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Posts tagged ‘Halloween’

Happy Halloween, Cheesy Cauliflower Puree With Roasted Vegetables And Pear With Poire William Creme Anglaise

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Halloween is a big day in our neighborhood, our community group the Society for Clinton Hill sponsors a Halloween Walk and other events, there are months of planning that go into this. Last year there were over 3000 children and adults that participated and this year I think there will be more, judging from the response we have gotten so far. We have a halloween map showing houses that hand out candy, a theatrical production at 313 Clinton Avenue, the Dead Zombie Band puts on an incredible show and everyone looks forward to it. Because we are a not for profit organization local business donate to help us defray the expense of putting this whole thing together. I am on the board of directors for the community organization and am in charge of the PR, social media and the website as well as helping to coordinate.  It’s a tremendous amount of work but very rewarding. I will post photo’s this week. Happy Halloween to all!!

Sorry about all the cauliflower recipes, as I said in the last post it’s an obsession of mine and a filling and delicious sub for carb laden rice or potatoes or pasta. In this case I probably would have served over polenta but instead served with a cauliflower puree made rich with a little creme fraiche and grated comte cheese. The vegetables are simple, a small graffiti eggplant roasted with whole cherry tomatoes and shallot. For a textural diversion I sauteed some fresh bread crumbs in garlic, butter and olive oil and sprinkled over the top.

In an effort to satisfy my sweet tooth and still stay away from refined sugar and flour I created this simple dessert by poaching pears in Poire William (pear liquor) with a touch of maple syrup to sweeten and served with a créme anglaise again with a little maple syrup to sweeten and some Poire William.  Créme Anglaise is a custard sauce made with eggs, milk or cream, sugar, vanilla and rum or some sort of spirit or liquor. Because I am not really eating refined sugar I chose to lightly sweeten with maple syrup, this was adapted from Julia Childs recipe in her book, “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom”.  I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t thicken properly because there is no sugar but it worked just fine.

Cauliflower Puree with Roasted Vegetables 

Really no recipe required for this I made enough for 2 servings

Cauliflower puree follow instructions but use creme fraiche rather than cream.

1 small eggplant cut into bite size pieces

cherry tomatoes

1 shallot peeled and cut into quarters

cheese of your choice I used comté and didn’t measure- grated – add as much cheese as you like

olive oil

salt and pepper

fresh breadcrumbs

1 small garlic clove thinly sliced

butter

Make the cauliflower puree and set aside. Clean and cut your eggplant and shallot, heat the oven to 400 degree’s. Place parchment on sheet pan and lay the vegetables and whole cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. The eggplant and shallot should be soft and the tomatoes nicely caramelized.

Heat a little olive oil and butter in a skillet on med high heat, add garlic and sauté until soft. Add the breadcrumbs stirring so that the fat is absorbed by the breadcrumbs. Toast in the skillet until crisp and browned.

Heat cauliflower puree in saucepan add grated cheese. Serve immediately with the roasted vegetables spooned on top, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and garnish with a little parsley if you like.

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Créme Anglaise

2 servings

Adapted from a recipe by Julia Child

3 egg yolks

2-3 tbs maple syrup

1 cup half and half or whole milk

2 tsp vanilla

2 tbs Poire William (you can use the juices from the poached pears for this)

Whisk egg yolks with the maple syrup until the yolks are thick and pale yellow. Heat milk to scalding and add in a slow steady stream to the egg yolks whisking constantly. Pour into the saucepan and cook on medium to medium low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, using your finger swipe a line and if it stays intact it’s done. Remove from heat immediately, pour through a fine sieve to remove any bits of egg that may have cooked and add the vanilla and pear liquor.  Refrigerate until ready to use, since this is best served warm heat over simmering water (bain marie) until warm to the touch. The créme anglaise which is usually a light yellow because of the maple syrup and vanilla is more beige in color.

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Poached Pears

Heat oven to 375 degree’s. Peel, cut in half and core the pears,  place in a buttered baking dish adding some Poire William, pear nectar or whatever liquid you like. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until pears are soft when gently poked with the end of a sharp knife.

If your créme anglaise is cold you can warm over simmering water. Spoon onto a plate and top with the pear.

You can add a cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom pod or whatever spice you like to the pears and this will infuse with a gentle warm spice that would be delicious as well.

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Count Dracula

Percy as Count Dracula

Halloween/Samhain And A Triple Layer Apple Cake

Decorating for Halloween

Decorating my mantle for Halloween

I love Halloween/ Samhain, it’s huge in my neighborhood. Children walk en masse trick or treating, there are theatrical productions, music like the Dead Zombie Band playing on the street. Everyone dresses in costume here and has a wonderful time. We have a doggie costume contest called The Great Pupkin at Fort Greene Park (I miss dressing the pugs), people decorate their homes. I kid you not when I say Halloween is huge in Clinton Hill see this article in the Daily News.

My stoop

My stoop

All month horror films (mostly not very good ones) are shown on TV, some of you who know me are aware that I am a fan of horror films, always have been and I look forward to seeing some of my favorites on Halloween.  Two I love!

