Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
Happy Thanksgiving! I woke up at 5am today and after my first cup of coffee, I baked a pumpkin pie for our family dinner tonight. I will make another one this weekend for Allen and I. For the pie crust, I use Ina Garten's pie crust recipe (see link below). I use the pumpkin shape from Paula Deen Pie Press Cutter Set, and the leaf cutout is from Wilton Pie Crust Cutter & Stamp Set. The recipe is adapted from Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie. I made the following adjustments to the recipe: I added 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, used light brown sugar in place of granulated sugar, and added 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. See recipe below.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients
1 can (12 oz) NESTLE CARNATION Evaporated Milk

1 can (15 oz) LIBBY's 100% Pure Pumpkin

2 X-Large Eggs

3/4 cup Lightly packed Light Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves

1 teaspoon Water

Pie Crust Homemade or Store Bought

Pumpkin Pie right out of the oven

Crust cutouts (always make extras just in case)

Pumpkin Pie Directions
Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, add sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves and combine with a spatula. Put aside for now.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with whisk. Add pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture and combine with spatula.

Gradually add evaporated milk stirring with spatula just until combined.

Let pie crust come to room temperature and place into glass or ceramic pie dish and press sides and bottom firmly.

Crimp crust or decorate as you wish.

Add in freezer for 15 minutes so pie crust holds its shape.

Remove from freezer and gently brush water around the crust, and top with remaining cinnamon-sugar leftover from the cutout shapes.

Pour pumpkin pie mixture into pie shell.

Bake pumpkin pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

After the first 15 minutes of baking, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, place pie shield (I use Mrs. Anderson's Pie Crust Shield) or cut strips of aluminum foil over crust.

Bake for another 40 to 55 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

My pumpkin pie took 45 minutes to bake.

Cool pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours before serving.

After first 20 minutes of cooling, place decorative cutouts gently on top of pie.

If not serving right away, carefully cover with foil and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.

Slice of yummy Pumpkin Pie
Crust Cutout Ingredients:
1 homemade or store bought pie crust at room temperature

1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar

1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

1 tablespoon Water

Cutout Directions:
Roll out 1 pie crust and make as many pumpkin and leaf cutouts as you wish.

Place cutouts on a cookie sheet.

Brush cutouts lightly with water.

Take sugar and cinnamon, and combine in small bowl.

Lightly sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top. (Save the rest to sprinkle over the pie crust.)

Place crust cutouts in 425 degree oven for 7 to 9 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove and place on wire rack to cool.

For the Ina Garten Pie Crust recipe, visit:

For Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe, visit:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Chile Pepper Festival 2016 Part 1

Chile Pepper Festival 2016 Part 1

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Saturday, October 1

Tons of Chileheads and chocolate lovers attended the Chile Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Live music was abound and there were over 60 vendors selling their spicy goods. The Annual Brooklyn Botanic Garden Chile Pepper Festival is always a fun event. This was our third year attending. This Chile themed event has something for everyone and is not only limited to Chile based hot sauces. The festival has a grand selection of Chile chocolates, fresh Chile peppers, Chile infused products, dried pepper rubs, spicy condiments, spicy ice cream, spices and extracts for cooking and baking and a large selection of hot sauces to satisfy all types of heat palates. I was impressed this year by the way the vendors were set up into categories: Hot Sauce Sorcery, Chile-Chocolate Debauchery, Combustible Condiments, Piquant Pickles & Such, and Hi-Scoville Sweets. This year the festival layout was slightly different and elongated the spread of the tents and booths. This worked out well and made the crowds of people more manageable. This led to much shorter lines at the booths for sampling and shopping. The longest booth lines was two to three minutes and in the past we waited five to ten minutes at some of the more crowded vendor booths. 

Allen of The Two Frys Preparing To Sample Hot Sauces
Sophia about to get some Spicy Chocolates
The grounds at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden are beautiful. The day of the festival it was overcast but cool, and made for great comfortable weather to also see some nature--trees, plants and flowers in addition to visiting the vendors. We spent five hours at the festival this year visiting some friends booths and making new friends. The live music featured NYC-based Hazmat Modine, Afro-Caribbean pop artist Aurelio, Senegalese soul rock Elage Diouf, Algerian beats and Nigerian melodies from Dahka Band and Louisiana bands Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Pilette's Ghost. 

