Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkey Tuesday III

Sometimes I look forward to the obligatory turkey sandwich after thanksgiving more so than the big meal ;)  In anticipation of some leftovers from the upcoming holiday, I tried out a few recipes that would put that turkey to good use!  Feel free to check out the Curried Turkey Salad and Crustless Turkey & Spinach Quiche featured the past couple weeks.

For the last tuesday before Thanksgiving, I thought I would share some other recipes that I've had a chance to try out...

The first is a Spicy Turkey Soup w/Yogurt, Chickpeas and Mint.  I loved the technique used to create this creamy soup (hint:  it doesn't involve cream!!).  Don't leave out the smoked paprika butter and mint, they pack the flavor for this soup!

The second recipe is for a Sweet Potato Hash with Turkey and Poached Eggs.  I added a chopped red pepper and definitely wouldn't leave it out next time.  I might also increase the thyme, or  instead add some cumin and chipotle/adobo sauce for a richer flavor.

What are you looking forward to most this Thanksgiving??   I'm excited for my parents to join me down in Boston for the holiday!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Autumn Cheesecake

Still thinking about what to make for your Thanksgiving dessert?  Perhaps you might like to mix things up and make Butternut Chocolate Cake w/Espresso Salted Caramel Sauce?  Or maybe you'd rather go the apple route with an Apple Pie w/Rosemary Crust & Gruyere Crumble or Apple Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie.

My secret ingredient

Clearly I love all things fall...  and dessert!   I teased you with photos in my product reviews, but I think it's time to share this cheesecake.   Except I don't want to share...  you'll have to make your own :)

Go Giants!!

In all seriousness this would be perfect for the upcoming holiday.   And I loved it.   It's packed full of good stuff...  sweet potatoes, maple syrup, cranberries and even greek yogurt.

Don't worry, I didn't eat it all myself.   Although I already bought more ginger cats.  Maybe I can try it with butternut squash...

Autumn Cheesecake
heavily adapted from bon appetit
Serves 10-12

1 1/2c ginger snap crumbs (I used Trader Joe’s Ginger Cats)
2T butter, melted
3T unsweetened applesauce

2 8oz pkgs Nufatchel (1/3rd less fat cream cheese), RT
1c sucanat (or brown sugar)
4 eggs, RT
1 16oz container 2% greek yogurt, RT
1c roasted sweet potato puree
1/4c Grade B maple syrup
1/2t maple extract
1 1/2t cinnamon
1/2t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2t ground ginger

1 12oz pkg fresh cranberries
1/2c sucanat (or brown sugar), plus more to taste
1/2c dried cranberries
1/2c Grade B maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350deg. 

Mix together cookie crumbs, butter and applesauce.  Press into the bottom of a springform pan.  Bake for 10min, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl (or stand mixer) until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.  Add remaining filling ingredients (greek yogurt through ginger) and mix well.

Pour filling into cooled crust  and bake 55-65min (check at 50min), until the center jiggles only slightly when tapped.  Take out of the oven and set on a wire rack.  Run a knife or spatula around the outside (this helps prevent cracks!).  Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until set.

For the cranberry compote, combine cranberries, sugar, dried cranberries and maple syrup in a medium saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and simmer until berries pop.  Can be made ahead (cover and chill), rewarm before serving.

What dessert will be on your Thanksgiving table?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Turkey Tuesday II

Sometimes I look forward to the obligatory turkey sandwich after thanksgiving more so than the big meal ;)  In anticipation of some leftovers from the upcoming holiday, I tried out a few recipes that would put that turkey to good use!  In case you missed the first post, feel free to check out my Curried Turkey Salad.

This quiche could serve as a quick portable breakfast or even a light lunch/dinner alongside a green salad!   Not a dense quiche, the lighter texture might be appreciated in the days after the big feast ;)

Crustless Turkey and Spinach Quiche
adapted from Cooking Light via Culinary in the Desert
Serves 4-6

~1T extra virgin olive oil
1/2c chopped onion
1c cooked/leftover turkey
~3oz cheddar cheese, divided
1-2c spinach, chopped
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1c cottage cheese
1/2c milk (whatever you have on hand)
1/2c white whole wheat flour (or AP flour)
1t baking powder
1/8t salt
few grinds of black pepper

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until tender and just about browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350deg.

