Archive for November, 2013

Sunday Morning Coffee +Thanksgiving Leftovers 2FER #2: CRANBERRIES


IMG_2120My favourite version of a traditional accompaniment combines fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, sugar and a whole orange to make a fresh, tangy relish for turkey or chicken. Use your microwave to make this fuss-free or, if you prefer, cook and stir on the stovetop a day ahead then cool until it’s time to serve.

  • 1 package fresh or frozen whole cranberries [ about 2 cups
  • 1 whole orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice**

**I usually combine a couple of spoonfuls of orange juice concentrate with warm water, but if you don’t have orange juice, just go ahead and use plain water for a slightly less “orange-y” sauce.

Slice off the stem and blossom end of the orange. Cut the orange in chunks and throw into a food processor or blender with the orange juice. Process until all the peel is shredded. Combine the orange with the sugar and cranberries in a VERY LARGE microwavable bowl ( ask me how I know this will bubble over if the bowl isn’t at least  twice as big as I think I need!).  Cover and microwave on high for about 8 minutes until bubbling. Remove cover, stir and continue to microwave uncovered on high for another 8-12 minutes or until the berries have popped and the sauce begins to thicken. [Sauce will thicken considerably more as it cools.] Cool to lukewarm and then refrigerate until dinner time.

This Canadian Thanksgiving, though, I popped the finished sauce into the fridge and….



When we remembered [just before I served dessert!], it was too late for dinner, so I was left with a double batch of sauce to use up. So, Sunday baking for LaRosa was an experiment: Joe Zaleski’s coffee cake from the old Quilter’s Neighbourhood site adapted for a fruit filling instead of the usual streusel.

Oh wow! Now we have a NEW family and church favourite: I have stockpiled bags of cranberries and plan to make up batches of sauce just for this wonderful 

Zinger Joe’s Cranberry Coffee Cake

bake at 350º for about an hour: makes a 9″ bundt or tube cake.

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream or yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup sugar

I promise you: this is well worth using every bowl in your kitchen. Like the original recipe, you’ll need to start by organizing different bowls of ingredients, then combining them. Here’s how that goes:


  • Bowl #1: beat together margarine with first amount of sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  • Bowl #2: stir together flour, baking powder and  salt.
  • Bowl #3: Sprinkle soda over yoghurt [or sour cream] beat with a whisk until light and foamy
  • Bowl #4: Cranberry sauce [we use our own recipe from above, but you could also use a can of whole cranberry sauce –not jelly)
  • Bowl #5: Stir together 1/4 cup sugar with orange zest and set aside.

Grease a 9″ bundt or tube pan. [I use Pam®]

Add flour and yoghurt mixture alternately to margarine mix, beginning and ending with flour. Beat well after each addition.


Beginning to add the second layer of batter on top of the cranberry sauce.


Ready for the oven.

Spoon half the batter into the bottom of the pan. Spoon cranberry sauce evenly over the batter. Top with remaining batter. Swirl with a long thin knife until bits of cranberry show through the top, but DO NOT STIR…you want to have streaks of berry not a pink cake! Smooth the top then sprinkle with the orange/sugar mix. Bake in middle of oven for about 1 hour or until it tests done. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.

Makes a wonderful dessert or a morning snack…sustenance for shopping on Friday after Thanksgiving, perhaps?


November 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Coffee +Thanksgiving Leftovers 2FER: SWEET POTATOES

Sweet Potato Cake

Our folks at LaRosa don’t get to enjoy the best part of Thanksgiving: the cooks do a great job of Thanksgiving dinner, but food service protocol doesn’t allow for next-day meals of leftovers. Our Canadian Thanksgiving in October gave me a chance to share some of our leftovers with my friends in special treats for Sunday morning.  This year, one of our new favourites starts with my version of a Thanksgiving standard: Sweet Potatoes or Yams. Here’s my recipe for Thanksgiving dinner followed by the 2fer recipe beginning with leftovers as a base to build a wonderful autumn treat.

Sweet Potato Bake

I’m not a fan of sweet main course sides: I don’t get the appeal of yams with marshmallows. But, sweet potatoes or yams are a must-serve item for Thanksgiving dinner, so I’ve developed my own no-fuss take on this dish. (Sorry, there’s no photo for this part: my kitchen is no place for a camera when I’m cooking for a crowd!]

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and sliced half-inch thick. I usually cut these in half for half-circles so they’re easier to layer;
  • 3 slightly underripe pears – Bosc are my favourites, but any that aren’t mushy will do. If the skins are thin and attractive, you can leave them on, or peel if desired. Core and cut into slices.

Toss potatoes or yams in a bowl with a little olive oil [no more than a tablespoon], then layer in the casserole dish alternating with pear slices. You can drizzle with a little maple syrup if you wish. Sprinkle with about

  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Cover with foil and bake.  I do my bird at 325°, so I put these in alongside my roasting pan about an hour before it’s done. Test after about 45 minutes: if potatoes are fork tender, remove foil and let brown for 10-15 minutes. Serves 10-12 if you have other side dishes.

As usual, I made way more food than we could eat, anticipating leftovers. About 1/2 of the sweet potato dish was left, so I adapted an on-line recipe from Taste of Home to use them. The little bit of pear was a lovely light addition to this special autumn cake: everyone who tried it agreed “Yum!” (I’m sure this would still be a hit with any sweet potato leftovers: if you sweeten yours for Thanksgiving, you’ll want to reduce the sugar accordingly.)

Sweet Potato Cake

Start by scooping the leftovers into a stand mixer bowl and beat on medium until thoroughly mashed, or mash as you would potatoes.  Measure the sweet potato mix and return 2 cups to the bowl and beat with

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine

Beat until well mixed, then beat in

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 large eggs

Stir together:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon**
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger**
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves**
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom**
  • **SUBSTITUTE Pumpkin Pie spice if you prefer for any or all of the spices.

Add all at once to the sweet potato mixture. Mix just until moist, then stir in

  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (I used Craisins®)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Spoon into a well-greased 10″ bundt pan or tube pan. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted near centre comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 10-15 minutes before turning out to cool completely.  Before serving, dust lightly with

  • Icing sugar

Next time I may try this in a 9×13 pan: perhaps with cream cheese frosting? I’m betting it will make a wonderful dessert to serve after Turkey Pot Pie.

HINT: More than 2 cups of sweet potatoes/yams? Freeze leftovers to add to muffins or pancakes for added nutrition.


Looking for more post-Thanksgiving recipes?  Quilter’s Neighbourhood, has a couple of our favourite Thanksgiving leftover recipes: Turkey Pot Pie and Cranberry Muffins here.



November 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm 1 comment


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