Crustations

We need to talk about something.

It’s very important.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been AWOL from the blog for five months.

Because I wasn’t AWOL.

I knew exactly where I was.

It just wasn’t here.

But I’m here now and we need to discuss something very important.

It’s a rather urgent matter and needs your utmost attention.

Ok.

Here goes.

Pie crust is gross.

Stop it.

We don’t judge here.

But I stand by my opinion.

Pie crust is almost always dry, bland, boring, and a complete waste of calories and stomach space.

Salted flour and crisco is just not my idea of a good time.

And I spend an embarrassing amount of  time trying to scrape every last precious molecule of filling out of the crust.

And then because I’m sad that the filling frotterism is over, I begin to pick at the crust in hopes of elongating the experience.

And then I hate myself.

Because I hate pie crust and I just ate the whole damn thing in minuscule forkfuls until it was gone.

So I decided to skip this whole charade and go right for the jugular.

That’s right.

All filling.

 Pumpkin Pie Filling

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I guess you could call this pudding, if you must.

But this tastes exactly like pumpkin pie filling and I don’t mean the slop that comes in a can.

Nope.

It tastes like real pumpkin pie that came out of your very own oven.

Except this requires no cooking and is ready in five minutes.

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It does require a high speed blender or food processor, though, so go ahead and put that on Santa’s list if you don’t already own one.

I thought I was the genius that came up with this recipe but it turns out I saw it on another blog a few days prior and the idea must have been floating around in my gray matter for a while.

I found the original recipe HERE and made the following adaptations:

PUMPKIN PIE PUDDING

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1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

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 Like I said, you can call it pudding.

But I served it with a banana and called it breakfast.

And mixed it into a smoothie and called it lunch.

And ate it by the spoonful for dinner.

And then I slathered it on some pumpkin bread and almost lost my mind.

If you simply must have pie, then I would just dollop this all over a big, fat slice of apple or pecan pie instead of whipped cream.

Just do it.

I’ll look away while you lick the blender blades.

Like I said, we don’t judge here.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Mini Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, to me, traditionally means a huge family gathering, ’80s food throwbacks (marshmallow fruit salad. It was green. Does anyone remember this?) naps, and making myself scarce while my mom and aunts do the dishes.

I NEVER watch the Thanksgiving parade.

It’s boring.

But not everyone has the luxury of being at home for Thanksgiving festivities.

A lot of people have to work.

My husband is one such person.

 I will be making the trek to Pennsylvania to my aunts very large house that has plenty of hiding spots for dish duty avoidance, while my husband will be stuck jobbing it.

I wanted him to be able to have some of the good food Thanksgiving is famous for, but I didn’t want to make the mass quantities that all my recipes call for.

I decided to make Thanksgiving in a muffin pan.

Did you get all that?

I DECIDED TO MAKE THANKSGIVING IN A MUFFIN PAN.

One 12 -cup muffin pan holds all the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving and makes just enough for two people or one very hungry husband.

Some tips before getting started:

1. Have a plan and write it down.

2. Post plan and recipes where easily visible. Try taping them to cabinets at eye level.

2. Gather all your ingredients and tools before you start cooking.

3. Keep extra dish towels and paper towels on hand.

4. Clean as you go.

5. Try not to get drunk until after the meal is finished cooking.

The Recipes

Turkey Scallopini and Cranberry Stuffing Roll Ups

3 turkey scallopini or 3 thinly sliced turkey cutlets

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon maple syrup

½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Dash salt and pepper

Mix oil, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Brush onto turkey scallopini. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning and a dash of salt and pepper. Layer with prosciutto and stuffing. Carefully roll the scallopini up, securing with toothpick if necessary. Place in muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Cranberry Stuffing

1/8 cup chopped  fresh cranberries

1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (or white sugar)

¼ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

3 thick slices stale whole wheat bread

½-1 cup vegetable broth

Mix cranberries and sugar. Set aside.  Saute celery and onion until translucent and then add seasoning and broth. Turn off heat and add cranberries. Pour over bread cubes and mix well. Layer onto turkey scallopini and prosciutto.

Cornbread Muffins

Adapted from this recipe

(Makes three muffins)

Dry ingredients:

¼ cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup white whole wheat flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

¼ cup applesauce

¼ cup soy milk (or regular milk)

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 teaspoon honey

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Evenly divide batter into three paper lined muffin cups.

Bake immediate at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Mashed sweet potatoes

1 large sweet potato (yield 1 1/2 cups mashed)

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons molasses

15 mini marshmallows

Poke holes in potato with fork and microwave until easily pierced with fork (mine took about 10 minutes). Remove skin and mash flesh with orange juice and molasses. Divide mixture into three paper lined muffin cups.  Bake 15 minutes. Top with marshmallows and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.

Peas with bacon and shallots

1 strip bacon

1 shallot, sliced

1 ½ cups frozen peas

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook bacon and remove from pan to cool. Saute shallots in bacon fat.  Add peas and crumble bacon over top.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Apple Pie Tartletes

1 medium or large apple, chopped (about  1 cup)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (or white sugar)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

Pinch ground cloves

1 tablespoon caramel sauce

3 won-ton wrappers

½ teaspoon butter, melted

Cook apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg over medium heat until tender. Add caramel sauce and removed from heat.  Brush won-ton wrappers with melted butter. Place wrapper in muffin cup. Divide apple filling evenly among won-tons.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees, tenting with foil after 10 minutes, if necessary.

The Plan

  1.  Chop the celery, onion, and shallot. Set aside.
  2. Chop the cranberries and toss with sugar. Set aside.
  3. Poke holes and microwave sweet potato until easily pierced with fork.  Set aside to cool.
  4. While sweet potatoes are cooking, combine oil, maple syrup and ground cayenne pepper and brush onto scallopini. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning.
  5. Sauté celery and onion.
  6. While celery and onion are cooking, cut stale bread into cubes. Cook celery and onion until translucent, remove from heat and combine with cranberries, broth and poultry seasoning. Mix well.
  7. Layer prosciutto on scallopini, top with stuffing mixture and roll up. Place in muffin tin.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Make cornbread according to recipe and fill 3 muffin cups with cornbread batter.
  10. Begin baking scallopini and cornbread.
  11. SET A TIMER!!!!  Remove cornbread after 15-20 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown.
  12. While cornbread is baking, remove skin from sweet potatoes and mash flesh with molasses and orange juice. Set aside.
  13. Cook bacon in medium-sized saucepan; remove from pan to cool. Cook peas in bacon grease. Crumble in bacon, salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
  14. Did you remember to check the cornbread? If golden brown on top, remove from pan.  Continue cooking scallopini for 20 more minutes.
  15. Chop apple; add to small  sauce pan with lemon juice and 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar. Cook until soft (5-10 minutes) and then add 1 tablespoon caramel sauce. Turn off heat.
  16. Brush won-ton wrappers with melted butter.
  17. Remove pan from oven.  Press won-ton wrappers into muffin cups and fill with apple mixture. Add sweet potatoes and peas into three muffin cups each.
  18. Continue baking for 20 minutes. Tent apple tarts after 8-10 minutes to prevent burning and top sweet potatoes with five marshmallows each.
  19. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Allow to rest 10-15 minutes.
  20. Go ahead and drink that wine now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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