Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thanksgiving Pizza

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Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! Is it too early to talk about eating the Thanksgiving feast again? We have found the perfect way to use the leftovers from last night’s turkey dinner.

It’s pizza: the best way you can use up your Thanksgiving leftovers. I know, I know, it sounds kinda crazy, but it’s delicious. Then again, what isn’t good on pizza?

We piled some stuffing, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and various other leftover food items on a pizza crust, topped it with cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and baked it at 425 degrees for 6-8 minutes until the cheese was melted and the crust was golden. Now we have that lovely feeling of over-fullness all over again. Here’s to another Thanksgiving food baby!

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Wild Blueberry Cobbler

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Hello blogosphere! It’s been a while, but I am happy to be back cooking and eating after a ridiculously busy few weeks. Today, Caty and I finally found the time to whip up a delicious blueberry cobbler from The Quick Recipe cookbook by Cook’s Illustrated, the last of which I just polished off with my mother, á la mode. (The cobbler, that is. Not my mom.)

We used frozen Wyman’s Wild Maine Blueberries for this recipe, and I  highly recommend them. They have a strong, flavorful sweetness and are perfect for baking. However, I do not recommend wearing white while making this cobbler… the blueberry juice is deep purple and does not wash out of clothes easily. (Nor does it my mouth… beware, lips/tongue turn purple after consumption!)

Without further ado, dear readers, here is the recipe.

Wild Blueberry Cobbler

FILLING
6 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated zest plus 1 tablespoon juice from a lemon
1 tablespoon cornstarch

TOPPING
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. For the filling: Place the frozen berries in a 9″ deep-dish glass pie plate. Microwave the berries on high power, stirring once, until thawed and the juices are running, about 5 minutes. Drain the berries in a colander set over a bowl to catch the juices and then return the berries to the pie plate. Add the sugar and lemon zest to the berries and gently stir to combine. To 3/4 cup berry juices, add the lemon juice and cornstarch and then vigorously whisk to remove any cornstarch lumps; discard the remaining berry juices. Add the thickened liquid to the berries, cover the pie plate with plastic wrap, cut vents in the plastic wrap with a paring knife, and microwave the berries on high, stirring once, until hot and bubbling, about 5 minutes.
  3. For the topping: Whist the flower, cornmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla in a small bowl. One minute before the blueberries come out of the microwave (for the second time), add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined and no dry pockets remain.
  4. To assemble and serve: Remove the berries from the microwave and discard the plastic wrap. Pinch of 8 equal-size pieces of biscuit dough and place them on the hot berry filling, spacing the biscuits at least half an inch apart, not touching. Sprinkle each mound of dough with a portion of the remaining 2T sugar (we used cinnamon sugar). Place the pie plate on the baking sheet and bake until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown on top and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cobbler on a wire rack for 20 minutes, serve warm.


Pumpkin Granola

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I think Mother Nature has her seasons confused. This has been quite an interesting fall, to say the least.. here in New England, it snowed in October, and yesterday I think the temperature broke 70 degrees. In the sun, of course.

At least the leaves have started changing colors.

But those college application deadlines are looming. That, combined with the senior year workload, is the reason why we’re not posting as much as you should be. You may have noticed that the past couple posts have been my solo cooking endeavors. No, I have not taken over the blog. It’s still the Wright time, don’t worry! Georgia’s not MIA, but she’s really busy because she’s in our school’s play. Yup, that’s right, you may see her on Broadway one day.

But enough about us. Now I’m going to tell you about the latest creation to come out of the Schnack kitchen: pumpkin granola. Pumpkin is one of the best things about fall. It’s so… seasonal. Can you imagine having pumpkin bread or a pumpkin spice latte in the middle of summer? No, that would be weird, right? Thank goodness it’s November!

The original recipe was a little too sugary, so I reduced the sugar and swapped maple syrup for honey. The granola is still super delicious. Try this for breakfast with milk or yogurt–especially maple yogurt! (Wallaby makes a yummy maple yogurt, or you can always mix maple syrup with plain yogurt!)

Pumpkin Granola
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 325 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, spices and pumpkin seeds; mix well.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Pour wet ingredients in to the oat mixture and stir to combine, until the oats are evenly coated. Spread the mixture onto the baking pan.
  4. Bake 20 minutes, then remove from oven and stir. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp. Remove from oven and stir in cranberries. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.


 

After-Halloween Cookie Bars

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Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Now that it’s November, you probably don’t want to look at the scary amount of candy left over from the big night. That is, assuming little vampires and witches didn’t take them all. If you do have leftover candy (preferably chocolate-based), why not mix them into cookies? These cookie bars put those boring chocolate chip cookies to shame.

I used Reese’s peanut butter cups, Kit Kats, and almond milk chocolate Hershey’s bars. I made a second batch of round cookies and added white chocolate chips. Both were delicious.

After-Halloween Cookie Bars
Adapted from Food & Wine

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarsely chopped chocolate candy (freeze before chopping)

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat together butter, oil, and sugars until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture at low speed until combined. Add candy and stir until combined.
  3. Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and nearly set in the center. Let cookies cook completely, then run a knife around the edges, invert the rectangle. Peel the paper off then invert onto a cutting board and cut into bars, about 32.
    Alternatively, you can shape the dough into 1-2″ round balls and flatten a bit, then bake about 10-13 minutes.