Paula Deen’s Rum Pumpkin Pie with Praline Pecans

It's that time of year again...time to overbook our schedules with cocktail parties, gift exchanges and eat way too much yummy food! You know, those foods that you love but only have at this time of year...for me Paula Deen's Rum Pumpkin Pie with Praline Pecans that I make every Thanksgiving is at the top of that list. I first tried this recipe years ago when I began hosting my own big Thanksgiving dinners for friends and I haven't gone back to plain old traditional pumpkin pie since! So what makes this pie so addictive? First, the depth of flavor that just the slight bit of added rum adds. It doesn't seem like 2 tablespoons of rum would make that big of a difference, but trust me, don't skimp here. Second the perfect layer of whipped cream covering the entire top of the pie is essential.  No more single dollop of whip cream per slice...a whole layer on top of the freshly made topping is the way to go. Lastly the praline pecans...make more than the recipe calls for and sprinkle on top liberally. This sweet, crunchy, nutty addition adds the perfect amount of textural distinction to an otherwise melt in your mouth creamy pie. If you're feeling ambitious and want to make your own pie crust, Paula's Perfect Pie Crust is a fantastic recipe...buttery and flaky. Of course, there's no shame in store-bought pie crust...just buy the frozen sheets of  rolled out dough that you put in your own pan which is much better than the kind that is frozen and already pressed into a tinfoil pan. Whatever you decide about your crust, make sure this pie is filling it...you'll be the talk of your Thanksgiving party and have everyone wishing you made two. Seriously...this is the only dessert that I've ever hid from people so I can have the leftovers all to myself!
Weekly Menu: November 30 – December 6, 2014

Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich

Sunday: Leftovers: Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich!
Monday: Leftovers: Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich!
Tuesday: Warriors Game!
Wednesday:   Leftovers: Lentil Country Supper (from last week)
Thursday: Drinks and Dinner Out
Friday: In San Diego!
Saturday: In San Diego!
Well...I'm useless this week. Still have lots of leftovers in the fridge from Thanksgiving and even a bit of leftovers from last week still. So I'll be finishing those up before heading out of town to go catch the Patriots play the Chargers in San Diego for the weekend. For those of you who need a little Thanksgiving leftover inspiration though, my classic leftovers sandwich photo above should get your mouth watering!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking...
Weekly Menu: November 23-29, 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey

Sunday: Herbed Veal T-Bones with Cheesy Polenta and Roasted Asparagus
Monday: Lentil Country Supper
Tuesday: Leftovers: Veal with Cheesy Polenta
Wednesday:   Leftovers: Lentil Country Supper
Thursday: Thanksgiving with Friends!
Friday: Thanksgiving Leftovers
Saturday: Dinner Date!
Starting off the week with another Omaha Steaks cooking adventure!  This time it's using Veal T-Bones...but I recruited a friend who's a good cook to help me make (and eat) this one. He's going to leverage the recipe linked above as inspiration, but since it's a different cut of veal than in the recipe we'll adapt the cooking approach accordingly. Should be tasty, although I have to say I've never had veal t-bones before so will be interested to see how it turns out! Then I'm bringing back an old, healthy winter favorite...lentil country supper.  Rounding out the rest of the week is Thanksgiving, of course!  I'm heading to a Friendsgiving this year so not putting on my full spread like I normally do but I am still making my Spicy Cranberry-Pepper Jelly, Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow & Coconut and Rum Pumpkin Pie.  Wouldn't be Thanksgiving to me without those three!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking...
Weekly Menu: November 16-22, 2014
Sunday: Leftovers: White Chicken Chili
Monday: Bison Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Twice Baked Potatoes & Warm Spinach Salad
Tuesday: Leftovers: White Chicken Chili
Wednesday:   Dinner Date!
Thursday: Hopalong Board Meeting
Friday: Breakfast for Dinner
Saturday: Dinner Date!
My white chicken chili from last week lasted a bit longer than I had planned due to some impromptu plans last week so that will help me round out this week as well.  Monday I'm having my friends Jonathan and Katherine over to help me cook up (and eat!) one of my Omaha Steaks dinners that I'll blog about for SteakBytes.com.  So we're keeping it classic alongside the Bison Filet Mignons that I just had delivered by pairing them with Gorgonzola Twice Baked Potatoes and a Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon, Tomato and Red Onion. Decadent and delicious, but should serve well for a post about a New Year's Eve dinner...stay tuned for that!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking...
Weekly Menu: October 20-25, 2014
Sunday: White Fish with Roasted Rapini & Tomatoes
Monday: Leftovers: Frozen Many Bean Soup
Tuesday: Christian’s Birthday! SavoryGirl’s Steak with Brussel Sprouts & Bacon
Wednesday:   Shakshuka
Thursday: Leftovers: Steak tacos with avocado & grilled scallions
Friday: Dinner with Matt & Renee
Saturday: Leftovers: Shakshuka
I'm out of town for a bit so I thought I'd share an old menu from 2012 instead of just skipping this week and leaving you hanging completely! And of course, Happy Happy Birthday to my ex, Christian on Thursday! ---------------------------------- 2012 Post: I'm back in town and not leaving again for the foreseeable future, yippeee...so let's get cooking! Since it has been a bit hectic we're starting off the week an easy fish and roasted rapini & tomatoes dinner. Nice and healthy. Then we're reaching back into the freezer to pull out a fantastic soup we made from our October 7th menu. Tuesday is Christian's special day and he has requested my famous home-cooked steak (I swear, they're as good as most restaurants!) with a side of roasted brussel sprouts and bacon. My newfound approach to steak comes from a past Bon Appétit article about how to cook the prefect steak, which I linked to in the menu above. Trust me, you'll feel like you're using way too much salt, but just go with it!

