Apple Pie Biscuit Turnovers

with cheddar

I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of September. How did that happen? When did that happen? We’re all going to be scrambling to buy holiday presents before you know it. Ugh. Can’t it just stay 65 degrees and sunny and September? That sounds lovely. Unfortunately, time passes and we have to buy presents and endure New York winters and wake up before the sun is out. Boooo. Whatever, let’s make some biscuits. Apple pie biscuits, even. Maybe these ones, that remind me of apple turnovers more than anything. I saw them on Joy the Baker a few weeks back and the idea really stuck with me. I think that’s because you don’t have to do anything individually here. You make a batch of dough, roll it out, add your apples, cut it into squares and bake. It’s a deceivingly simple recipe that looks like you spent hours working on. And since I had some cheddar cheese hanging around the fridge, I added some of that in the mix as well, because slightly salty and sharp cheddar pairs beautifully with sweet apples and a buttery crust. I’m constantly on the search for a perfect biscuit recipe, and while this is certainly a deviation from the norm, they were a delicious way to transition into fall.

Apple Pie Biscuit TurnoversLauren was really into Taboo.

Since it’s finally fall, I figured I’d share the remaining random photos I had from this past summer. One of our favorite haunts is The Zombie Hut in Brooklyn. I love their pretty backyard, the fact that they are open early enough for good weather day drinking, and best of all, their festive tiki drinks are mostly only $5, even their signature frozen drink with a shot of booze in the straw (that’s right). Plus they have board games and all that for big kids like my friends and me. We try to hit this spot up a couple times each summer and this last time we went because the Battle of Brooklyn reenactment was canceled (quitters). You have to make the best of every situation, though, and that usually means you should get an electric blue cocktail. Here’s to next year, Zombie Hut.

Apple Pie Biscuit Turnovers

Speaking of making the most of any situation, last night some friends, Kramer and I went to Trivia AD’s Lost trivia night in honor of the show’s 10 year anniversary. To give you the long and short of it, we did not shine. We came in third, I believe, out of five. The disappointment was palpable, but we rallied. I would like to point out that the top team was comprised of an assembled group who met online and not an organic group of friends, and that’s basically cheating, but I digress. It was still a super fun night and the scores were all incredibly close. I demand a rematch. Even if I have to organize it myself. Who’s in for a night of aggressive nerds and Lost trivia/group shaming? You know my info.

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Lemon Curd Cobbler

with tart cherries

This lemon curd cobbler was something that I thought up last month while watching TV with Kramer one night, trying to decide what dessert to bring to a friend’s barbecue. I knew it was going to be a bit warm outside, so a lot of things were out. Kramer had suggested lemon bars, but again, sitting a plate of delicate lemon bars out on a table in the sun is never a good idea. They won’t go bad, but they will melt and turn a once beautiful hand-held treat into a messy disaster. I do love lemon bars, though. Lemon curd is one of my all time favorite things. How could I make something similar without worrying about how people would be able to eat it? Why not just make a big ol’ batch of lemon curd, pour it into a pie dish, and top it with a classic cobbler topping? It sounded okay in theory, but I was afraid that there’d be way too much curd (for some people, anyway – there’s no such thing as too much curd in my mind). I adjusted my go-to cobbler topping to make it a bit more pillowy and substantial, threw everything together and prayed that it wouldn’t turn into another kind of huge mess. It did a little bit – I definitely overfilled my pie dish with curd, but that was the only downfall, and thankfully, I had the foresight to place a foil lined baking sheet under my cobbler so any dripping curd landed there instead of the floor of my oven. I’ve noted that instead of using all of your curd, like I did, you will probably have leftovers, which is probably the best gift I could possibly give you. Swirl some of the extra curd into your morning yogurt, sandwich it between two cookies, like I’ve done before, or throw it one top of some ice cream. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a mason jar of rich, luscious lemon curd in your fridge.

lemon curd cobblerMeats and cheeses, fantastic signs at The Brooklyn Kitchen, Kramer studying and a morning bun from Roberta’s.

