Cooking galore

For some reason, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, I was really tense. I told Josh we were just going to stay in Thursday and have a quiet night. While I was at work Thursday, I got an email from Josh: "I'm taking care of dinner tonight...". I hadn't thought about dinner yet, and wasn't sure if "taking care of dinner" meant "we're ordering pizza", "we're having grilled cheese" or something else, but I didn't ask and waited to be surprised.
And was I surprised! Josh cooked up an amazing dinner (that, of course, I had to photograph...), including steak, green beans, and my favorite, home fries. Delicious, seriously. I felt spoiled, especially since I seriously slacked on the meal-cooking end this week.
Because I didn't have to cook the dinner, I made good on my promise to deliver sugar cream pie to work. I've only eaten this pie twice, and Josh had never had it. It appears to only exist in Indiana, so I couldn't find many recipes. Normally when I'm cooking something entirely new, I look at lots of recipes, and take the average of all of them, to end up with something in-the-middle. Well, there weren't many recipes to choose from, so I mostly followed the Food Geeks one, with a couple modifications for flavor. Here's about what I ended up with:
1 cup sugar
1 dash salt
5 tbsp. flour
Just under 1 pint whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
Dash cinnamon
1 unbaked pie shell
Combine sugar, salt and flour. Heat whipping cream. Add a little cream to sugar-flour mixture, then mix in all the cream. Add the vanilla & cinnamon. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cover edges of pie crust with foil if they look like they're beginning to burn.

I was worried when I poured the pie into the pie shell- it was liquid, like milk (well, heavy cream) I thought there was no way it would solidify. When I took it our of the oven, it still wasn't entirely solid. It solidified as it cooled. It was well received at work, and got a "perfect" rating by a certain sugar cream pie connoisseur.

And then yesterday, the most anticipated cooking event of the week, the Amish Friendship Bread. I followed the directions and decided it takes a LOT of ingredients to make this bread. I kind of felt like I was making stone soup, because I spent all week nursing this yeast, so I could make what seemed to be a quickbread. Kinda silly, but there must be science behind it, right? Anyway, the loaves came out of the oven and they were as delicious as promised. I used applesauce in place of half the oil, and they have an apple-cinnamon flavor to them. Yum.

That's all for now. With all the sweets-cooking lately, I had to replenish my eggs, flour, sugar and milk this week. Good thing too, because here comes an ice storm...


Matt said...

I remember having the same thought about Amish friendship bread. I even went so far as to say, "ha! I didn't spend all this time nurturing some live yeast just to add in other sources of leavening!" So I left out the baking soda, and ended up with a really dense end result.

Joanna said...

My thought was, I bet I could skip this long yeast step, and it would turn out the same- because the baking powder makes it rise, or seems to. I'm really tempted to try it.

annie b said...

I kept a sourdough alive for about 12 years. By the end of the time I got pretty relaxed about how often I fed and stirred it. The yeast is alive, but the process also does some interesting things to the taste, acid content, etc. I am thinking baking powder is not going to be enough to make anything rise without some acid in other ingredients to work against. The sourdough bread recipe I used also used some yeast, which made the recipe rise consistently, much more consistently than yeast alone. It may also be the reason the recipe worked even though my feeding of the starter got so relaxed.


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