Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Maple Syrup Sweetened Pumpkin Pie

And with a special food restriction comes a genius idea! This is beautiful and delicious. It has a balanced fall flavor with the goodness of maple syrup. With the addition of this pie filling being nestled cozily in my mom's olive oil crust, Thanksgiving dessert, now, will not be a guilty pleasure but a welcomed finish to our meal.

Ingredients for the crust:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached white flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 TBSP cold water
Mix the flour, salt and olive oil until combined. Add one TBSP of water and combine. If dough is not coming together add the other TBSP. Roll out with a generous amount of flour, taking your time with this gentle crust. *whole wheat pastry flour can be found at the Corner Cupboard in Franklin or a at your local health foods store*

Ingredients for the pie:
2 cups of pumpkin
3 eggs
2/3 of a cup of pure maple syrup (or 3/4 cup of sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
2 cups of milk
1 TBSP of flour

Fill your pie pan and set aside

Mix all the ingredients in one bowl

Pour into the crust

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. If the pie is getting too dark, turn down to 350 degrees. Pie will be firm to the touch when done

Whipped cream topped pictures to come!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

White and Black Bean Chili

A twist on a good ol' classic. Cold weather brings on the need for warm soup and the cornbread muffins were calling my name from the pantry...


1 pound of ground beef

1 small onion
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes
2 cans of "Campbell's selects" Zesty Tomato Bisuqe
1 large can of plain tomato sauce (I used Muir Glenn Organic)
1 can of Cannelini (white) Beans
1 can of black beans

In a large pot, with a bit of olive oil, sautee the onion for a few minutes. Add in the ground beef. Add, to your own liking, the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add 1 tsp of paprika. Using your fingers, add in 3-4 pinches of red pepper flakes. Rub them between your fingers to wake up the oils before adding them. Add in the soups and the tomato sauce. Stir to combine. When this begins to bubble, add in the beans. Taste for seasonging edits and add what you'd like. Simmer until ready to serve.

Now, what could be yummier! Add in a football game, fireplace and some snow flakes and it's pretty much my perfect day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homemade Plain Yogurt

I have said before that I have amazing friends, but I must state it again. I have the coolest friends! Friends who laugh with me, celebrate with me, love me and most important of all, teach me how to make homemade yogurt! I am thankful for the blessing of friendship.... and money saving tips! My milk cost me $3.66 and I got 8 cups of yogurt.

2 quart crockpot with a "low" setting
½ gallon of whole milk
1/2 cup yogurt with live culture

Turn your crockpot to low and pour in ½ gallon of milk. Heat on low for 2 ½ hours. After 2 ½ hours, turn the crockpot off. Unplug it and let the milk cool in the crock with the lid on for 3 hours. After 3 hours, add 1/2 cup of yogurt with live active cultures and whisk well.
Place the cover back on the crock and wrap the entire crockpot with a thick blanket. Let it culture overnight, about 8-12 hours. Transfer into a large container and it's done! Chill before eating. We mix in our favorite "all fruit" jam or honey. So yummy!

You can keep a ½ cup of this back for your next batch.

*I have also tried a stovetop method that works too if you do not have a small crockpot. Using a large pot, and stirring almost constantly, bring the milk up to 180 degrees. I used a candy thermometer but if you do not have one you can just watch for small bubbles to start forming around the edges of the pan. When they begin to form or your thermometer is up to 180 degrees, reduce heat and simmer at this temp for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to 110 degrees or luke warm. I set mine in the sink that had a bit of cold water and cooled it that way. Once cooled, whisk in 1/2 cup of live yogurt, and place in an oven safe/fridge storing container. I used a 8 cup glass measuring bowl with a lid. Leave in the oven with the light on for 8 hours. Place in fridge. Eat after it is chilled.*

Monday, November 7, 2011

Perfect Pancake Night

Some of the best times we've had as a family have been on nights that we choose to do nothing. Hubby gets off work, we put on comfy clothes and decide that everything else will wait. The time brings us peace and joy as we sit on the floor surrounded by toys and little smiling faces. And what else could make a cozy night even cozier? Pancakes.  Quick, easy and pleasing to everyone. From age 2 to 32! That's my kind of meal.... my kind of night! Totally worth putting the busy things of life aside, which is easier than you may think. Try it this week and reap the rewards of smiles and peace.

2 eggs
2 cups of milk
1/4 cup of oil

Whisk wet ingredients together. Add in dry but do not stir until all dry ingredients are added.

2 1/4 cups of unbleached flour
2 TBSP sugar
5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Stir everything to combine but do not overstir. Butter your griddle or pan and cook.

Smile as you hear the sizzle and smell the comforts of home.