Then we're rounding out the week with a nice Israeli vegetarian dish...you all know how much I love eggs for dinner and this one is a winner! We'll turn Christian's steak dinner into some yummy steak tacos for leftovers on Thursday and then we have a dinner date with one of our all-time favorite couples. Between the birthday and dinner with friends I'd say we have a fun and yummy week coming up!
Weekly Menu: October 12-18, 2014
The Key Components to Garlicky Red Lentil Soup
Sunday: Chicken Tiki Masala 
Monday: Leftovers: Tiki Masala
Tuesday: Girls Night Dinner!
Wednesday: Garlicky Red Lentil Soup
Thursday: Dinner & Game Night Date!
Friday:
Leftovers: Garlicky Red Lentil Soup
Saturday: Dinner Out
This is my last week in town for a while so I'm trying to cook a bit more despite some plans I already have.  Whenever I'm on the road I get a little sick of eating out so I try to book-end my trips with good home-cooking!  So I'm starting the week off with so Chicken Tiki Masala simply because I've been craving Indian food lately.  I'm cheating a bit and just using a jarred sauce since I had a busy weekend and won't get home until late.  Then Wednesday I'm making one of my fall favorites...Garlicky Red Lentil Soup. Easy, healthy and delicious!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking...
Weekly Menu: October 5-11, 2014
Sunday: Leftovers: Spicy Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad Tacos
Monday: Leftovers: Spicy Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad Tacos
Tuesday: Brown Rice Bowl with Kale, Avocado & Poached Eggs
Wednesday: Friend cooking me Balinese Chicken Curry with Sweet Potato Rice!
Thursday: Leftovers: Brown Rice Bowl with Kale, Avocado & Poached Eggs
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Fleet Week Wine Cruise on the Bay!
Camping in Tahoe with friends this past weekend was fabulous and recharging, as always!  Lucky me, I came home with some leftovers of the spicy black bean and grilled corn salad that we made to go along with our campfire fajitas.  So instead of letting it go to waste I'm simply heating it up and throwing it on a grilled taco shell with a bit of cheese for a ridiculously easy and delicious dinner! Later in the week I'm turning to another easy favorite...brown rice topped with sauteed kale, some chopped avocado and two poached eggs.  Sprinkle some salt, pepper and red pepper flakes on top and you have a quick, healthy, satisfying meal.

