|Fall Fiesta Sugar Maple in Rula's yard (alas, it's not old enough for maple syrup)|
Doesn't it feel like we're dancing into November? We are having so much fun with Harlequin Heartwarming this month that it really does feel like a party...or a fiesta! I thought a pic of my Fall Fiesta sugar maple would be perfect since I love word play :). Sugar fits too, considering we're coming right off Halloween. Ah, that sugar IV that stays in from Halloween through Christmas. My taste bud love it. My thighs don't. I swear I'm going to have better will power this year...after I make Catherine's Chocolate Caramel Mousse Pie and eat it. The name alone speaks to my soul.
What about the old diet soft drink and donut theory? Or my youngest son's logic: "But Mom, that candy bar is covered in peanuts. Nuts are good for you." Well, in honor of twisted logic, I've included the fresh Cranberry Relish recipe we make at home every Thanksgiving (it actually inspired one of the scenes in my Harlequin Heartwarming, After the Silence). Yes, it's healthy, but it still contains sugar.
But between the nuts and eggs in Catherine's recipe and the cranberries, oranges and apples in mine, there's some good for you, sugar negating stuff there, right?
(Note: Do not take any of the above logic as sound medical/health advice. Rula is currently under the influence of sugar.)
Catherine’s Chocolate Caramel Mousse Pie
6 oz graham cracker crumbs
½ stick salted butter
3 T sugar
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Melt butter in microwave add sugar and crumbs. Press into bottom of a pie pan or tart pan with removable bottom. Chill five minutes. Bake five minutes. Set aside.
Caramel Pecan Sauce:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 stick salted butter
¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup chopped pecans
Make Sauce: Stir sugar and butter in a sauce pan over medium heat till sugar dissolves. Stir in the cream. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer till thicker and sauce coats the back of a metal spoon. Pour half the sauce into a dish and add the pecans. Pour this mixture over the crust. Refrigerate till caramel sets.
8 oz. SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
3 T strong brewed coffee or espresso
2 sticks salted butter
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons lukewarm water
MOUSSE: In a food processor grind the chocolate to bead consistency. Add egg yolks and blend. In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter, coffee, sugar. Let sugar dissolve. Heat to simmer. Slowly add this mixture to the chocolate in a steady stream with processor running. Process 5 minutes. Put this in a mixing bowl. Whip the egg whites till fluffy. FOLD into the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate till nearly set. Spread mousse over chilled caramel and crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Just before serving warm the rest of the caramel sauce and spoon over each piece. Garnish with pecan halves for drama.
Rula's Cranberry Relish
I haven't had canned cranberry sauce since I was a young kid. For as long as I can remember, my mom has made fresh cranberry relish every Thanksgiving. It's high in vitamin C (we can always use extra C when hanging around tons of family and friends during flu season, right?), fiber and the amount of sugar can be controlled by you :). At my house, this isn't just a condiment. We eat it with a bowl and spoon it's so good...especially if you like the kind of sweet/tart mix you get in cherry pie. It's super easy and all you need is a food processor or chopper of sorts.
Approximately 15 oz of cranberries
1-2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into thick wedges
1 large orange, peeled
1 cup dark brown sugar (you can go a little less and add more to taste)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
Dump everything but the sugar into a food processor and blend until it's finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl, add sugar and mix thoroughly. That's it!
Note: None of the ingredient amounts are critical. The green apple adds color contrast. If you want to add more or less of anything to suit your taste, go for it! And it tastes even better after the flavors have a chance to blend.
|Catherine's Thanksgiving Table|
Don't forget to join the Harlequin Heartwarming Thanksgiving fun (fiesta;)! We're loading the month up with free online reads, a giveaway extravaganza, autographed books, gift cards, Thanksgiving table accessories and more! Join in at:
Harlequin (Free Harlequin Heartwarming Thanksgiving online reads all month)
Prism Tours (includes Rafflecopter giveaways)
Goodreads (13 book giveaway)
Pinterest (Pin to win! Click on the Prism Tours link and enter the Pinterest Rafflecopter to enter.)
Facebook (Party Nov 30th)