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Roast Turkey Roulade with Sausage, Fig, and Cranberry Stuffing
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Roast Turkey Roulade with Sausage, Fig, and Cranberry Stuffing

So let’s talk turkey today. It is getting down the wire after all!  Are you Team Thanksgiving-only or Team Turkey-all-year-round?  Doesn’t there seem to be two staunch schools of thought on this matter?  To me, I could care less about the time of year a beautifully roasted turkey lands in front of me, as long as it’s got all the sides this major Thanksgiving fan could ask for.  And since I’m not hosting Thanksgiving again this year (sigh), I decided to play around in the kitchen a few weeks ago with this roast turkey roulade and all of my favorite sides.  While the final product of this roulade seems super fancy, it’s actually very easy to put together and ends up being the perfect addition to a rustic fall meal.  The stuffing inside the turkey is a traditional sausage stuffing with the addition of some boozy dried figs and cranberries.  Thank goodness there’s a ton of this stuffing to go around because it certainly made this meal and everyone went back for seconds!

Roast Turkey Roulade with Sausage, Fig, and Cranberry Stuffing

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

The magic about the recipe is that the roulade can be assembled the night before you cook it in order to save time. If a whole turkey breast is too much food for your needs, considering purchasing a turkey cutlet (one half of a breast), pound it out slightly, and make a half recipe of the stuffing. There will still be plenty to go around!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup large-diced dried mission/black figs, stems removed
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 - 4 celery stalks, ½-inch-diced (about 1 cup)
  • ¾ lb mild pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 ½ tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast (skin-on), boned, butterflied, and kept connected (4-5 lbs)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. To make the stuffing: Add the figs and cranberries to a small saucepan and pour the brandy and ½ cup water over them. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes until they start to soften. Mix in the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into crumbly pieces, and cook for 10 minutes until the sausage is browned. Stir in the fruit and the liquid from the saucepan and the rosemary; cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Pour the stuffing mix into a very large bowl then stir in the sausage-fruit mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
  4. To prepare and roast turkey roulade: Preheat the oven to 325° F. Set a baking rack over a roasting pan or large baking sheet. If you don't plan on making gravy with the drippings, line the bottom of the pan with foil first for easy clean-up. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. Cut six 12-inch long pieces of kitchen twine and set aside.
  5. Lay the turkey breast out flat, skin-side down, on a clean work surface or cutting board. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the breast. Spread a ½-inch thick layer of stuffing out over the breast, leaving a ½-inch border around the outside. Transfer the remaining stuffing to the prepared casserole dish; cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate. (Bake the stuffing for 45 minutes at 325° F towards the end of the roast time of the roulade.)
  6. Starting from a short end, roll the breast up tightly and as you roll, push any stuffing that falls out back into the rolls. Once rolled, slip the pieces of kitchen twine under the roll and tie each piece firmly (spaced about 2 inches apart) to secure the breast from opening while roasting. Trim the ends of the strings. Place the roulade seam-side down on the baking rack and brush the outside with the melted butter. Sprinkle a little extra salt and pepper.
  7. Roast for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 155° F on an instant read thermometer. Remove the finished roulade from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil to let it rest for 15 minutes and continue to rise up to a fully cooked temperature. Cut thick slices before serving hot.

Source

adapted from Back to Basics by Ina Garten

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/11/roast-turkey-roulade-with-sausage-fig-and-cranberry-stuffing/

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
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This pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting is a super easy recipe made without a box mix. It’s in the oven in under 20 minutes and leaves you plenty of time for fun fall activities.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been a little slack in the baking department recently.  Which is kind of weird since it’s fall and all and I really should be gearing up for Thanksgiving desserts to bring to my mom’s next week.  But work has been in.sane basically since I started in early September and though I’ve been told by a few of my new co-workers that “it’s never this busy,” I’m starting to doubt them.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

