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~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (11/25/11) ~

Culinary Q & A #2'Tis the day after Turkey Day and I hope you all had an absolutely wonderful holiday.  Due to a few travel issues and scheduling problems, my family is celebrating, right here in Melanie's Kitchen, tomorrow.  I am of the philosophy that it is better to delay a family holiday a day (or two), if it means we can all be together for the celebration.  So, right after I finish this post, I'll be picking up where all of you left off yesterday... cooking!!!

Three great questions came my way this week and it won't surprise you to find out they all revolved around... Thanksgiving!!!

Q.  Diane comments and asks:  Remember me?  I'm the one who asked the question about convection toaster ovens back in August.  After reading your answer, I finally took mine out of the box and I love it!  Thank you so much Mel for taking your valuable time for little 'ole me! I am baking pies for the first time for Thanksgiving.  I want to bake apple and pumpkin and I have 2, clear glass, 9" Pyrex pie dishes.  I am using store-bought pie pastry because I am not confident enough to try making that... yet.  How many cups of pie filling do I need for each pie?  Every recipe seems to say something different.

PICT3160A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Diane  it is great to hear from you again, and I am so proud of you!  You've conquered the oven, your baking pies and I see you making pie pastry in the near future!  

The amount of pie filling you are going to need is going to vary depending upon the type of pie you are making.  For chunky fruit/nut filled pies (like apple, cherry, pecan), 6 cups of fruit is the average measure.  That being said, if you are following a recipe that specifically calls for more (sometimes as much as 8 cups), follow it, as some recipes require this type of filling to be piled high/mounded in the pie dish.  For pureed/creamy filled pies (like custard, lemon-meringue and pumpkin), 4 cups of filling is the maximum measure, as any more will spill over the sides!


PICT4052Q.  Leah comments and asks: Mel, I loved your post yesterday about the Frico hors d'oeuvres.  I was asked to bring an appetizer to my sister-in-law's on Thanksgiving and this is one that I know everyone is sure to enjoy.  I have never heard of Frico before, nor have I ever seen a tart tamper before.  Is there anything else I could substitute for that utensil?  Also, where can I buy a tart tamper?

PICT4366A.  Kitchen Encounters:   Leah! Great to hear from you my new friend!  I was thrilled at all of the responses I got to last Friday's ~ Fun with Frico (Italian Parmesan Cheese Crisps) ~ recipe. Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun with this one, which can be found in Categories 1, 2, 11, 12, 15 & 20!

Wooden tart tampers have been around for a while.  They were invented to make fitting/patting pastry into small tart molds and mini-muffin pans really easy.  These inexpensive ($6.00-$8.00) gadgets are well worth the investment and are available in most kitchen stores or on  I highly recommend you invest in one, but until then, I recommend using an ordinary wine cork or cork bottle stopper to pat and press your hot Frico into the muffin pan to cool!


Q.  Martin asks:  Mel, I've just gotta know!  What is your favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipe?

PICT1577A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Martin, oh Martin, I hope this does not disappoint you.  I am a purist.  The day after Thanksgiving, my reason to wake up the morning is to eat the biggest, baddest turkey sandwich I can wrap my hands around.  After that, I like my Thanksgiving leftovers reheated on a plate and served as is... Thanksgiving dinner revisited so to speak.  I've never met a casserole or soup that can compete with a simple reheat of turkey, gravy, stuffing and mashed potatoes.  Gobble, gobble!

Enjoy your weekend everyone.  Once again:  To leave a comment or ask a question, simply click on the blue title of any post, scroll to the end of it and type away!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipes, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011) 


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Thank you for your nice comments! We serve a lot of great food here in Melanie's Kitchen!

I love this set of food.. so delicious.. :)

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