Friday, November 5, 2010


My birthday is on Monday, and for my party this weekend, I'm cooking up something very, very wicked. A cherpumple!

Yeah, I know, it's terrible. For godssake, the thing has been featured on this is why you're fat! It's been described as a "stunt dessert" and the dessert equivalent of a turducken. As much as I'm all about healthy food... I also love making crazy "stunt" food. I've made a turducken twice before, and frankly, the cherpumple looks 1000 times easier. So I had to ramp up the difficulty a bit...

Instead of store bought pies, boxed mix and tubs of frosting, I'm doing it all from scratch. No corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils... just a pile of sugar, white flour, butter, eggs & cream cheese. Oh and a little bit of apples & pumpkin.

I'm really only making a semi-cherpumple, 2 layers (apple & pumpkin) because I'm a little worried about the stability of a 3 layer. Structural stability is my big concern overall... I'm using a sturdier pie crust than my mom's traditional recipe (the cream cheese pie crust from Mad Hungry again), using circles of parchment paper in the bottom of the pie pans and I'm arranging the apple pie to be fairly flat and stable.

For the cake, I've split a basic yellow cake recipe in half... the pumpkin pie will be in a standard yellow cake, while the apple pie will be in a spice cake. That took a bit of tricky math to split the dry ingredients, but at least the recipe called for an even number of eggs.

And I'm going to punk out on the frosting... I asked my mom to make her 7 minute icing. I'm a little concerned it will not be as stable as a cream cheese initially, but it does firm up into more of a merengue. My cream cheese frosting recipe is just too darn messy to make.

All of that and frankly... it's still way less work than a turducken. Deboning the birds was just a total pain.

Monday, November 1, 2010


We have artichokes!!! I planted them last spring in the bed of weeds adjoining our front porch. And then they all died. They died a horrible death. I thought they were gone for good because, well, the nursery sells them in late spring, early summer, so therefore they should grow throughout the summer, right? Apparently not in our area. They just die off in the crazy heat of the summer, only to start growing again once the winters get cool.

So like a phoenix out of the ashes... we have artichoke shoots! They're a good 18" high right now, and I'm excited because I've heard the plants can grow to a good 5' (as tall as I am). And SUPER excited because, well, I love artichokes! Best vegetable ever. I'll be so happy if we get enough cool nights this year to get a substantial crop. Artichokes need 250 hours <50 degrees in order to set fruit. These are planted in the coolest area of our lot, so I've got my fingers crossed.