Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thansgiving Back

I was thinking aboot the supermarket scene in You've Got Mail!

Anyways, tomorrows Thanksgiving and YAY for Thanksgiving. It's a good time for me right now. I'm moving forward in my life and making scary yet good changes. Today was hard to leave and say goodbye at work, but I'm still excited to move on. I need the change. Even though I hate change. I know, it's quite a paradox. I've been struggling with it myself for the past 3 weeks. But now it's here and I have 4 days to regroup before I start my new job, my new bright future. :)

Thanksgiving is a great way to do that. I'm so excited to spend time with my family and have wedding talk and just enjoy each others company over good food and a warm atmosphere. Then up to VT for the weekend for visiting Rob's family. I Love VT, I always feel relaxed and peaceful and it's such a good place for me to take a brain break and refresh before I stary work on Monday. But for tomorrow, I'm doing a lot of dessert this year, as I LOVE to bake. :) I'm apple pieing, Pumpkin Breading and Rainbow Cookieing. I LOVE these recipes, bake them all year round for various functions, get lots of YUMMYS! I've posted the pumpkin bread and Cookies before, but I'll refresh, as I don't remember exactly where it is on the BLOG. I think last Thanksgiving. But oh well, I can repeat it. This way neither of us has to go searching through 18 months of BLOG posts. (Has it really been that long??? WOOW!!!!) Hope you enjoy!

Anyway, first for the pie crust. From
BEST EVER PIE CRUST (Their name not mine, though it IS pretty good, and REALLY easy. MUCH easier than I ever thought pie crust could be!)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening (or butter)
1/2 cup water

-In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.
-Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I'm a hands-on baker, I break up the softened butter into small pieces and do grabbing and squeezing of the mixture until it's all incorporated. It kind of looks like wet sand.)
-Stir in water until mixture forms a ball.
-Divide dough in half, and shape into balls.
-Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
-Roll out dough on a floured counter.
-Don't over work it. Use as directed in pie recipe.

Note: If necessary, use a little less water than called for in recipe. (I ALWAYS use less)

And then the Apple Crumble Pie :)

1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
5 cups apples - peeled, cored
and thinly sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C.)
-Roll out your pie crust (I do it between sheets of wax paper for some added ease.)
-To get the rolled out crust into the piepan, fold in half then again so you have a 1/4 circle. Then it's easier to lift and put into the pan, center it and then unfold.
-Arrange apple slices in unbaked pie shell.
-Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.
-Mix 1/3 cup sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly. (same technique as with the pie crust)
-Spoon mixture over apples.
-Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until apples are soft and top is lightly browned.

This year I have the GREAT PUMPKIN PAN!!!! A gift from Williams Sonoma. :) Pumpkin bread shaped like a pumpkin! How cute! :)

Rena's Pumpkin Bread Recipe

1 teaspoon each of:
baking soda
baking powder

3 cups of sugar
3 and 1/4 cups of flour
4 eggs
1 cup of oil (you can use butter or margarine too, same amount)
1 cup pumpkin. (but I use the whole of the small 15oz can)

-Mix butter sugar and eggs.
-Mix separately the flour, aking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
-Add to the wet ingredients a bit at a time.
-Stir in the Pumpkin
-Bake in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour until the toothpick comes out clean etc).

It makes 2 loaves, or ~24 muffins (depending on the size), or 2-3 small cake pans, or a great pumpkin with some left over after triming the bottoms so you can fit it together. Either way, it makes A LOT. and good thing to because it's YUMMY!!!

Rainbow Cookies

Makes 8 dozen (96 servings).

8 ounces almond paste (I use almond filling)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 drops red food coloring
6 drops green food coloring (or whatever colors you want)
1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted (I use dark chocolate)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
-Line three 9x13 inch baking pans with parchment paper.
-In a large bowl, break apart almond paste with a fork, and cream together with butter, sugar, and egg yolks.
-When mixture is fluffy and smooth, stir in flour to form a dough.
-In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
-Fold egg whites into the dough.
-Divide dough into 3 equal portions.
-Mix one portion with red food coloring, and one with green food coloring.
-Spread each portion into one of the prepared baking pans.
-Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned.
-Carefully remove from pan and parchment paper, and cool completely on wire racks.
-Place green layer onto a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap all three layers.
-Spread green layer with raspberry jam, and top with uncolored layer.
-Spread with apricot jam, and top with pink layer.
-Transfer layers to a baking sheet, and enclose with plastic wrap.
-Place a heavy pan or cutting board on top of wrapped layers to compress.
-Chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
-Remove plastic wrap.
-Top with melted chocolate chips, and refrigerate 1 hour, or until chocolate is firm.
-Slice into small squares to serve.

This has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. It's an Italian bakery cookie/cake, but I like the homemade recipe betterer. It's got a milder Almond flavor. It's not hard, just time consuming, but SO worth it! YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!!! :)

Anyways, so if you try out any of these I hope you enjoy them. If not, then I hope whatever you are making is wonderful and enjoyed by all. May this Thanksgiving be filled with warmth and love, family and friends, food and fun.

More after the weekend!!! Happy Tofu Turkey!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you. I want to take this day of "thanks" to express my gratitude for the sharing of your heart, soul and thoughts in this blog. i feel as though I've gotten to know the real you in a way that is different from when we are together in person. My wish for you on this day is to be joyous in your heart, happy and excited about about your new job(only an occasional wekend day - Yay!!) and a much shorter commute as an added bonus and, of course, meeting the challenges of planning a wedding with the wonder of seeing what lies ahead around the next bend in the road. I already respect, admire and love you as your to-be mom-in-law. Be happy, look forward and Allan and i are there for you and Rob when you want or need us. Ann