From Garden to Pumpkin to Pie & Pecan Bourbon Pie

Ready for the oven

IMG_0199Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and if you’re putting on the feast yourself, cooking has to start at least the day before. Today I baked pies and thawed out the turkey. The bird will go in brine when it finishes thawing and be ready for roasting the morning before the feast.

In years past, on request, I’ve made pumpkin pie from real pumpkins. I learned that most of what is called canned pumpkin is actually butternut or hubbard or some kind of squash. It took some searching but I found a recipe for pumpkin pie that calls for pumpkin slurry, which I make by roasting pumpkin and putting it in a food processor. Let me tell you, pumpkin pie made from real pumpkin, fresh pumpkin is the most delicious pumpkin pie I’ve ever eaten.

Roasted pumpkin

Roasted pumpkin

This year we upped the ante. This very morning I went out and selected a lovely pumpkin that came from our very own garden. I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and roasted it in the oven. Once roasted the skin just pulled right off, no fuss no muss. The skin went into the compost bin and the pumpkin slurry went right into a mixing bowl to be turned into pie filling.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Fresh pumpkin pie filling smells good even before it has been baked. My modest 6 to 8 inch pumpkin made two deep dish pies. Already I’m having to beat back the hungry hordes who want to test them before Thanksgiving dinner is served.

Today I also made bourbon pecan mini pies. The pecan pies are mini pies mainly because I only have two pie plates and I used them for the pumpkin pies. Thankfully I have a large muffin tin that I was able to press into service for individual sized pecan pies. Although I suspect they are actually large enough to share with a friend.

Next I’ll make my grandmothers dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs and the sriracha slaw. That’ll leave only the green beans, salad, and turkey for the final day of cooking.

Pumpkin Pies out of the oven

Pumpkin Pies out of the oven

Pecan Bourbon Mini Pies

Pecan Bourbon Mini Pies

Thanksgiving Recipes, #Godzilla Review & Some Cosplay

Garlic Mashed potatoes, cheesy corn, dressing, turkey and other delicious dishes.

Thanksgiving is this week and due to family obligations I decided to have my Thanksgiving early. I made sage and mushroom dressing (never stuffing) which is always a favorite, cheesy corn (based off my best guess from Jack’s Stack BBQ in Kansas City–if you ever get to KC do give that place a try. The BBQ is absolutely superb and the cheesy corn is so tasty) and I played with my mashed potato recipe, adding 7 o 8 cloves of garlic to the potatoes as they boiled and then a whole container of brie cheese when I mashed them along with the stapes, butter, cream and salt and pepper. They were the absolutely best mashed potatoes I’ve ever made. I tried a new green bean recipe this time: Hoisin green beans with black sesame seeds. They were delicious also. Turkey was the main protein along with gravy to go with the mashed potatoes and dressing. There were also deviled eggs and this time I tried some fresh mozzarella capris hors d’oeuvres to get people started while I carved the turkey. There were rainbow carrots at the market and I got them to make glazed carrots. So a couple of recipes for you, gentle reader:

Garlic Mashed potatoes, cheesy corn, dressing, turkey and other delicious dishes.

Garlic Mashed potatoes, cheesy corn, dressing, turkey and other delicious dishes.


Garlic Brie Mashed Potatoes
4-6 large russet potatoes
7-8 cloves of garlic, peeled
heavily salted water for boiling
1 pkg brie, rind trimmed off and cut into cubes
1 stick butter (diet food this is not)
1/2 to 1 cup milk, half and half or cream (whichever you have or want to use)

peel and cut the potatoes into cubes and cook in boiling water with the garlic cloves until fork tender. Drain water, add potatoes and garlic back to pan. Add butter, cream, brie, salt and pepper. Mash with potato ricer. Delicious by themselves or with gravy.

Hoisin Green Beans
1 lb fresh green beans, cleaned and prepared for cooking
1 jar of Hoisin sauce
2-3 TBSP of sesame seeds (white or black, I had black so that’s what I used)
1 TBSP butter

In large skillet add butter and green beans. Sauté until beans are tender but not mushy, you still want them a little crunchy. Add hoisin sauce and sesame seeds. Cook for a minute or two and serve.

Glazed Rainbow Carrots

1/2 lb carrots (more if you have more people)
3 TBSP butter
1/2 C Brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Clean and cut the carrots into coins or bite sized pieces or dice, whatever shape you like. In small sauce pan on low heat add carrots, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Put a lit on the pan and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender. Remove lid and raise heat to reduce sauce to a glaze. Yum-yum.

Now on to Godzilla. Fangirl nation did run my review of Godzilla Cataclysm Issue #4 and here is the link I promised. I have to confess that I totally gave in to my inner squeeing fangirl when writing this review. The truth is that I’m really particularly enjoying these comics and I’ve read quite a few comics in my time. I was, and still am, a huge X-Man fan. As any comic book reader will tell you, there are some stories that stand out and Godzilla Cataclysm is one of them.

Cosplay:

Mothra cosplay

Mothra cosplay

Gratuitous pic of Mothra cosplay with Dirk Benedict

Gratuitous pic of Mothra cosplay with Dirk Benedict


I still need to make some minor adjustments to my Mothra cosplay. I’ve also got a new piece for my steampunk cosplay that I’m very excited to try out at the next comic con I can get to. Honestly I don’t know how I could possibly top my Mothra cosplay and I plan to wear it to a lot of cons.

Weekend Blogging

As you know, gentle reader, I have recently gotten a new job and as a result I’ve been far too busy and exhausted to blog daily. For that I do apologize. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to keep this blog going with my schedule the way it is.

At first I thought I could write up a bunch of posts on the weekends and pre-schedule them to post during the week. That hasn’t worked out all that well, as you can tell. It takes so much time to do the research and write a decent blog post that it was eating up my weekends to write 5 posts. So I’ve decided just to blog on the weekends. A couple posts won’t take up too much time and I can give you something fairly well written and, hopefully, interesting to read about.

Today is Thanksgiving, I hope you all have a happy one. Comet ISON is going ’round the sun and we will learn her fate here before too much longer. Enjoy your family, enjoy your friends and be thankful for what you have, however little or much it may be.

Happy 4th of July

fireworks-american-flag

fireworks-american-flagIt’s the 4th of July. A day when we celebrate the independence of our great nation. Today we celebrate an ideal–that all men and women are created equal and that government should serve the people. We celebrate the ideal of freedom for every living being. Freedom from oppression, freedom of religion, freedom to make our own choices in this life. Those are the ideals that the United States of America was founded upon.

Remember those things and be safe while celebrating today. Keep a bucket of water nearby to douse spent fireworks in. Don’t leave food out in the heat all day. Supervise children with sparklers and only let adults set off other fireworks. Nothing ruins a holiday faster than a trip to the emergency room.

If you’re drinking, don’t drive. If you’re driving, don’t drink beverages that impair your faculties. Be careful, be thoughtful and enjoy your freedoms. Don’t take them for granted, think about them and be grateful while you celebrate with friends, family and loved ones. K.