Leftovers in a Pie

Like a lot of people we are on a budget in our house. After the expense of Thanksgiving I wanted to try to find a way to stretch out leftovers beyond turkey sandwiches-despite my husband declaring his undying love for leftover sandwiches. While scrolling through Twitter I did see someone mention turning their leftover into a pie… and I was off running.

To keep life simple I bought puff pastry instead of making it. I will tackle puff one day, but not this day.

I played one sheet of thawed puff on the bottom of a pan and trimmed the edges (mistake), and punctured the bottom a few times with a fork. I did a short blind bake-like 5 minutes-just to keep things from being soggy,

While that was baking I rolled our leftover stuffing into balls because the internet told me that was a good idea. No seriously, I have no other reason for that than I saw it on Pinterest or something. Sound decision making.

With my crust ready I spread the stuffing balls and our smoked turkey (my husband smoked that bird like a fucking boss) evenly in the crust. I filled in the gaps with green bean casserole and topped all of that off with my homemade orange cranberry sauce.

*Side Note. Leftover cranberry sauces makes great smoothies. Mix that with your favorite smoothie powder, some yogurt, and bit of almond milk… and damn. Delicious.

I wanted to learn how to do lattice on a pie, and no better time than the present. I took the second sheet of puff and sliced into into roughly even pieces. My three year old wanted to help, so of course I let her. We cut the strips with a butter knife which made them kind of wonky but she had a blast.

I baked that baby boy at 375 for 30 minutes and then from there kept checking the temperature until it reach 165. If you try it at home with your Christmas leftovers keep on eye on your own ovens and temperatures.

This leftover pie was was so bad ass that I plan on doing it EVERY FREAKING YEAR. I shit you not. Try it. Shove all your leftovers in a crust and fall in love.

Happy Baking!


Happy Anniversary

I’m basically a liar, let’s get that out of the way. I said in my last post that I was going to try and limit my baking leading up to Thanksgiving, but then I made a cake.

This week my husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary and I found myself looking through photos of our wedding day. Our wedding cake was gorgeous and funky and tasty and now I really wanted to eat cake.

I don’t hide my lack of decorating skill. Maybe I’m not patient enough, or I lack proper equipment, or my small motor skills stink but I am not a naturally talented decorator. I do love trying to make things taste good.

Today I pulled out a recipe for Genoese sponge and buttercream frosting, with the chocolate mousse from my chuox adventure. I’ve never made Genoese and it has been a long time (like two years or something) since I tried to make frosting. When we lived in California I used to made boxed cupcakes and tried to make my own frosting with soy milk and no real fat to speak of. This was before I started to understand the fundamental science around baking. Clearly these frostings failed horribly.

The basic Genoese recipe I followed was:

40g butter

3 larger eggs

75g Sugar

70g self rising flour*

*I added a half a teaspoon baking soda, as I only have all purpose flour, not self rising flour. In addition to that I omitted the cornflour that the original recipe called for. I also added mini chocolate chips, not even thinking they might sink. Of course they did sink. The basic recipe was easy to follow and can be found in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.

After reading the recipe I toyed with also adding a bit of vanilla, but then I went with vanilla buttercream. Simple enough. There are several buttercream recipes in the same Mary Berry book, including a chocolate and a coffee that I need to find a use for.

Then I got the wild idea to make a Disney cake in honor of us having been married at the Grand California Resort at Disneyland. I have a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter, how hard could it be?

After the cake cooled I cut out one Mickey head and three smaller circles. The circles would be layer with my mousse and covered in blue buttercream. The Mickey would wear red marshmallow fondant pants. Great idea, right?

Yup. That’s the hot mess my kitchen devolved into.

The final product was no where near as pretty as in my head. Let’s be real, the prettiest part is the yellow crown sprinkles my daughter added.

But after we cut it there were some nice layers and it tasted yummy. I probably could have baked the sponge a minute or two less, and I probably should have put the mousse in the freezer while the cake baked to get a more firm set.

All things considered I am pretty happy with how my spur of the moment cake turned out. I could have bought a nicer looking cake. I could have made something more simple that didn’t highlight my lack of skills. Ultimately though baking is an act of love. You bake for who you love, because you love them, and because you love to bake. That’s all the matters in the end.

And that it tastes good.

Happy baking everyone.


