Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Hey everyone! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just TWO days away? I don't know about you, but I'm not feeling very prepared. I still need to get into town and buy ingredients. So much for making things ahead of time.
Guys, I'm pretty proud of these scones. I just love how the photos turned out. Make sure you stop by the Tasty Kitchen Blog for the recipe and my step-by-step instructions!
Are you feeling prepared for the big feast?
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Call me massively boring, but pumpkin is my favorite of the Thanksgiving pies. Of course I love my share of blueberry, apple, banana, and coconut (I could go on. I adore pie.), but I always reserve a spot on my plate for a slice of pumpkin.
Maybe I love it so much for the simple reason that it is so iconic. Or perhaps because it isn't overly sweet like some pies (I'm thinking of YOU, pecan pie). Or its smooth texture and spicy flavors. It's just so satisfying.
If you've never made a pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin (as opposed to canned), I urge you to give it a try. Ree Drummond has an excellent tutorial for how to oven roast pumpkins for puree. I've used it twice already this year. I really think it makes a huge difference in the flavor of your pie.
This recipe (from Ree's new cookbook) took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. But the flavors and texture were spot on.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: PIE CRUST HATES ME. Yes, this one happened to turn out quite well in the end. but not before leaving some of its butter on the bottom of my oven to smoke up the house. Ah well, I'll perfect my crust making skills someday.
What's your favorite Thanksgiving pie?
Perfect Pumpkin Pie
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- 2 cups pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, homemade or canned
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or sweetener of choice
1) Roll out your pie crust and place it in a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges or decorate as desired. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (220 C).
2) Place all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until nice and smooth. Pour into the prepared pie crust and slip into your preheated oven.
3) Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 C). Bake for an additional 40-50 minutes, or until the filling isn't wet, but still moves a bit in the middle when jiggled. If the crust is getting too brown for your liking you can always cover it with tin foil or a crust shield.
4) Cool the pie and serve cold or at room temperature, whichever you prefer. Whipped cream is a MUST.
Monday, November 18, 2013
So why would anyone want to go to the trouble of making their own sweetened condensed milk? After all, there are only two ingredients in a can of store-bought SCM: milk and sugar. Pretty harmless, no?
Not so fast.
True, it's probably less detrimental to your health than most canned food. But it's still not all that healthy. Here's why:
1) You don't know the origin of the milk. It most likely came from cows fed GMO feed, raised in confinement and given hormones.
2) The sugar, unless it is specifically stated as cane sugar, is most likely from GMO sugar beets. 95% of sugar beet crops in the US were GMO in 2010 (source).
3) Most cans are lined with BPA to stop corrosion.
Besides, it's kind of fun to make! Yes, you do need to keep an eye on the stove for 2 hours, but you only need to stir it every 15 minutes or so.
What do you think? Are you concerned about consuming canned food? Do you care about GMOs?
Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 liter of whole milk
- 3/4 - 1 cup sugar (I used cane sugar, of course)
- 1 tablespoon butter to thicken milk (I forgot this, and it still turned out fine)
1) Place the milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 2 hours or until the milk is reduced by about half. Stir every 15 minutes or so to keep the milk from burning.
2) Strain through a fine-mesh sieve if desired and stir in the butter. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Happy Monday, everyone!
Here are a few of my favorite things from around the interwebs lately...
Arrow Spoons from Amelie Mancini. I love the tiny ones!
[Photo Credit: Katie Goodman]
I made these (all-cocoa) brownies from Good Life Eats over the weekend. They were excellent. Very fudgy and rich.
As you can tell from my Pinterest board, I adore open shelving. This lovely kitchen comes from The Inspired Room.
Latte art is amazing. I wish I was talented enough to make it myself.
Someday, when we build a house of our own, I want it to have a fireplace. Via Country Living.
I have been making heaps of cocoa lately. I make mine by mixing 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of evaporated cane syrup, then pour in milk and cream and top with whipped cream. So good.
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY WINNERS!
Last week I held a giveaway for The Pioneer Woman's newest cookbook.
Using random.org I selected the following three winners:
Congratulations! I will contact the winners who left contact information.
Commenter #133 and Janina Postma will need to contact me at ericaleaphotos [at] gmail [dot] com to claim their prize. I will email commenter #92 with more details.
If any of the winners do not reply within 72 hours, I will select a new winner.
Thank you to all who participated in the giveaway!
Have a lovely Monday!
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
These are the best chocolate chip cookie bars I've ever eaten, if I do say so myself. A soft and melty cookie layer accompanied by a crunchy, salty pretzel crust. Mmhmm.
Make sure you stop by the Good Life Eats blog where I shared the recipe for these yummy bars.