Friday, September 25, 2020

"Pumpkin" Pie Cake

 I have a simple philosophy when it comes to cooking or baking.  Basically, if I can't have fun in the kitchen, I don't want to play.

I do a lot of same old, tried and true, could make it in my sleep cooking.  As do many of us, but sometimes, well, I just gotta play.

 I decided to play pie with one of the butternut squashes I have in my fridge.   

 Years ago I used to make a pie that made its own crust and tried to find the recipe, but it's disappeared somewhere.  Along with the 6 week bran muffin recipe I used to have.  

'Pumpkin' Pie Cake

Maybe they'll show up someday, giggling at all the fun they had.  

I can dream. 

 I googled and googled and found several references to impossible pies, and none of them were quite right.  

And then TA DA!!!! I found it,  or least a reasonable facsimile.    It was hiding in plain sight in one of my cookbooks.

Who woulda thunk it?  

Of course, I did take some liberties with the basic recipe.  

The cookbook is one I absolutely love, it's full of amazing recipes.  I picked it up about 20 years ago in a second hand book store in LA.   This book is falling apart, but I've taped it up and treat it with reverence now.  

The cookbook is called Los Angeles Times California Cookbook. The recipe I based this on is found on page 403, if you're lucky enough to own a copy. It was originally published in 1981.  You can of course find formerly loved copies on Ebay.  

And then I made it, and ummm, it wasn't quite how I remembered it and I had to change the title of this post.  

'Pumpkin' Pie Cake

Cause it was more like a cake, than a pie. 

Delicious, I mean totally delicious, but not a pie.  

'Pumpkin' Pie Cake

'Pumpkin' Pie Cake

I ate it anyway for lunch and breakfast... 

And saved some for later in the freezer.  

Then I felt virtuous for eating a vegetable. 

Hey, every little bit counts. 

And, I never know if I should admit to this or not, but honestly, when it comes to Pumpkin Pie, I can take it or leave it, usually.

I had a hard time not eating all of this at once.  It was just plain satisfying.  

'Pumpkin' Pie Cake

Yield: 4 servings
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 50 Min
This cross between a pie and a cake is a perfect bridge for those who can't commit to pie or cake. And is a sneaky way of using up butternut squash.


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked butternut squash - or other firm fleshed orange squash
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice - I make my own
  • 1/3 cup Master Mix or buttermilk biscuit mix.
Pumpkin Pie Spice mixture
  • 4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • Mix together. 


For the Pie Cake
  1. Toaster oven at 375 degrees or heat a regular oven to 350 degrees.  Butter or grease either an 8 inch pie pan or two 6 inch pie pans.
  2. Use a food processor or an immersion blender to mix the ingredients together along with one teaspoon of the prepared Pumpkin Pie spice.  Reserve the remainder for later use.
  3. Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for 45 minutes in the toaster oven or 40-50 minutes in the regular oven or until the pie cake is done all the way. 
  4. Allow to cook and serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top. 
  5. You can also do a little sprinkle of the pumpkin pie spice on top of the whipped cream. 

Note: If you want you can also use Pumpkin or any other firm fleshed squash.  Just don't tell the kids, big and small that it isn't pumpkin.  

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    All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2020, with all rights reserved thereof.

    Check out my cookbooks on Amazon.  All are available as paperbacks or as a downloadable e-book. 
     Simple Shrimp Recipes - 25 + Appetizer, Entree and Dipping Sauces.
     Nibbles and Bites - A Compilation of Appetizers, Canapes and Finger Foods
      Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes

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    Wednesday, September 23, 2020

    Home made Ricotta

     Necessity is the mother of invention, it is said.  But laziness or inconvenience has got to factor in there somewhere. 

    I was making my Microwave Lasagna the other day, realized I didn't have any Ricotta cheese and did not feel like driving 7 miles to the store, then paying the money for Ricotta cheese, especially when I only really needed 1/2 cup or so.  

    So I made some.  Ricotta Cheese that is. 

    Home made Ricotta Cheese

    Anyway,  you can make it as well.  All you need is milk and some lemon or lime juice or even vinegar.    

    BTW, this doesn't work with UHT milk.  Something to do with how the milk proteins are stabilized in the process.  

    It works best with whole milk, if you want to plan ahead, or do as I did, wing it.   I have 2 % milk and about a half cup of heavy cream.  So I combined them in a glass measuring cup, zapped it, and then added some lemon and some lime juice.

    I tried to strain it using a coffee filter inside of a strainer, but that did not work, so I pulled out my handy, dandy, old flour sack dish towels and used that to strain the cheese.   

    Home made Ricotta Cheese

    I got just over a half cup of Ricotta Cheese from 2 cups of 2 % milk and a scant half cup of heavy cream.  

