Coconut Cream Flop

I love coconut cream pie.  I like making pie crust a lot less.  However, I have achieved a mild degree of success over the holidays with my sister’s help and a food processor. I am of the opinion that the altitude in Calgary causes problems with the crust.

Onto the filling. I’ve made it successfully a few times before, but I made two major mistakes in this case.  The recipe called for 3/4 C of whipped cream to be folded into the filling and 1 C for the topping. I used my ginormous (is that even a word?) 5 quart KA Professional, but found the bowl too big for 3/4 of a cup.  So I decided to save time and make both batches together. Mistake. My custard did not set. I should have hauled out the old Westinghouse mixer with the smaller bowl that takes twice as long to whip. Oh… and looking back at the recipe, since I was too lazy to get more butter I substituted 2 tbs of ghee.  Maybe that is what did it.  Oh well, it still tastes great but I will be going to Plan B.  More details to follow if I manage to execute it correctly.

Update. I went with a coconut cream parfait instead.  Put a layer of graham cracker crust on the bottom of a wine glass. Poured the filling over, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkled with toasted coconut.  It was really popular at my New Year’s Eve party!

By the way, the recipe is from Wanda’s Pie in The Sky.  Fabulous cookbook.

Sigh... didn't make it past the filling
Sigh… didn’t make it past the filling
Crust needs some work
Crust needs some work
This is what it should have looked like...
This is what it should have looked like…

Shigatsu Fusion Japanese Sushi Lounge

Missing the old Gunkan sushi, but eager to see what popped up in it’s place, we headed to Shigatsu. I’ve heard lots of rave reviews, so we went there for lunch. I like the decor.  It seems well suited to a romantic dinner. We had a late lunch around 2pm so we were the only customers in the restaurant.  I wonder if it would be loud if it was full.

We started off with the Aji Fry, which was tempura fried horse mackerel on greens with a mustard vinaigrette. Tasty.  We each had combo meals, a roll combo and sushi combo.  I do admit that it was a plain choice. We must not have been in an adventurous mood.  I thought it was pretty average. We also had a Dynamite roll which I thought was pretty good. The complimentary Rice Krispie balls dessert was interesting. Service was good (We were the only ones in the restaurant for most of our meal).  I appreciated the creativity in their menu and felt that I didn’t give them a fair chance by ordering normal items.  Will be back for some of the fusion and more unique choices.

Roll combo (top) and sushi combo
Roll combo (top) and sushi combo
Rice Krispies Balls
Rice Krispies Balls

Shigatsu Fusion Japanese Sushi Lounge on Urbanspoon

Istanbul Restaurant Ltd

Ever since my visit to Pizza Pide, I had been wondering whether there was a similar place in Calgary. I decided to try Istanbul which serves pide amongst other Turkish delights. Pun intended. We started with the calamari, which was good, but I found the accompanying onions a bit over salted. Hubby had the lamb shank which they claim to be amongst the best in Calgary. Both of us would agree. I tried a yogurt drink called ayran.  It is an acquired taste.  It is yogurt mixed with cold water and salt. Very tart. I had a pide with chicken, tomato, green pepper and onion. It was quite good, but not quite like Pizza Pide’s.  They have an extensive menu and I will be back to try some of their other items.

The owner is also the chef and service can be a bit slow when it gets busy.  But the food is worth it.




Istanbul Restaurant Ltd on Urbanspoon

Sea Salted Caramel Cookies

I got bored with the usual flavors of holiday cookies. So I went to a recipe that I have been trying to perfect for the last year. I used Kraft caramels and halving them did wonders. That is, it prevented the cookie from exploding due to overbaking. Black Hawaiian lava sea salt is great to top it off with. Vanilla pudding rather than butterscotch works well too.

Black Hawaiian lava sea salted caramel cookies
Black Hawaiian lava sea salted caramel cookies

Recipe courtesy of ittybittybakes.