Month: November 2013

Della's Caramel Soaked Apple and Walnut Cake//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Thanksgiving Dessert: Della’s Caramel Soaked Apple and Walnut Cake

While searching for inspiration and a fix for my sweet tooth, I dug through my recipe box and found a card I’d scribbled on years ago when I had my first panic attack. At the age of 16, out of the blue, it occurred to me that if our house were to ever burn down, my mother’s recipe box and all the familial culinary lore kept inside would be lost to the embers.  I spent that summer break watching soap operas on rainy days and copying over recipes of significance onto new cards for my own box.  Never mind the fact that a scanner printer was 20 feet from me at the time. I now held the same card in my hand for Della’s Apple Cake.  I’d never eaten this cake before but I knew Della.  She’s my great grand aunt and at the time I hadn’t seen her since I was six years old but I grew up hearing her name with the words “amazing” and “cake” along with phrases like, “Boy, can she …






Roasted Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots--Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Thanksgiving Side: Roasted Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Sorghum and Shallots

Every Friday leading up to Thanksgiving, I’m posting a new side dish recipe.  If you’d like to see my recipe for what I consider the BEST way to make turkey, click here. I feel like there are two very divided camps when it comes to sweet potatoes. Either you REALLY love them or you REALLY hate them. I belong to the first camp; my husband belongs to the second. I seek out sweet potatoes in the store and on menus. He once, at the age of 10, had a 4 hour stand-off at the dinner table over eating sweet potatoes.  His mother finally allowed him to add peanut butter and that’s the only way he was able to clean his plate.  Needless to say it scarred him a bit and a sweet potato hasn’t passed his lips since. I love them roasted and I love them mashed.  I did both here.  Roasting adds great caramelization, which is only amplified by a drizzle of sorghum just before the potatoes are done roasting. The other perk about these …






Bourbon Pecan Pie//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Thanksgiving Dessert: Bourbon Pecan Pie

When it comes to Thanksgiving pies, I tend to stick to two camps; apple and pecan. I’ve never met a pecan pie that I didn’t like…and I’m quite certain there’s never been a pecan pie that didn’t like me. This particular one is loaded with the family bourbon.  Consider it the perfect dessert and nightcap in one. I’m no stranger to pouring bourbon in my desserts.  Earlier this year, I spiked ice cream and bread pudding with the good stuff and it came out heavenly; bourbon, boozy, heavenly. In fact, if you really wanted to go over the top, serve this pie with a scoop of bourbon ice cream.  Now there’s an idea! It’s quite possible that this pie will also help ease the stress/anxiety of large family gatherings, drama, and differing opinions that are often associated with the holidays. Drink Eat up! Come back next Monday for an homage to the apple dessert! PrintBourbon Pecan Pie One 9″ Pie Ingredients3 eggs 1/2 c. brown sugar 1/2 c. granulated sugar 1 tbsp. sorghum 1/4 c. …






Orange Scented Cranberry Relish with Bourbon--Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Thanksgiving Side: Orange Scented Cranberry Relish with Bourbon

Every Friday leading up to Thanksgiving, I’m posting a new side dish recipe.  If you’d like to see my recipe for what I consider the BEST way to make turkey, click here. Beige, beige, brown, hint of yellow, and white.  No, I’m not describing the house colors in a cookie cutter neighborhood development. A Thanksgiving plate filled with turkey, stuffing, gravy, corn pudding, and mashed potatoes tastes awfully good but isn’t exactly pleasing to the eye. Enter the cranberry relish. Not only does the relish add color,  it also adds a tangy, sweet component to the rich, buttery, and savory flavors taking up the prime real estate on your plate. Plus, this recipe has bourbon.  Enough said. PrintOrange Scented Cranberry Relish with Bourbon Makes about 2 1/2 cups Ingredients1 c. bourbon Zest and juice of one orange 2 tsp. lemon juice 2 tbsp. thinly sliced shallots 12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries 1 c. sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1/4 tsp. kosher salt Pinch ground white pepperInstructionsMix the bourbon, zest, citrus juices, and shallots in a large …






Thanksgiving Giveaway (Williams-Sonoma Products!)//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Thanksgiving Giveaway: Turkey Seasoning Paste & Focaccia Stuffing

I’m thankful for my family and friends, I’m thankful for another fall season, I’m thankful for my pups, I’m thankful for everyday humor,   I’m thankful for Texas barbecue, …and I’m thankful for all of you! I’m also thankful that Williams-Sonoma appears to have added their turkey seasoning paste to their regular holiday line up.  It’s no secret I’m a fan of this stuff.  I’ve posted about this paste a few times.  Click here to see how we like to smoke our turkey on Thanksgiving (and free up some oven space!). Every family turkey since 2009 has been coated and basted in this stuff.  I, myself would bath in it if I could.  You should see what it does to turkey skin.  This is what I’m talking about. This paste is a blend of grapeseed oil, herbs, orange peel, brown sugar, black pepper, and paprika.  Basically heaven in a jar. Since I’m thankful the paste is back in stores and I’m thankful for all of my readers, I figured it was about time to spread the love …






Thanksgiving Side: Corn Pudding

Every Friday leading up to Thanksgiving, I’m posting a new side dish recipe.  If you’d like to see my recipe for what I consider the BEST way to make turkey, click here. Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving to me unless I’ve got corn pudding on my plate. If someone made me choose between turkey and corn pudding, I’d kiss that bird goodbye. Ever since I was little, corn pudding has always been synonymous with turkey day and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s so synonymous that even though it’s EVERYONE’S favorite side, nobody makes it except for on Thanksgiving day.  That’s 364 days without this buttery, creamy good stuff. We’re weird but it also means the pan of corn pudding is coveted, treasured, and even hoarded. Our family spends Thanksgiving together at our lodge in Northern Wisconsin and because this pudding becomes our familial currency after the big meal, people (myself included) have been known to discreetly wrap up our own portions and hide them in the fridge. Woe to the person who used clear plastic …