Game Day Pot Pie

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving:  Day 12

In our family as traditional as the holiday itself is the annual Florida –  Florida State post turkey ballgame.  There is a large outdoor gathering of over 50 people.  And if you live in our neighborhood you had better be wearing garnet and gold.

Everyone brings a dish for a pot luck feast and my contribution has been a couple of these pot pies using the remainder of our turkey.


Make your pie crust; it can be made the day before or an hour before you need it.


Saute the onion, celery, carrot and potato in the butter until crisp tender


Add the flour stirring constantly for about 1 minute.  Gradually add the stock and cream stirring constantly over medium heat until thick and bubbly.


Remove from heat and stir in the chopped turkey


and the peas


Roll out your bottom crust


Put it in your pie pan


Add your filling


Roll out the top crust and cover


Flute your edges


Whisk the egg and milk together


Using a pastry brush coat the top of the pie


Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape.  Tent the edges with tin foil to prevent over browning (remove halfway through baking


Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Enjoy and GO NOLES!!

For the crust:  Best Ever Pie Crust (and gluten free), doubled
1 egg mixed with 1 tbs raw milk

For the pie:
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup potatoes, chopped
1/4 cup grass fed butter
2 cups chopped turkey meat
1/2 cup frozen organic peas
1/2 cup King Arthur gluten free multi purpose flour
1 cup raw cream
2 cups turkey stock
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat; saute the celery, onions, carrots and potatoes in the butter until crisp tender.  Add the flour stirring until smooth, cook 1 minutes.  Gradually add the stock and cream; cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.

Stir in the salt, pepper, peas and turkey meat.  Remove from heat.

Roll half of the pastry to 1/8″ thickness and fit into a 10″ deep dish pie plate.  Spoon the turkey mixture into the prepared pastry.  Roll the remaining pastry and place over the turkey filling.  Trim, seal and flute the edges.  Cut slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.  Tent the edges with foil to prevent over browning.

Combine egg and milk and brush over the pastry.  Cook at 400 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the foil halfway through baking.

Turkey Stock (and soup)

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving:  Day 11


The meal was a huge success, the hard work is done, you and yours spent a day eating, watching football and being thankful for all that you have.  The leftovers have been put away and the kitchen has been cleaned, it’s now that famous shopping holiday called Black Friday but wait, don’t throw that turkey carcass away. . .

Before you head out to your favorite shopping mall or haunt cut it up, throw it in a saucepan along with some carrots, onion, celery and black peppercorns, cover it up with filtered water, bring to a boil, skim the surface, turn it down to a simmer and cover.

Then the guys are in charge.  So tell your husband, BF or brother in law that while they are wiling the day away watching football and consuming libations they must occasionally stir the pot.

When you return all that is left is to strain and drain and feast on leftovers.

3. 2. 1. . . GO SHOP!

Pumpkin Tart with Almond Toffee

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving:  Day 10


My Southern Living annual recipes cookbook collection dates back to 1979.  The only time I ever missed an issue was during a 3 year vegetarian stint which almost killed me. Well, we do learn from experience.  Every November their holiday issue is filled with tempting and mouth watering desserts.  I like to do a little recipe makeover — making it healthier and gluten free.  The problem is narrowing it down to just 2 each year. . .

We went with the Pumpkin Tart with Almond Toffee this year.   I usually go for seeing how close I can get it to the magazine cover picture.  This year it looked a little different since I could not find the right size tart pan in time for the holiday.  It was however equally delicious.

Recipe & Ingredients

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 large eggs
12 oz raw cream
*I made my own (1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice. 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)

Almond Toffee
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup slivered almonds
Parchment paper

Whipped Crean
2 1/2 cups raw cream
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place crust in a 9″ deep dish (2″ sides) tart pan with removable bottom. press into fluted edges. Whisk together granulated sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together pumpkin and next 2 ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk pumpkin mixture into sugar mixture. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking until blended after each addition. Whisk in raw cream and pour into crust.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  IF you are using a larger, shallower tart pan you will only need to cook 1 hour.  Trust the knife method. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Prepare Almond Toffee: Cook brown sugar and 4 Tbsp. butter in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Add almonds, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until golden. Pour mixture onto lightly greased (with butter) parchment paper; cool completely. Break into pieces.

Prepare Whipped Cream: Beat cream and 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Top tart with whipped cream; sprinkle with toffee.

Autumn Pumpkin Pie

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving:  Day 10


Happy Thanksgiving my friends–it’s time for dessert!  Some things just stay with us for years and years and one of them is my Autumn Pumpkin pie which has been a family tradition since 1987.  No Thanksgiving would be complete without this pie.  Today’s version is healthier than the original as it’s had a few modifications over the years.  It’s now gluten free and the evaporated milk has been replaced with raw cream along with a few other changes.

With or without whipped cream the crunchy pecan topping complements the smooth pumpkin filling.  Grab a slice and enjoy the splurge!

Recipe & Ingredients

The pie:
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
12 oz raw cream
1 cup organic cane sugar
¼ cup King Arthur gluten free flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup King Arthur gluten free flour
½ cup firmly packed organic brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
1 best ever gluten free pie crust


Combine eggs, pumpkin, cream, sugar, flour, vanilla, salt, and spices: blend well. Pour mixture into pastry shell. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350, and bake an additional 35 minutes.

Combine butter, ½ cup flour, and ½ cup brown sugar: blend well. Stir in pecans; sprinkle mixture on pie. Bake at 350 for an additional 10 minutes. Yield: one 10-inch pie.

