Chess Pie

Hi there! Long time no see. We got a puppy; his name is Crunchwrap Supreme. Crunch(y) for short. Yes, after the Taco Bell culinary breakfast delight — of which I’ve only had two or three — but relish in the silliness of the name and the reactions we get on walks and in dog parks. Let me tell you, he lives up to the name on all fronts.

Of course he’s adorable and I absolutely bust out photos of him when people haven’t even asked, but we’re here to talk pie. Chess pie. And Crunchwrap is here for it too.

IMG_3197 …keep reading

Pluot Galette

Pluot Galette Fold

I have a small confession. I don’t looooove plums. (Read: I would never purchase plums, but I suppose if you serve them for dessert, I’ll eat one.) It’s really the pit and juice combo that gets me. They don’t release their pit easily – they hold on for dear life and get juice all over your mouth and arms in the process. It’s a struggle. I’ll struggle for artichokes, mangoes, and pomegranates but not for plums. Not worth it.

Sliced summer fruit galette

My guy recently bought pluots…a whole bag of pluots. To me, pluots seem like a terrible idea, because they’ve taken the splendid little sweet and tart apricot and made it worse with a juicier, sweeter flesh and a pit that won’t quit. What to do with an entire bag of these little jerks?

Slice of plum galette

…keep reading!

Bourbon Molasses Pumpkin Pie

Bourbon Molasses Pumpkin Pie

Let’s talk turkey. And by turkey, I mean pie. Last week we continued the annual tradition of Friends-giving at our apartment with the tiny kitchen that really should only have one…mayyyybe two people in it at any given time. But hey, you work with what ya got, right? This is the sort of thing that forces one to learn to prep ahead of time.

Confession: I didn’t even used to read all the way through a recipe before starting it; which, as we all know, can catch us unawares as we start cooking, only to realize that the dough has to chill for TWO HOURS until you can get any further in the recipe. So guess what? I totally Don’t stop! Keep reading…

Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Pie

You wouldn’t think I needed another rejuvenating California fix after my recent trip to LA, but I did. I went to San Francisco for ten days last week and just about died I was so incredibly happy and relaxed.

I got to explore more of the city and a lot of the East Bay. I got to go north to Muir Woods to breathe in that amazing redwood scent and to Stinson beach to dig my feet in the sand while enjoying a picnic with one of my favorite people in the world. I got to spend the whole time with some of my closest friends from high school and college. I got to relax, bake, and go running and hiking; I got to try some pretty freakin’ outstanding restaurants and some trendy SF bars.

Chocolate Cream Pie

I feel so lucky. Oh, and I also made a Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie. Yeahhhh :)  But first, here’s a look into my California time…

Enthusiastic

The theme of the week :)

Graffiti

Dolores Park

Dolores Park

Jack Kerouac

Muir Woods

Muir Woods

Don’t stop! There’s more…

Apple Tarte Tatin

Apples galore!

Even though each place I’ve lived has a special place in my heart, I think California will always feel like home. It’s a pretty darned magical place. I love it. Now, that said, there’s something California doesn’t have, and that would be real seasons. Namely fall (in the fall, not in January). If you’re like me, you love fall for more reasons than you can count, many of which are found in this fantastic article from The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/articles/mr-autumn-man-walking-down-street-with-cup-of-coff,29866/

Tarte Tatin

Fall has its stereotypical schmaltzy things just like summer has cocktails on patios and trips to the beach and winter has curling up with a cup of hot cocoa and bundling up to frolic in the snow. Fall has pumpkin carving, (and pumpkin-flavored everything, like this curry), crunching leaves, and of course, apple-picking. Well, I already drank the pumpkin Kool-Aid. Even though I haven’t busted out my flannel, boots, and scarves yet, I’ve already Don’t stop! Keep reading…

Mmmm Berry Pie

Raspberry Pie

This past week in my tizzy of what I’m foolishly calling a “quarter life crisis,” I decided to do some things that just felt good. No matter how you week is shaping up, I highly recommend you do at least one of the following things:

1. Go for a long run – always clears my head and makes me feel good. But please, please run on the grass – not the concrete – save your knees! Please! I feel like a grandma, but really, this is a good one to keep in mind :)
2. Treat yourself – latte…2% milk. Yeah.
3. Skype with that friend who you deeply miss. They will always make you smile and she’ll probably have a great story for you. And then you’ll realize that the two of you should probably be talking several times a week. (Get on the 10 minute conversation train! The closer I am to someone, the more often I call them, and it’s usually for just a quick “hello” or “oh my gosh, I just saw a tiny fluffy puppy being pushed in a stroller, and you had to know that immediately.”)
4. Have some alone time.
5. Make a lattice pie! It’s so easy and looks so fancy!
Seriously, this recipe was a piece of pie….That’s how that saying goes, right?
Raspberry Pie

Blog-iversary!!!!!!!!

