Monday, October 5, 2015


An example of delicious cookies you could be making right now using the horn of a deer.
HARTSHORN. The word stared out at me from the King Arthur Flour catalog. Our Baker's Ammonia, it said, can be used in recipes that call for Hartshorn. I'd never heard of this, and the fact that they anticipate you needing to substitute their product for it indicated to me that either: a) it was an ingredient no longer readily available, or b) it was an ingredient found to be unhealthful or dangerous. Turns out it was both!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

So, remember when we made Pumpkin Chili and only used half of the pumpkin? Well, here's what we did with the rest of it. We made it that same day. We must have been on a roll. Here's what we used:

  • 3c milk (ideally you'd use cream; the more fat the better)
  • 1 c pumpkin, de-seeded, de-skinned, and roasted
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 ground cloves

Roasting is the same as for the chili: roast it at 425 degrees for an hour. A fork or knife should just slide right in. Chop it up into bits.

Put everything in a blender or food processor. You can even just mash it by hand if you want. It's all about what texture you want.

Dump it into an ice cream maker and make it go round and round in it. Once it's hardened, put the ice cream in your face.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pumpkin Chili with Sausage for Your Fall Time Reverie or What Have You

We just got back into town, refreshed from time with family and friends. We scheduled ourselves a day to recover from cat withdrawal and relax. We came back to Kansas City to find fall starting to creep in, and we decided to try our hand at a pumpkin chili. Here's how we went about it:

  • 1 lb pumpkin, roasted (skin-removed) and cut into 1 inch squares.
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeƱo, seeded and diced (leave the seeds in if you want it extra spicy)
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 15 oz can chili beans, undrained
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, undrained
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp adobo sauce from can of chipotles in adobo sauce, not pictured (can substitute dash of liquid smoke, 1/2 Tbsp Korean chili flakes, or 1 1/2 Tbsp of barbecue sauce)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Dash of turmeric
  • Pinch of celery seed
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c water or broth

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tan Tan Yogurt Dip

I feel bad even putting this up as a post because it's maybe the easiest thing on earth. But it also happens to be ridiculously good, so maybe you'll forgive me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Friend to All Candy: Taza Chocolate Mexicano Vanilla

We came across a new chocolate today, and not only had we never seen it before, but it was on sale. Also it was in the shape of discs. Also it had the word "Mexican" on it. These facts made a purchase an inevitability.

I'd never heard of Taza, so I was curious about this company. Obviously the high-end chocolate market is flooded nowadays, what with all the buzzwords you can put on your packaging to maybe get a leg up on the competition, like "all natural" and "fair trade" and "organic" and "direct trade" and "artisinal" and so on and so forth. But "stone ground" is not one I'd seen before, so it seemed worth a look-see.

It's different. That's obvious right out of the gate. The chocolate is disc-shaped:

Because the discs are relatively small, breaking off an individual wedge isn't necessarily easy. And this flavor (vanilla) is pretty sweet, so unless you have a major sweet tooth, you'll probably want to eat it in smaller pieces.

But it's gooood. It was a lot different than what I was expecting. Being stone ground gives it a rougher texture than a normal chocolate bar. Check it:

It's kind of chunky. It took a moment to get used to, but once I did, I liked it a lot. Like I said, even though it was a dark chocolate, it was pretty sweet. The vanilla flavor was pronounced but not overpowering. If I'd had a frame of reference for the aesthetic they were going for, I probably would have opted for the cinnamon flavor, if only because when I think of Mexican chocolate, cinnamon's the first thing that comes to mind, and the blending of flavors in this bar makes me think they'd handle that combination particularly well. Taza makes a bunch of different flavored discs; the vanilla one is good enough that I'll probably work my way through all of them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


So: Tamarind. Some people know about it, some people don't. But even if you've never heard of it, you've probably eaten it. It's in Worcestershire sauce and some bloody mary mixes (at least Zing Zang). It's also used to flavor some curries. And for the most part that's been the extent of my experience with it for the past decade or so: making Massaman Curry. Lately I've been trying to become more familiar with it, primarily in the form of candies. But this past week I had the chance to pick up a box of the actual fruit, so I thought I'd share a little bit.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Tomato, and Pickled Mustard Root

It's not all meat and cheese here in the Piepan household, as much as we'd like it to be. When hot weather hits and we want something cool and refreshing, a giant steak or a pot of stew isn't gonna cut it. We've been kind of messing around with quinoa lately, testing its malleability as an ingredient. We've got a quinoa chili that we like to make from time to time, and this quinoa salad was our first effort to bring quinoa into the realm of cool dishes good for spring and summer weather. Then we put some meat and cheese on a plate and ate it with the quinoa salad. Nobody's perfect.