10 Apps No Cook Can Live Without

I know this is a dramatic title. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Huff Post lately! But seriously, these are the apps I rely heavily on while in my kitchen. And as always, feel free to chime in and share what apps you find indispensable to cooking.

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iPhone camera
What would I do without my smartphone camera? I use it to take pictures while I’m cooking which is handy. But more importantly, I take photos of recipes in magazines whenever I am in a waiting room! Remember the days when you were in the doctor’s office and found a recipe you wanted to try, so you had to either write it down on a scrap of paper or secretly tear it out of the magazine? (OK, I never did that!) Now I snap a photo and refer back to it when shopping or ready to cook.

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Epicurious
This was the first cooking app I ever used and it continues to be a mainstay. I’ve compiled many of my favorites in the recipe box feature. I like the categories such as “picnic ideas,” “main course salads,” or “Mexican tonight.” Photos, reviews, ratings, and step by step instructions make this a user-friendly resource that is loaded with recipes. Epicurious features a suite of mobile applications, including one for your smart Samsung fridge!

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Grocery Store
I’m not going to recommend any specific grocery store since I have no idea what’s available in your area. I will tell you however, that if your favorite store has a useful app, download it! I really like the Wegmen’s app. I can add all my ingredients to the list and it will organize them by aisle for faster shopping. It gives me a total of what I’m about to spend. Other cool features include tons of recipes and even a prescription refill option.

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Coupons
You might already have a favorite coupon app since there are a few out there. This one from coupons.com allows you to register your loyalty card, add applicable coupons to your account, and redeem them right at checkout. It takes some time to scroll through the available coupons whenever you go shopping, but saves you the trouble of clipping and storing paper coupons. Since I love to cook, it helps keep costs down on my grocery bills.

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Grill
If you like grilling, then the Weber’s Grill app is one to consider. Besides a slew of grilling recipes, it serves up grilling techniques and a handy timer. It has a grocery list feature, but since I use my grocery store app, I haven’t really taken advantage of that section.

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Thermometer
This is more of a product than an app, but it’s the app that makes it so cool. Weber’s iGrill products mean you are no longer tethered to the grill or oven when cooking. The app on your phone keeps you updated on internal temps. If like me you start talking to your guests in the kitchen while your meat is cooking out on the grill, then this is a lifesaver.

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Converter/Calculator
If you’re a baker, this app is for you. Scale recipes up or down like a pro. Convert between metric and non metric measurement.

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Substitutions
Have you ever been up to your elbows in a recipe only to find you are missing a critical ingredient? I sure have! Substitutions is a handy app to have when you need to find a way to make a recipe work when running to the grocery store that minute is not an option. Even better, the app helps you find substitutions for ingredients that cause allergic reactions. Brilliant!

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Pairing
If you are an average Joe (or in my case, Brad) like me, your knowledge of beer, wine, and cheese is limited to what you like. But that’s not always helpful when it comes to entertaining. That’s why it’s important to have a couple of useful apps for wine, beer, and cheese pairing suggestions. Unfortunately, I have not come across one app that does it all, but I have a couple that I rely upon. Here they are:

Pocket Wine Pairing
PairWise

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Plus one bonus!
Cheese & Wine

What’s on your smartphone that makes home cooking easier? I’d love to know!

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Top 10 Summer Beverages

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Even though June 21 did not officially kick off summer, at my house, it’s summer once the fresh mint is ready to cut and stuff in a glass! My mint is ready for harvesting and my automatic ice maker is churning out cubes on a regular basis come 5 o’clock. If you are entertaining guests this summer on the back deck, I hope one or two of these drinks will add a pleasant kick to your menu!

Rather than working my way from least favorite to most favorite, I thought I would start out with the ones I like the most at the top of my list! Enjoy.

1. Pimms
First produced back in 1823, Pimms was first introduced to me several years ago by a colleague from London. Thank you Kathryn, wherever you are now! It has a sweet, slightly spicy aroma. I serve it exactly as directed on the back of the bottle.

1/4 cup Pimms
3/4 cups fizzy lemonade
1 sprig fresh mint
2-3 slices fresh cucumber
1 sliced strawberry
1 slice fresh orange
1 tall glass and fresh ice

2. Bobby Flay’s Red Sangria
I’ve tried a number of sangria recipes over the years and I always come back to this one from Chef Bobby Flay. I keep the key ingredients in my pantry at all times. It is a beverage my dinner guests ask for now. I switch up the fruits a bit depending upon what I have handy, but the base remains the same. Give it a try the next time you cook out!

