Apple Meringue Pudding

A couple weeks ago I mentioned the headache I get from recipes that yield leftover egg yolks, as it pits my inability to multitask against my desire to waste nothing. I’ve found ways to deal with this, but my enthusiasm for those eggy leftovers is half-hearted, as coming up with a way to use them feels more like an obligation. And that’s really not fair to the poor little yolks.

But then a few days ago, I was flipping through my grandma’s favorite cookbook (more on that obsession here) and I happened upon a recipe called Apple Meringue Pudding that instantly piqued my interest. I read on. And sure enough, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Delicious pudding. Topped with delicious meringue. How has this idea never occurred to me before? (I’ve never been big on lemon meringue pie, but still . . . the concept, it was right there!) But hey, if I’m going to get inspiration from anywhere, it might as well come from my new prized possession!

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Scalloped Turkey

I hope everyone had a wonderful, disaster-free Thanksgiving! Our turkey turned out awesome (Alton Brown’s roasted turkey recipe never fails), I only burnt myself once, and my only mishap involved over-cooked roux, which I managed to recover from with minimal cursing. And now that it’s all over, it’s time to pretend pants still fit, ponder gifts for the upcoming holidays, and face off with a seemingly-endless amount of leftovers every time we open the fridge.

This year, I was extra-psyched for leftovers, because I knew exactly what I was going to do with them: make pot pie! I made one last year. It ruled. I was ready for more. But then my mother came bearing gifts from my grandmother and great aunt. Vintage Pyrex. An old dough cutter with a cast iron handle. And an unassuming book that has become my new obsession.

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Butternut Squash & Sage Dinner Rolls

Super last-minute Thanksgiving idea, right here!

Unless you procrastinate as much as I do, these probably won’t make it onto your Thanksgiving table on Thursday. Despite hosting again this year, I am lucky enough to have many food contributors on the guest list, and I’m reveling in the laziness it has afforded me. I’ll just be wrestling a turkey out of its brine bath and into the oven, mashing up some potatoes, and warming up these yummy guys. That’s it for the major stuff, which leaves time for fun side tasks, like making butter and ginger ale.

But hey, all is not lost, because these rolls are great whenever. This is a nice way to use up leftover butternut squash (or pumpkin, or sweet potato) purée, and they can always be frozen and reheated at a later date. These might not be replacing my go-to dinner roll recipe just yet (which has clearly influenced my methods here as well), but they’re a really nice, seasonal alternative. The flavor of the squash comes through subtly, and I certainly can’t imagine a situation where sage and goat cheese make something worse, can you?

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Apple & Cheddar Crust Hand Pies

Prior to this, I had never made an apple pie. I don’t know why, but the mood just never struck me. That was until I came across these little guys on Alexandra’s Kitchen, anyway. I’m not sure if it was the cheese in the crust or the thought of many, tiny pies, but I was smitten! Now, I’d seen pictures of cheese melted right on top of apple pie before and hadn’t found it to be all that appealing. But there was something about the idea of putting it right into the crust that made me say, “YES, these are so happening.”

Unfortunately, these pies and I did not get off on the right foot. The peeling and coring of apples instantly filled me with irritation, and I spent the next ten minutes cursing the stupid dessert and whomever had been bored enough to create it in the first place. But once I finished all of the tedious work and mixed in the sugar and spices, I immediately withdrew my harsh criticisms. I’m sorry, apple pie! Please forgive me. You smell freaking awesome.

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Homemade Egg Bagels

Do you want to know what keeps me from going on perpetual meringue benders? It’s not the thought of a rapidly expanding waist line, nor a fear of all my teeth rotting away to nothing. Oh no, none of that could keep me away from those brightly-colored macarons, or angel food cake covered in strawberries and whipped cream. Pavlovas. Baked Alaska. Noooooommm. The thing that holds me back: all those pesky, leftover egg yolks.

See, things like multitasking and planning hurt my head. I envy those of you who will throw together an angel food cake, pop it in the oven, then whip up a batch of lemon curd while it bakes. It’s one thing at a time for me. Otherwise my cake will burn, or I’ll accidentally put salt in the lemon curd instead of sugar—seriously, it’s too much. But then what to do with all those egg yolks? Luckily, I discovered that they can be covered with water and refrigerated in an air-tight container for a couple days. That gives me just enough time to collect myself and prepare for my next kitchen adventure.

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