So, Nintendo posted this recipe a while ago on Twitter for Twilight Princess’ HD rerelease, and I decided to give this a try. Besides being a recipe from a video game, this combines two of my favorite flavors – pumpkin and goat cheese. The resulting soup is pretty damn awesome, and definitely a thing I would recommend making. (This version leaves out the fish, but tbh, I’m pretty okay with that, as I’m really not sure what that would’ve done to this.) (I also held back the celery in my version, as I’m not that big of a fan of it.)

Yeto’s Pumpkin and Cheese Soup
Makes a lot. That’s two containers’ worth of soup up there.

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 qt vegetable stock
  • 29 oz pumpkin puree
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • .25 c milk plus .25 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled (I used closer to 5, last of the TJ’s chevre I mentioned in the previous post)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • dash sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot (dutch oven, or just a bigass covered pot), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and carrots, and saute for about five minutes, and then add your minced garlic, and saute another five minutes, until fragrant and the vegetables are soft.

Pour in your quart of vegetable stock, and bring it to a boil, stirring the soup here and there. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, and keep simmering for another ten minutes, still stirring here and there. Add in the pumpkin and cinnamon, stir well to combine, and bring back to a simmer, simmering another fifteen minutes.

If you have an immersion blender (seriously, those things are a godsends for recipes like this), just stick it in the pot and blend until you’ve got a nice smooth soup. If you don’t, stick it in a blender or food processor in batches, and do the same.  Keep the heat of the soup on low.

Stir in the milk/whipping cream combo, evaporated milk, goat cheese, and brown sugar, slowly, until the goat cheese and brown sugar has melted into the soup. Season with a bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper, taste it, and then sit down for a long ass gaming marathon with your nice hearty bowl of soup.

 

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Potatoes. Goat cheese. Smashed together. Really, there’s not too many other ways that this recipe can get better, full stop.

Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes
Makes enough for several meals’ worth of sides

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs red potatoes
  • sea salt
  • .5 c milk plus .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz soft goat cheese (used silver medal chevre from Trader Joe’s)
  • 8 T (aka 1 stick) of unsalted butter, cut into 1 T pieces and chilled
  • fresh ground black pepper

Put your potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, add .25 c sea salt. Bring the potatoes to a simmer over medium high, and then reduce the heat to medium low and cook the potatoes for between 20 to 30 minutes depending on size (I aimed for 25, went a bit longer because I was playing Overwatch and it finished in the middle of a match), until fork tender. Try to avoid the water boiling if at all possible. In the last minutes of the potatoes cooking, take your milk/whipping cream combo and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.

As soon as your potatoes are done, drain them and put them in a large bowl. Smash them gently with a wooden spoon (without completely breaking them apart – see pic 1 for what this looks like) (this is also a great way to deal with stress, just saying). Then, pour the hot milk/whipping cream combo over the potatoes, crumble in the goat cheese, add the butter, and fold it all together (see pic 2), just enough to leave pockets of goat cheese. Season with sea salt and black pepper as your taste prefers. My potatoes were probably a bit more tender than they should’ve been, so they didn’t hold together as well, but the end result was still fantastic, and highly recommended.

Tried this on a whim last weekend, as I’ve been on a creme brulee kick lately, or at least the idea of it, and the idea of that plus french toast sounded grade A amazing. I think this needs another go around to get it perfect, especially with the topping. Maybe caramelizing the sugar will work better under a broiler, or with a blowtorch? Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

Seriously, though, be sure to flip the toasts to get the perfect goldenness to it, and and have some fresh berries to make it even more amazing (these are Tay barries, a cross between raspberries and blackberries). I also used a loaf of shokupan (a type of Japanese milk bread) instead of brioche, and I still think it tastes amazing. Plus, odds are you’ll have some left over, for some lovely breakfasts during the week. 

Creme Brulee French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf rich bread of choice (again, Deb recommends brioche, I used shokupan, sliced to about an inch or so thick)
  • 1 1/3 c whole milk
  • 2/3 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 T alcohol of choice (original recommended Grand Marnier, I went Kahlua)
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Topping

  • 2/3 c white sugar

If your bread isn’t already sliced, slice it into generous, thick slices – Deb recommends 1.5 in thick slices, my loaf was cut into 1 in slices, about 9 slices total. Whisk together the milk, heavy whipping cream, eggs, white sugar, sea salt, booze, and vanilla extract. If you want to use a vanilla bean, you can do so – just follow Deb’s recommended steps for whisking in the vanilla bean scraping in the linked recipe. 

Preheat your oven to 325. Take a rimmed tray or pan that will fit as much of your bread as possible (I ended up going with two separate glass pans, and even those weren’t the greatest fits, as you can see), lay out the bread, and pour the custard over it. Let the slices absorb the custard for a half hour, flipping over about halfway through to ensure every side is soaking up the custard evenly. (You can also toss this in the fridge overnight to soak if you’re so inclined, and you won’t need to flip them if that’s the case.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it (I do because the people before me in this apartment left a lot of stuff, hallelujah), and space out the french toasts so that there’s juuust enough space that they can breathe a bit. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, flipping halfway through so that each side gets a lovely golden sear to it (I didn’t flip them, and I think they look better with both sides seared). You’ll know they’re ready when you lightly slice into the center of the bread and twist, and no wet custard comes out. 

