Tag Archives: Pie

Thanksgiving Recipes

Pumpkin Ginger Soup topped with Pepitas

My family is ridiculously traditional, and suggesting an innovative take on a Thanksgiving classic usually warrants more eye rolls than anything else. But little by little, year by year, I’ve introduced a few dishes to the traditional Turkey Day menu that have gone over very well. Below is a list of dishes and recipes that you can try this year to give an untraditional spin to a very traditional meal. My family approves, so yours will, too.

STARTERS
Pumpkin Ginger Soup topped with Pepitas

SIDES
Roasted Kabocha Squash (just leave out the chicken to make this a nice compliment to the Thanksgiving turkey)
Butternut Squash, Leek, and Apple Gratin
Easy Biscuits
Jalapeno Goat Cheese Corn Bread
Green Bean Casserole (from The Pioneer Woman)

DESSERTS
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sugar Crusted Apple Pie

BEVERAGES
Hard Cider

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Vegetarian Week: Zucchini Quiche


When it came to choosing the focal point of the meal I knew I did not want to serve pasta. If you are a vegetarian or know any vegetarians, you know that 75% of vegetarian entrees involve pasta in one way shape or form. Ignoring the fact that a steady diet of pasta is diabetes waiting to happen, how boring is that? Pasta with vegetables 24/7. Womp womp.

This dish is not ground breaking or even particularly new but it had even the meat eaters at the table going in for seconds. It’s hearty, it’s filling, it is by no means healthy, but it fits the bill of main dish quite nicely in this vegetarian meal.

On the menu:
Zucchini quiche
Serves 4

1 pre-made pie crust or use this recipe for homemade
2 Tbsp butter
2 large zucchini, sliced into 1/8 inch thick rounds
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup half and half
3 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of pepper
Paprika

Bake pie crust as directed. If you’re using homemade pie crust, roll out the dough in your pie or tart pan, prick the bottom with a fork, and bake until lightly brown. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, sautee zucchini in butter until slices are softened. Drain the zucchini of all moisture (NOTE: this is important, as zucchini has a surprising amount of water in it and if you don’t cook it down and drain it, your quiche will be a soggy mess).

Fill your cooled pie crust with half the zucchini. Top with mozzarella cheese. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs together. Add salt, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and pepper and whisk until completely combined. Add ricotta cheese and half and half, and whisk until combined. Pour egg mixture into the pie tin and spread so it’s evenly distributed. Top with remaining zucchini slices in an aesthetically pleasing pattern. Top with a sprinkle of paprika.

Bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until firm. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

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Homemade but still kind of not

I have a confession to make: I’m a little bit of a food snob when it comes to certain things (no Prego EVER, Bisquick? Uh uh, Aunt Jemima go home), and a total lazy butt when it comes to others (Ortega fajita seasoning YUM, Twinkies and Twix? ok!, Stouffer’s vegetable lasagna helloooo lover). So when a friend from work sent me a recipe that involved Pillsbury crescent roll dough, I scoffed for .2 seconds and then I drooled a little.

Oh, come on, we all drool.

I made this ridiculously quick and easy cheesecake pie for The BF and his roommates (who got mad at me because they apparently have this weird hangup about not eating junk food every day) and in a matter of hours half the pan was gone. Success.

On the menu:
Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie

2 (8 oz.)  packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 (8 oz.) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9 x 13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of the baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent roll dough. Blend together the cinnamon and butter. Dot the mixture over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

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As American As…

Although this post is not timely, seeing as it is after Thanksgiving and not very many people make apple pie for Christmas (in our family it’s cookies all the way), I do hope you’ll look at it, file it away it your mental recipe box, and pull it out when you feel the urge to bake something hearty and patriotic, because this recipe is IT. This is some goooood eats.

On the menu:
Caramel crusted apple pie
Adapted from this recipe at AllRecipes.com

1/2 this recipe for crust (the full recipe makes enough crust for 2 whole pies)
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8″ thick slices
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In preparation, roll out your crusts. The bottom crust goes in the pie pan. The top crust should be rolled out in preparation with decorative shapes cut out (I used a sharp knife to cut out hearts, but you can use any shape you have; or do a lattice crust if you prefer).

After your crusts are prepared and ready to go, melt butter in a saucepan and add flour to make a paste. Add water and sugars, and stir until melted. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Place apple slices in a large bowl. First toss with cinnamon. Next, pour 1/4 cup sugar/butter mixture over apples and toss until all the slices are relatively coated. Place crust in the bottom of your pie pan. Fill crust with apples, mounded slightly [don’t worry if you think you have a TON of apples; they really cook down].

Pour* the remainder of the sugar/butter mixture over the top crust, slowly and carefully so it doesn’t spill. Bake 15 minutes at 425. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for around 35 – 45 minutes or until the edges of your crust are nicely browned.

*Note: you may have to reheat the mixture a bit at this point, as it will thicken up VERY quickly.

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Crusty

Is there anything better than pie? Well okay, maybe cake. Cake is better than pie. But in the fall, there is nothing better to ME than a beautiful concord grape pie. I’ll never forget the time my mother, the strict vegetarian, gave me a concord grape pie from a shop in Rochester and one of the main ingredients was lard. She was appalled. I was delighted. This particular recipe uses vegetable shortening as opposed to animal fat, but if I could bring myself to buy a tub of lard without literally feeling like a tub of lard, I’d use it.

Salted caramel apple pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn

On the menu:
Ruth’s Grandma’s Pie Crust
from Allrecipes.com

4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups shortening
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup water

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, shortening, sugar, and salt. Blend together with a pastry cutter until crumbly. In a small bowl, mix egg with water. Blend into flour mixture. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

*Note: I realize this is just the recipe for crust and not for filling, but that’s because this is my standard, go to, fool proof crust recipe. It is deliciously flaky and not too sweet to use in literally any fruit pie you can come up with.

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Puppies, Tacos, and Pie, Oh My!

Two specific things will get me out of bed and on a train to a far off land called Brooklyn on a Sunday morning: food and puppies. Not necessarily in that order. So when my lovely friend Ben invited me out to Park Slope for tacos, pie by the slice, and quality time with his golden retriever puppy, I was all about it.

Carlin! Who couldn't love that little furry face?

Reyes Deli and Grocery 4th Avenue between 14th Street and 15th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. This tiny deli and Mexican grocery offers up an incredible array of tacos, including chicken, pork, beef, and veggie. There is one man behind a stove, whipping up amazing tacos for only $2, and they are huge. Look at these beauties, and then make your way to Reyes. They offer eat in, take out, or delivery.

Crispy pork taco with cilantro and white onion

Chicken tacos

Four and Twenty Blackbirds 3rd Avenue and 8th Street, Park Slope/Gowanus, NY. This new little pie shop offers up seasonal flavors in an adorable, high-ceilinged, multi-windowed space with faded gold paint on the walls and large wooden communal tables. The salted caramel apple pie (pictured yesterday!) was a standout, with crisp apples packed tightly together in a lightly salted crust. I can’t wait to go back to this place place in the fall when they serve up bourbon sweet potato pie and honeyed pumpkin.

Nectarine plum crumble

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Farewell, Sweet Summer

Happy Monday, dear readers. This is the last week of August! Can you even believe how fast this disgustingly hot summer went? I have some tasty posts about tacos and pie for you (with maybe a puppy thrown in?) but all that’s to come tomorrow. Now, to whet your whistle:

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