    You can add salt to it, if you wish, I don't cause I do try to limit my intake of salt.  And I think it tastes just fine without it.  

    This is how it looks after being 'squeezed' a little. I use a rubber spatula to scrape the cheese from the cloth and place it in a container to use. 

    Home made Ricotta Cheese

    As I said, I got just barely over a half cup of cheese, which was just about perfect for my recipe. 

    Home made Ricotta Cheese

    The leftover whey, that's the liquid you strained out, was used for this loaf of No Knead Bread.   Which just so happened to be one of the better tasting breads I've ever made. 

    No Knead Bread

    Home made Ricotta

    Yield: 1 cup if using whole milk
    Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
    Prep time: 2 MinCook time: 7 MinTotal time: 9 Min
    This Ricotta cheese can be used cup for cup just like the Ricotta you buy in the store.


    • 4 cups whole milk
    • juice from one lemon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt- totally optional


    1. Juice on lemon and set juice aside.
    2. Heat milk to almost boiling in the microwave, 200 degrees, or until a slight skim forms on top of the milk.
    3. If heating on stove, medium heat and almost continual stirring to keep it from scorching.
    4. As soon as milk is hot, add the lemon juice and salt if desired.  Stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into a sieve lined with either cheesecloth or a flour sack towel.  Drain, reserving the whey or liquid. 
    5. Use as you would any ricotta. 
    6. NOTE:  For a softer ricotta, do not drain as much, reserving some of the liquid.   You can also add some Ultra pasteurized  cream to the milk, which will also yield a softer ricotta. 
    Created using The Recipes Generator



    All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2020, with all rights reserved thereof.

    Check out my cookbooks on Amazon.  All are available as paperbacks or as a downloadable e-book. 
     Simple Shrimp Recipes - 25 + Appetizer, Entree and Dipping Sauces.
     Nibbles and Bites - A Compilation of Appetizers, Canapes and Finger Foods
      Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes

    Continue Reading

    Monday, September 21, 2020

    Cornbread in the Toaster Oven

     I've been a member of this group, MultiCooker Mondays for a few months now.  Sue of Palatable Pastimes started the group and asked us to share recipes using a variety of small kitchen appliances other than our stoves.  

    Corn Bread

    I have a few tried and true small kitchen appliances and use them, a lot.  I even have a Sous Vide, but haven't really played with it a lot.  It's actually been a bit of a dud for me.  I may play with it more now that I'm not working.  

    But... This post is actually about one of the many things I've used my little Black and Decker Toaster Oven for.  

    This is a basic, basic Toaster Oven and I'm continually surprised at how versatile this little thing is.  I keep thinking up new ways of using it.  

    This month, I baked some cornbread in it.  I even used a mix, which is something I rarely do.  But I needed some cornbread for another recipe, Savory Corn Cheesecake, so I picked up a package of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix.  (I even used the toaster oven to bake the Cheesecake in).

    Jiffy Corn Bread

    I made the cornbread my own though.  Instead of using milk, I used a mix of my homemade Créme Fräiche and Buttermilk.  It did add a little something extra.  I think I've been in the south too long, cause when I tasted the finished cornbread, I thought it was really sweet. I'm used to the way we make it in the south now. No sugar added. 

    Corn Bread

     But it was still good, especially with some butter and honey on top.  The butter melted fast.

    Corn Bread
    I ate it with a fork, cause I really don't like sticky fingers.

    Corn Bread

    I did bake it in a smaller pan than they suggested, but it worked out so well. This 5x7 inch dish fits perfectly in my toaster oven.  
    After using about a third of the cornbread in the cheesecake, I just kept slicing and eating it, but I did save a little and ate it with some collard greens and it was amazing.  I thought I'd taken pictures, but it's nothing more than a happy memory as is the cornbread.    

    Toaster Oven Cornbread

    Yield: 4-6 servings
    Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
    Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 25 Min
    Baked in a small pan, this cornbread is quick and easy to make in your toaster oven. No need to warm up the house to make.


    • 1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
    • 1 egg
    • 1/3 cup mixture of buttermilk and Creme Fraiche


    1. Mix together and bake in a greased pan which will fit into your toaster oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.
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    Multicooker Monday September 2020:

    Recipes using the Instant Pot, Slow Cooker & More

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    Saturday, September 19, 2020

    Ground Beef and Butternut Squash Soup for Soup Saturday Swappers

    Wow, where does the time go?  I know cliche, but as I get older it seems like the time stream has sped up, and I keep getting surprised when something comes up suddenly, cause I swear I still had time.   

    You see, it's time for Soup Saturday Swappers and well, gee, I'm getting in under the wire here.  sigh.