And this isn’t to say that I’m unhappy in my new position – I actually really love it – it’s just that I’m amazingly exhausted at night and on the weekends, leaving me to not want to do anything but catch up on my DVR shows and Gossip Girl season 6 on Netflix (squeeee!!).  The slow cooker has been a good friend recently, including the meal I made for my book club ladies earlier this week and it was that afternoon that I cut out a few hours early to run home (read: drive 1 hour) and make this pumpkin bundt cake while dinner bubbled away.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I rushed through tossing the cake batter together and shoved it in the oven so I could finish the book before they arrived (!!), so that after literally only 20 minutes of hands-on time, a homemade dessert dripping in cream cheese frosting was on the table that night.  And even with full bellies of dinner and plenty of wine, I definitely heard a collective sigh happen around the table.  So look.  We’re all pressed for time, especially this time of year, but surely you’ve got 20 minutes to spare for a pumpkin cake like this one!

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 12-16 servings

This classic pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting is sure to be a winner at any fall get together or holiday party. The frosting is loose but perfect for dribbling down the sides of this cake. It's almost like a really thick glaze but if you want to make it like a traditional thick frosting, reduce the milk to 1 tablespoon and increase the butter to 3 tablespoons.

Ingredients

    For the pumpkin bundt cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin puree
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. To make the pumpkin bundt cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with baking spray or grease with butter and lightly coat with flour. Whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and oil until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each until incorporated before adding the next. After the last egg is incorporated, beat the mixture on medium speed for 15-20 seconds until the batter is smooth and uniform. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, stir in the flour mixture in 3 additions on low speed, alternating with the pumpkin puree (2 equal additions). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and take care to allow each addition to incorporate before adding the next. Beat the final batter for 5 seconds on medium speed.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the top of the batter. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes and test with a long sharp knife or long toothpick for doneness in the center of the cake. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before inverting the pan onto the rack to release the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  4. To make the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth and no lumps of cream cheese remain. Add the sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk to the bowl and on low speed, mix until the sugar is mostly incorporated then increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip for 10 seconds. If the frosting is not loose enough to run thickly off a spoon, add a little more milk. Pour the frosting over the cake and let it drip down the sides and into the center ring of the bundt cake. Serve immediately or cover and keep at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Source

adapted from My Baking Addiction

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/11/pumpkin-bundt-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

Creamy Fresh Herb Mashed Potatoes
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Creamy Fresh Herb Mashed Potatoes

I don’t know about you guys but I count sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving as a vegetable instead of a carb.  This strategy, however skewed, leaves extra room on the carb-overload list for favorites like stuffing, rolls, pie, and yes, mashed potatoes.  And up until a few years ago, I really wasn’t all that picky about how mashed potatoes were made.

And really, I’m still not all that picky.  There is a time and place for rustic smashed skin-on potatoes – and this is the way we usually make them since I mostly don’t have the time nor patience to peel potatoes.  But these silky and creamy fresh herb mashed potatoes definitely have their place in this world too, peeled and all.

Creamy Fresh Herb Mashed Potatoes

They probably aren’t too different from the way most people make mashed potatoes except that these are passed through a food mill rather than hand-mashed to ensure a light and fluffy result, combined with hot milk and butter, and are dotted with fresh thyme and chives.  The herbs are subtle yet bright and honestly, I preferred to skip the gravy so that I could actually taste the potatoes.  I shock myself sometimes.  Bring on the carbs!

Creamy Fresh Herb Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed but kept in one piece
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Instructions

  1. Dice the potatoes into ½-inch pieces. Toss the potatoes into a medium (3 quart) saucepan and cover them with cold water - the water should reach about 1-inch above the tops potatoes - and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and keep the pan partially covered. Simmer the potatoes for 12-15 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain and cover the potatoes in the colander with a kitchen towel.
  2. Return the saucepan to the stove and heat it over medium heat to dry it out. Add the milk, butter, garlic clove, remaining salt, and pepper. Once the milk starts to steam and the butter is melted, remove the garlic clove (discard the garlic) and turn the heat down to low.
  3. Place a food mill (or potato ricer) over the saucepan and pass the hot potatoes through the mill into the milk mixture. Once all of the potatoes are passed through (don't forget to scrape the bottom of the mill!), add the herbs to the pan and stir the potatoes and herbs into the hot milk mixture until the milk is absorbed and the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Source

