Monday, March 31, 2014

Lunches: 3.31.14

We got Chinese for dinner last night, and I ordered extra dumplings because the kids love them so much.
Dumplings: 24g, grapes, 3g, grapes: 2g, strawberries: 4g, bunny grahams: 23g
The Boy has some dumplings, grapes, baby carrots, strawberries, and some bunny grahams.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 29g).


The Girl (who is home sick today, but said that she would eat her lunch that I packed for her) also has dumplings, grapes, baby carrots, strawberries, and some bunny grahams.  Her snack is a granola bar and an apple (not pictured).


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Lunches: 3.28.14

Happy Friday!

Roast beef: 1g, bread with hummus: 20g, grapes: 5g, watermelon: 5g, Bunny Grahams: 23g

The Boy has a few pieces of roast beef, some bread with hummus, grapes, watermelon, and Bunny Grahams.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 29g).


The Girl has some chicken salad with apples and grapes, bread on skewers, grapes, half a kiwi, and Bunny Grahams.  Her snack is a granola bar and an apple (not pictured).


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lunches: 3.26.14

The kids both loved their waffle roll-ups yesterday, and requested that I use the lemon waffles to wrap their lunches again.
Waffle roll-up: 35g, grapes: 8g, watermelon:5g, Bunny grahams: 23g
The Boy wanted the same kind of waffle roll-up as yesterday - with vanilla Greek yogurt and thinly sliced apple, but asked that I put a couple grapes in with them, so I obliged.  He has more grapes on the side, along with some watermelon and Bunny Grahams.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 29g)


The Girl wanted to try her chicken salad with apples and grapes wrapped up in a waffle, grapes on the side, apple slices, and Bunny grahams.  Her snack is a granola bar and an apple (not pictured).


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Recipe: No-Peak Roast Beef

Last night, I pulled a package of top round beef roast from the freezer and wanted to make something wonderful with it for dinner tonight.

I found this recipe on food.com, and it seemed to be exactly what I wanted.

Served with potatoes au gratin and cheesy cauliflower.  I know, a bit monotonous, but yummy.
The beef turned out perfectly medium rare, with a beautiful exterior searing.  I will be using this recipe again.

It couldn't be easier.
Before roasting
All you have to do is sprinkle the roast with salt, pepper, and a little Smoked Paprika.  Then, rub the surface of the roast with a small amount of oil.  Preheat the oven to 500 F.  When it is to temperature, put the roast in for 5 minutes per pound (my roast was 2 pounds), turn the oven off and do not open the oven door for 2 hours.
All done!
That's it.  Perfect roast beef.  


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Lunches: 3.26.14

Yesterday was Swedish Waffle Day, and I forgot about it until about 1 PM, when one of my Swedish friends posted a picture of her waffles on Facebook.  Oops.  So, no waffles for lunch on Waffle Day as in years past...

I did make waffles for dinner, though - Lemon waffles.  I cooked them until they were done, but on the softer side, and served them with vanilla Greek yogurt, and the kids loved them.

The Boy took one of his dinner waffles and rolled it up with the yogurt inside it, and I got an idea - waffle roll-ups!

For lunches, I make some waffle rolls by taking the softest waffles of the batch and spreading with a little vanilla Greek yogurt, then with a few very thin slices of apple (I used my hand-held mandolin).  I then rolled them up, tucking in the sides like a burrito.
Waffle roll-up: 30g, grapes: 5g, apple slices: 3g, watermelon: 5g, Bunny grahams:23g
For lunch, The Boy has a waffle roll-up, grapes, apple slices, Bunny Grahams, and watermelon.  For snack, he has a granola bar (not pictured, 29g).


The Girl has a waffle roll-up, grapes, apple slices, Bunny grahams, and half a banana.  For snack, she has a granola bar and an apple (not pictured).


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lunches: 3.25.14 (with Inspiration from Everyday Bento by Wendy Thorpe Copley)

Apple slices: 4g, grapes: 6g, strawberries: 8g, sandwich: 35g
Happy Tuesday!  The Boy has a turkey and hummus sandwich on skewers, strawberries, grapes, and apple slices for lunch.  For snack, he has a granola bar (not pictured, 29g).


