I’ve Been Told I’m An Airhead

That must be why I like nice airy souffles so much. Wait. Does that mean I’m a cannibal if I eat one? Ehhh, who cares; they’re tasty (wonders suddenly if I was a member of the Donner Party in a past life).

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t eat souffles. I also wouldn’t eat sushi, anything with Acai Berries, Quinoa or any sort of thing touted as an ancient grain,. Nor would I touch Risotto, anything “Blackened” (unless I accidentally burned it) Avocados, Organic Foods, bottled water, artisan anything or anything bought at the “it” store of any given moment. I had/have a thing about being trendy.

Ok, really, I have this slight quirk when it comes to being non-conformist. Fine! I admit it! I really really hate to follow the crowds. I think it comes from being that “bully target” when I was a kid. If I wasn’t good enough then, I’m sure as hell not changing and being like everyone else just to fit in NOW. πŸ˜› That stupidly extended to what I would eat.

Yeah. I need therapy.

I have however gotten to the point of eating most of those things. I still tend to roll my eyes at organic simply because I’m too cynical for my own good and don’t believe that 1) the vast majority of organic/clean foods are any better for you (unless you raise them yourself) than other foods and a lot of studies agree with that idea and 2) I’m not rich. Plus, unless it is in a California roll piece of sushi, I still don’t care for avocados. Nor will I buy 99.9% of anything labeled artisanΒ  simply because I hate snooty foods lol and that I’m not rich thing again πŸ˜›

I have learned to love souffles. Sweet, savory, whatever, I’ll try them. I admit to a fondness for the sweet ones though. Whoda thunk it huh?

I have always loved the chocolate mint combo. I have mentioned that on a number of blogs recently because it tis the season for that combination right now. However, even there, I have to be different. It’s a sickness; I swear. I need rehab. Or chocolate. Whichever.

So I didn’t make mine with milk or dark chocolate (or the real stuff as my friend Bel would say. According to her, white chocolate isn’t real πŸ˜› ). I made it with white chocolate. But being me, I had to mess with it even more. So I added that nice minty Christmas mint flavor by adding some Peppermint Schnapps.

This turned out really really good. I was kind of tickled with myself to be honest. It would be a perfect fit on Christmas or just whenever you want a treat. So try this one. I insist. Or I’ll make you eat raw liver. This is a change up from a white chocolate souffle recipe I found at thatsmyhome.com

White Chocolate & Peppermint Schnapps Souffle

  • 5 large eggs, room temp & separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (USE this… it helps stabilize the egg whites which is important in souffles)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (no, that’s not a typo)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (or just mix a little cream into lighter milk. Just use milk with some fat. It helps add richness and height)
  • 4 tablespoons peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 8 ounces good quality white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 crushed candy canes
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the white chocolate, cream. 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, 2 tablespoons of the schnapps and butter. Microwave in one minute increments, stirring after each, until melted. Set aside.
  2. In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, beat the egg yolks with the 4 tablespoons sugar. Add the flour and beat just until blended.
  3. Slowly beat in the milk & 2 tablespoons of the schnapps.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick. Don’t boil. Do NOT get bored and walk away. You’ll regret it. Please don’t ask how I know this.
  5. Cool the egg mixture until it is barely warm. Stir the white chocolate mixture into it.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter and sugar 4 individual souffle dishes.
  7. In a VERY clean preferably glass, bowl (make sure it is squeaky clean or your whites won’t rise), beat your egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat until stiff.
  8. Pour the egg and chocolate mixture into a large clean bowl. Fold the beaten whites into the yolk mixture; about half at a time. Make sure no white streaks remain.
  9. Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes or until they are puffy, set and lightly browned. They can move but they shouldn’t jiggle. The center should look dry. Use just your oven light to check them because it doesn’t take much in the way of cool air to deflate a souffle.
  10. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Serve immediately. Souffles wait for no one. πŸ˜€

Dum Dum Suckers!? Awwww, mannnn!

Β 

This is an entry from my old non foodie journal. Just thought I’d share. Yes, still me, still insanely silly πŸ˜€

My son Zach went trick or treating last year. He was a werewolf…again. He has a fascination with them. I haven’t decided if I simply need to hide the cats during a full moon, wonder if he is Lon Chaney reincarnated or just get him therapy. Zach constantly bemoans the fact that he hasn’t yet grown enough body hair to make a Spyhnx Cat happy much less a werewolf.

