Pumpkin and Ginger Scones

 
Holiday scones anyone? Give this wonderful recipe a try and it’s great way to use leftover pumpkin puree.
 YOU’LL NEED
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée, well drained, canned 
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Sift together the flours, salt, ginger, baking powder and baking soda. Place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
2. Add the butter to the food processor, and pulse several times until it is distributed throughout the flour. The mixture should have the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
3. Beat together the pumpkin purée, buttermilk and maple syrup in a small bowl, and scrape into the food processor. Add the ginger, and process just until the dough comes together.
4. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface, and gently shape into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into six squares, then cut the squares in half on the diagonal to form 12 triangular pieces. Place on the baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: 12 scones.

 

Pomegranate Carrot Salad

This is a unique salad that incorporates in season fruits and veggies and also makes a nice complement to a variety of holiday meals.


You’ll Need
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon scallions, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, toss and serve.

 

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Pecan Pie

You’ll Need

  • 1 pie crust
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 1 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 cup bourbon or brandy (optional)

Directions
Beat together the eggs, sugar, salt flour, and butter to make a custard

Warm these over a barely medium flame for about 10 minutes, stirring fairly frequently. Make sure it doesn’t approach boiling.

Remove from heat, add pecans, vanilla, and bourbon or brandy if you choose to add this. Pour into pie crust.

Bake at 325 for 25 minutes until custard is set. Be sure to set your rack up in the middle third of the oven or you might curdle the eggs.

Let it cool until you can.

Golden Fruit Cake

With the holiday season upon us many goodies are being made, shared and enjoyed. Sometimes when people here fruitcake they run. But this is one that will redefine fruitcake. This has been tested and enjoyed many times by family and I and so I wanted to share it with all of you.

Yield: Makes 4 loaves

Ingredients

• 1 7-ounce package marzipan, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

• 1 1/4 cups chopped dried Calimyrna figs (about 6 ounces)

• 3 cups combined chopped dried pears, dried apricots and pitted dates (about 15 ounces total)

• 1 cup golden raisins (about 5 ounces)

• 1/2 cup brandy

• 4 8 x 3 3/4 x 2 1/2-inch disposable aluminum loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2-inch corrugated paper baking loaf forms*or 8 1/4 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pans

• 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

• 1 1/2 cups sugar

• 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

• 8 large eggs

• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3 cups all purpose flour

• 1 1/2 cups pine nuts (about 6 ounces), toasted

Preparation

Place marzipan on plate; cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight. Combine dried figs and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter baking pans or forms. Beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until light. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg and salt. Stir in flour in 4 additions. Stir in pine nuts, dried fruit mixture and any soaking liquid from bowl. Gently stir in marzipan.

Divide batter among prepared pans. Place pans on baking sheet. Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pans on racks. Wrap in plastic. Let stand at least 1 day and up to 3 days at room temperature or chill up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.

Reference: Bon Appetit 1998

For A Stress Less Holiday: Look Forward

This week, the phrase you should focus on is, “Here’s what I’m looking forward to …” Then fill in the blank.

Last year is done, and now we can view the horizon in a positive way.

Create next year as one full of potential and promise by taking time each day of this week to identify what it is you look forward to in the coming year.

Look Forward.

 

 

Butterscotch Baked Pear

Give this fabulous dessert a try. It’s a nice way to incorporate an in season fruit into the holidays .You may want to give it a try with apples too.

You’ll Need

  • 6 medium (6 to 7 ounce) ripe but firm Bosc pears, peeled, halved lengthwise
  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Scotch
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Using melon baller or small spoon, scoop out core from each pear half.
  • Melt butter in large ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
  • Whisk in brown sugar and salt.
  • Arrange pears, cut side down, in skillet in single layer.
  • Spoon some of sugar mixture over pears.
  • Place skillet in oven; bake until pears are tender, basting once with syrup, about 30 minutes.
  • Transfer pears, cut side up, to large shallow bowl, leaving syrup in skillet.
  • Mix Scotch and vanilla extract into syrup.
  • Using oven mitts as aid, place hot skillet over medium-high heat (mixture may ignite).
  • Cook until syrup is reduced by half, whisking often, about 2 minutes.
  • Spoon syrup over pears and serve.

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For A Stress Less Holiday: Focus on YOUR “Reason for the Season”

This time of year is often a time of reflection, when people look inward toward the things they are grateful for, and the things that matter the most for them.

All week this week, pause. Remind yourself of the things that make this season special. That kind of gratitude inventory resets your mind onto the things that matter most.

There’s no “right answer” here. Your reason is personal to you and may or may not be the same as someone else’s reason.

 

 

For A Stress Less Holiday, Keep a Clean Mental Desktop

One constant source of stress is what we call a cluttered “mental desktop”. When you have 37 things whirring about in your brain, you can get into a spin-cycle that contributes to chronic stress.

The solution is to do exactly what you do when you meditate – clear the desktop of all items but one. Write them all down, put them away, then come back to them after your one single task has been completed.