Leftover lemon curd aside, this cobbler was fabulous. The curd was just the right amount of tart and tangy, and the cherries added a bit of texture without drawing away from the lemon. The cakey topping was just the right amount in relation to the curd, so you got a bit of both in each bite, making for one of the best cobblers I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself. Soon, we’ll all be eating apple crumble or pear tarts, or maybe you’re even hoarding berries to freeze in order to make blackberry and blueberry cobblers all year long, but remember: you’ve always got lemons, ripe and ready to be made into something delicious! If you’re a lemon meringue pie or lemon bar fan, this cobbler is going to be right up your alley.

lemon curd cobbler

Kramer and I don’t have too much planned for this weekend, which is good so as not to spread ourselves too thin, but we do have some plans, of course. Tonight, we’re headed way uptown to see There Will Be Blood with a live orchestra playing the score. I’m really excited! The original composer of the soundtrack and member of Radiohead, Johnny Greenwood, will be there to play as well. It almost makes going all the way up to 145th Street worth it. Almost. On Saturday, I’m headed to Huertas in the city for a really fun project, followed by what I hope will be many a fine cocktail. On Sunday, we’ve got no plans yet, but Kramer has a ton of homework to do, so I’ll probably find myself tinkering with something in the kitchen. What a surprise.

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Lemon Sugar Cookies

crisp & buttery

A decade of Kramereses was celebrated in the best way possible this weekend by a meal at Blanca in our very own neighborhood. You can read about the restaurant here and here, but I’ll give you my thoughts, too. All in all, it was fabulous. I’m not someone who spends insane amounts of money on meals very often. Kramer and I treat ourselves to somewhere fancy once a year, and we chose well with Blanca this year. Last year we did Blue Hill at Stone Barns, which was a different experience entirely, so this year we were excited to finally check out Blanca. We go to Roberta’s all the time, and we often saw people being led back to the mysterious 12-seat dining room/kitchen, but the price point wasn’t really something we could stomach. However, after cashing in our very real change jar, counting up the cash and going back and forth with the “should we, shouldn’t we” nonsense, we just pulled the trigger and made a reservation. How often do you get to toast to being together for 10 years, right? Why not just go all out? So we did, and it was quite the meal, indeed. I think we went at the right time, too. It’s the tail end of peak tomato season, and all of the final crops for summer are making their way into kitchens across the country as people scurry to cook with the year’s bounty before winter sets in and we’re all eating potatoes and red meat. The food that we had at Blanca was light, for the most part, which is what you want with a 22-course dinner. It had lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, with a touch of honey here or a bit of almond there, as well as really beautiful seafood dishes (which Chef Mirarchi was kind enough to bestow upon us as we left – a filet of fluke!). There were some touches of red meat, of course – buttery Wagyu beef, perfectly cooked lamb and crispy duck breast – all lovely and perfectly portioned. Upon leaving, not only did we receive a couple of bags of granola for the next morning, but a cute little card wishing us a happy anniversary. It was, indeed. And full as we were, we may or may not have grabbed a morning bun and a bialy from the Roberta’s bakery on our way out because I don’t think either of us wanted to admit that the night was actually coming to an end!

Lemon Sugar CookiesGoodie bags and cute notes from Blanca, Wagyu beef with gem lettuce and kaffir lime, radishes with cheese and tomatillo and the next morning’s granola.

So, anniversary properly celebrated, the rest of the weekend kind of revolved around waiting to eat at Blanca and waking up the next morning still full from doing just that. On Friday night, I met up with a few friends for an after work cocktail (including Sylvie from Roaming Taste), followed by dinner with more friends at Zona Rosa in Williamsburg. After dinner, we wished a happy birthday to a friend celebrating at one bar, then headed to Noormans Kil to finish the night off. Despite all of the hopping around, I managed to take it easy in anticipation of the following night. On Saturday, I basically did nothing while Kramer worked on his homework, then we went to see our friend Emily and Wesley’s amazing new apartment before our epic meal at Blanca. On Sunday morning, we both slept in, then I went for a walk to get odds and ends from both the Bedford Cheese Shop and the Brooklyn Kitchen while Kramer did more homework. It was an absolutely beautiful day – one of those first days of fall kind of days where you remember how much you enjoy actually walking and moving around outside instead of just drinking cold white wine somewhere shady. I picked up a stupid amount of charcuterie, cheese, plates, bread and whatever else I could get my hands on, stopping only when I decided I wouldn’t be able to carry much more back home. We noshed on this and that before meeting our friend Danny for a quick game of Pandemic (and quick it was – we lost big time), then watched a bit of Lost in preparation for trivia night next week. I’ll admit, I’m ready for a bit of a detox this week. But not before one last Roberta’s dinner tonight! I’m a woman possessed.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Having said that, eating a bunch of fancy food makes me feel kind of guilty, to be honest. It’s not about the calories – it’s about how lucky and privileged I am to be able to go to restaurants and live in New York and all of that. Not to brush over my feels on the subject (that’s for another day entirely), but the bottom line is that I want to share a simple recipe today. These cookies were something I originally baked almost six years ago, when Kramer and I were still living in Mesa, Arizona. I wanted to make them again for the OXO Good Cookie campaign, which is to an awesome program dedicated to raising both funds and awareness for children with cancer. You can buy cookies, buy qualifying OXO products or host your own bake sale to get involved! For every stickered Cookies for Kids’ Cancer item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000 pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. For example, my favorite baking tool, the medium cookie scoop from OXO, is one of these products – it’s how I get such uniform cookies! Learn more here and have a cookie for a great cause. These are crispy, buttery, lovely little sugar cookies, so buttery in fact that they’re almost shortbread, and I love them. The exterior is perfectly crunchy, but all that butter means they immediately melt in your mouth. I like to roll these in raw sugar for extra texture, but granulated will work just fine, too. My friend Kim said that she made these for a Fourth of July party earlier this summer and enjoyed them just as much as me, so I can report with full confidence that these are awesome cookies. It’s almost dizzying to think that holiday baking season is just a couple of short months away, but that’s the truth, so if you’re not ready to turn the oven on quite yet, just remember to bookmark this recipe for when the time comes, and don’t forget to check out Cookies for Kids!