I still remember when I found him and his older brother Jordan in the bathroom cutting each others hair and trying to super glue it to their faces. After I stopped laughing and wiped my eyes, I had to figure out a way to get the hair and the glue off their faces. I was tempted to just leave it there and let them go to school looking like the bastard love children of Tiny Tim and The Bearded Lady but the mental image of myself trying to explain to the Child Protection Services why my sons were covered in glued on hair made me think better of it.

Moving on. My father, who died in April of ’06, loved Halloween. Ok, so he was a diabetic who loved any excuse to eat candy but he did adore Halloween. Every year we went through the same routine. I would take him shopping and he would buy six or seven of the HUGE bags of candy. You know the kind; the ones with enough in them to feed either a small third world country or Nicole Ritchie on a binge. Most would be the mini chocolate bars with one or two bags of Smarties and Sweet-tarts. I would nag him about not needing so much because we lived in a rural area where we are lucky (or blessed depending on your viewpoint) to get ten kids coming to the door. He would say that what didn’t get eaten he could give to my kids *snorts… uh huh*.

Come Halloween, an hour after trick or treating would start, I would invariably find him sitting in his lawn chair, candy wrappers around him as he dozed in the blissful dreams of a mini diabetic coma and dreamt of Kim Novak hand feeding him Nestles Crunch bars. He would be surrounded by neighborhood cats and dogs sniffing through the wrappers trying to find some crumbs of forbidden chocolate heaven. I am fairly sure he alone was responsible for quite a few animals dying a sugar induced death. The children loved him though. Where else could they go and grab handfuls of candy without the watchful eyes of an (awake) adult telling them to not take more than one or two?

Every year, the day after Halloween, he & I would go through the kids bags. Ostensibly it was to sift through it and get rid of anything iffy. In reality though it was to take all the good stuff and then when the kids asked where it went to, to point the sticky finger at each other. Last year, the popular item seemed to be Dum Dum Suckers. Lots and lots of Dum Dum suckers. I tried for months to figure out what to do with all. There are only so many times one can serve Dum Dum Roast for dinner with a side of Mashed Dum Dums before the family refuses to eat. Now I just sneak them in like most mothers do Spinach. “Here you go honey… eat your Dum Dums first then I’ll get you some nice chicken… c’mon it looks sooo good doesn’t it? You used to love the Cream Soda flavor”.

I had to laugh when Zach got home with his goodies. He dumped the bag out, got the most disappointed look on his face, turned to me and said “dum dum suckers?! Awww man”!!! My father was surely laughing himself silly as Kim fed him Snickers bars and Three Musketeers.

Dum Dum Au Gratin anyone???? I’ll share.
Ahhh dad, Halloween just isn’t the same without you this year.

In honor of Halloween, I have made a Pumpkin Souffle. I couldn’t resist making a delicious Maple/Brown Sugar Whipped Cream to go with it because…well, because I’m me πŸ˜›

This is sooooo good! And contrary to popular belief, not hard at all. Yes, your souffle will fall. It’s supposed to. You have to be quick to serve them but even if they collapse before you get them to your family or guests, they will NOT care. I promise. They will be too busy moaning in ecstasy. So try this. because I said. And because it’s something a little different in the pumpkin arena. And because it’s insanely good.

Pumpkin Pie Souffle With Maple Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

