Thanksgiving, for me, is always such a great mix of traditional foods and new recipes that push the envelope of classics just a little. In our house, no Thanksgiving is complete without Dixie Pie (find the recipe here) or my mother in law’s pumpkin bread. There is always turkey*, of course, and the traditional sides. Because of distance and job requirements, my husband and I alternate years with our extended family so our food traditions are a little different each fall! While each family does a great job of trying to incorporate those “must have” dishes to make Thanksgiving really feel like home, we also love having something different to look forward to each year. I like to try a twist on a classic side dish each year and with that in mind, I have pulled together a list of Good Food Reads for your upcoming Thanksgiving. You won’t find any traditional turkey or sweet potato recipes here – I trust you have plenty of sources for those – but there are plenty of recipes for classics that push the envelope just a bit. Here’s to a happy and tasty Thanksgiving!…
***Happy 4th of July***Happy 4th of July***Happy 4th of July***Happy 4th of July***Happy 4th of July***
Happy 4th of July all of you loyal readers! We had actually decided not to do a 4th of July post since both of us had family events to host. However, that was before stumbling across an amazing post by Lady Behind the Curtain! Who is that you ask? Well, a fellow blogger that I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with through social media. She creates unbelievable food and gives great entertaining tips.
One of her latest creations was a stars and stripes pie that was just calling to me! Anyone that knows me, knows that I am the least Pinterest-y person around. I never decorate for holidays (minimally for Christmas-and really only because I have kids), I’ve never made cute little kids projects (even though I have 2 kids), and I’m not at all crafty! A patriotic pie? With stars and stripes? Laugh if you will, but just you wait-I think I actually pulled this one off!
The winter months are not known for their abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. After the heavy meals of the holiday season, the arrival of the mid-winter citrus crop is always a welcome addition to my kitchen. A few weeks ago I bought a giant bag of fresh limes at Costco, and while a few wound up in gin and tonics, I was left with pounds of limes and a little inspiration. Enter: Lime Curd with a Hint of Vanilla. It’s an easy, creamy, bright and versatile treat that can be added to baked goods like tarts, cupcakes or scones, or simply eaten with a spoon (my preferred method!).
Lime curd is a careful meld of butter, sugar, citrus juice, and eggs. Gently heating the eggs in the presence of sugar allows them to stay creamy and light and keeps them from scrambling. If you’re into the science of cooking, check out this article in the LA Times (from 1998!). The beauty of a citrus curd is that its proportions are forgiving. I prefer a soft, slightly more tart version so I use whole eggs, less sugar, and a moderate amount of butter. If you want a sweeter and firmer version (for use in bars or pies, for example) you can simply increase the sugar and switch to egg yolks. The key to the recipe is really to take it low and slow and be sure to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble. Let it cool and then just try to keep from eating it all at once. It’s delicious on scones and really fantastic mixed into some vanilla Siggi’s yogurt in the morning. The curd will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week and freezes beautifully.
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup lime juice (approximately 2 large or 3-4 small limes)
- zest of 1 lime
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste
- Melt the butter in a non-reactive sauce pain over low heat.
- While the butter is melting, pulse together the sugar and lime zest in a food processor until combined.
- Add the lime juice, sugar and zest, to the pan with the butter and whisk until the sugar dissolves.
- Gently beat the eggs in a small bowl.
- Working one tablespoon at a time, add some of the lime juice mixture to the beaten eggs. Be sure to keep whisking so as not to scramble the eggs!
- Add the egg/juice mixture back to the sauce pain.
- over continued gentle heat, whisk the mixture constantly until a smooth curd begins to form, somewhere just below a simmer (and around 160-175 degrees).
- Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in the vanilla bean paste to taste.
Ya’ll. This pie is the stuff that holiday dreams are made of, I promise. A twist on the classic pecan pie, it is made with walnuts instead of pecans, and peppered with chocolate and a hint of bourbon. I was first introduced to it as a kid at our annual Thanksgiving celebration we shared with good friends (Hi Pam!). The mother of the family we celebrated with used to make a pie for every child present, each with our own can of whipped cream. While I don’t recommend the pie-per-person serving size (this pie is really quite rich!), I do recommend you make more than one if you are planning a gathering of more than three or four people. …