Christmas Strata

Christmas Strata | apinchofthis.nyc

Merry Christmas, y’all!

I’d apologize for being late but Christmas is 12 days, so really, I’m in the clear.

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Breakfast Hand Pies (formerly known as Pop Tarts)

Breakfast Hand Pies

I love a good kitchen adventure. While it’s important that I have my regular and dependable recipes to pull out when needed, I also want to try making something new every now and then. I mean, let’s live life, amirite? Who wants to become the predictable girl who always brings the same Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt into the office? Not me. So last week, inspired by both King Arthur Flour’s instagram and a snack-loving coworker, I set out to make my very own Pop-Tarts®. Let’s just call them Breakfast Hand Pies.

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A Pinch of Leftovers: Bacon, Brussels, & Pea Quiche

Bacon, Brussels, & Pea Quiche

This right here is a perfect leftover dish. You can use almost any leftovers you have in a quiche, and quiche itself makes for great, no-fuss leftovers. I went so far as to use a leftover store-bought, pre-made pie crust (we’re not getting super fancy here – we’re cooking with what we have on a weeknight). Or, at least, I tried to use a leftover pre-made crust. It was from a year and a half ago (from that French week of cooking that I somehow keep talking about) and when I unrolled it, it crumbled everywhere. UGH. What I had hoped would be an easy evening was, like the pie crust, crumbling around me.

Let me begin at the beginning.

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Sausage and Egg Potato Bowl

Sausage and Egg Potato Bowl

Much like Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope (and the rest of the world, I think), I love breakfast food. How could anyone not like breakfast food? There’s something for everyone. You can have savory eggs, sweet pancakes, or even healthful oats. You can have meat almost anyway you want it – smoky, chewy, crispy, juicy. In some places, you can even get all of these things together at once, for one low price. What do I miss most about my time in Tennessee, you ask? Was it the beautiful landscape of the Cumberland Plateau or the southern hospitality I encountered everywhere I went? No. Those are wonderful and everything, but damn do I miss the All-Star Breakfast at Waffle House. If you don’t order two eggs, grits or hashbrowns, your choice of breakfast meat, toast, a waffle, and a coffee for somewhere in the range of $6-$8, you’re doing it wrong. While this dish isn’t quite as hedonistic as all that, it’s a pretty satisfying brunch to get down with this weekend.

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Chocolate Munchkins for Christmas

Photo Dec 05, 11 00 56 AM

Two days ago I had one of those panicked moments that we all have around the holidays when I realized that Christmas is in twenty days. That’s twenty days filled with work, chores, baking, cooking, parties, travel, and in many cases, break downs. I don’t know when I became such a busy grown up but geez, here I am trying to juggle work and play like a real person. And ya know what? I like it. It makes you feel like a productive and useful member of society. Oddly enough, it took talking to my mother, who is prone to these panicked moments herself, to calm me down. So Thursday night, I went home, separated my laundry and started heating the oil for these rich chocolate doughnut holes. Or munchkins, if you will. It’s all about the multitasking y’all!

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Baker’s Croissants

Photo Oct 21, 8 19 48 AM

Do you ever get the urge to make croissants from scratch? No? Really? That’s odd. I often get that urge, but I’m usually able to sensibly squash it. I can tell myself, “Nah, maybe just do your laundry tonight,” or, “Salad is pretty good, maybe you should just make that tonight, Tory.” But about a year after I first made croissants in my week-long French experiment (see About Me), I couldn’t deny myself any longer. It was time to make these fluffy, buttery, flaky treats again.

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Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Coziness is one of my favorite feelings, and therefore “cozy” is one of my favorite adjectives. When you’re cozy, you feel safe and protected. I believe that’s why coziness is such a part of fall – it protects you from the sometimes harsh fall elements. Everything during this season emanates coziness: the food, the apparel, the setting. For the second year in a row, I spent a Sunday afternoon making pumpkin doughnuts followed by having a drink at a local bar. In the midst of all the warehouses and graffiti in my neighborhood, several quaint bars are scattered. During this time of year they decorate their exposed-brick interiors with festive fake cobwebs and romantic candles. It’s mad cozy, and I love it. To be honest, when I did this last year, it was all part of a hangover cure. It was so lovely that I just wanted to do it again this year, hangover-free. As it turns out, I needed cozy comfort badly this past Sunday. Let me tell you why…

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