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Earl Abel’s Greets Its New Neighbor with Some Friendly Specials


Earl Abel’s fried chicken

Target is opening a new store today at the Terrell Plaza Shopping Center, and Earl Abel’s plans to welcome its new neighbor with a number of specials.

“Being in a new shopping center with the likes of Target is very exciting for Earl Abel’s, and we are excited about welcoming the many visitors to the new Terrell Plaza Shopping Center” says Roger Arias, co-owner of the restaurant.

Shoppers with same-day sales receipts from Target will get a 10 percent discount on their food.

And for 21 days, starting Oct. 9, Earl Abel’s will offer two pieces of fried chicken with mashed potatoes, choice of vegetable and a dinner roll for $4.95. If you just want the chicken, then you can get four pieces (a leg, thigh, wing and a breast) for $4.

Earl Abel’s is also bringing back its annual “High Pie” promotion, where diners can enjoy a slice of pie with either a cup of hot coffee or tea for $2.50 between the hours of 3 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The restaurant is at 1201 Austin Hwy. Call (210) 822-3358.

 

“I hope new and old customers drop by Earl Abel’s to take advantage of one of these special offers or to enjoy a slice of heaven and coffee or tea for just $2.50. Either way, Earl Abel’s will always welcome them with open arms,” says Arias.

 

 

 

 

 

Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EarlAbels; or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/EarlAbels.

 

 

 

 

 

Located at 1201 Austin Highway in the Terrell Plaza Shopping Center, Earl Abel’s has been a San Antonio dining tradition since 1933. The restaurant is open Sun.-Thurs. from 6:30 am until 10pm, Fri. and Sat. 6:30am until 11pm. Breakfast is served all day, 7 days a week; & kids eat FREE all day Tues. and from 5-8 pm Mon-Thu. “To Go” is open daily from 10:30am ‘til 8pm Call 210.822-7333 to place to go orders, or order online at www.earlabelssa.com.

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Coffee-Heath Bar Crunch Pie


“Coffee infuses a bit of sophistication to the rich, sweet flavor of this pie,” Michele Stuart writes in “Perfect Pies: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes from America’s Pie-baking Champion” (Ballatine Books, $25). “The toffee and cookie crumb crust add a lovely crunch, which intermingles perfectly with the smooth coffee cream filling  and sophisticated Kahlua whipped cream topping.”

Or, you could say that the best of the high-profile candy bars, Heath, makes this pie a brilliant treat that is showcase by the supporting players of coffee and Kahlua whipped cream.

Either way, your taste buds will be the winner.

Coffee-Heath Bar Crunch Pie

1 (9-inch) Oreo Cookie Crust

Filling:
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup whole milk
1 ounce espresso (1 shot)
2 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup chopped Heath bar, divided use

2 cups Kahlua whipped cream or 2 cups whipped cream, depending on preference

To prepare the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the coffee, milk and espresso, and mix well. Place the mixture over medium heat and stir constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the  mixture has thickened. Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the heated coffee mixture. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the coffee mixture and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the butter and continue stirring until it has thoroughly melted and incorporated into the filling. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped Heath bar.

To assemble the pie, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Heath bar across the bottom of the Oreo crust. Pour in the coffee cream filling, spreading it evenly across the candy. Place the pie in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours until cooled.

When ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator and evenly distribute the Kahlua whipped cream across the top of the pie. If you choose, use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped cream or offset spatula to spread it to create a more finished look.

Coffee-Heath Bar Crunch Pie should be served cold. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Makes 1 pie.

Adapted from “Perfect Pies” by Michele Stuart

 

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Pie That’s Worth the Drive


The Wimberley Pie Co.

WIMBERLEY — On Labor Day, we pulled up in front of the rustic, stone edifice that houses the Wimberley Pie Co. and witnessed a truly deflating scene: The place was closed, as it always is, on a Monday. Drat.

The sign advertising lasagne had wet our appetites, though, truth be told, my friends and I are always hungry for a slice or three of pie.

The Wimberley Pie Co. has been around since 1989, and that speaks volumes for the quality of a handmade product. So, my friends headed back there later in the week, while I was at work, and scored dinner to go.

Chicken Pot Pie

Instead of the lasagne, however, they opted for a chicken pot pie, which heated beautifully in the oven without the buttery crust dissolving into a soggy mess or drying out into flaky nothingness. Instead, it provided a welcome and sturdy foundation for the creamy and not overly seasoned filling of chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and green beans. This one surpassed Mom’s, and the three of us polished off most of that pie in one sitting.

