Stuffing Pot Pie

Photo of Stuffing Pot Pie on a tableStuffing the Stuffing
So, there is a great concern in my house about our Thanksgiving turkey…or should I say turkeys. The concern is not for the actual meal, But rather, will there be enough leftovers? (We have two turkeys that together weigh in at almost 40 pounds. I think we’re good.)

In all honesty, I am of the mind that most of the people in my clan look forward to the leftovers more than the actual feast. I mean, I get it. A roast turkey sandwich on freshly baked bread is indeed heavenly. But, I think the real reason is that you can get creative (read: weird) with the leftovers. The perfect example is this recipe for Stuffing Pot Pie that I found on the Food Network that I will be making come Friday.

I have a weakness for pot pie. Any pot pie. I am here for whatever you want to cook up in a rich gravy and throw a pie crust on. Beef, Chicken, Turkey? Yes, please. Pot pie is at the tippy top of my list for best comfort food. So, when I saw this version that uses stuffing for the crust, I lost it.

I always make too much stuffing because I never want to not have enough. So, I know I will have some on hand. With a few substitutions to the ingredients, turkey for the chicken, using leftover green beans, etc., you can take your leftovers and turn them into a one-stop Thanksgiving with all the flavors of the entire feast in one bite. How could you not be intrigued by this?

Not going to lie, I think I am more excited about making this pot pie than I am for the main event…

Stuffing Pot Pie Recipe
Adapted from The Food Network
Yields 8 servings

This easy, delicious spin on the classic pot pie has a crust made entirely from stuffing. It remains crisp even when it comes in contact with the creamy filling. It is perfect to make with holiday leftovers—just substitute whatever veggies you have leftover. If you are looking for a weeknight dinner, you can always start with boxed stuffing mix and rotisserie chicken. Read more…

Amy’s Cranberry Cheese Ball Bites

Photo of Amy’s Cranberry Cheese Ball Bites on a wooden board

Turkey Day Tidbits
Coming up with the menu for Thanksgiving is pretty easy. I mean it’s mostly cannot-miss staples. Obviously, there’s turkey, though you can supplement with ham or whatever floats your boat. But generally, there is always turkey. Mashed potatoes are non-negotiable as are sweet potatoes in whatever form your choose—be it mashed, puréed, or roasted. At least in my house. The hardest part of planning the Thanksgiving meal is what to have to get you through to the main event.

Depending on when your family will make its way to the table for, it can be a struggle to figure out the other meals of the day. You know you are probably going to eat an obscene amount of food at some point so having a sustenance strategy that leaves room for the gluttony to come is key.

My general plan goes as follows.
Wake up and eat a decent breakfast. I don’t make too many alterations to what I would have normally. Lunch is where things get tricky. If I am at my mother-in-law’s I try not to eat an actual lunch because we have Thanksgiving around 2 PM. That is totally changed if I am with my family because we eat at 5 or 6 PM and no way I’m lasting without some lunch. This year, I am hosting everybody so I have had to split the difference. And, am planning on eating around 4 PM—which means we will need snacks to maintain sanity.

Being one myself, I am a big fan of cheese balls. They are easy to make and look pretty on a platter with crackers. They can be dangerous and filling, though. So, one has to pace themselves. I found a version of this recipe while doing a search for cranberry recipes that aren’t cranberry sauce. It took me about two seconds to decide that these babies will make an appearance on the pre-turkey snack tray. I did make a few adjustments to suit my taste…

Amy’s Cranberry Cheese Ball Bites
Yields 18 servings
Adapted from Delish

These tangy cheesy bites are rolled in tart cranberries for the perfect satisfying appetizer. The rosemary makes them festive!
Read more…

Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate

Prepping pomegranates for Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and PomegranateIn The Pom Of Your Hand
I have a pomegranate tree. I inherited it when we bought the house. The tree is enormous and produces a ridiculous number of pomegranates—most of which end up food for the birds and squirrels because my tree does not follow the rules.

Pomegranate season runs from the end of September through November. The fruit on my tree tends to be ripe by the end of August but you would not know because they never quite get to that gorgeous red color that we associate with a pomegranate, even though they are super sweet. So we have to keep an eye out to see when they start to split. At that point, we pick the fruit that is intact and leave the rest for the critters. Needless to say, we get a lot of fruit in a short period of time and have to figure out ways to use, store, or preserve it.

The obvious method is to sprinkle the seeds on salads which we do, with abandon. But, it’s not enough. Yes, you can freeze the seeds. They last up to 6 months in the freezer and are a fantastic addition to any smoothie you might make. But, like all frozen fruit, they can lose some of their integrity when thawed.

Making pomegranate molasses is a no-brainer, especially if you are a fan of Middle Eastern food. And, pomegranate molasses is great in other dishes as well including homemade vinaigrette.

One of my favorite uses for pomegranate is this Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate Seeds recipe that’s a great option for a weeknight dinner. Anyone looking for something different for Thanksgiving could easily double or triple just the squash for a great splash of color on the table.

Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate Recipe
Adapted from Epicurious
Yields servings

This easy sheet-pan dinner is bursting with bright, comforting flavors inspired by Persian cuisine. Read more…

Amy’s Fall Pear Salad

Photo of Amy’s Fall Pear Salad on a white plateThe other fall fruit
When you think about the Fall season, a lot of things immediately come to mind—fallen leaves, Halloween, pumpkin spice, and, of course, apples. Apple cider, caramel apples, apple cider donuts…you get the picture. There are some people out there that picture something different. Something that is quintessentially Fall, yet is overshadowed by the mainstream. I give you the pear

I admit that I am most likely to reach for an apple than a pear but don’t take that to mean I don’t like them. My daughter is a pear fanatic. We are lucky enough that there is a pear farm only a few miles from where we live and my daughter waits impatiently every year for those pears to be at their peak. I admit they are ridiculously good. My daughter likes to put the pears in her lunch and eat them straight. I prefer to eat them in something sweet or, more often than not, with cheese.

There is something about the delicate flavor of pears that matches so well with cheese especially a strong cheese like a blue cheese or gorgonzola. Something about that pair (yes, pun intended), to me, is the epitome of fall flavor. While I am a big fan of a 4 o’clock cheese plate complete with pears, whatever cheese I have on hand, some nuts, and a drizzle of honey—my go-to vessel for pear consumption is a lightly dressed salad of crunchy butter lettuce or, again, whatever I have on hand. Arugula also works well…or a mix.

There are endless combinations for pears in salads. Nine times out of ten, my salad will have pears, blue cheese, pecans, and pomegranate seeds finished off with a Dijon vinaigrette. Sometimes I add citrus instead of the pomegranate seeds. Sometimes I add thinly sliced red onion. Sometimes I swap the pecans for hazelnuts. A handful of dried cranberries is a tasty addition as well…

Below is my basic fall pear salad recipe. Play with it as you see fit.

Amy’s Fall Pear Salad
Yields 4 Servings Read more…