Saturday, November 17, 2018

Pumpkin Crisp with Streusel Topping #Recipe @PegCochran #Thanksgiving #Dinner

It's almost Thanksgiving!  I can already taste the turkey, gravy, stuffing...what's your favorite part of the feast?

If you love pumpkin but want a twist on the same old, same old pumpkin pie (or you don't feel like making a pie crust), this recipe, which I found on Novice Chef, gives you that great pumpkin pie taste but with a streusel topping.  As you will see from my pictures, I made this in a casserole type dish. I'm not sure if the timing would be different in a cast iron skillet.  


1 (15-oz.) canned pumpkin purée (pure pumpkin)
1 ½ cups sugar  
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup heavy cream

Streusel Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Butter a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a medium casserole dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.  

Whisk together pumpkin, sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk in heavy cream until smooth. Pour into prepared skillet or casserole dish.

Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter and stir with a fork until crumbly or beat with a hand mixer.

Spread cinnamon streusel topping on top of pumpkin pie mixture in an even layer.

Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.


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Friday, November 16, 2018

Cranberry Pie

Thanksgiving is looming, and since I live in Massachusetts, that means cranberries. I think I mentioned I live only a mile or two from the nearest bog, and it’s hard to go anywhere around here (including toward Cape Cod) without passing more of them.

Luckily cranberries work well in a wide range of recipes. They’re both tart and sweet, so you can use them in either sweet or savory recipes. And it’s really hard to mess them up.

I was happy to find a very impressive four-page color spread for holiday pies in this past weekend’s New York Times. Not only do the recipes sound tasty, but they’re beautiful to look at (if you’re cooking for a crowd, plan ahead because they do take a bit of time to assemble!). 

I’ve always been pie crust challenged (despite the fact that I own several rolling pins). I bought my first food processor years ago when I was living in student housing, mainly because I came home on a bus listening to two people discussing how using one had changed their attitude toward pie crusts. I’ll admit it made a real difference mostly in terms of texture, since most recipes share the same short list of ingredients: flour, salt, butter and ice water. I think you can guess what the steps are. And if you don’t have the time or patience to make your own crust, the frozen pre-made ones aren’t bad.

But it was the cranberry pie filling that drew me in. Start with making a crust recipe large enough for a top and bottom, that will cover the lovely red filling so that just a bit of color peeks through.

Cranberry Pie Filling (adapted from the recipe by Erin Jeanne McDowell, who wrote The Fearless Baker

Note: once again I made a half-recipe, since I didn’t want to eat cranberry pie for a week straight.


2-1/2 pounds cranberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
pinch of salt
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract


Prepare the pie crust of your choice and chill while you’re making the filling. I used a crust recipe I’ve had for years, which has a bit of sugar in it to offset the tartness of the cranberries.

In a medium-size pot over medium heat, combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice, sugar, spices and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries soften, about 10-15 minutes.

Blend the mixture with an immersion blender (which I just happen to have because I bought one at a neighbor’s yard sale for three dollars, and I have used it regularly), or in a regular blender or food processor (do not overblend). Return to the heat and cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture thickens (about 8-10 minutes).  Add the vanilla and almond extracts, mix, and let cool.

Pour into a prepared crust, and add the top crust (with some perforations). Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until the top crust is golden. I have a large collection of cookie cutters (including a lovely cow) but alas, none of them are suitable for Thanksgiving, so I used small maple and oak leaves instead, for an autumn theme. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

And coming soon--a holiday novella! Watch for further information.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Pimento Cheddar Scones #recipe #Thanksgiving @Lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE: As soon as the crisp days of fall arrived, I developed a craving for pimento cheddar scones. We all know that cravings are best indulged--lightly that is! 

I decided that these would be a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving menu, but they'd also go well with turkey soup for an easy supper after the holiday. They freeze well, too--what are you waiting for?


3/4 cup all-purpose flour (can substitute white whole wheat)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder (I use low sodium)
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ tsp. cayenne or to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped pimentos, drained

Preheat the oven to 425. Mix together the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or your food processor until it resembles coarse meal. Blend or pulse in the cheese. Stir together the egg and milk and add this to the other ingredients. Mix until combined. Pulse the pimentos lightly into the dough, just enough to spread them around. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a minute until everything holds together.

Flatten the dough into a disk and cut it into six pieces. Place the sections on an oiled pan or parchment paper and bake for about 12 minutes until lightly browned. (Try not to overcook or the scones will be dry.)

Happy Thanksgiving! May your table be loaded with delicious food and surrounded by the people you love...

Death on the Menu, the 8th Key West food critic mystery, is available now from Crooked Lane Books. You can order it wherever books are sold!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup #Thanksgiving #Recipe from Linda Wiken, author

We're into the countdown to Thanksgiving with recipes galore for this next week. I'm going directly to the beginning, the soup. What I like about this Sweet Potato and Carrot soup is that it's fast and easy to make, a must when the rest of the meal beckons to be prepared. It's also perfect for a fall day. And, did I mention, easy?

Of course, if sweet potatoes or carrots are being used as sides, you may want to go with a butternut squash soup or similar. But if that's the case, keep this recipe around for another chilly fall evening.

I've tossed around ideas from a friend's recipe and a couple that I found online. The two main ingredients -- sweet potatoes and carrots -- remain the same in all of them, of course. But, depending on the twist you want, or touch of heat, you can play around with the remaining ingredients. Use your favorite reliable spices or even peppers, if you'd like the heat turned up. This version is ideal for a mixed variety of tastes around the table -- not too anything but oh, so good.

Also, please note that the cooking time will vary according to how large you chop the pieces.

 I added some coconut yogurt at the