Dessert was a coconut custard pie, and after all the chicken pie we’d had, we had decided to limit ourselves to small slivers. You should applaud our intentions. Really. That was all we said we wanted. Yet one taste of the pie sent each of us into some happy place deep down inside that only sweet flakes of coconut and a perfect custard, all creamy and eggy rich, can reach. Every crumb of crust, again buttery and dense, and every last flake of coconut disappeared off the spatula.

Coconut custard pie

If that’s what Wimberley Pie does with coconut custard, the cherry must be akin to bliss. Other flavors include Dutch apple, peach crumb, key lime, chocolate chip pecan and blackberry, among many others. Too bad the place no longer ships. According to the store’s website, problems with shipping forced owner Neal Mallard and his team to sell their old-fashioned creations only from the shop.

That means, even though I’m not staying at Canyon Lake any more, another trip to Wimberley — for pie — is in store.

Wimberley Pie Company
13619 Ranch Road 12, Wimberley
(512) 847-9462
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m.05 p.m. Saturday; and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.
wimberleypie.com

 

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Griffin to Go: Hawaiians Definitely Have a Sweet Tooth


Shave ice is a refreshing treat on a hot afternoon.

Is it any wonder, given the amount of sugar that grows on Maui, that the folks here have a sweet tooth? All manner of sweet breads can be found in bakeries and markets. Desserts are the starting point for many when it comes to dining out. And that great Hawaiian creation, shave ice, helps take the edge off the heat of the day.

That’s right. It’s shave ice, not “shaved ice.” The “d” is added only on the mainland. But sweet slivers of ice by any other name — raspas, anyone? — would still be a welcome, sticky treat. On my first visit to this Hawaiian island, I found a shave ice stand where the owners actually made their own syrups from locally grown fruit and sugar. It was, needless to say, the best I’ve ever had.

I haven’t been so lucky on this trip as far as finding shave ice with a handmade syrup, but I also haven’t been seeking out sweets, because of my diabetes. Still, it’s hard to avoid overdosing on carbohydrates on an island where starches, from potatoes to poi, are a mainstay of the diet, and dishes are often finished off with ripe fruit bursting with natural sugars. Dining out is a minefield of high-carb options from coconut rice and burgers with pineapple to fish cooked with fruit salsa on top.

The staffs at restaurants have been understanding of my dietary restrictions and have accommodated my requests. The women at Casanova Deli gave me olive oil and freshly cut lemon slices for a salad because the house dressing was out of bounds. The kitchen at Stella Blues served up my Maui burger without the bun and held the croutons from the accompanying Caesar. At Mama’s Fish House, the uku arrived with a double portion of sautéed eggplant, mushrooms and assorted vegetables instead of the advertised coconut rice.

French Apricot Peach pie from Komoda Store.

Diabetes in a problem here, as it is everywhere else. Thankfully, more and more restaurateurs are accommodating those needs.

Still, sweet is what most people seem to want, and that, of course, includes mai tais, piña coladas and other cocktails that arrive with umbrellas or orchids floating in them.

It’s quite understandable when faced with a FAP, the French Apricot Peach pie from T. Komoda Store and Bakery in Makawao. This internationally known Upcountry spot has everything from incredible cream puffs to glazed doughnuts, all in a weather-worn storefront that has seen plenty of foot traffic through the years. There’s not much light in the place. The display cases are colored with age. And the bakery racks are so cluttered that you can’t help but wonder which goodies are getting lost in the mix.

None of that matters once you’ve tasted what comes out of that kitchen. My friend Carol, who remembered the somewhat twisted route from our last trip six years ago (as if it were yesterday), bought a FAP, which was redolent with the aromas of freshly baked fruit and butter under that buttery crumble topping. It proved to be her breakfast treat each morning until she finished it. She showed admirable concern about my blood sugar levels, and she made it known that the pie was her property and hers alone, although she did offer me a spoonful, and it tasted better than it had any right to.

There's more to Maui than meals, even to this foodie.

My greatest temptation on this trip, however, has been the fruit. There have been pineapples so golden and ripe that the juices just run when you cut into them and just-picked guavas with their intense perfume, watermelons and Mandarin oranges, tiny plums, fingerling bananas and who knows what all else, all supposedly healthy yet so loaded with sugar that I can only eat the tiniest amount.