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/11/creamy-fresh-herb-mashed-potatoes/

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream
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Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream

While I may not make a lot of ice cream in the fall and winter months, there is certainly still a basic human need for it.  Like on top of pie.  Or warm brownies.  Or cobbler.  I guess you could say that I prefer ice cream in the winter to “go” with something warm.  This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, however, because I have been dreaming up this mean pumpkin ice cream that I hope to make before it’s time for peppermint to take over my life next month, and this apple pie oatmeal cookie ice cream is one that definitely can go either way.

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream

The ice cream itself, as the name implies, is like eating ice cream, pie, and cookies all in one dessert.  It’s pretty magical.  We just happened to serve it over that apple slab pie I posted last week because hey, what’s wrong with a double-dose of apple pie for dessert?

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream

For the pie part of the ice cream, you’ll sauté apples with a little sugar and some warm apple pie spices then stir the cooled apples into some freshly churned ice cream.  The “cookies” are borne out of the oatmeal raisin cookie ice cream I made last year.  The little chunks of oatmeal praline add a bit of crunch and texture to the smooth cinnamon-vanilla ice cream.  I guess you could otherwise call this apple crisp ice cream but I went with cookie here since I really do enjoy crispy oatmeal cookies.  (Remember these?)  If you want to skip the oatmeal praline (although it only does take a couple minutes to make and can be made 1 week ahead), might I suggest adding chopped up oatmeal cookies here instead?

Heaven, anyone?  There’s no need to hide how much time you’ll spend standing over the ice cream container scooping softened edges of this ice cream.  I already know.

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream

Yield: about 1 quart

There are a couple different steps to making this ice cream but all of them can be prepared in advance. The ice cream base mixture and oatmeal pralines can be made up to 1 week ahead and kept in separate resealable containers in the refrigerator. You can make and chill the apples 1 day before you churn your ice cream and the whole dessert can be put together up to 1 week before you serve it. I found that this ice cream got better throughout the week after I made it, if that's even possible!

Ingredients

    For the ice cream base:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • For the apple pie filling:
  • 1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp dark rum (optional)
  • For the cookie mix-ins:
  • 1 recipe oatmeal praline or 1 ½ cups chopped oatmeal cookies

Instructions

  1. To make the ice cream: Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean into the warm milk as well. Add in the cinnamon stick as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Over medium low heat, rewarm the milk mixture. With a slotted spoon, remove the cinnamon stick pieces and discard. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks with a ladle, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the yolks, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (overnight is best).
  5. To make apple pie filling: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples, sugar, and cinnamon and toss them around in the butter to coat the apples well with the sugar and cinnamon. Allow the apples to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the apples start to brown slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum, if using. Allow the apples to cool completely before churning the ice cream base.
  6. When you're ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean from the ice cream base, rinsing and reserving it for another use (if desired), and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the soft ice cream to a resealable, freezer-safe container and stir in the apples and oatmeal praline until well-distributed. Freeze the ice cream in the freezer for at least 6 hours before serving.

Source

adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz via Annie's Eats

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/11/apple-pie-oatmeal-cookie-ice-cream/

 

Apple Slab Pie
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Apple Slab Pie

This pie…what can I say?  This apple slab pie is what Thanksgiving dreams are made of.  Forget pumpkin pie.  Ok, well, this bourbon pumpkin tart is still cool in my book, but you get what I mean.

Apple Slab Pie

If you’re feeding a crowd for Thanksgiving or a friendsgiving, or Hanukkah, a housewarming, or Christmas party – you get my point – this slab pie will easily feed it.  A minimum of 12 servings is what you’ll get from a typical jelly roll-size pan but I assure you that forks will be drawn for dibs on the last piece.

