Category Archives: Recipes

Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed”

~ Maya Angelou

I was raised in a family where cooking for others is an act of giving that is equated with love.  We were always reminded to be grateful for what we receive, and more importantly, who we are blessed to have in our lives and around our table.  At our house Thanksgiving is a holiday meant to Share.Laugh.Eat.Repeat!

I hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving dessert recipes featured here.  They are just a few of my favorites.  They range in the amount of effort required.  I’ve done this intentionally with the knowledge that while we all want beautiful desserts for our celebrations, we have varying amounts of time to spend in the kitchen. You can find more of my harvest recipes in the November 2018 issue of Southwest Metro Magazine in the article titled Empty Nesters Kitchen Lives Fully.  Included are a skillet apple crisp + wine pairing suggestion, a festive cocktail from J.Carver Distillery in Waconia and my tempting recipe for pumpkin bread pudding (this one is also included here).

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Living Greens Farm: Sustainability In Action

 

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.  What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make” ~ Jane Goodall

At Living Greens Farm in Faribault they are taking sustainability to new heights. Their impact on how produce is grown is significant.

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Semi-Homemade Fall Menu Ideas

 

Fall is the time of year in Minnesota when the air turns cool, the leaves drop and we mourn the end of summer.  I choose to think of it as the beginning of comfort food season.  A period of time when we can give ourselves permission to enjoy dishes that are just a little sweeter, a little higher on the calorie scale and that during the spring and summer may give us pause.  We’re still utilizing a variety of splendid fruits but now they are wrapped in delicate pastries, folded into beautiful harvest pies and added to rich bread puddings.  I truly believe that our senses can perceive the shift in seasons and our palates are inspired accordingly.

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Pantry Raid: Lisa’s Easy Tomato Cream Sauce Recipe

I get really excited about composing a great meal spontaneously, using only what I have on hand.  This recipe came together on a recent Sunday afternoon while I was perusing the pantry and mulling over what I could design for dinner in under 30 minutes.  I liken that sort of culinary exploration to a fashionista who creates new clothing combinations with basic items that they already have in their closet.  It may appear to have a unique flavor or appearance, but it’s assembled by challenging yourself to work with what you’ve got.

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Burrata Cheese

“We see the beauty within and cannot say no” ~ Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Burrata cheese has a beautiful essence about it.  It is a fresh Italian cheese made from water buffalo and/or cows milk mozzarella and has a center filled with a rich and silky cream.  It is also my latest culinary obsession.  It’s common knowledge among my family and friends that I love cheese, all types of cheese but Burrata has a metamorphic quality that I find very provocative.  I cannot say no.

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Spring Recipes: Blueberry Bread Pudding

Comfort: The definition of comfort as noted per dictionary.com is to soothe, console or reassure; bring cheer to. 

The kitchen is a place of absolute comfort for me and I like to imagine that the dishes I create bring that feeling to others, which is why bread pudding is frequently on the menu at our house.  It is my ultimate “comfort food”.  There is something about the chunky cubes of brioche, challah or French bread soaked in custard and baked that takes me to a place of instant contentment.

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Yeast Bread Chronicles: Lisa’s Kitchen

So how is it that I have been baking (cakes, cookies, quick breads) and writing recipes for the better part of 25 years and I’ve not had more than one or two attempts at working with yeast breads?  I was intimidated, plain and simple.  Turns out it’s not that scary.  After watching the James Beard Award winning Nancy Silverton’s episode of The Chef’s Table on Netflix I was instantly inspired to dive into the yeast bread game.

Here are a couple of interesting facts regarding the types of yeast to keep in mind before you get started:

Active Dry Yeast – This is a dormant form of yeast.  It needs to be rehydrated prior to use. Ideally, the yeast is dissolved in warm water that is approximately 110 degrees F.  Tip: a pinch of sugar helps with the activation of the yeast.  Look for the yeast/water/sugar mixture to bubble and foam after a few minutes.  I used active dry yeast in both of the recipes presented in this blog post.

Instant Yeast: There is no need to dissolve in water prior to use in a recipe.  The yeast granules are smaller that those in active dry yeast.

Both varieties of yeast can be frozen in a covered container. The yeast can be used right from the freezer, there is no need to bring it to room temperature prior to incorporating it.  I bought the yeast used in my recipes in packets but it is available in bulk at many grocers, big box stores and online at amazon.com.

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