwise

a splash of olive oil

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

a sparse sprinkling Gruyere cheese (optional

a generous pinch or two of salt and pepper (I use truffle salt, regular salt is more than acceptable)

1 thinly sliced baguette

Preheat your oven to 425, rub the marrow portion of the bone down with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme, cheese and pop it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the blood running out is no longer red. Serve with the bread slices.

Too easy right??!


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Filed under Appetizers