I packed a fun lunch for The Girl this Tuesday, inspired by my friend Wendy from Wendolonia.  I received a copy of her new book, Everyday Bento, for review, and the kids pored through it immediately.  The Girl picked one specific bento for me to take inspiration from, and I did my take on Wendy's Butterfly Bento.


She has some chicken salad (I made mine with a little apple and grapes and Miracle whip.  She loves it!) with an apple skin butterfly cut out on top, in a butterfly silicone cup, some grape "grass" with skewers for flowers, strawberries with a butterfly cut out of one strawberry laid on top, some bread, and Annie's bunny grahams.  They seemed to fit the theme.  For snack, she has a granola bar and an apple.



I know that I will be finding much more inspiration from Everyday Bento - the kids have been eyeing the Lego lunch and dreaming.. that might need to happen.  I hope that you pick up a copy - Wendy has not only great, eye-catching lunches, but also delicious recipes throughout the whole book.




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Monday, March 24, 2014

Family Lunches: 3.24.14

Pizza Leftover Monday!
Pizza: 28g, grapes: 5g, strawberries: 5g, Bunny grahams: 25g
The Boy has a piece of leftover pizza, grapes, strawberries, and some Annie's Bunny Grahams.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 29g).


The Girl also has a leftover pizza, grapes, strawberries, and Annie's Bunny Grahams.  Her snack is a granola bar and an apple (not pictured).


The Hubby has leftover pizza, grapes, and strawberries.


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Friday, March 21, 2014

Recipe: Mint Chocolate Swirl Meringues

I made some meringues for The Girl's Harry Potter themed birthday party last weekend, and needed to make something for a school party this evening.  I decided to try my hand at Mint Chocolate Swirl Meringues, using Duncan Hines Mint Chocolate Flavor Mix.

I added a little swirl, using painted stripes of the pastry bag with green food coloring, as I did with the Harry Potter House Color Swirl Meringues.  The meringue mix was a light green with the addition of the flavor mix, and I used a dark green food coloring to paint the bag.


I think the resulting meringues are both yummy and beautiful.  I hope that you try them!  There are lots of other flavor mixes from Duncan Hines, and I've tried some of them before.  I'd love to do more experimentation.. more flavors = more fun.

Mint Chocolate Swirl Meringues

4 large egg whites, room temp
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 package Duncan Hines Mint Chocolate Flavor Mix
up to 1 c granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 225 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until soft mounds begin to form. Put the flavor mix in a 1 c measuring cup and add up to 1 c with granulated sugar.  Gradually add in the sugar and flavor mix and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Cut the tip off a pastry bag and paint a line of green gel food coloring down opposite sides of the bag.
Baking
Pipe into swirls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for about 1 hour at 225 F, or util the meringues look dry, rotating sheets halfway through baking.  Turn off oven and leave for at least 30 minutes until completely cooled and dry.


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Lunches: 3.21.14

Happy Friday!
Sandwich: 30g, grapes: 5g, strawberries: 5g, waterelon: 5g
The Boy has a turkey and hummus sandwich, grapes, strawberries, and watermelon.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 29g)


The Girl has a turkey and hummus sandwich, grapes, strawberries, and roasted asparagus.  Her snack is an apple and a granola bar (not pictured).


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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dinner By the Girl: Mexican Chicken in Almond Sauce

For her birthday, my sister (who works at Penzey's Spices) got The Girl a little box of spices and a cookbook - The International Cookbook for Kids.


The cookbook is really fun - it has recipes for all courses from Mexico, Italy, China, and France.  The Girl pored through the cookbook and decided that for her first dinner cooked from it, she would make Mexican Chicken in Almond Sauce.

She made this almost entirely by herself - though I gave her some tips with the knife skills in cutting her onion.  I made some Spanish rice pilaf to go with it (just from a box).  It was a winner all around!

She can't wait to make her next recipe.  I am looking forward to seeing what she will choose.


Mexican Chicken in Almond Sauce
(Modified from The International Cookbook for Kids)

3 1/2 lb chicken, cut into pieces (we got chicken that was already cut up - we'll work on butchery later)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 c hot water
1 small white onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 whole black peppercorns
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 c whole roasted almonds
2 c low-sodium chicken stock
Rinsing the chicken
Rinse the chicken pieces in cold water and pat dry.  Place in large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp of the salt and black pepper.