  1. Maple Whipped Cream-
  2. 1 cup heavy cream
  3. 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (not Mrs. Butterworths… as good as she may be)
  4. 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  5. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. Pumpkin Pie Souffle-
  7. 6 egg whites, room temp
  8. 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (do NOT omit. It helps stabilize the egg whites)
  9. 6 egg yolks, room temp
  10. 1/2 cup sugar plus extra for coating souffle dishes
  11. 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
  12. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  13. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (leave Maryann, Gilligan and The Professor alone)
  14. 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  15. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Make your Maple Whipped Cream-
  • Add the maple syrup and brown sugar to the cup of heavy cream in a large bowl. Beat until the cream is stiff. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Coat 4 8 ounce lightly greased souffle dishes with sugar . I only had mini and extra large dishes so I used 2 ten ounce ones and 2 six ounce ones. Works out the same.
  • Set them into a 13×9 baking dish.
  • While preparing the souffles, heat up 2 cups of water in the microwave. Leave until ready to use.
  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large GLASS bowl until foamy. Gradually add in the 1/2 cup sugar. Continue beating until the egg whites are glossy and stand up in soft peaks.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add the 1/2 cup pumpkin and the spices (tip- Have all your stuff measured before you begin making this. It makes the process much easier and you don’t have to worry about your whites deflating while you are scurrying around for spices and sugar and such.).
  • GENTLY fold the egg yolk/pumpkin mixture into the egg whites until no streaks of white remain.
  • Pour mixture into prepared dishes.
  • Put in oven and carefully add the 2 cups of hot water to the baking dish (NOT into the souffle dishes :-P).
  • Bake at 375 until tops are nicely browned and the souffles have risen, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Serve with the maple whipped cream.

When Life Gives You Lemons….

Heck with just making lemonade. Find someone who has vodka and have a party. πŸ˜› I believe it was Ron White who said that. Don’t care much for the man but I like the sentiment. Though being the weirdo that I am, I’d probably forgo the party and add the lemons to the vodka with some sugar, let it steep for months and make Limoncello. Then sit back with a good book and have a drink. THAT’S a party!

Wow… I’m old. And boring.

Oh well… youth and excitement wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. πŸ™‚ My teen years, my twenties, even my early thirties, I was so unsure of myself or my importance in the scheme of things and so sure that “omg, I’m nothing! I haven’t discovered a cure for cancer… I can’t even get my son potty trained! I’m a failure!” was the way life would always be. I was fat, not very pretty, insecure and convinced that the world hated me. Now I’m middle aged, fat, not very pretty, still insecure at times (though it’s amazing what age does to that too) and not too worried about whether or not the world hates me hehehe. So long as I have my family, friends and all the people who actually seem to like to read my ramblings (hmmm, same thing as the friends really isn’t it? πŸ™‚Β  )Β  I think I’m doing pretty good, even on the bad days. They happen… we muddle through them and move on, hopefully a little wiser. So remember that all you young pups. The best years really ARE yet to come.

Damn. This post proves it. I really AM old and boring. *grins*. Love me anyway? πŸ˜›

Yesterday, I told you that today’s pie would be a lemon one. Bet you’re expecting lemon meringue or something like that. Nahhhhhhh. Much as I love it, that one is everywhere. So how about a Lemon Souffle Pie? Yep… Lemon Souffle Pie. I have been making this for years (again.. you have GOT to get yourself a copy of The Fanny Farmer Baking Book) and this is one I have not changed a bit. It is fantastic just the way Miss Farmer created it. This tastes just like what the name suggests. Basically because it IS just what the name suggests; just in a pie shell. It is light and fluffy and lemony and so darn easy it’s embarrassing. It has enough sweetness to be very satisfying but is light enough to be good served after a heavy meal (like Thanksgiving or Christmas…or even Easter) for those who want something but don’t want too much or maybe prefer something not chocolate (I know… weird people everywhere huh?). So give this a try. C’monnnnn …. don’t let the word souffle scare you off.

Lemon Souffle Pie

  • 1 unbaked nine inch pie crust
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (takes about 2 lemons for that much)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Prick pie shell over with a fork. Line it with foil and bake at 425 for 6 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake again until it is just lightly browned; about ten minutes.
  3. Reduce your heat to 325.
  4. Put your egg yolks in the top part of a double boiler (I have also done this part in the microwave on 60% power, stirring after every minute. But be careful to keep an eye on it and stir often if you do it that way.). Add the lemon juice, zest, salt, hot water and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Beat the mixture over boiling water until thickened. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat your egg whites & the remaining sugar until stiff moist peaks form.
  6. Pour the cooled lemon mixture into the egg whites until no streaks of white remain. Remember; FOLD… don’t stir. You don’t want to deflate your whites.
  7. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Write mildly obscene words in the filling with a knife.Β  Make pretty swirls on top of the filling.
  8. Bake at 325 until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  9. Let cool on a rack. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Or just hold the pie pan really close to you with a spoon and growl at anyone who gets too near.