Monday, June 18, 2012

Key Lime Pie

A while back, a coworker came in and said, "Hey! I made a key lime pie! Want some?"


This dudes key lime pie was jaw dropping. The crust was chewy and buttery, the filling was tangy and sweet. It was of the best things I think I've ever had. And I've had a lot of food.

He gave me the recipe, and it sat in my inbox for probably close to a year. Intimidating.

Yesterday was the day. I was going to make my dad a key lime pie for Father's Day.

When I glanced over the recipe, it actually didn't even look that hard! We all know how that can go, though...

Total Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
1 ¼ cup
Graham Cracker Crumbs (or 1 individual package from a box)
2 T
Granulated Sugar
5 – 6 T
Unsalted Butter (I used 6T)

Pie Filling
Large Egg Yolks (Room Temperature)
14 oz
Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cup
Key Lime Juice
2 tsp.
Key Lime Zest (grated)

Cream Topping
1 cup
Cold Heavy Whipping Cream (35-40% butterfat content)
2 T
Granulated Sugar (or ¼ cup if you like a bit sweeter)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F
  2. Place oven rack in the center of oven.
  3. Butter or lightly spray with non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch pie or tart pan.
Graham Cracker Crust
  1. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs (I put them in a ziploc and used a rolling pin to crush them), sugar and melted butter.
  2. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a prepared pan.
  3. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
  4. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment beat the egg yolks until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  2. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the lime juice and zest (I assume you also put the sweetened condensed milk in at this point).
  3. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the filling is set.
  4. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  5. Once it is completely cooled, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  6. Once the filing has chilled, in the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  7. Either pipe (using Wilton 1M star tip) of place mounds of whipping cream on top of the filling.
  8. Can be store in the refrigerator for a few days (leftovers? LOL, yeah right).
Makes 1 – 9 inch (23 cm) pie or tart.

I didn't really have time to let the pie cool and THEN chill it in the fridge, so I tossed it in the fridge straight away for a few hours. No harm done. 

He sweetens his whipped cream, but my mom made ours and didn't. It's phenomenal, either way. 

This pie was totally easy! Ok, juicing those tiny little key limes was a pain in the ass, but other than THAT, it was easy. The tart and sweet and buttery combo is to die for. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Peach BBQ Sauce

Recipe and picture from Ambitious Kitchen.

With LeGreg and my mom out of town, I decided to cook dinner for my dad and myself for my cheat meal this weekend. I love cooking my cheat meals, but it rarely happens because of events or previous engagements or whatever. When I cook them, they tend to be a lot healthier than when we eat out somewhere.

The menu for the night was these burgers and quinoa almond berry salad.

Let me tell you a wee little story about these effing burgers.

When making a recipe for the first time, I always try to stick directly to it. It's generally for the best, as improvising is NOT my strong point in the kitchen. I don't really know what my strong point is, but that's neither here nor there.

The recipe called for lean ground turkey. I've made turkey meatballs a few times and know that lean turkey meat usually falls apart and dries out due to the lack of fat in it, so I usually get meat with a little more fat in it.

BUT THE RECIPE CALLED FOR LEAN, YOU GUYS. So lean, I got, from Trader Joe's.

I opened the package of meat and was pretty grossed out. It was like paste. Meat paste. It had zero texture that ground meat should have. GROSS. There was no way in hell that these burgers wouldn't fall through a grill, so I opted to broil them in the oven. The recipe calls for 6 mins on each side.

You know how when you try to roast marshmallows on a flame from a burner on the stove and it's not the same as over a real fire and the marshmallow tends to be black and white, with parts either burnt or raw? Yeah. That's what this looked like. There was also this creepy liquid that was all over the cookie sheet that I had them on. Ick. And the second side, after I flipped them? Burnt in like 2 mins. Cool.

Oh, and before all this? I made the sauce. The sauce calls for peach jam. I bought peach conserve at the farmer's market (organic and one billion dollars, natch). Not the same. Damn it. Conserve is basically cooked down peaches. Tasty, but not very sweet. This sauce needed the sweet. It also called for hot sauce and I got a little siracha happy and made it way spicy. Oops. FAILS ALL AROUND.

So I served up the burgers and salad to my dad, warning him that the burgers were likely a complete failure, but there was plenty of salad! Yay?