3. Chef Roblé’s Cucumber Lemonade
This one is alcohol-free and may sound a little wonky. But trust me. You will want to add this drink to your summertime rotation. For some reason the cucumber adds this subtle refreshing flavor to homemade lemonade that is unbelievable. Buy yourself a citrus squeezer and give this recipe a try!

4. Citrus Slush
This was a popular drink back in the ’70s. Hard to believe it is still around, but it is one of my summer party favorites. It packs a hidden punch since it tastes like a fizzy fruit drink, so watch out if you are sipping these poolside! You will be the hit of the day if you take this as your dish to pass at the next neighborhood cookout, I promise!

5. Margaritas
A summer list of adult beverages would not be complete without the Margarita! The nice thing about the Bon Appétit article I linked to above is that they break down the ingredients with a bit more detail.

6. Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris

My neighbor always made this version growing up. Of course I was of legal age the first time I ever tried them!

1 box frozen strawberries (or 1/2 bag)
1 small can frozen limeade
1/2 cup rum
1/4 cup strawberry liquor
2 cups ice

Blend well. If you do not like seeds in your drinks, use a high quality blender like a Vitamix.

7. Mojito
If you find yourself grilling up some fajitas or roasting a cuban-spiced pork roast, pull out a few more sprigs of mint and mix up a pitcher of Cuban Mojitos. This refreshing summer beverage was originally “consumed for medical purposes!” Who am I to argue with the healing properties of a refreshing summer concoction?!?

8. Mimosa
You cannot go wrong with a good, old-fashioned and simple-to-make mimosa! Mix orange juice and champagne for a refreshing summer drink any time of the day. I like one part OJ to 3 parts bubbly, but feel free to use your own favorite ratio. Some people shy away from using good champagne for this cocktail, but I disagree. While I would not recommend diluting a Dom Perignon with anything, I never go for the bargain bin sparkling wine either.

9. Gin and Tonic
Like the mimosa above, the key to a decent gin & tonic is use of a decent gin. I recommend you give Fords Gin or Anchor Old Tom a try. Using a rocks glass, stir about 2 ounces gin with a splash of tonic, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice over ice. Substitute the tonic with Sprite or 7-Up and you’ve got yourself a Lime Rickey.

10. Trappistes Rochefort Beer
Brewed by the Trappist Monks inside the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy, Belgium, these guys know how to make awesome beer. After all, they’ve been brewing it since 1595 so they’ve had a lot of practice! If you like a full bodied and delicious beer, give this one a try. Choose between the 6, 8, or 10, depending upon the percentage of alcohol you prefer. I’d say give the 8 a try if you can find it. It’s my favorite!

It turns out, it’s not easy narrowing this list of my favorite summer drinks down to just 10. I hope you’ll help me out here folks by adding links to your faves in the comments section!

Bradley Nierenberg’s Top 10 Cooking Websites

Bradley Nierenberg’s Top 10 Cooking Websites

Unlike many cooking bloggers, most of my home cooking adventures are the result of delicious looking recipes I’ve found online. But there are an overwhelming number of websites for cooking, (39,700,000+ Google results to be exact), so how does one choose which ones to use?

This is one of those personal preference lists which I hope you will contribute to by leaving a few comments with your favorites. Here are mine:

10. http://www.foodnetwork.com/ I like watching the Food Network and frequently search the site for recipes I’ve seen made on the show. The website has very good search options, plenty of videos, great photos, and recipe reviews. In fact I featured a couple of Emeril’s recipes in my previous blog post on Creole cooking.

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9. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/ Believe it or not, the Williams-Sonoma site has a fantastic recipe collection. It’s a smart idea because I am always tempted to order another kitchen gadget while searching for recipes! I recently made their pomegranate salad and was not disappointed. And the Breakfast Skillet is a home run!

8. http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/ Looking for quick and easy? Look no further than Six Sisters Stuff. I first found them on Facebook and now drool over their photos and recipes.

7. http://ourbestbites.com/ I really like the recipes that come out of the kitchens of these Mormon Moms. I use their first cookbook regularly. It is nice the way they build upon recipes. For example, after you make their shredded pork, they offer a number of recipes that use it. Their caramelized green beans are truly amazing.

