An Attitude of Gratitude

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I once heard that if you only say one prayer a day, let it simply be “thank you”.

I do love me some Thanksgiving. Not because I am a Thanksgiving baby. Or the food. Holidays can get lost in the commercialization.  I love what it represents, THANKS. Gratitude shines bright in my life as an essential practice. So even though this time of year is synonymous with food and large gatherings and football and shopping, I like to go back to the name itself. Thanks. It is our perspective about holidays that matters. What it reminds us to practice daily in our lives.

Gratitude has helped me during my biggest struggles. I have said it many times. Practicing gratitude reminds me of how blessed I am. How much I already have. It allows me to fill blissfully content.

I go back to a conversation I had with a nice wood-worker two weeks ago at the farmer’s market. It is easy nowadays to get lost in monster of MORE. We want more constantly. More stuff. More money. More food. More ‘friends’. More time. We get greedy in our lust for more.We pack our schedules with more.  And then we become slaves to our want of more. We work more. We get lost in the cycle of a job. Chasing money, so we can have or seem like we have more. But then we never actually enjoy our time. Because we waste it at jobs that don’t bring us joy. Or we never take the trips. Or see our families. Or we are tired and grouchy when we do see them. Forget being present, we are ready to numb ourselves out by the time we get home. Have a drink. Get lost in TV. The nice wood-worker was telling me that he retired and started his little business. He also explained how he didn’t have nor did he want a website because he didn’t want it to become a job. It was something he enjoyed doing. And I think about this in my own business, because he is right. Spend time doing what you love. Be more content with what you have than constantly wanting more. Because this also can create a feeling of not having enough. And further of not being enough.  Continue reading “An Attitude of Gratitude”

Pear Cranberry Mini Pies

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Last pie of this, and I will keep it short and sweet because I am sure you are busy preparing and baking already.

I was intrigued by this combination. I was also wanting to give pears more of a chance. I tend to lean towards apples (slash I tend to completely forget that pears exist).

So it was finally pears turn to shine. And I was on a cranberry kick. Having them together seemed perfect!

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Cranberry Orange Galette

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Last week I baked up and posted two delicious galettes (Check them out: Caramel Apple and Maple Ginger Pear), but this was THE original plan. This is the galette I was jazzed and excited to make. I couldn’t wait to get to it on my list. Cranberry day of baking was kind of my favorite day.

Besides cranberries and oranges are classic holiday combinations. One that I have never tried before. I was eager to say the least to see how it turned out.

Plus, as I mentioned, galettes have been lingering in my mind and I was ready to try them out as well!

I was super duper pleased with the outcome, and really want to try a regular pie with a nice streusel topping!

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Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Pie

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This recipe I was most excited to make! I love pecans. I love chocolate. That’s two out of three major ingredients, so I believed I was due to make something stellar.

This also kicks starts the theme of this week: cranberry.

I have three lovely cranberry recipes coming your way. But I started with the best first. You still have two more days to prepare and get it together so you can impress with this beauty on Thanksgiving. Plus you get to be the showstopper who brought something different and unique.

People will want (NEED) to try it.

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Maple Ginger Pear Galette

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I am guilty of getting caught up and stuck on something. It started with cranberry orange galettes (also I made three things with cranberries, another testament to my stuckness). And then I had an extra apple and extra caramel, so I made another one.

And then I had a pear left as well. I also had a recipe already ready for a maple ginger pear pie. Automatically I was drawn to making another beautiful galette.

I don’t know what it is, but I really enjoy these flat little pies. Plus they are great to take vending because they start conversation. People are intrigued. They are pretty. And they are freaking delicious.

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Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Slab Pie

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I was super excited to make this pie when I first made my list of Thanksgiving Pies. I didn’t have baking pans (packed up while we are still in between apartments) or time and I ran out of ingredients for pie crust.

Finally yesterday I finally had time and ingredients.

I was so excited when this came out! Slab pies are my new obsession. This was the first gluten-free one I had ever made. Plus I got the lettering on. Plus it was sweet potato.

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Caramel Apple Galette

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For some reason I cannot make something apple without also making caramel. To me you can not have one without the other. And so on Wednesday I made some caramel for the Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Pie I baked. I also had an apple left. Clearly I had to make something else. I was also deep in the midst of making some Cranberry Orange Galettes.

Galettes……

That was obviously the solution staring me in the face. thinly slice the apples. Top them in tasting fillings. Arrange them beautifully in a fan. Pinch up the sides and wrap the apples up. Bake. Drizzle in caramel.

Perfection. There is something too about the smell of a pie baking, especially when it’s apples and cinnamon. It makes the kitchen smell like Fall and Thanksgiving.

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Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Pie

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Bonus recipe and pie today!

Mostly because I just made this, and I am riding the satisfaction of it turning out beautifully and better than I envisioned.

I am super geeked about this maple sugar I got at the market Saturday. That’s right, granulated maple sugar, not maple syrup. The taste and flavor is beyond. So this recipe is a mix of maple syrup (replacing nasty corn syrup) and maple sugar.

The crust turned out nice. I made it with lard, so it is undeniably flaky.

Plus I put this cute little lettering on it!

It smelled AMAZING!

There are only positive things to say about this pie right now.

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Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pecan

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I lied. I thought the Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl pie was my last pumpkin recipe of the week, but I forgot this little gem.

Pecan pie is one of m favorite pies. It’s hard to decide because cherries are my favorite food and naturally I have an inclination to leans towards as my fav in most situations. But there is something about pecan pie.

In the summer at the market I beg people to buy the pecan tarts (especially the shortbread crust one), because if I have to take any home, I WILL eat them. Sometimes I have to give them away to my mother or ask my husband to sacrifice and eat it so I won’t have to.

This is the best pecan pie I have made, gluten-free or not. It was freaking delicious. I had to cut a sample for a picture (which didn’t turn out, this picture sucks too, but it is freaking good) and ended up sampling. I did have to wrap it up right away though and ask my husband to try it for me for an honest opinion (really it was so I wouldn’t eat the whole mini pie).

The pumpkin on the top and caramel really take it over the top too!

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Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Pie

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My last pumpkin recipe of the week! And they are beautiful!!

Apparently chocolate and pumpkin pair together nicely, it wouldn’t be a pairing I’d think of first. I’ve seen some chocolate pumpkin tarts or triple chocolate pumpkin pies. I finally decided to give it a go.

There is something about a swirl as well. It is super easy and doesn’t have to be perfect, but it works out looking pretty.

These also had a nice texture and really elevate the traditional pumpkin pie.

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