Allen heading to the Chili Pepper Festival Main Area
We tried some hot sauces and hot condiments that were new to us. It is good to see new vendors this year to spice up the festival and add to the diversity of the products for sale. It was great seeing some old friends vending like Kenya Chasten of Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce, Jon Bratton of NYC Hot Sauce Company and Vid of Torchbearers Sauces. Every booth visited had friendly and informative staffers that were more than happy to answer any questions about their spicy products, peppers or chocolates, etc. It is important to note there are several benches in the grounds to rest or eat food purchased at the festival. Some events do not offer seating so this is welcome when you need a break. Getting to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is an easy train trip from Manhattan and even for us coming from the Bronx, we took 2 trains and the trip was just over one hour. Very close to the gate of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is the Brooklyn Museum, which we plan to visit soon.

Hot Sauce Sorcery Highlights:

NYC Hot Sauce Company
It is always a pleasure to see our friend Jon Bratton of NYC Hot Sauce Company. NYC Hot Sauce is the only sauce 100% made in NYC. All aspects are done in the city from pepper growing, sauce making, bottling and labeling. The booth was festively decorated with a fall theme with hay and corn stalks. NYC Hot Sauce is my favorite Habanero table sauce and it goes great on everything from eggs, veggies, meats, rice and soup to name just a few foods I have used it on. NYC Hot Sauce is a highly recommended local sauce and available for purchase online.

NYC Hot Sauce Company - Allen Two Frys and Friend Jon Bratton
NYC Hot Sauce Company always a festive booth at events
NYC Hot Sauce Company - Jon Bratton slinging sauce
Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce
We were happy to see our good friend Kenya Chasten and his family at the festival. Guyank makes an excellent and tasty hot sauce that is also a family fave around here. Based in Queens NY, Guyank also feature other great products like Fry Bread mix, Guyank Rub, and BBQ Style Sauce. I am always picking up the sauce when I see Kenya and crew so I always have a reserve bottle in the pantry for when I run out. Guyank Hot Sauce is great as a condiment but also to add to your food when cooking. It will bring up the heat to your food and add a punch of flavor. Be sure to try some Guyank Sweet-Hot Sauce.

Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce Kenya of Guyank and Allen Two Frys
Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce Family - Our friends for several years now
Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce - Kenya setting up samples 

Torchbearer Sauces
We had a visit with our friend Vid from Torchbearers to pick up a bottle of one of my favorite sauces, the outstanding "Oh My Garlic" Sauce. Also available from Torchbearer is an impressive line of killer BBQ, Horseradish, Dipping and Hot Sauces. The Hot Sauces run from mild to super extreme, like "The Rapture" and "Zombie Apocalypse". I know "Zombie Apocalypse" is very hot since I tried it years ago and survived. Try some today for an extreme heat experience to remember.

Torchbearer Sauces - Large Selection 
Torchbearer Sauces - Allen's Favorite Torchbearer Sauce "Oh My Garlic"
The Bronx Hot Sauce
They sell The Bronx Hot Sauce at Sophia's job every week at the farmers market that visits the campus. I currently have two bottles in stock in our pantry. It was great to see The Bronx Hot Sauce at the Chile Pepper Festival. The Bronx Hot Sauce uses Serrano peppers grown in the community gardens of the Bronx.

The Bronx Hot Sauce

Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce
Sophia was looking forward to Pisqueya Hot Sauce since her Mom is from the Dominican Republic. It was great speaking with owner Maritza Abreu and other family members about the hot sauce. I enjoyed a sample on (moro) rice and beans, and purchased a bottle for future review. Pisqueya comes in two sizes, 3.3 oz. and 6.6 oz.

Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce Sampling Table
Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce Booth
Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce is amazing

Queen Majesty Hot Sauce
It is great to see Queen Majesty Hot Sauce at the festival as we have purchased all their hot sauce products and love them all. I did not get to speak to them this time, but we are fans of the great taste and balanced flavors of the products Queen Majesty offer.

Queen Majesty Hot Sauce - 3 Great Flavors

Beast Feast Maine
Beast Feast Maine was a new sauce company for us featuring a diverse lineup to sample and purchase. Beast Feast offer some great hot sauces and other sauces. Upon first taste, I immediately bought a bottle of their Beast Feast Gourmet Hot Sauce. The flavors and heat were a perfect combo. We look forward to using more sauces from Maine-based Beast Feast in the future. I was glad to have met them for the first time at the festival this year.

Beast Feast Maine Booth
Beast Feast Maine has a great selection of goods

Apinya Thai Food Co.
Allen is a fan of Apinya Spicy Thai Hot Sauce and did some prior research on the web before the festival and wanted to pick up one of Apinya's Thai Rubs and Seasonings. I purchased the hotter of the two rubs in the lineup, Thai Chili & Garlic (Thai Spice Mix). This will be great when we make our homemade stir fry and my chicken wings which we will post on Two Frys. I also picked up another sauce from them I never had before, "NAGA" Thai Chili Sauce.

