Pumpkin Caramel Tart

I’m not quite sure my attempt at spelling ‘Give Thanks’ is too clear in this Caramel Pumpkin Tart, but at least know that the effort was there! While this particular tart was made for the Thanksgiving Holiday, this dessert can definitely be made throughout the winter season and is a perfect staple for a weekend get-together. Its clever use of hazelnuts for the crust creates a nutty flavor that is tough to beat, but happens to combine nicely with the (surprisingly) light tasting pumpkin-caramel filling.

Here are a few tips for making this tart:

  1. Careful with the Caramel: Making caramel is a form of art. The best advice I would give is to follow the recipe, have a buddy help if you can and carefully watch the color as the sugar cooks. It’s amazing how quickly the caramel mixture will turn from a tasty concoction to a completely burnt mess in just seconds.
  2. Hazelnuts Crush Quickly: Hazelnuts will quickly turn into a paste (not what you’re looking for in this recipe) if you leave them pulsing in the food processor for too long. Just keep an eye on it.
  3. Always Fresh Ginger: It’s amazing how quickly I can tell if fresh ginger has been used in a recipe. If you can, I’d highly recommend to use fresh ginger. A good tip is to buy some and store in the freezer so that it can be used at any time.




5 Things Thanksgiving Style

Within the past few months, I have truly learned to appreciate the small things in life and to be thankful for normal, everyday things most people take for granted. That being said, I am thankful (again) for Thanksgiving because it serves as a perfect reminder to remember what you are thankful for and count your blessings!

Don’t forget to tell your family and friends this Thanksgiving season that you are thankful for them — just a few words can make such a significant difference!

All right, it is time to move onto other Thanksgiving festivities a.k.a FOOD. It is definitely a good thing that Thanksgiving comes only once a year for according to the NYDailyNews.com, the average Thanksgiving meal rakes in a whopping 3,500 calories! Despite learning that terrifying fact, I still wanted to cook the usual Thanksgiving foods; however, I tried to make some of these foods a tad bit healthier (key words being “tried” and “some”)!

Now, it’s no myth that the reason why Thanksgiving foods are so unhealthy lies in the ingredients with butter, cream, sugar, and nuts as the prime culprits. And, vegetables dishes are usually sparse at Thanksgiving, but even when they are present, they are often laden with plenty of cream, cheese, and fried goodness. Nevertheless, the following pictures highlight a few of the side dishes I made for Thanksgiving as well as my Mom’s Turkey (side dish recipes taken from Epicurious.com and all contain a link to the original recipe):

1. Potato Gratin with White Cheddar Cheese

2. Italian Sausage and Bread Stuffing

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product… oops!

3. Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds with Garlic Oil and Fried Sage

4. Turkey

5. Lemon Pear Croustade

All of these side dishes actually turned out pretty well considering these were first-time recipes! Although only one of these recipes is a little bit healthier (Roasted Sweet Potatoes), I would totally recommend to make any of these dishes again. The Pear Croustade was a bit hit with the family and I will continue to use its pasty recipe for other future baked goods!