Showing posts from November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes Pt. V - Cranberry Sauce - Easy

I am the only one in the family, and that includes in-laws, who likes whole cranberry sauce from scratch.  Everyone else eats the canned jell stuff.  So when I make cranberry sauce, it's for me only.  Whicn allows me the luxury to tweak the recipe to my whim.

This recipe easy-peasy.  It can be made as early as 3 days in advance, freeing up your pots for something else.  Just don't start making it an hour before serving, because it needs several hours to chill and firm up.

I have used natural (unsweetened, unfiltered) apple juice in the past, mostly because that's what was in the house.  This year I noticed recipes that swear by cider, claiming that it gives the sauce "complexity."  There is something to be said for simple, but a dozen perfect strangers can't be wrong ... so I'm offering it here as an alternative. 

Likewise, some recipes add orange juice.  I prefer lemon.  Your call.  If you decide to use the juice of the orange, use 1/4 cup, and decr…

Thanksgiving Recipes Pt. IV - Sweet Potato Mini-Muffins

Gracing the Thanksgiving table at my in-laws will be challah rolls, baked by moi using my challah recipe.  But since nothing says Thanksgiving (besides the turkey) like sweet potatoes, I also plan to make a batch of sweet potato mini-muffins.

I first tried these tiny treats in Colonial Williamsburg, West Virginia years ago and was blown away by their taste.   There was no internet back then, so the only way to get the recipe was by buying their Cookbook. 

These muffins can be made a day in advance, covered and stored at room temperature.  They can also be frozen:  bake and cool completely, then wrap or bag 'em, defrosting at room temperature a few hours before serving.

By "scant 1/2 cup" sugar, I mean barely a 1/2 cup; a teaspoon or two less is fine.

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Sweet Potato Muffins
adapted slightly from The Williamsburg Cookbook
makes 3 dozen mini-muffins

1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed
1⁄4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, softened, plus more to grease muffin …

Thanksgiving Recipes pt. III - No-Egg, Parve Pumpkin Pie - Easy

I could have called this pie by its true name, "Tofu Pumpkin Pie," but then most of my relatives would delete the email containing this recipe.  Similarly, titling this post "vegan" might make some of them think there are "weird" ingredients such as *gasp* whole wheat or something else communist healthy.

Still, this pie is a shining example of how to sneak tofu into an unsuspecting fussy eater. Now that you have read this far down, don't start making faces!  Admit it, you really missed having this normally dairy-laden dessert on Turkey Day.  The good news:  tofu replaces cholesterol-laden eggs, butter and evaporated milk.  More good news:  this version is relatively healthy.  Plus, with all the strong spices associated with pumpkin pie tossed in, the tofu is not noticeable.  Trust me. 

No-Egg, Parve Pumpkin Pie
adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine, November 1991
Yield: one pie (8-10 servings)

1 lb. firm tofu (not silken)(low-fat okay)
16 oz canned pu…

Thanksgiving Recipes pt. II - Roasted Balsamic Veggies - easy

Another in my Thanksgiving series.  Can be made in advance up to a day in advance and reheated in the oven, covered, while baking something else or nuked.

Be sure to line roasting pan with aluminum foil.  You are already spending several days in the kitchen making one meal.  You needn't spend a whole nother day scrubbing one pan, even if soaked overnight (the pan, not you).

Roasted Balsamic Veggies - Easy
Serves 4-8 as a side

1-2 pounds of an assortment of your choice:  carrots, parsnips, beets, potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, mushrooms and/or sweet potatoes
1 medium onion
2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl. Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper or to taste

Preheat oven to 375F. Line roasting pan with aluminum foil. Lightly spray foil with cooking spray.
Peel and cut large veggies into 1 inch pieces. Small mushrooms or baby carrots can be left whole. Peel outer leaves of Brussels Sprouts and cut in half.   Cut onion into 3/8 to 1/2 inch rin…

Thanksgiving Recipes pt. I -- Pecan Pie - Easy

I used to make the standard pecan pie every Thanksgiving ... you know, the recipe on every Karo Syrup bottle ever produced.  Then several years ago, theDaughter suggested a different one.  Where did she find the recipe?  Why, the internet, of course (chip off the ol' block, walking stooped over from patting myself on the back).

TheHubby never really liked my pecan pie.  He preferred the one from the local bakery.   To me the pies tasted the same. :\  But THIS pie, he eats.

Amazingly, it uses only 2 eggs, less sugar and no added butter or margarine, less ingredients than any other non-diet recipe I've seen, yet tastes better.  In Bartlett's, this recipe is given as evidence to prove true the statement "less is more." ;) 

Unfortunately, I can't make a decent pie crust to save my life.  So I'm forced to buy ready-to-bake.  So many frozen pie shells out there contain lard. :P Oronoque is kosher-parve, but there are probably others available.  For this recipe…

Amaretto Pound Cake

So I had narrowed down the items I was going to make for the book review at my house, Baked Caramel Apple Donuts and mini-blueberry pies.  Then I made the mistake of visiting, one of my favorite sites, when what should appear before me but Amaretto Pound Cake. 

Out with the pie ... in with the pound cake!

Actually, this is almond pound cake, but with real Amaretto instead of almond extract.  Lots of Amaretto.  Amaretto in the batter.  Amaretto in the glaze.  Amaretto in the coffee.

Sorry, I lied about the coffee.

This cake could probably be made with margarine.  Since I already made some of the donuts dairy-free, I didn't need another parve cake so I went with the original butter.

I do believe that the cake could have used a pinch more almond taste, so I recommend adding one-eighth teaspoon of almond extract juuuust enough to nudge the cake over the edge (not literally, my oven doesn't need more charcoal chemically bonded to it) rather than a couple extra tablespoon…

Baked Caramel Apple Donuts

Happy Jewish Book Month!  To celebrate, my Hadassah chapter sponsored a book review on Sunday evening and I volunteered to host it at my humble abode.   The book is entitled People of the Book, a novel about the very real Sarajevo Haggadah (read the NY Times review for the details, if you like).

I've mentioned Hadassah in the past, but in case I never explained what it is, Hadassah is an organization of Jewish women (although you don't have to be Jewish to be a member, just female.  In fact, one lovely Baptist lady has been president of our chapter twice.  But I digress ...).  The main purpose of Hadassah is to support hospitals and education in Israel and to fund medical research.

Anyway, since I hosted, I had to provide snacks and dessert.  Well, I didn't really have to serve anything.  But what nice Jewish girl can have guests come over and not serve something?  The talk was several hours after dinner.  They might have een starving by then!  So I made two different s…