    This group was started by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, and every month we make a different soup, inspired by a theme.  This month it was Beef Soup or Stew.  

    Rebekah of Making Miracles is our hostess this month and her suggestion was Beef Soup or Stew.  

    (In the original post I forgot to mention and thank her for the suggestion, I'm trying to make it up now.)

    Ground Beef and Butternut Squash Soup

    It's not quite soup season here in Florida, it's hot, and we're still in the grips of Hurricane season and I, along with many others are keeping a very close eye on any and all activity off the coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.  

    Personally, I'm ready to duck and run.  

    I've also been making a fair amount of soup lately, cause I like a bowl of soup for lunch or dinner.  It fills me up, tastes great and is low, usually, in calories.  I've been freezing it in single portion sizes. 
    All of which is leading up to this.  

    I went searching on google, and found my inspiration here but of course, I did play a little with it as well.  Cause you know, I had to.   

    The kale I was going to use for the soup, well, it wasn't worth the energy to cook.  But I had some leftover Collard Greens so I subbed that in, and well, here's the soup.    

    I have to say, I loved this soup.  The contrast between the slightly sweet of the Butternut squash and the zestiness of the soup.  Although I did pair it with a slice of my No-Knead bread.  They made a good pair.  

    Ground Beef and Butternut Squash Soup

    I had to boast a little, this was the bread that went so well with the soup this month.  No Knead bread made with the whey from a batch of Ricotta Cheese I made earlier. 

    No Knead Bread

    But don't stop at my recipe, keep scrolling down and check out what my fellow Soup Swappers came up with this month.  


    Ground Beef and Butternut Squash Soup

    Yield: 6 servings
    Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
    Prep time: 6 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 36 Min


    • 6 cups Homemade Chicken or Vegetable Stock
    • 4-6 oz. Lean Ground Beef
    • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, slivered
    • 1 tablespoon EVOO
    • 1/2 cup chopped Leeks, white part
    • 1 cup peeled and cubed Butternut Squash
    • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I use some from my freezer)
    • or
    • 1  15 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
    • 1 cup collard greens
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • To serve - top bowls with 1 teaspoon finely minced Chives


    1. Saute the beef in the olive oil, until done, then add the garlic and leeks to the meat and let cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the stock, and the rest of the vegetables and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is cooked.  
    2. Serve hot with a slice of bread and sprinkle of fresh chives.

    You can also make this totally vegetarian just by leaving out the ground beef.  

    Created using The Recipes Generator

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    Monday, September 14, 2020

    Babki Śmietankowe (Cream Tarts)

     I'm having way too much fun with this group, Baking Bloggers.  But this month was challenging. Well, the recipe I chose was. 

    That dough, grrrrrr

    At any rate and to stop rambling on.  The assignment this month was to bake something from Poland.  Sue of Palatable Pastime is our hostess.  We bloggers do get to vote on a theme for the month, and this month it was Poland.   

    I'm not that familiar with Polish cooking apart from pierogies, which I absolutely adore, and need to  make again.  (note to self)

    So I went to my favorite cookbook resource, not google.  And found this recipe in the Poland section.  The cookbook series is Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery.   It also happens to be the first cookbooks I pick up when I'm looking for something a little different.   

    I made these Cream Tarts, at least that's what the original recipe called them. 

    Babki Śmietankowe (Cream Tarts)


    I think they actually should be called Custard tarts?

    Babki Śmietankowe (Cream Tarts)

    I will say I will probably never make this again, unless I fancy up the custard a little more. It was lacking, something.   

    Not to mention that the dough, well, let me just say this, it would not behave.  It kept breaking apart when I tried to roll it out, and I ended up adding a teaspoon of heavy cream to it, just so I could roll out some of it. 


    Babki Śmietankowe (Cream Tarts)

    Yield: 6 tarts
    Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
    Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 30 Mininactive time: 10 MinTotal time: 50 Min


    • 1 cup Sifted AP flour
    • 4 1/2 tbsp soft butter (melted)
    • 2 egg yolks ( Use large eggs or 3 small egg yolks)
    • 3 tbsp. icing sugar
    • 1 tsp. Heavy Cream
    • butter for lining tart molds
    Custard Filling
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp chocolate rum extract (you can use vanilla extract or your own favorite liqueur or extract here)
    • 1 cup heavy cream


    1. Sift flour, combine with butter, egg yolks, cream and sugar and divide into 3 parts. Roll out 2 parts. Butter fluted tart molds and line with the rolled out dough.  
    2. Cut out the 6 rounds to top the custard in the filled tarts, set aside.
    Filling and assembly
    1. Whisk together the egg yolks, cream, sugar and extract.  In the top part of a double boiler combine cream with egg and sugar mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Do not let it boil. Allow custard to cool and use it to fill the pastry lined pans. Cover filled tarts with remaining dough the rounds you already rolled out.  Bake in a pre heated oven 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  The custard will set completely makes about 6 medium tarts.

