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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Old-Fashioned Apple Crumb Pie with Cranberries

The start of apple season is marked by the beckoning aroma of apples saturating the market air causing my mind to conjure up images of pie. Where some see a tasty piece of juicy fruit to eat out of hand I imagine all the possible desserts that can be baked. I do it to every single piece of fruit to enter my house. Without fail. It’s a sickness…. 

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Alexia “Reinvent a Classic” French Fry Update: Sweet Potato “Pie” Dessert Fries

Sweet Potato Pie Dessert Fries w/ Maple Yogurt Dipping Sauce

To bring you up to date, in case you missed my first post, I am creating a one-of-a-kind french fry flavor for Alexia Foods, along with 20 of my fellow bloggers.

Alexia will pick the top four to go head to head in a consumer vote on Facebook…. 

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Italian-style Green Bean Casserole

for mushroom haters

My family has never embraced the tradition of eating that infamous green bean and mushroom soup casserole that is so popular on Thanksgiving. Mushrooms are a no-no for most of them and I vowed that canned soup, in any shape or form, would never cross my lips again. Ever. So this year I took it upon myself to start a new tradition and build a green bean casserole from scratch with flavors that everyone would love…. 

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Side Dish Showdown: Thanksgiving

I’m reviving Side Dish Showdown for the holidays! Link up your side dish posts below from past Thanksgivings or any you feel are appropriate for the holiday. They can be old or new posts and there is no limit. The only qualification I have is that they be a side dish, anything else will be deleted. New posts must include a link back to this post with a reference to Side Dish Showdown.

Here are my side dishes:

Lime and Sage Butter Corn

Sage and Lime Corn

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

 Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

Apple Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Apple-Cheddar Smashed Potatoes

Sour Cream Poppy Seed Noodles

Sour Cream Poppy Seed Noodles

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Moon's Macaroni & Cheese

Sugar Snap Peas and Sweet Peas with Warm Chili Garlic Vinaigrette 

Sugar Snap Peas and Sweet Peas with Warm Chili Garlic Vinaigrette

Baked Brown Rice with Smoked Gouda and Spinach

Baked Brown Rice w/ Smoked Gouda Cheese & Spinach

Kale w/ Garlic and Cranberries 

Kale w/ Garlic & Cranberries

To add your post to the Linky below use the post’s URL, not your homepage. The ‘name’ should be the name of your side dish, not the title of your blog. After linking up I ask that you return and make sure it linked up correctly and also leave me a comment letting me know you linked up. Any questions can be addressed in the comments, please check back for an answer.

The challenge will end November 30th. I am working on the badge and will have it available here in a day or two. I look forward to seeing all your delicious Thanksgiving-friendly side dishes!

Voting is also open in the Recipe Impossible Challenge I took part in a few weeks ago. I would be grateful if you dropped by and voted for my Butternut Squash and Couscous Patties! Thank-you!

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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

Kale with Garlic and Cranberries

Kale w/ Garlic & Cranberries

My friend Heather of Girlichef is hosting this weeks BSI (blogger secret ingredient). Heather chose greens; a much overlooked source of stupendous veggie power. I did my shopping for the week and totally spaced out on this one. I came home without any greens. Shame on me. I was lucky to find a package of chopped kale in my freezer, the next best thing to fresh. I don’t have many recipes for greens, aside from adding them to soups my go-to is a saute of garlic and olive oil. I did a search and found some really good ideas like this one with dried cranberries. One of my loves. The heat really worked in plumping them up to bring out their sweetness and along with a little drizzle of honey the kale lost any bitterness it might have had. Hints of garlic are offset by the juicy berries and salty Parmesan. I imagine this as a perfect side-dish for Thanksgiving. Or anytime!

Kale w/ Garlic & Cranberries

Kale w/ Garlic and Cranberries
(loosely adapted from Epicurious)

Frozen chopped Kale, 16 oz.
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1-2 teaspoons honey
sea salt and fresh pepper
Parmesan or Romano cheese, fresh grated, for serving

Steam the kale in a steamer basket pan for 10-12 minutes until thawed out and tender. Let cool slightly and using a large spoon press the water out of the kale so that it drips through the basket into the pan.

In a large skillet saute the garlic in the olive oil over low-medium heat until the garlic begins to turn light brown. Add the cranberries, kale and honey to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until kale is reheated through and cranberries are plump and warm. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan.

Printable Recipe

Kale w/ Garlic & Cranberries