Much Ado About Choux

Today was my second go at choux pastry. The first time around I made some decent buns, but I didn’t have the ingredients to make a filling. I had also spooned out those first buns instead of piping them out into nice looking shapes. Today I tackled the same basic recipe with a piping bag and multiple tips at the ready.

That is where the organization ended. This is also a time when I realized that pretty pictures of food just isn’t my thing. You’ll be getting the unvarnished, and often times poorly lit, photos of my bakes in progress. Learning to bake is messy. Having kids in the kitchen is messy. I am generally messy.

So I went for a cinnamon sugar variation on this basic recipe in The Great British Bake Off Everyday cookbook (it is on page 200).

So far so good. It’s shiny and smooth!

Instead of the white chocolate coffee mousse they suggested I made a chocolate coffee mousse. I’m just not a huge fan of white chocolate. That recipe is on page 198, if you’re  up for looking.

I should have known I did it wrong when I had more than the recipe said.

Right out of the oven I could tell I piped them too small. They were dried out and tasty, but filling was going to be a problem. A big problem. Also, my daughter decided that this moment was a great time to wash all of her tea set dishes-she ruined her singing tea pot but I’m not sad about that.

This is what baking with a 3 year old is like.

The mousse, like the buns, tasted great, but I failed horribly at the execution. It was all the fail. The buns were too small to get the mousse in. The tip on my piping bag was too big. And I suck at piping. I just do. I got more mousse on my hands, my stove top, and a little on my floor. After trying to fill each bun I had more left in the bag than made it into any of the pastry. The flavors were on point, but I won’t be winning any contests with the look of those beasts.

This took a lot of clorox wipes to clean up

Yummy, but not sturdy. Or well filled. Or pretty.


Cinnamon Sugar Choux Buns with Chocolate Coffee Mousse

I’ve included my variations which I applied to the GBBO recipe. You can’t go wrong with their awesome recipe, but if you want to be brave and experiment with me give my version a try. Let me know how it turns out; maybe someone can help me not suck at filling pastry. Which ever way you go, pipe the buns larger than you think you need, especially if it is your first time filling something.


Here is the place where I laud or lament my equipment. The Kitchen Aide stand mixer is must. I never used one growing up, so I thought it was superfluous. Damn it I was wrong. This mixer is my kitchen work horse and I want to hug it every day. I only wish I had one more bowl. I’ve got one bowl for the mixer and often times I have to wash it between steps. Go big, buy the second bowl.

Things I hate. My piping bag. I shouldn’t whine, I got it for free from my mom after she realized she hated making macarons. It is silicon and has all these tip attachments, and it should be awesome. It is not. It is always a mess and it is a pain to clean. Or maybe I’m just bad at using it. Who knows. Next time I try to pipe I’m just going to buy a whole bunch of those disposable ones and call it a day.

Happy Baking


Halloween Candy Leftovers

The weeks after Halloween, but before Thanksgiving, are an absolute nightmare. I overbought our candy, plus my daughter is cute, so every fucking house in the neighborhood gave her a ton of candy. We ended Halloween with more candy than when we started. The problem here is my totally lack of self control; I am that guilty kid with a constant chocolate glaze on my face.


Staring down this beastly pile of candy I decided to do something useful with them-bake cookies! I dug through my books and opted for a vegan recipe to bastardize. Check out my version of the Vegan with a Vengeance Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.

Halloween Candy Leftover Cookies


3/4 cup margarine (I like Smart Balance)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 TB molasses
1 TB vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tb baking soda
1 Tb salt
1 1/2 cups chopped up chocolate halloween candy (if you want the cookies to be vegan then use vegan chocolates)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350
  2. Take all that leftover Halloween Candy that you don’t want to be caught eating and chop it up. From experience I say avoid anything with a wafer, they just taste kind of gross when baked into something else.
  3. Cream together (in your stand mixer or with a wooden spoon and your ripped muscles) the margarine, applesauce and sugar. I use SmartBalance because cholesterol.
  4. Add in the molasses and the vanilla. I usually err on the side of more vanilla because I love it, but don’t over do. You’ll know if you’ve overdone if there is an alcohol burn. Save that for the weekend.
  5. Mix in all the dry ingredients until there are no dry patches.
  6. Mix in the halloween candy. The finer you’ve chopped the candies the easier it will be dispersed.
  7. Spoon onto a foiled cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or if you have my crap oven 10-15 minutes.