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Veggie Pot Pie

Veggie Pot Pie

Who can resist taking a fork and plunging it through a light flaky crust into a warm, flavorful gravy that is filled with vegetables? Not this girl. There is something so satisfying about assembling this Veggie Pot Pie, warming up the house with the oven while it bakes, and then hovering around the stove inhaling deeply the delicious scent while waiting for the pot pie to finish baking.

As I have mentioned before in the recipe for Tomato Galette, homemade pie crusts and I seem to be in a battle of the wills. I will cut to the chase here, I lose that battle over and over again. Because of that, I always keep a prepared pie crust from the refrigerator section in my freezer. I cannot wait for the day where I change that narrative for myself and start making pie crusts from scratch. I know that day is coming, I am just not sure when.

Veggie Pot Pie

Veggie Pot Pie is quick and easy to make. You can use any veggies that you and your family like but I typically go with onion, carrot, garlic, celery, peas, and mushrooms. If you eat meat you can add leftover rotisserie chicken from the store to the pot pie filling mixture.

A few ingredients that I like to add to my filling are a splash of soy sauce and a teaspoon of miso paste, if you have it on hand. Both of those ingredients add so much flavor to the filling.  You can make the pot pie in a pie-sized baking dish or if you prefer, you can make individual servings in smaller ramekins. If you make individual servings I would place the ramekins on a baking sheet so the pot pies are easy to place in and remove from the oven.

Veggie Pot Pie

I only use a top crust for this Veggie Pot Pie and as you can see from the photo the top crust is pretty basic. Someday, I aspire to be pie fancy like the crusts in this video.

How to Make Veggie Pot Pie

Veggie Pot Pie

 

The Best Beet and Potato Latkes

Beet and potato latkes

I turn into a total mush during the holiday season. I don’t know why. My typically even keel demeanor goes straight out the window during December. I find myself on an emotional roller coaster sobbing during commercials in the glow of the Christmas tree lights. I imagine it has something to do with all the memories of holidays past and the desire to make the holiday season as special as possible. It’s a lot to process.

But, thinking about, preparing, and sharing holidays meals is what keeps me grounded. Food magazines arrive in my mailbox full of beautifully photographed and delicious-sounding foods. I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement when I saw the article on latkes in the December 2016 issue of Cooking Light. The magazine article features recipes for:

I want to try them all! But, I decided to start with the beet latkes. The recipe below was adapted from Cooking Light version.

Beat and potato latkes

Potato latkes have been associated with the celebration of Hanukah since the mid-1800s. If, like me, you love learning about the cultural meanings of food, you can check out this Atlantic article on the history of latkes.  People of Jewish faith eat fried foods during Hanukah to celebrate the Miracle of the Oil where one day’s allotment of oil burned for eight days.

Beet and Potato Latkes

In addition to their cultural significance, latkes are just plain delicious. If you have never eaten them I encourage you to give them a try. I love latkes. I am absolutely full of affection for them. At their core, latkes are typically shredded potato and onion, flour, eggs, and seasoning that are fried in a skillet in a thin layer of oil. The potato pancakes turn out golden brown and crispy and are often served with sour cream and apple sauce.

Beet and Potato Latkes

To make beet latkes, you simply replace some of the potato with beets and their beet greens which give the latkes their spectacular coloring. So, when you are buying the beets make sure to buy beets with the greens still attached. The color contrast of the red beets and vibrant greens make this a perfect holiday meal. I am thinking that I need to plan a latke party.

Beet and potato latkes

Winter Squash & Havarti Puffs

Winter Squash and Havarti Puffs

A neighbor once told me that she had never met anyone who pleasure read cookbooks before she met me. She made that comment years before blogs and the internet were a thing.  I wonder what she would think if she knew how much time I spent perusing food blogs these days. There are a ton of really, really good ones. I mean they not only have delicious-looking recipes but also breath-taking photographs.

This recipe is inspired by the Kabocha and Havarti Pocket recipe on the I Will Not Eat Oysters blog. I was practically drooling when I saw the photos she posted.  Plus, who doesn’t love roasted squash at this time of year? It’s so seasonal, baby!

Winter Squash and Havarti PuffsI have been actively seeking out recipes using winter squash because my friend Laraine had a bumper crop of winter squash this year and generously shared her harvest with me. I used a buttercup squash for this recipe but you could substitute butternut, red kuri, or kabocha squash too.  The process will be the same regardless of which squash you chose. You will want to use a really sharp knife to cut through the hard skin of the winter squash. I quartered the squash and scraped out the seeds and strings. If you use butternut squash you will only need to cut it in half lengthwise instead of quarters.

Winter Squash and Havarti PuffsAnother modification that I made to the recipe was to add a bit of heat to the roasted squash filling. I added chipotle chili powder, cayenne pepper, and a little drizzle of maple syrup. I thought the sweetness of the squash and creaminess of the Havarti could stand up to the additional spices. I am happy to report that the result was delicious! In keeping with the fall flavors I also used apple cider vinegar instead of the champagne vinegar called for in the original recipe.

Winter Squash and Havarti PuffsThese tasty little treats are super versatile too. You can make small puffs which are perfectly-sized appetizers which can be eaten in two bites. Or, you can make larger puffs and serve them as an entree. I would pair the larger puffs with a salad and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Winter Squash and Havarti Puffs

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