Monday, November 29, 2010

Cooking With Amy: Thanksgiving Edition

I ventured into the woods of Maine for Thanksgiving with my parents.  Our house in Maine comes equipped with no tv and no internet, which is a drastic change from my day to day existence.  To occupy myself I held the first, annual Amy's Bake-a-thon and encountered several "Make it Work" moments.

I made cherry pie which was sooo easy because it consisted of laying the premade pie crust in the pan, pouring in a can of cherry pie filling, and criss-crossing premade pie crust on the top.  In my haste to escape the holiday grocery scene (which led to the untimely death of one, Mr. Possum) I grabbed a can of dark cherries instead of cherry pie filling.  Oops!  I ended up mixing the can of cherries with the can of pie filling.  I don't know if it tasted good but it sure looked yummy!

Every year I bake a pumpkin pie but this year I decided to be overly ambitious and tried to replicate the Cheesecake Factory's pumpkin cheesecake.  The recipe calls for three packages of cream cheese which you then use an electric mixer to whip.  Unfortunately, we didn't have an electric mixer in Maine so I resorted to using an antique potato masher to mix the cream cheese and sugar. 

It took many minutes of mashing and several muscle cramping whisk maneuvers but eventually I ended up with a cheesecake like (albeit somewhat lumpy) creamy pumpkin delight.

On the morning of Thanksgiving I rose at the crack of 9:30 to make "The Best Biscuits Ever" according to Peter Reinhart's cookbook.  Once again, I found myself lacking a necessary kitchen tool but easily made do with a bottle of blank label Tuscan wine.

The cookbook wasn't lying and they really were fantastic biscuits.  They were buttery, flaky layers of goodness that made me seem much more the accomplished baker than I am.  I can't wait to try out his other recipes!

Overall my first annual bake-a-thon was a success despite a few blunders along the way.  I woke up to snow and freezing rain on Friday morning which, when combined with 24 hour Christmas music on the radio makes it officially the holiday season.  You know what that means? I GET TO WATCH ELF!


  1. Ah the good ol' wine bottle rolling pin. You and I have had to do that many times. Our poor, poor gingerbread houses. I DO own a rolling pin now though.

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