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Crispy Curried Chicken

baked in the oven

I feel like I haven’t posted a savory recipe in forever. I got into a bit of a baking craze, I suppose. I’m proud to present this chicken to you today, though. It’s the kind of thing I typically make on a Sunday to have for weekday lunches. I always try to prep lunches for Kramer and myself as best I can for the week ahead. Buying lunch gets really expensive really fast, especially because I have zero self control and always order way too much food. Why do I think I need an appetizer for lunch? I have no idea but I’ll order one unless the force is strong with me on that particular day. That’s one of New York’s biggest problems. You can order absolutely anything for lunch. You can get Vietnamese or Indian or Mexican or Filipino or Russian, not to mention the plethora of delicious deli sandwiches, burgers and fried chicken spots. I work three blocks from a Shake Shack for god’s sake. So I try to pack my lunch every day…except Fridays because Friday is treat day. Today I think Kramer and I are going to try to meet up at Madison Square Eats for lunch. Go ahead and check out what’s being served there. How can I exercise any will power when there is a Roberta’s pizza, freshly fried doughnuts and Japanese style tacos just minutes from my grasp?

Crispy Curried ChickenThe roast beef sandwich from The Meathook Sandwich Shop, walking around Williamsburg, Lily the cat and my favorite breakfast: a pumpernickel bagel with lox and cream cheese.

Anyway, this chicken is good enough to keep you full, happy and away from the fries on any weekday. The key is to bake the chicken with its skin on. Even if you are crazy and take the skin off after its cooked, you need the fat for flavor. Plus you’re never going to get chicken crispy if it doesn’t have skin. The fat crisps up. Just regular old meat can have a crust, sure, but you’re never going to get that lighter than air crispy exterior without skin. The marinade is simple enough, albeit nice and spicy, which is how I like it. If you omit the peppers and just use regular curry powder instead of my preferred vindaloo variety, the heat will decrease significantly, but I like to be smacked in the face with heat, so I made my chicken this way. The skin is almost identical to a piece of deep fried chicken if you are patient and let it get crispy. Don’t worry about overcooking it – dark meat is nearly impossible to overcook, so it will stay nice and juicy on the inside. I recommend serving this alongside a simple salad made with iceberg lettuce to combat the heat, or do as I did and chop it up to eat over a salad for lunch for a few days. It’s a nice change of pass from the turkey and swiss that you no doubt enjoy but may be getting tired of day after day.

Crispy Curried Chicken

I’m really excited for this weekend because Kramer and I are really going all out. We’ve been married for almost 5 years, buy as of this past August we’ve been together for 10, if you can believe it. We wanted to do something special, so we broke open our change jar and made reservations at Blanca in Brooklyn. I am ready to chow down. There are something like 22 courses and there are only around 12 seats in the whole restaurant. I think this kind of place screams 10 year anniversary. And when I say we broke open our change jar, I’m not kidding. We have a change jar we have been filling with both change and loose $1 bills for years. It honestly will be a little painful to clean it out, but it’s meant to be fun money and we plan to enjoy it. I’ll try to take a few photos while I’m there and report back on what I’m sure will be an outstanding meal!

