Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Serves: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes (15 minutes of soaking)
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups milk (or half and half)
2 large eggs
1 can pumpkin puree
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
6 slices stale bread
4 King’s Hawaiian Rolls

Preparation:

1. Combine all ingredients except bread and whisk until combined. Add bread and allow to soak for 15 minutes.

2. Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.

I had stale bread left over from the Avocado Toasts I made the other day and one of my favorite ways to do that is bread pudding. I didn’t have enough left over bread for a whole recipe so I added some Hawaiian rolls that I had for dinner. I found this recipe and also had left over pumpkin so it was perfect! The spice mix was good and the custard was the right consistency. Some bread puddings can be dry, but this was nice and custardy. Yes, I just invented that word. This is delicious and I will enjoy eating it for breakfast tomorrow.

Taco!

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Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie

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Serves: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

Filling
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 (8 oz) container mascarpone
Salt

Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs sugar
Salt

Preparation:

1. With a mixer, beat sugar and pumpkin until combined. Add all other filling ingredients, except mascarpone, and mix until smooth. Add mascarpone and mix until combined.

2. Place mixture in a prepared crust (I used a store bought graham crust). Bake on 350 degrees for about 55 minutes, until filling is set. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely (at least one hour).

3. For whipped cream, combine all ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Serve on top of cooled pie.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.

It was another one of those days where I had mascarpone (happens a lot) and no idea what to do with it. I was at the grocery store and with my handy Epicurious app looked up mascarpone. This was the first recipe that popped up and I knew I had to try it. That was a great decision. This is DELICIOUS and incredibly easy thanks to my handy dandy hand mixer. The picture is a little off because I wasn’t patient enough to let the pie cool completely but it was tasty none the less. I also realized I should have made the whipped cream right before serving because my stiff peaks became not-so-stiff after a while in the refrigerator. Again, not the prettiest thing on the planet but DELICIOUS. You should definitely try this. It’s a bit of a combination of pumpkin pie and cheesecake. It has the flavor of a cheesecake while having the consistency of pumpkin pie. That’s a pretty great combination if you ask me.

Taco!

Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream: A Review

Nutella Gelato

Where: Bev’s (2911 W. Cary, Richmond)
What: Ice Cream
Number of People: 2
Total Cost: $7.33
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been to Bev’s several times and never reviewed it but today it is time. Everyone should know just how amazing Bev’s ice cream is. It is amazing. Today I had the Nutella Gelato and it is one of my new favorites. Some of my other favorites include Samoa, Honey Almond Oatmeal, Basil and so many more. I always get mine in a sugar cone and they also have waffles cones, cake cones and of course various cup sizes. They have set flavors that are always there and then new flavors every week. I always like to get one of the new flavors because they are always interesting and unique. Today Adam had the Cinnabean (cinnamon coffee) and Dark Chocolate S’more in a cake  cone with rainbow sprinkles. They also have different kinds of shakes and desserts and homemade pastries, cakes and/or pies. And it is always amazing. Any time I go in to Cary Town I always have to stop by and see what’s new. There is plenty of seating and the people are great. It’s just an awesome place all the way around. Plus, today my ice cream looked like a cat. Eat at Bev’s!

Cat Face Ice Cream!

Mascarpone Nutella Crepes with Bananas and Strawberries

Mascarpone Nutella Crepes with Bananas and Strawberries

Serves: About 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Crepes

1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
3 tbs melted butter
2 eggs

Filling

8 oz (1 container) mascarpone, room temperature
8 oz Nutella, or equivalent
1-2 bananas, sliced
6-8 strawberries, sliced

Preparation:

1. To make crepes, combine all crepe ingredients except flour and whisk until smooth. Add flour and mix quickly until batter is combined and smooth. Heat about 1/4 tsp of butter in a pan. Add a ladle-full of batter. Move pan in a circular motion so batter covers bottom of pan. When ends begin to curl and bottom is slightly brown, flip crepes and cook until lightly brown on both sides.

2. To make filling, combine mascarpone and Nutella and mix until fully incorporated. Spread mixture on half of a crepe and cover in bananas and strawberries. Fold crepe over and if desired fold again. Top with cheese-chocolate mixture and fruit slices and serve.

Recipe adapted from Circle B Kitchen.

I really wanted chocolate and I had mascarpone (which until today I was pronouncing mar-sca-pone, not ma-scar-pone) so I scoured the internet for something tasty and at least moderately heathy. I found this great recipe and I knew my search was over! I had all of the required ingredients in the house and I could make them in about 30 minutes and satisfying my chocolate craving. They. Are. Delicious. Eat them. Like, now.

