Holiday Recipes

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Pear Cider Recipe Recipe

Pear Cider Recipe

11.11.11 by Jackie

I'm sure you've noticed, but it feels like Thanksgiving already. The girls have been enjoying pumpkin smoothie drinks at Jamba Juice, Lulu recently brought home a pumpkin pie from Marie Callender's and we just bought our first fresh cranberries of the season. With the weather getting colder, what could be more appropriate to the season than a hot cup of cider? But instead of making regular ol' apple cider, I added freshly-made pear juice as well.

I used Bartlett pears (with hints of red, they are much sweeter) which were slightly firm so they would easily pass through a juicer. If you prefer a more intense pear flavor, you could use very ripe, soft fruit but I wouldn't recommend using a juicer as it would get clogged easily. Instead, mix them until mushy in a regular blender, then pass the mixture through a large sieve. I didn't opt for this method as I find the texture a little grainy. You can add whatever spices you like, but I opted for the traditional combination of cinnamon, clove and ginger. It's an easy and very satisfying recipe for the weekend!


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Plantain Stuffing Recipe Recipe

Plantain Stuffing Recipe

02.10.11 by Jackie

We had a little bread left-over from the Superbowl party, and instead of wasting it, I turned the stale bread into a delicious side dish. I added plantains, water chestnuts and green beans, then finished the dish with crumbled goat cheese. I paired the plantain stuffing with veal scallopini.


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Maple Pecan Pie Recipe Recipe

Maple Pecan Pie Recipe

11.24.10 by Jackie

Maple pecan pie is slight variation on the traditional Thanksgiving dessert. I spread the bottom of the pie shell with speculoos spread, which adds a hint of cinnamon flavor. It’s perfect for the season. The inside isn't your average pecan pie filling either. The thick pecan-flavored custard contains maple syrup, Grand Marnier and orange zest to bring all the fall flavors together.

Of all the Thanksgiving desserts I’ve made, this is the one where there aren't never any leftovers. The slight variations give the dessert of fun twist, but the key to making a great pecan pie still is just to add a generous amount of pecans.


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Stuffed Mushroom Recipe Recipe

Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

11.03.10 by Jackie

Making stuffed mushrooms is a great way to put stale bread to use. I served soup the other night and we had 2 leftover rolls, so I decided to make a plate of these savory treats. To start, I sautéed a few vegetables, including zucchini, bell peppers, celery and carrots. You can use whatever you want, but it's a good idea to choose colorful ingredients. Once the vegetables were cooked, I added the bread, a little vegetable broth and fromage blanc. In case you were wondering, the fromage blanc helps keep the top moist even after the stuffed mushrooms are baked. To complete the dish, I topped the mushrooms with sharp Cheddar cheese. 

I didn't add any additional spices, because the bread was already studded with chiles. Otherwise, a little heat is a nice touch to balance the flavor. One final bit of advice: make a bunch of these. They go fast!


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Green Tea Cake Roll Recipe  Recipe

Green Tea Cake Roll Recipe

09.10.10 by Jackie

Cake rolls, as the name implies, are cakes that are spread with jelly or buttercream and then rolled into logs. The French name is roulade. For this recipe, I decided to use matcha green tea because of its very delicate flavor. It also gives the cake (called génoise in French) a beautiful jade green color. I filled and covered the cake with vanilla butter-cream and kept the flavors appropriately Zen in their simplicity.

Matcha green tea is fairly expensive and has a very short shelf life, so once the box is unsealed, consume it fast. Enjoy it as is with hot water or flavor your favorite desserts with the green tea powder. I had a little less than one tablespoon left in the tin. I think I had made pretty good use of it with desserts such as Vietnamese agar agar desserts, tea lattés, crème brulées and ice cream.

Green Tea Cake Recipe with Picture


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