Apinya Thai Food Co. - Thai Rub
Apinya Thai Food Co. large selection of flavorful and hot Thai Sauces

Bacchanal Sauce
As I visited the Bacchanal Sauce booth I was welcomed by the sauce creators and told about a new product, Mango Hot. I tasted the Bacchanal Original Sauce before and really liked it. Upon tasting the recommended Mango Hot Bacchanal Sauce, I was immediately hooked and purchased a 4 oz. bottle on the spot. This newer Mango Hot is a creamy, fruit and pepper based hot sauce made with Scotch Bonnet Peppers. This sauce is delicious and has full on flavor to accompany the heat. I will be covering Brooklyn-based Bacchanal Sauce in the future.

Bacchanal Sauce Selection
Bacchanal Sauce - Mango Hot Sauce with Scotch Bonnet Peppers

Black Irish Hot Sauce
Black Irish make a great selection of raw and fermented hot sauces. It was the first time I sampled their sauces. I tried the Orange Habanero Sauce and enjoyed the color of the fermented sauce as well as the hot pepper kick. It was one of the newer fermented sauces I sampled and it was very good.

Black Irish Hot Sauce Booth

Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces
Homesweet Homegrown have a real nice lineup of hot sauces that are flavorful and fresh tasting. From PA, Homesweet Homegrown had an impressive and large selection of peppers from their farm in cartons for sale from mild to super hot like Ghost and Scorpion peppers. All the pods looked very healthy and ready to be made into your homemade hot sauces. Be sure to check out their Orange Crush Hot Sauce.

Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces Fresh Chilis
Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces Ghost Peppers from PA.
Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces - Signature Hot Sauces
Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces - Super Hots Ghost Pepper Close Up

Redhead Hot Sauce
When I visited this booth, I tried a sample of one of the sauces, Redhead Original. Redhead Original has heat and a fantastic robust flavor profile. It was good to see this local company again this year at the festival. The original sauce would be great as a condiment on cheese and crackers or hor d'oeuvres.

Redhead Hot Sauce - Great Local Stuff
Redhead Hot Sauce Booth

Chile Pepper Festival 2016 Part 2

Chile Pepper Festival 2016 Part 2

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Saturday, October 1

Chocolate Debauchery

Some Fine Goods Sophia purchased for our blog pantry

Laurie & Sons
Located in Harlem, NY Laurie & Sons chocolate toffee and brittle are all natural, gluten free and made with fair trade chocolate. This company also make their products with many organic, local and sustainably sourced ingredients. I loved the Pumpkin spice Toffee I bought. It was crispy and not too overpowering with pumpkin spice. The flavors were balanced, buttery, and not too sweet, which is a plus for me.

Laurie & Sons
Lululosophy Artisan Chocolates
Lululosophy offers a sumptuous line of chocolates influenced by flavors of the Far East. I bought a chocolate ginger bar and it was heavenly. The taste from the rich ginger blended perfectly with the chocolate.

Lululosophy Artisan Chocolates
Lululosophy Artisan Chocolates

MarieBelle New York
I found the packaging design appealing in every way, and the presentation of this booth was beautiful. I purchased two chocolates Milk Chocolate with Orange, and Strawberry and White Chocolate and enjoyed every bite. The taste of the chocolate was rich and decadent. MarieBelle New York offer a robust line of chocolates from Honduras and chocolate making goes from bean to bar. MarieBelle have two locations, Brooklyn and New York City. The selection is plentiful and the varied flavor combinations are great.

MarieBelle New York
MarieBelle New York

Whimsy & Spice
I bought Chocolate Gingersnaps from Whimsy & Spice and Allen and I enjoyed eating these cookies. They were perfectly crisp, full of chocolate and ginger flavor, and not too sweet.

Whimsy Spice

The Chocolate Room

The Chocolate Room

Haute Chocolate

Haute Chocolate
Hernan Mexican Mole

Hernan Mexican Mole
Hernan Mexican Mole

Little Bird Chocolates

Little Bird Chocolates

Raaka Chocolate

Raaka Chocolate
Raaka Chocolate

JoMart Chocolates

JoMart Chocolates

Sans Bakery

Sans Bakery

Tumbador Chocolate

Tumbador Chocolate

Rescue Chocolate

Rescue Chocolate

Combustible Condiments Area

Combustible Condiments Crowd

Anarchy in a Jar
I bought Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from Brooklyn-based small batch co. Anarchy in a Jar. The ingredients are strawberries, rhubarb, organic sugar, lemon juice, hibiscus, all natural pectin. No junk or fillers. Cannot wait to eat it up.

Anarchy in a Jar

Jacky's Jams & Jellies
We have seen New Jersey-based Jacky's Jams & Jellies at various hot sauce events and I finally bought a mild heat Blueberry Pepper Jam. Jacky's offer a diverse line of handmade gourmet pepper jams and jellies from mild to extreme heat. Their products are gluten free, all natural and fat free.

