Woah, October 23 already? Yeah, I know, we’re now almost closer to American Thanksgiving than we are Canadian. Shame on me.
It has been exactly two weeks since I made these pumpkin toffee tarts with my mom. In fact, it was probably about two weeks ago at this exact time that we were making them – my mom crushing up the Skor bars, me mixing the pumpkin filling and less-than-sleuthly stealing large masses of said chocolate.
But before I talk about the pumpkin toffee tarts, lets talk Thanksgiving. That was, after all, why I was at home.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel home every year for Thanksgiving since starting university. The past few trips have become much more family-oriented, which is to say that I let my parents spoil me, play more frisbee with my brother and watch more episodes of Criminal Minds with my mom.
This time around, I also gave in to their life long request of daily exercise. My parents have always been (and rightly so, I suppose) huge proponents of daily outdoor time. This made me miserable as a child. Temper tantrums accompanied trips to the cross country ski trails, whining would ensue while hiking,… you get the picture. Child Hilary was probably the exact opposite of child Brittany.
But now that I’m old, wise and mature (read: 21, still naive and more than occasionally a child), I decided a change of attitude was in order. The nagging of outdoor time has become less of a nagging and more of a necessity in my everyday life. I’ve started night jogging again, which is always nice. And I still bike places. Even in the rain (see: embarrassing skunk stripe of wet up my butt as I bike in the downpour).
There was lots of daily outdoor time this Thanksgiving, thanks to Mother Nature who made the entire weekend a beautiful 25°C. It was seriously hot. All the fashionable fall clothing I brought home was laid aside. In its place, my mom’s stretchy workout shorts. Hell yeah.
On Saturday my mom, dad and I went hiking at Onaping Falls, a trail just a short distance out of Sudbury.
Monday was another beautiful day, so we went kayaking as a family on Ramsey Lake. It was beautiful and I only pouted a little bit. I wrapped my iPhone in a plastic ziploc bag and tried to take some artistic shots on the water.
It was a lovely, relaxing weekend and exactly what I needed.
Recipe: Mini pumpkin toffee tarts
– 2 pkg (255g each) frozen mini tart shells, about 36 total or 16 regular size tart shells
– 3 (39g each ) Skor chocolate bars
– 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
– 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
– 1/4 cup whipping cream
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 1/4 tsp each ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg
– Pecan halves for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 375. Place tart shells on large baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between them. Thaw at room temperature for 10 min.
Finely chop Skor bars. Spoon 1 tsp into each mini tart shell (slightly more for regular size shells). In a medium size bowl, whisk pumpkin with sugar, cream, eggs, vanilla and spices until blended. Fill shells nearly to the top and then place a pecan half on each, if desired.
Bake approx 20 min until filling is set. Serve warm or cool on rack.