Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CRUST
1 box (9 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies, finely ground (2 1/3 cups)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup creme fraiche
1 cup roasted salted peanuts
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
11/4 cups smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
7 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 56 percent cacao), chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the chocolate crust: Combine cookie crumbs, granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Stir in butter. Press mixture into bottom and 2 1/2 inches up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Bake until dry and firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
Make the caramel sauce: Heat granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until medium amber, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully add heavy cream (mixture will bubble and steam). Return to heat, and bring to a boil, making sure caramel that seized up when cream was added melts. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in creme fraiche. Refrigerate until cool but still pourable, about 45 minutes. Fold in peanuts.
Meanwhile, make the peanut butter mousse: Beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add peanut butter and vanilla, and beat until combined. Whisk heavy cream in a separate bowl until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into peanut butter mixture. Fold in remaining whipped cream in 2 additions.
Assemble the tart: Pour caramel sauce into cooled chocolate crust. Gently spread peanut butter mousse over caramel in an even layer, making sure they don't blend together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Make the chocolate ganache: Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate, and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk to combine. (Use immediately.)
Remove tart from refrigerator, and pour in ganache to cover surface. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. * My family found out that you needed to refrigerate it for a lot longer than that. Try overnight...or freeze it for awhile.
My sweet kiddos and husband made this tart for my birthday on Friday. As with most things Martha, there is a bit of work to this baby. My hubby said that they had a little trouble with the caramel sauce, and didn't get the caramel color. The good news is that it tasted great, and I really appreciated the effort that went into it.
This recipe is inspired by the Snickers bar....and the tart tastes like a very rich Snickers. I love sweets, so this was a perfect birthday cake!
Monday, October 25, 2010
I was watching House Hunters International last night on HGTV, and they went to Amsterdam. Of course everywhere you look people are riding bicycles. Really, really fun bikes... and lots of them are covered in flowers, pets, and small children.
Not one bike helmet in sight.
During one part of the show, the realtor was biking down the street on his way to show a house. The man behind him on his bike, was eating from a tupperware (with fork)
while biking down the very congested street.
It is downright gloomy here today....the flowers are helping a little!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Last year today we left for a great family trip to San Francisco. My kids had never been there, and I was very excited for them to see my favorite city. They got to see every touristy thing in the city...plus places that I used to live and work. Then we went up to Sausalito, Tiburon, Muir Woods, and then down to Carmel by the sea, Monterey, and Big Sur.
I moved to San Francisco when I was 19 from a little town in Northern Minnesota. It was such an eye opening experience. I was young and naive....and SF was strange and wonderful. I lived there for a couple of years and loved it all.
We have lived in quite a few great places since then, but San Francisco will always be it as far as I am concerned.
Which city is your favorite?
There are a lot of feed sack pillows on etsy, but I love these by Sown designs.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
8 servings prep 45 min bake 45 min
2 pounds ground beef
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dark beer
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a skillet, combine the beef, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and potato and cook, breaking up the meat, over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through and some liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the beer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cheese, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Let cool.
On a floured surface, roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch round. Place in a 10-inch skillet or deep pie dish. Roll the remaining puff pastry sheet into an 11-inch round. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat mixture to the skillet. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with some of the egg wash, then place the second sheet on top. Press the edges to seal, then trim to a 1/2-inch edge.
Place the pie on a baking sheet. Brush the top with more of the egg wash and cut an "X" into the pastry. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, tenting with foil if the crust darkens too quickly. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.
This is a recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine. We have had it a half a dozen times...and I think we like it more each time. The flavor of the sharp cheddar cheese and the dark beer really elevates this pot pie. It is great comfort food.
The only change I make is to add more potato....because I really like lots of potato...so instead of one potato like the recipe says, I add three.