• 30Nov

    I can’t remember last year’s best ever cranberry sauce so I winged it and came up with this one. Don’t worry, the jalapeno won’t make it spicy hot.

    Cranberry Apple Chutney

    1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
    1 apple (diced, 1/4 – 1/3″) – I used an heirloom apple – Arkansas Black
    1 jalapeno pepper (finely diced)
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/4 cup orange marmalade
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/3 cup cider vinegar

    Place everything in a sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer until it thickens, about 15-25 minutes.

  • 29Nov

    This is the latest candied yam recipe. Slightly healthier than previous iterations. A must have at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

    Bake 4 pounds (4 large)  orange yams (sweet potatoes) at 350F until soft and the skins are “loose” – about 90 minutes. Let cool and peel skins off. Cut into 1 1/2″ disks. Arrange tightly into a 9″ square baking dish. Brush a generous amount of the bourbon brown sugar glaze and bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes. Brush on some more glaze and bake another 20 minutes.  If you want to crisp up the top you can brush on more glaze and put under the broiler for a few minutes. Serve warm.

    Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze (approximate)

    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 T bourbon
    1/2 tsp vanilla

    Put all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. The butter and brown sugar should blend together into a nice thick glaze.

  • 28Nov

    In the last few years, I’ve tried a number of holiday recipes for the first time and a few were big hits. Cranberry Sauce, Apple Crumble Pie, a new method of making spiced nuts, Artichoke Dip and more.

    This year I tried to remember where I got the recipe for the, I swore the best Cranberry Sauce I’ve ever had…I could not remember and barely could remember any ingredient past…well, cranberries!

    So, I will use this blog as it was intended, to record recipes I have tried and also family favorites – both old and new.

    Ok, now to the the recipe in the title of this post. Since I am wheat free and egg free these days I wanted a holiday dessert that I could enjoy. On the plus side, Patti really loves cheesecake. This recipe is a blend of a recipe I found from Whole Foods and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pumpkin Cheesecake.
    The Whole Foods recipe is a basic refrigerator cheesecake but I was hesitant that the pumpkin wouldn’t have that nice baked caramelized quality even though I am using canned pumpkin. So I stumbled on the Beranbaum method of cooking the pumpkin in a sauce pan with the sugar. Viola! A + B = Spiced Refrigerator Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Then I made up a crust that used a combo of oat bran and almond meal to avoid the wheat in graham crackers or gingersnaps.

    Spiced Pumpkin Refrigerator Cheesecake

    Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method
    ——–  ————  ——————————–
    2/3           cup  almond meal
    1/2           cup  oat bran
    1/4           cup  brown sugar
    1           teaspoon  cinnamon
    1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
    1/4      teaspoon  allspice
    1/4      teaspoon  salt
    4        tablespoons  butter — melted

    4        tablespoons  butter
    1/2           cup  brown sugar
    1                cup  pumpkin puree
    1           teaspoon  cinnamon
    1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
    1/4      teaspoon  allspice
    1/4      teaspoon  salt
    1           teaspoon  vanilla extract

    16            ounces  cream cheese — 2-8oz packages, room temperature

    Preheat oven to 400°F.

    In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, oat bran, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of a 8 or 9-inch springform pan and about 1/4-inch up the sides. Bake until golden brown and toasted, 7 to 8 minutes; set aside to let cool completely.

    In a small, heavy saucepan, melt the butter and sugar together. Stir in the  pumpkin purée. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a  simmer, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.
    Add the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring
    constantly, until the mixture has darkened and thickened a bit, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature.

    In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the cooled pumpkin mixture; beat until smooth. Transfer pumpkin mixture to prepared pan, spreading it out evenly over the crust. Cover and chill until set, about 6 hours, or overnight.

    Un mold and slice:
    Be sure the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled – I froze mine. Have ready a serving plate and a cutting board as wide as the cake wrapped in plastic wrap.
    Use a hair dryer to warm the outside side of the pan. Release and gently loosen the ring and then lift it off.
    Set the board with the plastic wrap on top of the cheesecake and carefully invert the pan. Heat the base of the springform with the hair dryer and lift it off.
    Set the serving plate on the bottom of the cheesecake and reinvert the cake. Lift off the plastic-wrapped board.

    To cut neat slices, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife dipped in hot water (wipe off excess water) between each slice.