Easier-Than-Pie Creamy Pumpkin Pie

For Christmas, there are always a million dishes to make.  Usually, Christmas dinner is essentially a repeat of Thanksgiving.  But this year we decided to branch out, so this is our menu:

Usually, my sister and I share cooking duties.  This year, she is very pregnant and swollen.  The last thing we need is labor intensive desserts (even though I ordinarily love those).  But easy doesn’t mean it’s not tasty.

So if you’re in a similar situation (not necessarily pregnant, but just with a lot of cooking to do).  Here’s an easy and amazingly delicious dessert that’s perfect for any holiday celebration.

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Now, I’ll have to warn you. This is not your average pumpkin pie.  It’s not as dense as regular pumpkin pie, not to mention it’s in a graham cracker crust, which is unlike most pumpkin pies.  It’s creamy, almost like a light cheesecake but without the cheese.

If that sounds great to you, then give it a whirl.  If you’re apprehensive… give it a whirl.  I think you’ll love it.

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Easier-Than-Pie Creamy Pumpkin Pie

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 stick of butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp mace (or nutmeg?)
1 cup sour cream
1-2 tsp molasses
1/4 cup sugar
Candied ginger (optional, for garnish)

Melt butter and combine with graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar.  Press into a 9-inch pie dish.  Place in the fridge/freezer until ready to use.

Pre-heat oven to 325F.

In a bowl, beat the yolks a few mins until slightly thick.  Beat in pumpkin puree.  Add spices and then beat in sweetened condensed milk.  Pour filling into prepared pie dish.

Bake 45 mins or until pie is no longer jiggly (this is clearly a scientific method, dating a biochemist will do that to you).   Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

In a separate bowl combine sour cream, molasses and sugar.  Spread over the pie and garnish with sliced candied ginger or any other cute looking topping.  Chill for a few hours in the fridge then serve.

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Well friend, off to my pre-holiday celebration with just me and the boyfriend.   You better believe I have this pie sitting in the fridge for dessert.

Merry Christmas!!

Guide: Holiday Season 2012

‘Tis the season of ugly sweater parties, white elephant gift exchanges and other ridiculous holiday traditions.  It can be a little bit overwhelming.  I don’t know about you but sometimes I’m racking my brain to prepare for all these gatherings.

I’ve been to 4 parties in the last week.  So let me share a thing or two with you before the holiday season is over.

1.  How to Conquer the Ugly Sweater Party.

I heard on the news that there’s a guy who sells ugly sweaters online for $50 bucks a pop.  That’s just plain nuts (but super smart of him).  In real life, you shouldn’t spend more than $2 on an ugly sweater.  After all, it’s an ugly sweater.  If I’m going to spend $50 on a sweater it better be amazing (in a good way). So don’t do that.  Instead… The first idea is to go to a thrift store (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc).

That’s one option:

Can yield a good sweater, especially if you live in Central NY.  If you live in Southern California, life’s more complicated…

So your other option is to make your own.  That’s what I went with this year.

Find a sweater you have at home (why yes my mother likes to give me sparkly sweaters.  Perfect. ).  Go to Michael’s and spend $2 on Christmas foam stickers and put them all over your sweater.

It works.

You’ll also want to take an ugly dessert to your ugly sweater party.  That’s where Avocado Pie comes in.

Done deal, and you’ll probably only spend about $5 total.

2.  How to Conquer the White Elephant Gift Exchange

1 route is to find something old laying around the house.  A fine option.  If you want to have a more coveted gift, go with food.

Yesterday, I received a box of 48 moon pies.  Amazing.

My contribution was Pies in Jars

Decorated with the same foam stickers from the ugly sweater party (…recycle, reduce, reuse?)

Throw them in a bag with some tissue paper and ta-da! I put some chopsticks from China in the bag, just for good measure.

I (and I think most people in the world) hate getting pieces of crap at white elephant gift exchanges.  I figure with this gift at least they can eat it and when they’re done they have a great receptacle for salad dressing.

Just saying.

3.  How to Conquer the Daunting Task of Choosing What to Wear

Make it simple.  Pick two outfits.  1 casual and 1 fancy.   Rinse and repeat 🙂  (or in my case, steam and repeat… is that gross?)

Obviously be sure to take crappy pictures of yourself in front of the mirror and get them approved by your friends via text message.

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Casual Outfit

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Fancy Outfit

After all, these will be the outfits of Holiday Season 2012.

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You can’t mess around with that.

With these tips, you should be able to make it through the new year.

Happy Holidays from Foodologie!!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These should probably be called Chocolate Crack Cookies.

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They’re that good. If I were Santa Claus, I would totally want these waiting for me with a huge glass of milk. I don’t even like milk, but I’d take it with these cookies.

The first time I made these was in grad school in 2009 with my friend Rhoda. We made a bunch of different cookies to give to people for the holidays. This was one of them and I remember it being amazing.

So do Santa, your neighbor, your boyfriend, your mom, whoever a favor and make them these cookies.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

adapted from Blue Ribbon Cookies

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
About 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt chocolate in the microwave (30 seconds at a time, stirring in between blast session until completely melted). Drizzle oil into chocolate while stirring. Once combined, add sugar and mix in. Beat in 2 eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. Don’t over-mix. Chill dough in the freezer for about an hour or in the fridge for a few hours.

Once your dough has chilled, pre-heat oven to 350F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and place powdered sugar in a bowl.

prep cookies

Form dough into walnut sized balls (I made mine a little bigger that than because I’m terrible at calculating size). Roll in powdered sugar and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. This should make about 24-30 cookies (the recipe says 40, but obviously I have a heavy hand in my cookie forming…)choc crinkle cookies2

Bake 10 minutes. They might look undercooked but that’s okay. Remember my rule about undercooked chocolate things… they’re delicious. Trust me.

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Allow to cool complete and serve with a glass of milk… and a side of carrots and celery for the reindeer… or to balance out the sugar, whatever you want to believe.