Quick Enhancer – Avocado Butter

Posted: September 7, 2010 | Author: Johanna | Filed under: Johanna | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

I love avocados.

I also love butter.

The combination of the two is one of those things you never really think about, until one day, the lightbulb goes on, and you realize “Hey — buttery avocados….butter….holy moly!!”It’s one of those things that I feel silly giving a recipe for, because seriously, the name says it all — avocados and butter are the major ingredients.
Avocado Butter

To make avocado butter, as with all compound butters, I start with room-temperature butter. For me, there is only one kind of butter for this — salted. If you want to use unsalted, that’s ok, but remember to definitely add salt to the mixture — avocados love and need salt.
I use half a stick of butter to half an avocado. In the past, I have combined the butter and avocado with a fork in a bowl, although this time I made it in my Kitchenaid. Once the butter and avocado are combined, I add a healthy pinch of coarse kosher salt. After that, anything goes. I like to add lime zest, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Not much cayenne and cumin, because you don’t want to blow your head off while eating your morning toast. Just enough to make you notice it.

Once everything is combined, and you’ve given it a final taste, do your best not to eat it all at once, and wrap it up in plastic wrap or foil, squeezing tightly to make a cylinder. Or, alternatively, put it in a tupperware or other airtight container.

I put this on toast in the morning for an extra jolt of nutrition. You can also cut a piece to put onto a piece of grilled or sauteed fish, or use it to top a turkey burger. It would probably be excellent in a grilled cheese sandwich as well. Experiment, and play around, but know that all you need to make this worth it is a slice of crispy bread.

A Very Pretty Thanksgiving: Who's yer Punkin?

Posted: November 15, 2009 | Author: Johanna | Filed under: A Very Pretty Thanksgiving, Bake-zilla, Johanna, pumpkin | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Punkin Paaaah!There are some things that are synonymous with Thanksgiving, with the holidays. Turkey. Mashed potatoes. Squash. We’ll get to all of these except the turkey as we help our dear friend Bakezilla work her way through her first Thanksgiving dinner, as well as sharing stories adn tales about our own personal holiday faves.

A big one for me at the holidays has always been Pumpkin Pie. I went through a phase where it was my favorite thing ever. I’ve kind of cooled on it lately, which is odd given my recent love affair with most things pumpkin. I’m more into combining pumpkin with muffins, or brownies, or jello shots.
However, my friend and all around awesome lady, Jackie, brought me back to pumpkin pie. She has an allergy to cinnamon, which means that her fave dessertĀ  has the chance to put her into anaphylactic shock. This is not a cool thing, as you might imagine, because I love Jackie and do not want her to die from dessert. She asked the Pretty Girls via Twitter to try and hack pumpkin pie to produce something she could consume. I promised to try.

A couple days later, while washing the dishes, my mind wandered away from the crusted on remains I was scraping off my casserole dish, and suddenly, I had it. Cumin, and Cayenne, would provide the heat and spice that cinnamon give. Nutmeg and Cardamom would provide warmth and spiciness.


I had it. And I had to immediately try my theory. I abandoned the dishes and immediately ran to the store to buy pumpkin and evaporated milk.
Pumpkin Pie for Jackie
Preheat oven to 425.
Roll out your pie shells and place into your pie plate. If making 1 pie, make it a deep-dish pie plate.
Combine 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar in a bowl. Reserve.
Beat 2 eggs in a large bowl. Add in 1 can of pumpkin puree and the sugar-and-spice mixture. Once this is combined, add in 1 can of evaporated milk.

Pour the filling into the pie shell, thump it on the counter a fe times to get rid of the air bubbles, and put it in the oven. I baked my 4 mini pies and 1 mini springform for 15 minutes at 425, then reduced the heat to 350, and bakedĀ  them for 35 minutes. For a larger pie, make it 45 minutes at 350.

This pie was 2-boy-approved: Jesse and our friend Steele both decided it was pretty darn good. While you notice the lack of cinnamon, I certainly didn’t miss it. The spices work brilliantly with the pumpkin, creating a general feeling of warmth, and the cayenne provides a nice slow burn at the end.
In fact, you could probably use coconut milk instead of evaporated milk, if you’re lactose intolerant.

But in the end, the best part is that Jackie can have her fave again, without anaphylactic shock. And that’s a win. :)

Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.