This past week, a dear friend was helping me all day. We were doing a photo shoot for an upcoming project (more on that soon). She has one of the most exquisite aesthetics I've ever seen and I can't wait to share the pictures with you. We went to get a bite afterward and one of her pumpkins (who is -- coincidentally -- Hetti's best friends) rode in the back of my car. When it was time to trade passengers, I couldn't find part of her booster seat. The next morning while cleaning out my car, I found the strap a midst the layers of a crinoline slip. I asked to drop it off, which brought a dinner invitation. I felt rather sheepish accepting since I really should have been the one to extend the invitation. But if I was going to go, I knew I needed to bring something delicious. This was the result.

A great alternative to quiche or stuffing, this works as a meal or a side and is great for your vegetarian or gluten free Thanksgiving guests. The cream and cheese can be omitted for unsweetened almond milk and apple juice for vegans. You can also substitute yogurt for cream. It will give your pie an extra tang.

Cheddar, Apple and Semolina Pie

1 1/2 cups semolina*
4 cups broth (veggie, mushroom or chicken)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese or chevre

1/2 lb kale
1 red onion
2 yams
1 crunchy apple (gala, pink lady or granny smith work well)
3 tbsp crushed, roasted nuts (I like hazelnuts, but almonds, walnuts or most anything else will work too)
Olive Oil for the pan

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring broth to a boil rolling boil. Add semolina slowly to avoid clumps. Cover and simmer until thick. Add cream, followed by grated cheddar cheese. Pour into 2 deep pie plates or one casserole dish, leaving about a half inch on top. Leave, uncovered to set. Meanwhile, chop and saute kale in olive oil followed by the red onions and yams. When vegetables are done, arrange on top on pie garnishing with nuts so each piece will get some of every vegetable. Serve warm or cold. Serves 8-10 people

TIP: I love to use my panini press to sautee veggies. If you put the top down, it cuts cooking time in half.

*You can also use cornmeal, polenta or grits. They're pretty much the same thing. Semolina is a slightly finer grain, but the measurements are the same.