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6. http://www.finecooking.com/ I started using the Fine Cooking website and app after I received a gift subscription to the magazine. I must say, if this was a magazine list, it would be my top choice! Every recipe I’ve tried from this site is a keeper. If you are wondering how to cook your own chick peas and then how to use them up, go to Fine Cooking. I’ve made a pastry wrapped roast chicken, baked Alaska, and many other delicious meals because of this exceptional website.

5. http://www.tasteofhome.com/ When I’m looking for a recipe for something I ate as a kid, but don’t have it in my mish-mash handwritten collection of recipes, I go to Taste of Home. This site seems to have a great collection of recipes moms and grammas (dads and grandpas too) have been making for ages. Are you craving that baked oatmeal you loved in your childhood. Guess what? It’s in this website waiting for you!

4. http://joyofbaking.com/ This is really a website for baking, but belongs on my list because I use this site all the time. Stephanie Jaworski’s scone recipes are fantastic. I also like her quick breads. In fact, her zucchini bread with coconut is the best recipe out there. I like how Stephanie explains things as a preface to each recipe. There are also plenty of videos if you need visual help on a technique.

3. http://barefootcontessa.com/ I like to watch Ina Garten on the Food Network and then try the recipes she demonstrates. I have a couple of her cookbooks too. Ina’s recipes are always a hit for dinner parties. If you have not yet tried her coconut cake, you don’t know what you are missing! And yes, it calls for five sticks of butter!

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2. http://thepioneerwoman.com/ Ree Drummond is my go to gal for comfort food. You cannot beat her meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, or sweet rolls. It’s not health food, but when you want to sink your teeth into something really delicious, check out The Pioneer Woman.

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1. http://www.epicurious.com/ It is the only cooking app I even use on my iPhone. It combines recipes from Bon Appetit, Self, and Gourmet magazines and features guest recipes from other chefs too. The photos, instructions, and reviews never let me down. I’ve used it for years.

Remember to add your favorites below!

10 Scone Recipes to Try

10 Scone Recipes to Try

Since before the Starbucks craze hit the nation, I’ve been baking scones for friends. Creating these finicky little treats seems to improve with a practiced hand. The basic rule of thumb is to handle the dough as little as possible once you incorporate the wet ingredients.

Scones come in sweet and savory varieties and use different wet substances. This post focuses only on sweet scones. Most of the recipes are not my own, but I use these recipes over and over, adjusting them to my tastes or what I happen to have in the pantry.

10. Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze – This is a Tyler Florence recipe and one of the best blueberry scone recipes out there. If you’ve been blueberry picking, try these instead of muffins for a change. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/blueberry-scones-with-lemon-glaze-recipe.html

Tip: Don’t skimp on the zest!

9. Fresh Raspberry Scones – You’ll find joyofbaking.com a few times in this list because it is my go-to site for scones. This scone uses yogurt as its wet ingredient. It is moist and delicious. I like white chocolate chips in this one as opposed to dark chocolate, but that is a personal choice! http://joyofbaking.com/RaspberryScones.html

Tip: Fresh raspberries are nearly impossible to work with. Be gentle and try not to mush them!

8. Maple Oat Scones – If you are hungry for scones but feeling guilty, these are your best bet. Using buttermilk instead of cream gives them a different texture. They are lower in fat and the oats make them seem healthier! Plus, maple syrup makes everything in life taste better! http://bakingbites.com/2011/09/maple-oat-scones/

Tip: No need to roll and flatten these out. Remember that the less you handle them, the more tender the result. Just drop them on your parchment paper and bake. I make them the size of golf balls.

7. Pumpkin Scones – It is difficult to find a pumpkin scone recipe that is not too dense or too moist. This recipe from Pinch My Salt was first published in 2007 and is the one I always go back to when fall rolls around. http://pinchmysalt.com/pumpkin-spice-scone-recipe/

Tip: I’ve tried both icings and prefer the molasses one myself.

6. Iced Gingerbread Scones – Like pumpkin scones, these are perfect over the holidays. I use this recipe for the base, but I like to mix confectioners sugar and maple syrup for the glaze. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/12/iced-gingerbread-scones-recipe-christmas-breakfast.html

Tip: You can rewarm scones in the microwave the next day.

5. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones – These are perhaps a bit too desserty for a scone, but you cannot go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. They’re good, but the guilt factor is high when you’ve reached over to grab a second! http://www.browneyedbaker.com/oatmeal-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-scones/

4. Glazed Heart Scones – Guys, if you like to bake, these scones make a lasting impression on your Valentine. I suggest you put this recipe aside and try it in February! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/glazed-raspberry-heart-scones-231579

Tip: Don’t be a cheapskate. Buy seedless jam.

3. Cranberry Orange Cream Scones – Ina Garten bakes up a very nice scone with this recipe. I am not a huge fan of dried cranberries, so I always substitute dried cherries instead. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cranberry-orange-scones-recipe.html

Tip: Remember the rule about handling your dough. That would include rolling and cutting. I press into a round disk and cut into pie wedges using a pizza cutter.

2. Pecan and Chocolate Chip Scones – Using the coffee house scone recipe as a base, very few scone recipes are as delicious as this one. The texture is the best thing about these scones. Stephanie’s method of dusting the top with powdered sugar then sticking them under the broiler to form a sweet crust makes them absolutely perfect right out of the oven. http://www.joyofbaking.com/SconesPecanChocolate.html

Tip: Watch these under the broiler like a hawk. And eat them soon after. Buttermilk scones do not hold as well as cream scones.

1. Cream Scone with Currants – This is my recipe. The one I use most often. Though the recipe calls for currents, you can substitute whatever you are in the mood for.

400 degrees
15-20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cups flour (unsifted)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
¼ cup your choice of add-ins (dried currents, chocolate chips, dried cherries, or whatever you prefer)
1 egg
½ cup heavy cream
jam

Directions:
In bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar. Cut in butter. (I use a pastry cutter and work with it until butter incorporated like small peas)

If you are adding any dried fruit or chocolate chips, do so now.

This is where a good scone is made or spoiled. You can work the flour and butter as much as you’d like before wet ingredients are added. Just as with biscuits, to keep them tender, you want to minimize messing with the dough once you add wet to dry.

In same measuring cup add egg to heavy cream and fork mix together. Gently fold into dry mixture.

Turn out onto baking sheet lined with parchment or baking mat. Using your hands, form into a ball and mush it down into a disk about 8 inches in diameter.

Brush top with a bit of heavy cream. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut into 8 sections with a pizza cutter.

At this point I often use a small round measuring spoon or a melon baller and make a small indent in the center of each scone and spoon in a small dollop of strawberry jam.

Bake until firm. Serve warm with jam.

I’ve added another to my list of favorite scones. Check out my recipe for cinnamon chip scones!

Enjoy!

Top Ten Pasta Pet Peeves

Top Ten Pasta Pet Peeves

Warning: The opinions expressed here are not meant to offend anyone. Food is a very personal thing for people and our taste buds and preferences are all different. Thank goodness because life would be rather boring otherwise!

You’ve been warned, so here I go!

I learned to prepare pasta from native Italian friends. Once you’ve cut your teeth on an authentic dish or two, it is impossible to go back to the spaghetti I grew up on. Perhaps you remember…a clump of overcooked spaghetti noodles on a plate with a ladle or two of sauce plopped on top. Oh, and don’t forget a few shakes of powdered cheese from a shiny green can. I am now a pasta snob.

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10. Canned cheese. Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano is delicious. It’s nutty, slightly salty flavor is the perfect complement to most pasta dishes. Note that I said “most.”

9. Parmesan and seafood. A dear friend from the Puglia region was horrified when I attempted to add cheese to the top of his homemade Spaghetti Frutti di Mare. Where he came from, this was a serious faux pas. I was duly schooled and henceforth refrained from serving Parmesan as an accompaniment to any pasta and seafood dishes. He was not clear on why this was a grievous act, but this dish is certainly delicious on its own pure merits!

8. Crappy pasta. There are plenty of good choices in the grocery store. I will not disparage any particular brands out there, however I will tell you that I serve DeCecco. If you can’t find that in stores, you could substitute with Barilla. (Remember this is my opinion only and not based on scientific fact. Nor am I paid to talk about any particular brand.) I lump all gluten free and whole wheat pastas into this category. Again, only because I think the taste and texture cannot compare to the real thing.

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7. Jarred sauce. I’m sure there are plenty of good jarred sauces. But making pasta is so fast and simple, I don’t see the need for buying a prepared sauce. Olive oil, fresh garlic, and crushed red pepper tossed with hot pasta hits the spot just as nicely as a red sauce I simmered for hours.

