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Holiday Dishes

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Once again, my friend Patty has outdone herself.  I’m not a fan of cheesecake, but I love anything red velvet so I thought I’d give this a try.  WOW was all I could say!  This would be a great dish to bring if you were assigned dessert for the holidays or if you just want to spoil yourself.

Thank you Patty for sharing this recipe from www.myrecipes.com

Red velvet cheese cake  - Copyright Christine Sternfels

Description: If you love both red velvet cake and cheesecake, this recipe is for you. A red velvet filling is spiked with cocoa, topped with a creamy cheesecake layer, and baked in a dark chocolate crust–making a wickedly delicious combination.

Servings: Makes 8 to 10 servings
Time: Recipe Time Prep Time: 20 Minutes Bake: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes Stand: 1 Hour Chill: 8 Hours Total: 10 Hours, 45 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Directions:

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

Credit: myrecipes.com
Reviews: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/red-velvet-cheesecake-10000001023804/ratings/

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Garlic mashed potatoes and home-made gravy for your Thanksgiving turkey

There’s nothing like home-made gravy from turkey drippings, slathered on garlic mashed potatoes.  It’s easier than you think… here we go!

Makes  8-10 servings

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

You will need:  1 Cheese cloth, 8 cloves garlic peeled & sightly pressed, 1 stick real butter, 3 pounds red potatoes, 1/2 cup of cream or half & half, 2 chicken bullions and 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
 
In the cheesecloth, wrap the garlic.  Bundle it up, creating a pouch, twist and place inside the turkey before putting your stuffing in.  Once the Turkey is cooked, pull out the pouch with the garlic in it.  Take the garlic out and mash on a plate using a fork.  Melt 1 stick butter and brown the mashed garlic on high heat, set aside. 
 
 
If you’re making this without a turkey, simply press the garlic and boil it with the potatoes.  Skip the part about browning it in the butter. 

Boil 4 cups of water in a 4 qt pot, add chicken bullion and mix to dissolve.  Cut your potatoes in quarters, put it in the pot and add more water to cover potatoes.  Boil covered for 10-15 minutes (may vary).  Once cooked, strain for 2-3  minutes.

Then put in a bowl for mashing.  Leave some clumps for texture.  Add the butter and garlic and mix with a spatula, add the cream or half and half, then the parsley.  Mashed potatoes are ready to be covered in gravy now!    

Home Made Gravy

You will need:  Cooking oil, flour, turkey drippings, black pepper and salt to taste.

After roasting your turkey, use the drippings to make gravy.  The stuff that settles at the bottom of the pan is what makes it delicious, so make sure you get some of that when pouring the turkey drippings into a bowl. 

In a skillet (on medium high heat), use 4 tbsp cooking oil or the oil from your turkey drippings.  Add half a cup of white flour, stir using a whisk in a circular motion for about 10-15 seconds.  Add in 3 cups of drippings (half a cup at a time) and continue to whisk until the all the clumps are gone.  Add salt and pepper to taste, although salt may not be needed if you seasoned your turkey well.  Cook on high and cover for at least 3 minutes, whisk and set aside.  The gravy will get thicker if you let it stand for about 5 minutes.  If you want thicker gravy, simply add more flour 2 tbsp at a time while continuing to whisk on medium heat.     

That’s all there is to it!  Enjoy your Holiday.  Here are links to other recipes for Thanksgiving

  • Perfect Roast Turkey by the Barefoot Contessa
  • Chunky & Moist Corn Bread
  • Bad Salad


  • Perfect Roast Turkey by the Barefoot Contessa

    I love watching the Barefoot Contessa prepare  food whether it’s a meal for a few dozen people or entertaining a few friends.  I enjoy cooking with real ingredients that aren’t too exotic for me to pronounce and she agrees that butter is the best ingredient (No fat-free stuff here).

    I know I won’t be making the turkey this year, but found this recipe and thought I would make it as part of my collection of chosen recipes.  It looks easy to make and am sure will be delicious.  This picture and the entire recipe is from the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa Collection. 

    Servings: 6.  Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
    • 1 whole lemon, halved
    • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
    • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise

     

    Directions

    Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set aside.

    Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

    Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.

    Slice the turkey and serve.

    Tomorrow… I will share my recipe for home-made gravy.  But I must warn you… once you go home-made on the gravy, you’ll never go back to pre-made gravy…baby.  Then on Sunday, I will share my garlic mashed potato recipe.  YUM!!! I love Thanksgiving.


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