Two Words: "Yumm - MMee"


 I attempted my hand at a Boston Cream Pie. The occasion: Mother's Day. A day to celebrate the women in our life that made this all happen. I was looking for recommendations of what to make Madre. So I thought "what would Padre do." I had no idea so I asked him; and Pod said, "Let there be Boston Cream Pie." And it was good.

(Padre = Pod, which = my father-in-law)

Yes, a little late in posting but still within the month of May.

With this desert I decided to keep it as simple and original as possible.

This was very fun to make. Very basic ingredients come together to create a mouth full of YUM.





These are also my first photos done with Instagram. What a nifty little app. The light quality is lacking in the kitchen I am using and it seems with just a click of a button the app improved the pictures. I look forward to using it more.




Do not become intimidated by the different steps for this recipe. It is so simple and so good once it comes together. I am very satisfied with this cake recipe and look forward to using it with other recipes. I really think that when putting any recipe together each step is important. 









Boston Cream Pie


Cream Filling
Ingredients
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
bit of salt
6 tablespoons cornstarch

In a saucepan combine milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Allow milk mixture to simmer. 
In a separate dish mix the egg yolks and the other 1/4 cup of sugar. 
Add vanilla and salt to egg mixture.
Add the cornstarch one tablespoon at a time (this ensures that it mixes well) to the egg mixture.
Add one cup of the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture. Strain this mixture into the remaining milk mixture.
Continue cooking over medium heat, whisk until mixture boils. (Be careful here, you do not want to over boil it. I took it from the heat right before it became super thick).
Place mixture in bowl, cover and allow it to sit over night in the fridge.

Cake
Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 egg yolks 3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350
Coat two 8 inch round pans with butter and sugar
In medium bowl mix flour, bafking powder and salt
Using an electric mixer mix eggs and egg yolks, gradually add sugar while mixing.

Heat milk and butter until hot-not boiling
Add vanilla to the warm milk mixture
Gradually add the warm milk mixture to the mixing egg mixture
Gradually add flour to the mixture.

Pour the well mixed mixture into the pans. Bake until golden. On mine there was a bit of a glisten on the top.


Chocolate Glaze
7 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 ounces semisweet chocolate

Warm the heavy whipping cream in a sauce pan.
Add the chocolate allow to melt and thicken up and remove from heat. I let it cool just a bit to thicken.



I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!


Peace of Inspiration

In with a bang and out like a lite---who would have known that the same month I began this blog I would end up slacking.

As most of you all know my husband and I are in the process of building our house. By "building" our house, I mean we are actually out framing and building the house with our bare hands. We would not survive if it were not for Padre. He has been at our side every minute. So that is my excuse for abandoning this blog for the past eight months......


I have been inspired to bake, but have not had the opportunity since we are spending around 40 hours a week working on the house on top of our regular 8-5. So needless to say, cooking and baking have been placed on the back burner. (We are so grateful for Madre keeping us feed during this build).

During the past eight months my culinary skills have not been put to the test and I have been craving for time in the kitchen. On two occasions, I have made it a point to get in the kitchen. The first was to attempt my hand at macaroons. Such a simple looking desert, but do not allow the looks to deceive you. (This learning experience will be discussed at a later date). The second occasion was for a very dear friend S.

S is celebrating her birthday this week. I know that we are not to ask a lady her age or reveal it to others, so I will go about doing this by stating she is in her twenties and a little past the quarter of a century mark. S and I both sometimes get this feeling that our time is going by very quickly, however we are reminded everyday by our co-workers that we are still just a couple of kids ;).

So to help S celebrate her birthday I decided that I would make a cake I know that she loves  Brazilian Chocolate Cake. However, things went array when I was unable to find the recipe I had used once before, so I created a monster.






A little background on S and I.....(S, that would be an excellent name for a book). I met S about three years ago at work. I took her place of being the youngest in the office. She and I clicked from the beginning... I guess the young ones had to stick together :). S and I have a few things in common, very outgoing, free spirited and big dreams. Most conversations that are had between us are big dreams and she encouraging me to go with anything I can think up. S and I love to bake together. I have not ever been able to bake with someone like S. I will have an idea for a recipe and she will be saying it before I could get it out. We made excellent partners in a month of baking we did together for a local restaurant.... With that said, if I want to try something different S is the one to experiment with.

