Tuesday, May 22, 2012

OXO Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer Giveaway - And the winner is....

Congratulations to JenJafer - you were the winner of the OXO Good Grips Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer featured in my baked ratatouille post!

Happy slicing!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Pancakes

It boggles my mind to know there are people out there who don't like pancakes. It's true!  I recently made pancakes - the Bisquik in a bottle kind - with my second graders as part of a lesson about changes in matter (we called it "matter batter").  One of my students actually didn't like them!

I generally don't use pancake mixes if I can help it.  Homemade pancake batter is very easy and, in my humble opinion, is way better than any mixes you can buy.

If you're a fan of pancakes, here is a homemade batter recipe that no only tastes good but is low in fat and really good for you.  It came out of the Turbo Fire recipe book, and is great for a weekend breakfast or a mid-week dinner.  (I eat breakfast for dinner all the time.  Don't you?)  They have a light, sweet flavor because of the honey in the pancake batter.

The original instructions say to make the batter in a blender, but I just mix it in a bowl with a wire whisk.  Because that's just how I roll.

If you don't want to use chunks of apples, you could also thinly slice them.  Interested in winning an OXO Good Grips Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer to do the job?  Check out this post for directions to enter the giveaway - the deadline to enter is Monday, May 21st at midnight EST.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Brandied Pear and Pecan Tart with Maple Caramel Sauce

So since I started playing around with  my new OXO hand-held mandoline slicer (check out my baked ratatouille post to enter for a chance to win one yourself!), I started thinking about making some sort of pretty, delicious dessert.  I got the idea for this slightly naughty pear tart, and totally went to town.

For the shortbread crust, I used the recipe that goes with the lemon squares in The Savannah Cookbook, and I halved the maple caramel sauce recipe I found at ChefShop.com.  But when it came to the pear and pecan filling, I used my standard pecan pie recipe as a base point and then sort of winged it.

This is the sort of recipe requiring "phases of baking", as you have to make and bake the shortbread crust, then bake the tart with the filling, then make the caramel sauce.  It took me about two hours in the end, but the result was worth it.

I realize not everyone likes brandy, so if you fall into that camp, just double the amount of vanilla used.