The mini in me

I braised turkey legs in Guinness today, and made apple turnovers, mini versions of November classics that always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I guess you could say it’s practice for the real thing, when you’re not ready to go whole hog (or in this case, whole turkey) just yet.

I’ve always liked mini versions of all kinds of things: lotion and soap for your travel kit, half bottles of champagne for gift baskets, a collection of small scented candles arranged just so in the bathroom. I’m a youngest child, the baby of the family, so I suppose tiny little things have always held a place close to my heart… the place that reminds me of home.

But in the kitchen, mini versions of food just make a practical choice. I opted for turnovers today, using the apple pie recipe that I’ve shared with my sister as my guide. I normally make the whole pie, but then… who’s going to eat it? Since it’s best served warm, right out of the oven, a whole pie sometimes turns mushy after everyone has had their slice. Turnovers make a cute and easy alternative: I bake about six, then freeze the rest. Served with The Hooligan’s heavenly bourbon whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon, it’s winter holidays in one bite!

The turkey legs were fun to make. As avid foodies, The Hooligan and I rarely make a menu; we just go to the store and see what’s fresh. Turkey legs were the big winner this time. Braised in Guinness with veggies and a hint of allspice, it’s an easy, one pot dish that you just chuck in the oven for a few hours. All the better to linger over that second cup of coffee with.

Oh, make sure you sprinkle your stew with crushed garlic, lemon zest and parsley before serving on a bed of polenta. Dining fireside is optional.

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