Apple Slab Pie

I know I’ve said that making pie isn’t my thing but the all butter, really flakey (flaky?) pie dough I posted the other day is life-changing for me.  I couldn’t imagine trying to wrestle with rolling out and transferring two very large sheets of pie dough for this slab pie using a less-than-stellar recipe.  As you can see, the pie takes on a rectangular shape here and after you’ve got the bottom sheet of dough nestled in the pan, you’ll cover the dough with a ton of chopped apples mixed with fall’s best spices, and cover the apples with another monstrous piece of dough.  Crimp the edges, cut a few holes, brush with some cream, and bake.

Apple Slab Pie

It’s really that easy.  The hardest part about making this apple slab pie, however, is waiting for it to cool before diving in.  I served it with some really fun ice cream (that I’ll share very soon) and maple bourbon caramel sauce but vanilla or cinnamon vanilla bean ice cream would be just as splendid.  If you haven’t already invited a gaggle of people over for your next celebration, get on the phone, because you’ll definitely want to share this apple pie with friends.

Apple Slab Pie

Apple Slab Pie

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 12-18 servings

This apple slab pie is best served straight from the oven but if you're in a pinch, it can also be made in full one day in advance. Make the pie as instructed, leaving it in the baking sheet, covered with foil, at room temperature or in a cool room (we kept it in the garage), then reheat it at 300° F until warmed through (about 20 minutes). You can crank the broiler on in the last couple of minutes to crisp up the top crust if you wish - just watch it carefully to avoid burning the buttery crust.

Alternatively, you could assemble the whole pie up to one day in advance and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to bake it off.

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 3 ¾ cups (470 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp table salt
  • 3 sticks (24 oz or 340 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and kept very cold
  • ¾ - 1 cup very cold water
  • For the apple filling:
  • 3 ½ to 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped into approximately ½-inch chunks (about 10 cups)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2/3 to ¾ cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like your pie and how sweet your apples are)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • To finish:
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream or 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  1. To make the crust: Measure the flour into a large, wide bowl. Whisk in the sugar and salt. Toss in the butter cubes and coat them all with the flour. Using your first 3 fingers of both hands, mash up the butter into smaller pieces, just bigger than the size of peas. You can also do this with two knives or a strong pastry blender. I prefer using my fingers.
  2. Once the mixture looks sort of uniform, slightly crumbly, and the butter is broken up, stir in ¾ cup of water with a rubber spatula until the water is absorbed and the dough starts to come together. If the dough is still dry and crumbly, add the remaining ¼ cup of water. Bring the dough together with your hands until it forms a soft and almost loose ball. Divide the pie dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. You'll need the larger piece for the bottom crust. Transfer one piece to a sheet of plastic wrap and mold it into a rectangular shape, about 1-inch thick. Use the plastic wrap to help bring the dough together, if needed. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using.
  3. To make the filling: In a very large bowl, toss the apple chunks with the lemon juice. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt together in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the sugar-spice mixture over the apples and toss them well to coat; set aside.
  4. To assemble the slab pie: Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line the bottom of a 10x15x1-inch baking sheet or similarly sized jelly roll pan with a piece of parchment paper. If your pan is a little smaller than this (as mine was), don't worry - this recipe will still work fine; you'll just have a little extra dough leftover.
  5. Roll out the larger piece of dough on a well-floured surface with a rolling pin into a 18x13-inch rectangle. Transfer the piece to the pan and drape the edges of the dough over the sides of the pan while only gently pushing the dough down into the inside and corners of the pan. Slip the pan into the fridge or freezer while you roll out the second piece of dough into a 16x11-inch rectangle (you want to keep the dough in the pan as cold as possible).
  6. Remove the pan from the fridge/freezer and pour the apples and the juices over the dough in the pan - it may seem like way too many apples, but they will cook down. Drape the second sheet of dough over the apples. Trim the dough to where both top and bottom edges hang about ¾-inch over the edge of the pan. Seal up the edges tightly with your fingers.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with the heavy cream or egg wash. Using a sharp knife, slice a whole bunch of 1-inch slits in the top of the dough to allow the steam to escape during baking. Place the whole sheet on a larger baking sheet - there will likely be spillage that you'll want to catch on the large pan rather than the bottom of your oven (trust me).
  8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top crust is a nice golden brown and the filling is bubbling through the holes in the crust. Cool the pan on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes before cutting and serving.