The burgers, while effing HIDEOUS looking, actually tasted pretty good, and the sauce tasted completely different on them than it did on it's own. It was much sweeter and they complimented each other very well.

I wasn't going to blog this recipe, because of all my issues with it (read my notes at the bottom before attempting), but it ended up pretty good in the end. I think I'll try to make it again, with a couple tweaks. Anything worth remaking gets blogged!

(copy and pasting recipes makes for some weird text and background crap that I'm not nearly smart enough to fix)

 (LOL at this pic. Mine looked nothing like it)

Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Tangy Peach BBQ Sauce

For turkey burgers:
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/3 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more
2 oz goat cheese, divided into 4 equal squares
4 whole wheat (or low calorie) buns

For peach bbq sauce
olive oil
1/4 of a red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup peach preserves
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
a few dashes of hot sauce
freshly ground pepper

To make peach bbq sauce:
  1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minutes. Reduce heat to low and add tomato paste (...there's no tomato paste mentioned in the ingredients soo....It says ketchup, so that's what I used. I don't know) and cumin; combining with the onion and garlic.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and all remaining ingredients. Stir until combined and heated through. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, or other seasonings as you see fit. Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add more water, a tablespoon or two at a time, if you prefer a thinner sauce. Set aside until burgers are ready. (my sauce was very tomato sauce-y, and didn't look much like a bbq sauce. I had to add extra apricot jam, brown sugar AND syrup to make up for my spice overload and bad peach conserve choice. Eesh!)
To make burgers:
  1. Combine turkey, onion, minced garlic, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper (and egg, I'm guessing?) in large bowl. Divide turkey into  equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8 patties total. Sprinkle 4 of the patties with fresh ground black pepper and top with goat cheese; top with remaining patties, working the turkey around the edges to seal burgers closed. Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill or broil until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.
  2. Once burgers are cooked, place in bun and add peach bbq sauce on top. (we skipped the buns. Just because.)
Notes (hers, not mine)
  • This recipe makes 4 burgers, but you could make smaller burgers. Just divide meat into 10 patties, and top with goat cheese.
  • The peach bbq sauce is adapted from The Kitchn’s Tangy and Sweet BBQ Sauce.
  • If you choose to bake the burgers, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 18-20 minutes or until no longer pink.
  • You can omit bbq sauce and top with condiment of your choice. Another option is to use store bought bbq sauce and/or top with grilled peaches.

Quinoa Almond Berry Salad

Recipe and picture (shockingly, hers looks WAY better than my phone pics) from Oh She Glows. She is vegan, but her recipes, like this one, usually look freaking fantastic for anyone and everyone. They never have creepy stuff like fake cheese or fake meat or any of that crap in them. Only fresh "real" ingredients. As a meat eater, I'm always bookmarking or pinning her recipes as side dishes or appetizers. Good stuff.

Yield: 2-3 as a main, 4-6 as a side.
  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced (2.5-3 cups)
  • 16 oz. fresh blueberries (1.5-2 cups)
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or lemon might work!)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. (usually 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water)
2. Meanwhile, chop the fruit and place in a large bowl.
3. Mix the dressing ingredients (maple syrup, balsamic, lime juice, salt) in a small jar and adjust to taste if necessary. Note: You may have to double the dressing recipe if your salad is quite large. (I made about 1.5x the dressing recipe and it seemed perfect)
4. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork (I did this for a few minutes to cool it off before adding it to the fruit) and add to large bowl with fruit. Combine. Pour on dressing and mix well. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until serving time. (I chilled it a bit, thinking that it would be good for the grains and fruit to soak up the dressing. I added the almonds just before serving.)
I went to the farmer's market yesterday morning and picked up super fresh and ripe berries. Is there anything better than perfectly ripe berries? No. No there isn't. This was super easy to make, although pitting and chopping cherries is a gd CHORE. There aren't THAT many in the recipe, though. I made this with goat cheese stuffed turkey burgers for a father daughter dinner with my pops. I was pretty sure that the burgers were a disaster, so I served it all "sorry about the horrifying looking burgers, but the berry thing will be amazing! So that's something! Right?!". Surprisingly, I'm not known as the cook of the family. Anyway, this is uber healthy, as quinoa is one of the only grains that provides a complete protein (although not a ton of it), berries are stock full of antioxidants, and almonds provide a nice healthy fat source and all that jazz. I'm totally excited to eat leftovers today. Not gonna lie.