Last week my house was heavy with the scent of warm pumpkin pie. I know, I know. Who makes pumpkin pie a week before Thanksgiving? Me, that’s who. When my pie craving hit, I scoured the cupboards, convinced I had evaporated milk, but alas, there was none. I was going out to the store to get eggs and butter, and could’ve picked some up, but decided a pumpkin pie recipe sans the canned stuff might be more useful to all of you (spoiler alert: it was the best pumpkin pie, ever). We’ve all been there, at some point, a craving that seemingly can’t be fulfilled because of one missing ingredient, right? One day I might try making my own evaporated milk…(I can see Mikey doing an eye roll from above). For now, I decided to give it a try with heavy cream. I scaled back the amount of liquid, since my research told me it would be way too much cream if I just subbed in an equal amount for the missing evaporated milk. Continue reading »
Every morning I wake up, and promise myself I’ll get to bed early that night. And yet, here I am, almost midnight, talking about pie crusts. It’s a pressing subject this time of year. Literally. I know, the kids today use that word all wrong, but this is no joke. Tuck the rolling pin away, and let your fingertips do all the work to press the crust into the pan.
I’ve been hesitant to try this method for years now. I love rolling pie dough. Of course that only blossomed into deep affection once I developed a crust that didn’t result in tears. After years of working on creating a foolproof crust, would I have to abandon my tried and true recipe to use a new technique? The answer is no, thankfully.
The only tweak I made to my Foolproof Pie Crust is that I swapped in granulated maple sugar. It’s such a small amount, so don’t worry. Use what you have on hand. Here’s a quick video to show you how easy it is to use this no-roll pie crust method. So, I say put the kids on pie duty while you tackle the more challenging work to get the Thanksgiving meal on the table.
I’ll be back some time today, or first thing Wednesday with my new pumpkin pie recipe. If you’re not a fan of evaporated milk, or forget to buy it (as I often do!), you’ll want this recipe in your repertoire. The recipe also uses maple sugar, so it’s refined sugar-free. A nice option for a lighter dessert choice after enjoying the big feast.
Okay, time for some shuteye, folks. See you on the flip side.
Get my recipe for Foolproof Pie Crust here.
We grew up mostly eating mashed potatoes from a box. I once told that to my friend Carol, and she couldn’t believe such a thing even existed. The only time I really remember my mom making them from scratch was on Thanksgiving. Jokes about hanging wallpaper were inevitable. Mashed potatoes are the simplest thing to make, and yet, the easiest to mess up.
Many people reach for the hand or stand mixer to make them. Unless you’re careful, that’s a sure fire way to over work them, and make gluey, gummy potatoes. I’ve found four ingredients key in making the best mashed potatoes, ever: properly cooked taters, butter (and lots of it!), salt, and hot milk. And of course, the technique is crucial, too—ditch the electricity, and grab a hand masher. In fact, if your potatoes are cooked just right, a fork will even work for smaller, weeknight batches.
It’s bound to happen, even if you’re a planner. You reach for the brown sugar, and boom—all out. No sweat; I’ve got you covered on this one. It’s so easy to make your own brown sugar at home that I rarely even buy it anymore. All you need is molasses and cane sugar to make it yourself. Of course, this means you need to have molasses on hand. Once you fall in love with molasses, the way I did a few years ago, that won’t be a problem. Here’s a quick video I made to show you just how easy it is to make brown sugar in the comfort of your own kitchen. And in case you need some inspiration to use up the rest of that molasses, I’m sharing links to a few of my favorite recipes. Continue reading »
I had a lightbulb moment this past summer while vacationing in Cape Cod. A trip to the farmers’ market in Truro brought this counter full of summer veggies into my life (along with some incredible olive oil and jarred olives). The potatoes were still covered with a good deal of the earth from which they’d been plucked. It reminded me of a funny story from when I was a kid. Continue reading »
I know, it doesn’t look like much, but believe me that this pie will change your life. At least when it comes to making pie for a crowd. The weather changed rather abruptly last week. Between that and the sudden realization that Thanksgiving was around the corner, my cravings for pumpkin pie, both eating and baking it, kicked into high gear.
I’ve been doing a lot of baking for the school store, and I wondered the best way to sell the pie there without needing plates or utensils. Slab pie came to mind. Rather than baking it in a round pie plate, you use a jelly roll pan, creating bar-like pieces. The yield is also incredible, turning what would’ve normally been a deep dish pie for 10 into a more suitable serving size of 24 square bars. Continue reading »
Do you ever have those moments where a memory comes flooding back so vividly you feel like you’re in the moment? It happened today as I was driving to pick the girls up from school. Way back when Virginia was a wee one, I made up a bedtime song to the tune of Love Train. It went something like this…
Babies around the world,
Let’s start a sleep train, a sleep train.
Isabella was only six or seven then. We’d place our hands on each other’s hips, and boogie into the bedroom at our old apartment on Henry Street. I can see Virginia with that squinted-eyed smile, newly minted with a tooth, or two. One night Michael came home to witness this silliness, and he wasn’t surprised at my goofball creativity to make bedtime fun. He grabbed a hip, and joined in. Continue reading »
From the get-go, I knew promoting a book would be more challenging than writing one. That theory is proving to be true. It’s not to say that publicity is more work, it’s just that it’s a different kind of work, and one with which I’m trying to find a comfort-level. I’m incredibly shy, and don’t like talking about myself, which I realize sounds odd to say for someone who has shared so much of her life in a public manner. Sitting behind a screen, clacking away at a keyboard, it is easy to feel anonymous, when the reality is so far from that. Continue reading »
All I seem to be doing today is counting the hours until I can retire to my jammies, and curl up on the couch for pizza and a movie with the kids. I had hoped to share some details about a project I’m working on with Kidzvuz. Rebecca, one of the founders, is a long-lost sister of sorts, and I’m really excited to collaborate with her and Nancy finally. I will be back with the goods on it all next week. Continue reading »