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Pumpkin Palooza Recipe of the Day: Cranberry Pie

21 Nov

My Thanksgiving Day Cranberry Pie

Each year for Thanksgiving we go to my aunt and uncle’s for a huge family Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of all the food with none of the stress of buying gifts. I especially like it because we have A TON of desserts, homemade pies and desserts of every flavor in the world it seems. In the past I’ve been assigned a pumpkin pie, a squash pie or an apple pie. Last year though, I was given the choice to bring whatever I wanted. I decided to walk on the wild side as they say, and try something new. I saw this in a magazine last fall and I was determined to try it out. It was delicious and I’ll be making it again this year.

At the time I could not remember where I had found the recipe, but I believed that I had ripped the recipe out of Country Living . The author of the recipe is Chef Joan E. Aller, author of Cider Beans, Wild Greens and Dandelion Jelly.

CRANBERRY PIE

Makes 1 pie  (8 servings)

Working time 15 minutes

Total time 1 hr 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 nine inch pie crust

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries  (1 twelve ounce bag)

1 cup sugar (divided 2/3 cup  and 1/3 cup)

1 heaping Tablespoon all purpose flour

1 egg white

1 cup heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out piecrust and arrange in a 9″ pie pan.

2) Pour cranberries into crust to form a thick layer.

3) In a medium bowl, sift together 2/3 cup sugar and flour.

4) In a separate bowl beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Then fold into flour mixture. Slowy stir in cream until combined.

5) Cover cranberries with remaining 1/3 cup sugare and then pour cream  mixture on top.

6) Bake pie for about 10 minutes.  Then lower oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes more.

7) Let pie cool completely before serving.

Pumpkin Palooza Recipe of the Day: MaryLou’s Sweet Potato Casserole

18 Nov

This is MaryLou. She makes a kickin’ Sweet Potato Casserole!

ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 22, 2011:

Who is MaryLou, you ask? She’s my mother-in-law and she makes the best sweet potato casserole EVER!!  She knows how much I love it, and even if it’s NOT Thanksgiving, she’s often made it when we visit. I am always sure to sit myself next to the Sweet Potato Casserole at the table, whenever she makes it.

Since 450 miles is a LONG way to go for a bite of her casserole, she let me have the recipe in November 2004. I am now sharing it with you. You are very lucky. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups sweet potatoes boiled and mashed

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup margarine

Mix thoroughly and pour into buttered casserole dish.

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

1 cup light brown sugar packed

1/2 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans (this is a 6oz. pkg. halved pecans or so my notes say)

1/2 cup margarine melted

Mix with fork and sprinkle on top

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes

“Sit down and enjoy!”

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins from Family Food on the Table

18 Nov
The combination of ingredients was what piqued my interest in this recipe.

The combination of ingredients was what piqued my interest in this recipe.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t get off my pumpkin kick until after Thanksgiving. I’m still all about pumpkin for a few more weeks, at least.

I’m finding that this school year, due to our scattered after school schedules, I’m doing a great deal more driving than I am baking in the afternoons and evenings. Whereas I used to be able to do a quick after school baked snack at the end of my work day, this year I can only do that a couple of times a week, if I’m lucky. This means that I haven’t had a lot of new and exciting recipes to try out and to share, and for that, I apologize!

On Monday however, a recipe came across my virtual desk and it definitely piqued my interest. I actually had to read the title a couple of times to make sure I was reading it correctly, as I wasn’t sure I’d seen this combination of ingredients in the past. It’s not that it was anything crazy, it’s just that it wasn’t something I think I’d paired together in the past.

It meant that I just had to try it, just to see how it was.

 

Batter looked good, that's always a good sign!

Batter looked good, that’s always a good sign!

The recipe was for Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins, and it was from Family Food on the Table and it said chocolate chips were optional. To me, chocolate chips are almost never optional, but I liked all of the ingredients that were listed and I had them all, except for the white-wheat flour. I had white, I had wheat. I did not have white-wheat, so I decided to try using half white and half wheat instead. Otherwise, the recipe seemed perfect for an after school snack/late night snack/breakfast for our whole family; well at least for almost all of them. I forgot that one of them doesn’t like very much with peanut butter. She ended up having something else for her snack instead.

These came together quickly and easily. The prep time was estimated to be about ten minutes, and that was pretty on-target. The cook time was 18-22 minutes. A few of mine were a little soft on top, and probably could’ve cooked a little longer than the 18 that I did, but everyone was starving by the time I finished working and started baking, and everyone gets home so early now that I rushed them out, not checking each one as thoroughly as I should have.

However, despite my feeling a bit rushed, these muffins were delicious! They were hearty and healthy and deemed a keeper by all but my one non-peanut butter lover. I also noticed that there were several options listed at the end, including the option to substitute various types of nut butters such as almond butter to keep them peanut free. It also said that they were tasty with a little extra spread of peanut butter on them when eaten. One of my daughters did that, and she did say they were delicious that way too!

