Cranberry Pear Pie

Do you ever feel like you’re going to lose it? If the dog puts her head sweetly on my leg one more time and looks at me with those puppy dog eyes. If the cat utters another single meow as she begs me to toss her duck tape football toy. If one more car drives by my house TOO LOUDLY. If one more part of my body, my leg, ear, arm, anything, itches. If one more insignificant item drops to the ground, and I am forced to bend down and pick it up. I swear to God I will explode.

I may or may not be on my period.

I may or may not be perpetuating that stereotype that women go crazy on their periods.

Dudes, this does not give you the green light to throw a girl’s period/pms in her face when she’s being “weird.” This is called a double standard. It’s cool.

It’s days like this that I should not have jars of Nutella in my house. Or half of a pie. But I’m so glad I have half of a pie in my house for two reasons. One, it’s a damn good pie, and I love a damn good pie. Two, it was a result of a damn good weekend.

My trips this fall seem to be coming at just the right times, just when I need distraction the most, when I’m getting too caught up in my own weird head. This past weekend I drove up to Milwaukee with the dog to do the Lakefront Discovery 15K with my friend Heather. More on the race in a later post.

Car rides with Mir.

Before my arrival in Milwaukee, Heather alerted me of a pie crust she had made that was waiting for me in her freezer. We had plans to fill it with nutella (that pesky condiment again), apples, and cherries, but somewhere between the free post-race beers, the dude in pink and purple spandex, the guy painted blue, and lunch at a lovely local restaurant called Cafe Benelux we changed our minds…cranberry pear would be a much better filling.

We didn’t start the pie until around 9 p.m., and if you know a thing or two about pie making, you know a pie takes about an hour to cook, and then has to cool. Completely. Like it’ll tempt you on the counter for another hour as the filling continues to thicken. So we didn’t actually eat any until breakfast the next morning. But let me just say that when we did….mmmmm.

This pie should probably end up on your Thanksgiving table. Who wants traditional apple or pumpkin anyway? Or it could just end up on your Wednesday night table. But you should really make it ASAP while the pears are in season. And, lucky you, fresh cranberries should be appearing in groceries soon in preparation for the holidays. If they aren’t freshly around though, just check your freezer section.

This pie is sweet and fresh from the pears and perfectly tart from the cranberries with just a touch of spice from the cinnamon. It’s this perfect combination. If, however, you do not like a tart pie, you can add more sugar. I just happen to like my pies kind of slutty.

You have all sorts of crust options! It’s really exciting. You have my personal favorite, a vodka lard/butter pie crust, a non-vodka butter and crisco crust, or an all butter vodka crust. Feel free to use all butter in that non-vodka crust if that’s your thing. Just sub the crisco with the same amount of ice cold cubed butter. Heather and I made this pie with a crumble topping. It’s way yummy. You can totes make this a double crust pie if you heart desires though.

So let’s make a pie, bitches, and get out of our heads!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Fat Witch Brownies

So, did you have a good Thanksgiving? Did you survive? Did your stomach survive? By the end of the weekend I felt slightly pregnant, but in all honesty this may have been the best Thanksgiving I’ve had in awhile. I think that’s because I had no expectations. No, that’s a lie. I expected to miss celebrating with a big family as well as my own. This year I just spent time with my family. We don’t have a huge Thanksgiving; just my mom, dad, brother, and my grandfather, and this year Ian’s girlfriend. Ian and I pulled up to my parents’ house around 1pm to start cooking…and drinking. After all, what’s Thanksgiving without some wine?

Look at my brother! He’s a cook!

A quick rundown of the really really delicious food we made.

So, now starts December. I’m very excited because this year my friends and I have decided on a no presents rule. Instead I’ve ordered two packs of really cute (and some baking-related) holiday cards. Also begins a time when I feel absolutely guilt-free about baking non-stop. Who cares about calories during the month of December? OK, actually, I’m buying a cold-weather running shirt to combat all the baking. As in, I will be running aplenty. Out-of-doors.

So, the first delicious-you-must-make holiday recipe is: brownies! Fat Witch Brownies to be exact. This recipe has been floating around the food blogosphere internet for quite awhile. I’ve just been slow to jump on the bandwagon. Fat Witch Brownies come from a bakery in New York called, yes, Fat Witch Bakery. They seem to specialize in awesome brownies. Sweet. They have a cookbook, in which the recipe for their original brownie can be found.

It’s a very different brownie from the other brownie recipe I have on here. Still gooey, but much more mellow. It’s still very obviously chocolatey, just not insanely intense, probably because it has only 1/2 cup of chocolate in it. And it’s kind of buttery. I have no other word to describe it. These are every day brownies, the kind you can snack on without feeling like you might explode. They’d probably travel really well in holiday care packages too.

Continue reading

Oatmeal Pancakes

OK, I’ll just put it out there. I’ve had a  hard month, the culmination of which, after three years of couples cooking, has me cooking for just one. There’s no hate, no anger, just a lot of sadness, and hopefully a friendship again in the future somewhere. Thank goodness I have amazing friends and family both here in Indianapolis and over the phone. I also have these sweet girls.

And Matt Nathanson, whose music has an uncanny ability to fit the lovey-dovey beginning of relationships and the heartbreaking end of them, too. And then there’s food. Saturday afternoon I stood over a mixing bowl, beating together butter and brown sugar for cookies, crying, and I literally muttered through those tears, “At least no matter how little sense everything else makes right now, butter and sugar will always make something delicious and magical.” It’s nice to know that I can combine ingredients in a certain way and know that they’ll be tasty. It is not nice to know that every time my cat visits the litter box, she’ll emerge stinking and desperately wanting to cuddle. These things are certainties.

OK, so enough about me and my wah wah wah life. THIS WEEK IS THANKSGIVING WEEK! I love this holiday. It’s the Pie Holiday. It’s the Food Holiday. It’s the Hang Out with Family and Just Eat and Be Happy Holiday. I’m sure you’re all planning menus, grocery shopping, and getting ready to start cooking up a storm. I’m going to try to document all the wonderful things my family and I cook and eat. I am not going to give you the few sweets recipes I have in my queue right now. Instead I give you: breakfast. Because you will need a good breakfast to prepare you for a day of cooking and family time.

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. I love brunching with my lady friends. I love, love eggs with runny yolks that ooze in a buttery fashion all over toast and potatoes and greens. And I love fluffy, sweet pancakes and waffles. My dad makes the best waffles, but alas I have no waffle maker. My mom always made the best pancakes growing up, these quick and tasty ones from Betty Crocker I believe. I have sweet memories of standing on a chair by the counter, helping to mix ingredients for waffles or pancakes on weekend mornings.

So these pancakes are not the ones my mom made for us growing up. They’re full of oatmeal goodness that fills you up properly. I’ve been making them since the summer, when I topped them with strawberries, powdered sugar, and syrup, and I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to share them with you. Seriously, these are the best pancakes ever. I’ve been mixing cut up apples into them lately and smothering them in honey. Or mixing in some pumpkin puree.

So, OK, you should make these during your holiday weekend. In your robe. Lazily. With a cup of coffee.

Continue reading