Mia Farrow-Rosemary's Baby

Mia Farrow-Rosemary’s Baby-Polanski is genius

Bela Lugosi Dracula

Bela Lugosi Dracula

To celebrate the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter or the dark months, the literal and original meaning of Samhain, I made an apple cake. I know, there is a plethora of apple recipes out there right now along with pumpkin but thats ok, right, it’s apple and pumpkin season. This cake has been in my repertoire for years, it is the simplest and best apple layer cake recipe I have found. It is from Martha Stewart. The cake is shown with a brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream (yum) but I am making a cream cheese frosting. I have made this cake many times and vary the way I use the apples. Sometimes I follow directions grating 2 and dicing 2, sometimes I make applesauce from all 4 apples or at times I will grate all 4. For this cake I made applesauce which is my favorite way of prepping the apples for this cake. It is nicely spiced, moist and has a wonderful texture, I love it with either the Brown Sugar Buttercream or Cream Cheese Frosting any way you make it it is a wonderful way to celebrate apple season.

Apple cake

Apple cake

Three Layer Apple Cake

Martha Stewarts Everyday Food with John Baricelli

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp salt

2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

4 apples peeled and coursely grated (or you can grate 2 and dice 2) If you make applesauce the yeild is about 1 1/2 cups from 4 apples)

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s. Butter 3 8 inch round cake pans place parchment round in each butter again and dust with flour.

In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger and salt. In large bowl whisk butter, sugar and eggs until well combined, fold in the grated apples. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined Divide batter among the prepared pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 20 minutes before inverting onto cooling rack. Cool complettely before frosting.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature

8 oz unsalted butter softened to room temperature

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3-4 tbs half and half or whole milk

3-4 cup confectioners sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy and completely incorporated, add 2 cups of the confectioners sugar the vanilla and 2 tbs of the milk or half and half and beat. Add another cup of confectioners sugar and more milk continue to beat adding sugar and milk as needed until it reaches spreading consistency.

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Cupcakes For Fiesta Friday #40 And A Halloween Tour Of My Neighborhood

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

This week is special, today is Halloween and believe me Halloween is HUGE in my neighborhood. There are numerous theatrical productions, a Halloween Walk, houses are decorated, the leaves are blowing and it’s a bit blustery today, I think it’s a perfect Halloween day! I do love Halloween, I get to watch my favorite horror flicks, hand out candy, do some baking and participate in the festivities. I decided to bake cupcakes to give to the children I know and that know me. Vanilla cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting. I used my go to yellow cake recipe, an original from my Mom and the best yellow cake EVER!! It’s like a cross between a regular cake and a chiffon cake. It’s very light and has a great crumb. I posted this recipe years ago on Food52 and it’s been made many many times over and is a very popular recipe. I made the cupcakes in three sizes, jumbo, regular and mini. The recipe made 12 regular size, 6 jumbo and   12 mini’s. That’s a lot of cupcakes, which is why I thought I would bring them to this weeks party, Fiesta Friday #40. Hope you enjoy and Happy Halloween!!!

The party this week is hosted as always by Angie @The Novice Gardener  fresh from her big birthday bash last week and our lovely co hosts are Margy @La Petite Casserole and the fantastic Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook (Jhuls honey. you are nothing if not creative)

 

Assorted cupcakes

Assorted cupcakes

 Tender Yellow Cake

Serves 10-12
3 large eggs separated and at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 1 tbs vegetable oil (I use canola)
1 cup whole milk (1 or 2% work also)
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350
Prepare 2 9 inch round baking pans or cupcake tins, butter bottoms and line with parchment rounds, butter again bottoms and sides and dust with flour.
Beat egg whites until frothy then add 1/2 cup of the sugar (reserving the rest) a tablespoon at a time until egg whiles are stiff and glossy. Set aside.
Sift flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl if you are using a hand held mixer or into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the oil and 1/2 cup of the milk and the vanilla. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed, mixture will be quite thick. I actually prefer to use a hand held mixer for this recipe.
Add the egg yolks and remaining milk and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
Fold in egg whites and distribute into the baking pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10-20 minutes in the pan then turn out onto cake rack to cool completely. NOTE: Adjust baking time if making cupcakes 15-20 mintutes.

Frosting is wonderful

Frosting is wonderful

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

(Adapted from a recipe from Country Living)

8 oz softened cream cheese

8 oz softened unsalted butter

3 tbs half and half or milk

3 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese, butter and half and half until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, cocoa and vanilla and beat until spreading consistency, smooth and creamy. If too thick add more milk a tsp at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Frost your cake or cupcakes immediately.

mini

mini

Flyer

Flyer

Halloween theatrical set

Halloween theatrical set

313 Clinton Halloween set

313 Clinton Halloween set

More 313 Clinton

More 313 Clinton

Next door to 313 Clinton

Grave Markers with a message Next door to 313 Clinton

Halloween decorations

Halloween decorations

NYC marathon is Sunday

NYC marathon is Sunday

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday

 

 

Happy Halloween!! Awesome Salsa Giveaway- The Winner is…….

Salsa

Salsa

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Congratulations Stefano, I will be sending you an email I need your address to give to Tamara so that your delicious jar of Salsa can be sent to you.

I’ll leave you with a few Halloween Images. Happy Halloween Everyone!!

Bela Lugosi Dracula

Bela Lugosi Dracula

Mia Farrow-Rosemary's Baby

Mia Farrow-Rosemary’s Baby

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween