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Archive for Thanksgiving

RECIPES: Cranberry Cheesecake

We [heart] cheesecake. Every October, we switch to pumpkin cheesecake in its many forms. But as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, we start baking cranberry cheesecake recipes.

Because cheesecake is such a rich and heavy dessert, we usually don’t serve it following a big dinner, but as a “tea time” snack (and honestly, we’ve been known to eat it for breakfast).

The first recipe is a plain cheesecake with a cranberry topping, analogous to cherry cheesecake. The second recipe has a different look, with a cranberry swirl inside the cheesecake and a thin layer of cranberry gelée on top.

Both recipes are made in a nine-inch springform pan. A nine-inch cake yields 12 slices.


This recipe is Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s classic cheesecake, with a cranberry topping. The result is the cranberry version of a cherry cheesecake.


  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries (half of a 12-ounce package)
  • ½ cup water
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon orange zest


    Like cherry cheesecake, but with a cranberry topping. Photo courtesy Kraft.



    1. HEAT the oven to 325°F. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and the butter until blended. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

    2. BEAT the cream cheese and 1 cup of the remaining sugar in a large bowl with a mixer, until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over the crust.

    3. BAKE from 55 minutes to 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake; cool before removing the rim. Refrigerate the cheesecake 4 hours. (You can leave it in the spring mold for the time being.) Meanwhile…

    4. BRING the cranberries, water, remaining sugar and cinnamon to boil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the berries have softened; stir occasionally. Cool slightly; thrn refrigerate until ready to serve.

    5. SPREAD the cranberry topping over the cheesecake just before serving.


    Cheesecake With Cranberry Gelee

    Fresh Cranberries

    TOP PHOTO: Cooked cranberries are swirled into the cheesecake and puréed into a gelée topping. Photo and recipe courtesy Taste Of Home. BOTTOM PHOTO: Fresh cranberries. Photo courtesy USA Cranberries.



    In this recipe from Taste Of Home, cooked fresh cranberries are swirled through the batter; and then strained in a food mill or sieve to create a gelée topping.

    Prep time is 30 minutes, cook time is 55 minutes plus chilling.

    Ingredients For 12 Servings
    For The Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker or shortbread cookie crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
    For The Topping

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    For The Filling

  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Place a greased 9-inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil, about 18 inches square). Wrap the foil securely around pan and place the pan on a baking sheet.

    2. MIX the graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl and press onto bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 6 minutes and cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile…

    3. COMBINE the cranberries, sugar and water in a large saucepan. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the berries pop, about 12-15 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Press the cranberry mixture through a food mill into a small bowl; discard pulp and seeds. Set aside.

    4. MAKE the filling. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Add the eggs and beat on low speed until just blended; pour into the crust. Spoon 1/4 cup of the topping over filling. With knife, cut through the filling to make a cranberry swirl.

    5. PLACE the springform pan in a larger pan and add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan. (This creates a water bath, or bain-marie, which adds moisture to the oven and keeps the top of the cheesecake from cracking.) Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the center is just set and the top appears dull.

    6. REMOVE the springform pan from the water bath. Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides from the pan with a knife; remove the foil.

    7. COOL for 1 hour longer. Pour the remaining topping over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight, covering the cheesecake when it is completely cooled. Remove the rim from the pan.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Garnish Desserts With Brittle

    If someone gives you brittle—or you’re inspired to make your own—use some of it to garnish desserts.

    Just a few small pieces make almost any dessert even more festive. If you already have “brittle crumbs” at the bottom of the box, so much the better.


    For the holidays, this spicy pumpkin seed brittle recipe is a natural. We also love classic pecan brittle (recipe below).

    You can add dried cranberries to any brittle recipe.

    You can make this brittle in just 15 minutes, plus cooling time. Make sure everything is in its place before you start cooking, because the brittle sets quickly. This recipe is courtesy of Taste Of Home.

    Ingredients For 1 Pound/16 Servings

  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Plain or fancy, almost any dessert perks up with a brittle garnish. Photo courtesy Fig & Olive.


    Pumpkin Pie With Brittle Topping

    Turn a plain holiday pie into a festive one
    with brittle. Photo courtesy Midwest Living.