6. Cold pasta. If you’ve spent the time preparing a beautiful pasta dish, it should be eaten while hot. So why would you transfer piping hot pasta into a cold bowl? (Sorry folks…I guess this should be its own peeve…pasta should be served from a pasta dish and not on a plate.) Heat your serving bowl or pasta dishes so that all the heat is not sucked out of your meal before your first forkful!

5. Unsalted water. My apologies to anyone who needs to limit their sodium intake. Pasta requires salt water if you really want it to taste good.

4. Colander to plate. Once your pasta is drained, it should be dumped immediately into your wide saute pan which already holds its accompaniment. This way the pasta soaks in all those flavors. Finish it off with any last minute seasoning. Add a bit of pasta water if its too dry. Then portion it out or transfer it to your serving dish.

3. Leftovers. All the Italians I know measure and cook only the amount of pasta per person required for the meal. Leftovers do not fit into their small refrigerators and why on earth would you reheat pasta? That leads beautifully into my number 2 pet peeve.

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2. Overcooked pasta. This is the main reason I rarely order pasta when I go out to dinner state side. Except for a very few small trattorias, I am usually disappointed by pasta cooked past al dente. When I cook pasta at home, I sample the noodles fairly often toward the end and remove them before quite ready. They will finish cooking before arriving at table, trust me!

And Bradley Nierenberg’s number 1 pasta pet peeve?

1. Drowning pasta. In Italia, pasta is the star; the topping is NOT! As stated in number 4, finish your pasta off in your saute pan to marry it to the topping an bring it to the perfect doneness. Then serve it! There is no need to heap a pile of sauce on top.

My Top 5 Thanksgiving Pies Revealed

My Top 5 Thanksgiving Pies Revealed

In my previous article I listed my favorite pies for Thanksgiving David Letterman style, starting with number 10. Here is the rest of my list, including the recipes. I hope you like them! Let me know if you have any of the same recipes on your list. Be sure to include photos if you give one of these a try.

5. Chess Pie
Chess Pie is an old southern favorite. The beauty of chess pie is it’s very versatile. You can add one or two other ingredients to alter the flavor. Lemon or chocolate are the two most popular variations, though I’ve seen orange, coconut, and even peanut butter. There are a couple of different camps out there. Some recipes call for buttermilk and others use whole milk. I like both, but my favorite recipe comes from Southern Living, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/classic-chess-pie.

4. Peanut Butter Pie
My favorite peanut butter pie combines elements from a couple different recipes. What I really love is that it does not use a typical pie crust, (which as you may recall, I am hopelessly inept as making) rather it is a solid chocolate shell. Yum! This does contain a raw egg. If you are uncomfortable with raw egg, you could leave it out.

Ingredients: small bag semi sweet chocolate chips, 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 egg, 1 pint heavy whipping cream, chocolate bar for making curls

Melt chocolate chips and pour into glass pie dish. Spread evenly on bottom and sides. Freeze. Beat softened cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and egg; beat until creamy. Whip heavy cream separately. (You could also use cool whip.) Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture. Pour into pie shell and refrigerate. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings before serving.

3. Easy No-bake Cheesecake Pie
This is my go-to pie throughout the year. It is super simple to throw together and is always a hit.

Ingredients: graham cracker crust, 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 pint heavy cream (also called whipping cream)

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and keep beating. Slowly add heavy cream and beat til thick and fluffy. Pour into cooled pie crust. Chill 24 hours. Top with canned fruit.

2. Heavenly Pie
This pie is light and delicious. It also takes considerable time and patience to make. I guess that’s why they say good things take time! The meringue crust makes an impressive base and the lemony whipped filling is pure heaven…thus the name! It is an old family recipe. Mine is never quite as ethereal as my cousin’s which is why it was on my menu this year. I need the practice! I’ve explained by steps.

IMG_2708Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, 4 egg whites
Beat whites until stiff. Slowly add sugar and cream of tartar. When meringue makes glossy peaks, spread over bottom and sides of well buttered 9″ pie plate. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Cool. See image on left.

Ingredients: 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 Tbs lemon juice, whipped cream
Over a double boiler beat the egg yolks. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Continue stirring nonstop until thickened (8-10 minutes). Cool. Fold in 1 cup whipped cream. Pile into cooled pie shell. Chill 12-24 hours. Top with more whipped cream.