GUESS WHAT!!!
It’s my blog-iversary! :D :D :D I’ve made it a whole year on Le Petit Artichaut! (That’s pronounced “luh puh-tite ar-tee-show” just in case you’ve been wanting to kill me for that blog title :) And I’m SO excited. I don’t care if you’re sleepy/hungover/want-to-kill-your-boss right now, jump up and down with me like this!…http://cinemagr.am/showMobile/112927459 It’ll be like my brother said:
“Talking with you when I am this tired and when you are your normal, energetic self is like being hungover and having the blinds flung open and then every item in my room coming to life and singing a show-stopping Disney musical number.”
Chef Katie
…except more fun. So I started after much encouragement from fellow blogger and best friend, Tim, as well as others who simply loved the idea. It’s been a fun, and I’ve loved all of it. Things we’ve learned:
-Blogging is best done on a lazy Friday morning/afternoon (let’s be real, I sleep in on my days off)
-Blogging is also best accompanied with a big omelette and French press coffee
-I’m a HUGE sucker for comments on my blog posts ;) **Hint**Hint**
-There is such a thing as too much cinnamon
-Don’t mess with web coding unless you have a trusty computer geek by your side (thanks Liz!)
-And of course, spread the love and joy of living :)
And he we gooooooo!!! DRUM ROLL PLEASE! Your TOP recipes of this past year are…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

20121230-100959.jpg

Every Christmas I love to make a show-stopping dessert for our Christmas Day feast. (Last year was a champagne layer cake!) My problem is that it’s always a new recipe…clearly leaving some room for error – some more forgivable than others. For example, this year I planned on making Joy the Baker’s Honey Almond Butter Chocolate Tart …only problem was that I should have checked that jar of almond butter perched on our pantry self, because it was solid – definitely past its prime. Sooooo, peanut butter it is! And the problem when I up and move to DC like the crazy daughter I am is that my mom’s and my kitchens are better together. No tart pan in California now :( sooooo, spring form pan it is!

20121230-100758.jpg

Don’t stop now! Keep reading…

Red Wine Caramel Tart

 

How do you say “caramel”? – “care-ah-mul” or “car-mul”? Someone made fun of me for saying the former – is this a thing people are worried about? I mean, a former roommate of mine once told me a story involving a “wind-meal”…”umm, you mean ‘wind-mill’?” Granted windmills doesn’t come up very often in regular conversation, but how do you get through twenty-some years with no one calling you out on that?! Caramel isn’t one of those things, right? Can we just call it a regional preference? …Kinda like how people in Georgia say “pee-can” instead of “puh-cahn” and how people from Nevada say “Neh-vah-da” not “Neh-vahh-da.” …Wait. I don’t know how to spell phonetically, but you get me – they say the “a” in the middle like you would in “cat.”

 

Regardless, I think we can all agree that caramel is gooey, buttery, dreamy goodness – especially when salted and paired with chocolate. And THEN someone went and paired it with red wine! …genius. This tart screams fall – which is seriously my favorite season – oh, how I missed you the last 9 years out in California! (This basically sums up how I feel about fall: “Mr. Autumn Man Walking Down Street With Cup Of Coffee, Wearing Sweater Over Plaid Collared Shirt“)

 

It’s FALL in the city! (Can you tell I’m excited?!…like cracked out on cider and toasted pumpkin seeds kind of excited.) This is where all those pumpkin seeds came from…

 

Aren’t we just the cutest roommate trio you’ve ever seen?!

Ok, briiingin it back. Red Wine Caramel Tart! I made this wonderful tart with Caitlyn and Becky, and you know what I always say, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” (Thanks for that little gem, Rosie ;) Needless to say, the tart turned out beautifully (even without the totally necessary help of a food processor). The crust turned out almost like a thin shortbread, and the filling was smooth (not too sticky) and sweet with a tangy-rich depth from the red wine. I highly recommend this served along with some vanilla ice cream and some sliced farmer’s market pears or apples.