    1. GREASE a 15-inch x 10-inch x 1-inch pan with 2 teaspoons of butter; set aside.

    2. COMBINE the sugar and corn syrup in a 2-quart, microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave uncovered on high for 4 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 238°F (soft-ball stage).

    3. ADD the pecans. Microwave for 4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 300°F (hard-crack stage). The mixture will be very hot. Vigorously stir in the baking soda, vanilla and remaining butter until the mix is blended.

    4. QUICKLY POUR into the prepared pan and spread with a metal spatula as thin as possible.

    5. COOL completely, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers.

  • This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.
  • For a 1,650 watt microwave, adjust both cook times to be 3 minutes instead of 4 minutes.
  • Test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Thanksgiving Leftovers, Part 2

    We love these Thanksgiving leftovers recipes from Reynolds Kitchens.

    They created recipes for three popular American foods—waffles, tacos and pizza—to use up your leftovers at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    FOR MORE RECIPES, see Part 1 of this article.


    For breakfast, start with a Thanksgiving Leftovers Waffle. Your stuffing becomes the waffle!

    If you don’t have enough leftover stuffing, you can make regular waffles (don’t add sugar) or toaster waffles and use the stuffing as a topping.

    Ingredients Per Waffle

  • 1/2 cup stuffing/dressing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Shredded turkey
  • Gravy

    1. PLACE the stuffing onto a waffle maker and bake until slightly crispy on the outside. While the waffle cooks…

    2. WARM the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.

    3. ASSEMBLE: Place the stuffing waffle on a plate and top with mashed potatoes and turkey. Drizzle with gravy, or pass the gravy in a pitcher.



  • Stuffing/dressing
  • Mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes
  • Shredded turkey
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy or salsa
  • Tortillas

    1. WARM the leftovers, such as sweet potatoes, turkey and cranberries.

    2. WARM the tortillas in the microwave or on the stove top.

    3. ASSEMBLE the tortillas, topping off with cranberry sauce, gravy and/or salsa.



  • Pizza crust
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Other leftovers (turkey, vegetables, etc.)

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.


    thanksgiving waffle-230r

    Thanksgiving Leftovers Tacos

    Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizza

    TOP PHOTO: Waffles made from stuffing and topped with other leftovers. MIDDLE PHOTO: Tacos filled with leftovers. BOTTOM PHOTO: A pizza topped with leftovers. Photos courtesy Reynolds Kitchens.

    2. PLACE a piece of parchment atop a baking sheet, and top with a pre-made or homemade pizza crust. Spread leftover mashed potatoes and gravy around the crust.

    3. TOP with additional leftovers, such as turkey, stuffing and fresh herbs.

    4. HEAT until the crust is baked and the toppings are warmed through.


    Reynolds Oven Bags

    Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners

    TOP PHOTO: Just place the ingredients in an Oven Bag, bake, cook and eat. There’s no pan to wash! SECOND PHOTO: Use Slow Cooker Liners to have steel-cut oatmeal waiting for you in the morning. Just toss the liner. Photos courtesy Reynolds Kitchen.



    In case you think of Reynolds only as a manufacturer or aluminum foil, the company makes numerous other useful products for cooking, baking and roasting. All of them make clean-up so much easier.

    You can use the foil pans just once, or be economical and wash them for re-use (we throw ours in the dishwasher).

  • Foil (6 different types!)
  • Freezer paper
  • Pan lining paper
  • Parchment rolls, sheets and cookie baking sheets
  • Parchment lined baking sheet
  • Wax paper
  • Slow cooker liners
  • Baking cups
  • Oven bags
  • Heat & Eat containers
  • Reusable/disposable pans for casseroles, desserts, roasting
  • Specialty pans for bacon and fish
  • Bakeware pans with lids carriers
    See the full line.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Best Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes

    The best Thanksgiving leftovers recipes. Throw everything into a galette or onto a pizza, with these recipes from three of our favorite food writers: The White On Rice Couple and Audra, The Baker Chick.

    Todd and Diane, the White On Rice Couple, cleverly tossed the leftovers into a galette. Visit their website and be awed by their recipes and photography.

