Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Calorie Buster

For each new morning with its light, 
For rest and shelter of the night, 
For health and food, 
For love and friends, 
For everything Thy goodness sends. 
 Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
It was a bit disheartening to read recently that my favorite pie; pecan is the ultimate calorie buster at the Thanksgiving meal. So this year for a change I am serving gingerbread cake and hope there will be no mutiny from my guests. Whip-cream will be optional :) But to be on the safe side there will also be the traditional apple and pumpkin pie. 

Gingerbread Cake 
recipe adapted from bon appetit magazine November 2010
Cook's notes: The dark beer and molasses add rich depth to this cake and make it moist. The cake can be served plain with lemon curd or frosted with a cream cheese frosting. Use a whisk not a mixer for this recipe.
  • 3/4 cup extra stout beer or dark beer
  • 3/4 cup mild flavored molasses
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda  
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Grease 3 cake pans or one 13 x 9 pan
  • Bring stout and molasses to a boil over high heat
  • Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Let this mixture sit for 1 hour to cool completely
  • In another bowl whisk flour and next 6 ingredients to blend  
  • Whisk eggs and both sugars to blend 
  • Whisk in oil to egg and sugar mixture then whisk in stout mixture and then add all to flour/spice mixture
  • Bake cake about 25 minutes

Cranberry Wild Rice Side Dish
Cook's notes: This recipe was developed to accommodate some vegetarian guests who would not be eating the cornbread sausage stuffing. 

  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 -1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 of large green apple diced
  • 3/4-1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp.herbes de provence (and no need to fly to France for this spice. It can be found in grocery stores :) 
  • Grease lightly a shallow Pyrex dish
  • Mix all ingredients except cider and spread evenly in dish
  • Drizzle cider over wild rice mixture and cover with foil
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until celery and apple pieces are  soft 

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