IMG_4470Just a quick little post about this pie. THIS PIE! I decided to eschew tradition a little this year and make a sweet potato pie for our big family get-together – calm the lynch-mob, I made a pumpkin one for actual Thanksgiving – and it was delicious! Using an immersion blender made the filling incredibly silky and smooth and the spice mixture was subtle and enticing. I love the bright orange color too because sometimes pumpkin pies can get a little murky-brown and not so pretty. Kudos again to Joy the Baker for providing this great recipe and getting me to try something new. You can find it here on her blog and also in her cookbook.


French Fridays with Dorie – Beef Daube with Carrots and Rigatoni

In a shocking act of forethought I made this dish last week. I knew that with Thanksgiving, Black Friday, our 4 day trip to MN, and getting back into the swing of things at work there would be no way I would have this done and blogged by Friday. So, yay me! But I can’t pat myself on the back too much since I haven’t even made the goat cheese mini puffs from two weeks ago yet. Le sigh.

I called the butcher to find out if they had beef cheeks in stock since that’s what the recipe originally called for but they said I would have to wait a week so I said “Chuck roast it is!” I’ll be interested to see how many of us can actually get the beef cheeks.

This recipe marked the maiden voyage of my newest Le Creuset piece – the braiser! I have wanted this one for awhile and I earned it by teaching a Learning to Love Le Creuset class with Bek last month. That is a topic I feel very qualified to teach! 🙂

This was another hands-off recipe that made the house smell great and allowed me to do lots of important things while it was braising away in the oven….like read blogs and catch up on The Walking Dead (things are going down in post-apocalyptic America people!) and paint my nails. We had some company over for dinner and they were kind enough to let me finish my photos before digging in. I would definitely make this again because it was easy and a real people pleaser. If you want to give it a try, I found a very similar Dorie recipe online here.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! The dinner that I made was kind of a mixed bag. The meatloaf was outstanding and I would definitely recommend it (the link is in my previous post) but I’m not so sure about the Pumpkin Scalloped Potatoes. I think if I made those again I would definitely make them more saucy – they were kind of dry. And speaking of dry – I tried braising some turkey legs but I really overshot it on the time because they started out looking like this:

and ended up looking like this:

Well obviously not exactly like this but you get the idea. Whoopsie. Also my pie kind of sucked which was a real disappointment as I’m mostly into big holiday dinners for the dessert. I mean, it looked amazing, no?

But the flavor was really meh. I used the Holiday Pumpkin Tart (or pie) recipe from BFMHTY by Dorie and it just wasn’t my favorite. There were 3 tablespoons of rum in it and I think it overpowered everything else. It was a real bummer. Good thing Cassidy saved the day with a good old-fashioned Libby’s right off the can pie. The dinner we had at home on Sunday was delicious but that’s no surprise. I made the Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Swirl Pie from EmmyCooks and it was universally liked by the few of us who had room for dessert (that always includes me). Now I am off to find cute holiday cards for the exchange so wish me luck!

Fun with Vanilla Ice Cream, Plus a Really Pretty Pie

I used those ridiculously expensive, ridiculously good Vosges cookies to make some ice cream sandwiches using the Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home and wow guys, they were good. I’ve made several different ice creams this summer and I have to say that this plain ol’ vanilla one is definitely my favorite so far. Ugh, just so GOOD! Tristan had his last night with some Coffee Caramel Sauce from Stonewall Kitchen:

I will definitely be making this again. FO SHO! I know I am pushing this book hard these last few weeks but I have just really been loving it. I got The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz from the library but I haven’t made anything from it because I kind of hate that you have to use so many egg yolks. WTF am I going to do with all those whites people? There is only so much meringue I can make. I’m not going to take it back until I make something though, so stay tuned. But back to meringues, check out this pie I made the other day:

I can’t whip these up too often or they’ll lose their shine – I feel like nothing gets as many oooohs and ahhhhs as a beautifully toasted meringue. One more shot with a piece missing to show the lovely lemon filling:

I used the recipe from one of my favorite books – Pie by Ken Haedrich – and it has never failed to produce a delicious and amazing-looking pie. If you don’t have it, get it! Okay I’m done pushing cookbooks for now. Have a good weekend everyone!