Peel and cut the onion into slices. Drain canned tomatoes. Mix a pinch of the ancho chile powder with the hot water.

Heat a 4-6 qt heavy bottomed pan on low heat.  Add enough oil to just coat the bottom.  Add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, peppercorns, allspice, almonds, and the remaining chile (not the chile put in the water).  Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes and the water with chile-laced water.  Blend with an immersion blender, removing to a bowl if needed to get the whole thing blended.  (You can also use a standard blender, but we like the immersion blender.)  Remove the puree from the pan if you have not already done so.  Add the chicken stock and the remaining 1 tsp salt and mix well.

Turn the pan to medium and heat the rest of the oil.  Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, and brown on all sides.  Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate.  Drain off all but 1 Tbsp of the oil.

The sauce
Add the blended ingredients to the pan and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the chicken pieces and the lime juice.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 35-45 minutes, or until internal temperature is 165 F and the chicken is all cooked through to the bone.  Serve hot with the sauce.

The finished meal


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Family Lunches: 3.20.14

The Girl made dinner on Wednesday night - Mexican Chicken in Almond Sauce.  We all loved it and I packed leftovers in lunches.
The Hubby's Lunch
The whole family has the same thing - leftover Spanish rice pilaf, The Girl's Mexican Chicken in Almond Sauce, grapes, and strawberries.

Rice: 20g, Chicken: 3g, strawberries: 5g, grapes: 5g
The Boy has an apple and a granola bar for snack (not pictured, 37g).


The Girl has an apple and granola bar for snack (not pictured)

The Girl got some spices and a cookbook from my sister (who runs Green Ink Proofreading and works at Penzey's Spices - did you see her Reuben Pizza guest post?) for her birthday, and she intends on cooking more often.  Last night was a success, so we are all looking forward to her future endeavors!


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guest Post Recipe: Reuben Pizza

My sister is amazing and multi-talented.  She runs her own editing service for authors and aspiring authors, Green Ink Proofreading, she works at Penzey's Spices, and, like me, she loves to cook.

A couple of weeks ago, she shared a picture of her latest culinary creation on Facebook.  I immediately begged her to write a guest post for me.  She obliged, and I am happy to present her amazing Rueben Pizza recipe to you!


Reuben Pizza 
(guest post by Ingrid from Green Ink Proofreading)

My favorite sandwich is the Reuben. The combination of flavors is - in my mind – one of the most delectable tastes in the world. Rye bread, with its unmistakable caraway flavoring, Russian dressing, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and corned beef. It is so simple and satisfying. But it can be messy, and it is hard to make enough to feed a crowd. Worse still, there are never any leftovers. Hence the birth of the Reuben pizza. It solves all the problems of messiness and there is plenty to go around.

I began with whole wheat pizza dough. I don’t typically follow specific guidelines when I am making bread dough, but these are the approximate measurements.

Pizza dough:
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour (I would have used rye, but it takes more rises to get right)
1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten (for a better rise)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground caraway seed (for the rye bread flavor)
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 3/4 to 2 c warm water

Mix first five ingredients together (dry) in a stand mixer's bowl. Create a reservoir in the center of dry mix and add yeast. Mix a couple of tablespoons of water in and stir to dissolve yeast. Add remaining water and mix dough on low setting with dough hook until well blended. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until flour combines fully. Dough should be firm, not gooey. Cover bowl with a cloth and let rise one hour, or until doubled. Punch down and allow time for a second rise, about one more hour.

Form dough out into pizza shape. I use a pizza stone, so I put it on parchment paper, but you could also put it onto pizza sheets. Depending on the thinness of the crust, you may have enough for two.

Let rise for about a half hour.

Preheat oven to 375. Spread olive oil liberally over the whole crust (about 2 Tablespoons). I also sprinkled more caraway and Penzeys Bavarian seasoning on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until firm. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before adding toppings. Turn oven down to 325.

Toppings:
1/3 - 1/2 c Russian dressing (I used thousand island light - it has a slightly different flavor, but it is much lower in calories)
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part-skim)
1/2 c Swiss cheese, shredded or chopped
1/2 lb sliced corned beef, chopped
1 c sauerkraut, plus 3 Tablespoons Russian dressing (here I used the real)

Brown sauerkraut in a non-stick pan and blend in Russian dressing. Let cool while you add other toppings.

