Chai Spiced Apple Clafoutis

Chai Spiced Apple Clafoutis

If you are looking for a really good dessert for fall, check out the Chai Spiced Apple Clafoutis featuring unique spices from Raw Spice Bar

INGREDIENTS

RawSpiceBar’s Peppercorn Chai
3 eggs
1 cup milk or heavy cream
12 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp. salt
4 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tsp. sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine milk, eggs, 6 tbsp butter, vanilla, flour, 2 tsp sugar, and salt in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Melt 4 tbsp butter in a large skillet. Add apples, 1⁄2 cup sugar and RawSpiceBar’s Peppercorn Chai.
Cook until apples are glazed, about 5 minutes.
Add half batter to greased pie plate.
Arrange apple slices on top, reserving juices, then pour remaining batter over apples.
Sprinkle remaining sugar on top and bake until golden, 25-30 minutes.
Drizzle with warmed reserved apple juices.

If you are interested in trying new and exotic spices from around the world, Raw Spice Bar is a great option. They ship you new spices each month for literally only $8. Do it!

Thanksgiving in Kingwood

Thanksgiving in Kingwood

This year we decided to spend Thanksgiving in Kingwood, TX at John 4’s new home. He and Clare were the best hosts and everything was just so lovely.  Here are some of my favorite moments from our fun week!

For the first time ever in Cochran history, we participated in Kingwood’s Turkey Trot. I hope this is a tradition we can continue.

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I have to brag on John, he ran the 5k in 29 minutes and had the turkey on his head the entire time!

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I didn’t feel quite as guilty eating to much food since we had a good workout in the morning.

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I found these really pretty fall flowers at the Kroger by John’s house, so got them for our centerpiece.

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Clare did 95% of the cooking the whole week and she killed it. Gold stars for her! The sweet potatoes were really good, not too sweet, but just right.

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Mom made her stuffing and this year we did it with Jimmy John’s bread. It was awesome as usual. Her stuffing is my favorite, I look forward to it every year.  Clare’s green bean casserole was really good, it had ground beef in it I believe and of course I love those crunchy fried onions.

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Y’all know how much I love corn casserole and macaroni and cheese. These were ah-mazing. I love my yellow foods so much.

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I’m not usually a ham person, but I went back for seconds on this ham. The glaze was unreal. The turkey was really good too, Clare got this particular recipe from Gordon Ramsey and it was a turkey wrapped in bacon with cajon seasoning injections.

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We finally got to meet Clare’s folks and we had so much fun with them! Great food, great company and great conversations.  You can’t ask for anything more.

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Mom provided the table with little Thanksgiving Poppers, so we each had fun paper hats and little toys.

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In Clare’s dad’s popper he got a fancy eye patch. 🙂

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John got a cheap little yo-yo in his popper. After I ate, I really struggled to keep my eyes open, so this is my attempt to stay awake.

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Nathan and Freddie joined us on Friday night and on Saturday we all got to play a round of golf at Deerwood Country Club. (Thanks John!) What’s cool about Deerwood is that’s where the famous scene from Tin Cup was filmed.

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Thanksgiving was a blast and I’m so glad everyone was able to get together!

Vadouvan Butternut Squash Soup

Vadouvan Butternut Squash Soup

Recently I decided to give Raw Spice Bar a chance. I’ve had great experiences with Blue Apron and Hello Fresh as far as the meal delivery services go. Raw Spice Bar is similar in that it’s a monthly subscription, but instead of sending you entire meals, it focuses on new spices from around the world. As someone who loves to travel, the idea of trying new spices from cultures near and far each month, is incredibly appealing.

This month is the Pondicherry Flavor Kit. I’ll be honest, I had to google what Pondicherry was. In case you didn’t know either, it’s the capital city of Indian union territory of Puducherry. Over the next few weeks I’ll be cooking and reviewing the first three packets that came in the Pondicherry Flavor Kit.

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Up first is the Indo-French Vadouvan packet. I kinda’ feel like an idiot because I don’t know what those words mean either. “Vadouvan” means Indian spice blend. When you get your spices, each packet comes with two recipes. This provides you with options on how you’ll use your packets.

Since it’s fall, I decided to go with the Vadouvan Butternut Squash Soup. I didn’t have any of the ingredients for the soup other than butter, so I stopped at the grocery store and to my surprise, everything came out to $9.80. That’s pretty impressive considering this is a healthy meal that contains several servings.

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INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp RawSpiceBar’s Indo-French Vadouvan
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, strained
1 medium butternut squash
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup water
3 medium leeks
Salt & pepper, to taste

RAW SPICE BAR’S INDO-FRENCH VADOUVAN SPICES
Toasted cumin, toasted coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, green cardamom, aleppo pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, cloves, spices

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil or butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.

Chop up the leeks and onions. Add to the pot and stir until translucent, 6-8 minutes.

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Add salt and RawSpiceBar’s Indo-French Vadouvan and stir until fragrant, 1 minute.

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Add butternut squash, re-season with salt to taste. Cook until slightly brown, 8-12 minutes.

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Add tomatoes and let brown, another 4-5 minutes.

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Stir in stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until squash is tender.

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Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Puree to desired consistency.

Ladle into individual bowls and serve with plain yogurt or raita and crusty bread or naan. (I actually used sour cream, because that’s all I had in the fridge.)

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Overall, I’m very pleased with this soup. The flavors are rich and tastes like Fall. With the ingredients pretty much all vegetables, this is a really healthy option for a cold day.

I’m looking forward to trying the other two packets from Raw Spice Bar – Peppercorn Chia and Unpumpkin Pie Spice. Getting spices from around the world every month for only $8 is a heck of a deal. 

Comment below if you have also tried Raw Spice Bar and what you think!

Project H

Project H

As many of you know, I’ve always been coming up with ideas… lots of ideas. Custom-painted shoes in high school, cake decorating, jewelry made from dollhouse miniatures, Fat Ass Plates: The Honest Choice in Dinnerware, Snitches Get Stitches Greeting Cards, etc. 

I’m an artist, a creative entrepreneur, who is using Project H as an umbrella brand for any new ventures.

Currently I’m focusing on a multi-level art/apparel project. After years of not painting anything, I’ve brought my brushes back and am working on a series featuring the most popular foods in America. The Crunchy Beef Taco was painted with acrylic and several different texture mediums. Following the completion of this painting, I digitized the work and had custom patches made, which I am now hand-stitching on white, cotton hats. Thus the Taco Hat was born.

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Up next is a cheeseburger that will be mixed media (acrylic, paper mache, fabric on canvas). That will also be followed by a Hamburger Hat.

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