    NOTE:  The original recipe did not call for cream in the dough. I found it too hard to roll out, as originally written so I added the cream.  

    Created using The Recipes Generator

    Baking Bloggers

    September 2020: Polish Baking

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    Friday, September 11, 2020

    Cilantro Pepper Sauce

     I made this sauce to top the Savory Corn Cheesecake.   I only used a little bit, cause honestly, a little goes a long way, flavor and spice wise.  And I wanted to play with the little bottle of Tajin seasoning I picked up the other day. 

    I then proceeded to top some scrambled eggs, a cheese enchilada and other assorted dishes until I ran out.  

    Not only did this make my mouth sing, but it got up and did a nice tap routine and a tango.


    Don't worry, I won't overshare any more, but will share this recipe.

    In some respects it's similar to a Zhoug, but there's no garlic or onion in it.  

    Cilantro Pepper Sauce

    Cilantro Pepper Sauce

    It's very simple.   

    I did try to mix everything up with my little food processor but ended up getting the immersion blender out and using it. I thought that the sauce was too runny, so I added a little more cream and took advantage of the immersion blender and whipped it up a bit. That thickened the sauce beautifully. 

    When I did a final? taste test, decided it was missing, something.  So I sprinkled some Tajin seasoning on top, and that was it.  

    Cilantro Pepper Sauce on top of Savory Corn Cheesecake

     I've tried stirring a little of the Tajin into some of the sauce, but I think it tasted better sprinkled on top. 

    Cilantro Pepper Sauce

    Yield: 3-6 servings
    Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
    Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 10 Min
    This spicy sauce is a perfect topping for the Savory Corn Cheesecake or on top of Scrambled Eggs or ?


    • 2 tsp, Cilantro Paste (from the tube)
    • 2 Serrano Chiles
    • 1/2 fresh roasted Hatch Chile, peeled, seeded and chopped
    • 1 Tbsp. Chopped Tomato
    • 2 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
    • 1 Tbsp. Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
    • 1/2 tsp. Tagine Seasoning


    1.  Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor or use an immersion blender to make sure that it is processed to a heavy cream like texture.
    Created using The Recipes Generator

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    Thursday, September 10, 2020

    Savory Corn Cheesecake

     Every so often I participate with other bloggers in the Improv Cooking Challenge. Our hostess, Nicole  of Cookaholic Wife challenges us to use two separate ingredients in a recipe and then post about it.  

    I've participated in the past and had fun with it.  This month we're tasked with making something with Cheese and Corn. 

    My first thought was Cornbread with Cheese and Corn, but I wanted to do something a little more challenging. 

    Especially with all the cream cheese I had in the fridge.  

    So I thought, I wonder if I can do a Savory Cheesecake.  

    Savory Corn Cheesecake

    I googled and found one recipe.  It happened to be vegan and I'm bookmarking it to make for my daughter who is vegan, but I'm not. 


    I played, and came up with something that my mouth sang about.  This is so simple and you don't need to add a lot of seasonings to it, the cream corn comes through beautifully. 


    Savory Corn Cheesecake

    Savory Corn Cheesecake

    You can see a few of my previous 'challenges' at the end of the post. 

    Savory Corn Cheesecake

    Yield: 2 servings as a light lunch or 8 appetizer sized servings
    Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
    Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 50 Min
    This is a light custard like cheesecake that is perfect served with a small salad for lunch or as an appetizer.


    • 4 oz. softened  Cream Cheese
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup creamed corn
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 3/4 cup cornbread, cooked and crumbled
    • 2 + teaspoons melted butter


    1. Fits a 4 inch Springform pan.
    2. Crumble the cornbread and mix with the melted butter. Press into the base of a 4 inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes to set. 
    1. Mix the cream cheese, egg and heavy cream together until smooth.  Add the creamed corn and mix well.
    2. Pour into the prepared springform pan over the crust. 
    3. Bake in toaster oven for 45 minutes at 375 to 400 degrees until browned and set.
    4. Remove from oven.  Let sit for a few minute and then loosen the cheesecake along the sides and then release and remove the sides of the pan.
    5. Slice and serve with a sprinkle of Tagin seasoning on top if desired.
    6. Can also be served with a dollop of a Cilantro Pepper Sauce

    Optional:  Add a sprinkle of Tajin seasoning on top to serve.  

    Created using The Recipes Generator
    September Improv Cooking Challenge

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