So if you’re as curious as I am as to the combination of peanut better and pumpkin and chocolate chips, I suggest you give these tasty muffins a try! Head on over to Family Food on the Table and check out this recipe and all their others too! Or maybe, you eat pumpkin, peanut butter and chocolate chips together all the time, and in that case, you most definitely want to head on over and check this recipe out!

Enjoy and have a great rest of your week!

Stop by and visit us on….

20 Oct
Stop by either of two websites to see my blog post for Pilgrim Pies featured!

Stop by either of two websites to see my blog post for Pilgrim Pies featured!

Everything is coming up Pumpkin!

Everywhere you go, everything is featured in flavors of fall.

If you go on over to either this website, or this one, you’ll see my blog post from The Whole Bag of Chips “Pumpkin Palooza” series, featuring the recipe for Pilgrim Pies, which is such a seasonal favorite.

It’s the greatest form of flattery when someone wants to feature your work on their site, and it’s even greater when they credit you for your work. Thanks so much to the crew over at cpnewsnet.com for featuring my work and doing such a great job!

Happy Fall, Y’all!

Get your pumpkin on and Go Orange for No Kid Hungry!

1 Oct
Thanks to Paula over at My Soup For You for teaming up with me today to bring you some great pumpkin recipes, and for bringing even more awareness to No Kid Hungry!

Thanks to Paula over at My Soup For You for teaming up with me today to bring you some great pumpkin recipes, and for bringing even more awareness to No Kid Hungry!

It’s October! It’s fall. It’s the season of beautiful leaves, fun autumn events like apple picking, hay rides and pumpkin carving.

Pumpkin….mmmmm…..does it make you think of pumpkin spiced coffee, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pie?!

Me too!!

We’re a lucky bunch, most of us. We can run through the drive through at the local donut shop and get this month’s pumpkin flavored muffin or drink, without too much of a struggle. We can pop a recipe for my good friend Paula’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread or her Pumpkin Soup right into the oven and enjoy it without too much trouble. All those warm, orange flavors warm our bellies and our thoughts all throughout the fall.

We’re very lucky.

Not everyone is so lucky, however. According to the No Kid Hungry statistics for our local area, as of June 2013 (more than a year ago), 22% of kids in our little state were struggling with hunger. Fifty-five percent of them were eligible for free or reduced lunch at school, and only 51% of those students were eating school breakfast.

At a recent school event I covered for the newspaper earlier this month, when a room full of young students were asked what the most important thing was that they’d miss if they were late to school, their answer wasn’t attendance, or morning math, or reading, it was breakfast. Every student who raised their hand was worried that if they were late to school in the morning, they’d go hungry until lunchtime.

Childhood hunger across our nation is a growing problem, but we can do something to help.

Last year, you may remember that our own family started a local Go Orange Day for No Kid Hungry after seeing a television commercial about the nationwide effort to help end childhood hunger. Nationally, the official Go Orange Day for No Kid Hungry is at the end of September, but we opted to do ours just a little bit later at the start of October. It was a big success. We rallied our large school district, the superintendent’s offices and City Hall all to Go Orange for No Kid Hungry, and raised over $1000 in monetary donations as well as bringing in hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food items for our local food pantry. We were helping to put food on the tables of families all around us, and it was a great feeling.  All around us, local restaurants and other establishments went Orange as well, donating portions of their proceeds to the No Kid Hungry effort, and wearing orange to show their spirit.

This year, we’re doing it again. We’ve pushed our date out slightly further, and this year on Friday, October 31, Halloween Day we’ll be getting our pumpkin on, going Orange for No Kid Hungry again. We’ve rallied our school district, our superintendent’s office, City Hall, and even our church to help us put an end to childhood hunger again this year. So far we’ve had TEN local responses for going Orange on Halloween Day. Even more exciting, we’ve had some inquiries from local folks wanting to spread this year’s local Go Orange day to their communities and schools within our state and neighboring areas. All around our city, people will be showing their Halloween spirit, dressing in orange, donating money and/or non-perishable food items on Halloween Day and helping out their neighbors all in a day’s work.

We are thrilled. Wouldn’t it be great if we could really make a difference EVERY YEAR?

Wouldn’t it be great if just by spreading awareness and spreading the word, we could help feed other families?

We are foodies, we are blessed, we are thankful to be able to cook and bake and eat our fun pumpkin flavors in the spirit of the season, all month long.

So I ask you: will you get your pumpkin on this Halloween Day too? Will you spread the awareness of childhood hunger in your area and continue the good work of No Kid Hungry and their Go Orange efforts in your city or town, at your school or church or temple? Will you help?

Get your pumpkin on. Visit Paula’s blog over at My Soup for You and help her spread the word too. Make some Pumpkin Soup. Grab some Pilgrim Pies, eat some pumpkin spiced Chex snack mix, and be thoughtful, be thankful that you can help another family in such a simple way.

