While my husband was in grad school studying Persian literature, I started exploring Persian culinary traditions as a fun way to embrace and support his studies. One of our favorite meals is the very simple dish of koobideh, ground lamb kebabs, served with roasted tomatoes and basmati rice.
The trick to a successful koobideh is to drain out the onion juice. This will help the meat to hold it’s shape better without being to soggy. The ground onion creates a much different experience in the flavor and texture of the dish than simply chopping the onion and adding it to the meat.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Ginger adds a warm, earthy, autumn kick to this classic dessert.
Years ago, my mother taught me how to make a skillet pie. This is much like a regular pie, but quicker, and quite a bit more rustic. Simply start with a cast iron (or other oven safe) skillet. Melt butter, add a touch of flour and sugar and fruit, and heat in the skillet till the fruit starts releasing it’s juices and forming a syrup. Then top it with a pie crust and pop it in the oven. So simple and easy.
I started combining ginger with blueberries in dishes recently, and I just love the flavor combination: down home with a kick. A few weeks ago, my friend Diane baked me a blueberry and nectarine pie, and that inspired the addition of the peaches.
I wanted a simple dessert like that, but I did not want to bother with pie crust, so I substituted with a standard crisp topping – with a touch of ginger for a little more kick. Toasted nuts would be delightful in this topping as well.
We are fruit smoothie people, so our freezer is always stocked with frozen fruit; this recipe was easy to whip up with ingredients we keep on hand all the time.
As always, delightful kitchen helpers make the food taste more delicious.
My husband turned 39 yesterday, so we made him a pie. My daughter had some thoughts about what kind of pie we should make. The conversation went like this:
Gem: I want to make Daddy a cherry pie for his birthday Me: I just bought ingredients for coconut cream pie, because it’s his favorite Gem: I think Daddy wants cherry Me: Did you ask him? Gem: Daddy, do you want a surprise?
Such is my life. For the record, we ended up making the pie I planned on, and she got away with being cute. It’s a kind of win-win. And, she was a great help in the kitchen.
The Dahlia Lounge has the best coconut cream pie in Seattle. Maybe anywhere. Aaron and I are big fans.
I was so thrilled to find that Tom Douglas and his team published the recipe for their Dahlia Triple Coconut Cream Pie in the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle. This cookbook is a great teaching cookbook. It’s more than just recipes, and it covers the how and why of techniques, so you really learn how to cook rather than just how to follow directions.
That was the pie I made for Aaron’s birthday. And it was amazing.
Happy birthday, my love. You are a wonderful husband and father, and we love you. I hope 39 is an awesome year for you.
FTC Disclosure: of course, I use affiliate links wherever possible, including this post.
My little girl has become quite the foodie. She loves to watch Anthony Bourdain (at age 2 she declared: “Tony is my best friend”), Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and pretty much any other food related show we will let her watch. She got a kitchen for her birthday: But one of her favorite pastimes is to sit and read out loud from cookbook; one recipe after another. That means my days sound like this:
It wouldn’t be so bad if the recipes were all healthy and nutritious, but her favorite book from which to read is this: All day long with the delicious sounding recipes, delectable ingredient after delectable ingredient. And the recipe she was reading in the video was for a Chocolate Hazelnut-Pear Tart. Mouthwatering.
So hour after hour I sit here having chocolate deserts described to me, and the more she reads those recipes, this more I want to shovel chocolate in my face.
Now I don’t pretend to be a cooking blog, so no, I haven’t made this recipe yet. Although, I do believe this particular tart is in my future. But, since we taunted you with the ingredient list earlier, I’ll go ahead and include the recipe she was reading here: Chocolate Hazelnut-Pear Tart.
Tom Douglas, the guy who arguably put Seattle’s culinary scene on the map, took his place behind the stove of the demonstration kitchen at Macy’s, and started off by saying: “Today I want to talk to you about effort. If there is one thing I want you to take away today, it’s that it’s worth the effort.”
He was talking about cooking at home for your friends and family. He was talking about sharing not just the family recipes, but the stories that went along with them, such as the way the house smelled when his Grandma came to visit and made her famous schnecken, and the benefits of being the biggest kid in a very large family, when they all reached in to grab their favorite bits of the gooey treat.
Take 3 recipes, he said, say for instance one pie, one cake, and one cookie recipe, even if you’re afraid of baking – especially if you’re afraid of baking. Make each one three times, following the directions exactly. The trick to baking well is following the directions. By the third try, you will OWN that recipe.
Pick recipes you want to be known for, and be the person who’s known for bringing it. You don’t have to be a great cook, just well practiced at a few recipes. You can grow your repertoire later, just start with three.
Tom prepared three recipes for us: Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Broccoli Rabe and Fontina, Coffee-Bean Turkey with Sweet Onion Gravy, and Pear Tarts with Dreamy Caramel Sauce.
Now, I don’t have room enough to share all three recipes in one post, so I’ve picked one to share today, perhaps more on another day. You’ll just have to come back and visit my blog again some day. Two of the recipes are from Tom’s new cookbook that he is promoting, The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. Of course, the recipe I chose to share has something to do with coffee, Coffee Bean Turkey with Sweet Onion Gravy. This recipe is from the Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbook.
“Seattle is famous for its coffee. And that inspired me to stuff the turkey cavity with whole roasted coffee beans. Turns out they add a nice toasty-smoky aroma that seasons the bird from within. I leave them in even after the turkey’s done. If a few slip out at the table while I’m carving, it’s a good conversation starter.”
Get this one ready for Thanksgiving:
FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was paid to attend this event, but as always, my opinions remain my own.