I’ve already written about how I marinated a pork roast in pineapple juice, but I also used pineapple when dealing with the leftovers. I shredded the meat and tossed it in a sauté pan with a little olive oil, Maui onion, red bell pepper strips, ginger and, yes, pineapple strips. It came together in minutes and, like the best leftovers, it tasted like a whole new dish.

Best of all, my blood sugar levels have been better than they have been in a month or more, though swimming twice a day in the ocean might have been a help with that.

 

 

 

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Cherry-Cranberry Pie


Cherry-Cranberry Pie

Here is a great way to use fresh cranberries while they are available. Play around with the seasoning, using sweet spices like cinnamon and  ginger, if you prefer. Or vanilla instead of almond extract. Orange juice instead of lemon would work. You could use chopped pecans and vanilla in the seasoning. The choices are yours.

Cherry-Cranberry Pie

2 (9-inch) pie crusts, unbaked
2 cups sweet cherries, thawed if using frozen (or 3 cups if making a deep dish pie)
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons tapioca pearls
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out one pie crust and line the bottom of your pie plate.

In a large bowl, mix cherries, cranberries, brown sugar, tapioca, almond extract, lemon juice and salt together, making sure all of the brown sugar is broken down and incorporated.

Pour cherry-cranberry filling into bottom pie crust. Roll out top crust and cover if desired, cutting slits in the top so steam will release. Or cut strip about 1/2-inch wide and create a lattice on top, weaving over and under the other strips. Crimp the edges of the two crusts together. Brush with egg mixture. Sprinkle sugar on top (or sprinkle a 5:1 mixture of sugar to salt on top).

Bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25 more minutes or until the filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.

Makes 1 pie.

From John Griffin

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Griffin to Go: Listen to Those Cranberries When They Call


Cranberries are a'calling.

I was walking through the produce section of the grocery store when I heard the cranberries beckon me. They had dulcet voices in an alto range, you see, and sounded like some forlorn Greek chorus. Thanksgiving is over, but the tart joy of cranberries lives on, they seemed to say.

It’s not often that food calls me like that. OK, ice cream calls me all the time, but that’s another matter.

What would I do with those little beads? I could string them for the Christmas tree. But I already have strands of red beads made of wood that look like cranberries. I didn’t need the fruit on top of it.

Then it hit me: Cherry-Cranberry Pie.

My mom had mentioned last week that she made a cherry pie for Thanksgiving, and the mere thought of it had me drooling, though we had enjoyed a blueberry-blackberry pie and her pumpkin pie. But nothing has quite the hold of cherry pie, no matter the time of year. So, why not combine the two into a sweet-tart treat, I told myself.

But how should it be seasoned?

Cherry-Cranberry Pie

I decided simplest would be best and that I would take my cue from cherry pie, not a cranberry relish. Yes to almond extract and lemon juice. No to cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and even my favorite, ginger. I also went with the frozen sweet cherries at the market instead of the canned sour cherries because of the tartness of the cranberries. (If I were back in Louisville, I’m sure I’d use some of the sour cherries that my parents grow in their backyard and freeze until needed.)

I used the base common to many of the fruit pies I make: tapioca pearls for thickening, brown sugar, salt and a little butter in addition to the almond and lemon.

With a plan in mind, I was ready to go. I started playing a favorite CD, “Christmas with Maureen McGovern,” and started to work with no thoughts of deadlines or obligations, just the image of happy faces eating pie. Before I knew it, the stress of the day was gone, the strips of lattice had been woven on top and the pie was in the oven. And yes, it came out exactly as planned.

I hope the rest of all of our holiday baking goes by as dreamily.

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Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie


Pumpkin pie is a fall favorite with many. This version adds the crunch of pecan and a flaming presentation.

Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Pie:
3 eggs, slightly beaten
16 ounces canned pumpkin
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (9-inch) pie crust, unbaked

Topping:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon, divided use
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

To make the pie: Combine the eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, half-and-half, bourbon, cinnamon, ginger and salt, and mix well. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and allow the pie to continue baking for 45 more minutes or until the filling is set in the middle. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool.

To make the topping: Combine the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan; stir and cook over medium heat until the butter melts, the sugar dissolves, and the two ingredients are mixed. Add 2 tablespoons of the bourbon and the pecans, and coat the pecans with the sugar. Szpoon the pecan mixture over the pie.

Before serving the pie, place the other 2 tablespoons of bourbon in a saucepan and gently heat until the fumes are ready to ignite. Carefully ignite the bourbon with a match and pour it over the pie. When the flames die down, the pie is ready to serve.

