Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Boston Cream Pie

This is one of my favorite desserts, one which I'm surprised at the number of people who have never tried it. It's actually quite easy, too.

photo courtesy of google and, apparently, this blog. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of my own.

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. cake flour
  • 1 package (2 3/4 or 3 oz.) vanilla pudding mix (I use instant)
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 4 squares (4 oz.) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped.
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with waxed paper.
  3. Beat egg yolks and vanilla on medium speed until blended. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar until very thick and pale.
  4. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites and salt with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. (I use my KitchenAid for this step, and actually start it first. I let it run while I'm beating the yolk mixture with a hand mixer.)
  5. Fold yolk mixture into the whites.
  6. Sift flour over mixture. (If you don't have a sifter, use a fine-hole strainer. That's what I have and it works great.) Fold in gently. Do not overmix.
  7. Pour batter into pan.
  8. Bake until cake springs back when gently pressed, about 25 mins. (In my gas stove I bake it at just under 350 for 23 mins.) Be careful—the bottom will brown faster than the top, so don't overbake!
  9. Remove cake and place right-side-up on wire rack. Cool completely.
  10. While the cake is baking, combine pudding mix and milk in a saucepan and cook following package directions. (Instant pudding works just as well and doesn't require cooking.) Transfer to a shallow bowl; press plastic wrap on surface and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  11. Cut cake horizontally in half. Place bottom half on serving plate. Spread evenly with pudding. Place remaining half on top.
  12. Bring remaining sugar (1/2 cup), corn syrup and water to a boil in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. (Warning: it takes 20-30 minutes (at least on my stovetop) for the frosting to come to a boil. I usually start it soon after I pull the cake out of the oven and let it cook while the cake cools. Also, If you turn up the heat for the frosting to cook faster, the frosting doesn't set up right and you end up with a pile of goo around the cake. Not nearly as good.)
  13. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand for one minute. Whisk until smooth.
  14. Gradually pour over cake. Let stand until glaze sets. Note: the frosting will spill over the sides and you will have a slight pool around the cake.

Recipe based off one from Easy to Bake; Easy to Make.

Friday, March 6, 2009

40 Cloves and a Chicken

My friend, Michael, talked me into buying a whole chicken a few weeks ago while we were out grocery shopping, assuring me that I could find something to cook with it. BJ and I were in charge of a dinner group this week. Somehow, the two came together. I mentioned it to our friends, Tyler and Meagan, who informed us of the greatest recipe in the world for a whole chicken. So, being brave, I made it. Here I present the recipe!

First, cut up the chicken into 8 pieces. If you're like me and have no idea how to do that, see the steps on this site.

Here's my before cutting up chicken picture (I was really nervous to do this!)


And my after cutting up chicken picture:

Trust me. Cutting up the chicken is the hardest part of the whole recipe. But, in a way, it was kind of fun. Mostly because now, if I were starving and ran across a chicken and could figure out how to kill and pluck it, I would know how to cut it up to cook it. That means I'm cool.

Now, next step... the rest of the recipe!


  • Cut up whole chicken (in 8 pieces. I didn't include the two back portions of the chicken. I didn't wanna deal with pulling chicken off the ribs later.)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme (Apparently 6 small springs equals approx. 1 tsp dried. So I used just less than 2 tsp. dried thyme and it worked out just fine.)
  • 40 peeled cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with a 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide frying pan or skillet over high heat. (Make sure said frying pan or skillet is also oven-proof!) Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1.5 hours.

Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve.

Before cooking:

After cooking:

After it's cooked, the garlic is really, really soft. Almost like unto butter. So we cut up some french bread and spread garlic over it and made garlic bread. It didn't taste quite like your normal garlic bread, but it was still quite tasty.

**Addendum: For the garlic bread, slice the bread, dip in the leftover oil from the chicken (which is infused with garlic), the broil until toasted. Place bread, garlic cloves, and salt on the table. Let each person spread their own garlic on the bread and add salt. We tried this the second time and it definitely tastes better.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Separate ingredients into three sections:

- 2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen broccoli, cooked (can be chopped) (I steamed one head of broccoli cut up into florettes.)

- 2 cans cream of chicken soup
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 lbs. cooked chicken, cut up
(I seared the chicken, turned the skillet down, then added the rest and let it simmer until the chicken was cooked.)

- 3/4 c. sharp grated cheese
- 3/4 c. bread crumbs
- 1/4 c. melted butter (optional)

Alternate #1, #2, #3 in layers in 13 x 9 x 2 inch casserole. Top with crumbs. Optional - 1/4 cup melted butter poured over top. (Provides a crispier top.) Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over rice.

Recipe adapted from Cooks.com
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