Wednesday, April 23, 2014

This time I actually made it to Indianapolis and WIAW

I needed to be in Indiana again this week. Unlike last time when the freak snow storm canceled my flight, I actually made it this time.  It was a balmy 70 degrees when we landed and the trees were in bloom. 

Breakfast at this hotel was pretty bad. The omelet was greasy, they only had not ripe cantaloupe, and the biscuits were hard. I was really dumbfounded as to how the biscuits had rocks in them. This little meal was promptly followed with a trip to Starbucks. Lattes make everything better.

We had a quick break for lunch.  Instead of trying to find somewhere local we just hopped into Moe's. It was right next door and had plenty of parking.  Rental cars always throw me off since they are different sizes than what I am used to. When you add parallel parking in to the mix it is quite the scene. I try to avoid it at all costs, even if that means a less than stellar meal.

Dinner was at Harry and Izzy's in the airport. This restaurant is in downtown Indy and quite fancy. The one at the airport is much more causal.  I got the trio special which was shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad and two sliders. Everything was pretty good. The cocktail sauce was so spicy. I love horseradish but this was a bit much. I was totally in tears after the first bite.

I am back in Connecticut now for a bit and ready to make some good homemade dinners.

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What I Am Reading Lately

I have a three for one today. A few weeks ago I was told about a new author, Rainbow Rowell, that had some good, fun books. Of course with the name Rainbow I don't know how you could have anything but good, fun books. I am up for good and fun anytime so I quickly reserved the three at my local library. 

There are times when I do this and the books come so slowly; I wait weeks. This time around though they came within a couple days and they all came at once. Lucky for me (I think?) I had several work trips lined up and I got to bring these along for the ride.

The first up is Eleanor and Park. This novel is about two outsiders over the course of one year of high school. They unwantingly meet on the bus and the rest is history. This book is about the good things in life and the bad as soon through the eyes of two high school kids. From beginning to end you don't know where the story is going to go as it is told by the perspective of both Eleanor and Park.

Next is Fangirl. The main character here is Cath. Cath is a Simon Snow fan, a series similar to the Harry Potter novels.  Her whole life is Simon Snow.  Becoming an ultra fan helped her and her twin sister get through the tough times of their mother leaving. Now her sister is ready to move on and become her own person at college.  Cath wants things to stay the same.  She suddenly finds herself in her freshman year of college, a new roommate and not knowing what to do with herself.

Finally Attachments.  Lincoln is a nighttime Internet security officer charged with weeding out all things unnecessary or pornographic in company emails. He is supposed to spend each evening reading through flagged emails. Not really liking his job, most of the time he just deletes the emails and moves on. However, he gets hooked on the correspondences of Beth and Jennifer. They are funny, witty and real.  He starts to think of them as his friends. Knowing this is strange he starts to assess his own life. Where he was with his high school romance, why he is stilling living at home with his mom, and who he wants to become.  You get to know all three of these characters through Attachments. There are several twists and turns before the novel ends.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Salty Honey Pie

A deliciously sweet, smooth and creamy pie packed full of honey and butter flavor.

I hope you had a marvelous Easter weekend. Mr. J and I were pretty low key and enjoyed the lovely spring weather.

I made this pie for Easter dinner. It is from the Four and Twenty Blackbird Pie book I got for Christmas. I have been eying this pie all winter and decided the Salty Honey Pie would be perfect for Easter dessert.

It was so perfect that 2 slices were promptly missing one day before Easter. It almost killed Mr. J to wait the three hour cool time once the baking was done. He had to leave the house. Seriously.

I am not a big pie fan. And this doesn't even have chocolate in it but I am telling you this is one fantastic pie. If you like honey at all, you must try this out. After the whole crust making the filling is simple to put together. The tricky part is pulling the oven out before it gets too dark and burns. I think I got ours just in the nick of time even though the filling was still kind of juicy when I removed it from the oven.  It firmed up nicely once cooled.

Salted Honey Pie

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus time for crus
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients (serves 12)
For the Crust:
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold buttermilk
For the Filling:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white cornmeal
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
To make the crust:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers (or a potato masher), work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add a bit more buttermilk if necessary, but you want to mixture to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.

On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Gently knead into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.

To roll out the pie crust, on a well floured surface, roll the crust 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven.
To make the filling:
In a medium bowl whisk together melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, and salt. Add the vanilla extract into the butter mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in honey.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine.

Whisk in heavy cream and vinegar.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Bake pie for 45 to 55 minutes until pie is deep golden brown and puffed around the edges and set in the center. Open the oven and rotate the pie halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, and sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.
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