Jacky's Jams & Jellies

Woodward Extract Co.
I bought Lavender Extract from owner Amy Nazer of Woodward Extract Co and look forward to baking with it. The smell was divine and hope to order more from her in the future. One feature item was the Bird's Eye Chili Extract perfect for heat lovers. Two other extracts available for purchase were Cardamom and Bourbon + Vanilla.

Woodward Extract Co.

Cantina Royal (303 Salsas)
303 Salsas is now Cantina Royal thus branding their salsas in their Brooklyn restaurants name. Cantina Royal have a wide variety of different flavor profile hot sauces. The recipes made by an established chef stand out. Many of the sauces are Mexican style with unique twists. These sauces have heat as well as bold flavors.

Cantina Royal
Cantina Royal

Mama Margarita's Salsa
Allen met the creators and staff of Mama Margarita's Salsa. They make some very fresh tasting and hearty salsas. I was given a sample plate of 3 nacho chips with all 3 salsas, one on each chip. I found the flavors very good and would buy this salsa regularly if it was in our supermarket or local specialty store.

Mama Margarita's Salsa

We Rub You
We Rub You makes Korean style BBQ sauces, one of which is award winning. I tried them all and really loved the flavors. We Rub You has an Original as well as a spicier hotter version. The combination of the chiles, spices, and sweetness of their sauces is a great fusion. We Rub You is great on pork, chicken and other meat dishes and also great for dipping sauces.

We Rub You

Elvio's Chimichurri

Elvio's Chimichurri
Elvio's Chimichurri Staff

Nafi's Hot Pepper Condiments

Nafi's Hot Pepper Condiments

Momo Dressing

Momo Dressing

Gustavo's Salsa

Gustavo's Salsa - Chipotle

City Saucery Nonna's Spicy Sauce

City Saucery Nonna's Spicy Sauce
City Saucery Nonna's Spicy Sauce Staff

Pierre's Spicy Peanut Butter

Pierre's Spicy Peanut Butter

Josephine's Feast

Josephine's Feast
Josephine's Feast

Sahadi's Souk
In operation since 1895 in Brooklyn, Sahadi's Souk featured many Middle Eastern products at the festival. They had a huge tent and a large selection of spicy and hot goods from their retail store in Brooklyn. I was impressed with the variety of condiments and spaces available for sale. I was happy to see they had some hot sauces for local hot sauce companies that did not have a booth. This was a great opportunity to buy some local sauces from the five boroughs without having to order them online and pay shipping. I purchased some great products like a stick of Chile Pepper encrusted Salami and a unique Sriracha Gouda Cheese. We are going to visit the retail store eventually and be sure to take pictures for Two Frys. Sahadi's Souk have great spices and food items that I highly recommend. The staff was friendly, courteous and helpful.

Sahadi's Souk Tent
Sahadi's Souk Condiments
Sahadi's Souk Foodstuffs
Sahadi's Souk - Spices Galore

Hi-Scoville Sweets Section

Hi-Scoville Sweets, Allen posing at the sign

OddFellow's Ice Cream Co.

OddFellow's Ice Cream Co. - Hot Sauce Ice Cream 

Mike's Hot Honey

Mike's Hot Honey is great stuff

La Newyorkina

La Newyorkina

Piquant Pickles & Such Section

Piquant Pickles & Such

Rick's Picks

Rick's Picks great pickled goods

Holy Schmitt's Homemade Horseradish

Holy Schmitt's Homemade Horseradish and Crowd

Mother-in-Law's Kimchi

Mother-in-Law's Kimchi and Korean Chili Flakes

North Brooklyn Farms

North Brooklyn Farms, great peppers and produce
The event this year was smoothly run and very organized. This is perhaps the smoothest run large foodie event we have attended in the NYC area. There were lots of helpful staff, security and volunteers. The Chile Pepper Festival was an all around great event to bring your entire family.

For further information on some of our favorite 2016 vendors, please visit:

Apinya Sauces: 
Bacchanal Sauce:  
Beast Feast Maine: 
Brooklyn Botanic Garden:
Guyank Brand Hot Sauce: 
Jacky's Jams & Jellies:
Laurie & Sons:
Lululosophy Artisan Chocolates:
Mama Margarita's Salsa: 
MarieBelle New York:
NYC Hot Sauce Co.: 
Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce:
The Bronx Hot Sauce:
Shahadi's Souk: 
Torchbearer Sauces:
Whimsy & Spice:
Woodward Extract Co.:

Special thanks to The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and their PR staff for having us again this year.

-Allen and Sophia/Two Frys