R is for Rearranging

Pumpkin pie with pastryI couldn’t​ decide how to arrange the leaves on the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving so I took a few shots before serving.

Pumpkin pie with pastry

I was so happy that I actually remembered to bake the leaves with the leftover pie crust scraps that I didn’t know what to do with them. It’s such a simple and cute idea but I always forget. I end up using the scraps to make a few tiny jam roll ups for a snack.

Pumpkin

There are times when I am too eager to taste my food to bother taking a quality photo and this was one of those times. Sometimes you just gotta dig in!

Slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream and

Happy Belated Pi Day

Turkey pot pie and pumpkin pieYes, Pi Day was Monday, or 3.14. It’s a wonderful excuse to bake pie and it’s good motivation to teach the kids that math is fun. This post is late because I’ve been sick this week.

Carrots, celery, mushrooms, onion in a pan for pot pie filling

But I’ve been sick for a while now. Just feeling like I’m fighting off a cold, it comes and goes. Then I started feeling really bad, realized that I’ve been “fighting it off” for more than a month now, and finally went to the doctor.

Pot pie filling with gravy

He said I have bronchitis, and I left with a prescription for cough syrup and an inhaler. I feel like I’m 12, haha. But I’m happy that he didn’t give me antibiotics because he couldn’t be sure that I needed them.

Pate brisee dough ready to roll out

So here’s the turkey pot pie that I made for dinner on Monday and the pumpkin pie for dessert. All in the name of math education 😉

Flaky pate brisee pie crust
I’m getting better at working with the pâte brisée pastry to make it flaky

This photo below is from last year’s Pi Day, but we used these again to talk about circles.

circles, fractions, geometry for kids

Happy Pi Day

Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin pie

I hope you got a piece of your favorite pie, or at least found time to think about circles for a little bit.

Chicken pot pie
Chicken pot pie

This year instead of baking a pie, we got slices from the diner. I wish I had used the effort to make my own. These pictures show pies I have made in the last few months, and I wish I had either of them today. For pumpkin pie I like this recipe from Simply Recipes. I like Alton Brown’s chicken pot pie recipe for the filling, but don’t bother with puff pastry and always make a regular pie.

circles, fractions, geometry for kids
Intro to Pi Day for the kids

Tried to talk to the kids a little about some math stuff using this cute idea I saw online. They participated, but I could tell they were thinking “When is Mom going to be done talking so we can eat that pie??” They’re good sports.

π

Rewind to the Part With the Squash

blue hubbard, red kuri, acorn, cheese pumpkin squash
Bins and bins and bins of squash!

I wish I could go back to October and get some of these delicious squash. I know just what I would do with each one of them.

Starting in the front, blue hubbard. Someone at the farm told me that they work well in place of pumpkin in a pie. I planned to try that, but never got around to buying one and doing it. Now I’ll have to wait a few months.

Next in line is my new favorite, red kuri. The dense and creamy flesh holds up to sauteing and worked wonders in livening up my stir fry dinners. I even saw a recipe online that suggested frying up slices for breakfast to replace the meat in a steak and eggs dish. Never got around to trying that either. I would also be interested in baking with the red kuri because of its sweetness.

Next is acorn squash. Not as new and exotic as some others, but always good for a roast with some butter and salt and pepper. Thankfully I can get them in the grocery store along with butternut squash. The two staples when it comes to squash.

I wish I had more cheese pumpkins so I could have a constant pumpkin pie in my fridge.

kabocha and delicata squash in bins
I miss you, kabocha and delicata

Kabocha, I would roast you or turn you into soup. You would take the winter chill away in an instant.

And delicata, I would saute you with some onions until everything was nice and caramelized.

Coconut Oil Pie Crust (Recipe Review)

This should have been posted in October, when I started the draft for this post. Let’s pretend it’s October 29, 2014, and we’ll just call this a backdated blog post.

I made a pumpkin pie in October because I just couldn’t wait another month until Thanksgiving. I also wanted to try making the pie crust with coconut oil instead of shortening or butter. Using this recipe from Baking Bites, I got to work. The result was a beautiful and flaky crust that added a warm coconut aroma to the pie (and kitchen).

Coconut oil is very healthy and I felt great about using it, however, it is difficult to work with. The oil gets extremely hard in the fridge and does take time to come up to a workable temperature. And it also will separate at about 73 degrees, so it can’t be too warm in the kitchen when you’re working with it. I do plan to use it again, but will remember to give myself extra time and patience to work with the oil.

Apricot preserves pie crust roll up cookies
Apricot roll-up cookies made with coconut oil pie crust

The scraps that I trimmed off of the pie crust made some yummy little roll up cookies with apricot preserves. I would like to make a batch of the crust solely to use for jam-filled cookies.