Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie BarsFound at The Girl Who Ate Everything; seriously, that’s the coolest name for a blog!  I really wanted pecan pie for Thanksgiving this year, but with the banana cream pie request (and a pumpkin pie that never made it past the request stage) I knew we’d have way too much pie in the house.  I figured these bars would be perfect to have a bite or two of, then I could cut them up and freeze to last way past the turkey leftovers! 

Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter (10 2/3 Tablespoons)

Filling:
3 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.  Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Cut in 2/3 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You can use a pastry blender or just two knives. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the prepared pan, and press in firmly.

3.  Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

4.  While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, corn syrup, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons margarine, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chopped pecans. Spread the filling evenly over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.

5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. You’ll want these cooked all the way through so make sure the middle is set. If the top starts getting to browned cover with aluminum foil.

6.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into bars with a sharp knife.

To freeze, I cut them into squares and individually wrapped each on in plastic wrap.

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Individual Turkey Pot Pies

Turkey Pot Pies

What to do with that leftover Thanksgiving turkey?  Everyone has their favorite go to recipe (or sandwich) they make every year that probably tops the big bird, itself.  This would definitely be true about these freaking cute individual pot pies! 

A couple months ago, I watched an episode of Down Home With the Neelys where they let their daughter help make these pot pies for a sleepover with her friends and I thought what a perfect way to use up our turkey this year!  So I found it on-line, book marked it and remembered to use it the day after Thanksgiving!  I found the ramekins at Wal-Mart for $2.50ish a piece which is a lot cheaper than the four-piece, over-priced, Paula Deen set that was also available. 

The Man and I each ate one which was plenty, and one was definitely too big even for my biggest kid, which is perfect because we just topped each dish with tin foil and put it in the fridge to be rewarmed in the oven for lunch the next day.

If you’re all into saving every last bit of food that comes into your home you’d definitely want to save the turkey carcass and make turkey stock, then use it instead of chicken broth and bouillon cube.  But after carving the bird on Thanksgiving I had a hard time even putting the turkey in my mouth at dinner so I did not save the carcass to use.  But I should have.  There’s always next year.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots 
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 2 Lbs. turkey OR rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 9 oz. frozen peas
  • 2 boxes 9 inch pie crusts (four crusts), room temperature for easy unrolling
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Directions

Preheat oven to 375*

1.  In a large saucepan heat chicken broth and bouillon cube over medium heat until hot.

2.  In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, chives and garlic, and sauté until tender.

3.  Add the flour and stir together until it becomes pasty and lump-free, about 2 minutes.

4.  Add onion mixture to the hot broth, then add heavy cream, sherry, turkey and peas. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

5.  With a ladle, fill 6 oven-proof ramekins or bowls with the filling. Place on baking sheet. Turkey Pot Pies 6.  Unroll each crust and lightly press a ramekin into the crust to make an impression.  Using a butter knife trace around the impression, slightly larger than the trace mark.  This doesn’t need to be perfect!  Place a cut-out on the top of each ramekin and pinch down, careful not to tear the crust.  If desired, use the extra crust to make designs, initials or cutouts for the tops of each pot pie.

7.  Brush with the egg wash and make 4 small slits on the top. Sprinkle with salt and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie Adapted from All Recipes

We each put in a request for pie this year for Thanksgiving and banana cream was what The Man just had to have.  This was easy and creamy and smooth.  I topped with homemade whipped cream.  I think I must have grown up with the Jell-O banana pudding version because it was strange to eat this and not taste a mouthful of banana flavored goo…but it was a change for the better that let the layer of bananas at the bottom, shine through!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 bananas, sliced
Directions
  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
  2. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.
  3. Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture.
  4. Chill for an hour.

Whipped Cream

Found at All Recipes, this was simple, not too sweet and easy.  My kids’ eyes widened as they watched the creamy stuff turn to fluffy cream, which was cool; I remember watching my Grams whip this stuff up with the hand held beater and wanting so badly to try it myself, then giving up when my small arms were too tired to keep it going till the peaks formed.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.