Photo taken by SV

I did research on making the Brazilian cake, but was not satisfied with the recipes that I discovered. I happened to have  Abuelita  left over from the holidays. I decided to use this Mexican hot chocolate and make a cake. S and I both have a deep love for chocolate.....it is not always a good thing. I felt that the spiciness along with the deep chocolate flavor would be appropriate for this occasion.

So, I put together a mixture of flour sugar, eggs, butter, melted Abuelita. For a little extra umph I added a coffee liquor.



For the topping I decided to use melted  Abuelita  with a mixture of la leche. An ingredient S introduced me to, that makes a great flavor for chocolate and various other toppings.


And to top off the entire cake I went with la leche cooked with coconut. After assistance from padre and a very helpful cousin we chose to drizzle the top with melted  Abuelita .

After a taste test from Padre, it was determined that the cake was a bit dry. (which I agree with) so I would like to attempt my hand at this monster again and then share the recipe.


S was surprised by this dish and enjoyed the very homemade looking cake.


 This is another piece of evidence that not everything turns out the way you imagine. However, if we did not have that image in our head we would not have anything to look forward to.


An image of me inside my brand new kitchen surrounded with great friends keeps me going through this build. I am beyond grateful that we have this opportunity.

Today, I am making the commitment of keeping this blog awake through the build.

Thank you S for the inspiration that you are everyday. Happy Birthday!

-B-

Battle of the Blueberry


I have had this super craving to create blueberry pie! I have not done too much research on the different techniques people us to make the pie. I am a very big fan of blueberries and they are full on antioxidants, so they are good for you :)!  



Finally, this week one day after a hectic day at work I purchased a few packages of blueberries and put my mind at rest and my skills to test. I made an unusually moist crust with a hint of cinnamon. Then I mixed blueberries with butter, bit of flour, sugar, cinnamon and brought the mixture to a simmer. Once I new I was satisfied with the mixture, I placed them in mini pie crusts, by filling them to the brim! I love blueberries! I proceeded to place them into the oven and went about the rest of my evening. Next thing I new I smelt something very scrumptious!! I checked the pies......


Apparently a small explosion occurred in my mother-in-laws oven!! However, it smelt amazing!! I immediately took action; removed the wreckage from the oven. Then, removed the pies from the sticky aftermath of the pan. The pies did taste very good, the crust a bit strange possibly from the over moistness. 


My Grandmother is always telling me that I may as well try it. She really is a great source to go to during interesting times. Well, that evening while I was planning the attack on cleaning the oven, Grandma's voice came into my head. I thought to myself when something goes array you need to give it another go. My Grandmother is a go getter, and really bossy :), but very honest. (my life would not be the same without her). Anyway, as I was thinking about what she would be telling me I decided I would give the blueberry pie another go. 



This round I decided to play it a bit more safe and make a regular sized pie. With fresh blueberries and a nice mixture of sugar, and maybe a bit too much cinnamon, I was creating once again. Oh, and a much better texture for the crust. 



I didn't pre-cook the mixture this time, nor did I over fill the crust, but I did receive a few tips from Martha Stewart. 
This evening the blueberry pie is being enjoyed by a full household after a nice meal on a very nice day. 
I really enjoy being able to become inspired by such simple things and being able to have the people around me to enjoy the fruit of the inspirations. Allow yourself to be inspired and always give it a try!



Blueberry Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie, adapted from Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts
2 lb fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 large egg yolk, for egg wash
1 tbsp heavy cream, for egg wash
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to a 13-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick.  Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate.

In a large bowl, toss together berries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice until combined.  Pour mixture into pie plate, piling in center.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining disk of dough as in step 1.  To make lattice, cut dough into ten 1-inch-wide strips.  Lightly brush edge of dough in pie plate with water.  Carefully arrange dough strips on top, weaving to form a lattice.  Trim dough to a 1-inch overhang.  Fold edges under as desired and crimp with a fork.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream for egg wash.  Brush on top of dough strips and edge of pie shell.  Generously sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Refrigerate or freeze pie until firm, about 30 minutes.