Source

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/11/apple-slab-pie/

 

All Butter, Really Flakey Pie Dough
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All Butter, Really Flakey Pie Dough

I’m 35 years old and I’m intimidated by making pie.  Now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’ll understand why there is such a paucity of pie recipes on this site.  Oh sure, there was this strawberry rhubarb pie a few years ago and this sour cream apple pie as well.  There were also a few things I’ve made with homemade pie dough: galettes, hand pies, empanandas, and tarts.  But pies themselves…I don’t know.  I feel like it’s a two-fer that can go wrong – both the filling and the dough need to be great, right?

All Butter, Really Flakey Pie Dough

So that’s where this pie dough comes in.  After all of the dough I’ve made in the past, this one was, by far, the best.  It’s an all butter dough made with cold water – no vodka here – and now that I’ve seen the super flakey results of this dough, you’ll never be able to convince me that shortening in pie dough is better.  This dough yields such a flakey crust that my mom thought I made dessert with puff pastry over the weekend – and she’s been around the dessert block once or twice.

All Butter, Really Flakey Pie Dough

Pie crust that looks like puff pastry?  Heck yes, friends.  The reason is the big chunks of butter suspended throughout the dough, a result that can only happen from making pie dough by hand.  Use your fingers, two knives, a pastry cutter – whatever.  Just skip the machine, as tempting as it is.  Not only do I find it amazingly gratifying to make such a simple and timeless kitchen staple by hand, but I have complete control over how big I leave the chunks of butter; whereas machines often over process the butter.  Bigger chunks of butter = really flakey pie dough.

All Butter, Really Flakey Pie Dough

The only other thing to consider, which you would already know if you’ve ever made any kind of pie dough, is to keep the dough extra cold before you bake it.  If that means that you stick your unbaked pie or tart in the freezer for a couple minutes before baking it to chill a warmed dough that you’ve just rolled the heck out of, then do it.  When the oven heat hits the cold butter, water in the butter evaporates creating pockets in the dough and that gives you your flakey crust.

So go on.  Make a few batches of this dough for your upcoming holiday celebrations.  Even if you make it now and freeze the dough for your Christmas pies, you’ll be ahead of the game.  Which means you’ll have more time to bake cookies.  And nobody ever complained about having more time to make cookies, have they?

All Butter, Really Flakey Pie Dough

Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 2 9-inch pie crusts

All butter, really flakey pie dough. The perfect pie dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups (315 grams) flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and kept very cold before using
  • ½ - ¾ cup very cold water

Instructions

  1. Measure the flour into a large, wide bowl. Whisk in the sugar and salt. Toss in the butter cubes and coat them all with the flour. Using your first 3 fingers of both hands, mash up the butter into smaller pieces, just bigger than the size of peas. You can also do this with two knives or a strong pastry blender. I prefer using my fingers.
  2. Once the mixture looks sort of uniform, slightly crumbly, and the butter is broken up, stir in a ½ cup of water with a rubber spatula until the water is absorbed and the dough starts to come together. If the dough is still dry and crumbly, add the remaining ¼ cup of water. Bring the dough together with your hands until it forms a soft and almost loose ball. Divide the pie dough in half and transfer one half to a sheet of plastic wrap and mold it into disk, about 1-inch thick. Use the plastic wrap to help bring the dough together, if needed. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  3. Chill the dough disks in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using. You can keep this dough in the fridge for up to a week or up to 2 months in the freezer before using. Roll the dough directly from the refrigerator (do not allow it to come to room temperature - remember you need to keep the butter really cold) or if frozen, allow the dough to rest in the fridge for one day before rolling.

