Monday, August 23, 2010

The Good, the Beautiful, and the Ugly

This slightly altered phrase pretty much describes our weekend.

The good was the Saturday J and I had this weekend. We visited our favorite farmer's market in the northern part of the Lou that guarantees that all of the produce is local and picked fresh within 24 hours. We always find great and sometimes unusual ingredients to fill our bags, and this weekend was no exception. We bought fingerling potatoes, leeks, yellow and red bell peppers, purple basil and gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. The fingerling potatoes made an appearance in our dinner tonight: steak with "Secret" sauce and oven-roasted rosemary fingerling potatoes--so called because my dad invented it a few years ago and will only share the recipe with close family and friends! The leeks will be used in Vichyssoise later this week which is another of my dad's recipes. The purple basil and heirloom tomatoes were consumed almost immediately. J and I used them in a Caprese salad as part of our picnic in the park Saturday afternoon. It has been so hot lately that we have done very little outside other than go to work, go to the grocery store and sweat! It was so wonderful to be able to sit outside, eat fresh, local produce and drink crisp wine under the shade of big oak trees, all without getting our shirts damp.

The beautiful is my new KitchenAid 5 Quart Architect Series stand mixer. She is a beauty and currently sits on our counter waiting for me to make all sorts of pies, cookies and bread with her. J and I hope to add these attachments to our collection eventually, which expand her uses to pasta and ice cream making. I intended to make some french bread this weekend, but the coconut cream pie I made took up too much of my Sunday afternoon to make that possible. All the ingredients are in my pantry though, so I plan to take her for a spin again soon!

Hello lover!

Speaking of pie, we now move to the ugly, which is the end result of my coconut cream pie. See, while it tastes delicious and looked perfect right out of the oven, it never set up properly. Also, the meringue on top began to pull away from the sides of the pie (even though I pushed it all the way to the edges like the recipe suggested) and began to weep. Cream pies are J's favorite though, so I will have to try it again. Thinking back on my execution of the recipe, I do not think I let the cream base cook down and thicken enough, which could explain the liquid soup center. As far as the underwhelming meringue, who knows! Whipped egg whites have been known to be temperamental!! Since the recipe didn't turn out the way I planned and I'm not sure why, I am not going to share the recipe as I normally would. I don't want your pie to turn out like mine did. I did want to mention the experience, however, because around here, we like to keep it real.

How was your weekend?

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