Spread dressing evenly over cooked crust. Sprinkle both cheeses to cover sauce. Add corned beef and cooled sauerkraut. Bake another 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the center of pizza is firm. Remove from oven and let cool about five minutes. I like to cool my pizza on a large cookie rack so the middle crust is crisper.

Slice to desired sizes and, for a little more authenticity, serve with half-sour pickles. VoilĂ : gastronomic nirvana.




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Family Lunches: 3.19.14

I made a meatloaf for dinner last night (I added the roasted vegetable filling leftover from the Harry Potter party).  Lunch has leftovers.

Meatloaf: 8g, English muffin: 15g, grapes: 4g, strawberries: 3g, apple slices: 4g
The Boy has leftover meatloaf, half an English muffin, grapes, apple slices, and strawberries.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured: 29g)


The Girl has leftover meatloaf, half an English muffin, grapes, apple slices, and strawberries.  Her snack is a granola bar and another apple (not pictured).


The Hubby has leftover meatloaf, a couple pieces of bread, grapes, and strawberries.


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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lunches: 3.18.14

Tuesday lunches are much the same as Monday's.
Vegetable and beef filling: 8g, strawberries: 8g, grapes: 5g, watermelon: 4g
The Boy has some beef and potato pasty filling, along with some roasted vegetable pasty filling, grapes, strawberries, and watermelon.  His snack is an apple (not pictured, 8g).


The Girl has some turkey and mushroom pasties, grapes, strawberries, and apple slices.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured).


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Lunches: St. Patrick's Day 3.17.14

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Because I was working on The Girl's Harry Potter Birthday Party this weekend, I didn't have very much time to make special St. Patrick's Day lunches.  So, the kids have a couple simple St. Paddy's Day lunches, and they are wearing green.  We are a bit Irish (my maternal great-grandmother was black Irish, and The Hubby has some Irish ancestry as well.
Veggie and Beef filling: 6g, cheese: 1g, strawberries: 3g, watermelon: 5g, grrapes: 5g
The Boy has some leftover roasted vegetable pasty filling and some leftover beef and potato pasty vegetable filling,  strawberries, string cheese, grapes, and watermelon.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 34g).


The Girl has some leftover roasted vegetable and turkey mushroom pasties (The Boy did not like the pastry, but The Girl did), strawberries, grapes, and pretzels.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured).


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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Big Harry Potter Birthday Party Post

The Girl turned 11 today.  As a Harry Potter fan, there was only one thing we could do - have a Harry Potter Birthday Party for her!

This is going to be a big post, with recipes and other party ideas.  I hope that you enjoy it!

Many of my ideas came from Pinterest (and there were more ideas on my Harry Potter Birthday board that I didn't get to, or just didn't end up using.  I also got ahold of the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, and many recipes come from that as well.

The Invitations


We downloaded a cool Harry Potter themed font, got some ivory printer paper, and wrote up invitation letters.

We also got some sealing wax and an "H" monogram stamp (for Hogwarts).

I signed the letters in sparkly green ink, and addressed each envelope in the same pen, using Harry Potter stamps (how handy that they are available right now!)

The wands

I found this amazing tutorial on Pinterest, and tweaked it just a bit.


We started with a skewer to make the wands a little sturdier.  We used hot glue to seal the paper up, and then let it dry completely. Basically, you just roll the paper on a diagonal over the skewer, securing with glue, to make tapered shapes.  Don't worry that the bottom isn't straight, that gets cut off, but try to get the small tapered end as tightly rolled as possible.


Once the tapers are dry, cut the big ends straight.  Using hot glue, seal up both ends, trying to get rounded tips.

The fun part is making hot glue "texturing" - make random swirls on the wands, to make each one unique.

After the texturing is completely dry, you need to coat the whole wand in spray paint, to keep the texturing from falling off the paper.  It doesn't matter what color, because you will be covering it up.


Using acrylic paint, completely cover each wand (including the texturing).  We had a few different colors - a couple different browns, an ivory, and two greys.    The kids helped with the painting.


