Thanksgiving is right around the corner. At my house this means baking, lots of baking. I have to make the family’s favorite pies like sweet potato, pecan, and of course pumpkin. But in a family that has a child who’s allergic to eggs, nuts, and dairy none of these pies will do. So for my grandson Jett we make a special Vegan Pumpkin Pie. He loves it!
This Vegan Pumpkin Pie is super easy to make, it contains no dairy or eggs. We have been making it for Jett every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s something he totally looks forward too. By the way it’s tasty enough to serve to the whole family so if you don’t want to make 2 types of Pumpkin Pie go ahead and just make this Vegan Pumpkin Pie. If you don’t tell anyone it’s vegan they might not even notice. Yes it’s that good!
A warm and healthy Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie loaded with so many beautiful flavors….where do I start? The beautiful beefy filling? The crispy Parmesan cheesy top? Or the creamy layers of pumpkin?
This recipe has been handed down to me by my one and only mother. I may only ever change a couple things, but really, this is perfection.
The beef mixture inside this Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie is like beast mode a la Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator of Shepherd’s Pie…or Cottage Pie. Whichever one rocks your socks. So much happening it may not be like your normal average Shepherd’s Pie, but since when are we normal anyway?
One slice of this mountain of glory and you’ll be so full and fulfilled in every way possible, you won’t want a nothing else after it.
1 kg | 2lbs butternut or kent pumpkin , washed, peeled seeded and cubed (I usually use 1/2 a kent pumpkin)
2 tablespoons gravy powder , whisked in 1/4 cup boiling water (until free of lumps): or you can substitute the gravy
powder with cornflour/corn starch.
4 cups baby spinach leaves , washed
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 200C | 400F. Combine pumpkin and potatoes with just enough water to cover them, in a large saucepan/pot over medium heat, and boil until tender. Alternatively, microwave or steam them until soft. Drain well, add the butter/spread and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt to suit your tastes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate large pan over medium – high heat. Add onion, carrots and capsicum, and cook stirring for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until onions become transparent. Add the garlic and cook stirring again, for about 2 minutes. Add beef and fry until meat is browned on all sides (break up all lumps with your wooden spoon). Add the tomatoes, cover pot with lid, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes soften. When tomatoes are soft, add the peas, salt and vegetable stock powder, and simmer again covered with lid for about 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add gravy powder or cornflour/corn starch mixture. Cook stirring to combine all ingredients together until a sauce forms, reduces and thickens. Stir the spinach and parsley through, and take off heat.
Evenly spread half the pumpkin/potato mash into a large oven proof baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture over the top, and spread remaining pumpkin mash over the top of the beef.
Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.
Bake until the top of the pie turns a golden brown and sauce is bubbling underneath (about 20 minutes).
Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s the world’s most popular cookie! Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is one of my favorites! But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy. They are simply delicious!
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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries. I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms. But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum! They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate. They go great with a cold glass of milk!
Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools. In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly). I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often. I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had. But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!
But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever. Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom! Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!
The 4th. of July is surely a day for barbecuing. So what are you grilling on Independence Day? Tired of the same old same old? Why not grill some finger licking good Barbecued Chicken?
Barbecued Chicken is one of my summer favorites and it took me a while to figure out how those barbecue joints make their delicious barbecues. Was it the sauce? Or is there a marinade? Well, after much searching I found out it takes both! Yup a really good rub AND a really good sauce is what it takes for some restaurant style Barbecue. Click here for my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub you’re going to need it to make your Best Ever Barbecued Chicken this weekend!
So really there are 3 steps to making the Best Ever Barbecued Chicken:
Rub the chicken parts with my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub and let rest AT LEAST 30 minutes and not more than 24 hours in the refrigerator. (Use 1/4 of the BBQ Chicken Rub for 8-9 pieces of chicken. Drizzle 2 Tbs. Olive Oil on the chicken parts then massage the rub into each piece making sure it’s completely covered. I use boneless chicken thighs but you can use any part or parts you like. The rub works better on skinless parts so I’d advise you to remove the skin. Place chicken in ziplock bag and let rest for at least 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours. If using chicken that has been resting in the fridge for more than 30 minutes place chicken on counter 30 minutes before grilling so that temperature goes down to room temp.)
Summer officially begins in 4 days! So get out that grill and get ready for some finger licking barbecue meats smothered in homemade Barbecue Sauce!
When it comes to barbecue sauce nothing beats homemade! I know why bother when there are literally dozens of different bottles and jars of barbecue sauce out there; each one boasting that they’re the very best! Not to mention there are so many different types of barbecue sauce on supermarket shelves you don’t know which one to buy. I know I get confused and end up pretty much choosing one at random, or choosing the one that’s on sale, then getting home only to find out I really don’t like it.
Well making your own barbecue sauce takes the guess work out of it and you know you’ll the it! But before I give you my recipe for homemade barbecue sauce let me ask you if you’ve got the rub. Yup that extra yum comes from the meat rubs you use before you slather on the barbecue sauce!
So if you don’t have your own recipe for meat rubs or don’t have a favorite brand to use then check out my chicken rub and my beef rub. They’re both delicious! I always have a jar full of these spice combos to use year round. Just click on the rub for the recipe and tips about using them.
Once you’ve rubbed your meat down and let it soak up all those spices you’re ready to grill!
Grill your meat until it’s almost done then brush on the barbecue sauce and grill just until it almost reaches your desired doneness. Then remove meat from grill and place it in a covered pot to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Don’t forget to serve a bowl of barbecue sauce on the side for those folks who want to add more.
Now scroll down for my homemade barbecue sauce recipe. Happy grilling!