Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Troubles

     Well, remember my Thanksgiving countdown list to help you have a stress-free holiday? Let me share a little of my life from the past two days...first, my oven is dying a slow death.It sounds like an old lawn mower. Heaven knows I have worked that thing to death. Yet, I am still baking, and praying that it makes it until tomorrow.
   One of my boys sat on my kitchen table today, and it cracked in I watched half of the bread cubes for my stuffing go flying across my kitchen, I have to admit, I laughed. It wasn't funny, but it was know what I mean? I just thought about all that has gone on here on LI the past month, and what happened in my kitchen was really nothing to be sad or angry was funny.
    So, in the spirit of the season, I ask you to please keep those with real problems and misfortune in your prayers. Depending on how my oven fares, we may or may not roast a turkey tomorrow, but at least we'll be together.
  I am posting some pictures of some turkey treats I managed to make for my children's class parties in the midst of all of this chaos. The turkey cookie idea comes from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle, an amazing cookie artist who never fails to inspire me!Check out her blog at

   Have  a wonderful Thanksgiving, and don't sweat the small stuff!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pie Dough

 Making pie dough really is not as complicated as it sounds.If you have a food processor, then it really becomes a quick process. This particular dough is made with butter and shortening.  The most important thing is for the ingredients to be super cold! If they are not, you will wind up with soggy dough.I like this dough around the holidays, because it is light and flaky.The following recipe will give you enough dough for two single crust pies, or one double crust pie. It is a great idea to make a few batches,then wrap and freeze them, this way making a pie will be, well, as easy as pie (corny, I know, but I had to do it).

10 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
6 Tbsp. shortening, cold , cut into cubes
pinch of salt
1 tsp. sugar
2-1/4 c. flour
1/3 (possibly a touch more), ice cold water

   In the bowl of your food processor, mix the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter and shortening,and pulse only a few short times. The butter and shortening should be the size of peas. With the processor running, slowly add the water through the opening,until the dough comes together in a ball- like shape. DO NOT add all of the water at may end up with mushy dough. A little more water can always be added if it is too dry, but once you add too much water, you cannot take it away!

  Pour the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper.Form it into a round, then cut it in half. Form each piece into a round, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap, or place in a plastic storage bag. Refrigerate for at least one hour, then roll out onto a generously floured surface, and place into your pie plate as follows.

How To Roll Out Pie Dough:
   Place the dough on a floured surface. Roll from the middle out, turning the dough a half -turn each time, until it is the desired size.

  Roll the dough around the rolling pin, then carefully unroll it over the pie plate. Gently ease the dough into the plate so it fits( this prevents it from shrinking while baking). Cut off the excess dough around the edge, leaving about one inch. Fold the extra inch under, all the way around the pie plate. Then using your thumb and two fingers on your other hand, crimp the edges if desired( I tried to have my kids take this pic, but it did not work out too well).Freeze the dough in the plate until ready to use.

***Save the scraps to make decorative edges as shown here.Just brush the crust with a little water, then add the mini shapes. I used a pie dough/cookie cutter from .

***I also make mini pies by cutting out circles with a biscuit cutter,and placing in a mini tart pan.Be on the lookout for the end result this week!
  Have fun making your pies!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Leaf Tuille Cookies

 This is a Martha recipe from many years ago. Originally, I had bought the stencils she had offered to make the cookies with, but it has long since disappeared. Ideally, a leaf stencil from the craft store would be the thing to use, but hey, it is Thanksgiving, and who really has the time or the inclination to run out and get one? So , we improvise! I printed out a leaf template from her site on cardstock, cut it out, and that is what I used. You can also trace a leaf cookie cutter.
  Martha also had an entirely different recipe for the chocolate version....again, who has time to make two different versions? I had some leftover batter, so I added a tsp. of cocoa, and ta-da....chocolate tuilles!

1 egg white
1/4 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. cream
4tsp. butter, melted( half stick)
1/4 c. flour

In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the egg white and the sugar. Add the salt, butter and the almond extract. Blend in the flour.

   Lay your template on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Carefully spread out about 1 tbsp. of batter across the leaf pattern.Be sure to spread thinly. Carefully lift up the stencil. Bake the cookies at 350 for about 6-8 minutes until the edges are golden.
   As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, Using a flat spatula, carefully drape them over a rolling pin to give them a wavy appearance. Let cool. Serve alone, or as a garnish for ice-cream and other desserts.

*** To add sprinkles  or sugar to the rim of your glasses, simply dip the rim into light corn syrup, then into the desired color of sprinkles or sugar! A nice decorative touch!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Parnell's Pantry: Some Thanksgiving Recipe Suggestions

Parnell's Pantry: Some Thanksgiving Recipe Suggestions: I have been writing this blog since January,and we have covered quite a few recipes.Although they haven't been featured this month,perhaps y...