Thanksgiving: Potato Pie

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Who doesn’t have Thanksgiving on the brain?

With less than a week to go before the holiday, it’s in your best interest to start acquiring a hit list of recipes for your big meal. If you plan out your dishes now, you’ll have ample time to casually shop for the ingredients and perhaps make some of the food ahead of time.   With some thoughtful planning, on Thanksgiving morning you won’t be running around like a turkey with its head chopped off.

Can you imagine a Thanksgiving table without some version of mashed potatoes as a side? It’s like having Mac without Cheese; peanuts without butter; tic without tacs. Whether sweet potato or regular potato, your holiday won’t be complete without it. So, why not take a creative spin on the traditional dish? Give your guests a tasty surprise that leaves them clamoring for the recipe.

As I scoured Mom’s recipe archives, I came across a dish that peaked my interest for the Thanksgiving holiday: Potato Pie. While the pie boasts potatoes (and I just happened to have had 4 cans of Libby’s White Potatoes in my pantry), it also sneaks in some tasty Gruyere cheese as well as cubed ham. My family doesn’t eat ham so I decided I’d substitute the meat with some cubed breast of turkey.  Plus, if there are any left overs after your Thanksgiving meal (of which I’m certain there will be), you can use your turkey for second and third batches of the pie.

I decided to experiment with the recipe before the main event. Honestly, the recipe couldn’t be any easier to make and it requires very little culinary skill; although the outcome will fool your guests into believing your dish was either made by a trained chef, or it took more than 25 minutes to make. Feel free to go crazy making homemade crusts for your Pumpkin Pie. But, who wants to spend time twice-baking potatoes? To avoid the hassle of boiling and then sieveng potatoes, I actually used two cans of Libby’s Sliced White Potatoes (with non-BPA lining) as my base for the dish.

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The potatoes are soft enough so that when you place them in your blender or mix master, they mash up quite quickly (a lot easier than peeling, boiling, and using a hand masher).

In addition to the shredded Gruyere cheese, the sprinkling of Panko bread crumbs renders a nice flavorful crunch to the soft warm mash. Then, pair that with some warm cubed turkey, and your meal will be complete. Be forewarned, each bite is savory and quite filling.  You will definitely have leftovers to enjoy.

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I baked my “pie” in a 9.5” pie dish–it adds to the mystery of the dish. My kids were so curious. Any version of mashed potatoes they’ve ever eaten has been served in a bowl. Then, when they took their first bites and experienced the turkey and melted cheese, their excitement couldn’t be contained.

“This is awesome,” my 9-year old son proclaimed.

“Can we eat this again on Thanksgiving? ”

I smiled knowing one hurdle had already been accomplished. Now, onto the turkey brine….

Hope you enjoy.

 

Disclaimer:

I was compensated for writing this post on behalf of Libby’s table. However, all opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinoa with Pomegranate and Pistachio

Quinoa and Pistachio picture courtesy of AARP The Magazine

Are you starting to gear up for your Thanksgiving feast?

Maybe you’re starting to ear-mark some recipes you’ve come across in magazines or books?

Surprisingly, over Thanksgiving weekend, I don’t cook at all.  We head back down to Baltimore to visit our respective families and the minute I step out of the car, I assume the role of guest for the entire weekend.  It is a bit odd, the one non-denominational holiday that revolves around food and I’m not cooking at all.  But, I’ve come to relish in the fact that while everyone elses kitchen is probably brimming with activity and wafting with the aromas from the delicious medley of food, my kitchen is closed.

I’m psyched to share with you a recipe from  Stanley Tucci.  This dish is actually his wife’s gluten-free Quinoa With Pomegranate & Pistachio recipe.  It makes a tasty non-traditional side dish to complement the traditional offerings at your  festive meal.

Healthy and full of flavor, the recipe is ideal for parents and kids alike who are following gluten-free diets.  It can easily be customized with your favorite cheeses (feta, goat, etc.) and/or spices.  This is a perfect light holiday side dish (in place of stuffing) to complement your turkey or meat.

I know you’ll enjoy.

Cinnamon and Raisin Quick Bread

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I have many fond memories of Mom making bread on any given Sunday during the fall and winter months.

The furnace was her special place for the ceremonial bowl bread rising process. Like a kid in a candy shop, she’d relish in sheer delight at the site of risen dough.  Then she’d fastidiously knead the dough and allow the allotted time for it to rise again. I never partook in these events.  I merely watched her with sheer amazement.

While I am no longer fearful of bread making myself (I’ve even made a Challah), I actually approach this culinary experience as if embarking on the most awesome science experiment. However, working with yeast is still a little stressful (for me) and takes lots of patience. If you add water that’s too hot, it’ll kill the yeast. Too cold, nothing will happen. And, you need to be able to block out a significant amount of time to wait for the bread to rise. Sometimes, making bread feels like the shuttle launch; all conditions need to be perfect to yield the ideal loaf.

For these reasons, it’s hard for me to deny a bread recipe that doesn’t require yeast or a rising: a quick bread recipe. The operative word here is QUICK. Honestly, this recipe is as simple as your most basic recipe instructions: combine your ingredients, put in the oven to bake, enjoy.

I found this quick bread recipe over at Weelicious (one of my favorite food blogs).  It peaked my interested because it sounded healthy and delicious: Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread.  Healthy and delicious? Plus, after a quick glance through my and fridge, I had all the ingredients on hand – even the no sugar applesauce. Who wouldn’t want a nice warm piece of Cinnamon Raisin bread slathered with butter for breakfast?

I whipped this bread up in no time and 50 minutes later, the apartment was bursting with the warm comforting aroma of baked cinnamon.

While the consistency of the bread is very moist, without butter or jelly on top, there isn’t much flavor. I did use regular flour in place of whole wheat flour from the recipe but that wouldn’t make much of a taste difference.  I would  recommend adding more plump raisins as well as doubling the amount of cinnamon— to give it more sweetness since there’s no added sugar.  Next time around, I might try adding some dried apples and dried cranberries.

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Beef Stew

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There’s a little chill in the air.  It’s the kind that makes you want to lay around on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  While I can’t imagine having a lazy afternoon until my kids are in college, the next best thing would be to slow cook, or to make a big pot of nourishing soup– the ultimate comfort food.

Last week my daughter and I make some very tasty Butternut Squash Soup.  She was surprised to find that something so easy to make can taste so good.  So, we’re on a soup roll. In fact, another soup was requested to appear somewhere on this week’s dinner rotation.  Thankfully, I reached out to a resident NYC foodie, Gloria Kobrin, for her tasty Beef Stew recipe.

Gloria is a mother of two and a grandmother of two.  She has cooked her whole life for groups ranging from four to 100. Gloria specializes in creating deliciousgourmet food that is approachable to the home cook and that also happens to be Kosher. Gloria is the author of the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone and iPad  and has just  launched her new website: www.kosherbygloria.com.

Gloria shares her recipes and cooking tips on her Kosher Cookbook page on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/KosherCookbookApp, on Twitter.com/Koshercookbook as well as on Instagram and on Pinterest.

Hope you enjoy this hearty recipe!

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