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Best of 2015

I feel like I’ve said this every late December for the past few years, but when I reflect back on 2015 it’s hard to distinguish the moments that were total shit from the moments that were total bliss. There were ups and downs, full of memories that will stay with me always. Best of all, however, it was full of food. We started the year with a brand new dining room table that served us so well, allowing us to share food with so many people we loved. That table has become the center of our home, and I can’t wait to see who saddles up to it in 2016. All that said, here’s our Best Of’s for 2015:

 

meyer lemon '15

 

Best Cocktail

Meyer Lemon ’15

 

chicken biscuits

 

Best Sliders

Chicken Biscuits Sliders

 

shrimp and collards 2

 

Best Shrimp & Grits

Shrimp, Collards, & Cheese Grits

 

belmond crab cakes 10

 

Best Seafood Dish

Citrus & Dill Crab Cakes

 

grilled pizza 4

 

Best Party Food

Pizza on the Grill

 

fig & lemon chess 8

 

Most Delicious Ancient Recipe

Fig & Lemon Tarts

 

zucchini and shrimp 5

 

Best Use of a Spiralizer

Chili Lime Shrimp & Scallops with Corn, Zucchini Noodles, & Avocado Creama 

 

cider donuts 7

 

Best Use of the Deep Fryer

Apple Cider Donuts

 

pickled peaches 5

 

Most Delicious Pickles

Pickled Peaches

 

pumpkin gratin 1

 

Best Application of Squash

Pumpkin & Acorn Squash Gratin

 

apple tarts 4

Most Beautiful Dessert

Apple Rose Tarts

sorghum biscuits 5

Best Dessert Biscuits

Sorghum & Goat Cheese Hand Pies

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Lovely Internet 12.11.15

1. I’ve never been much of a Radiohead fan, but I have always been a hell of a Prince fan. So, this is lovely.

2. My friend Aidah is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out. She works for Zaytuna College documenting student life, and in response to the current climate of hatred and discrimination in this country she shared this video with me.

3. New information about the shooting of Tamir Rice, the 12 year old murdered by police, has surfaced.

4. This is wonderful, considering we’ll be logging a lot of travel time this Christmas. Also.

5. Glad I didn’t even know I was supposed to panic about kale. It’s like the brontosaurus. By the time I knew it was out, it was back in.

6. This is huge. Oren would be so happy.

7. Trump supporters. They’re the scariest part of the whole Trump spectacle.

8. Alton Brown reviews Unitaskers.

9. Black scientists respond to Scalia’s suggestion that they should go to “lesser” schools.

10. Hopefully Mattel got the message.

 

For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitter (@elenabrent or @biscuitsandsuch), instagrampinterest or facebook. Subscribe to my bloglovin’ feed to make sure you never miss a post. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

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Cranberry Apple Pie

It is completely possible that I made too much cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving. Actually, it’s true. I did. Like way too much. More than even our guest list of 20 people could put away. What can I say? I love it.

 

cran-apple pie 1

 

Unfortunately, after the leftover sandwiches and the mashed potato pancakes topped with sour cream and cranberry sauce (so good though), I was out of ideas for what to do with the rest of the sauce. It sat in my fridge taunting me until, halfway through peeling apples for a pie, I was struck by inspiration.

 

cran-apple pie 2

cran-apple pie 5

 

Apple pie is one of my favorite pies this time of year. It’s the pie that, even when I’m so full I can barely move, I still have room for a slice. This apple cranberry pie didn’t disappoint, hitting all the notes I hope for in an apple pie, and then some. It was tart, and sweet, and gingery, and crisp. With a little whipped cream, of course.

 

cran-apple pie 4

 

Cranberry Apple Pie

 

pie crust:

2 1/2 cups flour

2 sticks cold butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cold water

1 egg

 

filling:

6 apples

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup flour

1 cup cranberry sauce

2 tbsp corn starch

 

In a food processor* combine flour, butter, sugar, and salt. Pulse until texture resembles cornmeal. Add in water, a few tablespoons at a time. Pulse until a dough ball forms, adding more water as needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

 

Peel, core, and slice apples. Combine in a large pan with butter, spices, and brown sugar over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender 15-20 minutes. Stir in cranberry sauce, lemon juice, and flour.

 

Heat oven to 350F. Roll half of your pie dough out on a floured surface and transfer into a pie pan. Sprinkle corn starch into the bottom of the pie crust and transfer your apple filling. Roll the remaining pie dough out and slice into strips. Lattice the crust by laying the strips in a hatch pattern across the top of the pie, weaving the strips through each other into a patchwork. Press the lattice edges into the bottom crust and brush with egg.

 

Bake for 45 minutes. Serve room temperature with whipped cream.

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