Monthly Archive for November, 2012

Almond Milk Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate Crust

This is the time of year to be thankful. Thankful for all that we have. Thankful for all of the wonderful people around us and for the lives we lead. And while I sit here to writing this post, I am also grateful for the time I have enjoyed with my Great Aunt Frances.
She passed away this week but has left behind a legacy of memories that I hold near and dear to my heart. She was blessed with a wonderful immediate family – three children, 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grand children (not to mention a full brigade of nieces and nephews AND great nieces and nephews). She was the last of her generation and while I am deeply saddened by her passing I am thankful to have been a small part of her life.

This classic pie, with a sexy chocolate twist, is for you Auntie. Thank you for all of your love and support over the years. Your style, grace and laughter will live on in my heart. >And as far as I am concerned there will never be a better Christmas Eve party than those epic nights we celebrated until the wee hours of the morning at your castle on the hill.< I will add my name to the long list of those who will miss you.

Almond Milk Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate Crust

Crust Ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup confectioners’sugar

1 stick margarine, cubed

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup almond milk*

2 TBS lemon juice

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

6 TBS margarine, melted

* If making homemade almond milk, add 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1-1/2 TBS maple syrup or honey.


To prepare crust combine flour, cocoa, and confectioner’s sugar in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add margarine and process until mixture is crumbly in texture and resembles sand. With food processor running, add vanilla and 4 TBS cold water. Process until smooth dough forms. Chill two hours.

On a well floured surface, roll out dough into an 11-inch circle. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. Chill for 30 minutes.

To prepare filling, in a small bowl combine almond milk and lemon juice. In another bowl, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Whisk almond milk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Lastly, add in add in pumpkin and margarine.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork, make holes in crust, top with parchment paper, and fill with dried beans to weigh down. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, bake crust 10 minutes. Remove parchment paper and beans, bake an additional 5 minutes.

Pour pumpkin filling into crust, decorate with sliced almonds, and bake 45-60 minutes, or until filling is bubbling in center. Pie should be firm when slightly shaken. If it appears to still be soft and liquid in consistency, it needs to be cooked longer. Cool completely before serving.

Chicken Masala – Easy Peasy

A little something different to mix things up around Bowl Licker. This week I am sharing a themed meal with you that I recently made for some friends. Inspired by a number of articles I read on Indian cooking, my goal was to keep the cooking fun and relatively easy. If you are looking to deviate from heavy carbs, this is a wonderful meal that can predominately be done ahead of time. Pressed for time and craving the simplicity of a one dish meal? {wink, wink to my friends at the Shine Supper Club} Then this Easy Chicken Masala, cooked on a bed of onions, is just the dish for you.

– Easy Chicken Masala

– Cumin Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Carrots

– Cucumber Riata

– Kesari (Indian Semolina Pudding)

Note: the Chicken and the Butternut Squash can be cooked together — chicken on the top shelf and carrots on the second to bottom shelf.

Chicken Masala

Chicken Masala Ingredients

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

2 TBS vegetable oil

2 TBS garam masala*

4 cloves garlic, pressed

4 TBS coarse kosher salt

6-7 lb roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces (backbone removed)*

3 yellow onions, cut 1/4-inch thick rounds

Chicken Masala Directions

*If you are not versed in prepping the chicken, ask the butcher to cut the chicken as indicated above.

Mix yogurt, sour cream, chopped cilantro, oil, garam masala, salt and garlic in 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Add chicken marinade, coating 1 piece at a time on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap, marinade at least 2 hours in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, position oven racks in middle. Arrange a thin layer of onions in baking sheet. Top with marinaded chicken pieces, in single layer, spacing apart for even roasting. Discard remaining marinade.

Roast chicken on top rack until cooked through; juices should run clear when thicket portion of thigh is pierced with a knife. Approximate cook time is 1 hour. Serve chicken on top of onion slices; pouring juices over.

**Garam Masala is an Indian spice mixture, available in many supermarket spice sections and Indian markets.

Cumin Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Carrots

Squash and Carrots Ingredients

2 cups baby carrots, sliced length-wise

1 lb butternut squash, cut into large cubes (approx 4 cups)

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1-1/2 tsps cumin powder

1 tsp coarse kosher salt

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/8 cup raw pepitas

Squash and Carrot Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butternut squash, carrots, olive oil and cumin together. toss to coat. Add in broth. Roast until tender, stirring once. Cook for 35-40 minutes.

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita Ingredients

2 cups Greek yogurt (or plain whole milk yogurt, drained in a cheese cloth 2-24 hours)

1 7-inch English cucumber, coarsely grated

1 tsp kosher salt

2 TBS cilantro, finely chopped

4 tsps fresh mint, finely chopped

Cucumber Riata Directions

In a medium size bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber, salt, cilantro and mint. Mix well. Cover and chill as little as 30 minutes, ideally 2 hours. Left over riata can be kept for 2 days refrigerated.

Note: while I was not a huge fan of this chicken as a leftover, a different way to use the meat which I did like was to make it into a wrap. Warm a tortilla (or flatbread would be good too) and add in shredded chicken, carrot slices, crunchy lettuce, tomato, leftover veggies and riata.

Photo Credit: Rava Kesari

Kesari (Indian Semolina Pudding)

Kesari Ingredients

1 cup semolina

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 cups water

1/4 cup clarified butter

handful of cashews and raisins

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Kesari Directions

Clarify butter. This is quite easy to do. Place the desired amount of butter in a pot on low heat, when it melts the foamy white parts can be skimmed off with a spoon or the entire mixture can be drained into a cheese cloth.”Clarifying” is the process of removing milk solids from butterfat, giving you a clear golden fat that can be heated to a higher temperature without burning the butter which would also alter the flavor. This, combined with the fact it can be stored without going rancid, has made clarified butter the cooking fat of choice for hundreds of years in India and South Asia.

Place clarified butter in a small pot and set aside. In a thick bottomed pot, lightly toast the semolina for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Remove and set aside. In the same pot, boil the water. When it comes to boil, slowly add semolina, stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. When all of the water is absorbed, add in the sugar, string until the sugar is dissolved. Then mix in the cardamom. Lastly, add the clarified butter, cashews and raisins. Stir and remove from stove. Serve warm. For an extra garnish add uncooked cashews and raisins.

Rustic Salted Pretzel Rolls

October draws to an end, but thoughts of my days at Oktoberfest from years gone by remain vivid in my mind. These rolls were not nearly as cute as I had imagined they would be, but they were very tasty.

Rustic Salted Pretzel Rolls


1 package dry yeast

4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 TBS sugar

1 TBS salt

1 egg

1 TBS baking soda

kosher salt


In a big bowl mix together yeast, water, sugar and salt. Once yeast is dissolved, stir in flour. Lightly flour work surface and knead dough on the table until it is smooth. The dough should feel soft and smooth, not sticky to the touch. At this point there are two cooking options (1) shape dough into animal shapes and skip down to the the baking directions or (2) form into balls and continue with the directions as written.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Cut the dough into 8 pieces. To shape the dough take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.

Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1-inch between each roll. Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for approximately 30 minutes until they rise.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place oven rack in the middle position. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Remove from heat and SLOWLY add the baking soda place back on heat and lower to a simmer. If baking soda is added too quickly, it will make a huge bubbling mess.

Place 2-3 of the rolls at a time into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds and then carefully turn the roll over and poach for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely and then sprinkle each roll with a little kosher salt. Using a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash or an “X” shape in the top of each roll. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Serve hot!