    A galette is a rustic pie, made without a pie pan. The crust is formed by hand, leaving a bare edge to fold up around the ingredients. The shape can be round, rectangular or freeform; the filling can be be sweet or savory.

    The crust here is shortcrust pastry or pâte brisée (POT bree-ZAY), a flaky, buttery crust traditionally used for pies and quiches, sweet and savory. It has no leavening agent so does not puff up during baking. The dough can be made one day ahead and refrigerated, well wrapped in plastic; or it can be frozen for up to one month. The ball of kneaded dough is flattened into a disc or discs to allow it to chill faster (and similarly, to thaw faster if frozen).

    FOR MORE RECIPES, see Part 2 of this article.

    Ingredients For The Crust

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher/sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • Fresh herbs

    Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes

    A savory galette is a perfect place for Thanksgiving leftovers. Photo © The White On Rice Couple.

  • Egg wash for brushing: 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water (substitute heavy cream)
    Leftovers For The Filling

  • 1 cup mashed* potatoes
  • 1/2 cup gravy
  • 1 cup turkey and/or ham, shredded or diced
  • 1/2 cup Brussels sprouts or other cooked vegetables, sliced
  • 1/2 cup stuffing
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce (more to taste)
  • Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
    *If you have potatoes that are not mashed, mash them.


    1. MAKE the dough. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter pieces and with your hands, pinch them together with the flour mix until most of the large chunks of butter are broken up and there is no remaining dry flour.

    2. ADD just enough cold water for the mixture to bind together; forms it into a rough ball. Knead the ball just until the dough begins to become smooth. Never overwork dough or it will be tough when baked.

    3. DIVIDE the dough ball in half and roll each half into a ball, then flatten them into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight. When ready to make the pie…

    4. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.

    5. LET the chilled dough sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Dough will roll out best when is still cold to the touch. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12″ circle and transfer to the baking sheet.

    6. LAYER the fillings, including any fresh herbs, leaving a clean edge of 2 inches to fold up. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, creasing and folding all the way around. Brush the folded-up crust with the egg wash or cream. Grind black pepper over the filling. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

    7. SERVE hot, warm or at room temperature with knives and forks. If you have more gravy, pass it so that participants can pour more over the top of their slices.
    Click here to see a step-by-step video.


    Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizza

    Toss those leftovers onto a pizza crust, and
    add some mozzarella. Photo courtesy The
    Baker Chick.



    We adapted this recipe from Audra, The Baker Chick. Our leftovers are different from hers, and we put them in parentheses. See all of Audra’s recipes at
    Ingredients For One 14-Inch Pizza

  • ½ batch of pizza crust (or a 14″ ready made crust)
  • 1½ cups mashed potatoes (substitute mashed sweet potatoes)
  • Optional: leftover gravy
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (substitute diced or shredded ham, turkey or other protein)
  • 1 cup of sweet corn (substitute green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or other leftover vegetable)
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin (substitute other onion)
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (mozzarella is best, but you can substitute other shredded cheese)
  • Optional: any other leftovers that work, e.g. arugula, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, raw kale or spinach

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 500°F and heat the pizza pan or stone along with it, for at least 30 minutes

    2. COVER the work surface with a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough ball in the center. Coat your hands with olive oil, then roll and spread the dough until it is thin and shaped. Form a thin crust ridge around the edge. Use a bit of extra oil as needed to spread the dough thinly.

    3. SPREAD the mashed potatoes on top, up until the crust rim. Optional: Drizzle the potatoes with gravy.

    4. SPRINKLE the bacon, corn and scallions on top of the potatoes. Add any other leftover ingredients you want. Then, top with any fresh herbs and the cheese.

    5. USE a cutting board or pizza peel to help transfer the pizza to the hot stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

    What about the cranberry sauce?

    You can place dabs of it over the toppings but before the mozzarella, or serve it on the side so people can garnish their own slices.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Gobble Up Turkey Plates On Sale

    If you feel you could have done one more thing to dress your Thanksgiving table, we recommend turkey-festooned plates. They’re all on sale now for half price, maybe even less.

    The handsome tom turkey on these “Plymouth” porcelain salad plates greet guests when they come to the table. They plates can be used for desserts as well.

