halloween bash

Mrs Lovett’s Meatpies; The BEST Pies in Portland

Happy belated Halloween, everyone!! I hope it was fun and safe for all!

If you follow me on Instagram (which, if you don’t, why are you here?) you will have seen the copious amounts of pies I made for the Halloween bash we held at our place this year.

Ryan and I dressed like Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett; it was perfect.

In trying to keep things authentic, I decided to make meat pies for our guests! I got a LOT of requests for this one, so here it is!

Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pies

This French meat pie recipe is one that my mother always made (that was given to her by a woman who owns a catering business back east) so the recipe makes 3-10inch pies! The best thing about them is you can assemble them, cook them (or not) and freeze them! Its a tradition for my mum to make these around the holiday season, freeze them and pop em in the oven when we're ready to eat them!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 boxes premade pie crust top and bottom sheets
  • 5 lbs ground pork I used a mixture of pork and beef; it's what I had
  • 2 large onions diced
  • 1/2 cup water you may need more or less, depending on the fat content of your meat
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground allspice
  • 1.5 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

Instructions

  1. Place the meat, onions, water, salt and pepper into a large 5-quart or larger stock pot and cook on low, uncovered for at least three hours, stirring often; adding more water if needed. Remove from heat and mash until there are no longer large lumps of meat then add allspice, cloves, and potatoes and mix together until blended.

  2. Preheat oven to 400F and prepare your pie tins (mini muffin pans, or whatever you’re using) by lightly coating with oil and laying down the bottom crust. Fill the shells evenly with the meat mixture, and cover with top crust. Crimp the edges to seal the pie and make slits (or carve some designs) on top to vent. Feel free to brush with an egg wash, but I used some coconut oil and it turned out perfect!

  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Remember, these can be frozen before OR after baking; just take em out and bake! Serve with a side of veggies, some brown gravy and you have yourself an amazing meal. Just don’t start using human…

I used pre-made pie crust just unroll and bake! but feel free to use whatever crust recipe you love.

I needed more packages of the dough in order to make the mini pies and hand pies, so plan accordingly! Its about trial and error... the good thing is that the dough is still pliable enough that you can take the remnants, squish em back together and roll it out again for more. If you're not feeling crafty enough for small ones, stick to the regular sized ones.


pumpkin cream cheese bread

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

 

This recipe makes THE PERFECT pumpkin bread. I made it into 3-mini loaves as a thank you to the hosts of the Seattle WLS Meetup earlier this month and it was a huge hit.

Not to mention the pumpkin banana muffins, too… that’ll be another post, I promise!IMG_7931.JPG

You can feel free to use flavoured cream cheese in the topping if you want, but plain works just as well! You can also adjust the cooking time to make one big loaf, too.. just keep an eye on it!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

By adjusting the cooking time, you can make 3 mini-loaves, or one big loaf! This bread has the perfect amount of sugar and spice to bring happiness to any holiday event, regardless of the weather outside.

Course Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

pumpkin batter

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar) lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purree not pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

cheese batter

  • 8 oz cream cheese (flavoured is ok, just not whipped) room temperature
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease either 3 mini loaf pans or one regular sized loaf pan. Make the cheese batter first by mixing all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth; set aside.

  2. To make the pumpkin batter, cream together the brown sugar and eggs with electric mixer until fluffy.

  3. Fold in the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, and vanilla; mix until smooth.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice; then slowly add it to the wet ingredients; careful not to overmix.

  5. Divide the pumpkin mixture between the three mini loaves or pour into one regular size and top with the cream cheese batter. Mini loaves take 35-40 minutes while the large loaf takes 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean. Watch them carefully! You want the edges to be brown, but not burned.

These would make perfect host gifts if you’re going to a Thanksgiving gathering this year!

Sorry it took so long to post, I’ve been busy… and lazy; simultaneously. As always… Thanks for sticking around!


soup

Corn and Veggie Chow-DUH

OK, OK, OK while this isn’t traditional chowder (I only use ~1.5 cups of milk compared to most recipes with 4+cups of milk PLUS heavy cream), but you can recreate the creaminess of it by using flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot powder. I used so many different types of vegetables, which is what I had on hand. But the more the better! Use what you love!

Be sure to cut them all up about the same size; I did about twice the size of the corn kernels to make everything look all pretty and symmetrical. It’s so easy, you’ll wish it was soup weather all year round.

smalldiceexample

Corn and Veggie Chow....DUH!

While this isn’t traditional chowder (I only use ~1.5 cups of milk compared to most recipes with 4+cups of milk PLUS heavy cream), but you can recreate the creaminess of it by using flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot powder.

Course Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sllices bacon diced; optional for topping
  • cheese optional; for topping
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1-2 cup corn I used two ears of corn and cut them off the cob, but use what you have; fresh, canned or frozen
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 potatoes; with or without the skin diced
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 green pepper diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • salt, pepper, thyme, basil, paprika, red pepper flakes to taste; add any additional seasonings you want
  • 3 cups water, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp flour

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan or stock pot until crispy and set aside on some paper towels to drain excess fat; we’ll use this as a topping! The bacon I used didn’t produce much fat, but drain all but 1T of fat to cook the onions over medium heat until translucent; about 5 minutes; add garlic and stir until fragrant; about 30 seconds.