About five minutes out from the toast being done, take a small, heavy, completely dry pot and melt 2/3 c white sugar over medium heat, stirring with a fork, and until it’s fully melted and the color of honey (see pic five). Time this so that this happens as soon as the toasts are done. Remove the bread from the oven, and then drizzle about 1 T of the caramel over the toasts, attempting to do so evenly (I just ended up doing a fancy drizzle). 

Add berries, and voila – a lovely, decadent weekend breakfast. 

(If anyone’s tried the broiler method for caramelization that Deb mentions, please let me know if it worked for you – I want to try that next time. Or maybe the hot spoon method would also work.)

We are finally moving to the properly hot part of summer, so, as such, it’s time to break out the ice cream and popsicle recipes! And hopefully, this will be the start of a series of recipes like the waffles have been. 

I’ve been super into key lime pie lately, so I went hell yes to the opportunity to make it in popsicle form. And plus, popsicle molds are something like $5 on Amazon, so I might actually need to get a few spare molds before the summer is out so I can have even more in rotation, or bigger batches. 

Key Lime Pie Popsicles
Makes 6 popsicles, with a little extra leftover if you only have a set of 6 molds

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • .5 c milk
  • zest of 2 limes (about 2 t)
  • .75 c fresh lime juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • several vanilla wafers, crushed

Zest your limes till you have about 2 t lime zest (this should take about 2 limes), and then add the rest of the ingredients, except for the vanilla wafers, and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Then, pour into your molds, and let sit in the freezer for a mimimum of five hours, or until you’re ready to eat them. 

When you’re ready to eat them, crush some vanilla wafers in a bag with a hammer until you have good, even crushed crumbs. (Mine didn’t quite turn out quite perfect.) Take your popsicle, run it under warmish water to ease the mold off, and then dip each side in cookie crumbs, and enjoy your sweet, tart treat!

Back in December/January, rib roasts were available for super fucking cheap because of the holidays, so I got to try a new roast recipe. Not sure if I’ll try it again, but if nothing else, the gorgonzola sauce that goes with it is pretty great. 

Sage Crusted Rib Roast with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Ingredients

Rib Roast

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 semi boneless rib roast (this one was appx 7 lbs, I want to say?)
  • sea salt and pepper for sprinkling
  • 2 bunches fresh sage (or, if you’re me, a whole bunch of ground sage)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 c red wine
  • 2 c chicken or beef stock (I used chicken)

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

  • 4 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 T fresh ground pepper
  • 6 oz gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • sea salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 450. Take your olive oil, and heat it in a large pan on high. Once warmed, sear each end of the rib roast, about 4 to 5 minutes a side, until nicely browned. 

In a roasting pan, mix together your stock and red wine, and add your sliced onion. Lay the roast on top of the onion, and then drizzle with the remaining olive oil, placing your sea salt, pepper, and sage to taste on the roast. Cover the roast with foil, and then roast at 450 for about 20 to 25 mins, and then reduce the heat to 350, roasting for another hour and a half (to get to rare). Here and there throughout the roasting, baste the roast with the wine/stock/juices mix. For the last half hour, remove the foil. 

In the last ten minutes or so, heat the butter, olive oil, and garlic over medium heat, cooking until the garlic is fragrant and soft, and just a bit caramelized, about five minutes. Add the white wine in and cook until reduced by a third, another fiveish minutes. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and gorgonzola, melting until you have a smooth sauce. Then, add in your pepper, a bit of sea salt to taste, and remove from heat.

Once your roast is removed, let cool for about fifteen to twenty minutes, serve with the gorgonzola sauce, and enjoy!

So, as it turns out, butterscotch hot cocoa is pretty goddamn amazing, especially as the nights here are just starting to turn towards fall. Put this on the stove, get it boiling and then leave it on low throughout the evening and just enjoy the smell (but be sure to watch it when it boils, it can spill over real quick). 

Butterscotch Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • 3 c milk
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • .75 c butterscotch chips
  • .25 c butterscotch sauce
  • 3 T cocoa powder (honestly I just used what was left of my Godiva milk hot chocolate mix)
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 t butter flavor (optional)

If you so choose, warm your milk and cream. If not, just put everything in a pot, and stir frequently as you bring it to a light boil medium high heat, so that everything melts together. Be sure you watch it closely; I stepped away for a few moments, and it boiled over. (Still tasted great, just something to be aware of.)  As soon as you’ve got it to that light boil, remove from heat, and pour out your cups. If you’re like me and you’re splitting it with your boyfriend, keep it on low heat to keep it warm throughout the evening and also make the place smell real nice. 

Looking for a neat topping to have that only takes five minutes tops to make? I highly suggest this butterscotch recipe (with actual whiskey in it). Makes enough that you’ll have a nice small jar left over, and plus, as the recipe coming immediately after this turns out, it’s REAL good in hot cocoa. 

Butterscotch Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c dark brown sugar
  • .5 c light corn syrup
  • .25 c cold water
  • 1 t sea salt
  • .75 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T whiskey
  • .5 t vanilla extract

Whisk together and heat everything except for the whiskey and vanilla for five minutes over medium low heat, until the sugar dissolves, and the sauce starts to thicken. Then, add your whiskey and vanilla, and simmer for another two minutes. Taste it to be sure you’ve got the balance you want, and then spoon it into a jar, and keep it in your fridge to put on whatever.