    They create an endearing family tradition. We always looked forward to seeing the turkey plates each year at our grandmother’s house; and when our mother or aunt hosted the dinner, Nana had to bring the turkey plates with her!

    Microwavable and dishwasher safe, a set of four salad/dessert plates is on sale for $29.98, regularly $59.95. They’re an online exclusive at

    A matching set of four dinner plates, bordered with a harvest garland of oak leaves and acorns, is $33.98, regularly $67.95.

    What are you waiting for? Gobble them up!


    Turkey Salad Plates

    Turkey plates make an elegant impression at the Thanksgiving table. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.





    All of us at THE NIBBLE wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We’re thankful to have you as a reader.

    Thoughts for the day:

    “I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
    Henry David Thoreau

    “When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup.”
    Sam Lefkowitz

    “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
    Willie Nelson

    “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
    Oprah Winfrey

    “If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.”
    W. Clement Stone



    “Freedom From Want” | Norman Rockwell.




    FOOD FUN: PieCaken & Its Recipe

    PieCaken Recipe - David Burke Fabrick

    Piecaken from Zac Young @ Fabrick

    Zac Young’s Thanksgiving PieCaken. Photos
    Dillon Burke | sndwch creativ.


    Fans of the Lifetime series, Drop Dead Diva, will remember when April invented the Pake—pie plus cake—and opened her Pakery.

    Executive Pastry Chef Zac Young of the David Burke Group now makes the PieCaken for Thanksgiving, the dessert version of turducken. The three-layer confection consists of a layer of pecan pie, pumpkin pie and apple upside down cake, along with cinnamon buttercream.

    It’s sold at The Burke Group’s New York City restaurant, Fabrick for $49—and following an appearance on “Live With Kelly And Michael,” it’s pretty much sold out.

    You can try your hand at it with his recipe, below.

    A bit of PieCaken history:

    According to an article on, Charles Phoenix, whose Wikepedia bio calls “an author and chef whose work explores and celebrates 1950s and 1960s kitsch and Americana,” credits himself with creating the combo cake in 2007. He called it the Cherpumple or “The Monster” Pie-Cake: a three-layer cake stuffed with cherry, apple and pumpkin pies.

    The inspiration was the number of dessert plates used for Thanksgiving dinner, to accommodate his family’s traditional four desserts: three pies—cherry, pumpkin and apple—and a spice cake.

    Phoenix doesn’t claim to be the first person to bake a pie in a cake, but more the first person to have gone Internet-viral with it.

    And viral it is. Just do a search for PieCaken and you’ll turn up recipes galore.


    Ingredients For 8-12 Servings

  • 1 (9 inch) pumpkin pie (store bought or your favorite recipe—Zac uses the one from the back of the Libby’s can
  • 1 (9 inch) pecan pie (store bought or your favorite recipe)
    For the Apple Upside-Down Cake

  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    *Buttermilk substitute: For 1/2 cup buttermilk, substitute 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1/2 cup.
    For the Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 large egg whites (totally clean, no bits of yolk)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • Whipped cream or ice cream for serving


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8” cake pan with nonstick spray and line with a round of parchment paper.

    2. MAKE the apple topping: Peel, core and cut the apple into quarters. Slice each quarter into very thin (1/16”) slices. Melt the butter in the microwave. In a bowl, toss the butter, brown sugar and apples together. Spread the apple mixture into a thin layer in the bottom of the prepared cake pan and bake for 10 minutes. The sugar and butter should be melted and the apples should start to soften. There may be a little liquid that has seeped out of the apples, which is fine. Let the pan cool while you make the cake.

    3. MAKE the spice cake: Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and whisk until blended together. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil and sugar together. It’s actually easier to do this with a whisk than with an electric mixer; but if you really like the mixer, use it. Add both of the eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in two installments, whisking until blended.

    4. CAREFULLY POUR the batter over the apple layer. If you simply dump it on top, you run the risk of displacing the apples and ruining the pretty apple design, but it will still taste good.

    5. RETURN the pan to the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the center of the cake is fully cooked. Once the cake has cooled for 20 minutes, flip it out of the cake pan and onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment. Let cool fully while you make the frosting.


