Habanero Bacon Cream Cheese Corn Muffins

A lot of my posts recently have involved bacon. This one does too. With a nod to Harley Morenstein, bacon has been an omnipresent food trend for the last few years and I don’t see any end to the savory pork strip onslaught in the near future. While baconphilia has produced an incredible spectrum of twists on classic dishes – donuts, brussel sprouts, even sushi – with mostly positive reception, there is another seasonal trend this fall that is extremely polarizing. I am, of course, talking about pumpkin spice. Beginning with the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks in 2003, the obsession with this delicious flavor that evokes visions of multicolored trees and scarves has taken off astronomically. Even Harry Potter’s first drink at Hogwarts was pumpkin juice. While you will never catch me in public with a pumpkin flavored drink, Starbucks did introduce me to one of my favorite treats I often make starting around October: the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin. This gem and/or calorie bomb combines the wonderful flavors of allspice to the richness of cream cheese. I’ve seen my friends eat five of these muffins at a time. But what if you’re like me and lack a major … Read More! Read More!

Chocolate Chip Blueberry Muffin Loaf

Yeah, I don’t even know. This started as a brainstorming session due to my inability to sleep, in turn, due to my inability to apply sunscreen to my back, which is now very, very red. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’d know I have an unhealthy obsession with pie. So, at approximately 2:45 am, I came up with the gem of an idea to take muffin mix, put it in a pie tin, and let it rise like some huge muffin. In the middle I could put blueberries or something. As I said, I don’t even know. After going to my local Central Market to pick up ingredients for my lofty endeavor, I decided to tell my mother about my genius idea. About a minute into the conversation, I realized how idiotic I sounded, and that making a giant muffin pie was a moronic idea. The baking time it would take to get the muffin batter dry on the inside would render the top and bottom of the pie completely burnt. I already had the ingredients though, so what to do? I’d be lying if I said I had a plan. I basically just whipped up some … Read More! Read More!

Sea Salt Chocolate Pretzel Pie

I love pie like Brick Tamland loves lamp. The love affair began when I crossed the threshold of Emporium Pies, a little slice of heaven nestled in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas. With items like Red Velvet Cream Cheese Chess Pie and Sweet Potato Crust Pumpkin Pie, it’s hard to not instantly fall in love with the Emporium. The great coffee and almost overwhelmingly friendly service are just bonuses that go along with these creatively contrived confections. The only negative thing I can say about the Emporium is that the pies are a tad pricey to be buying on the regular. $30 for a normal pie and $40 for their deep dish apple “Lord of the Pies” does not a full wallet make. Therefore, there comes a time in every man’s life where he must buckle down and take the pie making process into his own hands. And so that is what I did. Since I respect and value all pies equally, regardless of gender, race, creed, or flavor, I found myself at a loss for direction when I made the (highly impulsive) decision to bake my own pie. I decided to crowd source ideas, and from my girlfriend I got toffee … Read More! Read More!

Watermelon Jalepeño Mint Lemonade

One of my favorite things about summer produce is the watermelon salad my mother always makes as the weather gets hotter. Taking cubed watermelon, she adds basil, jalepeños and black sesame seeds for a perfect side salad in the sweltering Texas sun. Going on common sense, it’s a little hard to add tequila to a salad; thus, I give you: Watermelon Jalepeño Mint Lemonade. This is the kind of drink that is a perfect poolside accompaniment to light appetizers and snacks like taquitos, chips, guacamole, and salsa. I just created a jalepeño mint syrup and then added watermelon puree to lemon juice and water. It was really that simple and took practically no time. Enjoy. You’ll Need 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (6-10 lemons depending on size) 4 cups water 1 cup sugar 2.5 cups liquified watermelon pieces, in blender. 1 jalepeño sliced (seeds or not, depending on heat preference) 6 chopped leaves of mint + 6 for garnish. Tequila (optional) Method Add one cup of water to a sauce pan. Add sliced jalepeno and chopped mint. Bring to a boil. After boiling for about 2 minutes, add one cup of sugar until entirely dissolved. Let simmer for 5 more … Read More! Read More!

Sandwich Pie

The reason I categorized this post under ‘sides’ comes from my reluctance to imply that a pie, one which also happens to be a huge sandwich, should be eaten by one person as a meal. Sandwich Pie, a recipe I’ve been making on occasion for the past few years, is meant to be shared. Pies are nothing new. Neither are sandwiches. A Sandwich Pie is just a simple twist of two great things into the perfect hors d’oeuvre. I don’t like eating the same thing twice in a row so for this post I created a trio of pies: Reuben, Turkey and Pepperjack, and Kobe Beef and Cheddar. This first time I ever made sandwich pie, I actually combined all three varieties into one large pie; it was ambitious and quite frankly a little overwhelming. The first thing I did with the pie crusts was to spread a thin layer of cream cheese at the bottom. I wish I could articulate a clear reason for why I did this, but in all honesty I just did it because it seemed right. For the turkey, I used a herb & chives cream cheese, and for the other two I used plain. This … Read More! Read More!