Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Spiced Mixed-Nut Pie

3 eggs
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbs spiced rum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Instant Clearjel
3 cups salted, roasted, mixed nuts

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Set aside pie plate with prepared crust of your choosing.
2) Beat the eggs with the brown sugar, corn syrup, rum, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, vanilla extract and Clearjel, in a large bowl. Stir in the nuts. Pour pie mixture into prepare pie crust.
3) Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pie is mostly set. Let cool completely.

Review: This looked like such a fun pie to make for the holidays. It originally called for dark rum, but couldn't find any in local liquor stores, at least none in a size less than a liter! So, I used a bit of Captain Morgan's, though I considered using an espresso rum. I also liked using Trader Joe's mix of nuts, since it included macadamia nuts! Yum. So, it did seem similar to a pecan pie, but was so much more exotic. I looooooooved this pie!!

Before baking:
Adapted from:

Thanksgiving Dressing (original recipe)

2 lb pumpkin, peeled and diced
16oz bag wild rice
4 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbs olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts chopped
1 pkg fresh sage, chopped
2 portabello caps, chopped
2 cups walnuts, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 400F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss pumpkin with 1 Tbs olive oil. Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes, until browned and tender.
2) Meanwhile, combine wild rice and vegetable broth in a dutch oven. Heat on the stovetop over medium-high heat, until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 45-50 minutes (until broth is fully absorbed).
3) Once the pumpkin and wild rice has been cooking for 30 minutes, bring out a saute pan. Combine 1 Tbs olive oil, leeks, mushrooms and sage. Heat over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, until most of the water from the mushrooms has evaporated.
4) Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl, serve warm.

Review: Ha! I made an original recipe, just from the top of my head. Thank goodness it turned out so wonderfully delicious, or I'd have nothing to eat for the holiday. This made a tremendous amount of food, so there's plenty for me and some to share.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sage & Maple Roasted Chickpeas, with Kale & Mashed Sweet Potates

15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and dried
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 Tbs maple syrup, divided
2 Tbs fresh sage leaves, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 bunch kale stems removed, chopped into 2-inch pieces

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a large, rimmed baking sheet with olive oil spray.
2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 Tbs olive oil and 1 Tbs maple syrup. Add the sage and chickpeas, toss to combine.
3) Pour chickpea mixture onto the rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Roast until the chickpeas are browned and crispy, about 30 minutes.
4) About 20 minutes into the chickpeas cooking, pierce the sweet potatoes all over. Place on a paper towel in the microwave. Microwave on high about 7-8 minutes, until soft.
5) When the sweet potatoes have cooled slightly, peel the skin off with your hands. Divide the sweet potatoes among your serving bowls. Mash each with a fork, then drizzle with remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil and 1 Tbs maple syrup, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
6) Toss the kale with the chickpeas on the rimmed baking sheet. Spray with olive oil cooking spray and put back into oven for another 5-7 minutes, until kale has wilted and crisped.
7) Top mashed sweet potatoes with chickpea and kale mixture. Serve immediately.

Review:  I hate cleaning kale, so I bought a bag of prewashed, prechopped kale. However, it doesn't remove the stems. This made for a messy meal as I had to spit out the stems (totally not edible). I also believe my kale didn't crisp up because of the stems. Oops, big mistake. Regardless, this was really tasty. Sweet potatoes and maple syrup are always a great flavor combination. Then, the chickpeas caramelized (not dried out like chickpea snacks) and the kale balanced out the sweetness. It's a great fall dish!
Adapted from: