Mile High Chocolate Meringue Pie

Have a mentioned I’m bad about writing my recipes down? Oh, that’s right, that’s one reason I started this blog, That and because I’m one opinionated beeyotch.

I am so bad about just throwing stuff in a pot and seeing what happens. Which is strange because in my baking, I’m meticulous. We’ll blame it on the multiple personalities in my head.

I took special care to  pay attention to my process this time. That was a good thing because this pie turned out FABULOUS! So, without further ado, I present…

pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mile High Chocolate Meringue Pie

1/2 cup GOOD cocoa – don’t use that Hershey’s crap! I used full-fat Bensdorp

1 cup sugar

1 Teaspoon espresso powder (optional but it deepens the flavor)

pinch of salt

1 cup hot water

2 cups heavy cream (there’s no such thing as diet chocolate pie, sorry)

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 Tablespoons cornstarch, combined with a little water to form a slurry

Combine sugar, cocoa, espresso powder and salt in saucepan. Break up any lumps and combine thoroughly. Add hot water and stir over medium heat until consistency is smooth. Add cream and continue to cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil, add vanilla and cornstarch slurry. Stir continuously over medium-low heat until a thick pudding consistency is reached. Remove from heat. Fill a pre-baked pie shell with filling. Top with meringue (recipe below), making sure to form a seal all around the pie, and bake at 450 for about 5 minutes – watch closely – you just want to brown the meringue as desired. Allow pie to thoroughly cool and chill in fridge to set.

Meringue:

4 egg whites

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix egg whites with cream of tartar using whisk attachment until foamy and gradually add sugar. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.

You can omit the cream of tartar, but it serves as a great stabilizer and gives it a better texture, in my opinion.

Enjoy!

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Whole Foods / Harry’s Jumps on the “Gun-Free Zone” Bandwagon

Among other things, I run a local women’s shooting chapter. We are part of The Well Armed Woman nationally and it’s a movement which has exploded since its inception in January, just eight short months ago.

Last night, one of my members informed me of an incident at our local Harry’s Farmer’s Market, which is owned by Whole Foods. She is a legal Georgia Weapons Carry License holder. She was carrying concealed but when she went to reach a high shelf, her top rode up, exposing her firearm. Now, carrying with a permit in GA allows for both open and conceal carry, so she was perfectly legal either way. Yet, she was asked to leave because the store manager informed her it was against store policy, which was recently instituted regionally.

She left, as not doing so could have earned her a criminal trespassing charge. She will not be patronizing their store anymore, either. She doesn’t wish to give her money to a place who wishes to disarm her, thereby making her even easier prey for a would-be attacker.

When she informed me of her experience, I immediately began sharing her story with peers. It has garnered a nice bit of attention on their local Facebook page and I’ve gotten offers of possible media attention for the matter. Currently, I am waiting to see if  CEO John Mackey, or his Co-CEO or VP of Public Affairs will respond to the letter which was waiting for them in their inbox this morning:

Mr. Mackey,

My name is Elizabeth Finch. I have been a long time customer of Harry’s and Whole Foods, but will no longer patronize these establishments, as it has come to my attention that these stores are not locations where women such as myself can feel safe. 

I am writing to you to inform you of an incident which took place in the Harry’s of Marietta, GA this evening. A woman who is legally permitted to carry a firearm in the state of GA (as well as numerous other states) was asked to leave.She was carrying concealed but when she went to reach up on a high shelf, her tank top exposed her sidearm and she was asked to leave, a request with which she complied.

In GA, with a permit, it is legal to carry either concealed or in open fashion. She was told by the store manager that the prohibition of firearms was a regional policy implemented about three weeks ago. Her attention was called to a sign at the bottom of one of the doors that firearms were prohibited in Harry’s. Now, such signs have no force of law here in GA but she has determined that she will not be supporting a business who does not respect local laws and rights. I am in agreement with her and I have also shared her experience with numerous others who are also in agreement. 

There has been much displeasure expressed over this incident on Harry’s Marietta Facebook page. Gun permit holders comprise 11% of the population in GA. Women are the fastest growing demographic among gun owners. I can speak to this personally and professionally, as I am an NRA Certified Instructor and legal gun owner with 20 years of shooting experience. Additionally, I am a member of and volunteer for Georgia Carry, which is GA’s most effective gun rights lobby. I am also the leader of  a national affiliated women’s shooting chapter. We serve to equip, empower and educate women. We have over 2400 members nationwide and more than 100 chapters nationally since our inception in January. Well over 200 of those members are in the immediate metro Atlanta area. This level of growth is evidence of the great demand out there among women who are interested in taking on the responsibility of learning to protect themselves. 

I have studied your ideals and you seem to be a reasonable man regarding citizens’ rights. I’m sure you’re aware that gun-free zones only serve to invite criminal activity. Grocery store parking lots are already traditionally viewed as “scary” places. How does taking away a woman’s means to defend herself make sense? 

Unless and until this policy is changed, I cannot in good conscience support Whole Foods or Harry’s. I also will discourage my family, friends, peers and fellow gun rights cohorts from giving their money to an establishment which attempts to make them feel less safe and lacks respect for the local rule of law. 

I do hope that this matter is reconsidered and would appreciate your response.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth Finch

Hopefully I will be able to soon provide an update of a positive response. Until then, I’ll shop elsewhere and I know many others who will do the same.

 

 

Orange Balsamic Chicken

Anyone who knows me knows I am a FREAK about balsamic vinegar. It’s like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for me. I put that $#!% on everything! From salads to desserts.

There’s a balsamic chicken recipe making the rounds on Facebook and so, it inspired me. I only glanced at the actual recipe but then improvised my own.

orangebalsamicchicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Balsamic Chicken (feeds 2)

2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks

1 packet dried onion soup mix

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

pinch kosher salt

pinch pepper

fresh basil (for garnish)

Combine all ingredients except for basil in crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low 6-8 hours.

I served it over angel hair pasta but it would work equally well over egg noodles or alongside mashed potatoes. If you want to turn the juice into a thicker sauce, you can add a bit of cream and some cornstarch slurry and allow to thicken for a few minutes. Chiffonade fresh basil (roll leaves tightly and cut in strips on a bias) and sprinkle on top.