  2. Add the rest of your veggies, water (or broth), seasonings and stir to combine. Whisk together the milk and flour, then add the mixture to the soup. This will help thicken the soup without adding more milk or heavy cream.

  3. Bring to a rapid boil, turn down the heat and allow to come to a low boil for 10-15 minute or until the potatoes are cooked through; it will start to thicken, but you can also add a little more corn starch or arrowroot powder to thicken it up more to suit your tastes. In the last few minutes, I took about 1-2cups of soup, blended it up until smooth and creamy and added it back to the pot… this will add even MORE creamy goodness!

  4. At this point, you can go wild, add some cheese, more seasonings, chopped up chicken, BACOOOOOOON. Whatever you want, man. Just enjoy it.


soup

Roasted Vegetable Bisque

IT’S ALMOST FALL. Are you excited? I’m really excited.

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This recipe can use any combination of vegetables that you can think of; squash, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower.. the possibilities are endless! It’s brilliant orange colour is perfect for a fall feast and you can make it at sweet or as spicy as you’d like.

Thinking about making your own baby food? This might actually be perfect, too.

Roasted Vegetable Bisque

This recipe can use any combination of vegetables that you can think of; squash, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower.. the possibilities are endless! It's brilliant orange colour is perfect for a fall feast and you can make it at sweet or as spicy as you'd like.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5-6 carrots diced
  • 1 sweet potato; with or without skin, I always keep them on diced
  • 1 small butternut squash peeled, scooped and diced
  • 2 Tbsp oil of choice
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4-5 cups vegetable stock or more depending on how thick you want it
  • seasonings of choice; I used thyme, salt, pepper and some red pepper flakes and a few bay leaves to taste
  • splash of coconut milk optional

Instructions

  1. preheat the oven to 425F and put the diced carrots, sweet potato, and squash on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until tender; about 40-45 minutes.

  2. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions, cooking until translucent; about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant; about 30 seconds. Add in all the roasted veggies, stock, and seasonings and bring to a boil.

  3. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, take out the bay leaves and put it in your blender to cool before blending to oblivion OR you can attack it with an immersion blender. Either way, blend until its smooth.

  4. At this point, you can add more stock if the consistency is too thick. Mine came out the consistency of baby food… but it was delicious baby food. You could also add a splash of coconut milk to thin it out, too.


mini muffins

Thanksgiving MiniLoaves

How about some balls? IT’S LIKE THANKSGIVING IN YOUR MOUTH!

You can easily adjust the cooking temperature and time to do one big meatloaf ORRRRRRR get fancy and make some meatballs. Great for a party app or to bring to your next pot luck! Top it with your favourite gravy and pretend its Thanksgiving! You don’t even have to watch football!

Thanksgiving MiniLoaves

IT’S LIKE THANKSGIVING IN YOUR MOUTH! Great for a party app or to bring to your next pot luck! Top it with your favourite gravy and pretend its Thanksgiving! You don’t even have to watch football.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting time (optional) 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp oil of choice
  • 1-2 stalks of celery finely diced
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp chicken bullion
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 egg beaten
  • salt, pepper and thyme to taste

Instructions

  1. With your hands, mix in the meat and all remaining ingredients and pop it in the fridge, covered for 30 minutes (up to overnight). You can skip the refrigeration step, but I find that its easier to form the meatballs when they’re cold.

  2. Preheat your oven to 400F. Form into meatballs or mini loaves using cupcake mold like I did!

  3. Bake your balls for 15-20minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160F OR FOR A LOAF bake at 350F for 1-1.25 hrs or until it reaches the same internal temperature. As a side note I have NOT made the loaf version of this, I am only speculating and noting similar cook times for other meatloaves.. keep watching it to make sure it doesn’t over cook and dry out!

  4. Serve on toothpicks for a tasty appetizer or with veggies, gravy and stuffing for a full meal.


strawberry

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Jam

I’ve adapted this recipe from the newish cookbook from Martha Stewart, A New Way to Bake

You Will Need:

  • ~1lb ripe strawberries; hulled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 120g chocolate chips or other chocolate; chopped or finely grated

Instructions:

  1. Combine chopped strawberries and coconut sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbly and thick – about 10-15 minutes
  2. Using an immersion blender or masher, pulverize about half of the strawberry chunks, leaving the rest intact You could skip this step if you wanted bigger chunks of fruit!
  3. Add chocolate, reduce heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted
  4. Allow jam to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week

You can spread this on toast, bagels, top your waffles and pancakes or just eat it by the spoonful!

Makes about 1 1/2cups
Nutrition Facts: per tablespoon

Calories
47
Carbs 9.5g
Protein 0.5g
Sugar 8.6g