A few tips: Definitely set out the mascarpone early so it’s room temperature. Otherwise it will be REALLY difficult to mix. Trust me, I did that and it was horrible. Also, you’re first crepe will probably be funny looking. That’s also ok. Mine was definitely not right but Adam will eat anything so it’s ok. And finally, don’t worry about using too little batter and start spinning the pan IMMEDIATELY. I had a roommate once who is French and I watched her make crepes once so I consider myself an expert.

Taco!

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bar

Serves 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 65 minutes

Ingredients:

Crust

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp salt
3 sticks butter, cut into tbs

Filling

6 eggs
1 tbs lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
Confectioners sugar for topping

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Blueberry Muffin Cake

Blueberry Muffin Cake

Serves: 6-8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 tsp lemon zest (zest of 1 large lemon)

3/4 cup sugar + 1 tbs for sprinkling

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My First Blog Award! 7×7

Yay! I was nominated yesterday for my first blog award! I’ll admit. I cheated a little since the person who nominated me is my boyfriend, but he also legitimately loves my blog as well as me. Probably mostly because he gets to eat all the food I cook. But I digress!

Here are the rules for receiving the award:

1. Thank the person who gave it to you.

2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

3. Share seven of your worthy posts under the following headers: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful, Most Popular, Most Controversial, Most Surprisingly Successful, Most Underrated and Most Pride Worthy.

4. Nominate seven other bloggers and notify them.

So here we go!

1. I was nominated for this award by my amazing, awesome and talented boyfriend Adam over at Eat, Sleep, Television. Adam is a movie and tv fanatic and is also excellent at breaking episodes and movies down and just telling you how he feels. He has done some excellent reviews and even though I don’t always agree with him (Avatar ROCKS!), I love his style and ability to see things others cannot. His dream in life is to become a critic so go help him out. It will be a win-win situation.

2. Seven Random Facts… Alrighty then.

  1. I don’t like crunchy desserts. My cookies will be doughy, Bob Darn It!
  2. I have an obsession with shoes. And purses. And clothes. And shopping in general.
  3. I wear a shower cap. Curly girls represent!
  4. I’m related to Stonewall Jackson by marriage.
  5. My mother is Anne Rice.
  6. I LOVE Hello Kitty. Like seriously. LOVE.
  7. The story behind Basmati Taco, the name. My last name is Rice. Once day my friend and I were signing up for online dating (and it worked out well I must say) and it is ridiculously hard to come up with screen names for these things. My friend suggested something rice related and we came up with Basmati. Well, that was already taken and the site recommended trying Basmati_Taco. And there you have it. I actually have never had a Basmati Taco but it will happen someday. Indian-style tacos here I come!

3. My posts:

4. And the nominees are:

  1. Journey Too
  2. Going Dutch
  3. Cloud of Lace
  4. Danny’s Kitchen
  5. Lauren’s Road Less Traveled
  6. Assia’s Kaleidoscope
  7. A Teaspoon Of Tumeric

And there you have it! Thanks so much to Adam and to all my readers!

Taco!

Grits Pie

Grits Pie

Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup quick cooking grits

salt

8 tbl butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 tbl flour

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 buttermilk (I used half and half)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pie Crust

Whipped cream for garnish

Preparation:

1. Cook grits according to package instructions. Add butter and stir until melted. Cool slightly.

2. Stir sugar, flour, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in grits and pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake on 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Can be served warm or cold. Garnish with whipped cream.

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.

As you may know, I got a Paula Deen cook book for Christmas. I found this recipe for grits pie and was immediately intrigued. Thanks to a new found love of grits from the Grillades and Grits recipe I knew I had to try this odd-sounding dessert. I made it and holy cow is it delicious. It is the perfect amount of sweetness with a wonderful texture from the grits. Plus it was incredibly easy. Paula Deen has a crust recipe, but I’m lazy and don’t like the mess so I used a pre-made crust. I also had to use two pie crusts because it was WAY too much filling for one pie. I would definitely recommend experimenting with this one and finding out just how awesome grits can be in any form.

Taco!

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie

Serves: 6-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 0, it’s raw!

Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup dried shredded raw coconut

1 cup macadamia nuts (or 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup hazelnuts)

1/2 cup packed pitted dates

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp agave nectar or coconut oil/butter

Filling

Flesh of 2 ripe avocados (learn how to tell if an avocado is ripe here)

1/2 cup baking chocolate (make sure there’s no milk if going vegan, or try using raw cacao and adding more agave until sweet enough)

1 tbl vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tbs agave nectar

Preparation:

1. For crust, combine crust ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Press in to pie plate and refrigerate until needed.

2. For filling, combine filling ingredients in food processor and blend until creamy (3-5 minutes). Spread in crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Recipe adapted from megadaisy1 at GroupRecipes.com.