Here’s what we did:

Red Wine Caramel Tart 

(Slightly adapted from The Boozy Baker)

*For the crust:

Combine in a food processor:

-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-3 Tbs. sugar
-1/4 tsp. salt

Then pulse in, until course:

-1 stick butter (cut into small chunks)

Then pulse into the mixture:

-1 large egg yolk
-1 Tbs. milk (a little more if it seems super dry)

Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then roll the dough out on a floured surface so that it is a couple of inches larger than your tart pan. Transfer the floured dough into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. (I roll it up on the rolling pin, and then roll it off over the pan – a little tricky, but easier than just free-handed.) Form it to the crevices of the pan, and then prick the dough with a fork. Refrigerate it for 30 more minutes, then bake it on 375 for about 20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown. Set the crust aside to cool.

*For the red wine caramel filling:

Pour into a saucepan on medium heat:

-1 cup red wine (I used an old vine zinfandel cause it’s mah fave) 
**make sure you use GOOD wine, because the flavors are just going to concentrate. (And, hey, you get to drink the rest of it!)

Bring it to a boil, and then lower the heat and let it simmer for a while (20ish minutes) until it’s syrupy and reduced to about 2 tablespoons of liquid. Set aside.

In another saucepan, combine:

-1 1/2 cups sugar
-3 Tbs. light corn syrup
-1 tsp. salt
-6 Tbs. water

Boil the mixture until it turns into a rich gold/brown color and a candy thermometer reads 330 degrees (careful not to burn it – it will happen quickly!) Or if you don’t have a thermometer like me, you want to drop pieces of the caramel into ice water, and when it reaches the hard crack stage (literally, you’ll get a piece of hard candy that you could crack after it drops in the water), pull it off the heat. Stir in:

-the reduced wine
-6 Tbs. heavy cream
-6 Tbs. butter, diced

Pour the caramel filling into the tart shell, and refrigerate for about 4 hours before you enjoy! …I know it’s torture, but it’s totally worth it. Dive in with close friends – Bex and Cait, you’re the best :D

**French phrase for fun

Profitez de la journée d’automne avec des amis incryoables.
Enjoy the autumn day with awesome friends.

 

<3

Lemon Icebox Pie and Happiness

So I’ve decided to take on a “happiness project.” Don’t freak out, I’ll still be your “ray of sunshine” – as a sweet-talking friend described me. But let’s be real here, it’s already past the middle of the year (and while I’ve kept my one New Year’s resolution to make at least one new recipe every week and then blog about it), I know that there is lots more that I can and want to be doing! I’ve been having fun frolicking in New York, enjoying the DC brunch culture, hittin up Jazz in the Sculpture Garden and farmer’s markets. I have a good job, great friends and family, and an awesome city as my playground. But I want more from myself. I’m going to take on little things everyday to make life even happier! JOIE DE VIVRE :)

Today, I started by writing down 100 things I want to do. I sat down for an uninterrupted 20 minutes and wrote down 100 things that I want to do (today/tomorrow/when I’m prune-y) – places I want to go, careers I want to have, people I want to meet, things I want to learn, ways I want to live my life! I’ll look at the list in a day or two and then pick out things I can actually do now and things that are long-term, think of specific ways to accomplish those things, and do them! I’m starting with two simple things: setting aside more time to read and starting to volunteer at an urban youth garden. Here’s a little happiness inspiration (:

*Accept yourself, and expect more of yourself.
*Create a most wonderful day for yourself. Remember you are in charge of your happiness.
*Let kindness prevail inside and out.

And in the meantime, let’s make PIE! :D Pie always makes me happy! I made a lemon icebox pie and got crazy with a giant curl of lemon peel – don’t be crazy like me. You should probably just sprinkle some lemon zest over the top.

Here’s what I did:

Lemon Icebox Pie

For the graham cracker crust:

Pulse to a fine texture in a food processor:

-1/4c. roasted unsalted almonds

Next, pulse in until fine:

-about 12 whole graham crackers

Pulse in the rest of the ingredients until combined:

-5 T. melted butter
-1/4c. sugar
-pinch of salt

Press the crust into your glass pie dish (you can use a second one on top to press it all down if you’re lazy/super clever like me – thanks for the idea, Mom!)

Brush the crust with a beaten egg, and bake the crust in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes until it’s golden brown.

For the filling:

Beat together in an electric stand mixer until smooth and silky:

-1 8oz. package of cream cheese
-1 can low-fat condensed milk
-zest of one lemon
-1/3c. fresh lemon juice
-1.5 t. vanilla extract

Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust, and refrigerate overnight. Right before you’re ready to serve it, top the pie with fresh whipped cream (whipping cream whipped up and sweetened with a quarter cup of powdered sugar) and lemon zest OR a GIANT lemon peel curl if you’re crazy like me.

Slice up some happiness! :)

**French phrase for fun:

Qui voudrait une tranche de tarte au citron?
Who would like a slice of lemon pie?