Monday, November 28, 2016

Chai Pie

If you follow me on Snapchat, you're aware that I baked kind of an obscene amount over the course of Thanksgiving. The final count ended up being 4 pies (pumpkin, apple-cranberry, chai spice, and Kentucky derby) and one chocolate cheesecake. Also apparently no one communicated this to the rest of the family, so we ended up with 8 pies and a cheesecake for 17 people. Oh well. Also, wait until you see how much I bake at Christmas. It makes Thanksgiving look like amateur hour.

Anyway, this recipe is for the chai spice pie. There's only one picture because I sort of forgot to take them and also wasn't expecting this to turn out that well. But here we are.

I sort of love baking pies lately. I love baking everything lately, and it's a favorite hobby of mine. It keeps my hands busy, it's repetitive to a certain degree, and I've been doing it forever, so it brings an amount of familiarity which is calming to me.

In other news, has anyone else seen Moana? I went with my fiance, siblings, their significant others, mom and grandma. Let me just tell you, going on a "triple date" with your younger siblings and their boyfriend/girlfriend is a FUN time, especially when you're engaged and they've been dating for like a month. My mom told me to act as a chaperone, and I thoroughly enjoyed that task.

The movie is pretty good though too. I loved the music and the setting, and Moana herself is likable. I also just thought she was beautiful and love that she has a realistic body type, especially compared to some of the classic princesses.

In other news, the Beauty and the Beast trailer played and I cried. Emma Watson is playing another of my childhood role models and that makes me really emotional.

Okay, that's enough rambling for today.

Chai Spice Pie
2 sleeves cinnamon graham crackers
1 stick salted butter, melted
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
2 1/2 cups heavy cream

  1. Crush the graham crackers into coarse crumbs, then drizzle in the melted butter. Stir to combine, then press into a greased pie pan. Refrigerate as you make the filling.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and spices in a medium bowl.
  3. Microwave the milk until hot, then slowly stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  4. Gently pour into crust. Some of the crust may combine with the filling, this is totally okay.
  5. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Filling should be set. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Asparagus, or Why I Shipped Cookies to People I've Never Met

Hi. If you're American, I think we can all agree that the last week has been a little rough. Regardless of who you wanted to win the election or who you voted for, I think the ensuing fear and hate has been pretty grating and exhausting for us all. I'm about ready to leave Facebook forever.

The election stress and upset has been especially difficult for me and many people I know because I/we are volunteers for Crisis Text Line. Crisis Text Line is a free, national service people are able to text when in crisis and be connected with a trained counselor. On election night and for several days after, we experienced quadruple the usual traffic. Volunteering with Crisis Text Line has made me a better person, and I love it so much, but it's exhausting at times. Whether you think the fear many people experienced as a result of the election was warranted or not, those people and their emotions are very real. I talked to dozens of texters who were terrified of the future and hurting.

Which brings me to cookies. The Crisis Text Line community is so good, y'all. A lot of us were having a rough week. Being there for so many people who are hurting takes it out of you after awhile. But a truly beautiful thing happened. Our Facebook group page was suddenly inundated with posts by my fellow counselors offering all sorts of comfort to each other--everything from meditation videos to personalized playlists. This warmed my heart so much. To pay it forward, I made my own post offering cookies and brownies to anyone who sent me their address. Baking makes me so happy, and I'm constantly looking for people to give love in the form of sugar and chocolate. Today I went to the post office and shipped cookies to eight people I've never actually met. These people are so amazing. They dedicate their time to helping others and spreading positivity, both to texters and to each other. In my book, that deserves to be celebrated. Share cookies with the ones you love, y'all. It'll warm your soul.

If you're in crisis, text Hi to 741741. Crisis Text Line is available 24/7.

Bacon Asparagus
1 lb asparagus, with the woody parts cut off
8 strips of bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
dash of red pepper flakes
2 tbsp salted butter

  1. Fry the bacon until crisp over medium heat in a pan (I like cast iron skillets).
  2. Add the garlic to the pan, stirring constantly. Garlic cooks fast so be careful.
  3. After about a minute, add the asparagus and toss with the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until brighter green and tender.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs, red pepper, and butter. Stir constantly until butter is melted and breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Enjoy!