Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This past weekend my friend Steph had a get together at her house and she asked me to bring a dessert. I was more than happy to since I've been in total cooking mode. I wanted to bring something I'd never made before, and decided to email a good friend of mine's dad, who is a great cook. Just in case I didn't hear back from him I also decided to make a pumpkin chiffon pie that I saw on Oprah. But he did email me back and the email included a recipe for a Dark Chocolate Semifreddo. I was SO excited as A) I knew what all the ingredients were, B) It didn't look to labor intensive, and C) He even sent a photo!!! How could I mess it up?It was really pretty easy to make. Here is John folding in the ingredients. (I had to call my sue chef in for this part as I didn't want to tire my arm out.)
Close up of the mixture:
Everyone at the party said they liked it, and I have the feeling they weren't just being nice. The end result is almost like an ice cream, because it's frozen, but the texture is a bit like a mousse. Needless to say it was SO good. I even saved a little bit of it at home for John and I to snack on later. Here it do you see why I included the other 'end result' photo? This doesn't really do it justice.
(Yes, that is the ice bag for my ankle. I totally over did it that day and my ankle has been really sore ever since. I think I had a major relapse. It's so frustrating).

Anyway, the pumpkin chiffon pie did not turn out as easy...hence no photos. Part of the instructions were to beat two egg whites until they were stiff. I beat the egg whites for probably 20+ minutes and they NEVER GOT STIFF! I was so mad. I had to use them anyway even though they never stiffened up. I think it tasted pretty good, but I never got over the fact that the whites didn't stiffen. I mean what the heck was going on with them? I didn't feel like the pie was a total success, which bummed me out because I was on such a role of baking successes.

In addition to the dessert baking, John also got inspired to finally make some homemade pizza dough. The poor dude has wanted to make it since we got back from our trip, but he hasn't had time, as well as the right equipment. So that morning we headed over to Bed Bath and picked up a pizza stone and a wood board to roll out the dough.
The dough made four servings. Here is the 'before baked' shot.
Here is the after:
Let me just tell you that this was one of the BEST pizzas I've ever had in my life. No joke. We brought back two jars of generic tomato sauce from our trip, which John used as the sauce. It is WAY better on pizza than pasta, let me tell you. John also put on brie, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, and fresh mozzarella cheeses. Along with olive oil, tomatoes, and basil. I was so impressed at how good they tasted, and it did remind me of Italy. I think we would need to install a wood fire oven to get the exact crust, but I am more than satisfied with our oven. To top it off...we've had it for dinner for the past 3 nights!! Talk about heaven!

I was going through my photos the other day, and trying to label them all when I came across this photo:
This is an apple and pear crisp that I made this summer, and never got around to blogging about it. I was very excited that I was able to use the pears from my backyard, but as you can see, it turned out juicy. I'm not sure if it was because I made it and then left it in the fridge for a few hours before baking it or if because my pears were Asian. All I know is that there was a lake in the bottom of the pan. Not the most appetizing.

So as you can see my cooking experiences don't always turn out good.


Jenna said...

oh my gosh, that pizza looks fabulous!!!

For the egg whites, were you using an electric mixer with a wire whisk attachment? They need a fast beating with a whisk to really get the air in there so they "foam" up.

Amber said...

You know I did use an electric mixer w/o the whisk attachment. I bet that was the prob! Thanks for the tip!

Samantha said...

When can I come over for pizza?

Also - the egg whites. If the bowl or the beaters you are using are the least bit wet your egg whites will never stiffen.

Big D said...

When do weeeeeeeeeeeeee get to try your great concoctions? I am always hungry. You never showed this aptitude when you lived at home.

Sarah said...

MMMMMM Pizza. Thanks for helping me decide what to have for lunch today! I can always count on you.

Daniel and Brianne said...

These blog posts are gonna give Alton Brown from Good Eats a run for his money. I see a show spot for you on Food Network in the near future!
Aw man...I'm totally hungry now!