Makes 6-8 servings.

From Southern Living 1987 Annual Recipes/”The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook” by Albert W.A. Schmid

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A Pie Fit for More Than Colts Fans


The Indiana legislature recently  named Sugar Cream Pie the state’s official pie, which tells you just how beloved this dessert is. But you don’t have to be a Hoosier to love this delectable confection made with cream and sprinkled with a touch of nutmeg. Wash your hands thoroughly before making this hands-on treat.

Sugar Cream Pie

1 (9-inch) pie crust, unbaked
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whole nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pie pastry.

Place flour and sugar in the unbaked pie shell.  Add cream a little at a time and mix well using your fingers to mix slowly (very slowly) the dry and liquid ingredients (and to prevent the cream from whipping). You may want to let the cream warm up a little first, because it can get quite cold and the stirring does take a few minutes. Add vanilla extract and continue stirring with fingers. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.

Bake 10 minutes; reduce heat to 325 degrees. Continue baking for approximately 45 to 55 minutes. Center will appear soft and bubble a bit like lava, but the pie will set up as it cools. Remove from oven.

Although you may refrigerate the pie, it usually isn’t necessary to get it to set.

Makes 1 pie.

Adapted from www.whatscookingamerica.net.

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Sprinkle Pecans on Top of Sweet Potato Pie


Sweet Potato PieSweet Potato Pie

2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, drained
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Use a food processor or fork to mash sweet potatoes together with melted margarine. Blend in eggs, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add milk and vanilla. Pour mixture into baked pie shell. Bake for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle on pecans and bake 15-25 minutes or until it doesn’t jiggle.

Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from Sankofa

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Websites and Hotlines Offer Holiday Help


Honey_Spiced_Glazed_Turkey

Honey and Spice Glazed Turkey / Butterball

Here are hotlines and websites for finding information on just about everything you need for Thanksgiving.

  • Butterball Turkey Talk-Line: (800) 288-8372, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. live assistance, then automated; butterball.com.
  • Crisco Pie Hotline: (877) 367-7438 offers a pie expert to talk to from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the holidays. The line is also available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. now through Nov. 26 and Dec. 15-23. On Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, access videos with step-by-step visual instructions and guidelines for making pie crusts.
  • Domino Sugar: dominosugar.com – look here for baking tips and recipes.
  • Fleischmann’s Yeast Baker’s Help Line: (800) 777-4959: offers information for using yeast, storing it, determining if it is still useable. Consumer representatives are on hand 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Recipes, tips at breadworld.com.
  • Food and wine pairing: www.foodandwinepairing.org offers tips on what wines to pair with turkey or your side sides.
  • Foster Farms Turkey Helpline: (800) 255-7227: answers questions about their products and how to prepare turkey, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday. Or visit fosterfarms.com.
  • King Arthur Flour Co.’s Bakers Hotline: (802) 649-3717 for information on baking just about anything. Staffed 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday year-round. During the holidays, the hotline is available weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Also, you can e-mail questions to bakers@kingarthurflour.com or join live chats at kingarthurflour.com when the hotline is available.
  • Land O’Lakes Holiday Bake Line: (800)  782-9606; hotline available 8 a.m.-7 p.m. through Christmas Eve.
  • McCormick: mccormick.com provides  holiday recipes and instructions for craft projects that use spices.
  • National Turkey Federation: eatturkey.com advocates for the turkey industry and has a Thanksgiving guide for turkey preparation as well as other holiday dishes.
  • Nestlé Toll House Baking Information Line: (800) 637-8537 is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Monday-Friday. Also, their Web site, verybestbaking.com, offers baking tips and recipes.
  • Ocean Spray consumer help line: (800) 662-3263 is available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, including Thanksgiving Day. Or visit oceanspray.com for a  Thanksgiving planning section including expert advice, tried-and-true recipes, ideas for a beautiful table, crafts and hints for the host.
  • Perdue Farms: (800) 473-7383. Find out about roasting, carving and leftovers at www.perdue.com.
  • Reynolds Turkey Tips hotline: (800) 745-4000 for recorded turkey defrosting and roasting information; reynoldskitchen.com.
  • Shady Brook Farms Turkey Line: (888) 723-4468 offers recorded information about turkeys from buying and prepping to roasting and carving. www.shadybrookfarms.com.
  • USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline: (888) 674-6854 offers information on safe food handling and prevention of food-borne illnesses.

John Griffin and About.com contributed to this report.

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