Tonight was the night. I just met P-Dub, The Pioneer Woman herself! And she’s just as cute and sweet in person as I thought she would be.

And she liked my bright blue rain boots!

I was dying to know what hotel she was staying at, but was a little afraid to ask in case she thought maybe I was a stalker. But I asked anyway, and clapped my hands in glee when she said The Hutton Hotel! Guess who sent her a message on Twitter suggesting it? That’s right, me!! And she remembered the suggestion!

My freshly signed cookbook:

Thanks Ree, I will.

Every household has to have at least one of the three, right?

Christmas is approaching at breakneck speed, so here’s a few more inexpensive gift ideas to give you inspiration:

The Cook

Olive Oil Mister

I’ve mentioned my Olive Oil Mister a couple of times before, and it really has become one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I use it when grilling veggies, oiling pans, misting the tops of breads, crusts, and anything with crumb toppings. Once you have one of these you’ll never buy another can of cooking spray again.

They can be purchased online here, or you can buy them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which is where I got mine. Use one of those 20% off coupons they inundate the market with and it’s a steal for only $8!

The Baker

Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat

This is one item that I don’t own (it’s on my Christmas wish list!) but everyone I know that has one raves about it. Apparently for anyone that does much baking it’s a kitchen essential.

The experts can say it better than I, so here’s the scoop: “SILPAT can turn any pan into a non-stick surface. SILPAT is especially great for working with sticky materials such as gooey batter, taffy, caramel, or anything your imagination allows. Nothing sticks to SILPAT, so it will save you a lot of time cleaning as there is no more sticky mess on your pans!”

As much as I love to cook, I really, really despise the clean up, so anything that helps me out in that arena is a blessing. Click here to purchase or learn more.

The Drink Maker (i.e. The Bartender)

Spherical Ice Trays

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably saw my raves about the ice at Patterson House. If you didn’t, then you really must click here now and familiarize yourself with the topic and get the background story on this particular item.

These ice trays may be the best gift I’ve ever given the hubby. This past weekend when Ravi’s friend joined us for drinks I was once again reminded of the magic. Every home bar should have a set- not only do they work to help make better drinks (no watered down drinks since they melt at slow rate), but they also make for great conversation and are aesthetically pleasing. Much more interesting than regular old ice cubes!

Click here for more info or to purchase at the MoMA Store- the ONLY place you can get these!

 

Remember Alana, the winner of the Cooking Light subscription giveaway? She had my mouth watering with her favorite holiday food comments, one of which was her mom’s Walnut Pumpkin Pie. I begged for the recipe, and she was kind enough to send it to me, so I figured- what better time to test it out than Thanksgiving?

It garnered raves from the whole family, particularly my brother-in-law (loved it!), as well as my hubby. This is quite a surprise given the fact that when Ravi asked what I was baking he wasn’t exactly excited, as he’s not a fan of pumpkin pie. He’s usually a good sport though and tries my dishes, even if he doesn’t think he’ll like them. I promised him it was much, much better than a typical pumpkin pie.

Actually, Ravi dubbed Alana’s version with its nutty, crumbly, topping and graham cracker crust THE BEST pumpkin pie he’d ever tasted, and I would have to agree!

Print

Walnut Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

1 - 6 oz graham cracker crust
1 - 15 oz can pumpkin
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger, nutmeg and salt

Topping
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 Tbsp cold butter
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, egg, and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Pour into graham cracker crust.

Bake 15 minutes. Remove pie from oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 350. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut butter in until crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle all over top of pie.
Bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Walnut on Foodista


Who: The Pioneer Woman
What: Cookbook Signing
When: Tues, Dec 8th at 7 p.m.
Where: Davis-Kidd Booksellers
The Mall at Green Hills
2121 Green Hills Village Drive
Nashville, TN

The Pioneer Woman is one of my favorite blogs, so naturally, when I heard she was coming to Nashville to promote her new cookbook, I was beside myself with excitement! I even sent her a message letting her know that I would make myself available to pick her up from the airport, take her to lunch, dinner, shopping, etc. Basically whatever she might want to do, I’m game.

Hmmm…yeah, I didn’t hear back from her. But maybe it’s because she has like a million and one followers???

Any of you other cooks, food bloggers, or fans planning to go to the book signing next week? Would love to meet up with you!

Click here for her book signing schedule in other cities. Still to come: Dallas, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, NYC, and Oklahoma City.


My Black Friday shopping consists of me, a big cup of coffee, and a computer. That’s right, I don’t venture out in that craziness, especially since this year many retailers are offering the same deals online.

