I love everything there is to love about Christmas. Our Christmas tree is up, decorated, candles are burning, presents are starting to accumulate under the tree. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. So when I was given the opportunity to borrow this amazing cake pan from a friend, I spent a week dreaming about this recipe. I love this cranberry almond pound cake in this Christmas tree pan because I think the cranberries look like little ornaments on the trees. (Of course, any tube pan will work!) My undying appetite for almonds is satiated in this cake with three times the almond love: almond paste, almond extract, and Amaretto. Yum, yum, yum!
And I love how if you cut it just right, you get a little mini Christmas tree:
Cranberry Almond Pound Cake
(Adapted from 2 Stews)
½ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup Amaretto liqueur
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces almond paste
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sour cream
2 ½ cups fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 325 and thoroughly coat a Bundt pan.
Heat the Amaretto and dried cranberries in a small saucepan and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have soaked up all of the liqueur.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
Using a stand mixer, combine almond paste, almond extract and sugar on low speed until mixture becomes granular. Add butter and mix at medium speed for 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is blended.
Return mixter to low speed and add 1/3 dry ingredients and 1/3 sour cream. Repeat until all dry ingredients and sour cream is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Stir in all cranberries by hand and pour batter into pan. Even out the top of the mixture with a spatula.
Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted cake comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto serving platter. I had some major issues getting this cake out of the pan. Almost a cake fatality. After doing some extensive research, 10 minutes seems to be the magic number for getting Bundt cakes out of their pans.
When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar through a wire strainer.
As much as I love everything about Thanksgiving, you would have thought you’d see something, anything to put on the Thanksgiving table. I did, in fact, make a whole Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and trimmings. However, the food was promptly put into Ziploc bags and carried down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast along the Colorado River with the canyon walls stretching over top of us. Certainly a Thanksgiving to be remembered! I hope everyone else had an equally memorable day!
After time spent in the cold, I was craving a warm meal full of seasonal veggies. I’ve been on a big risotto kick since this summer and it hasn’t stopped yet.
I’ve heard many comments in the past couple of weeks about how much I must love pumpkin due to the excessive number of pumpkin recipes on the blog recently. I’m addicted; I admit it. I only have two months of the whole year where I can eat pumpkin so I have to pack it in! Sorry to all the pumpkin haters who are over it, but rest assured, this is the last one. But now you’ll have to excuse me a moment, I need time to mourn the ensuing loss.
Last year, I attended a Thanksgiving breakfast. It was an exciting and memorable get together that would be a neat tradition to start with friends. This party inspired me to come up with this pumpkin pie breakfast casserole since at the time I had nothing creative in my repertoire for a festive breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.
One year later, I now present to you pumpkin pie for the AM. Happy Thanksgiving!
I don’t have to look far to see where my love for cherries began. My childhood in Michigan and my mom created these taste buds. For almost any recipe, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, if you could add dried cherries to it, my mom did. You’ll see that I have that same tendency. Growing up in Michigan, that was easy to do. Fun fact: Michigan produces about 75% of our country’s cherries. What that meant for me was eating fresh cherries by the pound for a snack, staining my hands and mouth with dark red juice.
Although fresh Michigan cherries are a ways away, dried cherries are an adequate substitute. Following my mom’s logic, wherever there are cranberries, swapping cherries makes the meal a hundred times better. I’d seen some grilled cheese sandwiches with cranberries before which seemed like a mediocre idea. But cherries…now that changes everything. These brie cheese grilled cheese sandwiches with dried cherries are certainly not your every day grilled cheese. They are way better. I’m worried I won’t be able to go back.
I realized at this very moment how much soup I make. I don’t know what a “normal” amount of soup is for a person to make but I noticed that a disproportionally large number of recipes I’ve posted so far fall under the “soup” category. Sorry for those of you out there who don’t like soup.
The grocery store had abnormally large leeks, which I was very naturally very excited about.
My first real stab at trying to take pictures of a meal when it’s dark within 30 minutes of getting home. I figured a crock pot was the perfect solution. Perfection was definitely not attained but I’m satisfied with my first attempt. Dave gave the chili a 9.25 and the pictures a 6. And he was being rather generous with the pictures. But because he liked the chili so much and told me to make it again, I figured it was worth posting anyway.
A pretty easy spread of ingredients. I managed to cook the turkey and dump everything into a crock pot within 10 minutes before school.
Crock Pot Turkey Chili
(Loosely adapted from Laura’s Quick Slow Cooker Turkey Chili)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey
3 cups tomato soup
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon ground cumin
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground allspice
salt, as desired
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook turkey in skillet until browned.
Place all ingredients inside of a Crock Pot, cover, and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high heat. Top with sour cream and cheese, as desired.
I’ve made this pumpkin honey cake every Fall since I acquired the recipe. To date, it’s my all-time favorite pumpkin recipe! Which says a lot. Back in college, I attended a few cooking classes at the Whole Foods in Wiston-Salem and this was one of the featured recipes. I wish I could personally thank the chef for this one because it’s out of the park.
Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin pie. One Thanksgiving, I ate 9 pieces of pie after dinner, most of which were pumpkin. I had a fabulous metabolism as a kid. But if you’ve ever wanted to change it up for Thanksgiving dinner and have a less traditional pumpkin dessert, this is it. Everyone will bring a pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving dinner, so why not bring a pumpkin honey cake? The Pilgrim girl above will surely be pleased.
Guys, daylight savings time is killing me. Aside from being ready for bed at 6:00pm, it is now near impossible to cook anything when I get home from work and take pictures of it in daylight. Clearly, this poses a problem. Fear not, dear readers, I’ll figure something out. For now, I have a nice little stockpile of recipes to get me through the dark. The pumpkin recipes are still a-flowin’! A present to you a classic pumpkin spice bread recipe.
I doubled the recipe and gave some mini loaves to two friends who had birthdays earlier in the week and made a regular loaf for Dave and I. We’ve demolished it in just three days. It’s a little addictive but oh-so-delicious.
I can hardly believe it’s November! The whole month of October seems like a blur. I hope everyone had a terrific Halloween! We only had three trick-or-treaters last night which was a little sad but better than none. At least I got to show off my pumpkin to someone. I will never be too old to carve a pumpkin for Halloween. I’ll have one till the day I die. After I carve my pumpkin, I love roasting the seeds for a healthy seasonal snack. But this year I was kind of bored of the same old roasted pumpkin seeds. I needed something new. These are Indian-style roasted pumpkin seeds using curry powder rather than salt. I caught my husband, who has repeatedly told me how much he doesn’t like pumpkin seeds, sneaking handfuls here and there. So if you’re looking for a different take on roasted pumpkin seeds, give this recipe a try!
I’m a little proud of this one. It took forever and I’m pretty sure I had carpal tunnel by the end of it but it was worth it.