Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Cranberry Cocktail

 8 cups of Cranberry Juice chilled
 8 cups of pineapple-orange juice chilled

 In a large pitcher mix cranberry juice and pineapple-orange juice mix really well.

Serve on ice or crushed ice.


Italian Croutons

5 cups (1 inch) Italian bread cubed
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of ground red pepper

Preheat oven 350

On a rimmed large baking sheet, place bread, drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with garlic powder and red pepper. Toss well, and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.  Mix occasionally so it is evenly golden and crisp.  Cool and serve with salad.

Creamed Cauliflower

2 large heads of Cauliflower
3 cups od Rachel Ray chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons of soft butter
Parsley and olive oil

Preheat oven 350 degree
Spray 2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray

Cut cauliflower into 2 inch pieces.

In a large pan combine cauliflower and chicken broth. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook for 12 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.  Drain once tender.  In blender or food processor, pulse cauliflower in small batches until all done.  Add cream and butter until smooth. Add salt and pulse to combine.  Spoon into prepared dish.  Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden on top.  Drizzle with olive oil.




Cornstarch for dusting
3 cups whole blanched almonds
... 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup clover honey
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange

Special equipment: parchment paper; a candy thermometer

Heat oven to 350º. Lightly dust a clean work surface with cornstarch. Line a 9- x 13- inch baking dish with parchment paper, letting excess paper hang over edges.

Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once halfway through, until fragrant and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack; let nuts cool completely.

Put egg whites and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk; set aside.

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan with candy thermometer attached, heat sugar and honey over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture begins to simmer and sugar is mostly dissolved, 12 to 14 minutes (mixture will be very thick, then begin to loosen and turn cloudy). Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer reaches 280º degrees. Continue to cook mixture, stirring once or twice, until temperature reaches 315º. It will take the mixture about 15 minutes more to reach that temperature (the mixture will begin to foam and darken in color as temperature increases).

Meanwhile, beat egg whites on medium speed until firm peaks form. Add confectioners sugar and continue to beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute more. Turn off mixer, leaving bowl in place.

When sugar mixture reaches 315º, remove from heat; stir until temperature reduces to 300º, 1 to 2 minutes, then carefully remove candy thermometer. With mixer on medium speed, slowly pour sugar mixture down the side of the bowl (egg mixture will double in volume, then decrease); continue to beat until mixture is cooled to warm and begins to lighten in color, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and zest; beat for 1 minute more, then, using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, fold in nuts (mixture will be very sticky).

Turn out candy onto prepared work surface; dust hands with cornstarch. Knead for 5 to 6 turns, then transfer to prepared baking dish. Dust hands with more cornstarch, then press candy to flatten and fill pan. Put pan on wire rack and let candy cool completely, about 1 hour.

Using parchment paper overhang, lift out candy from pan; cut candy into pieces. Layer in a sealed container, between sheets of parchment paper and let stand overnight, with container sealed and at room temperature, to dry, at least 8 hours or overnight. Candy can be kept, layered between sheets of parchment paper, in a sealed container at room temperature, for up to 3 weeks.

December Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust for pie
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted unsalted butter

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin pureed
3 eggs and 1 egg yolk
1/3 cup of sour cream
1 1/2 cups cream
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon  ground cloves
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon, add melted butter. Press down  into a 9-inch springform pan, and set aside

Beat cream cheese until  nice and smooth, add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and all spices, add flour and vanilla. Beat together until mixture is well combined.
Pour into crust, and spread evenly in the springform pan.

Place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes.

Cover  and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.