Even if you only bake pies once or twice a year, there's something magical about shaping dough, filling it, then baking and sharing your creation with those you love. A homemade pie is a labor of love. It is effort put forth to take simple ingredients and turn them into something special, something memorable. Food brings people together and memories are made around food, both in the kitchen and around the table. Let's make those memories extra special this year with a little extra (homemade) effort and lots of love.
This year for Thanksgiving I decided to jazz up the pecan pie a bit with maple syrup and bourbon. We use real maple syrup all the time so I decided to substitute it for half of the corn syrup. It was a good syrup blend and worked well for both flavor and texture. Bourbon seemed like a natural addition to a maple pecan pie especially since we have been official Kentuckians for a couple of years now.
I went light on the bourbon adding only 2 Tablespoons. Many recipes call for 3 to 4 Tablespoons of bourbon. I thought 2 Tablespoons added just the right amount of flavor without overpowering other flavors. You can always start with 2 Tablespoons and add more if you think it needs it.
Since we're talking food memories and bourbon, I'm getting into the Holiday family memories mood. I have the fondest memories of going to my great grandmother, Doddin's house in Cynthiana, KY every Christmas. We usually only saw Doddin once a year because we lived a 12 hour drive away. Her house was pretty formal and my sisters and I had to mostly sit quietly while we visited in her sitting room. My great grandmother always had a tray of homemade bourbon balls. If I remember correctly they were strong and we weren't allowed to eat them. But that was ok because we always got to go in her kitchen for a special treat of Reese's cups and Coke.
Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie
1 unbaked pie crust
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/2 C. maple syrup
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. bourbon
1 1/4 C. pecan halves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Whisk ingredients together to combine and pour into unbaked pie shell.
3. Bake 40-45 minutes until crust has browned and filling has set. I make foil pie shields to cover the crust edges and protect them from over-browning and leave them on for most of the baking time. Let pie cool before serving.
Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!
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When it comes to cookies, chocolate chip cookies are pretty much at the top of the list. And as much as I love baking homemade chocolate chip cookies, I don't have a gazillion hours in the day to make everything homemade all of the time.
To be honest, I don't like most store bought cookies. Many are too soft or too hard and taste like they have been sitting around way too long. With some there is a weird aftertaste that tastes so unnatural it makes them taste like they were made in a chemical laboratory. You don't have to worry about that with Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies. These cookies are delicious, the perfect crispness, and no weird aftertaste.
My husband, who really should be a food critic, was skeptical at first, but after trying one, he went for another and then another. The only bad thing is that they are kind of addicting. We went through the whole box in just a couple of days.
In addition to being so delicious, Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies are Non-GMO and contain no hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. They retail for $3.49 to $3.99 each and are available at almost all major retailers, including Kroger, Ahold Delhaize stores, Publix, Whole Foods Market, and Sprouts Farmers Market. To find a store near you, visit: backtonaturefoods.com/where-to-buy
I love to eat healthy fresh foods like salads, but as the temperature drops, I find myself craving warm comfort foods like soups, casseroles, and breads. While these can be healthy, I notice a decreasing amount of fresh vegetables grace our table this time of year.
The key for me is finding fresh vegetables that I love to cook and eat. Some of my favorites this time of year are carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, cabbage, acorn squash, butternut squash, and sugar snap peas. Sugar snap peas are pretty much my favorite all year long, but they can be a bit pricier so I keep my eye out for the marked down packages. I never pay full price for sugar snap peas because in my local stores, they run $5 to $6 a pound, but when they mark them down 50% or more, I snatch them up. They are usually packaged in the produce section with a sale by or use by date so when they get close to that date, the store marks them down. I use within a day or two of purchase and they are always fresh and delicious.
Since shrimp are on the pricier side too, when I see a deal I buy a pound or two for the freezer. Some of my favorite shrimp recipes are Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo and Shrimp and Grits. I like to buy raw shrimp for recipes so there is less chance I will overcook them. I am almost always multi-tasking in the kitchen since I have four kiddos so any help in the "not overcooking department" is always appreciated.
Slightly sweet and savory with just a little kick, you will love these honey lime shrimp with sugar snap peas. So much flavor in the sauce...pour it over the rice to soak into every delicious bite!
Honey Lime Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas
1 pound medium or large raw shrimp
1/2 cup olive oil
¼ cup honey
Juice and zest of 2 limes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
¼ to ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound fresh sugar snap peas
Hot cooked rice for serving
1. Thaw shrimp in a colander under running water. Then peel off shells. Most shrimp is deveined when processed, if not, remove veins. Set shrimp aside.
2. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a Zipper seal bag or plastic container. Add the shrimp. Refrigerate for ½ an hour or more.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok to medium high. Then add the shrimp, marinade and sugar snap peas. Cook until the shrimp turns a creamy pink color. Serve over rice.
Linking up at Mommy Moments
I think beets are one of those vegetables that are often overlooked like turnips or brussel sprouts. Maybe you've never tried them. Maybe they grace your table once a year for a special dinner. Maybe you tried canned beets once at a salad bar. Whatever your experience with beets, these roasted beets are a game changer.
Simply delicious! These balsamic roasted beets are tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and roasted until tender. That's it. Simple seasonings that come together to create an amazing flavor explosion.
And guess what? You don't even have to get out the measuring spoons. Just drizzle the olive oil and vinegar, grind the salt and pepper and toss. If you have never peeled beets before, let me tell you it's really easy to peel beets after they have simmered for an hour. The skins will soften and come right off with a pairing knife.
Balsamic Roasted Beets
4 to 5 large beets*
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1. Boil beets, then reduce heat and simmer on low for about an hour.
2. Peel beets, then quarter and toss in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
3. Toss with salt and pepper.
4. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at 400 degrees F. or until tender.
*4 to 5 beets is just a recommendation (for a family of 4 to 5). Make as many or as few as you like.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned work at home Mom blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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