Week 12/9 – 12/13
Tuesday: Crab cakes
Wednesday: Ben’s birthday dinner
Thursday: Black Bean Soup
Friday: Sushi/pizza night
It’s been cold and soups (and spicy things) are all I’ve been craving. If you have a yummy, spicy soup to share, please do!
lightened up, but still delicious
Ingredients for the pie crust (adapted from this recipe):
1 1/4 cups flour
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
4 – 6 tbsp ice water, may need more or less depending on the consistency of the dough
1 cup mixed sugar: 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup Splenda, 1/3 cup erythritol* OR 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup Light Log Cabin pancake syrup
1 tbsp light molasses (use 2 tbsp if using 1/2 sugar & 1/2 Splenda mixture)
2/3 cup quick oats
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped pecans
*Erythritol is a granulated sugar substitute available at health stores.
To make the pie crust
1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor and mix thoroughly. Slowly add in butter by pulsing. Add a tbsp of water a little bit at a time, pulsing between each addition. Pinch mixture together, if it sticks together, the dough is ready.
2. Pour out dough onto a clean work surface and lightly knead together. It may take a bit of work to get all the pieces together. Form the dough into a ball and wrap with a plastic wrap. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour (I threw mine in the freezer for 30 minutes).
3. On a clean, floured surface, roll out the ball of dough until 1/4″ thick and about a 14″ circle. Place pie tin upside down on the dough and cut out a circle approximately 1″ – 1 1/2″ wider than the circumference of the pie tin.
4. Lightly coat the pie tin with flour (or butter) to help prevent crust from sticking. Place the dough into the tin and gently press down until it is resting on the bottom and sides of the tin. Cut away any excess dough, and using a fork, press it all around to crimp the pie edges. I’m not an expert pie crust fluter (would that even be the right term?!), but it did the job, and this was a homemade pie after all!
If you aren’t up for making pie crust, you could also use a 9 inch unbaked, ready-made pie crust, and it comes out just as delicious.
5. Preheat the oven to 450°.
6. Combine all the pie filling ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Once it is completely combined, pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust.
7. Place in the hot oven, and immediately lower heat to 325°, and bake for about 55-60 minutes or until the center is set. I find determining when a pecan pie is done to be slightly tricky. You want the center to be jiggly and no longer runny. Give the pie a little tap, and if the center jiggles, take it out, and the pie will continue setting outside of the oven. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
I know some people are hesitant about Splenda, but it’s just another thing to have in moderation. Just like with most things anyway, right? Ben will share it as an option for some of his patients (he’s a dietitian), because for some people with diabetes, who still need to satisfy their sweet tooth craving, it’s a good alternative. I usually don’t like the taste of artificial sweeteners, but in this pie, I can’t taste it. Obviously, if you’re anti-artificial sweetener, then just use 1 cup of sugar for the recipe.
Nutritional information per 1/12th slice: Calories, 200; Fat: 10g; Cholesterol, 60mg; Sodium, 210mg; Protein, 3g; Carbohydrate, 24g; Fiber 1g; Sugars, 15g. Calories may vary slightly between pre-made and homemade crust.
Obviously, you still don’t want to eat the whole pie! But imagine what a regular pecan pie might be like! Lightened up or not, something like pecan pie is still a sometimes food, but I’ll never object to having it on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I have another ball of pie dough sitting in the freezer, so this pie may be getting made again soon.
makes about 32 cookies, adapted from this recipe
1. 2 1/4 cup flour
2. 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
3. 1/2 cup brown sugar splenda
4. 1/2 cup sugar
5. 12 Kraft caramels (cut them in half)
6. Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter
7. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
8. 1/4 tsp salt
9. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
10. 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
11. 1 tsp cinnamon
12. 1 stick butter (softened)
13. 2 eggs
14. 1 tbsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, spices, and baking powder. Separate the powdered sugar into two smaller bowls with each containing 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, and set aside (this does not go in the batter). In the bowl of an electric mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, whip together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Proceed to add the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla into the butter and sugar mixture. Stir until combined. Slowly, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Dough will be quite sticky.
Scoop out dough 1 heaping tablespoon at a time and roll into a ball. Press thumb into the center of the ball and insert caramel (or teaspoon of cookie dough). Press the dough around the filling to completely cover the caramel or cookie dough with the batter (For some, we also chopped up some chocolate and put it in the center too!). Once dough is shaped back into a ball, roll in the powdered sugar and coat well. Bake the cookies on an un-greased cookie sheet for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on the cooling rack, once it is cooled down enough, roll in the second bowl of powdered sugar to coat again.
Note: There are two small bowls of powdered sugar because you don’t want to cross contaminate the raw eggs from the uncooked cookie dough from the first bowl of powdered sugar used before baking.
I have plans to make a healthier version of pecan pie this week too! Oh Thanksgiving, you are dangerous…BFF for some Korean soup ideas based on what we had in our fridge, and she definitely came to the rescue. A little bit of this and a little of that, some chicken broth and a couple cups of kimchi later, we had a very yummy (and spicy) seafood soup. Two thumbs up definitely. If I can remember what I put in, I will share it. It was an easy soup to make using things we already had on hand. Shrimp Scampi Pizza. I used my focaccia crust recipe and this recipe for the pizza. I did a slight change of using 1 tablespoon of butter instead of the 3 tablespoons it called for, and I also left out the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Even with that little change, it tasted fine (and still delicious) to us. I love homemade pizza!
Week 11/25 – 11/29
Monday: Crab cakes
Thursday: Thanksgiving feasting with family
Friday: Thanksgiving leftovers
The three big girls will be staying with their Auntie Linda and Uncle John’s until Thursday morning, so meals will be a little easier. Maybe Ben and I can sneak in a date or two with Glow in tow. I don’t have to worry about cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving and honestly, I’m kind of intimidated to do so, but I will be baking pie and some side dish to bring to our family gatherings. If your stateside, what are your Thanksgiving meal plans this week?Chicken Adobo. It’s a recipe I shared on the blog a long time ago and it came from my friend Tiff. I kind of healthified it, so it’s probably not an authentic Filipino recipe. We rarely eat Filipino food. This night though, I was craving it, so I made some. I even busted out the banana and ate it with the chicken and rice. The girls were loving the banana with the chicken. It may sound strange to eat a banana with chicken and rice, but with chicken adobo, it’s really good. By the way, did you know that Filipino ketchup is made with a banana base instead of tomatoes? I haven’t had it in almost a decade, but I remember it tasted good. I liked eating it with fried fish. Filipino food isn’t the healthiest, so we never really eat it. Filipino dessert on the other hand, I love it all!!! My parents brought me mango cake for my birthday… yum!!!
Week 11/18 – 11/21
Monday: Leftovers (We’re having a big pot luck dinner tonight, so I’m thinking there might be leftovers.)
Tuesday: Crab cakes
Thursday: Black bean soup
Friday: Pizza/sushi night
I’m ready to cozy up and eat some fall soups. Does anyone have a good recipe to share?