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I hope this was helpful! Now go bake a pie! (This pie has Strawberry Basil filling, recipe soon to come!)
 
 
What a great Thanksgiving it's been! Jared and I started a new tradition where I make all the food on Wednesday and we eat it Wednesday night. That way, we can leisurely eat left overs all day on Thursday! This morning we slept in, then made pancakes together!
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We've never made pancakes before. Isn't that funny? So we were particularly pleased with how well they turned out. Thanks bisquick!

I really enjoyed cooking Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. I chose recipes that I have never made before so it was pretty exciting! Pork loin with fennel stuffing, macaroni cheese casserole and brussels sprouts with bacon constituted our feast. The pork loin was the most risky recipe of the bunch.
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Reality
My favorite was the macaroni cheese casserole, I'll share that recipe with you guys soon.

In other news, I accomplished goal number 4 of my 26 goals before I'm 27! I created an etsy shop! And I already made one sale (thanks Sharon!)! Right now I only have one item up, but hopefully there will be more to come soon. Go check out the shop, and if you're an etsy member be sure to favorite me! I added a link on the side bar to my shop with pictures of the items for sale, you can click on those pictures to take you to my shop as well.

My plans for the rest of this special day are: bake an apple pie, crochet a snow flake garland, and put up the Christmas tree! I'm super excited about all three. What are your Thanksgiving traditions that you're looking forward to? 
 
 
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Apple Butter is new to me, I don't think I ever saw it before in Texas. But, up here it's a big deal! There is no butter in it, it is like concentrated apple sauce. It is great for spreading on toast or for use in recipes, like this one! Adding it to pumpkin pie really gives the pie a lighter, custard-ier texture. The apples also add a slight tanginess to the richness of the pumpkin filling. It is very subtle; honestly I bet most people wouldn't notice the difference unless you told them there was apple butter in it. But it can be your little secret!
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Here is what you'll need in clockwise order: 9 inch pie crust, 3 eggs, 1 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup apple butter, 3/4 tsp of ground nutmeg, 3/4 tsp of ground cinnamon, a pinch of ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Get a load of that pie crust! Not bad for my first homemade pie crust, eh? Just kidding, it's not my first. Just kidding again, it's not homemade. I bought one of those pie crusts you can roll out into your pan. Plus it's really quite delicious!
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Combine apple butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices in a bowl.
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After you beat the eggs in a separate bowl, mix them into the pumpkin mixture.
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Gradually add the evaporated milk and mix until incorporated. By the way, this picture perfectly documents the Coanda effect.
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Pour the mixture into your pie crust. Using a coanda-proof bowl if possible.
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You might as well cover the crust with aluminum foil now, because it will be harder to do after the pie pan is hot. The aluminum foil prevents your crust from burning in the oven. Then, put it in your 425 degree oven for 40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
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Ta-Da! Why wait till Thanksgiving to enjoy Pumpkin Pie?
 
 
 
Look at this gorgeous pumpkin! I love it. Don't you?
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I love Carl Sagan and I love apple pies. But I mentioned Carl Sagan first so please watch this video.
 
 
This week Jared and I ate the following meals:
That's it! I made double portions of each and it fed us for lunch and dinner every day this week. Perhaps a bit redundant, but easy, cheap and delicious.

I've never been a big chicken salad person until this month. I spent Labor Day weekend on the beach with family. My brother in law made a chicken salad which made a perfect sandwich for the beach. Can't you picture it? Lounging on a sunny beach, being cooled by the sea breeze, eating a creamy, peppery chicken salad sandwich with just a touch of sweetness. *sigh* So, back home in landlocked Chi-burbs, I've been craving that tropical dish. I bet I'm the only person who would call chicken salad a tropical dish. Because my first true encounter with the dish was on a beach, it will always have that connotation. Lucky me! 

The Beef and Sweet Potato Turnovers, or as I like to call them "comb-overs" because it makes me giggle, are a great dish for the beginning of fall. The unlikely combination of beef, spinach, cheese and sweet potato melt together in the pastry to form a hearty, savory filling. It's a simple and satisfying dish. Plus, it travels well so it's perfect for lunch at work. 

For breakfast I've been eating Homemade Apple Pie. That's right, for breakfast, because I deserve it! My friend Alex and I baked two Apple Pies last weekend, pictures will soon be posted!
 
 
 
Jared and I are trying to eat more like locavores, meaning, eating things that are grown or raised within 100 or so miles of where you live. Before yesterday, we hardly ate any local food at all, so we are just beginning this experiment and so far so good! The main reason to eat food from your area is it cuts down on the pollution required to transport food around the world and your food will be fresher since it has less distance to travel to get to you. Plus, you get to support your local farmers, ranchers, butchers, bakers et cetera. You can read more about it here.
 
 
I love this recipe from Noble Pig! There are so many great things about it. It is not your typical tortilla soup, or at least not the typical soup I've ordered at many a Mexican restaurant in Texas. For one thing, it is vegan and gluten free! (Note: Apparently some Vegetable Broths are gluten free and some are not, so it depends on what kind you buy.) For another thing, it is very customizable depending on how much time you have to prepare it. You could use all fresh vegetables you prepared yourself or use canned or frozen veggies, or a mix of both, which is what I did. 

Use the link above for the exact recipe, I will just give you a few tips and possible substitutions.
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