Transfer pie plate to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust begins to brown, about 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350.  Continue baking until crust is deep golden brown and juices bubble, 55 minutes more.  If crust browns too quickly, tent pie with foil.  Transfer pie to wire rack.  Let cool completely, at least 3 hours before serving.


Notes: I used a bit more cinnamon, regular sugar for sprinkling and only cooked the pie for about 45 mins at 350. I got this recipe from http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2011/06/martha-stewarts-lattice-top-blueberry.html 

Enjoy!!

Have a Peace America


A bit behind, but very excited to share an excellent Apple Pie recipe and a thought on "We the people." It has been ten years since 9/11. To be very honest, I cannot believe that it has passed by so quickly. I am not a politician or particularly interested in raising my heart rate towards many "political issues." However, I do have a bit of an opinion on the American way when it comes to 9/11. So, I gathered the ingredients and began my thought process while putting together one of the most American recipes I could come up with, Apple Pie.



 The weeks leading up to this tenth anniversary the internet and media sources dove into touching stories of individuals that experienced 9/11 face to face. I read and watched many stories as I would hope that most fellow Americans did.


The main thing that I remember about 9/11 was the unity Americans developed overnight. My parents were Volunteer Firefighters at the time, in a small community. I remember the out-poor of community support to local Fire and Police Departments in our community and throughout the United States. During this time it felt as if Americans really united, we all had one thing in common and we wanted to embrace each other during the difficult time. I remember being very proud of the American People. Words cannot properly describe the feeling.
I am unsure of what happened but that unity has really seemed to fade, and very quickly. I do not believe that the American People has ever forgotten 9/11, but it seems that gumption that we developed the days following 9/11 has subsided. The event of 9/11 has and still is changing Americans' way of life. We are still in a war. People are still attempting to rebuild their lives. These continued events are what we, fellow Americans, must not forget. Yes, we all have this event in common, but many of us have been effected so much more than others.

I ask you not to just remember 9/11 on September 11th of each year, keep this time in mind throughout the year. I am not asking you to dwell on it either, just do not allow the anniversary be the only time you reunite with fellow Americans.

A good way of bringing people together is a homemade pie. This may seem to be such a simple act, but it can really make someone feel just a bit better and that is all that matters. Bring back the unity America!



Apple Pie 
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe for double pie crust with cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced (I usually only use about 5)
  • Cinnamon to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Add cinnamon and just a bit of the filling. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Double Pie Crust
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening softened, not melted
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • Cinnamon to taste
Directions
  1. In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half so one ball is slightly larger than the other.
  2. Roll out the larger ball to fit a 9-in. or 10-in. pie plate. Transfer pastry to pie plate. Trim pastry with even with edge of plate. Pour desired filling into crust.
  3. Roll out second ball; cut slits in pastry. Position over filling. Trim pastry to 1 in. beyond edge of pie plate. Fold top crust over bottom crust. Flute edges. Bake according to recipe directions.  Or you can use a pizza cutter and cut out strips for lattis work for the apple pie.
Enjoy!

A Peace Offering


On today's menu we have Blueberry Muffins and English Muffins (de-stress muffins). 
For the past week I have not really felt my usual self. I have been super edgy (and not the fashionista type). I have discovered this week, something I have probably known but didn't really think about it, one person's mood really effects the people around them. The "bad apple" saying. I have just felt very blah, no reason in particular, but also all the reason in the world. 


As an individual that works in an office environment, I should know to be more on top of my game. It is great to have a group of work people that you can get along with. I feel it is very important that things run smoothly in the workplace between co-workers. Afterall this is really where we spend most of our time. It is tough to work in a "Negative Nancy" environment. 

     

So, as head "Negative Nancy" of the week I presented my co-workers with muffins for our weekly meeting. Again, for me baking is a time to really get those thoughts out and replace the negativity with the sweet aroma of a warm oven putting the finishing touches of the conductor's masterpiece. Most of all I really enjoy presenting a little something sweet to others. (Especially after having a bit of a sour attitude).


 

Sometimes this dark cloud can really come over a group of people. Sometimes out of nowhere, but other times the reason is staring everyone in the face. I feel it is very important to keep our minds on each other, especially in a time of need, but don't forget about them when the need doesn't seem to be there. When something bad happens people usually step up and try to be there for one another, we have to remember it is good to be there for others even on the good days. Encourage good days!



