Cranberry Sauce Two Ways

I couldn’t decide on how to make my cranberry sauce, so I prepared two separate versions and figured that it ought to cover everybody’s tastes. One is a fairly traditional cranberry sauce, prepared with citrus and sugar and the other is prepared with wine, balsamic vinegar, and dried figs.

Traditional cranberry sauce

Wine & fig cranberry sauce

Growing up, I was never really a fan of cranberry sauce, or so I thought. Honestly, I’m not even really sure if I’d ever tried cranberry sauce, but I had it in my head that I didn’t like it, and that was reason enough for this long. However, I’d never seen cranberry sauce beyond the perfect-can-shaped cylinder of jelly before, so in keeping with my make-everything-from-scratch Thanksgiving, I thought I might as well give it a try as some of the cranberry sauce recipes out there looked pretty tasty (this is where both recipes were largely derived from). The… click to read more…

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Poached Pear

This is a delightfully simple but flavorful dessert: poached pears.

Poached pear in syrup

Poached pear is essentially a peeled and cored pear cooked (well, poached) in a sweet and spicy solution, then topped off with the poaching solution which has been cooked down to a syrup. The ingredient list sounds deceptively simple, but the flavor is really incredible and vibrant. The pears become translucent and incredibly tender, still retaining a distinct pear flavor, but complemented by a really vibrant citrus flavor that only enhances the pear. The vanilla and cloves add a really subtle, but interesting taste and aroma. This is a nice quick dessert to put together, but don’t let that fool you–this is really tasty and refreshing. This particular recipe is largely derived from The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert, which so far, has not done me wrong in the dessert department. This recipe isn’t entirely true to the original (which had some… click to read more…

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Persimmon Chiffon Cake & Custard

This time of year is right smack in the middle of the harvest of one of my favorite fruits of all time: persimmons! I love eating persimmons fresh, but they really don’t get enough love recipe-wise. I was hoping I could try my hand at a different persimmon-based dessert: persimmon chiffon cake & custard drizzled with caramel sauce.

Persimmon Chiffon Cake & Custard drizzled with Caramel Sauce

If you’ve never heard of persimmons before, it is very important that we establish up front that these stout, orange-colored fruits (which look like odd tomatoes but are nothing like them) are simply the best fruit out there (I think I’d put figs second, for those keeping score). Grab some now at your grocery store if you can–they aren’t around long during the year, but they are really something.

Persimmons come in many different varieties which are all quite different from each other. My favorite is the hachiya: acorn shaped and one of the absolute worst things you could possibly eat… click to read more…

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Buttermilk Pancakes

A great breakfast for a sleepy weekend morning that will always please a crowd: freshly made buttermilk pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes

I ate a lot of pancakes growing up, and while I don’t eat quite as many now (my average breakfast has shrunk a bit), they are still a nice occasional treat on the weekend (that and bacon…). Plus, if you’re entertaining and have company, this is a great way to prepare something fast and fresh when you’re still not entirely awake. Nobody will be the wiser as a tall stack of homemade pancakes will impress and hold the crowd over until lunch. 😉 Furthermore, you can even cater to each person’s individual tastes with whatever assortment of toppings you have handy, so you should even have your pickier eaters covered (because we all know that nobody would dare to eat a plain pancake!).

I thought that this recipe would be fun to post here in case you might be more accustomed… click to read more…

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Pumpkin Pie

October is here and so are the pumpkins! What better dish is there to mark that autumn is here than a pumpkin pie?

Slice of pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie is a custard-based pie with a stronger, more savory collection of spices at play than in some of the other pies I’ve posted here thus far. You’ve got things like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, etc, so there’s a lot of strong stuff in there that will demand your attention. Also unlike many of the other pies posted here, you aren’t troubled with creating a topping as we’re going to cook the pie briefly in high heat to harden the top of the pie relative to the rest of the filling, which will be softer, and not quite pudding-like, but smoother and creamier in texture. And you can take two different approaches: canned pumpkin puree or a fresh, whole pumpkin, the latter being the approach that builds character and if this blog focuses on anything,… click to read more…

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Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Fudge Brownie

This recipe was a bit of an experiment gone awry. With that, I’m sure you’ll still trust me when I say that it was nonetheless rich and delicious (I’d definitely make it again).

Square of macadamia fudge

I had set out to make something of a tart/pie with a custardy, pecan pie like filling (but with coconut and chocolate) with a toasty, glazed macadamia nut topping. I encountered many recipes that basically were identical to pecan pie, but substituted in macadamia nuts for pecans. Seeing how I had just made a pecan pie, this didn’t seem terribly appealing. So I thought I could conjure up something different…and I did. :-)

It just wasn’t suited for a pie. The flavors were just fine (better than fine!), but the filling was too heavy and rich to be paired with a light and flaky crust, so while the prep photos show… click to read more…

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