    PieCaken Slice - Zac Young

    Plain Pumpkin Pie

    TOP PHOTO: A slice of PieCaken up close. Photo courtesy Dillon Burke | sndwch creativ. BOTTOM PHOTO: A pumpkin pie becomes the center layer. Photo by Mike Johnson | SXC.

    6. MAKE the cinnamon buttercream frosting: Find a pot that will fit the bottom of the bowl of the stand mixer, fill it with three inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place the egg whites and the sugar in the mixer bowl and place over the simmering pot of water. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm, about 4 minutes.

    7. PLACE the bowl on the mixer stand, fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium high until cool (about 8 to 10 minutes). Cut the butter into 1 inch cubes and gradually add to the mixer. Mix until the butter has incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the salt, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk until combined.

    8. ASSEMBLE the PieCaken. It is easier to assemble if the pies are chilled. With a small knife, cut the outer crust off the pies, leaving only the filling and the bottom crust. With a serrated knife, cut off what was the top of the cake, which is now on the bottom. Do this by cutting straight through the cake horizontally about a half inch up the side of the cake. Reserve the scraps for snacking.

    9. PLACE the pecan pie on an 8-inch cake board or serving plate. Spread a ½ inch layer of frosting over the top of the pie. Place the pumpkin pie on top and spread a ½ inch of frosting on top. Place the cake, apple side up, on top of the frosting. With a serrated knife, trim the sides of the cake to be flush with the pies. Add the scraps to the snack pile.

    10. USING an offset spatula, spread a ½ inch layer of frosting around the cake, covering the sides. Using a piping bag with whatever tip you want, pipe a pretty border around the top of the cake. Zac likee to leave the top of the cake unfrosted so you can see the apples.

    11. REFRIGERATE the PieCaken for at least an hour, or tightly wrapped for up to 5 days. Let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving so the buttercream softens. Cut the PieCaken into 8 to 12 slices using a sharp knife dipped in hot water. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.



    TIP OF THE DAY: The Best Thanksgiving Dessert Could Be Bites

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/pumpkin cheesecake bites whiteonricecouple 230

    Bountiful Cookbook

    TOP PHOTO: Cut up the brownies, cheesecake and pumpkin, insert toothpicks, and everyone will enjoy dessert more by eating less. BOTTOM PHOTO: The photographers also cook. Take a look at their fruit and veggie-centric cookbook. Photos ©


    You know how you feel at the end of the turkey course at Thanksgiving dinner: stuffed to the gills (although it seems that the expression should be adapted to “stuffed to the drumsticks”).

    There’s still dessert to be had—delicious dessert(s) handmade with love. But no one really has room for a piece of pie or even that wonderful pumpkin cheesecake.

    Here’s a solution we adapted after seeing this photo from

    The couple comprises Todd and Diane, top professional food photographers who cook at home when they aren’t shooting someone elses’s fare. They also grow vegetables and have almost 40 fruit trees in their garden.

    And no surprise, they’ve written a cookbook, Bountiful, with each recipe featuring a vegetable or fruit as the star of the meal. You can also go to their website and sign up for social media posts. But back to the…

    1. Make desserts that are dense enough to be cut into squares, like bar cookies (that’s the category* for brownies, lemon bars, etc.). Below are recipes for cranberry, pecan, pumpkin and pumpkin cheesecake bars.

    2. Cut the bars into bite size squares, add a fancy toothpick and pass the plate. The theme: Enjoy dessert more by eating less. Even people who “can’t eat another bite” can have a satisfying bite or two. Everyone will thank you for coming up with such a smart solution.


  • Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars Recipe
  • Cranberry Bars Recipe
  • Cranberry Curd Bars on Walnut Shortbread Recipe
  • Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Recipe
  • Pecan Pie Bars Recipe
  • Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • Pumpkin Swirl Chocolate Brownies Recipe
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies Recipe
    *Bars are categorized as cookies instead of cake because they are finger foods that don’t require a fork.



    FOOD FUN: Angry Turkey Cheesecake

    For years, we’ve loved the designs of Elegant Cheesecakes,

    Since 1988, Elegant Cheese Cakes has designed memorable wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and other special occasion delights. It was one of our Top Picks Of The Week ten years ago. We’ve been evangelists ever since.