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One Bowl S’mores Brownies

with graham cracker streusel

Greetings, humans. I woke up with a lot of energy this morning, weirdly enough. That honestly never happens and I’ll hit snooze on my alarm until well past when I should. I suppose I’m well rested from having a pretty low-key weekend, and I didn’t go out on Sunday, which I’ve been doing for some reason the past couple of weeks and it always leads to me dragging my ass come Monday. I probably wanted to squeeze in as much ~fun~ as possible before the end of summer, but I’m looking out my window this morning and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The high is supposed to be 77 degrees today and the sky is impossibly blue. Nothing gold can stay, of course, and I think it’s going to rain for much of the rest of the week, but we have our windows open right now so I’ll take what I can. On Friday night, we went to our friend’s apartment in Park Slope to play Settlers of Catan. The house won the game (this time – I will beat them eventually), but it was a really fun night and got to be a bit close there between Kramer and our friend Russ. On Saturday, we slept in a bit, lounged on the couch while watching a little TV, then made our way over to The Meathook Sandwich Shop to pick up classic Italian subs (and one roast beef) to bring over to our friend Tom and Valerie’s house. You see, Tom and Val just had their baby and as pregnant women are cautioned not to eat cured or smoked meats, my M.O. when I see a new mother is to bring her a giant Italian sandwich with all the fixings. It’s because I care. About meats. Anyway, we spent the day meeting the new baby while Tom made us piña coladas – not too shabby. I used to work with Valerie at a hedge fund when we were both admins (i.e. she knew what she was doing and it was my first real New York job). We’ve been friends for just over four years now, but it feels like we’ve always known each other. Sometimes you really luck out with the people you end up meeting, and Val’s one of those people that I felt an immediate connection with. Thankfully, we’re both out of the hedge fund game now and it’s so exciting to see her and Tom starting their own little family. I even got called Aunt Sydney, which probably would have scared the crap out of me a few years ago, but now? I kind of like the sound of it! I always thought I’d be a cool aunt.

One Bowl Smores BrowniesMy beautiful friend Valerie.

A few weeks ago, before Val had the baby (obviously), she asked if I’d take a few photos of her while she was still pregnant. I was thrilled. I shoot food 99.9% of the time, so my pictures-of-people skills aren’t really that great, but practice makes perfect and if Val was okay being my guinea pig, then so be it. I rented a fun tilt-shift lens and we spent the day walking around the Long Island City waterfront taking pictures while I tried to “direct”, by which I mean I made a bunch of stupid jokes and tried to make her laugh while also forcing her husband Tom to jump in a couple shots. I’m really happy with how these turned out. Val is clearly gorgeous, pregnant or otherwise, so that made things pretty easy, but she seemed so happy and excited to be a mom that her good spirits made getting a smile out of her a piece of cake. I hope I can convince more people to let me take a couple of photos of them some time soon, and Val and Tom seemed to like these, so there’s nowhere to go but up!

One Bowl Smores Brownies

I believe that this is the last of my graham cracker recipe series. There’s been s’mores cinnamon rolls, a mocha ice box cake, paletas, snickerdoodles and a chocolate peanut butter pie. For the final recipe, I wanted to share something that I love – brownies. I’d prefer brownies over a cookie or a piece of cake (the only thing I love more is pie, which has also been well documented here). I adore thick, chewy, fudgey brownies in particular. I want a brownie that calls out of a big, cold glass of milk to wash it all down. These are those brownies. The graham cracker streusel is only a bonus, and the gooey marshmallows make for an excellent s’more brownie, indeed. I’m especially proud of the streusel. Why not just replace all of the flour in an ordinary streusel with ground up graham crackers? I had trouble not just spooning the streusel directly into my mouth – maybe go ahead and make a little extra to sprinkle on your morning oatmeal or yogurt, or your evening ice cream (because we all need evening ice cream). While the graham cracker saga is coming to an end, I think that you’ll remember these recipes for at least a while longer…or until you’ve hit the gym a few times. You’re welcome.