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking...
Weekly Menu: September 28 – October 4, 2014

Disappearing Zucchini Orzo with Grilled Shrimp

Sunday: Beef Wellington Bites with Red Wine Rosemary Dipping Sauce
Monday: Disappearing Zucchini Orzo with Grilled Shrimp
Tuesday: Leftovers: Beef Wellington Bites 
Wednesday: Leftovers: Orzo with Grilled Shrimp
Thursday: Leftovers: Orzo with Grilled Shrimp
Friday: Camping in Tahoe!!
Saturday: Camping in Tahoe!! 
This is going to be a yummy yet simple week leading up to a weekend of spectacular fall camping in Tahoe, which I'm super excited about! Starting the week off, I'll be making my second Omaha Steaks meal for my guest  post on SteakBytes.com.  They wanted a spin on a tailgating at home dish so I decided to take their Beef Wellington and turn it into Beef Wellington Bites to serve alongside a yummy Red Wine Rosemary Dipping Sauce.  Of course you can also just cook up Beef Wellington normally and drizzle the sauce over it.  I've made this sauce before and it's delicious...only difference is that I mince the garlic and rosemary and leave it in the sauce vs. leaving them whole and taking them out at the end. I also typically half the recipe since I don't need as much. I'll likely serve alongside a garlicky green vegetable...maybe brussel sprouts or peas depending on what I'm in the mood for on Sunday.  Peas seem so much more fitting for Beef Wellington despite the fact that they're not currently in season.

I'll round out the week with an old summer staple...Disappearing Zucchini Orzo with Grilled Shrimp.  I know it's not summer anymore, but I froze some extra shredded zucchini I had from a Farmer's Market run a while back so I'm going to use that up here.  I like that this dish is a bit lighter to contrast the beef wellington as well.  Then off for a weekend of fun camping in Tahoe! Brats, fajitas, grilled corn and more all cooked over the fire...and of course, lots of S'Mores!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking...
Weekly Menu: September 21-27, 2014
Sunday: Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Fried Rice
Monday: Leftovers: Tenderloin & Fried Rice
Tuesday: Leftovers: Chicken & Chickpea Stew
Wednesday: Leftovers: Tenderloin & Fried Rice 
Thursday: Leftovers: Chicken & Chickpea Stew
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Easy DIY dinner before going out
I got a little delayed last week, so to start off this week I'm cooking up my first Omaha Steaks product, Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin for my first blog post.  I'm creating a farewell to Summer meal and making the teriyaki pork tenderloin alongside some pineapple fried rice. I'm likely just going to make up my own fried recipe depending on what I have in the house, but I linked to a Food Network recipe for those interested in using a precise one.  Although I encourage you to get creative...fried rice is very forgiving and a great way to get creative and use up what you have on hand! A little taste of Hawaii as I say Aloha to an amazingly fabulous summer.  I'm rounding out the rest of the week with some leftovers I have in the freezer because I'm realizing after only my first Omaha Steaks shipment I'm going to need to free up some freezer space!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking/eating...
Weekly Menu: October 6-12, 2013
Sunday: White Chicken Chili with Corn Tortillas
Monday: Quinoa and Sweet Potato Stuffed Mushrooms with Roasted Red Pepper Salad
Tuesday: Leftovers: White Chicken Chili
Wednesday: Leftovers: Stuffed Mushrooms with grilled Asparagus
Thursday: Leftovers: Baked White Chicken Chili Enchiladas
Friday: DIY Pizza Night
Saturday: Eat Out
I'm keeping it pretty simple this week with two new recipes with leftovers that will stretch and keep my belly happy throughout the week. The first is a spicy white chicken chili from my favorite Slow Cooker cookbook, so the recipe that I linked to above isn't the exact recipe I'll be using but it's pretty close. To make sure I don't get too bored with the leftovers one night I'll turn the chili into baked chili enchiladas. Fill some large corn tortillas with leftover chili, roll them up, nestle them in a greased caserole dish, top them with some shredded cheese, cover with foil and bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted. Yum!

The second new recipe of the week is one I stumbled on when I was searching for gluten free snack ideas online...somehow I landed on this Quinoa & Sweet Potato Stuffed Mushroom recipe and it looked so simple and delish.  For a side we'll just make a simple spinach and roasted red pepper salad with a bit of shaved Parmesan and walnuts and then grill up some asparagus when we have leftovers.

Leftovers keep a busy week simple for us Tuesday through Thursday and then Friday we have a little fun with a good 'ole homemade Pizza night.  Hope you all have a good and delicious week