Belated Thanksgiving Special: Making a pecan pie!

Well, school’s been eating me alive. Trying to work my transfer out, studying for finals, and keeping up on my projects has kind of gotten me out of the rhythm of updating. I’m trying to be good now, I swear. Later this evening, I’m going to post my new bento gear (donated by a very, very kind reader, whose blog you should definitely check out) but I need to get some good photos first.

Welp, I made myself some pies over Thanksgiving break. After the first one turned out pretty good, I decided to make some more. Couldn’t hurt, right? Well, as you’ll see, the pies came with a lesson. That lesson is that I should never, ever listen to my mother’s bullshit cooking advice.

“That last pie was too juicy. Just put the filling in two shells and make TWO pies. :D”

As faulty as the logic sounds, I decided to roll with it in case it worked out. Never again.

Enough regret. Let’s look back to a happier time, when I was starting my pie.

Pecan pie ingredientsHere are my ingredients and workspace. Not pictured are the nuts, which are toasting in the oven behind me.

To make this pie, you will need:

  • Light corn syrup: 1 cup
  • Brown sugar: 1 cup
  • Eggs: 3
  • Butter: 1/3 cup
  • Pecans: 2 cups, toasted

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Guest appearance by my little brother’s hand, and some meat.

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Mix the butter (MELTED), sugar, syrup, and eggs in a big ol’ bowl, until combined.

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Roughly chop about 1 3/4 cups of your toasted nuts, and add them to the mixture.

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Pour the mixture into A SINGLE PIE SHELL. DO NOT MAKE MY MISTAKE.

Bake at 350 for about an hour.

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In my case, say the word “Fuck” a lot and vow never to listen to your mother’s advice again. You, though. You have a single, tasty pie.

Bastards.

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Nikujaga Recipe – Meat and taters Japanese style

I love a night like this. The air is chilly, darkness encroaches earlier and earlier, and the wet, chilled weather just demands that you keep your arse indoors. It is a nikujaga night.

Nikujaga is a dish that holds a special place in my cold, blackened heart. It’s such a simple dish with no frills and a lot of good taste.  It was one of the first Japanese dishes I learned to make when I started cooking Japanese food in high school. I got the recipe from a friend, and have since modified it to my own family’s tastes. In fact, part of the beauty of a dish like nikujaga (cooked almost exclusively at home) is that almost every recipe you find is a little bit different. At its core, it’s stewed meat and potatoes. Well, most recipes include onions of some sort. It’s hard to find a recipe without mirin, and even harder to find one without soy sauce. However, every house is almost guaranteed to have its very own variation of this dish. Here’s mine:

肉じゃがです
Sennet’s Nikujaga

Ingredients:
1 pound sliced beef strips
About four medium potatoes, cut into cubes
1/2 of a medium onion, sliced thin OR five green onions, hacked up real good
1 cup (yes, an entire cup) soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
About 1 cup frozen peas

Nine ingredients. How hard is that, chowderheads? Onto the procedure! Naturally, you should chop, mince, slice, and fuck up your foodstuffs first. I won’t hold your hand for that.

Next, dump the onions and meat into a heated pot (or a large skillet, I suppose) and  add the garlic. Add a little tiny bit of oil just to lube things up. Once the meat is mostly cooked, chuck the taters in and pour the remaining ingredients – EXCEPT THE PEAS – in after them. Stir the mixture together.

Cover and bring to a boil. Once the stew boils, cut the heat down a bit and let it simmer, still covered, for about ten minutes. Then, take the lid off and let the stock reduce by about a fourth. This will help concentrate the flavors. Once the stock has reduced enough, remove the pot from the heat. Quickly add the peas and stir them into the stew. Let the stew stand for three to five minutes before serving.

Well, what a week or two I’ve had.

It’s definitely been a busy couple of weeks for me. Between exams, preparing for my transfer, and appeasing my family, I’ve hardly had any time to contribute to this blog. But never fear, the backlog is here!

October backlog bento 1

My most recent bento is… appallingly simple, actually. Fried rice with peas, an egg roll (home made, even), a chocolate cupcake, and some nappa cabbage and radish slices. When I made this, I was tired, tired, tired.

Batty Bento!

This batty, pickly, spammy horror was far more delicious than its contents would have you believe. The spam and pickles in the top tier aren’t important, but I do like the rice on the bottom. Night-purple rice with a cheesy moon, a FruitaBu bat, and a little rice ghosty.

Fruit bat bento

Mmmm. Beefy, batty, fruity bento. Bean-sprouty, too.  This was made by essentially cleaning out remnants in the refrigerator and slapping them into a box. The fruit salad is mandarins, peach chunks, and pineapple. And bats. Always bats. I’ve also got stir fried beef and pineapple, bean sprouts, and fried rice.
Detail of batty fruity bento

UGLY

This bento is ugly. I don’t wanna talk about it. 😦