11.27.2010

Thanksgiving Extravaganza--Part One

Don't you just love Thanksgiving? What a wonderful day to focus on some of the things that really matter in life--family and food. Speaking of family, our favorite part of this Thanksgiving was getting to spend time with our brand new niece, Eleanor. She is possibly the cutest baby we've ever laid eyes on. We also really enjoyed cooking, trying new dishes, and just having a day to relax and be thankful. So what better way to thank you for reading our blog than to share with you some of our Thanksgiving contributions?

(Stay tuned for Part Two of our feast.)

Spiced Cashews


Spiced Cashews
Thanks to Ina Garten, the person everyone wishes could be their adopted "aunt".

One of the most important part of the holidays is finger food. It's vital to have something to sustain you while buying time before the main event. The first time I saw this cashew recipe, I knew it was going to be a holiday classic, and this is my third time making them. They use the simple strategy of combining delicious items: cashews, rosemary, cayenne pepper, etc. What could be better?

1 pound (16 oz.) cashew nuts
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt (we used fine-grain sea salt)
1 tablespoon melted butter

Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 375-degree oven.
OR
If you're short on oven space like we were on Thanksgiving, heating the cashews in a saucepan over medium heat works just fine. Just be sure to stir often.
Next, combine all the other ingredients in a bowl. Throw in the heated cashews and toss to combine.

Additionally, make sure to set aside a portion for yourself--these suckers disappear moments after being placed on the table.

Pear Cranberry Cake

Pear Cranberry Cake
Slightly adapted from Gourmet, November 2009

You should all know by now that I, Wife, am unable to pass up a party without bringing something sweet. For Turkey Day this year, I thought it would be fun to bring something made out of cranberries (why not?). I found this recipe for a Pear Cranberry Cake and fell in love before I even tasted it.

This cake is absolutely delicious and can be eaten as a dessert or as breakfast (or really any time you just want cake).

Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg (makes a huge difference if you grate it yourself)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Bosc pears, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a bundt pan (15-cup) with cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together. Beat sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla together in an electric mixer and combine well. Mix in pears and cranberries slowly, then add in the flour mix until incorporated. Bake in the bundt pan on the middle rack until a toothpick comes out clean (about 1 hour).

Cool in pan for at least 30 minutes, then turn it gently onto a rack and let cool completely.

Glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Bring all ingredients plus a pinch of salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer at let glaze reduce about 10 minutes.
Take off heat and let cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Remove cinnamon sticks and pour over the cake.

YURM!

3 comments:

sarahkoon said...

Are you allowed to say yurm on public blog posts?

BoersMama said...

I was thinking the same thing as sarahkoon

BoersMama said...

But...yum is like saying ouch when you fall. YURM is like saying HOLY ****! So, by your choice of words I must conclude that this cake was beyond delish. Can't wait to sample some!

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