Monday, January 31, 2011

Dessert Options

After making a batch of horrendously unhealthy Special K bars (not part of the Special K diet plan!) and having hypoglycemic attacks in the middle of the night, I decided I needed an alternative dessert on the healthier side. I found a can of pumpkin in my pantry, cobbled together a few recipes (including a diabetic one), and then just added some of my own stuff to create a pumpkin pie that turned out to be light, creamy, moist, and flavorful. Little Ben is wild for it. Every night he asks for pumpkin pie and gets a slice. Honestly, I consider it a vegetable, and it's the only way I can get any citrus into him. Now if I could just find a way to make myself forget there are choco-PB bars in the house as well....

My Pumpkin Pie

Make a basic 9-inch pie crust and put it in the pie plate. I actually made one out of wheat flour, which is fine, but I'll go back to white flour next time because I prefer its texture.

15 oz can of pumpkin
1/3 c granulated sugar
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger)
2 beaten eggs (I reserved about a tsp of this for brushing on the crust's edge.)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c skim milk
zest of one tangerine or orange
1/4 c tangerine or orange juice

Mix it all together well and pour it into the pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 until center is set (45 minutes to an hour).

Heyer Mysteries

I have read so many Heyer mysteries since my last post that I've lost count, but I'm going to get it together and make a list right here. I have developed a pretty serious addiction (akin to my weaknesses for Afrin or these damn things), and I'd start reading another one right away if I had one at home. I don't, and I'm enjoying the first few chapters of Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad Trilogy, but I'm experiencing Heyer mystery withdrawal (which no amount of tea seems to assuage).

I seem to have read these in pretty much the right order, going through the three Hannasyde stories and continuing on to the Hemingway stories. Hemingway is Hannasyde's subordinate in the early ones and later becomes a superbly enjoyable Chief Investigator with charm, pointed wit, and a stellar memory. (I told Ickie I enjoy it as much as in Foyle's War when the investigator bluntly informs a suspect that he knows he's lying to him.) Also, some of the romantic plots will be given away if you don't read in the order below.

Why Shoot a Butler?
Footsteps in the Dark (Funny, but ended up being my least favorite of all of these, and not really a typical mystery, in my opinion.)
Death in the Stocks (The sibling suspects in this book have some of the most hilarious dialogue I've ever read. I laughed out loud multiple times.)
Behold, Here's Poison (My favorite character in this one, Randall, is described perfectly as an "amiable snake." I need more Randall. Next to Hemingway, he's probably my favorite character in Heyer's novels thus far, and that is saying A LOT.)
They Found Him Dead (The pacing here is a bit iffy, but Hemingway starts to really show his stuff, and we're introduced to Terrible Timothy, who is just adorable.)
Duplicate Death (Terrible Timothy and his half brother return, and Hemingway is now the Chief Inspector. The characters were a bit less flamboyant, but it is still a diverting read. I found it very funny when Hemingway's subordinate annoys him by slipping into Gaelic.)
No Wind of Blame (The explanation of the murder wasn't altogether convincing, but the melodramatic scenes of Mrs. Carter and her daughter are an absolute scream.)
Detection Unlimited (Just finished this last night. I often guess who the murderer is in Heyer's mysteries, but I was clueless here until the end, and I appreciate that. There are many hilarious moments, and Hemingway is in rare form. I love that several older ladies agree that it is so nice that a murder occurred so the young people have something to entertain them while they are staying in the country. That just goes to show you how lighthearted a murder mystery can be.)