Drum roll please! And now for Bradley Nierenberg’s top choice pie choice for Thanksgiving…the one I bake every year…

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1. Derby Pie
Are you surprised? I know this is not a typical choice for Thanksgiving! I was sold after a friend from Louisville served this to me once, many years ago. There are many many versions of this Kentucky favorite, and they are all delicious. I prefer a version without bourbon, but that is entirely up to you! This is my friend’s original recipe.

Ingredients: 1 pie shell, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup English walnuts (broken), 2 eggs beaten, 1 cup sugar, 1 stick butter (melted and cooled), 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar and flour, then eggs, add butter, nuts, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees. If a toothpick comes out too gooey, bake longer. It depends upon your oven.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving! Please let me know if you give any of these a try. I would love to hear what you think!

Bradley Nierenberg’s Top Ten Thanksgiving Pies (Part 1)

Bradley Nierenberg’s Top Ten Thanksgiving Pies (Part 1)

piesForget the turkey and stuffing! When it comes to planning out my Thanksgiving meal, the first major decision I make is what kinds of pie will I serve! It’s not an easy choice considering how many delectable recipes are crammed into my old wooden recipe box. That’s one of the reason’s I invite extra people over for dessert – that means more pie!

10. Chocolate Cream Pie
This is my brother’s favorite, so if he is on the guest list, this one makes the list. There’s no actual recipe I follow since it is saved in my head. Ingredients: 1 box chocolate pudding (not instant), whole milk, heavy cream, graham crackers, sugar, butter.

Cook the pudding on your stove. Prepare a graham cracker crust (scratch is always best), and pour hot pudding into baked crust. refrigerate. Whip up heavy cream with some sugar. Top chilled pie with whipped cream and serve.

Hint: It is even better the next day for breakfast!

9. Apple Pie
I have not yet mastered traditional pie crust. I think it is because my Grandma’s is so perfect that any attempt I make falls short. Since I cannot seem to get regular pie crust “just right” I make apple pie using the French pie crust called Pate Brisee. I do not have an old family recipe. The best one I’ve turned out after trying many is from one of my favorite baking websites, Joy of Baking.” Here is Stephanie Jaworski’s recipe which cannot be improved upon IMO! http://joyofbaking.com/ApplePie.html

Hint: If you absolutely must improve upon this, I suggest warm caramel sauce over top. What the heck…you will eventually come out of your food coma, right?!?!

8. Frozen Pumpkin Pie

If you are not a huge fan of traditional pumpkin pie, this recipe might be palatable. I grew up eating this at my aunt’s house and so add it into my Thanksgiving rotation every few years. Ingredients: 1 baked pie shell, 1 cup plain pumpkin, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp each ginger/cinnamon/nutmeg, 1 quart vanilla ice cream, 1 cup heavy cream

Spread softened ice cream in shell and freeze. Mix all other ingredients except heavy cream. Whip cream and fold into pumpkin mixture. Spoon over ice cream in shell. Freeze. Simple and delicious.

Hint: Run you knife under hot water before making each cut and it should slide through more easily.

7. Maple-Pecan Pie
Maple syrup makes everything taste better, including pecan pie if you ask me! Ingredients: 1 deep dish pie crust, 1 cup pure maple syrup, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1/4 cup white sugar, 3 Tbs melted butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 Tbs flour, 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Spread nuts over unbaked crust. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour filling over nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Hint: If you use unsalted butter, you may want to add 1/4 tsp salt to the filling before you bake.

pumpkin-gooey-butter-cake6. Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
Okay, okay! I know this is clearly NOT a pie recipe. But it does include pumpkin and this is a Thanksgiving list after all. So if you are not a fan of pies, but love pumpkin, this may be the recipe for you. Warning: It is exceedingly sweet. If that’s not your thing, then skip to the next recipe.

One of my favorite homey cooks, Paula Deen, makes this cake. It’s an easy recipe to throw together and fills a 9×13. If you are serving a crowd, this one is sure to please. Here’s the link, http://www.pauladeen.com/pumpkin-gooey-butter-cake-5232

Hint: It’s called “gooey” for a reason. Do not over bake!

 

Stay tuned for Bradley Nierenberg’s five favorite pies! Be sure to comment on what your favorite Thanksgiving pies are!