Cranberry-Orange Pie with Cornmeal Streusel Topping

There’s been a literal deluge of pies around the blogosphere lately. Have you noticed? Everywhere I look I am tempted by the flaky crusts, fruity fillings and creamy toppings that are coming out of kitchens from coast to coast. It’s a wonderful thing.

One scroll through my friend Cheryl’s ‘Love the Pie‘ link up from last week will make your head spin; nearly one-hundred and seventy scrumptious pies are represented. That’s a lot of pie love.

Here at Simple Bites, we’ve contributed our fair share of seasonal pies this fall – and we haven’t stopped yet. In fact, I’ve been saving the best for last. Today’s Cranberry-Orange Pie with Cornmeal Brown Sugar Streusel is easily the best pie I’ve eaten all year. [Read more…]

Weekend Links: Eat Well, Spend Less Wrap-Up

Every month eight other bloggers and I look at how we can feed our families well and keep the food budget in check with our series Eat Well, Spend Less. This month we share our strategies for frugal eating over the holidays, a time when most people tend to over-shop.

Now, I’m the sole Canadian in the group, so the focus is on the upcoming US Thanksgiving, but the tips and strategies are completely applicable for Christmas dinner as well.

These posts went live on various days over this past week, so here’s a handy wrap up of the topics covered, including subjects such as decorating, allergies, family dynamics, and leftovers. So pour yourself a coffee and join us for November’s edition of Eat Well, Spend Less!

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Q&A: Let’s talk about kitchen-related gifts

This is the time of year when I get a lot of requests for recommendations on smart purchases of quality kitchen items. Most people are looking for gifts and some just want to take advantage of Black Friday and other holiday sales, but everyone has questions about knives, pot sets, gadgets and the like.

Below I link to a few gift guides I put together last year that still hold plenty of weight now at the end of 2011.  Hopefully these lists will inspire you to stock your kitchen (or someone else’s if you are gifting) with a few key quality items that will prove themselves to be invaluable for cooking and will last a long, long time.

Then, I’ll be hanging out in the comments today to take your questions on kitchen items, should you have any. Opinions expressed are entirely my own of course, but I am drawing on my experience from culinary school, professional kitchen employment, and daily life cooking in my own kitchen.

So read on, make a wish list for yourself, or bookmark a gift item for that budding chef on your Christmas list.

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A Thanksgiving Dessert Twist: Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie

Written by Shaina of Food for my Family.

Sheets covered the couches to protect them from the greasy little hands that would scoot away from the table and be wiping their hands on them faster than you could spread butter on your roll. The kitchen was always bustling, but it was full with only one body, that of my grandmother.

She would hurriedly but with great precision move pots and pans from stove top and oven to serving dishes, all lined up with serving utensils and ready to be whisked away as if by angels out to the dinner table.

Still, if you stood silently and perhaps offered to take a dish to the table for her, you could observe the magic from the corner of the room. If you happened to do so, you’d notice first that the encore to the meal was nowhere to be found.

A plate with carved turkey, homemade gravy in a decorative boat, the dressing in its bowl, a gelatin mold, cranberry sauce, vegetables and baskets upon baskets of rolls to be slathered in bright yellow butter, but the room was void of any sweet eats.
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Eat Well, Spend Less: One Turkey, Four Meals

Perhaps you head to your parents’ or the in-laws’ for Thanksgiving and other holiday meals, where someone else cooks and carves the turkey. Maybe you’d also like to cook a whole turkey at home (and have a few leftovers to play with), but it’s way too much meat for your little family.

Here’s my proposed solution: go ahead and purchase a fresh turkey and then make four or five recipes with it.  When properly sourced from a reliable butcher (and not shot up with strange chemicals and salty brine) turkey is a delicious, lean meat, and should definitely be taken advantage of in its season.

We’re talking turkey and holiday meals for our Eat Well, Spend Less series this month and my method for serving one turkey for four (or more) meals is one way to get the most bang for your buck. Fresh turkey isn’t cheap, but by following two key rules to savvy shopping: buying in season and buying bulk (in this case, a whole bird), as well as using every scrap of your purchase, you’ve got yourself a frugal way to eat this holiday season.

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