Sunday, November 22, 2015

Recipe Roundup: The Final Countdown

Thanksgiving is just days away, and chances are you have your menu planned and ingredients stocked for the big day. And yet, maybe you'd like just a few more items on offer to round out the meal and ensure all your guests have something they can enjoy. Of course, these add-ons better be quick, easy, and absolutely scrumptious, too!

Cheese and Dates: You can't go wrong with two ingredients, especially when they pair as well as these do. I personally love an aged cheddar with the dates, but any cheese will be perfect. Vegetarian/Gluten-Free

Salami and Cream Cheese: Another two-ingredient wonder - just keep the components stashed in the fridge, and you're moments away from making as few or as many as you need! Gluten-Free

Catalan Spinach: Amazingly simple and unbelievably fast, but also bursting with great flavor. This dish can be whipped up while the turkey rests and the other sides are reheating in the oven. Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free

Cranberry-Orange Sauce: Easily made in advance and stashed in the fridge in anticipation of the big day. Any leftover sauce can be reheated and spooned over store-bought ice cream or pound cake for a stress-free dessert. Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free (if using Cointreau, water, or juice for the liquid)

Individual Pumpkin Custards: A make-ahead treat that stores and transports easily, already portioned and ready to eat! Vegetarian/Gluten-Free


Friday, November 13, 2015

Easier Than Pie: Individual Pumpkin Custards

With the holidays fast approaching, we all need some go-to recipes that can be made quickly, store easily and, above all, taste wonderful. These little pumpkin custards meet all those demands, giving you a rich, not-to-sweet treat that can proudly be served after any meal—and they even make a great breakfast, too!

Individual Pumpkin Custard

Individual Pumpkin Custards

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
1/4 cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (8 oz.) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with parchment liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Divide batter evenly among liners in prepared pan (they will be fairly full) and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until set and no longer wobbly in the center. Let custards cool completely in the pan, then carefully lift out and refrigerate in an airtight container. These are best made at least one day ahead to allow the flavors to develop. They can be served with whipped cream, ice cream, or simply garnished with a few chopped, toasted pecans.

Notes: The custards will hold their shape once refrigerated overnight, while still retaining their smooth interior. If you have some oranges on hand, a teaspoon of grated zest would be heavenly folded into the batter before baking. Feel free to use any combination/amounts of spices that you like best or would typically use in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe. Be sure to share your variations in the comments!