Monday, November 28, 2011

A Last Shout Out To Fall

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are over and in just a few days will be December and the wonderful Christmas Season. (Well commercially the season is pretty much already  here.)  But yet it is still November. So I want to give a last shout out for this wonderful month and for the fall season in general.

A Treasured Autumn Cornucopia

Pictured below is the large (huge really) and beautiful Fall Cornucopia that I purchased at a crafts boutique several years ago. When I first saw it I really wanted it but it was pretty pricey. So I passed it up. After Christmas I went back and to my surprise there it was in all its glory and..... marked down ….70% off. Wow! Well now  the price was just  right and so I grabbed it up. We have enjoyed  it ever since in our foyer during the fall season. I also put it on the buffet table at Thanksgiving Dinner and other autumn luncheons and dinner parties I give.  It truly gives a ‘warm welcome’  to all who enter the door.

My daughter and her family traveled from Colorado to be with us for Thanksgiving. Besides her making rolls and pies, she out did herself with this gorgeous, delicious cheesecake. Truly a labor of love it was worth all the time and effort it took her to make it. Without question it 

was the ‘Piece de Resistance’ at the dessert table.  

                  Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake
                      (The piece de resistance)
                          And here is the recipe for this beauty.

Pumpking Praline Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup finely chopped pecans
5 TBSP butter, melted
3 TBSP light brown sugar
4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
1 ½ TBSP lemon juice
   Praline Topping,    Pre-glazed pecans
1.        Preheat oven to 325.  Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended.  Press mixture on bottom and 1 ½ inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

2.        Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended.  Pour batter into prepared crust.  (Pan will be very full.)

3.        Bake at 325 for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set.  Turn oven off.  Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes.  Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan.  (Do not remove sides of pan.)  Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).  Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

4.        Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate.  Prepare Pralin Topping; immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake.  Garnish with pre-glazed pecans.

Praline Topping
1 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup whipping cream
¼ cup butter
1 cup powder sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 1-qt saucepan over medium heat, stirring often.  Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat.  Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Use immediately.
Pre-Glazed Pecans
Stir together ¼ cup dark corn syrup and 2 TBSP sugar.  Add 2 Cups pecan halves; stir until pecans are coated.  Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper;  coat parchment paper with vegetable cooking spray.  Spread pecans in a single layer in prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until glaze bubbles slowly and thickens, stirring every 3 minutes.   Transfer pan to a wire rack.  Spread pecans in a single layer, separating individual pecans; cool completely.  Cooled pecans should be crisp, if not, bake 5 more minutes.     From...SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE.

Cranberries aren’t just for Sauce

Cranberries go hand in hand with Fall and the Thanksgiving Feast. We made both a spiced cooked cranberry relish and a raw cranberry relish. Both were delicious….even with leftovers. I even put it on my Toasted Turkey Sandwiches. Yum! But another FUN and Delicious way to serve it is as an APPETIZER. At a neighborhood Christmas party a few years ago, my next door neighbor Michelle brought what I call a Fresh Cranberry  Salsa that she served with crackers and chewy slices of baguettes. Wow! It was the hit of the party. And to make a long story short I’ve been making it ever since. It is a fast, easy and simple recipe and everyone who tries it just loves it. Including kids. Hope you will try it too. It is now requested by family and friends during the holiday season.

Fresh Cranberry Salsa

12 oz. package fresh cranberries. (Washed and picked through and finely chopped)
½ cup sugar (more to taste if desired)
½ bunch of green onions thinly sliced
½ to one bunch fresh cilantro chopped
1-2 jalepeno peppers finely diced (be sure to remove seeds)
½ t. cumin
1-2    8oz. packages  cream cheese
Assorted crackers, pita chips and/or thin baguette slices 
Mix first six ingredients  together in a glass bowl. Chill until ready to serve.
Put cream cheese on a dish and pour chilled salsa over top. Surround with Crackers, pita chips and baguette slices. Serve! Expect Rave Reviews!!

Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had 32….all family and it was such a delight to have them. A  NEW TRADITION was started when my daughter put 3 kernels of corn on each plate and told everyone that the pilgrims had only that to eat. And yet they were so thankful. It helped us to be aware of the all the sacrifices these good people made to come to this great land so that they could be free to worship as they pleased. Those 3 little kernels of corn helped us to realize that we should  be even more grateful for the bounteous blessings we so much enjoy. And to give GRATITUDE to a loving God who has provided all this… for us.

After the feast some watched Christmas videos while others did crafts or played board games. One of the highlights of the day for me was when I sat down to eat dinner. My legs and feet sang the Hallelujah Chorus. I didn’t want to have to get up after that. It just felt so good to sit down.

Thanks for being with me today.

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Kelli Henderson said...

I love that the cranberry salsa has peppers! I adore sweet with a kick. That cheesecake is absolutely gorgeous. Your blog is great, so keep up the good work. :)

Nann said...

Thanks Kelli for your warm, supportive words. It means alot to me that you come and visit and make a comment. And you will LOVE the salsa.


Shannon's Shanonigins said...

Nancy, what a beautiful post, I love the cornicopia, and both the recipes look YUMMY! I'm embarassed to say I had a LOT more than 3 kernals of corn for Thanksgiving. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

This is Grandmereb Lovestobake Nancy--Loved reading about your family Thanksgiving celebration! What a lovely job on the cornicipia recipes! It was a lovely posting.

Bliss said...

OK, I have got to stop reading recipes tonight! My grocery list is increasing. I must like the same foods as you. Cranberry salsa, BRILLIANT! I bet cranberries added to traditional salsa would be excellent too!


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