I told you I would keep passing along holiday gift ideas, and today I’ve found a fantastic deal on magazine subscriptions for you! Amazon.com is having a blowout sale on 10 popular magazines–all are only $5 for an entire year!

A couple of them are favorites of mine for recipes: Southern Living and Food & Wine. For those on your gift list that may not be quite into food as much as we are, there are plenty of other subject matters to choose from- sports, fashion, travel, home decor, and more.

Click here for a full list and order before Tuesday, December 1st, when the sale ends!

Gobble Gobble

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

photo credit: Thanksgiving Turkey by tuchodi

And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Dump Cake is another one of the recipes I’ve been asked about over the last few days. It’s a guilty pleasure and I only make it a few times a year for special occasions or to feed a crowd. I refuse to make it for just me and hubby, as that is extremely dangerous (sneaky bites with every pass thru the kitchen = entire cake gone in 2 days).

Consider this the perfect potluck dessert-easy, inexpensive, yet impressive. You don’t even need to know how to cook. It never, I mean never, fails me. When it joins me at a party, I’m adored.

The version I grew up eating has cherry and pineapple, but there are lots of other variations you can try. My fellow food blogger and twitter buddy, Lesley, is also very aware of the awesomeness that is Dump Cake. When she saw the dump cake tweets between me and Amy of Word Kitchen, she volunteered some of her favorite options. Apple filling with yellow mix, cinnamon and pecans? Mmmm. And cherry with chocolate mix? Okay, Yum. I’m thinking sometime soon I might give it a go with peaches and butter cake mix, making a quick and easy peach cobbler. So your choice, the tried and true “original” recipe below, or invent your own version!


Print

Dump Cake

Serves 10-12.

Ingredients:

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Spread crushed pineapple on bottom of 13 x 9-inch pan. Top pineapple with cherry pie filling, and sprinkle cake mix evenly over fruit. (Layer in the order listed. Do NOT mix)
Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until golden and bubbly.

Serve on it's own or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Photo credit: dump cake by nochipra

I was planning to blog about a few other things this week but have noticed over the past few days that just about the only thing on most people’s minds is their Thanksgiving menu. I’ve actually had several emails from friends and co-workers requesting recipes for a couple of specific things, so I decided I should share them with the world (or at least my lovely devoted readers)!

Every year we have a Thanksgiving potluck at work, and every year I bring the same thing- Corn Pudding. Actually, a couple of my co-workers probably wouldn’t allow me to participate if I didn’t bring it. When the sign-up sheet comes out, I’m not even the one that signs myself up anymore, yet mine is the first name on the list, with a big CORN PUDDING out beside it. No joke. Don’t get me wrong, I love corn pudding as much as my co-worker who signs me up for it, so I would probably continue to bring it time and time again even if I wasn’t prompted. But it is nice knowing my food is appreciated :-)

When it came time to make it this year, I remembered that in previous years the container was scraped clean, with no leftovers to have for lunch the next day. This is just not acceptable around my office- we want to eat like kings for at least a couple of days! So this time I doubled the recipe and made 2 separate casserole dishes, thinking we probably wouldn’t even put the second one out on the table, but instead, save it for the next day’s lunch.

Yeah, right. Dish #1 went fast, so Dish #2 was heated up and over half of it was devoured as well. I’ve now learned my lesson and have made a mental note to triple the recipe next year!

Some of you out there may be reading this and thinking, “What the heck is corn pudding?”. Well, it’s served as a side dish, and is most definitely a classic Southern comfort food. I’ve seen it made with various ingredients, some more sweet and some more savory.

This recipe was handed down from my grandmother– it was a dish that she often made when I was growing up. So not only do I love it because it’s outrageously yummy, but I love it even more because it brings back memories of her. Hers is on the sweeter end of the spectrum of corn puddings, and it’s totally addictive, so beware!


Print

Grandmama's Corn Pudding

Serves 10-12.

Ingredients:

2 (14.75 oz) cans cream style corn*
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
6 Tbsp sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk (whole, 2%, skim, soy, whatever you have on hand, they'll all work!)

*you can also use 1 can whole kernel in place of 1 can cream style for a thicker consistency

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter. In an 8x8 pyrex casserole dish*, mix melted butter with sugar and flour. Add beaten egg and mix.
Add corn and milk. Mix all. Bake for 1 hour.

*make sure you use a flat dish to bake, and not a bowl. The bowl shape will cause it to cook unevenly, and your center will be too runny.