Spray a pie plate with nonstick spray.  Grate ~1oz cheese over the bottom of the pie plate.  Scatter over turkey, then follow with the cooked onions, spinach and remaining ~2oz cheese (grated).  Whisk together remaining ingredients (eggs through pepper) and pour over turkey/spinach/cheese layers.  Bake in preheated oven for 40-50min, until a knife inserted into the center comes clean.

Cool on a wire rack, then cut and serve!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CSN & Product Reviews

Something's missing...   ;)

Do you have a counter that is in need of some counter stools like I do?   You're in luck, as CSN has so many styles that you're bound to find one you love!

(some of) the goods

I was excited to be able to review some products from CSN recently, and after putting them all to good use it's time to let you in on my experience!   My picks?  A  nonstick 2qt saucepan, a glass-bottomed cheesecake pan and a lovely 1qt au gratin dish (not pictured above).

Hmm....  what was this for?  Wait and see!

After placing my order I received the saucepan and cheesecake pan quickly, the stoneware a couple weeks later.    The Calphalon nonstick saucepan came highly recommended and I couldn't be happier with it.   The shallow design creates a larger surface area to heat and cleans up like a charm (even after making caramel!).

Pan #1:  failing the water test

Another recommended item, the Friehling cheesecake pan has quite a few attractive features as well...  handles to help maneuvering in and out of the oven and a glass bottom for elegant serving.  However when I opened the box I noticed that it was not tight at the junction between the bottom and collar.  Indeed, when I put some water in the pan it ran right through the edges (see above).  I contacted CSN and received a replacement pan a few days later (no hassles!).   This second pan seemed a better so I went ahead and gave it a shot.

So far I've made two cheesecakes.   I had a small leak with the first, but nothing a cookie sheet couldn't handle.  No problems with the second, and it was definitely made for a nicer serving platter!  We'll see how it holds up in the next few recipes and I'll report back for a final impression.


Last but certainly not least was a Le Creuset Au Gratin dish.  It was the perfect size for a lasagna for one or two!  Cleanup was easy too, I can't wait to use it again!  Maybe this time it will be an actual gratin ;)

A huge thank you to CSN for this opportunity!!  Stay tuned for the recipes featured in this post :)   Do you have any kitchen items on your gift list this holiday season??

*Disclaimer:  A good portion of the cost of these goods was covered by CSN.  The thoughts/reviews in this post are my own!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Butternut Ice Cream

Did you notice those butts I roasted for my Chocolate Butternut Cake?  They were from an 8.5lb butternut squash.

Photo courtesy of Elina

No joke.  The best part was that I only paid $2-3 for it.  The worst part was that I had to carry it (along with the rest of my groceries) over a mile back to my apartment.  Woops...    Needless to say it made alot of roasted squash!   I tested out a small batch of this ice cream for some reason, but now I'm wishing I hadn't ;)

Butternut Squash Ice Cream
Yield ~2c

1 can light coconut milk
1/2c roasted butternut squash puree
1T arrowroot
1/4 sucanat (or brown sugar)
1/2  Madagascar vanilla bean*
1 cinnamon stick
1T arrowroot

Reserve a few tablespoons of coconut milk and pour the rest into a small saucepan.  Stir in butternut squash and sucanat.  Split the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the butternut/coconut milk mixture.  Add the emptied pod and cinnamon stick to the saucepan and heat over medium heat. 

While waiting for the mixture to come to a boil, whisk arrowroot into reserved coconut milk until smooth.  When squash/coconut milk reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and whisk in arrowroot/coconut milk.  Cool to RT, then refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight).  Churn according to your ice cream manufacturer's directions.

Take it up a notch and serve with some Espresso Salted Caramel Sauce!!  Speaking of which, if you liked my entry into Joanne's Recipe Impossible:  Winter Squash Challenge, it's time to vote!

You've got until Sunday the 14th to vote for your favorite entry...  hopefully your in the mood for some Butternut Chocolate Cake w/Espresso Salted Caramel Sauce ;)  Click here, scroll down to the entries and place your vote for Tri to Cook!  Thanks :)

*Disclaimer: sample provided at no cost by Marx Foods.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Turkey Tuesday

Sometimes I look forward to the obligatory turkey sandwich after thanksgiving more so than the big meal ;)  In anticipation of some leftovers from the upcoming holiday, I tried out some recipes that would put leftovers to good use!  This is the first of a series of posts to give you some different ideas for how to use that extra turkey.