 

 

Monday Musings: Traditions

2 Dec
The Thanksgiving table is never too full, we can always fit one or two more guests!

The Thanksgiving table is never too full, we can always fit one or two more guests!

Thursday was Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays for a few reasons. First off, the obvious: dessert. But really, more importantly than that, I love it because of the traditions that surround us at Thanksgiving each year. Some traditions started before I was married with kids.  Watching the Macy’s Day Parade has been a favorite Thanksgiving morning tradition since I was a kid myself. Thanksgiving dinner has been hosted by my aunt and uncle for as long as I can remember, and they do a phenomenal job. It’s always a huge meal, a huge crowd and pretty much anyone and everyone is welcomed to our table each year. This year, five tables stretched end to end, filled with laughing, talking and even some tears as we remembered those who weren’t able to join us this year.

As parents, traditions are definitely something we wanted to pass along to our kids, but they’re also something we wanted to create with them as well. We passed along the love of the parade to our kids; now we watch as a family each Thanksgiving morning. We eat the same thing for breakfast each year: my Pumpkin Cranberry Bread, grilled to perfection. We spend Thanksgiving day from about noon through after dark, at my aunt and uncle’s house, having a huge, multi-course Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends; new and old. I bring the same pie every year to add my contribution to the plethora of desserts: my Cranberry Pie.

I was so happy to read about all of the memories we've helped to create for our kids as they've grown.

I was so happy to hear about all of the memories we’ve helped to create for our kids as they’ve grown.

Interestingly enough, we were riding to school on Wednesday morning when Elizabeth mentioned that she hoped the rain that day would not continue into the next, because every year we take a walk down to the beach during “the soup break” between courses at dinnertime. She said she wrote about that in her journal, and then proceeded to tell me all about her Thanksgiving journal entry.

I was stunned as she spoke, detailing for me all the things she wrote about in her journal entry that she was looking forward to having, eating, seeing or doing the very next day. As I drove her to school, listening, I swallowed a lump in my throat.

I was so happy to hear the details that she remembered from each year’s Thanksgiving, but I was all the more thrilled that the foundations we’ve worked hard to instill in them, the love for tradition and family and memories has carried on from us to them. They love the things about Thanksgiving that we love as well. They look forward to those traditions now, as much as we do, as well as some new ones we’ve peppered in, here and there.

After Elizabeth told me about her journal entry, I asked her to see if she could bring it home for the long weekend so that I could read it and photocopy it for some of our family members who I thought would enjoy it as much as I did, including my parents and my aunt and uncle. I made a few extra copies, just in case anyone else wanted one.

When my uncle mentioned Elizabeth’s Thanksgiving journal entry over dinner, someone asked her to read it out loud. I didn’t know if she would or not-there were 34 pairs of eyes waiting for her response-but she did. She stood up and read all about her Thanksgiving, and she did a great job. A few people actually cried as they listened to it, showing that our shared traditions mean as much to them as they do to us.

I believe that traditions are passed on and that they are also created. It doesn’t matter so much what the traditions are, but more so that they just are; that traditions exist within a family. They represent the foundations of our family and the values that we hold true. I am glad to see that our kids love both kinds of traditions as much as we do; both the ones we’ve passed on to them, and the ones that have been created since we’ve had them. I know that in the future as times change, our traditions may change as well, but I also know that if we need to let go of some old traditions, we will be making new ones in their place.

And it’s my hope, that no matter what, my children will take at least some part of our Thanksgiving tradition; something that means so much to each of them, and pass it along to their families one day in the not-so-far off future as well, and add it to the traditions that they too, will be creating.

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Butternut Squash Soup

19 Dec

ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 28, 2011: I’m not feeling great today, with a sore throat and a cough. I keep looking for the next hot thing to drink or eat to soothe my throat and stop my cough. When I was cleaning up my recipes from my Thanksgiving posts, I came across this one, one of our favorite fall recipes and given my sore throat, I figured I’d share it with you. My friend Jody used to live nearby and one day at a play date she served this amazing Butternut Squash Soup. Ever since then, we have made it every year. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed

4 TBS. Butter

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 fresh clove of garlic

1 Bay Leaf

4 cups chicken broth

1 tsp dry mustard

1 cup milk

DIRECTIONS

Saute onion, celery, clove of garlic and butter until tender, not brown.

Add squash, chicken broth and bay leaf.

Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes until squash is tender. Remove bay leaf.

Puree in blender, pour into stock pot.

Add:

dash of pepper, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, stir.

Add 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp chopped parsley.

Stir in one cup of milk. Simmer until ready to eat.

This is delicious served with a hot, crusty bread. I will often make a homemade Beer Bread with it, so I’ll post that recipe next. You’ll get a bonus today: two recipes in one day.