Nov 19 2012

the ultimate pumpkin pie

Ultimate Pumpkin Pie

Dare I say it? I don’t like pumpkin pie. So un-American, right? People who know me are always shocked. I love all things pumpkin! I love chocolate chip pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bundt cake, and especially pumpkin cinnamon roll pancakes. But pumpkin pie? Not so much. That is, not so much until I had my first bite of pumpkin pie from this Cook’s Illustrated¬†recipe at last year’s Thanksgiving.

Ultimate Pumpkin Pie Crust

I guess what I don’t like about most pumpkin pie is that it just comes across as mushy and kind of bland. There’s just not enough going on for me. This pumpkin pie, on the other hand, has all the right things going on. The flavor is deep, warm, and full of pumpkin and the texture more silky than mushy. And it’s not just for the pumpkin pie averse. My sister – a huge pumpkin pie fan – loves this recipe as much as I do. What makes it so superior from other recipes? Well, it starts with cooking the canned pumpkin. But I’ve done that before and it didn’t really do that much for me. The real secret to this recipe lies in a can of candied yams. Yup, there’s not only a full can of pumpkin puree in this recipe, there’s a whole can of candied yams! No wonder it’s so spectacular!

Ultimate Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

Cooked Pumpkin and Candied Yam Mixture

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Nov 16 2012

brussels and bruges

When we discovered several months ago that some friends of ours were moving to Belgium, we knew right away that there was no question that we would be visiting them as soon as possible. We allowed them just barely enough time to move in and unpack before showing up at their doorstep in a hungry, jet lagged stupor. Between the fries, chocolate, waffles, mussels, and beer that Belgium has to offer, I was pretty much ready to move in before we even arrived. The food lived up to my every expectation and I reveled in the frite and waffle stands dotting about every other square foot of the city, a beer selection that left me speechless, fresh, sweet mussels the size of strawberries, and chocolate shops so luxurious and decadent that I thought I had died and gone to heaven.


My biggest problem with Belgium was time because there is frankly not enough time in the world to eat all of the fries, waffles, chocolate, and Belgian beer that I wanted. Nonetheless, our few days in Brussels and Bruges were a wonderful introduction to the wonderful cuisine and we did our part to familiarize ourselves as much as possible with the gastronomic delights.

Straffe Hendrik

Brugse Zot Mussels

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