I know pumpkin is the standard when it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, and you won’t hear any complaints from this pumpkin lover about that. However, I know not everyone out there feels the same, and this dessert is for them.
We went apple picking with our friends Dan and Rebecca a few weekends ago. It was a spur of the moment, all three of us were dressed and out of the house in less than an hour, type of thing. As such, I didn’t know in advance what I would make with my apples, which of course didn’t stop us from picking several pounds of them anyway. Apparently this is a common occurrence, but I usually account for all the recipes I want to make before picking apples. Oops.
Once we got home, I started looking through my saved recipes. I have a lot of them, but I kept coming back to this one. Apples, caramel and pie dough? Oh yes. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, even when looking at other recipes. Times like that, it’s best just to go ahead and make whatever recipe I’m craving because I know nothing else will satisfy me until I do.
This recipe takes a few simple components – all butter pie dough, sweetened apples and homemade caramel sauce – and turns them into a sum greater than the parts. All of those things are good enough on their own, so just think about how good they must be together (hint: really, really good).
I love my standard pie dough recipe, but I decided to go with the recipe included here for a couple of reasons, the main one being that I don’t feel like I need a butter and shortening pie dough if I’m not cutting and re-rolling over and over again (like I did for Clara’s party). Galettes are meant to be rustic looking, so there’s no concern over keeping the dough in a perfect circle. Once it’s rolled and filled, the dough is creased and folded, and it doesn’t even really matter how it looks as long as it holds the filling in.
These were good right out of the oven, and I barely let them cool before diving in. It’s hard to beat flaky pie dough and sweet, juicy apples, but adding caramel sauce is a guaranteed way to do just that. In the case of these apple galettes, it makes them taste especially rich and decadent. If you’re looking for a stunning dessert to showcase at Thanksgiving, this could very well be it.
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Thanksgiving is next week. What?! Thanks to our kitchen renovation, we are not at all prepared for a food-centric holiday. The good news, though, is that our kitchen is nearing completion. About freaking time, right? The cabinets look so good, and I can’t wait to show all of you our new kitchen. Until then, here’s something that will come in handy next week – an awesome Thanksgiving recipe.
I’ve had my share of dressing/stuffing (side note: Do you know people that still call it stuffing even though it wasn’t stuffed into a turkey? That’s always been odd to me, but I find myself doing it sometimes, too. Dressing makes me think of salads. Can we give this a new name? Haha.) in my 28 years of life, and I can honestly say that most of them haven’t been that memorable. Eric and I made a pretty fantastic chorizo and brioche version for our first Thanksgiving in Virginia, but that’s the only one that really sticks out as a dish I’d eat again. I find most dressings to be, well, lacking – too mushy, too uniform in texture, you get the point. I’ve had typical bread cube dressings and cornbread dressings, but what I’ve never had before is a dressing made with biscuits. Oh yes, you heard that right. Biscuits AND bacon. You’re welcome.
Why it never occurred to me to make dressing with biscuits, I don’t know, but I do know this is the only way I’ll make it for the foreseeable future. Homemade biscuits are combined with a full pound of bacon, some aromatics, mushrooms, celery, onions and chicken broth to form what is easily going to be the Thanksgiving showstopper. What was once a boring, flavorless, afterthought is now going to be the center of my Thanksgiving table for many years to come. The biscuits have the perfect texture for dressing. They absorb just enough broth without becoming soggy. The big pieces of biscuits and the crispy bacon give this dressing layers of texture. This is just an all around fabulous recipe, and I’m thinking it might be making an appearance at Christmas, too.
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One-pan and slow cooker meals have been reigning in our kitchen ever since we started our renovation. This has given me a plethora of new recipes to add to my repertoire, and I’m certain these quick dinners will come in handy well after our renovation is complete (which will hopefully be soon). This recipe is one we’ve been making for a couple years now, and I figured it was about time to share it with all of you (nighttime picture and all).
The best thing about adding all my old starred items from Google Reader into Pocket (see my tutorial) is that I’ve come across a lot of recipes I had forgotten about, this being one of them. When I was on the hunt for a one-pan meal, I came across this gem that I saved in 2011. We made it a couple times that year and once again shortly after Clara was born, and I’m so glad to have it in the back of my mind next time I need a quick dinner.
I love lasagna but rarely make it, probably for the same reasons as some of you. It makes a ton of food, something we almost never need, and it can be somewhat time consuming. For a special occasion, sure. But on a weeknight? During a renovation? Definitely not. This recipe takes all the components of lasagna and turns them into a dinner that’s made entirely on the stovetop, without any layering or spreading. There isn’t much work involved, and the bulk of the time it takes to cook is hands off time, requiring only occasional stirring. This is one lasagna I’m happy to make on a weeknight. Also, look how happy this girl is to be eating it.
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There’s something about those first cool nights of the season, something that makes me want to curl up on the couch with a bowl of soup and watch one of my favorite shows (like Sleepy Hollow, which I’m currently obsessed with). While our nights have been cool and have involved eating dinner in the living room, they’ve been anything but relaxing. It seems like the hustle and bustle of the season starts earlier each year, and I’m already feeling pressure to break out the Christmas decorations (which, by the way, I won’t be doing since I haven’t even gotten our fall/Thanksgiving ones out yet). Between Christmas party invites, trying to figure out if and when we’re traveling for Thanksgiving and, you know, that little renovation
we have going on, I want to throw my hands up and yell “enough!” I just need time to slow down. I’m not ready for the holidays, and I’m certainly not ready for 2014. Like it or not, though, those things are coming faster than I want to believe.
Since we have things to get done before the holidays really hit us full force, dinners around here have been quick and easy. I’ve been utilizing my slow cooker more than ever. If you could see the state of our kitchen, you would understand why. There’s very little prep space, and it’s still only partially floored. Even though I have plenty of slow cooker recipes saved, the easy prep is what drew me to this one. There’s chopping, but there’s no cooking on the stovetop before everything is placed in the slow cooker. Another bonus – this recipe made plenty for us to freeze and have later, which is sure to come in handy on those nights we’re chasing daylight to cut more floorboards.
Chili is perfect for this time of year, and this recipe is a great way to change up the usual flavors. I’ve never cooked quinoa in a slow cooker, but I was really happy with how it held up during the long cook time. This chili was hearty and comforting, and we enjoyed it for several lunches during the week.
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I know I just posted a casserole, another Tex-Mex one, a couple weeks ago. Don’t be scared; I’m not changing to Casserole Like a Champion, but we have been eating a lot of casseroles around here lately. With our kitchen renovation still ongoing, simple meals are a necessity. If those meals can be made in one pan, even better.
This casserole is one of the best meals we’ve made recently. It has an interesting technique, which isn’t at all surprising considering it’s a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. Half the tortilla chips are mixed into the casserole at the beginning and help to thicken and flavor it. The remaining chips are mixed in at the end, just before broiling, and stay nice and crunchy. When Eric saw the ingredients, he couldn’t believe there wasn’t some type of seasoning listed. It’s true. All the spice comes from the chipotle peppers. This is one seriously good meal that you can have on the table in practically no time, and that’s definitely a win.
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