Curried Turkey Salad
adapted slightly from Pinch My Salt
Serves 3

I've been meaning to try a curried salad like this for awhile, and I'm glad I did.  It could easily be made with chicken or tofu as well!

2c cooked/leftover turkey, chopped
1/2c diced apple (I left the peel on)
1/3c dried fruit and nuts (I used a mix of sour cherries and pecans)
1/3c greek yogurt
1 1/2T olive oil mayo
2-3t curry powder (more or less depending on how spicy your curry powder is and taste buds!)
1/2T honey
pinch salt
few grinds of fresh black pepper
2-3 small sweet potatoes, roasted (at 350deg for 45-60min), if desired

Prepare the dressing in a large bowl:  mix together yogurt, mayo, curry, honey, salt and pepper.  Add turkey, apple, and dried fruit/nuts and stir until well combined.  Serve as a sandwich, or over a roasted sweet potato!

*Disclaimer:  Nature's Pride bread pictured above provided by Foodbuzz Tastemaker's program.  It's the Oven Classics Honey Wheat, and I'm a fan!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apple & Pumpkin Pie

When thinking about what kind of apple pie I wanted to make this year, I was stumped.  Last year's version was going to be hard to top!   After stewing for awhile I thought about combining apple and pumpkin (apparently not so novel...  I know I saw Sarah's version last year, so that probably planted the seed!!).  But while I love my mom's pumpkin chiffon, I'm not drawn to traditional pumpkin pie as much...  then I thought pumpkin cheesecake...  why not?

Kind of a match made in heaven :)  This post really deserves more pictures, but it was late at night when I was making this (and doing 3 different things at the same time).   I can tell you that everyone in lab really enjoyed it and a few even asked for the recipe!

Apple Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
pumpkin layer adapted from Apple Pie, Patis & Pate
Yield:  1 9"pie

I baked mine in a regular 9" pie plate, but had a little extra filling leftover, so I'd recommend a deep dish version if you have it :)   I made a crustless version with the leftover apples and pumpkin cheesecake, so nothing went to waste!

I should also note that I cut back on the sugar so this was not overly sweet and I succeeded.  I don't think anyone missed the extra sugar, but feel free to adjust to your own tastes!

Your favorite single pie crust (I had some issues this time, so I'm leaving it up to you!)

Apple Layer
4 apples (I used 3 granny smith and 1 macoun)
1T flour
1t cinnamon
1/2t cardamom
2T sucanat (or brown sugar or turbinado...  or a mix!)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
1 1/3c Nufatchel (just shy of 11oz)
1t vanilla extract
1 1/2t cinnamon
1/4t nutmeg
1/4t cardamom
1c brown sugar, not packed  (or sucanat)
1T maple syrup
2/3c pumpkin
3 lg eggs

Preheat the oven to 350deg.

Prepare your single crust pie crust recipe and pre-bake according to recipe instructions.  Let cool while you prep your fillings.

Peel and slice apples into ~1/2" thick slices, place in a large bowl.  Toss with remaining apple filling ingredients, adding a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you have it on hand.   Pour filling into cooled, prebaked crust and bake in preheated oven for 20minutes.  Don't overfill the crust, as you'll be adding another layer on top.  I aimed for a layer that was 2-3 slices thick, ~3/4 up the wall of the pie shell.

Prepare the pumpkin cheesecake while the apple pie is baking, start by creaming together the cream cheese, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.  Add in brown sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.  Add maple syrup and pumpkin and mix.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated.  After 20minutes, pour pumpkin mixture over apple pie and bake for another 30minutes or so (check at 25min in case your oven runs a little hot).  It's ok if the center looks slightly jiggly (apparently I missed the window as mine mine looked set at 30min).  Remove and cool on a wire rack to RT.  Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) before serving.

Serve with a freshly whipped, lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired!

Do you have a go-to apple or pumpkin pie recipe??  If you had to choose, which do you prefer?
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