Source

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/11/all-butter-really-flakey-pie-dough/

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
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Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Without a doubt, breakfast is my most difficult meal of the day to manage eating.  Why is it so hard to forgo a bagel with cream cheese in the mornings?  WHY??  I deal with this internal struggle nearly every day, I kid you not.  Making a quick stop to pick up a bagel just makes it so much easier to focus on getting out the door in the morning without having to think about sitting down to eat something first.  Breakfast in the car or at my desk with a steaming cup of coffee, hovering over the email storms I start my days with…it’s just so much easier.

Buuuuut.  We all know that’s no way to nourish our bodies, as devastatingly hard as it seems sometimes.  I hate to admit that, but I do know it.  And that’s probably why this pumpkin spice oatmeal has affected me so much this week.  I’m in complete love.  I first made it on a whim Sunday morning with two happy bellies as a result.  Then I made it Monday morning again and ate it as I was prepping my lunch for work.  And it happened a third time this week, yesterday, while I threw a bunch of stuff into the crock pot with the nervous hope that dinner would turn out ok.  (It did, btw.)  This oatmeal is a quick mix of milk, pumpkin puree, spices, some sugar, and oats, takes about 10 minutes to cook from start to finish, and it truly warms the soul.  Anything pumpkin spice is a winner in my book and if this oatmeal can help healthy-up my mornings, then I’m all in.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

This pumpkin spice oatmeal is a warm and hearty way to start your day. Ten minutes is all you need to make this healthy fall breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • Toppings (optional):
  • Chopped raw or candied pecans
  • Maple syrup
  • Apple butter

Instructions

  1. Whisk the milk, pumpkin, sugars, spices, vanilla, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir in the oats. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continuing stirring the oats for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the oats sit for another 3 minutes. Give the oatmeal a stir before serving with pecans, maple syrup, or apple butter (or a combination of any of them), if desired.

Source

adapted from Mother Thyme

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/11/pumpkin-spice-oatmeal/

15 Ways to Use Up Your Leftover Halloween Candy
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15 Ways to Use Your Leftover Halloween Candy

So once again another year has come and gone at our house with ZERO trick or treaters.  Last year Halloween was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.  This year it was raining.  Though I think the bigger issue contributing to our lonely front door and full bowl of candy is the fact that our driveway is incredibly long and it’s not realistic to think that kids would trek down nearly 1000 feet to our house for a few pieces of candy.  (Although…you know as kids that as long as there was a light on at a house, that house was fair game for candy.)

Anyway, needless to say, it’s another year that we’ve got a bunch of candy leftover…not that I’m really complaining!  I’m sure lots of you guys do too and I thought some ideas to use up that candy could be helpful to a bunch of you.  Grab your toothbrushes!

Toffee Bar Brownie Torte
Toffee Bar Brownie Torte

Halloween Monster Munch Popcorn
Monster Munch Popcorn

reese's pieces chocolate chip cookies
Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Hot Fudge Banana Bread
Peanut Butter Cup Hot Fudge Banana Bread

Leftover Halloween Candy Bark
Halloween Candy Bark

reeses peanut butter cake 1
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Kitchen Sink Cookies

Brewer's Blondies
Whoppers Blondies

peanut butter cup fudge swirl ice cream
Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Swirl Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry Dark Chocolate Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Roasted Strawberry, Dark Chocolate, Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

sea salt caramel corn
M&Ms Sea Salt Caramel Corn

Toasted Peeps and Reese's Eggs Brownies
Reese’s Stuffed Brownies

Other fun leftover candy ideas from around the blogs:

Mini Triple-Treat Cupcakes – Pink Parsley
Deep Dish Milky Way Cookies – Cookies and Cups
Butterfingers Cupcakes – Annie’s Eats