And that’s it. This was SO easy and is incredibly delicious. The idea of putting avocado in a dessert pie is certainly interesting and I was put off by it the first time I heard it suggested but I tried it and it was delicious. The avocado provides a wonderful consistency and the flavor is so mild that it can be overtaken by the chocolate. Plus, it’s a healthy alternative to standard mousse which involves a lot of sugar and other things I’m trying to eat less of. This is definitely something worth trying and maybe even experimenting with. Avocados are just that awesome! Don’t forget to check out my post on How To Treat Your Avocados With Respect.

Taco!

Williamsburg, Va: A Food Tour

Williamsburg, Va., is one of my favorite places to be. It is beautiful, full of history and has a lot of great food. For our one year anniversary Adam and I decided to take a trip to Williamsburg and enjoy a relaxing non-weekend (it was Tuesday).

Chorizo Pumpkin Pasta (front) and Smoked Chicken Cassoulet

Where: Second St. (400 2nd St.)

What: Appetizer, Dinner and Wine

Number of People: 2

Total Cost: $98

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Our first food stop was dinner at Second St.: An American Bistro. I had asked around on Facebook and received some great recommendations for places to try. Second St. seemed like a good fit and it was only a five minute walk from where we were staying. They don’t take reservations so I just called 30 minutes ahead. We had a great experience there. The atmosphere is charming and romantic, the service was great and the food was delicious. They had a fantastic decorating idea of serving our water in old wine bottles with the labels removed. Definitely a good use of bottles and it looked very chic.

We ordered a bottle of Act 12 of 1619, ’09, ($31). It was a Chardonnay that was nice and smooth and nutty. For an appetizer we ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes ($7.90). They were buttermilk and panko coated with red onion marmalade and dill aioli. The tomatoes were perfectly fried and the marmalade was fascinating. At first I thought they were sweet peppers but in fact were onions. There could have been more aioli, especially since it gave a nice contrast to the sweet of the tomatoes and the marmalade.

For an entrée Adam ordered the Smoked Chicken Cassoulet ($15.90) and I ordered the Chorizo Pumpkin Pasta ($16.90). From what I had of the cassoulet it was delicious and hearty and Adam certainly loved it. The pasta was delightfully different. The chorizo gave it a nice spice. The pumpkin sauce wasn’t sweet which let the pumpkin stand out. It was served over penne and topped with chili-toasted pumpkin seeds that gave a nice crunch. Overall it was a great meal that suited celebrating an anniversary.

Chocolate Pâté

Where: The Trellis (403 W. Duke of Gloucester St.)

What: Coffee and Dessert

Number of People: 2

Total Cost: $36

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Anyone who has been in or around Williamsburg has probably heard of The Trellis and for good reason. The chef who created the Death By Chocolate cake is from The Trellis so how could we go to Williamsburg and not eat some cake? It is a beautiful restaurant that has a great atmosphere. We ordered decaf coffee and it was brought to us in a french press that the waitress pressed for us. We ordered the Death By Chocolate Cake ($10.95) and the Chocolate Pâté ($8.95). The cake was amazing. It is seven layers of different kinds of chocolate from ganache to mousse to cake. My favorite layer was definitely the ganache and my least favorite is the oddly airy/crunchy center. It was served with chocolate ice cream and a delicious white chocolate truffle that had a hint of lemon. The pâté was basically a thicker chocolate mousse and it was served with a pistachio profiterole. It was rich and creamy and pretty much awesome. Needless to say, after this rich meal we were exhausted and ready to relax.

Death By Chocolate Cake

If you are going to Williamsburg there are a few other places I would recommend. Definitely check out The Cheese Shop for lunch. They have great sandwiches. You can also get cheese and wine or beer and sit outside and enjoy a tasting. The selection of cheese is amazing and they have a ridiculous amount of local products such as espresso rub for meat. (Keep an eye out for that this weekend.) We went on Wednesday and split a Prosciutto and Provolone Sandwich with roasted red peppers. We also got a 1/4 lb of Prima Donna Aged Gouda and a Rustic Role. I always like to get some Chownings Tavern Root Beer as well since it’s made in Williamsburg.

Prosciutto and Provolone Sandwich

Another place to check out is Wythe’s Candy Shop, conveniently located next door to the cheese shop (both of which are across the street from The Trellis). They have wonderful handmade candies and caramel apples, as well as local goodies such as peanuts and jams.

Williamsburg is one of my favorite places to visit to relax and enjoy great food. I cannot wait for an opportunity to go back and do it all again!

Rustic Role and Prima Donna Aged Gouda

Handmade Truffles from Wythe's