Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thanksgiving Chocolate Caramel Mousse Pie & Cranberry Relish Recipes by Catherine Lanigan and Rula Sinara

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


Note: This isn’t all that hard and it’s so decadent, you will want to make it for more than special occasions and holidays.

Crust:

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.

MOUSSE:

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. 

Ingredients:

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
What's your favorite Thanksgiving food or recipe? What's your #1 Thanksgiving sweet tooth weakness?

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)


41 comments:

  1. Both recipes sound wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Rula and Catherine.

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    1. Thanks, Kate! I'm trying Catherine's really soon :).

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  2. What a beautiful table, and I think I just osmosed a few extra pounds on by reading those recipes. Thanks a lot, guys!

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    1. Liz, Catherine is great at seasonal decorating :). And I put on pounds just writing up the post lol!

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    2. What I loved was your relish recipe, Rula. My mother always made cranberry relish. And I have always, always made my own cranberries. I literally get a thrill going to the grocery and seeing all the thanksgiving foods..the swish, pumpkins, candied fruits for baking, dated, nuts, figs, all those goodies that aren't there any other time of year๐Ÿ๐Ÿ!!!

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  3. Heh, heh... Trust me guys this mousse is not for the faint of heart. Personally I think it's worth and extra half hour on the treadmill. Since we are having a glorious autumn here in the Midwest, a walk in the woods or more leaf raking is just fine!! One... Take a slice and curl up next to the fireplace with these fantastic Heartwarming stories. I'm so excited about all the giveaways. Rula is right this is fiesta time!!!

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    1. Curling up by the fire with a Heartwarming book and a piece of that pie sounds so good!

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  4. Oh my, I got a tooth ache reading the recipe for Catherine’s Chocolate Caramel Mousse Pie.It sounds yummy. As I've gotten older, my taste for sweets has lessened. Give me a bowl and popcorn and I'm happy.
    My favorite Thanksgiving food is good old fashion mashed potatoes.

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    1. Jill-- it's really true, isn't it? The comfort foods are the best. I confess to putting half and half in my mashed potatoes. Okay so one hour on the treadmill. Plus I like garlic mashed the best but not for thanksgiving.

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    2. Jill, I'm guilty of my Thanksgiving spread being heavy on the carbs lol. I do make salad and veggies, but the most popular dishes are the mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls :). Like Catherine said...comfort foods. Oh, and I make sweet potato casserole using brown sugar too...but I don't put marshmallows on top. I draw the line there lol.

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  5. Okay, you two---all I can say is, YUM!

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  6. Hanging head in shame.rs
    I wasn't born with the cooking gene.
    Why can't you'll just move close by, so we can be neighbors, and then when you cook something so amazingly wonderful, you can invite me over to taste.
    Or, make an extra and I'll pretend to my husband that I made it.
    Of course, that didn't work last time.

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    1. LOL, Pam. Trying to make your hubby think you'd cooked a dish sounds like a story waiting to be told ;). Now I'm curious as to what dish it was!

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    2. Pam! Deal!! I'll bring over all you want!!

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  7. Oh my goodness! They both look divine. So many chocolate lovers in my family who would devour that pie. I love cranberries. I have a recipe for "blue" cranberry sauce that mixes blueberries and cranberries. I eat that with a spoon, too. Thank you for sharing, Ladies!

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    1. Ooooh, Carol! I love blueberries!! I'm totally going to have to try that this year!

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  8. Oh, my! I just felt five pounds attaching to my thighs reading the chocolate pie recipe and then the cranberry one. But I'll have to make them both! Great post!

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  9. Yum. I always make pumpkin pie because it's my husband's favorite, but the kids don't like it, so this may be our second Thanksgiving pie from now on. And the cranberry relish with apples sounds wonderful.

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    1. Beth, my oldest child is a pumpkin pie fanatic. He'll eat it three meals a day if I let him lol. But I usually make a variety of pies and Catherine's is on the list this year. Now, when I lived in Texas, we ALWAYS had sweet potato pie too :). There were probably as many sweet potato pies in the stores as pumpkin pies!

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    2. Beth, I belie in 4-5 desserts you never know who will stop by. Right?? Sharing is the best part of thanksgiving.

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  10. We love fresh cranberry anything, and I could rub caramel and chocolate in my hair like babies do when things taste really good! Anxious to try both recipes. My favorite Thanksgiving dessert (I'm such a peasant!) is Costco's Pumpkin Cheesecake! I could eat it all myself! We have a beautiful cold, crisp fall day here - thanks for bringing the fall kitchen aroma into it!

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    1. Muriel, I'm laughing so hard at the visual of you rubbing pie in your hair like a baby in a highchair lol! You're so funny. And I'll take cheesecake any way it comes!

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  11. Muriel! I have a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake but also a pumpkin and ginger snap ice cream bar that will really make your mouth squirt!! You are so fun. I'll have the baby visual forever now!

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  12. Okay, so all the pie talk reminded me of a time as a teen when my mom opted to buy pie rather than make it (we had a lot of company, so it was easier on her). Well, this was a great bakery we'd bought from often, but when we went to eat the pie, we all spat it out. Someone had confused salt for sugar! LOL. They exchanged it of course, but I'll never forget that.

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  13. I love recipes. I tried the last one, pumpkin bread. We ate it right out of the oven. I'll try these too, especially the cranberry one. I love fresh cranberries, but my family likes the jellied ones from a can.

    And decadence is my middle name. And I have all the ingredients to make that one in my kitchen.

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    1. Shirley, I went to the grocery store yesterday to buy fresh cranberries and stopped my son in the baking aisle. I told him I needed to look Catherine's recipe up on my phone/email again just to be sure I had all the ingredients lol.

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  14. Those recipes look yummy. I'm sure they're totally calorie free (at least that's what I'll tell myself when I make and eat them).

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    1. Totally calorie free, Sophia! Let's go with negative calories...after all...we burn some while in the act of baking, right? Don't you love sugar addict logic?;)

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  15. Those recipes sound delicious!! Especially that pie - YUM!

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    1. I'm betting I have it made by dinner time tonight lol!

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  16. I caved into my sugar addiction. I told you I wouldn't last. I made Catherine's pie and just had a piece (after dinner...if that makes me less criminal;). OH. MY. That was soooooo gooood. I put a bit of whipped cream on the side too. Decadent. Definitely worthy of the Thanksgiving table :)!

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  17. the pie sounds so yummy! will have to try it this thanksgiving!

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  18. Looks easy can't wait to try both recipes.

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  19. .Sounds delicious. Now it I can just get enough energy to make them I'm good to go.

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