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Graham Cracker Snickerdoodles

cinnamony & sugary

I guess summer is “officially” over. I’m in total denial about that, also tell it to the sun because it’s been hot as hell in New York for the past week. It’s the living worst, but it at least made for a nice beach trip this past Sunday. They said it was going to rain. They said there would be thunder and lightning. But we knew better. We rounded up a few brave friends and headed out to Rockaway. Guess what? Not a cloud in the damn sky! It was decided this past Sunday that Kramer and I really do control the weather. We had fish tacos and chorizo tacos, some pineapple drink with a bit of tequila, then trekked down to spend a few hours soaking up the sun and splashing around in the water. It was excellent. After a brief break for ceviche and a beer, we packed up and went for one more drink before the rain finally did come – but this was after we had our fun and were ready to go home, so there. After the beach, we finally checked out this awesome Vietnamese spot in Bushwick called Bun-Ker, which was beyond delicious. We went all out, with papaya salad, crab spring rolls, and grilled pork chops, but the best thing was the bánh xèo, which is a kind of crispy Vietnamese omelet stuffed with shrimp, egg and bean sprouts. We certainly were fat and happy after that meal. I hope I’ll get to take more people there soon – it’s definitely my new favorite spot.

Graham Cracker SnickerdoodlesPapaya salad at Bun-Ker, sea urchin at Maison Premiere, tacos at Rockaway Taco and an old fashioned at, again, Maison Premiere.

Other than being beach bums, we got a lot in last weekend. On Friday, we embraced the ~last weekend of summer~ nonsense and went to Maison Premiere for oysters, sea urchin, salmon crudo and cocktails, as well as to enjoy their adorable backyard. Afterward, we had a couple of drinks at Good Co, followed by a rousing game of Pandemic with our friend Danny. On Saturday, we went to our friend Matt’s for a barbecue. Kramer and I made grilled spicy chicken and grilled curry chicken sandwiches, as well as a Szechuan cucumber and tomato salad and a lemon and cherry curd cobbler. There were also Funfetti chocolate chip cookies, a masterfully made salad and good sausages from Graham Avenue Meats. We called it an early night around 10 that day in preparation for the beach, but the best day of the weekend was Labor Day, because my good friends Val and Tom had their baby girl! I’m so excited to tell you more about that next week, but for now let me just say that I am so thrilled for them and I can’t wait to meet her this weekend.

Graham Cracker Snickerdoodles

When something exciting happens, you have to make cookies. When Tom and Val’s baby arrived, I made sure to make a big batch of chocolate chip cookies for them – something that all new parents most certainly need. The weekend before that, though, I made these graham cracker snickerdoodles, which I should probably bring over to their place at some point, too, as I’m sure they’re running out of the first batch by about now. Why not make graham cracker snickerdoodles? It makes so much sense. As a kid, my favorite graham crackers were the cinnamon-sugar variety, the ones with a sparkly, crunchy crust that went perfectly with a cup of applesauce. These cookies are reminiscent of that very same after school snack. They smell heavenly, and keep well for a few days, so you can share them with whoever you so choose (just be sure to keep them in an airtight container). I think they’d be the perfect thing to sandwich between a layer of simple vanilla ice cream, too, wouldn’t you agree? As I’ve said, don’t fall into the “Wah OMG summer’s over!” frenzy. It’s not. So make these cookies, make an ice cream sandwich, and enjoy what’s left of the sunshine.

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Cherry Cheesecake Paletas

made with real fruit

How is it that summer’s almost over? The temperature will probably stay on the warmer side for a bit longer, but it’s time for fall. That means we’re all just in limbo, waiting to buy holiday presents or finish up big projects for the year at work. I was never a big fan of summer. I heat heat. I hate having to use the air conditioning. But we really did it right this summer and after living in New York for almost 5 years and dealing with some nasty winters, I love any chance to be outside. This summer was incredibly mild and we were outside a lot. We went to the Catskills, had a few picnics on Governors Island, got in some Zombie Hut time, played bored games outdoors, and went to Rockaway Beach plenty of times, with one more trip planned for this weekend, and had a few barbecues with, again, one more planned for this weekend. We traveled to Montreal, DC and North Carolina, too. It’s been perfect. Sure, we’ve both been really busy with work on top of it all, especially Kramer, but we made the most of this summer and I officially love the season. That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to fall sweaters and holiday meals, though. I can’t wait for Halloween candy and Thanksgiving stuffing. But I will definitely miss beach hair, fish tacos and eating cheese and drinking wine on a sunny day in the park. Sigh.

Cherry Cheesecake PaletasI love summer.

Have you heard of a paleta before? I’m sure you’ve probably eaten one. Paleta, you see, is Latin America’s version of a popsicle. The key different, though, is that a paleta is actually made from chopped fruit, not just syrup or juices. A paleta is one of my favorite things to enjoy on a hot summer day. They’re generally a bit richer and more substantial than the average popsicle, and they come in fun flavors – my favorite is coconut with little bits of coconut in it. I recently purchased a popsicle mold, and I’m only lamenting the fact that I didn’t get one sooner. Summer means popsicles, and we should all be eating them! I’ve made an almond butter and Greek yogurt variety already on the blog, but this time, I decided to make favorite New York traditions into a treat on a stick.

