Some Reservations

Recipes.Rants.Reviews

Did somebody say pizza…

Well I know I have been away for far to long, and have failed on my promise of ice cream and keeping up on the blog. And you know what, I am completely cool with that. I have been busy, very busy and it has all been food related.

A few months back a friend of mine ordered this UFO looking mobile wood fired pizza oven. We were casually joking that we should turn it into a business, and see what happens. Well folks, be careful what you joke about, because it might just come true.

Food Blogging world I give you Standard Pizza Co.

Standard Pizza Co, is a whole new spin on wood fired pizza, literally a spin. Our oven rotates 360 degrees and is on freakin’ wheels. That’s right, let it sink in, we can bring wood fired pizza to you. Not just any wood fired pizza, handcrafted artisan wood fired pizza. Honestly folks, we have been perfecting our high hydration dough for months. Learning how to turn out a high hydration crust could be a Bachelors Degree at any college, this pizza is serious business.Please take a look at our website, and like us on Facebook and if you are in the Western Michigan Area, please come out and try our pizza. We are very dedicated to quality and freshness in our ingredients, and it shows in our pizza.

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Cookie Monday…Is Cancelled

Cookie Monday is cancelled for this week, and the rest of the summer. We will return next week with…wait for it….wait for it…ICE CREAM MONDAY!! Thats right a new ice cream concoction all summer long. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, now is the time. $50 you will never regret, check out your local discount stores. I got an amazing Cuisinart at my local Big Lots for super cheap. Trust me, there is nothing better than homemade ice cream, and some of the flavors I am dreaming up should be awesome. So follow along with me this summer in some ice cream adventures, and other great Some Reservations goods.

See you next Monday, get your spoon ready!!

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Cookie Monday…Cashew Dream

So yet again, Cookie Monday happens on a Tuesday. Things have been a little crazy here in Some Reservations land lately, but I will not bore you with all the personal junk nobody wants to hear about anyways. Just know that I am trying to make a serious effort to post more often about more stuff. Keep an eye on the blog, and keep reading!

Due to the constant craziness, I don’t really even have a properly stocked pantry, while rooting for ingredients yesterday to put something together, I found I was out of flour, that immediately narrowed down the possibilities. What I did have was some left over coconut from last weeks episode as well as a can of sweetened condensed milk. So the obvious ensued. Eagle Brand Dream bars.

The Recipe is on the Can of condensed milk, and it couldn’t be easier, I took the liberty of making a few changes, but nothing crazy.

Recipe

2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 Stick Melted Butter

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 14oz. Bag of Coconut

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

5oz. Cashew Pieces

12oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Take the cracker crumbs, butter and sugar and put them all in a 9 x 13 pan. Give it a good mix and press it down to form a crust in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes

While that is baking take the milk, coconut and cashews and mix them all together in a bowl. Once the crust has been in for 10 minutes, pull it out and and spread the coconut mixture over the top. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Once that come out of the oven, you know have this amazing smelling mixture of coconut, sweet milk and graham, it really is amazing that this is so simple.

While it is still hot, just dump the bag of chocolate chips on them and spread around to melt. They are not all going to melt, don’t worry that is a good thing. It adds some chocolate chunks to your final product.

Stick them in the fridge to set up and cool, and there you go. This is an often forgot classic, and one of my favorites, I know coconut isn’t for everyone, but its for me, and I really like it. It has been years since I have had these bars, and adding cashews was just because I has them in the pantry.

What classics do you love, but don’t get made enough?

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Cookie Monday…Coconut Almond Dulce De Leche

This edition of cookie Monday is an absolute cheat. If you have no interest in making something using a cookie mix from a bag, using Dulce de Leche from a can, and making a delicious treat with minimal effort and little to no baking skills required then please stop reading. If any one is interested in any of the above, then please feel free to read on.

I adapted this from a Betty Crocker recipe, and would like to thank the Red and White Checker Cook book for many a great starting points.

The Cookie couldn’t be easier, well maybe the filling is actually easier, I don’t know. Either way I am confident you will figure it out.

