Thanksgiving past

I know it’s been two weeks already, but it seems Thanksgiving was just upon us. I’m still reading about how to recycle leftover turkey and cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes and dressing and…

This year’s Thanksgiving was a new experience for me: the cheese shop was open both the day before and after the holiday, as retail stores tend to be, so time allotted to travel home was next to nil. Not only was I away from family for the holiday (for the first time ever! if you don’t count that year I had pneumonia) but the acquisition/consumption of a Thanksgiving meal was squarely set upon my own shoulders. No problem there! Because I wasn’t cooking for a crowd, just a mere two, I made a mini menu that I think worked out pretty well: turkey breast wrapped around apple-fennel stuffing (i.e. “stuffed”), roasted garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes and gravy, root veggies, cranberry relish, and pecan pie. Not bad.

There was one Thanksgiving element I missed out on that resonated with me more than anything, though: pumpkin pie. In my opinion, and maybe this is just my damn sweet tooth talking, pumpkin pie is almost more essential to a Thanksgiving meal than *gasp* the turkey. I know that’s basically sacrilegious to say, but I think for me it’s true. Or maybe I just love desserts. Either way…

So, I had a pumpkin void to fill but only my own mouth to feed. Yes, I could probably tackle a whole pie, but no one wants to see that. What to do?

I found this great recipe on Dashing Dish, one of the many food blogs I follow like a crazy person. These mini pumpkin pies are perfect because a.) they’re pretty darn healthy (something insane like 40 calories each?!) and I don’t feel bad eating a plate-full, and b.) it’s a muffin-tin recipe, and if you know me even a little you know I will always gravitate toward those.

The pies are super-quick to make and, more importantly, to bake. (Short waiting period until eating!) Now I know there are some purists out there who think using a food processor is cheating (no sensual connection through your hands, blah blah blah) and I’m usually right there with ya, but using one here almost makes this recipe too easy. So, I did. However, I’m sure mixing it by hand would be fine too, maybe with a little different texture as a result. Enjoy!

-a

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Mini Pumpkin Pies

• 1/2 cup egg whites

• 1/2 cup pumpkin (I used canned, but if you’re feeling adventurous…)

• 1 t pumpkin pie spice (blend of cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg is fine)

• 1 cup sugar* (I actually used a little less)

• 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

• 12 wonton wrappers

** Optional: whipped cream

– Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

– Blend all ingredients (except wonton wrappers) in food processor until smooth.

– Press wonton wrappers into prepared muffin cups.

– Equally distribute filling into each muffin cup.

– Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the center of each mini pie is just set. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon, if you want. And you’ll want.

* Instead of sugar you could substitute in 1 teaspoon of Stevia, the herbal sweetener, which the author of Dashing Dish seems to have an affinity for, but I didn’t have any so I used sugar.

P.S. Here’s the one down-side to the new apartment that I love (pictures to come): no dishwasher. Boo.