Stuffed Squash with Brie, Cranberries and Greens

Fresh cranberries, brie and greens come together to make a festive and flavorful filling for kabocha or acorn squash.

The cranberries add a tangy pop of sweetness to the gooey brie, tender greens and mild-mannered squash.

The best bite is when you dig deep and not only get the creamy greens but some of the dense squash on your fork too! The difference in textures is just as important as the flavors in making this surprisingly delicious…. 

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Gingerbread Cheesecake

A dreamy gingerbread cheesecake baked on a gingersnap crust! It’s laced with rich, warm spices that dance across your tongue and fill your house with the welcoming smell of Christmas.

A holiday season without Gingerbread would be like Christmas without Santa! A criminal offense as far as I’m concerned. Being one of the most loved flavors of the holiday season with a permanent place in my heart…. 

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Gingerbread Pancakes

Gingerbread Pancakes

Two favorite classics collide in this delicious gingerbread pancake recipe. Gingerbread isn’t just for Christmas anymore. Not when you love it as much as I do. Their perfectly comforting for any cold winter morning when you need something extra special to start your day. The whole wheat flour is a wonderful backdrop for the warm spices, brown sugar and molasses without being overly heavy. A sprinkling of lemon peel brightens everything right up. Chocolate chips are optional; and are sure to be a hit with kids. I imagine they’d make a charming Valentine’s Day breakfast; especially with a big dollop of whip cream and some super sweet heart sprinkles.

Gingerbread Pancakes

Gingerbread Pancakes
(Makes 10 4-inch pancakes)
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 + 1/2 teaspoon Ginger
3/4 teaspoon Cloves
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 + 1/3 cup Milk*
1 tablespoon Molasses
3 tablespoons Canola Oil
1 Egg, slightly beaten
lemon peel, fresh grated
butter or margarine
100% Maple Syrup
Mini Chocolate Chips, optional, for mixing in, dotting over the tops or serving with
Whip Cream, optional
1. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk together the milk and molasses until combined well.
2. Add the milk, oil, and egg to the dry ingredients. And 1/2 cup chocolate chips if desired. Stir until flour is just moistened. Let batter sit for 10 minutes.
3. Preheat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add a small pat of butter and coat pan. Pour batter by scant 1/4 cups onto skillet, making a few at a time. (Dot chocolate chips over top if desired). Cook until tops get bubbly and edges start to look dry. Flip and cook the other side until golden.
4. Repeat until all the batter is used, greasing the skillet with butter each time. Serve with lemon peel sprinkled over top, additional butter, maple syrup, and whipped cream.
*Add more milk for a thinner pancake.

Gingerbread Pancakes

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Gingerbread Pancakes

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake

I hope you all had a lovely family and food-filled Thanksgiving! My Mom’s table was a heavily laden carb fest of deliciousness; broccoli/velveeta casserole, streusel-stuffed baked sweet potatoes, sausage stuffing, potato-rutabaga-cheese casserole, buttermilk biscuits, cranberry sauce, and of course a giant turkey. We gobbled gobbled our way through that and then for dessert we had this cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and fruitcake.

The cheesecake was scrumptious and so gorgeous with the vibrant cranberry sauce on top! And is there a more fitting topping than cranberry sauce at this time of the year? The cheesecake bakes up light but dense with the creamiest consistency I’ve ever tasted in a cheesecake. There’s no excuse for not making your own cranberry sauce – it’s so simple and so much fresher tasting and healthier than the high-fructose canned variety. This is perfect to bring to a holiday party or potluck. And I think it will find it’s way onto our Christmas table.

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake
(adapted from Good Old Food by Irena Chalmers)
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 and 1/2 pounds Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 and 1/2 cups Sour Cream, at room temperature
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter in a small bowl. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the springform pan.
3. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the sugar and the eggs, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts and sour cream.
4. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake* for 55-60 minutes until cheesecake is puffed and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and run a thin knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Let cool completely and chill for several hours or overnight before serving.
5. Serve with cranberry sauce and whip cream.
*I recommend cooking this in a bain marie to prevent cracking. Put the uncooked cheesecake/pan into a larger baking pan, put on oven rack and fill halfway up sides of springform pan with boiling water. Bake as directed.
Cranberry Sauce
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
12 ounces fresh Cranberries
To flavor add one or a combo:
orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg
In a medium sauce pan dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat. Add cranberries and continue to cook, stirring, carefully, the cranberries will pop, about five – seven minutes. Add your flavoring element. Combine well. Remove from heat. Cool. Store in fridge.

Cranberry Cheesecake