I found this English Muffin recipe, and it seemed the individual that made them was going through a bit of a blah time. I new I had to make them. This muffin is so light, I could have had the entire batch to myself. When baking them the smell of Christmas came to mind with the nutmeg and cinnamon. Aroma therapy at its best!


The muffins did not really rise as expected, I believe it was because I used buttermilk and didn't add the appropriate amount. However, they turned out really good. They reminded me of miniature breads. Which has given me the idea to make bread for Christmas gifts this year! I have not really made bread before, but I think it will be a great learning experience.



Here we are now the week behind us and another week to come. I pledge to put a smile on my face and make this week better. Hopefully I can outshine the dark cloud. These muffins are definitely a good start! 


Yummy Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 pint of fresh blueberries- rinsed
2 tablespoons of sugar- to top the muffins before placing them in the oven

Preheat oven to 375
Mix butter, sugar, salt.
Add eggs (one at a time), flour, baking powder.
Add buttermilk as you add the dry ingredients.
Crush part of the blueberries, mix them with the batter. Then add the whole ones.
Bake about 30 minutes.



English (de-stress) Muffins

1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg- add more to taste if you like.
1/2 cup of milk - or 1 cup of buttermilk

Glaze
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350
Mix all dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients to the dry mix.
Place mix in muffin/ cupcake pan.
Bake for about 25 minutes

Mix glaze and pour over after the muffins come out of the oven.


Enjoy!

Welcome with a warm pie

Welcome to peace.of.flavor. this is a place to allow three of my favorite topics to come together, cooking/baking, photography, and writing. In my very first post I chose to present something that I have sort of become famous for, Chocolate Pecan Pie. 


Baking has really became an outlet for me. Baking allows me to create new items or spice up old recipes. There are only a few basic rules that you must comply with when baking, but overall it is all up to the composer.


When I was first introduced to the chocolate pecan pie I thought it would be the most terrible thing ever. Once I took the first bite I instantly new I was wrong, another situation of judging the book by its cover. This pie has an excellent mixture of soft creamy texture with the hardness of the crust and pecans, it almost melts in your mouth.


I begin with a very simple homemade pie crust. When I became interested in pie making I decided to make mini pies for co-workers for Christmas, this is when I learned how to make pie crust. People were very shocked and still now people can't believe I make my own crust. In all honesty it is comical to me to see peoples reactions to the ability to make a crust because it is so simple. It is made up of flour, pinch of salt, butter and water (and a bit of patience). 


This particular pie was made for a small dinner party that was put together in one day. Another couple (Reid&Britt) that my husband and I are good friends with were in town for the weekend from their recent move to Houston. They graduated this past May and then were happily married this summer (July). After their nuptials they moved to Houston so Britt would be able to attend school to receive her doctorate. I am so proud of them, it is very inspiring to see people between an ending and a beginning. 


The other couple that attended this dinner party were Casey and Megan (my husband's cousin and wife). They too were married this summer (June). A beautiful wedding it was, very glamorous bride, and handsome groom. Casey and Megan are great people. My husband and Casey have always been close and we are very   happy that he has introduced a wonderful person to be a part of the family. 

The other couple that attended this dinner party were Madre and Padre (my husband's parents). Our world would not be the same without the Padres. We are currently living with them while we are attempting our hand at building a house. The Padres have been so great to us, I am so so so lucky to have in-laws to get along with so well. They have really welcomed me warmly into the family.


I absolutely love baking, and these were just a few people that I really enjoy baking for and do it often. I really enjoy the most satisfied look on peoples faces, almost like they are reminded of their most favorite memory from their childhood. 


I was debating whether or not to post recipes, but I just decided, it is best that I do, to give other composers the opportunity to create. 


Chocolate Pecan Pie

1/2 cup of sugar- half brown sugar half white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups dark corn syrup
2 cups of pecans chopped
milk chocolate chocolate chips
pie crust

Mix sugar, eggs, vanilla, dark corn syrup add pecans.
Spread desired amount of chocolate chips on the bottom of the pie crust (just enough to cover the bottom).
Pour mixture over chocolate chips in the pie crust.
Bake at 350 for one hour

ENJOY!

If you have any questions, you are very welcome to comment or shoot me an e-mail!