Friday, November 29, 2013

Grandma's Vinegar Pie

During Thanksgiving weekend the Johnson family eats pie for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, and for dessert after dinner. We are passionate about pie. At my wedding there was no wedding cake. I was more interested in wedding pie from Zingerman's. This Thanksgiving we baked Pumpkin Pie, Oatmeal Pecan Pie, Apple Pie, Blueberry Pie and Chocolate Banana Cream Pie. We also made a Johnson family specialty...Vinegar Pie. For the first fifteen years of my life I was a Vinegar Pie skeptic. Vinegar in a pie sounds gross. My mom finally convinced me to give it a try when she described it as a pecan pie without the pecans. Vinegar Pie essentially is a sugar pie. Nobody seems to know why the recipe calls for vinegar, but we add that tablespoon every time. It's about time I blog Grandma Johnson's Vinegar Pie. I dug out the recipe in Mama's old cookbook. Give it a try this holiday season! I have also included some of my Friendsgiving and KIPP Potluck photos. Quick tip: Next time you make sweet potato casserole, use marshmallow fluff. Your vegetarian friends will thank you and if you bake then broil it, the marshmallow will make a delicious crusty layer.

Mamita Chenhall's Recipe Book
Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, Vinegar Pie, Apple Pie, Oatmeal Pecan Pie 
Thanksgiving 2013, Green Bean Casserole, Marshmellow Fluff Sweet Potatoes, Alaina's Rolls

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pecan + Cherry Brussels Sprouts with Gorgonzola

Quarter 1 parent teacher conferences are officially over! At KIPP we conference as a full teaching team, so the fifth grade team has spent fifteen hours together over the past three days... and it was fun! We met with lots of happy parents (a testament to the strength of the team), shared some good laughs and ate lots of food! Last year we started the tradition of having a conference week potluck. As a result, we've eaten very well, enjoying Karen's apple crumble and pasta salad, Julie's black bean enchiladas and salted caramel cupcakes, Arlena's chili and sweet cornbread, Alaina's fluffy fruit dip and decadent chocolate pie, and Ashley's baked pasta and famous crumble. Tuesday I tried a pinterest cheesy tomato quinoa bake. Meh, it's not worth blogging. Today I decided to make my new favorite Brussels sprouts dish. I've made it three times in the past two weeks! I love roasting Brussels sprouts because of the way they get soft on the inside and are crunchy on the outside. The dried cherries and pecans add sweetness and texture. The gorgonzola topped at the end is the icing on the cake, and really brings the entire dish together. I'll be making this dish for school thanksgiving and LA friendsgiving. It's become a quick hit! 

1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt + Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400° F. On a baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts, pecans, cherries, oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Turn the Brussels sprouts cut-side down (this will give them a nice crunch). Roast until golden and tender, about 25 minutes. Top with gorgonzola and serve.