Cookie Recipe
1 Bag Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Coconut
1 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
1/3 Softened Butter

Dump it all in your mixing bowl and mix until you have a dough thick enough to roll out, about 3 minutes.

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Now that you have a nice dough, lay it out on a lightly floured surface and and roll it out to about 1/4 inch think.

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Now get your favorite round or fluted cookie cutter, I know right, who has a favorite cookie cutter, why do I type these things. Anyways, you are going to get about 24-30 cookies out of this dough. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375, just until the edges start to brown.

Let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes and then completely on a rack.

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When the cookies are completely cooled it is time to work on the filling. These are a sandwich cookie and the filling, as you know is an important part.

Go to the cabinet or part of your pantry you keep such things as Dulce De Leche and grab a can. Now find your can opener and open the can. Stay with me, this is where it starts to get tricky. You are going to want to put about 2 teaspoons of Dulce on half of the cookies. I found this worked best to use two spoons, one to scoop it out of the can, and one to scrape it off the spoon. I told you it was going to get tricky.

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Now take the other half of the cookies and make some cookie sandwiches, smush them down a bit so the Dulce gets all the way to the edge of the cookie and just starts to ooze out the sides. Now take another 1/2 cup of coconut and sprinkle it out on a plate. Roll the edges of the cookie sandwiches in the coconut to make it stick to the oozing Dulce.

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Sprinkle the tops with Powdered Sugar and you have your self a pretty impressive looking cookie, oh yeah it tastes awesome too. Little to no effort, some cheater ingredients, and a stellar cookie. Not bad for a monday!

I have to admit, I am not a big fan of using cheater ingredients, but sometimes it feels nice to cut a few corners and save some time. What is your favorite Recipe that uses some cheater ingredients?

Don’t for get to follow Some Reservations on Facebook too!

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Van’s Bakery Protein Power Breakfast Sammy

Van’s Pastry Shoppe
955 Fulton Street East
Grand Rapids, MI(616) 458-1637

Van’s Pastry is this little neighborhood bakery on Fulton that turns out some of the best breads, cakes, cookies and doughnuts around. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and get something, anything, you will not regret it.

I have been going there every Wednesday afternoon for almost two and a half years now, and I still don’t think that makes me even close to a regular. Its really got that old school vibe, where super cool old dudes come in, get their sweet roll, their coffee and read the paper until its time to hit the diner for lunch. There is always an awesome mix of people in there. From the aforementioned cool old dudes, too family’s with kids of all ages, to kids from the neighboring schools getting a after school snack, even business types stoping in for a quick treat to make the commute home a bit more tolerable.

Every Wednesday I pick up a loaf of their English Muffin bread, it has a funny name, it is round, and makes the best toast on the planet. No Contest.

Cholmondley’s (pronounced Chumleys) English Muffin Loaf is the name given to the magical bread that produces addicting toast. Almost everyday for the last two and a half years I have had this bread, toasted with peanut butter for breakfast. Its perfect, add some banana or some honey, and you’ve got yourself the breakfast of champions…or so I thought.

You see I am a creature of habit, and sometimes do things with out even realizing it. One Friday morning I got up and was hungry for something more than toast, I also knew I had a 15 mile training run first thing Saturday AM, so this Friday was all about protein and carb intake. I decided to make my self a fried egg sandwich using my favorite toast. Simple enough right? Fry a couple eggs, maybe some sausage or bacon, add a slice of cheese and slap it all on the toast, for a protein and carb packed gut bomb to get the day started.

Well as the eggs were frying, the toast was popping up and being the creature of habit that I am, I pulled down the peanut butter and lathered those two slices up, like I have done about 812 times before.

I turned around to flip my eggs, ahhh s#*t, I am making an egg sandwich, ughhh. Now what!?! I am not going to waste this perfectly peanut buttered toast. A normal person probably would have just put the eggs next to the toast on the plate and eaten it normal. Well folks I am nothing like a normal person, I was so dead set on that perfect egg sammy, that I slapped it all together, peanut butter and all.

