Blondies with Nuts & Fruit

April 9, 2009

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan. Turn off the heat, and stir in two cups of sugar, then 1 cup of flour. Beat 4 eggs in a glass, then stir them into the mixture. Add a couple of handfuls of nuts and dried fruit, pour the batter into a greased brownie pan, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the blondies are done.

I used macadamia nuts, dried cherries, dried apricots cut into quarters, and coconut, but there are lots of delicious things you could add instead. Here are some possible combinations:

Lemon zest, lemon juice, and almonds

Walnuts, raisins, chopped apples, and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg

Orange zest, orange juice, craisins, and pecans

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Coconut Pie

February 26, 2009

There’s nothing quite like homemade pie crust in the freezer. I still have a few crusts left over from the Pie Extravaganza, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I can make pie on a weeknight, throw something together for unexpected guests, and experiment with fillings to my heart’s content. And none of it involves chopping sticks of butter until my arms go numb.

Inspiration struck last night, and I made a coconut pie. I beat three eggs, stirred in a can of evaporated milk, poured in a goodly amount of brown sugar (a cup? I didn’t measure), several capfuls of vanilla extract (I’m guessing I put in about a tablespoon), and finished off the bag of shredded coconut in my cabinet (I think I used about one cup of coconut).

I microwaved one of my frozen disks of pie dough for a minute, smooshed it into a pan with my fingers, poured the filling in, and stuck it in the oven. I  baked the pie 375 until I could smell the pie from the living room and the crust had turned golden brown. I’d guess that I baked it for about 40 minutes, but I wasn’t paying that much attention to the .

The point is that, once you stock up on pie crusts, you can do pretty much everything wrong (use a microwave, don’t use measuring cups, use your hands as a rolling pin substitute, ignore the pie while it’s in the oven) and it will still be delicious. You really don’t have to do anything special – anything with that much butter and sugar will taste good no matter what you do to it.

If you’d like to stock your freezer with some flaky, delicious pastry, there’s a recipe after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »


Red Coconut Soup

February 3, 2009

coconut-lentils2

1. spices 2. coconuts 3. red lentils

My mother sent me the most divine soup recipe the other day. Here it is:

Olive oil or butter

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved in water will do, or you can use the stock recipe I’ve posted after the jump)

2 big cans of crushed tomatoes (2 lbs. 4 oz. altogether)

1 can of coconut milk

1 cup of lentils

Saute the onions and garlic in the oil and butter for 2-3 minutes. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds. Add everything else and cook for about thirty minutes, until the lentils are soft.

I had to make some substitutions as well as my own vegetable stock, since I didn’t have any bouillon cubes on hand. My version’s after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »