Sir Wraps-a-lot

I am craving one of these sooo bad! I’ve been gluten-free all month and it’s wraps and morning pastries that I miss the most. The gluten-free thing isn’t going as good as I hoped. I am trying it for better joint health but have felt no improvement. I think I’ll try adding more gelatin to my diet next. But while doing this, I have definitely started some great non-bread and pasta habit that I’ll try to keep. But the minute I decide to add more gluten, I’m having a wrap. 

I usually pick up a package of lavash and just have it around to make leftover wraps. It is one of my favorite ways to recreate leftovers. All you need is a spread (hummus, pesto and hummus, cream cheese, dressing, anything really), some greens (I love spinach, arugula or super greens), a cheese (feta or goat are preferred), a meat (steak, turkey, chicken, tofu) and addition fun stuff (peppers, avocado, cucumbers, red onion, cranberry sauce). 

This one was a great use of leftover turkey dinner. 

Let me know what are your favorite combinations. 

   
 

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Sunday Browns

One of my absolute favorite one pan breakfasts – this is Sunday Browns. Not only is it delicious and filling, its a great way to clean out the fridge of leftovers or those last 5 cherry tomatoes. 

All you need are potatoes, onions and eggs as your base. Then get creative. I like to sauté my onions, add some peppers, potatoes and ham (or bacon or chicken or steak). After its all a bit brown, add greens, tomatoes, herbs. 

Plop it in a bowl with a dallop of sauce (pesto, tomato, cheese) and then a fried egg. 

Yummmmm!! 

   

Cranberry and Pear Pie

This pie has become a Thanksgiving staple. It has even (gasp!) replaced my pumpkin pie. It’s the perfect amount of tart but not too sweet compliment to ending a rather filling meal. 

I know that it’s January but I didn’t get a chance to post this in November. I did see cranberries at the grocery store. If not for this month of gluten-free trials, I would be making this right now. Oh, and it’s delicious for breakfast the next day!

  
Cranberry and Pear Pie (recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

* 2 rolled-out rounds Pie crust

* 5-8 pears, peeled, cored and cut into slices 

* 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

* 1/4 cup  granulated sugar

* 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

* 1/4 tsp salt

* 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

* 1 tsp. grated orange zest

* 1/4 cup cornstarch

* 1 TBS Brandy

* 1 TBS grenadine (cherry or pomegranate)

* 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

* 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

* 2 tsp. turbinado sugar

Fit 1 dough round into a 9-inch pie dish and gently press into the dish. Trim the edges flush with the rim. Prebake for 10 mins with pie weights in a 400 degree oven. 

Using a ruler as a guide, cut 10 strips of dough of varying widths from the remaining dough round. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

   
    
 To prepare the filling, in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stir together the pears, the brown and granulated sugars, the cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, orange zest and cornstarch. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are just tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their ripeness. Uncover, stir in the brandy and grenadine and let cool to room temperature.

Stir the cranberries into the pear mixture and pour the filling into the prepared pie dish.

To create the lattice, lay 5 strips of dough spaced evenly apart on top of the pie filling. Fold back every other strip halfway and lay down a strip perpendicular across the unfolded strips. Repeat to place 5 strips of dough evenly across the top, folding back the alternate strips each time. Pinch the lattice strips onto the dough on the rim of the pie dish to make sure they bake together. Brush the lattice crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling has begun to bubble, 45 minutes to 1 hour; check the pie after 30 minutes and cover the top and edges with foil if they become too dark. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. Serves 8.

No Fail Pie Crust

Did you know that with an extra 30 minutes, you could have the most flaky and delicious pie crust for your creative self to add any kind of sweet or savory goodness to? I still think buying a pie crust is the easy option but there’s something extra in your pie when you make the crust. Maybe somehow, a little extra love gets into the pie during the kneading and rolling  process. Maybe it’s the massive amount of butter. Whatever it is, people always comment on this crust recipe when I make our pies. 

   
 No Fail Pie Crust (recipe from Williams-Sonoma)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

* 2 Tbs. sugar

* 2 tsp. salt

* 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

* 6 to 8 Tbs. ice water

* 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbs. water

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (I don’t have a food processor so I just use a bowl, pastry cutter and fingers to combine everything) Add the 6 Tbs. ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in half. Shape each into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. 

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Place 1 dough disk between 2 sheets of lightly floured waxed paper and roll out into a 12-inch round about 3/16 inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish and press the dough into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. Roll out the remaining dough disk in the same manner. Cut into long strips for the top of your pie. Or save if your pie doesn’t need at top. Place the piecrust and strips in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Brush the edges of the crust with the egg mixture. Line the piecrust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment and weights and bake until the crust is light golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. 

Makes enough dough for one 9-inch deep-dish piecrust plus decorative top and a little extra or two pie crusts.