Category Archives: Holidays

Ultimate Pumpkin Pie

Yummy pie!

Yummy pie!

This is simply my most favorite pumpkin pie recipe. It is like a pumpkin custard, made with eggs, sour cream and heavy cream. I found it on epicurious.com and it has been a staple in our home for years now.  It is smooth, creamy and just plain delicious. The addition of apricot preserves just kicks a simple pumpkin pie recipe up a notch!  It’s surely a winner at your Thanksgiving!

Crust
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons whipping cream

Filling
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon packed golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large eggs, beaten to blend

1/4 cup apricot preserves (Note: this is the secret)

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend first 3 ingredients in processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream and process until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball, flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 15 minutes.

Roll out dough on floured surface to 14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold overhang under. Make cut in crust edge at 1/2 inch intervals. Bend alternate edge pieces inward. Freeze 15 minutes.

Line crust with foil, pressing firmly. Bake until sides are set, about 10 minutes. Remove foil. Bake crust until pale brown, about 10 minutes more. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Spread preserves over crust; pour in filling. Bake until filling puffs at edges and center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

For filling:
Using whisk, mix first 6 ingredients in bowl until no lumps remain. Blend in pumpkin, whipping cream, sour cream and eggs.

Spread preserves over crust; pour in filling. Bake until filling puffs at edges and center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

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Kapusta

Ukrainian sauerkraut with mushroom sauce or Kapusta

Pronounced: [kah-POOS-tah].  kapusta simply refers to this plain sauerkraut. But in many Ukrainian homes, the kapusta base is frequently amplified with a mix of mushrooms and onions, and that is what is meant by the term kapusta. This is my mom’s recipe and one of my families’ most favorite dish for the holidays. We made this every holiday and if we didn’t there would be hell to pay.  It is simply the most simple dish with loads of flavor.  If you love cooked cabbage you will love this even more!

  • 1 stick of butter
  • enough flour to make a roux (3-4 TBSP)
  • Add milk to make a white sauce
  • ¼ tsp thyme, dry
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • salt  and pepper to taste
  • 2 packages/jars of  sauerkraut (pickled)
  • 2 packages of sliced mushrooms

To desalt sauerkraut (this is really important or it won’t taste good):

  • Drain and wash sauerkraut
  • Put sauerkraut in a pot with water and boil for about 5-10 minutes
  • Drain and rinse
  • Add new water to the pot and boil for 5-10 minutes
  • Drain again.

While the kraut is boiling:

  • Saute 2 packages of sliced mushrooms in butter  just enough to soften but not caramelized.

To the twice drained (and desalted) sauerkraut:

Add the above white sauce and mushrooms to the drained sauerkraut

Cook over medium heat until the kraut is cooked through and no longer stiff. Salt and pepper to taste.

My mom always boiled or fried 4-5 inch pieces of kabasi (kielbasa) and placed on the top of the kapusta for presentation.

This is probably one of my most favorite Ukrainian dishes next to pierogies (Polish dialect) or pyrohy (Ukrainian dialect).

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Very moist cranberry bread

When you have left over cranberries in your freezer you need to make something. I also had some Greek yoghurt on hand as well. This bread was delicious and very simple to make!

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t each baking soda and salt
  • 3/4 C (6 oz) Plain 2% Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C orange juice
  • 1 T grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 C frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 C walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped coarsely

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together Chobani Greek Yogurt and sugar. Add egg and combine. Stir in orange juice. Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Mix only until just combined. Carefully, fold in orange zest, cranberries, and walnuts. Pour into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert pan to remove, and finish cooling on rack. Eat or wrap and freeze.

 

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