09 October 2011

a thankful heart & a full bely

Today was a perfect fall day - the sun was high, the air was warm and all the colours of fall appeared on the tree lined streets.  I was lucky to start the day with yoga, taking yet again a few moments to focus inward and to count my blessings. It's hard to believe how many changes have happened this past year as I mark the 1 year mark of T & I's separation.  It makes me realize that good things fall apart so that even better things can fall together.  I'm not exactly sure what the better things will be but I don't have a doubt in my heart that great things lay ahead.  

Spending a holiday with my family, it's not hard to find wonderful moments to celebrate. I am truly blessed and it's days as perfect as these which remind me.  Tonight close to twenty of us sat together, enjoying both a plethora of delicious food and each other's company.  I'm pretty sure that anyone watching us would have been ultimately confused at the topics & decibel level of our conversations.  Hopefully Nana & Nannu were smiling down on us as we were all very thankful for the time that we had with them.  Their presence was truly missed. 

My afternoon was spent in the kitchen and on the front porch.  I put on my favourite pink frilly apron given to me by my lovely sister-in-law last Christmas and began to follow some new recipes (by follow I really mean use as a guide-line and slightly adapt what I find online).  My creations today were a Maple-Walnut pie in a Gluten-free Almond Flour Pie Crust accompanied by Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. 
To take a snapshot of my family, someone is always reaching over the other, putting their finger in the bowl or snagging a bite off someone's plate. This picture of the fingers in the ice cream bowl certainly made me feel like my Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream was a hit! 

To see the actual recipe for Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream click HERE.  However I did modify the recipe by using 5% cream rather than heavy cream and I left out the burboun.  It was beyond delicious and paired with my Maple Walnut Pie it was a great combination.  Now don't be fooled, there was still a real pumpkin pie as well as a blueberry pie but I have to say that I was pretty partial to my creations!!

So since I opted for morning yoga I decided against making my own gluten-free pie crust and opted for the tried & true Almond Flour Pie crust care of Elena's Pantry - for the recipe, click HERE. You can use this crust for pretty much any pie as well as quiche. 
Now for my Pie I will try my best to remember what I did.... 

Filling:  2 cups walnut pieces
5 Tb unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, the light brown sugar, and the salt. Whisk in the whole eggs and the egg yolk, the maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk until well-blended. Stir in the chopped nuts.  

I baked the shell while I was prepping the filling.  As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, reduce the heat to 275 F and pour the filling directly into the HOT crust. Return the pie immediately to the oven and cook for 50 to 60 minutes until the pie is just set. It will jiggle like jello in the middle, but will be firm and slice beautifully after it cools. Transfer pie to cooling rack. Let pie cool for 4 hours before serving (or it won’t slice.)

So now I sit, writing and sipping peppermint tea trying to commit to memory all of tonight's laughter and love.  I'm lucky to have had a happy childhood, a close-knit family and wonderful memories to treasure.  I'm thankful to put this year to a close and to move forward with a thankful heart and a full belly.  

Happy Thanksgiving! xo 

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