Figuring, no matter how bad the taste, I still had my breakfast sandwich. Small wins like that, let me know I still have some control and say in my life, some.

Little did I know, this would turn out to be one of the best mistakes I have ever been a part of. This sandwich was Red Vines and Mr. Pibb crazy delicious. The sweet and salty of the peanut butter, the richness of the eggs, the zing of the cheddar, all sitting in between two slices of the worlds best toast. It all came together so well, I loved every bite of it. If you add sausage or bacon to this, it is just some next level stuff, things you shouldn’t tell your friends about, they are probably not cool enough to handle and breakfast sandwich like that.  I know the ingredients sound messed up, and that its creation was a complete accident, but dude, this is seriously delicious, and a new favorite of mine.

If you got the huevos to try it, you know because you need eggs, do it.

What is the tastiest mistake you have made in the kitchen?

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Cookie Monday…Pretzel and Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Okay, so calling this one a cookie is a bit of a stretch, but it does have a cookie base and that is good enough for me. I wanted to challenge myself today and come up with something completely different from anything I have done, while using something I am rather good at. So I chose chocolate chip cookies, something I can make with my eyes closed and something I can make well. Now what could I do with a chocolate chip cookie that is something different for me. Lately I have been thinking about a cheesecake cookie, and looking around for a recipe, I couldn’t really find anything that stood out for me. I had been thinking peanut butter, that is a favorite of mine, and I can always appreciate a good peanut butter cheesecake. Now to but the chocolate chip cookie and the peanut butter cheesecake together.

I am not to the point in my experimenting that I am using liquid nitrogen, or foam guns or any of those awesome kitchen gadgets that I would love to have. No the craziest I got today was…wait for it…wait for it…a muffin tin. I know, slow down homeboy, you might hurt yourself.

So here it is.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Cookies

Prepare your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, if you need one, this one from Americas’s Test Kitchen is the best.

Now that you have your cookie dough all set, get a muffin tin ready with liners and give it a good spray. Put one scoop of cookie dough in each tin and bake for 8 -10 minutes, just until the cookie have spread out and are all most done, you want the to still be soft around the edges. Take the tin out and set aside for a few minutes.

Now to prepare the Pretzel portion of this show. Get your favorite food processing contraption out of the closet and dust it off. Add a good handful of pretzels to it and give it a good spin or two, basically we are trying to achieve a pretzel crust here. Once you have just about a cup of pretzel dust, dump that into a bowl and add 6 tablespoons of melted butter and mash it all together with a fork until the mixture can be pressed against the side of the bowl and it sticks.

Put a nice spoonful of the pretzel mixture on top of your still soft chocolate chip cookie bottoms and give it a good press down to flatten everything out. Throw those back in your 350 oven for about 8 minutes, until they are nice and crisp on top.

Take your muffin tin and place it on a wire rack and let everything cool nicely.

Now the peanut butter cheesecake top.

Recipe

8 oz Cream Cheese

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

1/4 Brown Sugar

1 Egg

1 Tblsp. Vanilla

Beat the cream cheese until nice a creamy, that sound redundant, but that what you do. Add everything else and beat it all together until you have a nice smooth peanut butter looking cream cheese. Spoon the cheesecake on top of the pretzel crust and bake for another 15-18 minutes until the cheesecake has set up and is firm to the touch. Let cool completely and refrigerate before serving.

Thats it, I challenged my self and this is what I came up with. I know not the most creative thing ever, but a good start as I start to push myself to be more creative with my food  and get away from the cook book.

All the layers of this are separately delicious and when mixed together are even more delicious. My wife says it may work better as a Pie, and I think I agree with her, the muffin tins promote a little overcooking. It was a first try of something and it turned out pretty darn good, I can go back and play with it, tweak it and make it better later. Right now I am going to eat one.

Don’t forget to Like Some Reservations on Facebook for more updates and info beyond the blog!

Also a big thanks to everyone reading, this little side project I wanted to do just for fun is really taking off and starting to take on a life of its own.

Thanks!!

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