Monday, November 17, 2008

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll

Monday Morning Blog

Save on Cash - Splurge on Taste

One of the best ways to save at Thanksgiving is with a home made dessert.

Purchased desserts are tempting but they're priced sky high and often don't taste as good as they look.

A home made dessert is economical as well as delicious.

Home Made Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll

A Thanksgiving classic. Looks hard to make but it's so easy.

Buy this yummy dessert at a fancy pastry shop and expect to pay $20.00.

Make it at home for around $4.00 - a big difference!

Serves 8-12
Pan size: Uses a jelly roll pan (11 X 15 with 1 inch sides)
Baking parchment needed

There is no shortening or baking powder in this recipe

1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 large or extra large eggs (3/4 cup)

Position oven rack so cake will bake in center. Preheat to 350 degrees. Line pan with parchment paper. Do not grease. Cut 2 more pieces of parchment paper the same size. Set them aside.

Whisk dry ingredients together in one bowl. Whisk pumpkin and eggs together in another bowl. Combine both bowls, whisking briefly to blend. Do not over mix.

Working quickly, spread batter into prepared pan. Batter will look skimpy. Don't worry.

Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes or until top is just starting to brown. Cake top should not be moist.

Remove from oven and immediately use knife to release cake from sides of pan. Pick up the knife as you move it. Do not drag knife through cake.

Without cooling the cake, put a piece of the reserved cut parchment paper over the top and invert cake onto cooling rack. Carefully remove the paper the cake was baked on and discard.

Working quickly, put the third piece of cut parchment paper over the cake and roll up from shorter end to shorter end with the paper in between the cake as it rolls up. Roll up firmly but don't squeeze cake.

Let cool, seam side down, at least an hour. The paper remains in place during the cooling.

2 (8oz) packages regular cream cheese (softened - light or fat free not recommended)
1/2 cup sugar

Using an electric mixer, whip cheese and sugar together until fluffy. Gently unroll cooled cake. Do not flatten cake. Remove inner paper and discard.

Lightly dollop filling over cake and spread evenly. Use the exterior paper to re-roll cake then discard. Place on serving dish, seam side down. Refrigerate.

Dust with powdered sugar at serving time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It Just Wouldn't Be Thanksgiving Without A Home Made Pie

Monday Morning Blog

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without pies.

Here's a super nutritionally charged pie that tastes every bit as good as it looks.
Don't tell anyone how healthy it is...... you don't want to scare them away from a second slice!

Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Apple Pie
Sneak extra fiber and nutrition into desserts with a whole wheat crust. Not too sweet but so wonderfully yummy! Easy enough for novice bakers but fancy enough for pros.

Makes one (9 inch) deep dish pie

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose (white) flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup white vegetable shortening (like Crisco or Natural Balance - see baker's tip below)
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Make ice water by putting an ice cube into a half glass of water. Set aside.
Pulse all ingredients (except ice water) in the food processor until uniform looking - about 30 seconds.

Add 2 tablespoon ice water (no cubes) and pulse until it comes together into a ball - about 45 seconds. If necessary, add an additional tablespoon of water.

Remove dough from processor and pat evenly into pan a bit at a time. Make the top rim of the pie crust thicker and flute. Put crust into the refrigerator or freezer while preparing the filling and crumbs.

7 cups baking apples (peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick - like York, Granny Smith or Winesap - about 9 three inch apples)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon instant tapioca
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Toss all filling ingredients together and spread into crust. Press mixture down lightly to shift fruit and fill in gaps. Make crumbs.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons wheat germ

Pulse everything together until uniform looking. Remove from processor and squeeze together making random sized crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over top of pie.

Position oven rack so pie will bake in lower third. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put pie on a cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender and juice is bubbling. If crust is getting too brown, tent with aluminum foil.

Baker's tip: Natural Balance brand shortening is non-hydrogenated which means it doesn't have any trans fats. It's vegan and made from expeller pressed (first cold press) oils. It looks like clear margarine when you unwrap the sticks. Not cheap, but a nice alternative. Natural Balance shortening is found in the refrigerator case near the butter and margarine.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cold Weather Salads Put Good Health on Your Plate


Monday Morning Blog

Summer is gone and so are the garden fresh greens, cucumbers and tomatoes we enjoyed as salads.

But don't worry, there's a seasonal abundance of healthfully delicious, winter greens and veggies ready to take their place.

Cold season salads are easy on the budget plus they're an environmentally responsible alternative to the high cost of out of season, out of region, hot house grown greens, tomatoes and lettuce.

Cinnamon Carrot Salad
Great with chicken or beef. Divine with stew. Make it a main dish salad by adding some nuts or tofu.

Serves 2-4

1 pounds carrots (washed, peeled and cut into strips 2 inches long X 1/4 inch wide)
1/4 cup white raisins (optional)
3 tablespoons lemon juice (bottled OK)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons olive oil
1 cloves garlic (finely minced)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice blend or cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground dry ginger
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Put one inch of tap water into a medium pot. Cover. Bring to a boil on high. Add carrots and optional raisins.

Cook, partially covered, until carrots just begin to soften - 1 or 2 minutes. Drain. Whisk remaining ingredients together. Toss with hot carrots and raisins. Chill.