    Working in cheesecake, chocolate cake and other popular flavors, owner and pastry chef Susan Morgan and her team create masterpieces to look like whatever the client requires.

    Burgers, cigar boxes, footballs, gift boxes tied with ribbon, guitars, handbags, jack-o-lanterns, miniature replicas of homes…no design is too intricate for these cake artisans.

    Of course, more traditional shapes are also in the portfolio.

    If you have a dream cake in mind, check out the ideas at

    Our questions: Who ordered the angry turkey? And when do we get a slice?


    Turkey Cheesecake

    “Bite me,” says the turkey. Photo © Elegant Cheese Cakes.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Chicken Or Turkey Stock

    Thanksgiving Turkey

    Enjoy your feast, but don’t toss the carcass.
    Use it to make stock! Photo courtesy Sur La


    Plan ahead: Don’t throw away that turkey carcass. Or the roast chicken* carcass. Or those tops, root ends and stems from trimming vegetables. Save the vegetable trimmings from the week’s meals: carrot tops, celery ends, fennel fronds, herb stems, kale stalks, leek tops, scallion ends, etc.

    Check the freezer for herbs and vegetable scraps you may have tucked away.

    Use all of it to make a delicious batch of chicken or turkey stock, which you can then turn into cooked grains, sauces, soups, stews and other preparations.



  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled, cut in half
  • Chicken or turkey carcass
  • Vegetable trimmings† or 1-2 carrots, 3-4 stalks of celery
  • Parsley and thyme (leftover stems are fine)
    *Or duck, game hen, quail or any poultry carcass. You can blend them together into one stock as needed.
    †Check the freezer for herbs and anything else you might have tucked away to prevent spoiling.


    1. COMBINE all the ingredients in a stock pot (6-8 quarts for a turkey, 4-6 quarts for a chicken) and cover them with water plus one inch. If the carcass doesn’t fit in the pot, use poultry shears to cut it into pieces that do. Don’t salt the water; stock should be unsalted to accommodate any recipe. Place the top on the pot.

    2. BRING to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for minimum of 90 minutes, or up to 3 hours. Once or twice during the simmering, remove the cover and skim off the frothy scum that’s formed on the top of the broth. Add more water if it boils away; the bones should always be covered. When the broth has turned a golden brown color and is rich in flavor…

    3. REMOVE the pot from the heat. As soon as it’s comfortable enough to handle, strain the broth and discard the solids. If it isn’t clear enough for you, strain it again through cheesecloth.

    4. FREEZE the chicken broth in portion-sized containers. We like ice cube trays (once frozen, store the cubes in a freezer bag); or in half pint or pint storage containers. If you have a short-term use for it, you can refrigerate the stock for up to a week.

  • A stock pot with a pasta strainer insert is ideal for this purpose.
  • If you don’t want to “watch the pot,” you can use a slow cooker on a low setting.


    Instead Of Water

  • Grains: rice (plain or in risotto), quinoa, couscous and other dishes
  • Soups: use as much stock as you have, then fill in with water
  • Vegetables: steaming and boiling
    Instead Of Butter And/Or Cream

  • Gravy
  • French sauces, such as bercy and velouté
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Polenta
  • Purées: use stock to smooth out a bean or vegetable purée
  • Sautés: add some stock and use less butter or oil
  • Soups, from wintry butternut squash soup to summer gazpacho
  • Stuffing, dressing and other savory bread pudding recipes
    Instead Of Wine

  • Deglazing the pan for sauce
  • Marinades
  • Any recipe that requires wine

    Chicken Stock

    Take pride in your homemade stock. Photo courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco.


  • Broth is a finished soup; stock is an ingredient.
  • Broth has a higher proportion of meat.
  • Because stock is made largely from the bones, it contains more gelatin, which gives it a richer mouthfeel.
  • Stock is not salted. Since it is an ingredient, it combines with whatever seasonings the recipes call for.
    What about bouillon?

    The terms bouillon and broth are used interchangeably, though not correctly.

    Bouillon is always served plain (with an optional garnish), whereas broth can be made more substantial with the addition of a grain (barley, rice, etc.) and vegetables.



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