In the Test Kitchen
Hi there! I’m Beth, Assistant Digital Food Editor for BHG. It’s always my job to make the pies for Thanksgiving. So for my first post, I decided to make a pie as a dry run for the big event. But not just any pie. The holy grail of pies. The Caramel-Apple Cherry Pie from the November BHG cover, developed by none other than Gesine Bullock-Prado, the unofficial queen of pies. When I told my coworkers I was attempting this pie, I got a lot of skeptical looks. My sister even told me I was crazy.
I started with my Grandma’s piecrust recipe because it’s the only one I use. My other secret weapon was a pica pole my friend had loaned me. A pica pole is just a long metal ruler that was used to make newspaper layouts long ago. She slides it underneath her rolled out piecrust so that it doesn’t stick to her counter. Which is awesome because my piecrusts always stick to my counter. It worked like a charm. I skipped the pie weights, but I must admit that I stuck pretty close to my oven, checking through the window every couple of minutes like an anxious mother. For my apple filling, I swapped out a few Granny Smith apples for Honeycrisp to add some sweetness, and both of my fillings came together in a snap. As my caramel apples started to bubble and thicken, I began to think that I just might pull it off.
Then came the leaves. I was in a pickle. I didn’t have a fancy leaf cookie cutter (who has a fancy leaf cookie cutter?!), but I did have a Christmas tree cookie cutter. So I just pressed the end of the Christmas tree in opposite directions to form a shape I thought looked leaf-ish. After buttering and sugaring my “leaves” I alternated the fillings to put together the pie. Since I knew that my pie plate didn’t really qualify as deep dish, I only filled it to the brim and left out some of my caramel apples. Which I was pretty sure could easily double as a delicious ice cream topping later.
After another round of obsessively checking through the oven window, my masterpiece was done! Though it wasn’t an exact replica of the cover, I was one proud baker. At work the next day, everyone gobbled up my pie. Which was a good thing considering it was my Thanksgiving rehearsal pie. All in all, though it might have been the hardest pie I’ve ever attempted, I can proudly say I tackled the holy grail of pies. Get the recipe. Watch how to make it here!
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup of Crisco
1/3 cup of water
Cut Crisco into flour and salt with fork. Add enough water (cold) to knead into large ball. Divide dough in half and roll on floured board. Makes 2 crusts.
Hello! Katie Parker, Senior Digital Food Editor for BHG, joining the conversation. I hate wasting food and I recently nabbed a nifty tip from our Test Kitchen to capture every last bit of a stock of broccoli: Namely, use the stems. Stop making that face!, they really can be just as tasty as the hog-the-spotlight florets. I used my new method in our 4-star-rated Sesame Chicken with Broccoli for dinner last night.
Watch the 1-minute method for cutting and cooking broccoli (cough, cough, that’s me doing the voiceover…hi Mom!). The gist: Peel off those knobby pieces to get to the smoother stem. For me, this looked like:
To cook, toss the stems into a pan with some water for 3 minutes, then add the florets and continue on for 2 minutes more:
The rest of the recipe was Wok work. Cook your marinated chicken (you will LOVE the tangy-sweet smell from the honey-soy marinade!):
Set the chicken aside and cook yummy ginger, garlic, and green onions:
Then stir in chicken broth, soy sauce, smell-the-sweetness honey, cornstarch, rice vinegar, and chili paste. I plated without rice (and without sesame seeds, which were suspiciously unavailable at my local grocery store). I also like to eat with chopsticks when reasonable because it slows me down and helps me appreciate my dinner. And my crisp-tender broccoli florets and stems?—Perfection. Get the Sesame Chicken with Broccoli recipe here: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/sesame-chicken-with-broccoli-stir-fry/
Hi there! I’m Sheena, Digital Food Editor for BHG, joining in. The weather here in the Midwest recently took a nosedive to cooler temps and gloomy rain…ergo comfort food! As a registered dietitian, I try to make healthier choices (pay no attention to the bacon macaroni and cheese I ordered for lunch today) so I turned to this Hot Chicken Salad Casserole recipe which has less than 300 calories per serving and is full of veggies.
I knew time would be tight so I started prepping ingredients the night before. I pre-chopped most of the veggies and poached my chicken using this technique. Unfortunately I underestimated how many chicken breasts I needed to cook. I cooked two, but three breasts would have gotten me closer to the three cups called for. No biggie, I have a little less chicken in my dish, but I swapped in Greek yogurt for the plain, non-fat yogurt to help boost the protein back up.
Once I finished the last of the veggie prep all that was left was making the crunchy cornflake and almond topper. I knew I had sliced almonds in my cupboard so I didn’t bother buying more when I went shopping for the rest of the ingredients. Imagine my surprise when I opened my cupboard all I found were whole almonds.
(Thank goodness the California Almond Board had visited our offices recently or I would have been totally out of almonds.) So I gave the whole almonds a coarse chop and called it good.
To crush the cornflakes I used the handy test kitchen technique of putting them in a zip-top baggie and crushing with my seldom-used rolling pin. This is my go-to method to crush ingredients or pound meat because it’s so easy and makes no mess!
A sprinkling of the topper and my casserole is ready for the oven.
Thirty minutes later my house smelled wonderful and the dish was bubbly hot. But I still had to endure the torture of letting it stand for 10 minutes! I managed to distract myself by emptying the dishwasher and opening mail so the casserole got its full 10 minutes of standing time, but not a minute more. I scooped out a serving and settled in to savor this creamy, crunchy, slightly-tangy comfort food. Even with my on-the-fly adjustments it turned out great! Try it for yourself: Hot Chicken Salad Casserole.
Welcome to Delish Dish, a new food blog from Better Homes and Gardens. At BHG, we’re always talking about food (and cooking it and tasting it). Lucky us! We’d love to have you join the conversation (tell us about what you’re cooking from our site) and meet some of our favorite food bloggers. Here, each of them will do what they do best (cook for their family, cook vegetarian, cook for a party and more), all the while taking their inspiration from our top-notch Test Kitchen-tested recipes. When “what’s cooking?” is always the topic of the day, you know the conversation is going to be interesting. And Delish!