Finally, use a liquid gold leaf to carefully paint the raised textured areas, and the tips if you like.  Let dry completely and let the magic begin!  We gave these out as party favors.


I had big plans for a dementor pinata and all sorts of decorations, but they didn't pan out.  Time got away from me.

On to the center of any of my parties - the food!

The Cake

I gleaned many ideas from perusing Pinterest, and came up with a plan for the cake.


The cake itself was butterbeer flavored.  I used Betty Crocker mixes (two mixes for the three layers I made), and used cream soda instead of water, and then oil and eggs, all in the amounts called for on the mix.  I found some butter rum Lorain oil, and put 1/4 tsp into the mix (if you are using one cake mix, just use 1/8 tsp - it's very strong).  I made a 9" layer, an 8" layer, and a 6" layer.

For filling the cake, I made butterscotch ganache.  Oh my, fantastic.  I cut each layer in half and put the filling in between them, but did not fill between the three sizes.  I poured 2/3 c heated cream mixed one bag of butterscotch chips, let sit for 30 seconds, and then stirred until smooth.  Before filling the cakes, this had to be brought to near room temperature, to a consistency that was thickened but still spreadable.


I frosted the cake lightly with crusting buttercream for a crumb coat, using a "dam" around the edges of the layer, so that the butterscotch ganache didn't leak out.

I made marshmallow fondant to cover the cakes, and chocolate marshmallow fondant for the darker layers.

The bottom layer was covered in black/dark blue chocolate marshmallow fondant.  The middle layer was covered in orange colored marshmallow fondant, with stripes of maroon marshmallow fondant, to represent the Gryffindor house colors.  The top layer was covered in the black/dark blue chocolate marshmallow fondant.

The cake was topped off with a rice crispy treat sorting hat, covered with chocolate marshmallow fondant.


On the bottom tier, I made a snowy owl (Hedwig) with marshmallow fondant.


On the middle tier, I made a golden snitch (which I made from a cake ball made with excess cake from leveling the layers, and leftover butterscotch ganache).  I wrapped the cake ball in white marshmallow fondant, coated with gold shimmer dust.  The wings are made out of marshmallow fondant.

There was an "11" in marshmallow fondant dusted with gold shimmer dust on the top layer.

The layers were held together by dowels, with the sorting hat secured on top with them.


We found some candles that burned different colors, and The Girl told her friends they had been enchanted.


The verdict?  Totally delicious!

Caramel Ganache Chocolate Frogs


I got some chocolate frog molds, and filled some with a caramel ganache and a couple pretzel sticks for crunch.

I melted dark chocolate chips in the microwave, and the scooped some into each cavity of the molds.  Once the molds were coated, I turned them upside down over parchment paper to empty excess chocolate (the chocolate on the paper could be remelted and reused), and then placed the molds in the fridge until the chocolate was hardened.



To make the ganache, I used caramel flavored coffee creamer (not fat free - it needs the fat).  I used 1/2 c heated caramel coffee creamer with 1c dark chocolate.  Once melted, I let it cool slightly so that it was still pourable, but not solid.  It needs to be cool enough to not melt the hardened shell.  Fill the shells with the ganache and put a couple pretzel sticks in the molds to add crunch.  Put the molds back in the fridge until the ganache gets thick and mostly solid.  Top with some more melted dark chocolate and smooth with a spatula, and return to the fridge until set.  Unmold carefully.


Neville's Peanut Butter Spadefoot Toads

The Boy declared that spadefood toads smell like peanut butter (it's totally true!  I don't know where he read it, but it's true!), so we should make some chocolate frogs filled with peanut butter and called them Neville's toads.

The filling was made according to this recipe - very simple.  1 c peanut butter (I used crunchy), 1/2 c confectioner's sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt.  The chocolate frogs toads were made the same way as the caramel ganache frogs above, but instead of filling with the ganache, I pressed the peanut butter filling into the hardened shells, and then topped with melted chocolate.


I dusted the peanut butter toads with some silver shimmer dust to differentiate them from the caramel ganache filled frogs.


House Color Swirled Meringues
(adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)

The Girl loves meringues.  I saw this method for piping swirled meringues and had an inspiration to make house color swirled meringues.