Tip: Place small pieces of foil over crust to prevent over browning. Remove the last 10 minutes of baking.

Best Ever Pie Crust (and gluten free)


The secret to the best pies and tarts is in the crust.  In all my 54 years I have never used a store bought pie crust.  Why?  For starters they don’t taste nearly as good as homemade; commercial varieties are made with unhealthy fats and preservatives and while there are some newer and healthier versions out there it’s just not that hard to make your own.

I started making my own pie crust from a recipe I found in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette back in 1972.  I still have the yellowed newspaper clipping.  It was easy to handle and never failed to deliver a delicious and flaky crust.  It was a little unusual in that it used egg and vinegar.  I used that for about 3 decades and then switched to a recipe I found Kate’s Amazing pie crust.  And it truly was amazing.  It was just a little bit better than the recipe I had been using for 30 years.

After making a health decision to go gluten free I tried my new favorite pie crust recipe with gluten free flour.  Aaaah, not so much; while it was tolerable it had lost the flakiness and the ‘wow’ factor I had become accustomed to.  Back to the old drawing board. . .

Many trials and tribulations later I found this King Arthur Gluten-Free pie crust recipe.  Wow, it was pretty close.  I made a few minor adjustments between it, Kate’s and my original 1972 recipe.  Part of the secret is in the lard; it is well worth the trouble to procure or render your own.  The other part of the secret in gluten free crusts is the addition of the egg — it helps to hold the crust together and along with the reaction with the vinegar or lemon juice adds back in that flakiness.  To date this is the best I found!


Mix together dry ingredients.  Add in your butter and lard.


Mix together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.


Add the egg and vinegar or lemon juice mixture stirring just until combined and adding 1-3 tbs ice water if needed.


Shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerated for at least one hour and up to overnight.


Roll out to desired thickness on a sheet of wax paper sprinkled with the gluten free flour


Invert onto your pie or tart pan, flute edges for a pie, fill and bake as recipe directs.

Recipe and Ingredients

1 1/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free multi purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tbs cold grass fed raw butter
3 tbs cold lard
1 egg
2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar



Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan.  Whisk together the flour, sugar,  xanthan gum, and salt.

Cut the cold butter into small pieces and the lard into pea – walnut size pieces.  Using a pastry cutter, 2 knives or your hands (my favorite) work them into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal with some visible pea-sized chunks of butter and lard remaining.

Whisk the egg and vinegar or lemon juice together till very foamy. Mix into the dry ingredients with a fork. Stir until the mixture holds together, adding 1 to 3 additional tablespoons cold water if necessary.

Shape into a ball and chill for an hour, or up to overnight.  Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.

Roll out on a piece of wax paper that’s been sprinkled with gluten-free flour.  Invert the crust into the prepared pie pan.  Fill and bake as your pie recipe directs.

Yield: crust for one 9″ single-crust pie.

For a double crust pie:  double the recipe!



Bring on the Bird!

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving:  Day 8

It’s time for the star of the meal, our golden brown pastured bird. . .

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He’s been brining for almost a day and now it’s time to cook him.


After removing from the brining bag drain your turkey well.


Fill the cavity with 1/2 of an onion, 1 celery stalk chopped, 1 cut up carrot, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1/2 lemon and a few sprigs of fresh sage.


Truss your bird, season with sea salt, pepper, fresh sage, dot with butter and place in your roaster breast side down.

Yes, you read that right, breast side down.  That will yield moister breast meat; the white meat cooks more quickly than the dark meat so being on the bottom helps to even it out and the juices will also drain down into the breast.

Place in a 400 degree oven and turn the heat down to 300.  Let it cook for about 2 hours while you watch football before checking it.  If it is browning too quickly tent with foil.  Allow it to cook for a total of around 12 to 15 minutes per pound (pastured birds) and check with an instant read thermometer about an hour before you think it should be done.

If you want the nice crisp skin and Norman Rockwell presentation flip your bird (no pun intended) the last hour of cooking.  Crank the heat to 400 for about the last 15 minutes to crisp the skin.  Or you can let it cook breast side down the entire time, it is not necessary to flip.

When the internal temperature has reached around 160-165 in the thickest part of the thigh and the juices run clear it is done.  Take it out of the oven and place on a carving board allowing it to rest at least 20 minutes.

Gather your drippings allowing some time for the fat to separate and make your gravy.

Recipe & Ingredients

1, 15 – 22# pastured turkey (brined)
1/2 onion, cut up
1 celery stalk, cut into pieces
1 carrot, cut into pieces
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 lemon cut into 2-3 pieces
3 sprigs fresh sage
2-3 tbs chopped fresh sage
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tbs gf butter


Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the turkey from the brining bag and drain well.  Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, lemon and sprigs of sage inside the cavity.  Truss your bird.  That means to tie a long piece of kitchen twine around the outside of the bird to hold the wings in place and then wrap it around the legs, crisscrossing and then tie the ankles of the bird together.

Season with the salt, pepper and sage and dot with the butter.  Place in your roaster breast side down.  Place the roaster in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 300.  Check it after 2 hours, if it is browning too quickly tent with foil.  Let it cook for about another hour or 2 (depending on the size). Pastured birds will take around 12 to 15 minutes per pound total cooking time.

Then check it with an instant read thermometer.  You want the internal temperature of the thigh to be around 160 -165 degrees.  The turkey will cook about another 5-10 degrees after it comes out of the oven and cools.

Let stand at least 20 minutes before carving.  I let mine set on a carving board so that I can gather my drippings for my gravy.