November 27, 2015

Peanut butter cup bars

Need a quick and easy dessert that is also sure to be a crowd pleaser? Then look no further than these Peanut Butter Cup Bars! There are recipes for these bars all over the internet, so I'm not creating anything new here (but I also don't know where they originated from either). I do know that they were something I waited too long to make and that they are good enough that all of you should know about them too if you don't already! They really taste a lot like everyone's favorite peanut butter cup candies, but in a simple bar form. I made these to take to my brother's house warming party and they were a hit. Plus -- there's no baking involved! They will also be perfect for when you need a quick treat to take to a holiday gathering or potluck.

November 23, 2015

Winter squash dinner rolls

I'm behind this year.... It's week 3 of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash, one of my favorite food blogger events... But I missed the first two weeks this time. This year our event is hosted by LeAndra at Love & Flour. Last year I actually made a recipe for each of the 12 weeks! It was a goal of mine since we had so many winter squash and many varieties. I think this is my third year participating in this event and I'm going to try to hit as many weeks as I can. You'd think I'd run out of new ways to use winter squash, but it hasn't happened yet!

This recipe infuses winter squash puree into light and fluffy dinner rolls. There's still time to add these to your Thanksgiving dinner menu. They make a perfect bread to accompany your meal with their light orange color. They don't taste overwhelmingly of squash, especially with the bit of whole wheat flour, but you can detect it. Keep this recipe around to go with your soups and chilis as well all through the winter. I used butternut squash puree, but pumpkin, acorn, kabocha, or any thick winter squash puree will work. This recipe will make about 9 dinner rolls, depending on how much flour your dough takes up.

November 18, 2015

Skillet tamale pie

Well readers, here I am with another pie recipe. I really overshot the idea of actually making (and consuming?!) 25 pies this year, but I'm thinking that I'll get to 15 so I guess that will be good enough for me. Sure, this isn't a traditional pie with a full crust, but it counts! This is a main dish pie that's perfect for a hearty cold-weather dinner. Tex-Mex food is where it's at for me. I've always loved it and we eat it quite frequently. I've never met anyone who doesn't love it. This tamale pie has a chili-like filling that is topped with a lightly sweetened cornbread and then baked until golden and bubbly. It's sure to be a hit in your house!

Last week I was featured in The Public, Buffalo's alternative newspaper as the Buffalo Chowhounds of Instagram of the Week. You can read the article here and come follow me on Instagram if you aren't already @savory_moments.  I haven't been on Instagram for all that long yet and would love to find more people to follow. Thank you! 

November 13, 2015

Bean with bacon soup

As a kid, one of my most favorite soups to eat was a can of bean with bacon soup. I loved it. That and split pea. I have always found both of these soups to be oddly comforting. So I've been trying to recreate bean with bacon soup at home. I've tried a few times now and I think this version was pretty close in terms of flavor, though it has a bit more vegetables. I tried using dried beans to make it in the past, and it was okay, but only canned beans were able to recreate the texture I was trying for, no matter how long I cooked those dried beans. It's definitely getting into the time of year when we are having soup for dinner (and then lunch leftovers) at least once a week. It's getting cold and that means all the soup we can eat! Soups are one of my favorite things to make because they are warming and comforting, but also they are usually a great frugal meal and a terrific way to stretch meats and use up odd vegetables you have in the fridge.

So now when the weather is cold, or I'm feeling under the weather, I can make a big pot of this soup to warm me up. This will make enough for several servings of soup. Serve this with a side of crusty bread or some cheese and crackers for a complete meal. 

November 9, 2015

Cranberry apple pie

Thanksgiving is coming and that means it's time for PIE. Well, here it's pretty much always time for pie, but Thanksgiving is the official pie holiday. Each year I like to make a new pie along with the standby of Old-fashioned Pumpkin Pie. Concord Grape Tart has pretty much become a standby now since I first introduced it to my family a few years ago. Others we love for Thanksgiving are Maple Pecan Pie, Honey Walnut Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, and Chocolate Cream Pie. This year I wanted to try a pie with cranberry. I really love cranberries and am striving to incorporate them into more dishes through their season other than just cranberry sauce (which I love by the way). We still had some apples left in the crisper from apple picking so I though I'd try combining the two into a pie that is perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner.

I enjoyed this pie a lot because it was sweet, but not cloying sweet - the tartness from the cranberries was a lovely compliment to the pie. I used my favorite lard-butter crust for this pie - a double batch. We render our own lard when we get our half of a pastured pig each year, so I'm good with using lard. It's also a pie that's perfect to be served with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

What's your favorite Thanksgiving pie?

November 6, 2015

Pickled quince

Do you have quince growing in your region? We can find it here in Western New York from a couple local farms in the fall and occasionally in the grocery stores in the fall and winter. They are a very hard fruit that needs to be cooked before eating. A few years ago my husband and I discovered this old Bing Crosby Christmas song "Christmas Dinner Country Style" (if you've never heard it, check it out - it's great) on a holiday album we bought. I absolutely love the song, and then became kind of obsessed with the idea of pickled quince at a holiday table. Lucky for me I have a copy of Ripe and it contains a whole section on quinces and also a recipe for pickles. 

I actually made these pickles last year at this time, but ran out of time to post them before quince season was over.... so I saved them until now. Now is the perfect time to scout out some quince and make a batch of pickles to serve along with your holiday roast, turkey, or ham. These pickles offer a unique and lovely compliment to roasted meats - sharp, sweet, tart, and delicious. They will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks and indeed I'd recommend making them at least one week ahead of when you want to eat them so they become extra flavorful.

November 2, 2015

Bacon cheeseburger pie

Oh my, Bacon Cheeseburger Pie is now in my life and it's left me wondering where it's been all these years. At first, I was skeptical of this idea... But, you see, since I'm trying to work my way through 25 Pies in 2015 (not going to make it to 25, folks) and found myself with a block of Yancey's Fancy Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger Cheese, I had to give it a go! I first saw a recipe for a cheeseburger pie here and have been thinking on this idea for a while now..... We loved it! I mean, we truly could not get enough of this tasty pie when we had it for dinner and I totally looked forward to my lunch leftovers the next day. It tasted a lot like a cheeseburger, especially with the dill pickles on the side. Don't forget the pickles, they are very important! My husband kinda swooned over this pie a bit.

I think next time I will serve it with a salad of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and Thousand Island dressing to keep the burger feel going. This recipe will serve about 4 people (or more especially with a nice salad, or less if you love it as much as us). I'll warn you right now - it's addictively delicious!