2 large egg whites, room temp
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 225 F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until soft mounds begin to form.  Gradually add in the sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Divide the meringue mixture into quarters.  Cut the tip off a pastry bag and paint a line of gel food coloring down opposite sides of the bag, then with the other color of the house down the other two sides of the bag.



Gryffindor
Fill with one quarter of the meringue mixture and pipe into swirls onto the baking sheet.  (The first couple meringues will not be as clearly swirled as later ones.

Slytherin - Dusted with silver shimmer dust to make silver
Ravenclaw

Hufflepuff
Repeat for the other house colors.  Bake for 50 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time.  Turn the oven off and let dry for another hour.



Pumpkin Juice
(adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)


What better to drink than the Hogwarts favorite, pumpkin juice?  This makes a big punch bowl full

2 c canned pumpkin
2 qt apple juice
1 qt white grape juice
1 qt pineapple juice

Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl and whisk until the pumpkin is well incorporated. Stir well before serving (the pumpkin will settle in time).  Mix with seltzer if desired.

Pumpkin Pasties
(adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)

Pasty Crust
1 1/4 c flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
3 Tbsp vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into chunks
4-6 Tbsp ice water

Filling
1 c canned pumpkin
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger


Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles course corn meal.  Add the water, 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing to combine, until the dough is cohesive, but not sticky. Turn out of food processor and pat into a disk. Wrap in saran wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

When dough is chilled, combine all filling ingredients well.  (There may be leftover filling).  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Roll the dough to about 1/8"-1/4" thick on a floured surface.  Cut into about 4" circles (I used a drinking glass).  Scoop about 2 tsp - 1 Tbsp filling onto each circle and fold over to seal in half circles.  Crimp edges with a fork.  Continue until all pastry is used, re-rolling when necessary.  Place the pasties on a parchment lined baking sheet, pierce the pasties with a fork to vent and brush with egg wash.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Sausage rolls


The Girl made these - mini beef sausages wrapped with puff pastry, and baked at 400 F for 20 minutes.  Simple and a hit.

Savory Pasties

I made the pastry dough for these using the recipe from the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, but we all found it too buttery, so I have just given you the filling recipe.  You could use your favorite pie crust to form the pasties.  They were cut and formed the same way as the pumpkin pasties above.  I made a lot of filling, and have leftovers, but look forward to using it for dinners during the week - on top of pasta or rice, it will be delicious and quick.

Beef and Potato Pasties
(adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 oz chuck steak, diced into 1/4" pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 medium red-skinned potato, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp ground marjoram
salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a skillet.  Brown the beef for about 4 minutes. Remove to a bowl.  Add onion to the pan and saute until browned.  Return the meat to the pan.  Sprinkle with flour and slowly stir in the broth.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Cooking down
Vegetables ready to add
Add the potato, carrot, and spices and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.


When filling is at room temperature, preheat oven to 350 F.  Fill 4" circles of pie crust with 2 tsp-1 Tbsp meat mixture and fold over to seal, crimping the edges.  Wash with egg wash and bake 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Turkey and Mushroom Pasties
(adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
5 ounces (half a package) sliced portabello mushrooms
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/4 c chicken broth
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/4 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a skillet.  Saute the onions and mushrooms until well browned, breaking up the mushrooms with a spatula if necessary.  Sprinkle with flour and stir in the chicken broth slowly.  Cook until thickened slightly, then stir in the turkey and spices.  Cook, stirring, until the turkey is cooked through.  Cool to room temperature.

When filling is at room temperature, preheat oven to 350 F.  Fill 4" circles of pie crust with 2 tsp-1 Tbsp meat mixture and fold over to seal, crimping the edges.  Wash with egg wash and bake 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Roasted Vegetable Pasties

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped to 1" pieces
1 onion, chopped to 1" pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped to 1" pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped to 1" pieces (or use 1 c baby carrots)
2 tsp garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Combine chopped vegetables with spices.  Roast for about 30 minutes, or until soft.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.  Place in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop smaller, but do not puree.

When filling is at room temperature, preheat oven to 350 F.  Fill 4" circles of pie crust with 2 tsp-1 Tbsp meat mixture and fold over to seal, crimping the edges.  Wash with egg wash and bake 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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Overall, it was quite a party, with really delicious food.  I hope that we have inspired you to find the magic in your lives.


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