Cherry Cheesecake Paletas

As you may know, I’ve partnered with the Cherry Marketing Institute and ChooseCherries.com to bring some tart cherry recipes to you this summer. I’ve already given you a couple of breakfast and lunch ideas, so let’s focus on the best part of a meal: dessert. Frozen tart cherries work beautifully here because you don’t need to thaw them! You just add them to a blender with milk, cream cheese and a little sugar, puree, add a little graham cracker for tradition, and ta-da! Cherry cheesecake paletas ready to go, made with real tart cherries – you won’t find anything artificial here. If you’re someone who thinks ahead, I would even consider adding in some dried tart cherries, too, for texture. They would probably make these look even prettier than they already do. And don’t forget! Choose Cherries is giving away Le Creuset cookware and an Anthropologie apron! You can Tweet to enter or comment on this post to win!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

with a graham cracker crust

On Sunday, I woke up and my right hand was partially numb. I, being an anxiety ridden ball of worries, immediately freaked out. This wasn’t my-hand-is-asleep numb. This was for real numb. I felt nothing from my knuckles to my wrist. It’s a scary thing. I had some work to do, though, so I got going in the kitchen. It was hard. I got exhausted really easily. I couldn’t hold things as strongly or hold my knife for as long as usual. I iced it, rested it, figured that it would be better tomorrow. On Monday, nothing had changed, except now there was tingling. I thought maybe that meant the feeling was trying yo return. I bought a compression brace on my way into the office and tried to make myself comfortable at my desk. On Tuesday, my left knuckles started feeling tingly and a bit numb. That’s when I really had a breakdown. I had to make a trip to Ikea for work, but after that, it was time to go to the doctor. Thankfully, I received good news. It’s most likely just a pinched nerve in my back or neck. It will go away eventually. But I have to wear elbow and wrist braces while I sleep and during the day if I need it, which sucks. It’s uncomfortable and I’m on day four of not feeling much in my right hand. If it doesn’t get better in two weeks, it may be something else and I have to go back to the doctor. This is on top of the physical therapy I have to do for my knees. I’m 25. What gives? It freaks me out and I’m not going to be okay until everything is normal again.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Whatever. Life goes on. Let’s talk about something happier, shall we? I’ve got a few more Outer Banks photos to share. While beach day one was sunny and lovely, day two was grim at first. There was rain and wind with no promise of sun in sight. Kramer was confident, though. He predicted that the sun would come out between 12-4, but we headed to the beach at 11 anyway to set up base camp. Kramer and my brother Dane got to work digging a small trench, which we put our beach chairs in to protect us from the rain. The bored life guards helped us build a small shield of umbrellas, too, since we were practically the only ones on the beach. After a few small tweaks, our shelter was ready, and believe it or not, right at 12, the sun came out! Kramer, ever the soothsayer. We enjoyed our last day on the beach, Tecates in hand, then headed back to the house for a dinner of steamed clams and crab, as well as a beautiful grilled beef tenderloin that Jill’s parents made for us. The next morning, we had a feast of pancakes, blackberries, bacon and coffee before hitting the road – Dane drove this time, all the way back to DC, where we had a few goodbye beers before he made his way back to Balitmore and we made our way back to New York. It was a great trip and I can’t wait until next year!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Let’s also talk about another happy thing: this pie. Kramer’s co-workers dubbed this “crack pie”, even though it is nothing like the Momofuku pie of the same name. I think it deserves its title, though. Start with a buttery graham cracker crust – it’s the only part you need to bake! Add in a rich chocolate pudding filling, then top it all off with swirls of peanut butter. Feel free to get fancy and garnish the top with chopped, salted peanuts and crushed graham cracker. Sure, it’s rich, but it’s almost no-bake and the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination is a favorite for everyone (unless you’re European or Australian and don’t like peanut butter, or you’re allergic to peanut butter, in which case, feel free to go back and scroll through the other desserts I have on here – there is plenty for you to choose from, but this isn’t for you). Kramer and I savored bites of this pie, looking at each other after each bite and thinking, “Is it worth it to have another bite?” followed immediately by confirming that yes, yes it was. A dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream would only amplify this pie-eating experience, but I don’t think it needs anything. It stands out all on its own, and with only 10 minutes of oven time needed for the crust, it’s a great summer dessert. Labor Day ideas, anyone?

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